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.

Starting with our annual meeting on October 2, 2021, SouthWest Writers will return to in-person gatherings on the first Saturday of every month but in a new location: UNM Continuing Education (UNM-CE). Our Saturday meetings/workshops will still include a Zoom component. Workshops will start at 12:15, after the regular meetings end. Go to the SWW Meeting Location page for more information about our meetings at UNM-CE.

For a schedule of all our events, go to this page.

What workshops would you like to see offered this year? Contact our class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com to let us know.


Join Us for Free-to-Members Workshops!


NaNoWriMo

With Kathy Kitts and Grant Faulkner

  • Saturday: October 2
  • 12:15 – 2:15 pm
  • Hybrid Meeting: In Person and Zoom Live
  • SWW members: Free ♦ Non-members: $20

One of the biggest obstacles any writer faces is finishing the first draft of a novel. As Joyce Carol Oates said, “Getting the first draft finished is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.”

Enter National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which has generated one of the most effective approaches to writing a first draft of a novel and bounding to new imaginative heights. In the first section, Grant Faulkner will discuss ways to banish your inner editor, dive into your work with creative abandon, and write boldly on the page. Come with questions about your writing challenges and be prepared to write with abandon! During the second section, Kathy Kitts will lead creative exercises specifically designed to put these and other techniques into immediate practice.

Please have these materials handy: something to write with and on, magazines, tape and poster board or cardboard for collage.

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He’s published Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo, and he also co-hosts Write-minded, a weekly podcast on writing and publishing.

Dr. Kathy Kitts, a former president of SWW, is a planetary geologist by day and speculative fiction writer by night. Her latest short fiction has appeared in Amazing Stories, James Gunn’s Ad Astra, and Mad Scientist Journal. Her short story collection Getting What You Need is available on Amazon.

To Register:
Call the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–noon) or use one of these online forms: Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration. (Our online payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

The Zoom invitation link and the password will be emailed to those who purchase this workshop. For SWW members, the link and password will be sent once membership is verified. Please contact the class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com for more information.


Special Presentations:
The Worlds and Wonders of Speculative Fiction

  • Tuesdays: October 12, 19, 26 and November 2
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm, except October 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • Free to Members and Non-members

Wildly popular, Speculative Fiction covers everything from Horror and Suspense to Science Fiction, Magic and Fantasy of all kinds. Let’s explore the topic in depth with authors who live in those worlds.

October 12: The Worlds and Wonders of Speculative Fiction — An Overview
Panelists: Bruce Kingsolver, Kirt Hickman, Dollie Williams, Natalie Wright, David Lee Summers
From underground tunnel homes on the moon to elves in Washington D.C., authors transport their audiences to ideas, times, and places that extend beyond the limitations of a person’s imagination. In a world that likes to classify writing into categories, how does a writer know what to call what they are writing? Let’s discuss all things weird and wonderful!

October 19: On the Edge of their Seats: Horror and Suspense with David Corwell
This presentation takes place during our regular Tuesday evening meeting. See the Meetings page for more information.

October 26: Fantasy Genres
Panelists: Joyce Hertzoff, Bruce Kingsolver, David Lee Summers, Vicky Murata, Kirt Hickman
From Steampunk to Lord of the Rings, what are the fantasy genres and how do they cross over?

November 2: Purely Science Fiction
Panelists: Kirt Hickman, Geoff Habiger, Dollie Williams, Natalie Wright
What does life in outer space really look like? Is time travel ever a real possibility? Do alternate universes really exist? Will future generations mutate and have superpowers? How far can fiction go and still fall within the realm of science?


Geoff Habiger grew up in the wild hinterland of the Flint Hills of Kansas where he awoke to the sounds of peacocks and roaring lions. Currently the managing editor at Artemesia Publishing, Geoff is an avid gamer and author of high fantasy and horror.
Joyce Hertzoff spent more than 45 years in the scientific publishing business before leaping off to a retirement filled with more interesting literary opportunities. Her fantasy series The Crystal Odyssey began with The Crimson Orb in 2014. Since then she has won several awards in fantasy, YA books and middle grade books.

Kirt Hickman, author of the award-winning science-fiction thrillers Worlds Asunder and Venus Rain, has also written Mercury Sun, and the fantasy novels Fabler’s Legend and Assassins’ Prey. He teaches self-editing classes through SouthWest Writers, and contributes a monthly column entitled “Revising Fiction” to SouthWest Sage.

BR Kingsolver, author of urban fantasy and science fiction, grew up surrounded by writers, artists, myths, and folklore in Santa Fe, The City Different, in the Land of Enchantment. After living all over the US and exploring the world—from Amsterdam to Russia to the Rocky Mountains—Kingsolver, a passionate lifetime skier, currently spends time writing.

Victoria Murata, a retired educator living in Albuquerque, writes historical fiction and fantasy. Her most recent book, The Acolyte (published in March 2021), is the first in her Magicians of the Beyond series.

David Lee Summers is the author of a dozen novels and over eighty published short stories. In 2017 he was nominated for SFPA’s Dwarf Stars Award. His novels include The Solar Sea and The Brazen Shark, which was voted best steampunk novel in the 2017 Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll.

Dollie Williams writes futuristic science fiction.  She is the author of the Chesan Legacy Series, an epic space adventure with dynamic characters and intriguing plot twists.

