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

Wizard or Wannabe?
How Writers Can Hire True Publishing Professionals

With Mary Neighbour

  • Saturday, March 7
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Rm
  • $20 SWW members, $30 Non-members

Often new authors and self-publishers rely on others to learn and implement publishing “best practices.” Yet many discover—too late—that those they hire are not true professionals, and their books do not sell well, get reviewed, or win awards. This workshop teaches participants industry standards, terminology, and telltale signs of a true professional. All will receive a handy list of questions to use when vetting freelancers for editing, design, and book production.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Some call Mary E. Neighbour a “book shepherd,” though Mary wields a blue pencil far more expertly than a herding rod. For the past ten years, she and her husband have helped dozens of writers bring their manuscripts to the marketplace, through professional editing, design, and book production. Passionate about helping authors make their work shine in the world, with the combined professional expertise of over fifty years, they help books win awards like Ben Franklin, Eric Hoffer, IPPY, Nautilus, and NIE. Visit Mary’s website at

The Skinny on the Short-Line Stuff

With Dan Wetmore

  • Saturday, April 4
  • 12:30 – 2:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Rm
  • $20 SWW members, $30 Non-members

Attendees of this workshop will be exploring the essential differences between poetry and prose, and tips for crafting the former: 1) what each form is best suited to communicate, as a function of how each is able to communicate; 2) unique challenges poetry poses to those who aspire to master the form (foremost, heightened demands for concision and its catalyst, precision); 3) a partial survey of poetry’s various forms and the appeals and perils of ‘formed’ and ‘free-form’ works; and 4) an overview of the process from conception to conclusion: the triad of finding inspiration, composing and editing. The tutorial, coupled with hand-outs and augmented by process-specific exercises, will hopefully scratch the itch of those looking to start down poetry’s path and catalyze the efforts of devotees seeking to travel farther on it.

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

Instructor’s Bio:
Dan Wetmore has logged a half-century as a practitioner of verse, resulting in one published full-length collection (My Mother’s Gentle Unbecoming), with three more poised for launch. He’s been an inhabitant of Albuquerque for eleven years, a permanent resident for six, a member of Southwest Writers for two, and on its Board for one.

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

Workshops you might have missed:


♦ How to Submit to the NMPW Annual Contest
with Loretta Hall
♦ Discovering Your Missing Ancestors
with Brenda Cole


♦ 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


♦ 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

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