Fiery Orange Hands IconSouthWest Writers offers classes and workshops 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.

Classes are held at the SWW Office, unless otherwise stated.
Click here for directions.

Revising Fiction – Making Sense of the Madness

Presented by Kirt Hickman

Write your novel and revise it to sell. With all the books, talks, classes, and workshops available on writing and self-editing, a writer can quickly become overwhelmed by advice.  “Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness” cuts through the clutter and offers an organized, practical approach to self-editing that covers everything from planning your novel, to first draft, through revision, to final submission-quality manuscript.  Each class will include a lecture, discussion, prepared exercises, and (time permitting) class time to work on students’ own writing projects. This course is geared toward book-length fiction, but the vast majority of the topics are applicable to short stories and creative non-fiction as well. There are no prerequisites or required materials.


  • World Building & Characterization
  • Plot
  • First Draft, Research, & Gross Manuscript Problems
  • Chapter Breaks & Avoiding Information Dumps
  • Scenes
  • Polishing Prose
  • Dialog
  • Finishing Touches & Critiques

      Contact SWW to register: 830-6034

Kirt Hickman, author of the award-winning science-fiction thrillers Worlds Asunder and Venus Rain was a technical writer for fourteen years before branching into fiction. His methodical approach to self-editing has helped many make sense of the mass of advice available to the novice writer.  He teaches self-editing classes through SouthWest Writers.  He has been a mentor in the SWW mentoring program, has spoken at numerous conferences, and has contributed a monthly column titled “Revising Fiction” to the SouthWest Sage. He has also written Mercury Sun, the fantasy novel Fabler’s Legend and two children’s books.  His writer’s guide, Revising Fiction—Making Sense of the Madness won a New Mexico Book award for Best How-To and was a finalist in the international Ben Franklin Awards.

Monday Evenings:   March 12-April 30, 2018   6:30-8:30pm
SWW Offices:
3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite 114
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Cost: SWW Members $99  Non-members: $109




Instructor: Melody Groves

Thanks to the invention of the Internet, the opportunity to write for magazines is almost endless. With over 9,000 magazines published yearly, in addition to those online, the world is your oyster. But, there are tricks to bagging an assignment.

So if you’ve got a good idea but don’t know where to go or how to start, look no more. This class is for you.
In six hours we’ll cover:

  • finding your story,
  • finding the market,
  • tweaking the same idea for different magazines,
  • writing a query that sells,
  • photo requirements,
  • approaching an editor. And that’s just for starters.
  • Instructor Biography:          Questions?
  •           Seven-time award-winner Melody Groves is the author of five historical fiction novels, three non-fiction books. Her dozens of magazine articles appear in Wild West, True West, New Mexico Magazine, ABQ the Magazine and many more. Past-president of SouthWest Writers, she’s also a member of Western Writers of America. And when not writing, she plays rhythm guitar in the Jammy Time Band.
  • Saturday, April 21, 2018   9am-noon
    Saturday, April 28, 2018   9am-noon
  • Where: SWW office: 3200 Carlisle NE, suite #114
    Cost: $79 SWW members; $84 Osher; $89 non-members
    To Register: Call SWW office @ (505) 803-6034 (M-Th 9-12) or at the first class

Websites for Writers

Instructor Loretta Hall

Why should you have a website? Because people say you should? If that’s your only reason, you won’t have a good one. In this six-hour series, you will learn how to plan a website and design one that will be attractive and effective. Topics include domain names, website design concepts, blogs versus websites, hosting options, search engine rankings, and inexpensive (or free) site-building software. We will explore options for creating and maintaining your own website without knowing any programming language. Using the types of template-based programs and reliable but inexpensive hosts we will discuss, the cost of your site can range from $0 to about $10 per month. If you decide to have someone build your site for you, this class will prepare you to talk knowledgeably with that person about what you want. In-class demonstrations and take-home exercises will get you started establishing (or improving) your Internet presence.

Loretta Hall currently maintains five websites of her own creation. The oldest one, which she built in 2004, has received multiple awards and earned her the title of Female Architectural Author of the Year in 2016 by Build magazine. Loretta describes herself as computer literate but not a programmer. She is a former board member of Southwest Writers and winner of the 2007 Parris Award. In 2016, she was named Communicator of Achievement by the National Federation of Press Women.

3 two-hour sessions  Saturday afternoons, 2:00-4:00   June 9, 16, 23 (2018)
$69 SWW Members; $74 Osher or NMPW Members; $79 Nonmembers

To Register: Call SWW office @ (505) 803-6034 (M-Th 9-12) or at the meetings


Classes you might have missed:


♦Revising Fiction – Making Sense of the Madness
with  Kirt Hickman
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall


♦ How to Write Your First Play
with Dr. Richard Peck
♦ The Business of Writing
with Fred Aiken
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦Revising Fiction – Making Sense of the Madness
with  Kirt Hickman



♦ Myth in Writing
with Shari Tarbet
♦ To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme: To Form or Not to Form?
with Gayle Lauradunn
♦ Worlds Beyond Worlds: Exploring the Multiverse of SFF
with Betsy James
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves


♦ 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
♦ Weirdness: Writing the Shadow Season
with Betsy James


♦ 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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