The Voice of SouthWest Writers

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Vol. 31 No 10

The Voice of SouthWest Writers

October 2015

Page Contents
1 Blocked or Lazy? Sherri Burr 3 President’s message 4 Nominees for next year’s Board 5 October Speakers 6 November Speakers 7 More Speakers 8 Bi-Monthly Contest winning story
By Jasmine Tritten 9 Member Announcements 10 Upcoming classes/workshops 11 Enneagrams by
Joycelyn Campbell 13 Empty Sky by Dino de Leyba 13 Info on Scribl by Lee Higbie 14-15 Memoir Conference highlights 16 Why I Can’t Write
by Eva Newman 17 The Wake by Mary Beth Dorsey 18 Critique and Writer’s Groups 19 New Members and items to be
voted on by SWW members 20 SWW general information
Annual Membership in SouthWest Writers
Individual: $70 ($65 renewal if paid two months in advance)
Student: $25 Requires proof of student status
Outside U.S.: $75, Lifetime Membership: $750
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The Writing Life: Blocked or Lazy?
By Sherri Burr
During the year before he ascended to the Writer Heavens, I often drove author Tony Hillerman to First Fridays, a group he had co-founded in the 1960s to provide monthly opportunities for writers to discuss their work. One afternoon after taking him home, we were conversing in his study when he asked me, “What are you working on?” “My next book is due in a couple of months, but I have writer’s block,” I replied. “There’s a four letter word for writer’s block,” he said, and then spelled out, “L-A-Z-Y.” I felt so guilty that I went home and wrote two chapters of my book that evening. I am convinced that the phrase “Writer’s Block” is an attempt to excuse lack of commitment. Instead of student pleas like, “The dog ate my homework,” or “My printer broke,” writers respond to the question of where’s your work with “I’m blocked.” But are we really blocked, or is it that we are not sufficiently dedicated to putting our butts in our chairs and accomplishing tasks? Where does dedication come from? I would submit from two sources, either a passion project where you are absolutely moved to work or a deadline. Passion projects are the ideal motivator because excitement and enthusiasm draw you to your office space, wherever that may be. Imagine having an invisible hand grasp and lure you to your desk where you type and type until the deed is done. When a passion project feeds your soul, the words “I’m blocked” never escape your lips. Similarly, deadlines entice people to their writing chairs. Due dates and times can be external or internal. Publishing contracts with a firm written month, day, year, and even an hour within a specific time
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zone, are great motivators, particularly when money accompanies the submission process.
Another outward persuader to work can be critique group meetings. You produce because you have agreed to submit your work for feedback on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. With a good group, you look forward to receiving other people’s comments on your work. Multiple pairs of eyes catch typographical or grammatical errors, and problems with logic. It is better to have critique group members find mistakes before submitting a book to agents and editors who may reject your opus for reasons that are correctable but escaped your review.
Internal deadlines are those you construct for yourself. They can be part of your daily or weekly to-do list. The most productive writers schedule time to write. They don’t leave their creative process to chance, with statements like “I’ll write after I’ve cleaned the house, fed the animals, or mowed the lawn.” Instead, they make writing a daily priority. Even if you can just find twenty minutes to write what Julia Cameron referred to in her book The Artist Way as “morning pages,” you should commit to those twenty minutes and don’t let anyone keep you from producing during that time.
Without a passion project or a deadline, anyone can easily become l-a-z-y about writing, particularly on a warm sunny day in a place like New Mexico. Use the desire to be outdoors as stimulus. Consider committing to write for ninety minutes before going for a hike, or planting flowers in the garden or hitting the links. Do the most important thing of the day--whether it’s to draft a chapter or an article--and then do other things that are fun.
Another potential cure is “to fill the well” as Julia Camera says in The Artist Way. This can mean doing anything that inspires you and rejuvenates creative juices. I like reading novels, going to movies or taking in a museum exhibition. My writing colleague Judy Avila likes to research an issue when she feels stuck. Judy says, “No matter what you’re writing about, you can always learn more.”
In one of my many lunches with the legendary western writer Max Evans, I once asked him, “Do you ever get writer’s block?”
“I don’t believe in it,” Max replied.

