Classes

Fiery Orange Hands IconSouthWest Writers offers classes and 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 class and a workshop? A class can be more than one session and usually includes assignments to be completed outside of class. Our workshops are two-hour sessions that occur after our monthly first-Saturday meetings. Any work required of the students is done during the workshop session.

Classes are normally held at the Carlisle Executive Offices (click here for directions). Until it’s safe to meet in person again, we’ll schedule classes using the Zoom platform. For a schedule of all our events, go to this page.

What classes would you like to see offered this year? Contact our class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com to let us know.


Upcoming Classes Via Zoom


Class Instructor: Chris Eboch

Advanced Plotting Tools and Techniques

  • 4-week Course
  • Saturdays: July 10, 17, 24, and 31
  • 3:00 – 4:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom
  • $60 SWW members; $90 Nonmembers
    $30 SWW Members age 70 and older

Many books and workshops teach the basics of plotting: conflict, complications, climax. Now learn advanced techniques that will make a decent plot dynamic. Start with a “grab you by the throat” opening to pull readers into the story. Learn how to pack the plot full by complicating your complications. Control your pacing through sentence and paragraph length. And finally, cliffhanger chapter endings ensure late-night reading under the covers. Learn techniques to make any story or book better. Novelists will benefit from these insights, whether they are just starting out or have years of experience.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for young people, including mysteries, ghost stories, fantasy, and historical fiction. Learn more at ChrisEboch.com or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog.

As Kris Bock, Chris writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Her humorous mystery series about an injured war correspondent who moves home again launches in May. She also writes romantic suspense novels about treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Learn more at KrisBock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon page.

Register: by calling the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – noon), or by using the online registration form. (Our online payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

Zoom Meeting: The Zoom invitation link and the password will be emailed to those who purchase this class. For more information, please contact the class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com.


Class Instructor: Kirt Hickman

Revising Fiction — Making Sense of the Madness

  • 8-week Course
  • Saturdays: August 7, 14, 21, 28 and September 4, 11, 18, 25
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Platform: Zoom
  • $160 SWW members; $320 Nonmembers
    $80 SWW Members age 70 and older

Write your novel and revise it to sell. With all the books, talks, classes, and workshops available on writing and self-editing, a writer can quickly become overwhelmed by advice. “Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness” cuts through the clutter and offers an organized, practical approach to self-editing that covers everything from planning your novel, to first draft, through revision, to final submission-quality manuscript. Each class will include a lecture, discussion, prepared exercises, and (time permitting) class time to work on students’ own writing projects. This course is geared toward book-length fiction, but the vast majority of the topics are applicable to short stories and creative non-fiction as well. There are no prerequisites or required materials.

Week 1: World Building & Characterization
Week 2: Plot
Week 3: First Draft, Research, & Gross Manuscript Problems
Week 4: Chapter Breaks & Avoiding Information Dumps
Week 5: Scenes
Week 6: Polishing Prose
Week 7: Dialogue
Week 8: Finishing Touches & Critiques

Kirt Hickman, author of the award-winning science-fiction thrillers Worlds Asunder and Venus Rain was a technical writer for fourteen years before branching into fiction. His methodical approach to self-editing has helped many make sense of the mass of advice available to the novice writer. He teaches self-editing classes through SouthWest Writers. He has been a mentor in the SWW mentoring program, has spoken at numerous conferences, and contributes a monthly column titled “Revising Fiction” to the SouthWest Sage. He has also written Mercury Sun, the fantasy novel Fabler’s Legend and two children’s books. His writer’s guide, Revising Fiction—Making Sense of the Madness won a New Mexico Book award for Best How-To and was a finalist in the international Ben Franklin Awards.

Register: by calling the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – noon), or by using the online registration form. (Our online payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

Zoom Meeting: The Zoom invitation link and the password will be emailed to those who purchase this class. For more information, please contact the class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com.


Workshop and Class Refund Policy
If you cancel one week before the beginning date of the workshop or class, 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.


Classes you might have missed:

2021

♦ Publishing with KDP Amazon
with Rose Marie Kern
♦ Writing Stories Children Will Love
with Chris Eboch
♦ Writing for Magazines
with Loretta Hall

2020

♦ Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Bring Your Memoir to Life
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Self-Publish Your Book with KDP Amazon
with Rose Marie Kern
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall
♦ Blogging Your Way to Success
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal
with Loretta Hall

2019

♦ Researching Your Writing Project
with Loretta Hall
♦ Polishing the First Chapter
with Sarah Baker
♦ Blogging Your Way to Success
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Make Money from Writing
with Chris Eboch
♦ The Secret(s) to a Successful Book Signing
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Bring Your Memoir to Life
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Independent Self-Publishing
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Illustration: It’s Not Just for Children’s Books
with Kathy Louise Schuit
♦ Writing a Producible Play
with Richard E. Peck
♦ Self-Publish Your Book with KDP Amazon
with Rose Marie Kern

2018

♦ Revising Fiction – Making Sense of the Madness
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall


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