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 usually held after the Saturday meetings in the same location. Until it’s safe to meet in person again, we’ll schedule workshops using the Zoom platform. 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!


Mystery in June

  • Saturdays: June 5, 12, 19, 26
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • SWW and Croak & Dagger Members: Free
  • Non-members: $20

June is SWW’s month of Mystery. Workshops are free for members of SouthWest Writers (SWW) and Croak & Dagger, and $20.00 for all others. Attend one or all of these workshops led by published mystery authors including:

Art Eisensen, TV scriptwriter and story editor for Kojak, The Gangster Chronicles, Beggarman Thief, and Shannon.

Michael Orenduff, Lefty Award-winning author and playwright, author of The Pot Thief murder mysteries and owner of his own publishing company.

Joseph Badal, bestselling author of the Danforth Saga series and the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files, two-time Tony Hillerman Award-winner.

With Michael Avery, Keri Bovee, Charlene Bell Dietz, Michael McGarrity, Judi Phillips, Marcia Rosen, Margaret Tessler, Patricia Smith Wood, and Robert D. Kidera!

June 5
♦ The Art of Screenwriting with Art Eisensen

June 12
♦ Mystery Genres & Subgenres

June 19
♦ Tips from Successful Mystery & Thriller Writers

June 26
♦ The Mystery Market, Today and Tomorrow
Moderator: Pat Wood

  • The Mystery Market Session with Pat Wood
  • Publisher: Michael Orenduff
  • Indie Publisher: Robert Kidera

To Register:

Call the SWW office at 505-830-6034, Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–noon or use one of our online forms below. (Our payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

#4 June 26 — The Mystery Market, Today and Tomorrow
Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration.

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.


Queries and Cold Reads

With Shannon Snow and Haley Casey

  • Saturday: July 3
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • SWW members: Free ♦ Non-members: $20

Shannon Snow and Haley Casey, both from Creative Media Agency, Inc. (CMA), will talk about how to query literary agents. They will also provide cold reads with comments on query letters from a few participants, so sign up early and send your query letters to Info@SWWriters.com to get your name in the queue!

Shannon Snow, Associate Agent. Shannon Snow worked eighteen years as a financial and marketing executive in Fortune 500 companies before turning to her childhood first love…books and writers. With a B.A. in English Language and Literature, she started her publishing career in 2018 and then joined Creative Media Agency, Inc. first as an intern before moving up to associate agent in early 2020. Shannon manages the audio rights department of CMA.

Haley Casey, Associate Agent. Haley Casey has always had a special place in her heart for stories, but it was when she wrote her first chapter book in fifth grade that her true love of literature was realized. In 2015, she graduated from The University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, and she attended the Denver Publishing Institute. She began her full-time career at Ogden Publications, where she was an editor for four years. In 2020, she interned at Creative Media Agency, Inc. before stepping into her role as an Associate Agent.

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.


Poetry Fireside Chats in August

  • Wednesdays: August 4, 11, 18, 25
  • 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • SWW Members: Free
  • Non-members: $20

Have you ever wondered where a poem comes from? What inspires poetry? How a poem should look on the page? Ever wondered if the poet writes for themselves or the reader? Four outstanding national poets will discuss three or four of their favorite poems and share with you the inspiration and style involved in writing and the meaning and importance to the poet of each poem and the poet’s hope for the reader’s understanding. There will be time for you to tell the poet about what the poem meant to you. This relaxed Zoom “Fireside Chat” will be informative and fun for the experienced as well as the new writer of poetry.

August 4: Mary Oishi was named Albuquerque Poet Laureate on July 1, 2020. Oishi is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me (West End Press, 2011), and co-author with her daughter, Aja Oishi, of Rock Paper Scissors (Swimming with Elephants Publications, 2018), finalist for the New Mexico Arizona Book Award.

August 11: Bill Nevins has taught composition, creative writing, public speaking, film-writing, and history in secondary schools and colleges. He has two published volumes of poetry and his work has been widely published in anthologies and magazines, and he is profiled in the 2007 feature film “Committing Poetry in Times of War.”

August 18: Preston H. Hood III, a former Navy Seal, lives in Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in Salamander, Nimrod, Rattle, Michigan Quarterly, and Prairie Schooner. His books include, A Chill I Understand, (2006) and The Hallelujah of Listening, (2011). Beauty Is a Cardinal won the 2018 27th Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest.

August 25: Lisa C. Taylor is the author of four collections of poetry and two of short fiction, most recently Impossibly Small Spaces. She publishes in Ireland (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press) and in the United States. Her books have been taught in college classes in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

To Register:

Call the SWW office at 505-830-6034, Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–noon or use one of our online forms below. (Our payment portal utilizes PayPal, but you’ll be given an option to pay by credit card without signing into PayPal.)

#1 August 4Mary Oishi
Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration.

#2 August 11Bill Nevins
Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration.

#3 August 18Preston H. Hood III
Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration.

#4 August 25Lisa C. Taylor
Free-to-Members Registration or $20.00 Non-Member Registration.

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.


Taxes for Writers

With Brian Reinhardt

  • Saturday: August 7
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • SWW members: Free ♦ Non-members: $20

Information and online registration is forthcoming.


Insider Tips for Using the Internet

With Loretta Hall

  • Saturday: September 4
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm
  • Platform: Zoom Live Meeting
  • SWW members: Free ♦ Non-members: $20

“Browsing the Internet” sounds like scanning the bookshelves in a cozy bookstore. In reality, though, it can be a frustrating, time-consuming foray into a maze where strangers track your every move. In this workshop, Loretta Hall will show you ways to use the Internet more efficiently and with fewer eyes spying on you. Bring your questions so we can help dispel the particular gremlins that hinder your movements through cyberspace.

Loretta Hall uses the Internet regularly to do research for nonfiction books (she’s written eight) and magazine articles (she’s written over 300). She is a former SWW board member and Parris Award winner.

To Register:
Online registration is forthcoming.


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

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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