Max makes a great point. Before next uttering the words “writer’s block,” ask yourself are you blocked or just l-a-z-y and need a motivator to get going? Do you need a deadline? Be proactive, and don’t succumb to the excuse.
Once you complete a project that wasn’t particularly exciting, you’ll be surprised how great it feels to type the last words, print the document, put it in a package, and ship it off to the publisher or editor. Hallelujah!
Sherri Burr is a Yale Law School-educated law professor at the University of New Mexico. She has received several awards for her interviews, most recently earning First Place in the NM Press Women Contest for Television Talk Show for an ARTS TALK interview she did with Actor John Corbett (“Sex in the City” and “Northern Exposure”). These interviews are available through her website and on
“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately as they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.”
From Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Big Wheel
By Scott Archer Jones Robko Zlata is careening across America with a call girl–his exwife. Robko stole the wrong thing, a device that guarantees immortality. His wrathful target, a corrupt billionaire, wants the world's greatest technology back. Robko's new worst enemy unleashes his fortune in unrelenting pursuit. Throw in the underground world of drugs and punk clubs, five-star hotels and cheap motels and Robko is in for one hell of a crash.

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President’s Letter by Rob Spiegel
Campaign Promises
A year ago, the SWW membership elected a new roster of executive committee members: Bob Gassaway as VP, Edith Greenly as treasurer, Kathy Wagoner as secretary, and Rob Spiegel (me) as president. We didn’t run as a slate, so I can’t say that we committed to campaign promises as a group, yet the executive committee members all helped to energize SWW into delivering on goals that were articulated during the election process.
 So far, we’ve had a very good year delivering on those goals. The entire board and an army of volunteers delivered for SWW. In short, we did what we said we were going to do.
 We committed to bringing SWW onto solid financial ground. We expect to close 2015 by returning $3,000 to $4,000 to our savings.
 We reinstated the book table. Members now have a central location at meetings to display and sell their books.
 We brought back conferences. Our memoir conference in September was a success by any measure. The total attendance including paid attendees, volunteers, and speakers exceeded 90 members. Using the church as the location allowed us to keep attendee fees very low by comparison to other conferences in town.
In addition we made a number of other positive changes.
 We dropped visitor fees. We did this as an experiment, hoping that a new flow of visitors who could try us out at no charge would bolster our membership. Edith Greenly tracked the visitor names and found that member fees from visitors who became members exceeded what we had previously received from visitor fees. Letting visitors come for free turned out to be a financial plus.
 We launched a third SWW meeting – Rogue Writers – near UNM. For years we’ve asked ourselves “How do we attract younger members?” Winter Elise came up with the idea of taking a meeting closer to UNM and CNM. Thus the Rogue Writers was born. We meet at the Aux Dog Theatre every second Tuesday.
As a board, we’ve been busy. The overriding goal this past year and going forward is to keep SWW on solid financial ground while increasing member services and expanding opportunities for members to learn how to improve their writing and how to get published. Next year the plan is to offer two conferences, one in the spring and one in the fall.
On the first Saturday of October – during our annual member meeting – we will vote again on leadership for 2016. See you there.
Call for Nominations
The nomination process for the 2016 SWW executive board is underway. Each year SouthWest Writers elects four of its members to the board positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The election will be held at the SWW annual meeting in October. If you are willing to serve or wish to nominate an SWW member, please submit your nomination(s) to Larry Greenly at [email protected] For the duties of each position, see the SWW Bylaws found under the Membership tab at
The next page highlights four people who have volunteered for positions on the Executive Board. Other nominations will be accepted right up to the time of voting on October 3rd.
Outside of these four positions there are many opportunities for SWW members to participate in running the organizations. The other board members are chosen by the acting president - who is always looking for people who can donate some of their valuable time and talents. If you want to be involved, please introduce yourself and let us know!

