Meetings

Join us for our monthly programs.

Firey Orange AudienceMeeting Schedule
Regular Meetings are held on the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 am to noon MST (in person and Zoom) and the fourth Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm MST (Zoom only). There is no Wednesday meeting in December.

In-Person Location
Our location is at UNM Continuing Education (UNM-CE) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Go to SWW Meeting Location for more information about UNM-CE.

Visitor/Guest Policy
With the new year comes a return to SWW’s previous policy concerning meeting attendance. We encourage visitors and guests to experience what our award-winning writers’ association has to offer. Since membership dues pay for our outstanding speakers, we request non-members limit their attendance to three meetings, after which we hope they will join SouthWest Writers. Visitors are welcome beyond their first three visits at a cost of $10 per meeting.

See a schedule of all our events, and visit our YouTube Videos page for a listing of the recorded speakers from 2016 to the present.


ZOOM MEETING Procedure

Read about SWW’s Zoom Meeting procedure on this page.

Need help signing into an SWW Zoom meeting? Watch this video.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Speaker: Parris Afton Bonds

Writing Romance Novels — Then and Now

An overview of the past fifty years from Harlequin then to Hatchette now. Novel covers, editors, agents, advances, royalties, and research will be discussed in an open forum.

Declared by ABC’s Nighline as one of three best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the New York Times best seller Parris Afton Bonds is cofounder of Romance Writers of America and author of more than fifty novels.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Wednesday Meeting – February 2024
Time: February 28, 2024 at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy  ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Saturday, March 9, 2024
10:00 am – noon
In Person & Zoom

Speaker: Charlene Bell Dietz

Why Your Characters Misbehave, and Why AI Isn’t the Answer

When writing, our creative side experiences unintended consequences of different magnitudes from fantastic or disastrous to almost unnoticeable. Understand why this happens, what to do about it, and know the research why AI can’t play here.

Charlene Bell Dietz’s Flapper-Scientist series has won numerous awards, along with two Kirkus Reviews stars. The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor won a New Mexico Press Women 1st Place novel award. Read her short stories in the 2016 RMFW and 2019 SWW anthologies, and her articles in Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – March 2024
Time: March 9, 2024 at 10:00 am Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy  ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Wednesday, March 27, 2024
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Speaker: Marcia Rosen

Memoir Detective: Writing Your LifeStory

How have you lived your life? What are the truths about your choices and experiences and why you made them? What are your best memories? What are your least favorite memories? What would you do different if you could? You may want to leave a story about your life for family and friends or perhaps write a book that might help or inspire others. The presentation is designed to be informative, interesting and even fun!

Presentation will include the following:

  1. Information Gathering Process…Be your own memoir detective!
  2. Where to Start
  3. The Process
  4. Beginnings
  5. Point-of-View, Tone & Character Development
  6. Creating Your Structure
  7. Your Back-story
  8. Plus, some Reminders…and A Few More Things You Should Know Writing your memoir through to completion; Publishing and Marketing Your Memoir; Q&A.

Marcia Rosen is an award-winning author of eleven books: Murder at the ZooThe Senior Sleuths and Dying to Be Beautiful mysteries, The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus (menus by her son Jory Rosen), and My Memoir Workbook. She is the host of My Memoir Blog and was the owner of a marketing/PR agency for 25 years.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Wednesday Meeting – March 2024
Time: March 27, 2024 at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy  ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Saturday, April 13, 2024
10:00 am – noon
In Person & Zoom

Speaker: Mary Collins

Creating Writers, Creating Citizens

How what we learn in creative writing programs and workshops lies at the root of what we need to teach ALL citizens as we reclaim our public discourse. How to share ideas, listen to those we don’t agree with, be open to changing our minds, discerning between fact and fiction. (Her latest slender book, A Play Book: Creating Writers, Creating Citizens digs into this.)

Mary Collins has taught nonfiction writing at the graduate and undergraduate level for decades, including 12 years part-time at Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing Program, the summer program at Yale University, and 17 years in her current job as the Program Coordinator for the Writing Minors at Central CT State University. Website: https://www.marycollinswriter.com/

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – April 2024
Time: April 13, 2024 at 10:00 am Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Wednesday, April 24, 2024
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Speaker & Topic TBA


Saturday, May 11, 2024
10:00 am – noon
In Person & Zoom

Speaker: Donna Pedace

Public Presentations

Many authors are interested in giving public presentations about their book but often don’t know how to find the opportunity to do so. Donna will provide specific suggestions about obtaining invitations to speak to a group. She will discuss different types of presentations because everyone needs to decide what will work best for them. Standing in front of an audience is a frightening thing for many people. Once you get the invitation, she will suggest tips on how to feel more comfortable giving an interesting presentation.