Natalie Wright writes science fiction, fantasy and dystopian novels for teens and adults. She is the author of HALF, an award-winning science fiction series, and The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. She lives in the high desert of Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter, and two cat overlords.


To Register:

Call the SWW office at 505-830-6034, Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–noon or use our online forms below.

#1 October 12
The Worlds and Wonders of Speculative Fiction — An Overview.

#2 October 19
On the Edge of their Seats: Horror and Suspense with David Corwell
Go to the Meetings page to find out how to attend.

#3 October 26
The Worlds and Wonders of Speculative Fiction — Fantasy Genres.

#3 November 2
The Worlds and Wonders of Speculative Fiction — Purely Science Fiction.


Finding the Story

With Loretta Hall & Patricia Walkow

  • Saturday: November 6
  • 12:15 – 2:15 pm
  • Hybrid Meeting: In Person and Zoom Live
  • SWW members: Free ♦ Non-members: $20

Whether you’re writing a feature article, a short story, a novel, or a nonfiction book, no one will be interested in reading it if it doesn’t have a story. What is it really about? Two experienced writers of fiction and nonfiction will help you learn how to find the story—before you write, while you’re writing, and even after you’ve written.

Patricia Walkow is an award-winning author of short stories, newspaper and magazine articles. She is the author of The War Within, the Story of Josef, a national and international award-winning biography. She belongs to several writers’ organizations and is a founding member of the Corrales Writing Group. Her work appears regularly in print and online formats. She is both editor and contributor to many anthologies, including the most current: Kale is a Four-Letter Word and New Mexico Remembers 9/11.

Loretta Hall has written nonfiction articles and reference book chapters and nine books in a variety of genres. She’s received awards from the National Federation of Press Women, Military Writers Society of America, Foreword’s IndieFab Book Awards, New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards, and New Mexico Press Women. Her latest book, the as-told-to memoir Higher, Faster, Longer: My Life in Aviation and My Quest for Spaceflight, was a finalist in this year’s National Indie Excellence Awards. Loretta is a former Parris Award winner and was the National Federation of Press Women’s 2016 Communicator of Achievement.

To Register:
Call the SWW office (505-830-6034, Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–noon) or use one of these online forms: Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration. (Our online payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

The Zoom invitation link and the password will be emailed to those who purchase this workshop. For SWW members, the link and password will be sent once membership is verified. Please contact the class/workshop coordinator at Info@SWWriters.com for more information.


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.


Workshops you might have missed:

2021

♦ Starting Your Novel in 2021: Taking it Day by Day
with Jonathan Miller
♦ Jump Start Your Writing with Short Forms
with Miriam Sagan
♦ Romance Genres and Subgenres: Understanding Reader Expectations
with Tamra Baumann and Jeffe Kennedy
♦ Writing Great Love Scenes for Romance and Other Genres
with Sarah Storme/Lydia Parks
♦ Plotting a Romance (and Other Genres)
with Robin Perini
♦ Finding Romance Publishers and Agents
with Sarah Storme/Lydia Parks
♦ Finding the Story in History
with Pamela Nowak
♦ The Art of Screenwriting
with Art Eisensen
♦ Mystery Genres & Subgenres
with Joseph Badal, Michael Avery, Keri Bovee, Charlene Bell Dietz, Marcia Rosen, Margaret Tessler, Robert D. Kidera
♦ Tips from Successful Mystery & Thriller Writers
with Keri Bovee, Charlene Bell Dietz, Patricia Smith Wood, and Robert D. Kidera
♦ The Mystery Market, Today and Tomorrow
with Pat Wood, Michael Orenduff, and Robert D. Kidera
♦ Queries and Cold Reads
with Shannon Snow and Haley Casey
♦ Taxes and Best Accounting Practices for Writers
with Brian Reinhardt
♦ Poetry Fireside Chat, August 11
with Jacqueline Murray Loring and Dan Wetmore
♦ Poetry Fireside Chat, August 18
with Preston H. Hood III
♦ Poetry Fireside Chat, August 25
with Lisa C. Taylor
♦ Insider Tips for Using the Internet
with Loretta Hall

2020

♦ How to Submit to the NMPW Annual Contest
with Loretta Hall
♦ Discovering Your Missing Ancestors
with Brenda Cole
♦ Wizard or Wannabe? How Writers Can Hire True Publishing Professionals
with Mary Neighbour
♦ What I Learned from Nancy Drew—Tools for Fast-Paced Plotting
with Chris Eboch
♦ Starting Right: A Fiction Building Block
with Sarah Baker
♦ Creating Compelling Characters: Make Your Readers Care!
with Elizabeth S. Layton
♦ Creating Book Covers
with Rose Marie Kern
♦ A Writer’s Building Block on Point of View
with Sarah H. Baker
♦ FREE: Critique Group Conversations via Zoom
with Various Moderators
♦ Pitch Your Novel Effectively
with Kirt Hickman
♦ Submitting a Winning Entry
with Brenda Cole and Rose Marie Kern

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
♦ Writing a Short Story: From Beginning to End
with Johnny D. Boggs
♦ Writing about the Military
with Jim Tritten
♦ Putting Emotions into Your Characters
with Melody Groves
♦ Portals to the Multiverse: Access to Fresh Ideas for Science Fiction and Fantasy
with Betsy James
♦ How Setting Brings a Story and its Characters to Life
with Bob Kidera
♦ Social Media Marketing
with Elizabeth S. Layton


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