2016 Board Nominees Persons running for a position on the executive committee of SWW are offered a chance to post
their bios in the August and September Sages. Posted below are those who have declared their candidacy.

Candidate for President

Rob Spiegel

This past year, I have headed up the SWW board of directors. We have accomplished a great deal in the six months that have passed as I’m writing this. We cut the office staff costs by more than 50 percent. By the end of July we will be in the black, and by the end of the year, it looks like we’ll be putting dollars into savings. We have beefed up programs. We launched a new monthly meeting near UNM – Rogue Writers. We re-launched the bimonthly contest, and for the first time in many years, we will hold a one-day conference in September. The conference features an agent and editor who are actively seeking projects. Our board eliminated visitor fees for the first half of 2015, then extended the policy through the end of 2015. So far, the paid memberships we’ve gained from those visitors have more than made up for the budgeted amount we expected from visitor fees. We have much more work to do. We’re contemplating running two conferences in 2016. We have reduced the overhead on conferences sufficiently to make them a low-risk venture. More than that, the conferences offer you the rare opportunity to meet with and network with leading professionals in the publishing industry. So, I’m asking for another year of heading the SWW board. I am a journalist of 40 years. I also write and publish poetry, fiction and drama. SWW is my professional give-back.

Candidate for Vice-President Larry W. Greenly
Larry has been many things in his life—from physics teacher to civil engineer to doctor of chiropractic—but his favorite occupation is that of writer and editor.
Greenly has been a member of SouthWest Writers since 1992. He has held every position on the board (except treasurer), which includes multiple terms as vicepresident or president. During his time with SWW, Greenly has been awarded the SWW Parris Award and multiple service awards.
Over the years, Greenly has been instrumental in improving the financial status of SWW, particularly during 2003 when, as president, he worked closely with the board of directors to yank SWW out of near financial catastrophe and to develop it to a fiscally solid organization with nearly $60k in the bank.
As vice-president, Greenly will work closely with the elected president on financial matters and making SWW evermore member friendly. He’s particularly interested in helping SWW gain more members. Greenly will also continue to schedule SWW speakers on subjects that are interesting and germane to members.

Candidate for Secretary

Jim Tritten

Jim is a current member of the Board and has served on the bylaws and policies review committee, the social media committee, and has recently taken over responsibility for public relations. He has written for the Sage, recruited for our speaker and workshop program, and made his own presentation at a SWW meeting. His efforts to share writing information on the SWW Facebook pages have been noted by many of our members. Jim has served as a Secretary for two different volunteer organizations in the past and been a member of numerous boards and an officer on many local boards, as well as a national organization. Jim is a recipient of the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award. He has published five books and over 270 articles winning fourteen writing awards. Jim retired after working for forty-four years as a fed including as a carrierbased naval aviator and as a faculty member and department chair at the Naval Postgraduate School. Jim has been a member of SWW since 2009. Jim is committed to the SWW motto “Writers Helping Writers.” He has been helping writers all along his own writing career which started in high school. Since moving to Albuquerque in 2002, he has been active in the veterans writing group at the Raymond Murphy VA Medical Center, a number of writing groups at Sandoval County senior centers, and with the Corrales Writing Group. In addition, Jim has been an active member of Scribophile, an online writing group that nurtures new writers in launching and then polishing their work. Jim would like to see the full range of online possibilities made available to SWW members over the coming years.

Candidate for Treasurer

Edith Greenly

I am the current SouthWest Writers treasurer. This year I have been cleaning up the books. I have also instituted new reports of our financial status for use by the SWW Board of Directors so we can better strategize how to keep SWW in the black. We have already reversed a multi-year drain on our resources. My background is 30+ years’ experience as a licensed C.P.A. in Minnesota and New Mexico in the public and private business sectors. My degrees include a B.S.B.A. (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) and an M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration). I also completed the educational requirements for C.F.P. (Certified Financial Planner). I have previously served on the SWW board for ten years (2000-2010)—three years as SWW treasurer and ten years on the finance and budget committees. I was also the SWW critique service chair from 2004-2010. For my service, the SWW Board of Directors awarded me several SWW Service Awards. I look forward to continuing my service as treasurer for SWW and its members again. And I will continue to help SWW become more profitable.

