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. For a schedule of all 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.


Classes Cancelled

To protect our members’ health during the Covid 19 emergency, classes scheduled through July have been cancelled.


Class Instructor: Loretta Hall

Websites for Writers

  • 4-week Course
  • Saturdays: August 8, 15, 22, and 29
  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $105 SWW members, $110 Osher, $115 Nonmembers

Why should you have a website? Because people say you should? If that’s your only reason, you won’t have a good one. In this six-hour series, you will learn how to plan a website and design one that will be attractive and effective. Topics include domain names, website design concepts, blogs versus websites, hosting options, search engine rankings, and inexpensive (or free) site-building software. We will explore options for creating and maintaining your own website without knowing any programming language. Using the types of template-based programs and reliable but inexpensive hosts we will discuss, the cost of your site can range from $0 to about $10 per month. If you decide to have someone build your site for you, this class will prepare you to talk knowledgeably with that person about what you want. In-class demonstrations and take-home exercises will get you started establishing (or improving) your Internet presence.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Loretta Hall currently maintains five websites of her own creation. The oldest one, which she built in 2004, has received multiple awards and earned her the title of Female Architectural Author of the Year in 2016 by Build magazine. Loretta describes herself as computer literate but not a programmer. She is a former board member of Southwest Writers and winner of the 2007 Parris Award. In 2016, she was named Communicator of Achievement by the National Federation of Press Women.


Class Instructor: Alexandra Dell’Amore

Writing Your Family Legacy Before You Croak

  • 5-week Course
  • Tuesdays: September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $130 SWW members, $135 Osher, $140 Nonmembers

Learn how to write your personal history in this two-hour, five-week class. Stories and your experiences are happenings that should not be lost. When you write your legacy, you will continue to live through the written word. This is not grammar oriented, but written in your own voice, so not to worry. It is a comprehensive class covering aspects of family, environment and what inspired you—how to live your life. It’s going to be great fun. The month of September is a great time to remember all that stuff.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Alexandra Dell’Amore is a Registered Nurse and holds a degree in Fine Art Painting. Her career included directing a residential drug rehab program in the Bronx, working with the homeless mentally ill in New York City. She has received numerous awards for her painting. Her work has been featured in many gallery and museum shows and exhibitions, both in New York and Taos, New Mexico. As a poet she is cited in two poetry anthologies and as a writer in SWW’s Storyteller’s Anthology. Her interest in Jungian psychology and in art (as well as her experience in the medical field) inspired her to write her memoir, Hush Hush and Other Veneers, to tell how her often chaotic life became integrated. She presently lives in New Mexico where she continues to write and paint.


Class Instructor: Rob Spiegel

Blogging Your Way to Success

  • 5-week Course
  • Wednesdays: September 23, 30 and October 7, 14 and 21
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $130 SWW members, $135 Osher, $140 Nonmembers

Blogging can build your writing skills while creating an audience. This class will explore all types of blogging, from poetry to how-to instruction, from spirituality to memoir. Rob will explain how to choose a free blogging platform, how to determine the blog length and frequency, and how to build an audience. This class will explain how you can use a blog to create the backbone of a book, just as Julie Powell did to create her bestseller Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, which went on to become a major movie.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Rob Spiegel has been writing for 40 years. He makes 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: Loretta Hall

Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal

  • 4-week Course
  • Sundays: October 4, 11, 18 and 25
  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $105 SWW members, $110 Osher, $115 Nonmembers

Unlike novels, nonfiction books are offered to publishers in the form of a book proposal before the manuscript is completed. (Memoirs are also offered with a book proposal, but after the manuscript is completed.) In this class, you will learn what should be included in a book proposal and how to make that information compelling. Topics also include planning a marketable book and finding appropriate publishers to submit to. Even if you plan to self-publish your nonfiction book, it is important for you to prepare a book proposal to convince your publisher (you!) that the book has a reasonable chance of success.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Loretta Hall has worked with four different publishers to produce her eight nonfiction books. The lessons she has learned from these experiences will give you a head start with your quest to get published. Loretta served on the SouthWest Writers board for four years and received the 2007 Parris Award. She was named Communicator of Achievement by the National Federation of Press Women in 2016.


Class Instructor: Melody Groves

Writing for Magazines:
Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment

  • 2-week Course
  • Saturdays: October 17 and 24
  • 9:00 am – Noon
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $79 SWW members, $84 Osher, $89 Nonmembers

Thanks to the invention of the Internet, the opportunity to write for magazines is almost endless. With over 9,000 magazines published yearly, in addition to those online, the world is your oyster. But, there are tricks to bagging an assignment.

So if you’ve got a good idea but don’t know where to go or how to start, look no more. This class is for you.

In six hours we’ll cover:
√ finding your story,
√ finding the market,
√ tweaking the same idea for different magazines,
√ writing a query that sells,
√ photo requirements,
√ approaching an editor. And that’s just for starters.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Melody Groves is the author of six historical fiction novels, three non-fiction books. Her dozens of magazine articles appear in Wild West, True West, New Mexico Magazine, Enchantment Magazine and many more. Past-president of SouthWest Writers, she’s also a member of Western Writers of America. And when not writing, she plays rhythm guitar (and tambourine) in the Jammy Time Band.


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.


Classes you might have missed:

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

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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