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.

NOTE:  There is no Tuesday meeting in December due to its proximity to the Holidays – See you January 6th!


Saturday, January 6th, 2018 10am – Noon

Jack Woodville London

Stick to the Story: Every Word Counts!

This talk will focus on falling out of love with your prose in order to comply with Elmore Leonard’s rule to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip, or should skip.  Readers have only he most general notion of what the story is, whether fact or fiction, and the only clues they have are the words you use. 

Jack Woodville London studied at Oxford University and the Academy of Fiction, St. Céré, France and was the first Author of the Year of the Military Writers Society of America. He is the author of nine articles on the craft of writing and numerous articles on early 20th Century history. His craft book, A Novel Approach, a short and light-hearted work on the conventions of writing, is designed to help writers who are setting out on the path to write their first book. A Novel Approach won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015.

His World War II-era novel Virginia’s War was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author ‘Novel with a Romantic Element’ contest. His ‘parallel-quel’ novel, Engaged in War, won the silver medal at the London Book Festival for General Fiction and was the Book of the Month by Good Reads. The third novel in this series, Children of a Good War, is represented by WordServe Literary Agency.

Jack also is the author of the serialized novel The (very brief) War Diary of Bart Sullivan, available to readers of his newsletter, First Draft.

Visit Jack at or contact him at He lives in Austin, Texas.

Stay after the Saturday meeting for a workshop with Jack that goes deeper into this topic!


Tuesday, January 16   10am-noon

Marc Calderwood

Celluloid Aspirations

Sub: Creating filmworthy fiction as a novelist

“Can you turn my novel into a screenplay?” This is the question I’m asked most often by novelists. My reply is always pretty much the same. Turning the fine grain of a novel into a good film is daunting work because while the medium for both is the written word, unlike novels or even short story’s screenplays are governed by a crucial element; time. Successfully carving away the vast and often important detail of a novel for film requires a skillset based on brevity, the stock-in-trade of the screenwriter. We’ll visit the four most important items for a screenplay that often deal a death blow for prospective cross-overs and some simple steps to make sure your novel or short story has a better than even chance to make it in a voracious industry turning more and more to novels and short stories for content.


An award-winning screenwriter, Calderwood received his Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA in 2007. In 2008 Marc made his writer/directorial/producer debut in the 48 Hour Film Project with the short Water Torture, an award-winning film. He’s been active as a reader for three top screenwriting sites and has read and given notes on over 300 spec screenplays.

Currently, Marc and his wife and live in Albuquerque where he writes screenplays teaches screenwriting classes privately and through UNM at OLLI. He works as a substitute teacher and in the summer he operates Hahn Youth Voices a summer film camp for local Native American students.


Saturday, February 3, 2018 10am – Noon

Steve Brewer


  For the past five years, Albuquerque novelist Steve Brewer has taught a seminar called “Become a Better Writer” in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. The course focuses on the mechanics of simple, clear writing, and how to keep narrative momentum going, whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction. Steve will share these lessons at this SWW presentation, and talk about some of the pitfalls facing writers as they develop their skills. Come prepared to take notes!

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.




Tuesday, June 19  7pm-9pm

Michael Backus

Topic:  TBD


Michael Backus’ writing, fiction and non-fiction, has appeared in Okey Panky, One Story, Exquisite Corpse, Digging Through the Fat, Prime Number magazine, Hanging Loose, The Writer, The High Hat, The Portland Review, and The Sycamore Review, among others. His short story “Coney on the Moon” was published in early September 2017 in an illustrated Redbird chapbook and Xynobooks published his novel Double in ebook-only form in 2012.  His novel The Vanishing Point will be published in regular book form in 2018 by Cactus Moon Publications.  He taught film studies and creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and currently teaches beginning and advanced fiction writing for Gotham Writer’s Workshop and Zoetrope Magazine. He can be followed @MikeJBackus and more information is available at his website here.





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


♦Jeffe Kennedy, Friends and Enemies: How to Talk to and Deal with Agents and Editors


♦Jodi Thomas, Secrets of a Successful Writer
♦Christina Squire, “And then the Murders Began”


♦Kimberly Little, The Deep Point of View
Susan Cooper and Gail Ruben, How to Knock ’em Dead, Public Speaking for Writers


♦Betsy James, Thought Experiments


♦Chris Ebock, Cliffhangers, Keep the Pages Turning

Previous Speakers and Topics in 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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