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Upcoming Speakers for SWW Meetings - October

Saturday October 3rd 10am to Noon
I Stayed Up Until Four AM: Creating and Maintaining Suspense
Robin Perini
As writers, we want to grab our readers on the first page and never let them go. Suspense is the key, and it’s not just for mysteries and thrillers. Every novel lives and breathes suspense. In this hands-on, practical presentation international bestselling author Robin Perini will show you how to ramp up the tension in your story through character, conflict, plot, turning points, subplots, word choice, arcs and much, much more. Learn the skills she mastered in her own novels which Publishers Weekly call “refresh[ing] romantic suspense” and RT Book Review calls “edge-of-the -seat, gripping suspense … with memorable and scarred characters who readers care about.”
Award-winning, international bestselling author and RITA® finalist Robin Perini has hit the Top 5 on Amazon Bestseller lists in the U.S., UK and Germany. Devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, highstakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts, she invites readers to “Step into the Crossfire” with her romantic thriller novels. Robin’s strong characters and tightly woven plots have garnered her numerous awards. After winning the prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® in 2011, she went on to sell fourteen novels in a little over two years, which tests her sanity on a regular basis. Robin lives in Albuquerque and works for an advanced technology corporation as an analyst. You can find out more information at her website or visit her on Twitter @RobinPerini, Facebook (RobinPeriniAuthor), Goodreads or Pinterest. Her literary agent is Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Rogue Writers
Second Tuesday of the month from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm at Aux Dog Theatre in the UNM/Nob Hill area.

Tuesday October 20 7-9pm
MYTH in Writing
By Shari Tarbet
Is there a connection between myth and writing? Is myth even important to fiction and nonfiction? The answer is yes. Myths were the carriers of the stories about people throughout time, and they continue to be part of our stories today. Shari Tarbet will discuss how myth and dreams inform, inspire, and give meaning to our writing, whether it is fiction or memoir.
A secondary educator for 28 years in literature, creative writing, history, and mythology, Shari Tarbet earned her MA/PhD in mythological studies and depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her poetry has appeared in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s “Beginning,” the Southwest Women’s Poetry Exchange and featured in her coproduction of the Bal de Korai. Her papers include the “Trickster in Cinema” and the demonization of the Sacred Feminine in language and myth. Enjoying travel, making jewelry, and belly dancing, Shari currently lives in Albuquerque, teaches at Diné College on the Navajo Nation, lectures on myth topics at the Osher Institute at UNM, and is working on a book.
Rogue Writers at the Aux Dog
With Juan Aranda
Technical writing does not have to be dry and boring. It can be made creative by discovering its organic structure and natural flow. We’ll explore different ways to create structure, a satisfying flow, and above all, simplicity.
Juan Aranda is a geeky engineer in the semiconductor industry where technical writing is the standard mode of communication. He’s been an Albuquerque resident for 20 years. * 5

Upcoming Speakers for SWW Meetings - November

Saturday, November 7 10:00 am - noon

Sharon Oard Warner

The Grand Scheme of

Things: On Plot and Point


View in the Novel

Novelists are fascinated by fortune or fate; we are students of the grand scheme of things. In her excellent book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, Jane Smiley explains that the “special appeal of the novel is the alteration of action and reflection.” Plot (of which action is one aspect) and point of view (which dictates the sort of reflection a narrative can offer) go hand in hand. For Sharon Oard Warner, the intersection between plot and point of view is theme. In this talk, she will explain her thinking and provide examples using specifics from her own life, as well as from her new novel, Sophie’s House of Cards.

