Firey Orange AudienceJoin us for our free monthly programs.

Regular Meetings are on the first Saturday from 10:00 am to noon and the third Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the New Life Presbyterian Church Conference Room located at 5540 Eubank NE, Albuquerque, NM.  We also offer 2-hour workshops on select Saturdays after our morning meetings. Go to our Workshops page for details.

For a list of previous speakers and topics , scroll to the bottom of the page.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017  7pm-9pm

 A Writer’s Power in Understanding the Hero’s Journey

by Chloe Gallawaychloe-galloway

Chloe Rachael Gallaway is the founder of The Winged River Writer and author of The Soulful Child (Citrine Publishing, 2017), a memoir of her life growing up through age twelve in the wild woodlands of Lindrith, New Mexico. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. As a mentor and facilitator of the writing process, Chloe combines her experience of growing up connected to nature with her training in mindfulness tools and literacy-based writing techniques, to deliver a powerful process of self transformation and healing, through writing.

Be seen. Be Heard. Become Strong.

The mindfulness writing process uses techniques of connecting to a place of feeling verses a place of thinking. Getting clients from the analytical, critical left-brain and into the heart center helps them to access emotional memory, a much deeper level of memory than rote memory. From this place clients are able to connect to their IAW, Intuitive Author Within, allowing them to produce their best material and find a new level of connection to the writing process.

Re-write the narrative in your head and become empowered, no matter what your circumstances have been.

Have you ever considered the narrative running in your mind about your life story? Daily we run a narrative about our own lives. It takes an even greater sense of awareness to gain perspective on how this narrative impacts our lives.

Chloe Rachel Gallaway leads us on a journey of story, reflecting on “The Hero’s Journey” of becoming a writer and how seeing yourself as the hero in your own story can shape your life.

♦See Yourself as the Hero in Your Story
♦Transform Old Narrative to Create New Power
♦Learn How Our Wounds Can Be Our Gifts
♦Become a Great Writer Through This Process

Saturday, February 4th, 10am – Noon

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting my CareerMelody cropped200

~Melody Groves~

I listened, or thought I was listening. Writing is such a multi-faceted endeavor it’s hard to cover the topic in a short amount of time. But these are a few items I wish I’d known—or paid attention to when starting out. Sure would’ve saved a lot of time and energy.

  1. Writing is a Business
  2. Book covers matter
  3. Make contacts
  4. Secondary characters can take over the novel, so how do you write; how important are they?
  5. Write what’s in your heart. What you see and hear. Don’t be afraid of word count—look at the minutiae and write it.


 Tuesday April 18th 7-9pm

April is poetry month. And what better way to honor the bards and word-weavers, the poets —the mainstay of cultural preservation—than to come to SouthWest Writers for an interactive experience in the poetic tradition of exquisite corpse, and other playful poetic writing techniques. Bring pens, pencils, a notebook, and your curiosity as you embark on a fun-filled journey into the world of the poet.  This fun filled evening will be hosted by two of our most prominent poetry authors, Jeanne Shannon and Joanne Bodin.

Speaker Biographies

JeanneShannon200Jeanne Shannon’s poetry has appeared in numerous small-press and university journals and anthologies, including Midway Journal, Malpais Review, Cloudbank, Glint Literary Journal and Imagine Peace, an anthology from Bottom Dog Press. She has published four full-length collections of her work and several chapbooks.  Her In a Rose Wood Wandering and At the Horizon Line were finalists for a New Mexico/Arizona Book Award in poetry, and her 2016 book, Summoning, was a winner in that category. She has also published short fiction and memoir essays.


Joanne Bodin Ph.D., is an award-winning author, poet, and retired educator. Her book of poetry, Piggybacked, was a finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards. Her novel, Walking Fish, won the  New Mexico Book Awards and the International Book Awards in gay/lesbian fiction.  She is past vice president of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, and is on the boards of Southwest Writers and  the New Mexico Orchid Guild.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications including: The Rag, La Llorona Poetry Anthology, Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology I & II, Desert Sun Runner, Voices of New Mexico Too, More Voices of New Mexico, JB Stillwater Magazine, NMSPS Albuquerque Chapter Poetry Anthology, Zingara Poetry Pics,  New Mexico Mercury, Malpais Review Vol. 5, and Vol. 6, The Storyteller’s Anthology, The Poeming Pigeon, The Yes Book- Exult Road, Glitterwolf Magazine, and Adobe Walls 5. Her new novel, Orchid of the Night, is a dark psychological thriller about the esoteric world of orchids



Previous Speakers and Topics for 2017:



Previous Speakers and Topics for 2016:

♦ Slim Randles, How to Release the “Great” in Good Writing
♦ Joycelyn Campbell, Create True-to-Life Characters Using the Enneagram
♦ David Morrell, The Current Climate in the Publishing World
♦ Anya Achtenberg, Finding the Real Story—by expanding our view of story’s essential elements
♦ Sharon Niederman, When Editors and Publishers Work for Free, Then I’ll Think About It
♦ Kristen Clark, 12 Reasons Why Self-publishing May Be the Answer for YOU!
♦ Paula Paul, The Ten Commandments for a Successful Writer
♦ Judy Avila, Full Immersion: Pulling the Reader Into Your Story
♦ Elizabeth Sloan, Unlocking an Untold Story: Research, Images, Dialogue, Persistence, and a Publisher
♦ Loretta Hall, Make a Name for Yourself (And I Don’t Mean Pick a Pseudonym!)
♦Joe Badal, Marketing Tips for Writers
♦John Byram, 10 Common Author Pitfalls in Today’s Publishing Environment
♦Michael McGarrity, The Backstory in Fiction
♦Jonathan Miller , Can Donald Trump Sue Me? Libel Law for Authors
♦Gerald Hausman, How Ideas Shape Literature
♦Sherry Robinson, Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Moving from writing stories to writing books
♦Kristen Fogle , The Importance of Morning Pages and Forming a Daily Writing Practice
♦Ross Van Dusen , Pictures with words vs word pictures
♦JJ Amaworo WilsonA Day with the Damned  
♦Susan Cooper and Gail RubinThe Art of Branding
♦Richard E Peck
Ask a Playwrite to Revise Your Novel…or Become One!
♦Shannon BakerStaying the Course
♦Steven GouldWhat Hollywood Taught Me about Prose Fiction


Previous Speakers and Topics for 2015:


♦ Steve Brewer, Creating Credible Characters
♦ Kathy Wagoner, Point of View (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Pam Lewis, Building Characters and Settings that Ground Your Fiction


♦ Melody Groves, Putting Emotion into Your Writing—Without Adding “ly”
♦ Rob Spiegel, Writing on the Web (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Katrina K. Guarascio, Finding your Voice: The Help and Hindrance of Peer Review


♦ James McGrath Morris, Using Storytelling Techniques to Breathe Life into Your Writing
♦ Bob Gassaway, Sharpen Your Words to Sharpen Your Stories (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Jim Tritten, Building a Writing Career


♦ Jack Woodville London, Why We Write: Storytellers of Hope for an Uncertain World
♦ Joanne Bodin, Poetry as Inspiration: A Panel Discussion


♦ Mark Stevens, How to Plot Without Plotting
♦ Teresa Ewers, Getting Into a Monthly Magazine (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog Theatre)
♦ Melody Groves, Dialogue Tricks: Making Characters Talk Good


♦ Kirk Ellis, Storytelling: It’s Harder Than You Think
♦ Jeanne Shannon, Tackling the Elusive Art of Poetry (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Steve Brewer, How to Screw up Your Writing Career (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog Theatre)
♦ Irene Blea, Landscape: How Setting Creates Identity & Story


♦ Rob Spiegel, Online Writing Opportunities—An Expanding Universe
♦ Joycelyn Campbell, Networking Isn’t a Four-Letter Word (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Melody Groves, Choosing a Topic for Your Magazine Article (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Jane Lindskold, Making it Real


♦ Jonathan Miller, How to Turn Your Life into a (Successful) Book…And Not Get Sued
♦ Grace LaBatt, Improve Your Language Tools (Brown Bag Session)
♦ William Bolt, How to Turn Personal Stories into Stand-up (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Jeffe Kennedy, Defying Gravity—Writing Cross-Genre and Succeeding Anyway


♦ Robert E. Vardeman, That’s A Great Idea…So What’s the Story?
♦ Zack Wheeler, Developing a Strong Online Presence (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Elise McHugh, What an Editor Looks for in a Manuscript (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Sarah Baker & Loretta Hall, Question and Answer Session


♦ Robin Perini, I Stayed Up Until 4:00 AM: Creating and Maintaining Suspense
♦ Juan Aranda, Technical Can Be Creative (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Shari Tarbet, Myth in Writing


♦ Sharon Oard Warner, The Grand Scheme of Things: On Plot and Point of View in the Novel
♦ Jeanne Shannon, What Makes a Memoir Work (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Stanley Ray, Screenwriting Demystified (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Grace Labatt, On Editing


♦ Lois Ruby, The Devil’s Due—Must We Sell Out to Sell?
♦ Gayle Lauradunn, Poetry: Slam, Spoken Word, Rap (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Lille Norstad, Significant Detail: The Art of Showing (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)


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