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 is more than one session and usually includes assignments to be completed outside of class. A workshop is one session, and any work required of the students is done during the workshop session.

Classes are held at the SWW Office, unless otherwise stated.
Click here for directions.


Class Instructor: Kirt Hickman

Revising Fiction:
Making Sense of the Madness

  • 8-week Course
  • Saturdays: Feb. 9, 16, 23 and Mar. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $200 for 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 SWW meetings or call the SWW office at 505-830-6034 (Mon-Thu, 9-12).

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.


Attendee’s Endorsement: “The value of learning (from Melody) far exceeds the expense… I am so glad I came. You have made me better.”

Class Instructor: Melody Groves

Writing for Magazines:
Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment

  • 2-week Course
  • Saturdays: April 13 and 20
  • 9:00 am – Noon
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $79 for 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 at SWW meetings or call the SWW office at 505-830-6034 (Mon-Thu, 9-12).

Instructor’s Bio:
Eight-time award-winner Melody Groves is the author of six historical fiction novels and three nonfiction 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.

Questions? melodygroves@comcast.net


Class Instructor: Chris Eboch

Make Money from Writing

  • 3-hour Course
  • Saturday: May 18
  • 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  • SWW Office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite #114
  • $49 SWW members, $54 Osher, $59 non-members

Few people strike it rich with writing, but it is possible to make a living as a writer. Thinking of writing as a business means looking beyond the highly competitive fiction market. Writers share the real numbers behind earning a living wage—through original projects, work for hire, teaching, editing and speaking. I’ll show exactly where the money comes from over several years, discuss what decisions lead to an increase in income, and explore how to reach some of the less obvious markets.

This class is geared to intermediate and professional writers who are looking to make more income from their writing.

Register at SWW meetings or call the SWW office at 505-830-6034 (Mon-Thu, 9-12).

Instructor’s Bio:
A children’s book author, Chris Eboch is the New Mexico Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a teacher for the Institute of Children’s Literature. She is the sister of screenwriter Douglas J. Eboch (Sweet Home Alabama). Chris lives in Socorro where she enjoys hiking, reading, and watching the sunset from her patio.


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

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


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 workshop or class beginning date 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 programs@swwriters.com.


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