Sharon Oard Warner has published a short story collection, Learning to Dance and Other Stories, and two novels, Deep in the Heart and Sophie’s House of Cards. She has also edited an anthology, The Way We Write Now, Short Stories from the AIDS Crisis. Warner is a professor of English at the University of New Mexico, as well as the founder and director of the Taos Summer Writers' Conference. She is currently researching a new novel, tentatively titled Mrs. Lawrence. Visit her website at

Rogue Writers
Second Tuesday of the month from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm at Aux Dog Theatre in the UNM/Nob Hill area.
Tuesday, November 10 • 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Screenwriting Demystified Presented by: Stanley Ray

Stanley Ray is an awardwinning screenwriter and filmmaker. In this presentation he will discuss his experiences writing and making movies in Albuquerque.

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Tuesday, November 17 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Grace Labatt
On Editing
Kingsley Amis wrote that an editor “prowls through your copy like an overzealous gardener with a pruning hook.” Yet the editorial pruning hook, when used conscientiously, can turn a draft into a strong manuscript—and eventually into an unforgettable book. During this talk, Grace Labatt will discuss editing: why everyone needs it, what it entails, how to find an editor, and how to make the most of the author-editor relationship. She will also look at a few examples of red-pen flourishing from literary history. Grace Labatt is an editor and copyeditor who works with independent authors and trade and academic presses. She has been a senior acquisitions editor at Voyageur Press in Minneapolis and an acquisitions editor at Oxford University Press in New York. Her book reviews have appeared in Kirkus Reviews, Pasatiempo, and Experience Life magazine. Grace studied literature at Princeton and now lives in Albuquerque. Her website is
Do you enjoy looking back at your life experiences? Do you think about writing a full-length memoir but find the prospect daunting? Have you considered writing short memoir essays, and if so, do you know how to find a market for them? Whether you want to write short pieces or a longer work, it’s important to consider what makes a memoir work. We will look at some of the elements of fiction and poetry that can be used in a memoir to make it a “page turner.” Jeanne Shannon’s memoir essays have been published in two small-town newspapers in southwestern Virginia, where she grew up. Her book Stars Scattered Like Seeds contains stories that are somewhat fictionalized recollections of events in her early life. Her poetry has appeared in numerous small-press and university journals and anthologies, as well as in chapbooks and full-length collections. She earned a master’s degree in English (Creative Writing emphasis) from the University of New Mexico and worked for several years as a technical writer.

Upcoming Speakers at SWW Meetings
Saturday, December 5 • 10:00 am to noon
Lois Ruby has always written serious books for older kids—until a couple of editors seduced her into writing ghost stories. Easy. Fast. Popular. But do writers compromise too much in order to see their work in print? This talk will explore the advantages and disadvantages of writing to sell vs. writing to salve the soul.
Lois Ruby snuck in the back door as a writer for young people. That is, she was a Young Adult librarian for the Dallas Public Library, and after reading a thousand or so books in her department, she decided she could write the stuff herself. Why not? Her first book was published in 1977. Since then, eighteen more have seen print, and she’s no longer a working librarian. Instead, her time is divided among her family, research, writing, navelgazing, and visiting schools to energize children and teenagers about the joys of reading and the diverse world we call home. Oh, and she likes adults, too. Visit Lois at
Brown Bag Poetry Session Dec. 5, 2015 12:30-1:15pm
Gayle Lauradunn

Poetry: Slam, Spoken Word, Rap
How do these forms/presentations differ? Or do they? How are they alike?
We will look at samples of each and discuss how they affect us. Do they make us laugh, cry, or hurt our ears? We will spend a few minutes writing in one of these forms then read to each other (or not, as each person chooses).
Gayle Lauradunn's debut poetry collection Reaching for Air was named a Finalist for Best First Book of Poetry by the Texas Institute of Letters. Her poems have been published in numerous local and national journals. Some have been adapted for the stage.

