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.

Websites for Writers

Presented by Loretta Hall

4 Two-hour Sessions
July 16, 23, 30 and August 6
Sunday afternoons, 2:00-4:00pm

$69 SWW Members; $74 Osher Members; $79 Non-Members

In this eight-hour series, you will learn how to design a website that will be attractive and effective. Topics include domain names, website design concepts, 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 that 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.



Saturday, October 14, 2017   9am-noon

Saturday, October 21, 2017 9am-noon

Instructor: Melody Groves
Where: SWW office: 3200 Carlisle NE, suite #114
Cost: $79 SWW members; $84 Osher; $89 non-members
To Register: Call Larry @ (505)803-6034 (M-Th 9-12) or at the first class

           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:

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.            Questions?



­World-BuildingScience Fiction, Fantasy, and Worlds on the Bias

Presented by Betsy James

6-Week Writing Challenge

In the dark of the year, it’s time to make the invisible visible, the incredible credible. Fantasy and science fiction—the “what-if?” genres, known collectively as “speculative fiction”—are worlds built by and for those parts of ourselves for which reality feels too limited. Come learn the basics of designing believable fictional worlds! Entertaining, professional sessions will get you thinking, critiquing, and working like a writer. In 6 weekly assignments of 1000 words or less you’ll explore quirks and craft, learn respectful peer critique, and develop writerly camaraderie with an assortment of fellow visionaries—who may become your support system, because you’ll also learn how to conduct your own critique group.

 Register early! Class limited to 10 students.

SWW Members: $240 ● Osher Members: $250   Non-members: $290

Tuesdays, 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm    —     October 24, 31, and November 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: SWW Office Conference Room 3200 Carlisle NE, Suite 114, Albuquerque, NM 87110

Register online at,
by phone (505-830-6034), or at any SWW meeting.

 Betsy James is the author and illustrator of 17 books for adults and children. Among other honors, her books have been named: Locus Magazine Recommended Reading 2016, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, Voices of Youth Advocates Best Book, Junior Library Guild Selection, Canadian Children’s Book Center Best Book, International Reading Association Children’s Choice, and Tiptree Award Honor Book. She teaches speculative fiction in UNM’s Honors College and leads workshops nationally and internationally. She lives in the North Valley.  Visit her at    Her most recent fantasy, Roadsouls, is available from Amazon and/or

Classes you might have missed:


♦ 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



♦ 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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