Join us for our monthly programs.

Firey Orange Audience
Regular Meetings are on the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 am to noon and the third Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm* at the Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living located on the northwest corner of Louisiana and Claremont—2 blocks north of Menaul—at 2801 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.

*Beginning in June, the third Tuesday meeting will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Please see our visitor/guest policy here.

Tuesday, May 21

Speaker: Rose Marie Kern


Here’s the link to the resource from the presentation: Copyright Your Work.pdf

Saturday, June 1
10:00 am–Noon

Speaker: Johnny D. Boggs


Remember the days when writers sat at their desks, pounding on manual typewriters, killing trees by the thousands, mailing query letters with self-addressed stamped envelopes and filing away rejection letters; all the while praying that some editor would see talent and truth in those words written in blood and take a chance by offering a modest contract that, yes, would lead to Pulitzer nominations, bidding wars for multi-book contracts and Hollywood options? (Take that, William Faulkner, for a sentence!) Well, all you can do is remember those days because they’re all gone. Take an honest look at what’s going on in today’s publishing world, and what it means for writers and publishers.

Winner of a record-tying seven Spur Awards from Western Writers of America, novelist Johnny D. Boggs has been praised by Booklist magazine as “among the best western writers at work today.” Boggs is also a prolific writer of short nonfiction with works appearing in more than 50 magazines and newspapers; has also written nonfiction books (including Jesse James and the Movies; and Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012); is a professional photojournalist; and has acted on stage in local theater.

Tuesday, June 18
6:30–8:30 pm (new time)

Judith Avila & Patricia Conoway

Every Life Is a Story
…If You Know How to Tell it

Celebrating success is a story. Dealing with death is a story. Relating to your siblings or your partner is a story. Watching the hummingbirds at your feeder is a story. There are stories within stories within stories, like never-ending reflected images in a pair of mirrors.

Story is powerful. The hope of the world lies in understanding each other’s stories. Through story we learn to care about people other than ourselves, other than our friends and family. It doesn’t matter whether the characters we grow to love and to identify with are people we will ever meet. What matters is the compassion we gain from knowing them, the fact that we care about them and care about what happens to them.

Judith Avila, a graduate of Duke University, discovered writing after working as an air traffic controller and a computer consultant. In 2007, she met Navajo code talker Chester Nez and convinced him that his story needed to be heard. She recorded Chester’s narrative for three years, then committed it to paper. The resulting work, Code Talker, was published by Penguin in 2011. The memoir has sold upwards of 150,000 copies. It won the New Mexico Presswomen’s Zia Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. National Public Radio selected Code Talker to read on-air. Judith, a former SWW board member, has also completed five as-yet-unpublished novels.

Patricia Conoway grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and wanted a horse from the time she was 5 years old. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology. She received a Master’s in International Business from The American Graduate School of International Management (since renamed Thunderbird School of Global Management) in Glendale, Arizona. After 15 years in corporate America advertising business (in Manhattan and Sydney, Australia), she settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she ran her own advertising consulting firm and was lucky enough to have found a rekindled passion for horses, places to ride, and fellow riders. Presently she lives in Cerrillos, New Mexico where she teaches horsemanship on her ranch and wrote her award-winning memoir Listening with My Eyes. When she’s not riding horses, she enjoys painting or traveling, often to exotic places for a horse-related adventure.

Saturday, July 6
10:00 am–Noon

Speaker: Brian Stinar

How to Use WordPress to Promote Your Work, Sell Your Products, and Build an Audience

During this presentation, Brian and the rest of the Noventum team will show you how WordPress has helped many of their customers sell their writing, their writing workshops, their products, and build an audience. We will cover the basics of what WordPress is, how to use it, and what it costs for professionals like us to help you with this ‘free’ tool. We will have actual, fully functioning, WordPress demo sites available for the audience to follow along with during the more hands-on section of this presentation.

Brian Stinar has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and has led Noventum for six years. Noventum provides web development and design, primarily using WordPress, and hardcore software engineering services using a variety of other tools. In his free time, he plays a mean handball game, practices Russian with his beautiful fiancée, and works on home improvement projects.