During the Covid shutdown, Donna Pedace wrote Scandalous Women of the Old West – Women Who Dared to be Different as a tribute to ten amazing but little-known women of that period. Since self-publishing the book in late 2020, she has been invited to give over 100 in-person presentations about the book.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – May 2024
Time: May 11, 2024 at 10:00 am Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Speaker: Kathy Louise Schuit

Editorial Guidelines: NOT a Suggestion

Ignore editorial guidelines at your peril — or, at least, that of your manuscript. One of the fastest ways to get your book, article or essay sent directly to the round file is to disregard the publisher’s rules — make no mistake, those “guidelines” ARE the RULES. Unfortunately, they’re not always easy to find. I’ll show you examples of where to look for the guidelines for most any publication and discuss why and how your willingness/ability to follow the guidelines can mean getting published even if you’re not the best writer on the pile.

Kathy Louise Schuit is a seasoned editor for New Mexico newspapers and magazines. She has published hundreds of journalistic articles and served SWW as newsletter editor for more than five years.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Wednesday Meeting – May 2024
Time: May 22, 2024 at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy  ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Saturday, June 8, 2024
10:00 am – noon
In Person & Zoom

Speaker: Irene I. Blea, Ph.D.

Integrating Ethnic Characters into Your Writing

The author uses PowerPoint and draws from her publications to illustrate how to integrate ethnic characteristics into your writing.

Dr. Irene Blea is a native New Mexican with a Ph.D. in Sociology specializing in race and gender relations. After her retirement from California State University-Los Angeles, she stopped writing textbooks to focus on stories based on her family and her multi-ethnic community. Her book, Daughter of the West Mesa, is one of the first to address issues of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – June 2024
Time: June 8, 2024 at 10:00 am Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Speaker: Steven J. Martin

How to Write, Produce, and Direct Your Own Film Professionally with Little Money: Film School not Required

Have you ever wondered how it is possible to write your story as a screenplay — short or feature-length — and then produce and distribute it professionally for roughly the same cost as publishing your own memoir or book? In this talk, Martin will share his story about how he wrote, produced, and directed his own feature films, short films, and plays on micro-budgets that have a professional look and style, and have been shown and distributed in festivals, theaters, and streaming services worldwide. Why have people only read your story when they can experience your story in other media?

Originally from the Northeast, Steven J. Martin found a second home in Japan where he has been an educator in universities and international school programs for over a decade. He has been an avid writer and lover of cinema, and followed his long-time dream of building a film company by writing, directing, and producing his own feature films. To date, he has written and directed eight award-winning feature films, two award-winning short films, two music videos, and produced two more films for other directors. He has also written and directed three original stage plays.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Wednesday Meeting – June 2024
Time: June 26, 2024 at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy  ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Saturday, July 13, 2024
10:00 am – noon
In Person & Zoom

Speaker: Carlyn Montes De Oca

In Conversation

Join author Carlyn Montes De Oca for a candid In Conversation about her multi-award-winning book, Junkyard Girl: A Memoir of Ancestry, Family Secrets and Second Chances. Carlyn will also share about her writing process and some invaluable tips for marketing a memoir.

Carlyn Montes De Oca is an animal advocate and multi award-winning author of Dog as My Doctor, Cat as my Nurse and Junkyard Girl. Carlyn has been featured on various media outlets including ABC, CBS and Woman’s Day Magazine. She lives in Santa Fe with her husband and dog Grace.

Zoom Meeting Information:
Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – July 2024
Time: July 13, 2024 at 10:00 am Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Meeting
Read our Zoom log-in policy ALL ATTENDEES are required to have their zoom screen show either their name or phone number. SWW Members sign into the Members Only portion of the website (request a username and password from info@swwriters.com if you haven’t already done so). Once in the Members Portal, follow the Zoom log-in directions posted prior to the meeting. Non-members are required to contact our office (505-830-6034 or info@swwriters.com) or sign up for Elerts to receive a link to our upcoming meetings.


Previous Speakers and Topics
2024:

♦ Jonathan Miller, Completing Your Manuscript under Challenging Circumstances
♦ Chuck Greaves, The DIY MFA, Or: How to Teach Yourself to Write (Or to Write Better)
♦ Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Hybrid, Self or Conventional Publishing Pros, Cons and What is Right for YOU?

