Fiery Orange Hands IconSouthWest 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.

 Blogging Your Way to Success

Presented by Rob Spiegel

12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 7. $20.00 for SWW members, $30.00 for non-members

Blogging can build your writing skills and create an audience. We will explore all types of blogging, from poetry to art, from spirituality to memoir. We’ll look at free blogging platforms, how to write posts, and how to build an audience.      We’ll look at using a blog to create a book, find a publisher, and sell the book once it’s published – just like Julie Powell did with her bestseller, Julie & Julia, which went on to become a major movie.

Rob Spiegel has been writing for 40 years. He makes his living as a journalist, serving as senior editor for Design News, an international trade magazine. He has published fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. He’s the author of six books with major publishers such as St. Martin’s Press.

Rob has taught writing at UNM, CNM, Osher, and at writing conferences across the country. His blogging class at Osher is one of his most popular. For 10 years, he owned a magazine (Chile Pepper) and a book publishing company. He blogs on cybersecurity, robotics, spirituality, and theatre. His individual posts have reached as many as 150,000 readers.

Healthy Writing, Healthy You:

Integrating Mind, Body, and Spirit through the Art of Writing

with Julie Dunlop

Saturday: November 4th, 2017    12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)

$20 Members, $25 Osher, $30 Non-members

Are you doing your best work? Are you feeling your best?

Come learn practical tips to enhance your writing and you!  From the perspective of Yoga and Ayurveda, we can support our health through finding balance in life. What does it mean to be fully present as a writer—body, mind, and spirit?

Through exploration of the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda, we can deepen our awareness of our words, thoughts, feelings, and actions—and how they correlate to the well-being of our writing and ourselves.

Come experience how the challenges specific to writing and being a writer can be supported through a holistic approach.

{This workshop is open to all levels.}

Saturday: November 4th, 2017    12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)

$20 Members, $25 Osher, $30 Non-member

Sean Murphy

Dimension in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Memoir 

This workshop is a continuation and deeper look at the elements that make up a fully dimensional work of fiction, memoir, or creative nonfiction.  Creating strong narrative requires attention not only to primary elements of plot and character, but to aspects such as style and tone, sense of place, sensory detail, thematic ideas, as well as literary devices like imagery and symbolism, metaphor, personification and foreshadowing. We’ll work together in exploring how various different elements support one another in a fully realized piece of writing.

SEAN MURPHY’S new edition of his One Bird, One Stone, a nonfiction chronicle of Zen in America, won the 2014 International Book Award in the Eastern Religions category. His The Time of New Weather was named Best Novel in the 2009 National Press Women’s Communication Awards, while his debut, The Hope Valley Hubcap King, won the Hemingway Award for a First Novel and was an American Booksellers Association BookSense 76 recommended book. He is also the author of the Pulitzer-nominated novel The Finished Man. (All novels published by Bantam-Dell books). His novel-in-process, Wilson’s Way, won the 2014 Dana Award in the Novel, and his essays, articles and short stories have been widely published and anthologized. A recognized Zen meditation teacher and Dharma Holder in the White Plum Lineage, he has practiced Zen for for 30 years. He also teaches secular meditation through his nonprofit Sage Institute for Creativity and Consciousness, and has taught for many years with Natalie Goldberg in her series of independent writing and meditation seminars. He has taught meditation, creative writing, and literature for UNM-Taos for 20 years, as well as for Southern Methodist University’s Taos campus, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Naropa University in Boulder, and a variety of conferences and organizations, including a number of Masters Classes in the Novel. His yearly Write to the Finish Course, taught with his wife Tania Casselle, who is also an author, has helped dozens of novelists and nonfiction writers finish book-length projects over the last ten years. Independent writing seminars through their Big Sky Writing Workshops have included residential courses at Casa del Sol in Ghost Ranch, Canyon de Chelly, The Murie Center in Grand Tetons National Park, Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland, and the Summit Huts Association in Colorado, among others. See his website at

Workshops you might have missed:


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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