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.




Presented by Melody Groves

Saturday: February 4t
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: New Life Presbyterian Church
(after the regular Saturday meeting)
$29 Members, $34 Osher, $39 Non-members

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


We’ve all seen them, whether out in public or in your own home. Somebody has to be the center of attention. They scream, yell, throw themselves on the floor or throw something of value. They are the center of their universe and we have to deal with them before moving on!

Scenes in your books are the same thing. They’re the smallest bit of fiction that fits inside the “bigger picture”—your story. You build the story with scenes, one piled on top of the next, each changing something that came before, all of them moving the story inexorably and relentlessly forward. You have to deal with the character’s actions before moving on.

There are a few key tricks to making good and memorable scenes. In this workshop, we’ll take a look at the purpose of scenes, elements of plot, oh-so critical point of view, character-driven scenes—their three-part patterns, how to start and even more importantly end a scene. Use these tricks and you’ll know how to create a scene that will keep readers turning the pages.

Speaker’s bio:

Making a scene at every opportunity, Melody Groves is the winner of numerous writing awards, and is a member of Western Writers of America, SouthWest Writers and New Mexico Press Women. She is author of the award-winning Colton Brothers Saga series and the newly-released She Was Sheriff.     When not writing, she’s busy playing rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band.


Writing is a Business. The US Tax Code is skewed to benefit businesses. Writers are engaged in the Business of Writing. As business professional operating a writing business, we are entitled to benefit from the tax code. Thus, beginning writers at this stage of their careers will find that a large chunk of their income comes from the benefits of the Federal Tax Code as long as they operate their writing business in a professional manner.

Most beginning writers mistakenly believe that they have to have a large amount of money coming in from their writing before they can begin deducting their writing expenses. This belief is one of the Sacred Cows of the writing business. No one has bothered to tell them the truth and to teach them how to operate their business in the proper manner to reap this benefit.

There is no secret handshake to learn in order to qualify as being a professional writer. The IRS has only two designations of writers: professional writers and hobbyists. The BUSINESS OF WRITING WORKSHOP is designed to help writers demonstrate that they are indeed professional writers entitled to benefit from the tax code.

The BUSINESS OF WRITING Workshop is designed to teach any writer regardless of her/his stage in their career now to operate their career in a professional manner and to begin tapping into tax benefits that is their due.

In this class, the participants will:

  • Learn the IRS requirements for a professional writer to deduct his/her writing related expenses from their income tax.
  • Understand the record keeping requirements, the meaning of the vocabulary employed by tax professional, and how the tax forms should be filled out.
  • Discover the myriad of legal tax deductions available to the professional writer.
  • How a Business plan for their writing business helps to prove that they are entitled to be considered a professional in their industry.
  • Construct a Business Plan for their writing business.
  • How to manage cash flow from writing and maximize profits.

The six – hour workshop will be held at Southwest Writers office and will consist of three – two hour sessions [6:50 – 8:30 PM] pm on Thursday evening of March 9. March 16 and March 23. The Instructor will be Fred A. Aiken.

The fee for this workshop is $99.00.00 for SWW Members. $104.00 for OSHER and $109 for nonmembers and is tax deductible. Preregistration is required. Sign up at the business table at the meetings or mail the application to the Southwest Writers Office.

If you have questions concerning this workshop, please contact the presenter, Fred A. Aiken at

Fred A. Aiken has been writing professionally since 1996 and has articles appearing in Guide Post and Angels-on-Earth. He holds a BS from Grove City College, an MBA from Cleveland State University and a Master of Education from The College of Santa Fe in Albuquerque. He belongs to Southwest Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, Romance Writers of America, and the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society. He teaches classes on THE BUSINESS OF WRITING and has won several awards



Workshops you might have missed:


♦ 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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