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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.

New Mexico Press Women’s Communications Contest Entry

Presented by New Mexico Press Women (NMPW)

  • Saturday, January 4
  • 12:30 – 1:30 pm (after the meeting)
  • Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living Conference Rm
  • FREE for Members and Non-members

The NMPW organization is offering a Free workshop to offer guidance with the entry process for their Communications Contest. This workshop is Free of Charge to all SWW members and non-members.

The NMPW New Mexico Communications Contest is a very broad contest that includes all types of communications, and state winners can move on to the national competition.
For more information on the contest categories, deadlines, and submission requirements, see 2020 Communications Contest. All submissions, including books, must be done electronically via the contest entry website. During this workshop, NMPW board members will be available to guide you through the process.

Discovering Your Missing Ancestors

With Brenda Cole

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

Have you ever wanted to use your great Aunt Harriet in your latest who-done-it murder mystery? Only to realize you only have a name, but no idea who she was or even if she was real? Join Brenda Cole, SWW member and former Vice President of the Albuquerque Genealogy Society, for a beginner’s workshop on filling in the holes within your family tree.

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:
A few decades ago, along the banks of the Mississippi River, Brenda Cole learned the art of storytelling from her father and grandfather. Most days the fish weren’t biting, but the stories flew thick and heavy. Brenda discovered she enjoyed writing down these stories and inventing her own. She won her first writing contest at age 13 for an original science fiction short story.

Over the years Brenda continued writing through high school, undergraduate and two graduate degrees. The majority of her writing has been in nonfiction: biology, ecology, archaeology, genealogy, and memoir. She has been an educator for all ages from preschool through high school. Brenda has also taught biology at the college level and was an Assistant Professor of Western Medicine. Currently, she shares her time between being an educator, artist, author, and devout amateur genealogist.

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 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


♦ 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

New Publication 2019 Winners Anthology

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