Above: Robert Vardeman talks about taking a story from idea to reality at the Sept 5th meeting.
Below: Michael Franco tells about publishing his book through Smashwords during the announcemnts. * 7

And the Winner is…
The SWW Bi-Monthly Contest which ended in July was a challenge to write a short piece about the most unforgettable person in your life. The winner, Jasmine Tritten, wrote a story from her childhood which she has graciously allowed the Sage to publish here for the first time. Although it is October, we are inserting an early holiday gift for you in the form of her winning story ...SANTA.
Jasmine Tritten resides in enchanting
Corrales, New Mexico with her husband and five cats, where she pursues her art and writing. Her memoir book The Journey of an Adventuresome Dane will be available on in October both in a print and Kindle version.

By Jasmine Tritten
Snow lit up an otherwise dark, cold and dreary Christmas Eve in Denmark. I was about seven years old. Large snowflakes fell from the sky and melted into a white blanket covering the ground. My two younger brothers and I kept glancing through the windowpane waiting for Santa. Had we been good enough in the past year to receive any gifts now? Real wax candles illuminated every window of the house. Flames of smaller lights on the Christmas tree flickered and caused shadows to dance on the wall of the living room. Heat radiated out from the fireplace.
We had just finished our traditional Christmas dinner; stuffed goose with apples and prunes, red cabbage, and small, golden-glazed potatoes. The aroma and taste of the supper still lingered. For dessert, Mom served rice pudding with a whole almond hidden inside the delicious substance. Whoever bit into the oblong nut would receive a present. Everybody gobbled down the white sticky goop until my youngest brother Carsten found the treasure in his portion. His reward consisted of a huge bar of chocolate with marzipan. He refused to share his fortune with anybody. Even me!
As we were about to walk around the Christmas tree singing carols the doorbell rang. Everybody jumped up and ran into the hallway. Dad carefully opened the massive oak door. Santa stood outside in all of his red Christmas glory, carrying a large burlap bag over his shoulder bulging with presents. Our eyes widened, and we smiled. Because it snowed heavily, my Dad invited Santa into the warmth of our home.
In Denmark, it’s customary for Santa Claus to stop by people’s houses to ask for money and later give the funds to charity. My Dad grabbed the wallet from his back pocket and donated some Danish kroner. Santa then reached out his arms to greet us children. I seized his hand and held it for a moment. The comfort and familiarity surprised me. I yelled,
“It’s Grandma! I can tell by her hand. It’s Grandma! I know, because she has the softest hands in the world. It’s Grandma."
I jumped up and down since I had detected my favorite grandmother by her silk-like hand. We hugged and rejoiced. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Dad’s face dropped. He didn’t recognize his mother. She had tricked him and all of us. However, how could we possibly imagine Grandma playing Santa? Both of my brothers acted stunned. Nobody was aware of my grandmother’s astounding plan except for Mom. She told us later that she had discovered Grandma’s intentions days ago.
The secret was out now and the evening continued with laughter and jokes. Flabbergasted, the three of us children received every present we had wanted. My grandmother as Santa became the most unforgettable character of my life.

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Member Successes
Gayle Lauradunn was the guest of Sunday Chatter on August 23. She read from her poetry collection Reaching for Air Joanne Bodin's poem, "Chicken Matzo Ball Soup," has been published in The Poeming Pigeon: a Literary Journal of Poetry. Her novel, Shadow Dreamer: a dark psychological thriller, will be out at the beginning of 2016. She will have a booth at the NM Library Conference on October 23rd with two other Cross Town Poets. Jim Tritten published an essay about living with PTSD. See his “New Realities,” Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth, 2 (Summer 2015), 82-85. -realities/ Jim also reports that the Military Writers Society of America awarded a Silver Medal to the Corrales Writing Group 2014 Anthology and a Bronze Medal for its 2013 Anthology. This publication has stories from several SWW Members.
Bob Gassaway has resigned as vice-president of SWW due to health issues. He has been instrumental in finding most of our speakers for the past year. All of us at SWW want to thank him and wish him a speedy recovery!
Send your successes and announcements to the SouthWest Sage Editor at [email protected]

