Join us for our free 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.

Please see our visitor/guest policy here.

Saturday, April 6
10:00 am–Noon

Speaker: Dan Wetmore


This talk looks at challenges that poetry readers and writers both face, owing to poetry’s form and typical content. At the same time, the unique demands of poetry offer a means of honing skills not always afforded by prose, and so can enhance anyone’s ability to communicate on paper and in person, whether they’re writers of verse pursuing poetry as an end in itself, or writers of prose who engage in it simply as an exercise.

Dan Wetmore is a retired Air Force Officer who, finding himself with time on his hands, is working to transform a lifelong avocation into a second vocation. He’s been a member of SouthWest Writers for three years. He has published one book of poetry, My Mother’s Gentle Unbecoming – The Absentings of Alzheimer’s (which was in a four-way tie for first place in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards), and has had poems and short stories appear in various collections, including high school and college literary anthologies, the Saint Andrews Review, and most recently the SouthWest Writers Sage Anthology. He is currently working on his first novel.

Tuesday, April 16
7:00–9:00 pm

Jeanne Shannon and Rob Spiegel


Information forthcoming.

Saturday, May 4
10:00 am–Noon

Speaker: Don Bullis

A Half Century of Digging into the Past

Historian/historiographer Don Bullis will talk about the research he has done over the past 50 or so years while writing a score of books—historical tomes, newspaper and magazine columns, and novels—and the surprises and disappointments he has experienced while doing it. He will offer a few suggestions regarding what writers should do in the quest for historical accuracy and what they should not do. He will also discuss ways in which to interpret information developed from original sources and which of them to discount entirely. He will talk about using the internet, personal interviews, and secondary sources. He will not, he promises, get bogged down in minutiae of accessing obscure sources. The talk is intended to help writers save some time in doing research and have a bit of fun while uncovering useful material.

Don Bullis worked in public relations, educational projects, and business before he began a career in New Mexico law enforcement which lasted until the early 2000s. He also worked as a columnist, an editor, and a political correspondent. He writes a regular column for the Rio Rancho Observer called “Ellos Pasaron Por Aqui” and for the New Mexico Stockman. Bullis was named New Mexico’s Centennial Author by the New Mexico State Library in 2011. He was honored as Outstanding Alumni for 2013 from Eastern New Mexico State University. Bullis is also the recipient of the 2013 Rounders Award presented by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. He has won numerous state and national awards. He is the author of nine non-fiction books on New Mexico history and two novels, also set in New Mexico. His latest book, New Mexico Historical Chronology, won Best Reference book and Best of Show at the 2018 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in November, 2018.

Tuesday, May 21
7:00–9:00 pm

Speaker: Rose Marie Kern


Whether or not you plan to send your manuscript to a traditional publisher or opt to self-publish, you are going to want to ensure that the legal rights to your story are protected. The U.S. Copyright office allows you to personally register your work—you do not have to go through any other entity!

During the meeting we will go over how to do that—and if you have a book ready to be copyrighted you can bring your laptop and we will do it right there!

The book does not have to be in final printed or electronic form, but once you pay for the copyright ($55) you must send a finished copy to them within a few months.

Rose Marie Kern has written and copyrighted four books of her own and several for other authors. She has written over 450 published magazine articles and stories. She is the President of SouthWest Writers and has given presentations for universities and organizations across the U.S.

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.

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

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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