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

See individual workshops for their location.


Saturday: May 5 , 2018   12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)
$20 Members, $25 Osher, $30 Non-member

Sandra Toro

Writing Historical Fiction that Sells!

Are you excited about a certain period in history? Or has a particular historical figure caught your imagination? Are you more storyteller or historian? What motivates you to write this particular novel?

This workshop will focus your project by raising necessary questions such as:

  • What other books are out there about this period or person?
  • Are they history books or fiction, and when were they written?
  • Where will you find research materials about your subject? Will it require travel or other expenses?
  • Who will buy this book? Academics? The general public?
  • If you are writing about World War II, for example, what is your special take on it?

Finally, ask yourself what motivates you to write this book?

These questions and many more will be discussed in the two-hour workshop led by Sandra Toro who has published six historical novels. She has taught creative writing at the University of Nebraska and the University of New Mexico over the last twenty years.

Saturday: June 2  , 2018   12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)
$20 Members, $25 Osher, $30 Non-member

Steve Brewer


You can inject humor into any kind of writing, if you do it deftly enough, and Steve Brewer will show you how at this workshop. Steve has used humor in all sorts of writing over his 40-year career, including a decade of weekly “Home Front” columns for Scripps Howard News Service. He’ll talk about how to be funny on the page, and how to make the language do the comedic work for you. He’ll also bring exercises you can use to strengthen your funny bone.

BIO: Steve Brewer writes books about crooks. His most recent crime thriller SIDE EYE was his 30th published book. His first novel, LONELY STREET, was made into a 2009 Hollywood comedy. Steve spent 22 years in daily journalism before bailing out in 1997 to write fiction and humor full-time. To keep from dying of cabin fever, he leaves the house a couple times a week to teach at the Honors College at UNM.

Saturday: October 6, 2018 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)
$20 Members, $25 Osher, $30 Non-member

Gerald Hausman

Spontaneous Writing

The workshop will explore the following writing techniques:

  • Using the style of the best mystery stories, we will shape a series of beginnings and endings that rivet a reader’s attention.
  • How to write a successful three line short story. How to write a one-line short story.
  • How to shape voice in such a way that whether you are writing in first person, second person or third person, your style remains the same.
  • How to write naturally in present tense, past tense, and future tense.
  • How to write an unconventional outline that works.

Gerald Hausman spent more than twenty years in New Mexico where many of his American Indian stories were collected and published. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1945, Hausman is a professional storyteller. He was poet in residence at Connecticut State College as well as the City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He taught writing at The Windsor Mountain School and Santa Fe Preparatory. Two of his children’s books were made into animated films, one of them sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates and Pixar, the other by History Channel. A number of his books for adults and children have been translated into 10 foreign languages. In addition to his own writing Gerald is the editor of award-winning nonfiction and fiction titles published by Overlook-Viking, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Dutton, Persea, Houghton Mifflin and others. He, his wife Loretta and author Alice Carney teach at the Green River Writers program in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Hausmans edit for Irie Books which is dedicated to discovering new talent in literature. They have moved back to Santa Fe after many years of touring and doing workshops.





Workshops you might have missed:2018

Creating time and place by creating language:  Writing with a sense of history by Jack Woodville London


Connect to Your Intuitive Author Within
with Chloe Rachel Galloway
♦ Niche Markets:  Multiple Streams of Income
with Rose Marie Kern
♦ How to Create a Scene – Without Getting Arrested
with Melody Groves

♦The Perfect Pitch  with Rose Marie Kern, Melody Groves and Sarah Baker


♦ The Artist’s Way Mini Intensive
with Kristen Fogle and Lydia Lea Real
♦ Outline for Success
with Gerald Hausman
♦ Blogging Your Way to Success
with Rob Speigel
♦ Books 101
with Barbe Awalt
♦ Adding Humor to Your Writing
with Steve Brewer
♦ Writing Great Dialogue: Listening to the Voices in Your Head
with Melody Groves
♦ How to Find Your Path and Follow it to Your Creative Destiny
with Sharon Niederman
♦ Making Your Fiction Shine with Cinematic Technique
with Joanne Bodin
♦ Writing from Photo to Finish
with Elizabeth Sloan
♦ Book Cover Design
with Michael Silva


♦ Turning Fact into Fiction: Bending the Truth to Make it Fit
with Melody Groves
♦ What Has to Happen Before That Can Happen: Planning the Novel, Character- vs. Plot-driving, and Bringing it into the World
with Jack W. London
♦ How to Plot: Every Good Story Needs One
with Melody Groves
♦ Write What You Don’t Know
with Mark Stevens
♦ Giving Voice to the People in Your Head
with Sarah H. Baker
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall


♦ Getting Around Beginner’s Bumps
with Sarah Baker
♦ Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks
with Shirley Raye Redmond and Jennifer McKerley
♦ What a Writing Group Can Accomplish (Synergy)
with Patricia Walkow and Jim Tritten
♦ A Gathering for Picture Book Critique
with Betsy James
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall
♦ An Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation for Writers
with Debra Falcon

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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