Workshops

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SouthWest Writers offers 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 workshop and a class? A workshop is one session. Any work required of the students is done during the 2-hour workshop. A class can be more than one session and usually includes assignments to be completed outside of class.

Workshops are held after the Saturday meetings in the same location.


Writing a Short Story:
From Beginning to End

With Johnny D. Boggs

  • Saturday, June 1
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Room
  • $20 SWW members, $30 Non-members

It is the hardest form of prose to write. It’s also one of the toughest to get published. Yet writing short fiction can be the most rewarding. Here’s a course on writing a short story, from developing an idea (and a title), the do’s and don’ts, and how to find a market. Bring pencils. Bring a new writing tablet. And get used to rejection.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
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.


Writing about the Military

With Jim Tritten

  • Saturday, July 6
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Rm
  • $20 SWW members, $30 Non-members

How many authors need to research a profession, location, or history before writing a story? Such as a police procedural or historical fiction set in an area you have never visited. Good research can make up for not having personal experience in the area. Come learn the tricks of the trade when venturing into the world of writing about the military. Alfred Lord Tennyson never served in Britain’s armed forces and did not witness The Charge of the Light Brigade. John Scalzi, an award-winning science fiction author, is best known for his futuristic Old Man’s War series which features a soldier named John Perry and his exploits in the Colonial Defense Forces. Scalzi never served in the armed forces. If they can do it, you can do it. Learn how to approach military writing, techniques, and take home tips that will help you explore a genre that has produced some of literature’s finest moments.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Jim Tritten retired after a forty-four year career with the Department of Defense including duty as a carrier-based naval aviator. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Southern California and formerly served as a faculty member and National Security Affairs department chair at the Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Tritten’s publications have won him thirty-three writing awards, including the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award from the Navy League of the U.S. He has published six books and over three hundred chapters, short stories, essays, articles, and government technical reports. Jim was a frequent speaker at many military, arms control, and international conferences and has seen his work translated into Russian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Don’t Be Afraid to Cry:
Putting Emotions into Your Characters

With Melody Groves

  • Saturday, August 3
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Rm
  • $20 SWW members, $30 Non-members

Emotions lie at the core of every character’s actions, choices, and words—all of which drive the story. What would a story be without emotions? Writers like to think communication is mainly through dialogue. But what’s NOT said is most important. Melody will discuss various emotions and highlight the physical signs, internal sensations, mental reactions and how to incorporate them into your writing. She’ll talk about adding emotion to every character and every scene. She’ll also discuss various emotions and highlight the physical signs, internal sensations, mental reactions, etc. Along the way Melody will provide a few writers’ tips, such as: “Don’t be afraid to challenge your characters’ morals. Putting them in situations that are outside their comfort zone will make them squirm, and the reader will too.”

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Seven-time award-winning author Melody Groves writes magazine articles, novels, nonfiction books, and screenplays. A member of Western Writers of America and an SWW Parris Award winner, she spends her “spare” time playing rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band. www.melodygroves.net.


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 programs@swwriters.com.


Workshops you might have missed:

2019

♦ How to Submit to the NMPW Annual Contest
with Sherri Burr and Loretta Hall
♦ Productive Presentations
with Loretta Hall
♦ Preparing for a Writers Conference
with Sarah H. Baker and Rose Marie Kern
♦ Finding Online Work
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Support Your Local Bookstore…And it Will Support You
with Steve Brewer & John Hoffsis

2018

♦ Creating Time and Place by Creating Language: Writing with a Sense of History
with Jack Woodville London
♦ Celluloid Aspirations Redux
with Marc Calderwood
♦ What I Learned from Nancy Drew
with Chris Eboch
♦ Pitch Your Novel Effectively!
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Writing Historical Fiction That Sells
with Sandra Toro
♦ Where’s the Funny Part?
with Steve Brewer
♦ Can You Relate? The importance of diverse relationships in your writing
with Judith Avila
♦ Creating Fictional Characters Who Stick with the Reader After the Book is Closed
with Robert D. Kidera
♦ Writing Realistic Action Scenes
with Melody Groves
♦ Spontaneous Writing
with Gerald Hausman
♦ Fueling Fantastic Fiction with Folklore
with Benjamin Radford
♦ Spinning Family Stories Into Submittable Gold
with Betty Moffett

2017

♦ It Ain’t Just Alien Sex: What Realists Can Learn by Writing Speculative Fiction
with Betsy James
♦ How to Create a Scene – Without Getting Arrested
with Melody Groves
♦ Myth in Writing
with Shari Tarbet
♦ Establishing Your Authority as a Writer
with Loretta Hall
♦ Niche Markets: Multiple Streams of Income
with Rose Marie Kern
♦ Connect to Your Intuitive Author Within
with Chloe Rachel Galloway
♦ Powerful Prose – Perfect Your Narrative Style
with Kirk Hickman
♦ How to Make Characters Come Alive
with Jodi Thomas
♦ The Perfect Pitch
with Rose Marie Kern, Melody Groves and Sarah Baker
♦ Blogging Your Way to Success
with Rob Spiegel
♦ Healthy Writing, Healthy You
with Julie Dunlop


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