SouthWest Writers offers classes to advance the skills and marketability of writers. Experienced instructors guide participants through lecture, example and, often, critique to increase the quality of their writing.

What is the difference between a class and a workshop? A class is more than one session and usually includes assignments to be completed outside of class. A workshop is one session, and any work required of the students is done during the workshop session.

See individual classes for their location.

Weirdness: Writing the Shadow Season

A 6-Week Class with Betsy James

Thursdays: October 15, 22, 29 and November 5, 12, 19
5:45 pm to 7:45 pm
Location: SouthWest Writers Office
$240 SWW members, $250 Osher members, $290 non-members

Click here to register online. Call the SWW Office (505-830-6034) or sign up at a monthly meeting to register offline. For directions to the class, go here.

Betsy JamesStrange things walk abroad…are you one of them? This is Betsy James’s infamous 6-week course in otherworldly writing: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and anything else on earth or off it. Far from giving you nightmares, these rigorous, fun sessions get you thinking, critiquing, and working like a writer. In weird-and-weekly assignments of 1000 words or less you’ll explore quirks and craft, learn respectful peer critique, and develop a writerly camaraderie with an assortment of fellow oddballs—who may become part of your support system, since you’ll also learn how to conduct your own critique group. Register early! Class is limited to 10 students.

Betsy James is the author-illustrator of sixteen books and many stories for adults, teens, and children. Her latest novel, Listening at the Gate, is a Tiptree Award Honor Book and a New York Times Best Book for the Teen Age. Visit her on the web at: and

Did you miss these 2015 classes?

♦ Marketing for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire
♦ How-to-Write Class: I Have Paper and Pen. Now What?
with Melody Groves
♦ A 3-Day Social Media Intensive for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire
♦ Getting at It: Inviting the Good Stuff
with Betsy James
♦ Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal
with Loretta Hall

Here are some of the great classes we offered in 2014:

♦ So! You Want to Write a Book!
with Jacqueline Murray Loring
♦ Writing Genre Fiction and Getting Published
with Sarah Baker
♦ Fundamentals of Screenwriting – Giving Your Script a Solid Foundation
with Marc Calderwood
♦ Writing for Magazines: How to Land Your First Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Inviting Vivid Characters, Seeing Through Their Eyes
with Betsy James
♦ Business Plans for Writers
with Fred A. Aiken
♦ Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Worlds on the Bias
with Betsy James
♦ A Three-Day Social Media Intensive for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire

Workshop and Class Refund Policy

To ensure that SouthWest Writers can cover the cost of space rental and instructor fees, we have implemented a workshop and class refund policy. If you cancel one week before the workshop or class beginning date you will receive a full refund. Cancellations after one week prior up to 24 hours prior to the beginning of the workshop or class will receive a credit only toward a future workshop or class of your choice. If you do not cancel or don’t show up for the workshop or class you will receive no refund and no credit. For multi-session classes, if you miss a class, you receive no refund. We pay our instructors based on how many students enroll, so you are part of that roll count if you don’t cancel as detailed above.

If you have any questions or want to let us know what classes or workshops you’d like to have offered, please e-mail the workshop coordinator at

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