2023:

♦ Jamii Corley, Introduction to Website Building
♦ Jim Jones, From Songs to Books and Back Again
♦ Joseph Badal, Two Important Writing Rules
♦ Cornelia Gamlem & Jacqueline Murray Loring, Publishing Paths
♦ Geoff Habiger, Newsletter Basics
♦ Jim & Bobbi Jean Bell, Be the Star of Your Online or Radio Interview
♦ C. Daniel Miller, Copyrighting, Rights and Permissions
♦ NM State Poetry Society, Poets and Writers: Why the Distinction?
♦ Sherri Burr, Wills and Trusts for Writers and Authors
♦ Robert Kidera, The Writer’s Tool Kit
♦ Dan Wetmore, Poetry, Focus and Form
♦ Stephen Kurkjian, The Greatest Art Theft in World History
♦ Kirt Hickman, Bring Your Settings to Life
♦ Ellen Byerrum, Comic Mysteries; or, What’s so funny about murder?
♦ Kathy Louise Schuit, Don’t Make Your Friends and Family Read Bad Stuff
♦ Diane Dimond, How to Investigate and Write about a Secretive System
♦ Phil Mills Jr., Challenges of Writing for Children in a Video Game World
♦ Sonja Dewing, Making Dollars and Sense out of Amazon Ads
♦ Michael Arnzen, The Transformation Scene
♦ Jim Tritten (host), Stories from the Veterans Anthology
♦ Ernie Witham, Finding Humor in Everyday Situations
♦ Christie Lowrance, A Writer’s Quest: Non-fiction, History, and Biography

2022:

♦ John Gilstrap, Whose Story Are You Telling?
♦ Stephanie Chandler, Build Your On-line Marketing Plan
♦ Jayne Ann Krentz, Reinventing Yourself: Tips for Finding Your Voice and Core Story
♦ Lauren Wolk, The Art and Business of Writing for Young Readers
♦ Jodi Thomas, Why Write a Series?
♦ Nancy Rubin Stuart, Using Fiction Techniques to Shape Non-fiction
♦ Jonathan Miller, How to Turn Your Life into a Novel
♦ Ellen Meeropol, Evil Characters We Love to Hate
♦ Kristin Owens, The Personal, Personal Essay
♦ Susan Katz, Why Every Writer Needs an Editor
♦ Melody Groves, Writing Westerns: The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful
♦ Jim Tritten, Short Stories are Fun
♦ BR Kingsolver, How and Why to Write a Series
♦ Margaret Shannon, You Can Write Your Family History
♦ Johnny Boggs, Making Dialogue Sing
♦ Ronn Perea, Public Speaking for Authors
♦ Anne Hillerman, What I Wish I’d known before I Wrote my First Novel
♦ B. Marika Flatt, PR by the Book
♦ Dan Klefstad, DIY Book Promo
♦ Robin Perini, Taking Your Writing to the Next Level
♦ Judith Avila, Writing Your Memoir, An Act of Courage
♦ Parris Afton Bonds, First, The Plot

2021:

♦ Jonathan Miller, A Novel for the New Year
♦ Marcia Rosen, Podcast Marketing for Authors
♦ David Morrell, Thoughts and lessons from 48 years as a published novelist
♦ Natalie Goldberg, The Way of Haiku
♦ Susan Elizabeth Phillips, The Writing Life: Craft, Characters, Creativity, and Career
♦ Darynda Jones, Humor & Heat: How to Write Funny Without Sacrificing Sexual Tension
♦ David L. Robbins, The Art and Craft of the Narrative
♦ Gerard Hanberry, Geraldine Mills, Luke Morgan, Pete Mullineaux, Moya Roddy, Readings by Irish Poets
♦ Raffi Andonian, Controversial Historical Sites
♦ Debra W. Englander, Why You Need a Book Coach
♦ Dean Wesley Smith, Writing into the Dark: Writing Clean, One-draft Stories Without an Outline
♦ Sheryl Brown, Screenplay from Stakeholder Perspectives
♦ Jeffrey Candelaria, Artists, Writers, and a Business Mentality
♦ Paige Wheeler, Agents and Authors
♦ Fauzia Burke, Author Platforms
♦ Robin Cutler, The Power of Self-publishing
♦ James McGrath Morris, Researching Your Book
♦ Loretta Hall, Elements of Nonfiction
♦ Benjamin Percy, The Ninth Metal, Reading and Craft Discussion
♦ Rob Spiegel, Using Scenes to Build Your Story
♦ David J. Corwell, On the Edge of Their Seats: Horror and Suspense
♦ Lynn Miller, Writing like a Reader: Your Audience and Story
♦ Robert Kidera, Taking the Mystery out of Mystery Writing
♦ Lynne Sturtevant, Writing for the Web


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