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 2-hour sessions that occur after our monthly first-Saturday meetings. Any work required of the students is done during the workshop session.

Classes are held at the SWW Office. Click here for directions.


Class Instructor: Kirt Hickman

Revising Fiction:
Making Sense of the Madness

  • 8-week Course
  • Thursdays: Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $200 SWW members, $205 Osher, $210 Nonmembers

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 nonfiction as well. There are no prerequisites or required materials.

Course Outline:

  • 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

Register: at any SWW meeting, by calling the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – noon), or by using the online registration form here.

Instructor’s Bio:
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.


Class Instructor: Rob Spiegel

Bring Your Memoir to Life
By Using Storytelling Techniques

  • 5-week Course
  • Tuesdays: Feb. 18, 25 and Mar. 3, 10, 17
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $130 SWW members, $135 Osher, $140 Nonmembers

Your memoir will become much more vivid and engaging if you bring storytelling skills to your story. This class will look at successful ways to carve out your story and tell it in a compelling way. We’ll look at plotting (yes, your life has a plot), scenes, dialog, managing sensitive information, and the ins and outs of the memoir market and self-publishing. If willing, students can share two-page excerpts from their memoir.

Register: at any SWW meeting, by calling the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – noon), or by using the online registration form here.

Instructor’s Bio:
Rob Spiegel has been writing for 40 years making his living as a journalist, serving as senior editor for Design News, an international trade magazine. He has published fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. He has published six books with major publishers such as St. Martin’s Press. Rob has taught writing at UNM, CNM, Osher, and at dozens of writing conferences across the country. For 10 years, he owned a magazine (Chile Pepper) and a book publishing company. His weekly writing output includes journalism, blogs, webinars, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.


Class Instructor: Rose Marie Kern

Self-Publish Your Book with KDP Amazon

  • 2-week Course
  • Saturdays: February 22 and 29
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $59 SWW members, $65 Osher, $69 Nonmembers

KDP Amazon is a popular and inexpensive method by which authors can self-publish their books. This is a hands-on class where Rose will walk you through setting up your Amazon account, and upload your print book and/or ebook if they are ready to go, or get you started if you are still working on them. With over a thousand articles and four books published, Rose Marie Kern thinks of herself primarily as a teacher. In addition to her own work, she has helped several SWW members through the intricacies of self-publishing. Bring your laptop and let’s get published!

Class will cover:
√ Setting up your Amazon Account
√ Using Kindle tools for formatting and cover creation
√ Uploading a manuscript
√ Determining how much you should charge
√ Keywords and categories for advertising on Amazon

Register: at any SWW meeting, by calling the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – noon), or by using the online registration form here.

Instructor’s Bio:
Retired air traffic control specialist Rose Marie Kern is an award-winning author, a popular event/conference speaker, and an active member of SouthWest Writers—currently serving as the president of SWW. In addition to penning four nonfiction books, she has left her byline on hundreds of articles covering topics ranging from solar energy and organic gardening to those focused on aviation. Her newest release is Stress is Relative: Memoir of an Air Traffic Controller (2018).


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 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.

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 Info@SWWriters.com.


Classes you might have missed:

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

2017

♦ How to Write Your First Play
with Dr. Richard Peck
♦ The Business of Writing
with Fred Aiken
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Revising Fiction – Making Sense of the Madness
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Websites for Writers
with Loretta Hall
♦ Poetry Class and Interactive Workshop
with Jeanne Shannon and Joanne Bodin
♦ World-Building: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Worlds on the Bias
with Betsy James
♦ Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal
with Loretta Hall


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