Sequestrum, a literary journal of new prose and
poetry, is holding a contest through October 15th for new writers (anyone yet to publish a book-length manuscript). The contest is open to short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Our New Writer Awards will award over $500 to up-andcoming writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Prose and poetry will be judged separately, with a first-prize winner and a minimum of two runnersup per genre.with winners for both prose and poetry.
Announcing $2000 Fall Fiction Contest with Jeff VanderMeer
The winning story will receive $2000 and publication on the site. Second and third place stories will receive $200 and $100, publication, and all story winners will receive a letter from Jeff and Ann about their piece, and why it was chosen. 15 Finalists will be recognized online and have their stories read by the VanderMeers.. For more information go to https://
The Lumina Literary Journal is holding their annual contest for Fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  First Place: $500  Second Place: $300  Third Place: $150  Submissions deadline – October 1st, 2015  Maximum Word Count: 5,000 words Cost Per Entry: $12. submission-guidelines/
Can You Help?
I would love to join Southwest Writers but due to poor vision cannot drive myself to meetings. Could I find someone to ride with from Santa Fe? I live in the triangle area near the Pacheco Post Office. Sandra Baker
[email protected] * 9

Classes by BETSY JAMES
Weirdness: Writing the Shadow Season
6 weeks Thursdays, 5:45-7:45 October 15, 22, 29 and November 4, 11, 18 Cost is SWW members $240; Osher members $250, non-members $290
Strange things walk abroad...are you one of them? This is Betsy James’s infamous six
week course in otherworldly writing: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and anything else on earth or off it. Far from giving you nightmares, these rigorous, fun sessions get you thinking, critiquing, and working like a writer. In weird-and-weekly assignments of 1000 words or less you’ll explore quirks and craft, learn respectful peer critique, and develop a writerly camaraderie with an assortment of fellow oddballs—who may become part of your support system, since you’ll also learn how to conduct your own critique group. Register early! Class is limited to 10 students.
Betsy James is the author-illustrator of sixteen books and many stories for adults, teens and children. Her latest novel, Listening at the Gate, is a Tiptree Award Honor Book and a New York Times Best Book for the Teen Age. Visit her on the web at: AND http://

Websites for Writers
Workshop with
Loretta Hall
Saturday, October 17th. 1-5pm
Learn how to design a website that
will be attractive and effective. Topics include domain names, purpose of your website, website design concepts, hosting options, search engine rankings, and inexpensive (or free) site-building software. We will explore options for creating and maintaining your own website without knowing any programming language. Using the types of template-based programs and reliable but inexpensive hosts we will discuss, the cost of your site can range from $0 to about $10 per month. If you decide to have someone build your site for you, this workshop will prepare you to talk knowledgeably with that person about what you want.
Nonfiction author Loretta Hall maintains four websites that she built using template-based software. One of them,, has won several awards and is the top search engine result for “underground buildings.” As the author of six nonfiction books, Loretta’s passion is explaining technical concepts to nontechnical people
Location: SouthWest Writers Office Cost $39 SWW Members, $44 Osher Members, $49 Non-members

Giving Voice to the People in Your Head
A workshop with Sarah Baker Saturday, October 3 12:30 pm—2:30pm After the meeting
HOW do you make your dialogue special? How do
you give each character a unique voice? And how do you develop the characters, define time and setting, and advance the plot through dialogue? In this workshop, we'll find the answers together.
Sarah H. Baker, author of more than twenty published novels, writes fiction as S. H. Baker, Sarah Storme, and Lydia Parks. She teaches classes for UNM's Continuing Ed and Osher Lifelong Learning, and for SouthWest Writers. More than anything, she enjoys helping other writers.
Location: New Life Presbyterian Cost: $29 SWW Members, $34 Osher Members, $39 Nonmembers

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The Voice of SouthWest Writers