Tuesday, July 16
6:30–8:30 pm

Speaker: Betsy James

Evoking and Organizing the Fiction Draft

What makes a piece of writing a novel or a story, rather than a vignette? It’s a designed evocation, in written words, of a piece of life with a beginning, middle and end. It has a sense of shape, a wholeness, that usually describes change and growth. When well done it provides a surrogate life experience: John Gardner called it “a vivid, continuous dream.” In this presentation, author Betsy James will discuss writing the first draft to include: the four people writers must be, how your subconscious and unconscious write your stories, suggestions for the inspired or stalled writer, method in a nutshell, the draft process, and writing to a message or theme.

Betsy James is the author and illustrator of seventeen books for adults, young adults and children. Her latest novel, Roadsouls, was nominated for the 2017 World Fantasy Award. She teaches a workshop in speculative fiction at UNM Honors College and lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

Previous Speakers and Topics for 2019:

♦ Steve Brewer, I’ve Looked at Books from Both Sides Now
♦ Kirt Hickman, Write Realistic Dialogue
♦ Jacqueline M. Loring, Creating the KiMo Book
♦ Sarah H. Baker, Critique Groups: How and Why
♦ Dan Wetmore, The Pros and Cons of Non-Prose
♦ Jeanne Shannon & Rob Spiegel, Great Poets of New Mexico
♦ Don Bullis, Adventures in Research

Previous Speakers and Topics for 2018:

♦ Jack Woodville London, Stick to the Story
♦ Marc Calderwood, Celluloid Aspirations
♦ Steve Brewer, Nuts & Bolts: The Mechanics of Clear Writing
♦ Lorena Hughes, To Err is Human, To Learn Divine
♦ Melody Groves, Don’t be Afraid to Cry: Putting Emotions into Writing
♦ Judith Avila, Can You Relate? The importance of diverse relationships in your writing
♦ Benjamin Radford, A Personal Path to Publication
♦ Joanne Bodin & Jeanne Shannon, The Passion of Poetry
♦ Matthew Yde, The Irresistible Writer
♦ John Cousins, Enter the Matrix
♦ Michael Backus, Practical Tips To Improve Your Writing Gleaned from 15 Years of Teaching Creative Writing
♦ James McGrath Morris, “What I learned about writing from the novelists Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos.”
♦ Marcia Fine, Marketing, Research and Fortitude for Authors
♦ RJ Mirabal, Research Between the Ears
♦ Jonathan Miller, From Start to Finish: How to Start and End Your Books, and Take Your Characters Along for the Ride
♦ Loretta Hall, The Writing Right Rite: How to Avoid Distracting, Credibility-Destroying Factual Errors
♦ Jane Lindskold, Work Habits for the Successful Writer
♦ Jim Tritten, Short Stories are Fun!
♦ Gerald Hausman, Zen and the Art of Writing
♦ Rose Marie Kern, CUT IT OUT! Editing Makes it Better!
♦ Laura Mixon, The Care and Feeding of your Beast: A Writer’s Wilderness Guide
♦ Patricia Smith Wood, Permission to Write
♦ Betty Moffett, Writing Down Your Family Stories

Previous Speakers and Topics for 2017:

♦ Darynda Jones, Seducing the Reader: The 4 Essential Elements of an Opening
♦ 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 Jones, The Writer’s Block Myth
♦ Kirk Hickman, Create Multi-Dimensional Characters Your Reader Can Relate To
♦ Jeanne Shannon and Joanne Bodin, Poetry Month: Exquisite Corpse
♦ Lynn Miller, Writing Your Way In
♦ Bob Kidera, Overcoming a Late Start to Your Writing Career
♦ Joe Badal, The Key Elements of Fiction
♦ Jonathon Miller, How to Create Realistic Characters (and not get sued)
♦ Jeffe Kennedy, Friends and Enemies: How to Talk to and Deal with Agents and Editors
♦ Julie Dunlop, Healing Writing with Ayurveda
♦ 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 Rubin, How to Knock ’em Dead, Public Speaking for Writers
♦ Betsy James, Thought Experiments
♦ Chris Eboch, Cliffhangers: Keep the Pages Turning
♦ Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl, The Science and Magic of Creativity in Fiction Writing
♦ Sean Murphy, Dimension in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Memoir

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