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.

Saturday June 3  10am -Noon

Joe Badal

The Key Elements of Fiction

Joseph Badal grew up in a family where story-telling had been passed down from generation to generation. Prior to a long finance career, Joe served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army in critical, highly classified positions in the U.S. and overseas, including tours of duty in Greece and Vietnam. He earned numerous military decorations.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Finance and Business Administration, and is multi-lingual.

Joe is an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author who has written 11 award-winning, best-selling suspense novels. His stand-alone novels include The Pythagorean Solution, Shell Game, and Ultimate Betrayal. He has 3 series in progress, including the Danforth Saga [Evil Deeds (#1), Terror Cell (#2), The Nostradamus Secret (#3), The Lone Wolf Agenda (#4), and Death Ship (#5)], the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files [Borderline (#1) and Dark Angel (#2)], and the Cycle of Violence series [The Motive (#1)]. His 12th novel, Sins of the Fathers, the 6th book in the Danforth Saga, will be released in September 2017. Joe’s short stories appeared in the “Uncommon Assassins” (2012), the “Someone Wicked” (2013), and the Insidious Assassins (2014) anthologies. Joe also writes a blog titled Everyday Heroes, which can be viewed at

Joe was recognized in 2011 as “One of The 50 Best Writers You Should Be Reading.” He is a two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction Book (2014 & 2016), the winner of the NM/AZ Book Award for Best Mystery/Thriller (2013), and has received Gold and Silver Medals from the Military Writers Society of America in 2015 & 2016.   Joe has written dozens of articles that have been published in various business and trade journals and is a frequent speaker at business and writers events.

Tuesday, June 20, 7pm-9pm

Jonathon Miller

How to Create Realistic Characters (and not get sued)

This expands on last year’s talk on writing without fear of litigation and focuses on characters in fiction as well as your memoirs. Since last year there have been numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits against writers. How can a fiction and non-fiction author create a memorable story without worrying about a nasty cease and desist letter from a big time lawyer? Jonathan will be taking questions.

Jonathan Miller is the award winning author of twelve books, including the upcoming Luna Law. He is also a busy attorney and travels all over New Mexico.

Saturday July 1  10am -Noon

Jeffe Kennedy

Topic TBD

Tuesday July 18th  7pm-9pm

Julie Dunlop

Healing Writing with Ayurveda

What is the relationship between health and writing? What supports the well-being of your body, mind, and spirit? How could revisions in your daily life renew your writing? From the perspective of Āyurveda, an ancient medical science from India, the main characters in this story are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (the three doshas), which are comprised of the five elements—ether, air, fire, water, earth. Together, we will explore the writing process in terms of both suffering and rejuvenation in this introductory experiential fusion of health and creativity.

Author of Breath, Bone, Earth, Sky and Bending Back the Night, Julie Dunlop is the 2016 recipient of the Editors’ Prize for Poetry from Bosque Press. She brings to this workshop her perspective as a writer, writing teacher, yoga teacher, and Ayurvedic Health Practitioner. She is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque and has taught English at Central New Mexico Community College since 2003.


Saturday August 5, 10am to Noon

Jodi Thomas

Topic:   Secrets of a Successful Writer

 As a New York Times bestseller who has written for three of the major publishing houses, Jodi will present strategies for beginning writers  as well as accomplished writers who want to step up their game. Techniques for writing faster and stronger will also be included.  

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 novels and 13 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at  West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

Tuesday August 15  7pm-9pm

Christina Squire

Christina will talk about how important it is for a writer to have constructive response to the work. Constructive response encourages the creative process. In her talk, she’ll explain how she started to write a mystery in the early 90s. Life interfered, so she put five chapters in a drawer. There it sat until she took two memoir classes. She was then invited to join a small critique group where she shared the old wrinkled five chapters. The critique process was so encouraging, she finished that mystery, wrote another, and is now writing her third. 

Christina has published two mysteries:  Murder at the Observatory and Murder at the Art Museum.  Christina is retired from the University of New Mexico where she worked as an Administrative Assistant, Museum Shop Manager, Graduate Coordinator and taught Theatre Appreciation.  She also taught English and Drama at Eldorado High School.  She has a Master’s degree in Theatre and Dance.  She has acted in community theatre and musical theatre venues.  Christina and her husband Bruce raised three sons and are now are enjoying their three grandchildren!  She is working on a third mystery featuring her heroine Caroline Steele and the enigmatic Inspector James Hutchinson.  

Books:  Caroline Steele was a hag without a future, tired of her housewife routine, bored with marriage, and confused by her growing sons.  But when she becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a University of New Mexico professor of Astronomy, she is shocked out of her mind-numbing routine.  She resolves to clear herself and find the real murderer.  This search throws her into close contact with the charismatic Inspector James Hutchinson.  They work closely together to solve this crime and another murder in the second book at the University Art Museum.  In both mysteries Caroline juggles domestic life with her quirky family, office work, academic intrigue, and her growing attraction to the Inspector

Saturday , 10am September 2 10am-Noon

Kimberly Little

Topic: TBD

Saturday Oct 7, 10am to Noon

Betsy James

Topic: TBD



Previous Speakers and Topics for 2017:

Chloe Rachel Gallaway , The Hero’s Journey

♦ Melody Groves, 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting my Career 
♦ Dede Feldman,   Writing: An Activist’s Guide

♦ Paula Paul, Taking the Scenic Route
♦ Heloise JonesThe Writer’s Block Myth, Get Past Stuck & Experience Lasting Creative Freedom

♦ Kirk Hickman, Create Multi-Dimensional Characters Your Reader Can Relate To
♦ Jeanne Shannon and Joanne BodinPoetry Month:  Exquisite Corpse

Bob KideraOvercoming a Late Start to Your Writing Career


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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