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13th Annual Writers Conference

Writing: From Start to Sales XIII

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Writers Conference Brochure


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UNM Continuing Education offers the Thirteenth annual Writer's Conference. Editors and agents from New York City will join with authors and teachers to explore the latest trends in publishing including short stories, novels, narrative non-fiction, poetry and memoir. In addition individual pitch sessions with agents and editors at no additional cost will be offered to those who register before April 1. Attendees may only choose one person, but may ask questions of other speakers throughout the day. After you register, contact Sandra Toro at storo32567@aol.com to sign up for your ten minute pitch. Lunch and materials are included in your tuition.

Tuition: $150

Date: 4/8/17; 8:30am-4:30pm

Location: UNMCE North Building, Albuquerque, NM

Download the Writers Conference Brochure

Register for this Conference


Conference Topics

  • What You Should Know About Publishing Today
  • Upscale Women’s Fiction That Really Sells
  • Western Mysteries and Adventures

Workshop Leaders

Jeanne Shannon

Seven Ways to Build A Poem. Through writing exercises and prompts, participants will have the opportunity to explore several—surely more than seven—ways to jump-start their creativity and create lively and memorable poems. We will look at the elements that make the difference between a memorable poem, a poem that “sings”, and one that is ho-hum or downright boring.

Chris Eboch

Writing Kid-Friendly Children’s Literature. Chris will discuss the basic criteria for writing good children’s stories, articles, and books for kids and teen agers, as well as advanced plotting.

Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl

Using Practical Magic in Fiction Writing. They will cover the practical nuts and bolts of fiction writing, but also address the challenge of creating magic on the page for the reader. This includes tips on how to access one’s own creative magic via “the muse.”

Melody Groves

Melody Groves will cover the pros and cons of magazine work. Did you know you get paid per word? That’s right. The word “the” brings in the same amount that “plethora” does. We’ll look at choosing the right topic, ways to nail the magazine’s style, the query letter, and the article itself. Plus many more tips. With over 9,000 magazines published annually, there is at least ONE magazine that fits your article!


FREE 1-on-1

Attendees who enroll by March 20 will get a FREE one-onone ten minute meeting with the editor or agent of their choice to “pitch” their writing project! YOU MUST CONTACT SANDRA TORO BY EMAIL TO SCHEDULE THIS PITCH MEETING. You may only choose one person, but may ask questions of other speakers throughout the day. These meetings will take place during concurrent workshops. After you register, contact Sandra Toro at storo32567@aol.com to sign up for your ten minute pitch.


Conference Agenda

EventTimePresenter(s)
8:30-9:00 Conference Registration and Check-In  
9:00-9:05 Welcome to UNM’s Thirteenth Annual Writers Conference Marie McGhee, Program Supervisor
9:05-9:15 Let SouthWest Writers Help You Sarah Baker, President
9:15-9:30 Introduction of Faculty Sandra Toro, Conference Coordinator Instructors: Melody Groves, Jeanne Shannon, Chris Eboch, Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl
9:30-10:30 Speaker Leila Meacham, New York Times Best-Selling author of Roses, Tumbleweeds, Somerset, and Titans
10:30-10:45 Break  
10:45-12:00 Publishing Today: Q & A Panel of Editors and Agents Editors: Maxim Brown, Grace Menary-Winefield, John Byram
Agents: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, Grace Ross, and Kira Watson
12:00-1:00 Lunch with Editors, Agents and Instructors  
1:00-2:00 Featured Speaker Michael McGarrity, best-selling author of Western mystery and adventure novels including the trilogy Hard Country, Back Lands, and The Last Ranch. His novels are also published in Japan, France, Germany, Croatia, England and Norway.
2:00-2:15 Break  
2:15-3:15 Breakout Sessions Jeanne Shannon, Poetry
Melody Groves, Magazine Writing
3:15-4:15 Breakout Sessions Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl, Literary Fiction
Chris Eboch, Young Adult and Children’s Fiction

Download the Writers Conference Brochure


Writer's Conference Speakers


Leila Meacham

Leila Meacham

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the best selling Roses, Tumbleweeds, Somerset, and Titans. Her books have been translated and sold in more than twenty countries.

Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity is the author of fifteen Western mystery and adventure novels including the recently published trilogy Hard Country, Back Lands, and The Last Ranch. His books are published in Japan, France, Germany, Croatia, England, and Norway. Previous to becoming an author, he was a Santa Fe County deputy sheriff. He has received numerous awards in both of his careers.

Maxim Brown

Maxim Brown

Maxim Brown is an editor at Skyhorse Publishing working with a range of fiction and literary nonfiction. He is looking for strong literary or upmarket fiction with a compelling narrative and vivid characters whose minds he can get into. His tastes run toward the literary, but he’s open to well-written commercial fiction so long as it offers something new. Narrative nonfiction in science/technology, history, pop culture is also welcome.


Grace Menary-Winefield

Grace Menary-Winefield

Grace Menary-Winefield is an Associate Editor at Source Books Inc. Since moving to the USA from London’s Little, Brown Book Group, Grace has worked with the non-fiction list on quirky gift books, self-help, and history. She also acquires commercial fiction, and accessible science fiction/fantasy. She values diverse voices from across the community.

John Byram

John Byram

John Byram spent the first twelve years of his publishing career with W.W. Norton & Company in New York. He joined the University Press of Florida’s acquisitions department in 2002, where he was the press’s associate director and editor- in-chief for eight years, and eventually added director of development to his list of UPF managerial responsibilities. John has been the director of the UNM Press since August, 2010, where in addition to his administrative duties he is a sponsoring editor for twenty books each year.

Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli

Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli

a former editor at Fawcett’s Premier Books, founded Jet Literary Associates, Inc. in New York with her then husband Jim Trupin. Jet represents adult nonfiction and fiction, except sci-fi and fantasy. Her office is in Santa Fe. Her client list includes Anne Hillerman, Karima Alavi, and Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl.


Grace Ross

Grace Ross

Grace Ross is an agent at Regal Hoffman & Associates, an agency that represents quality literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, biography, journalism, politics and social history. She is interested in literary fiction that speaks to the current cultural climate; historical fiction; international narratives; and dynamic plots that bridge genres. Grace is drawn to popular science, biography, cultural theory and memoir.

Kira Watson

Kira Watson

Kira Watson is an agent with the Emma Sweeney Agency in New York. She is particularly interested in young adult and middle grade books with a strong narrative voice, well-crafted storylines, and memorable characters. Kira is seeking realistic fiction, speculative fiction, magic realism, thriller/mystery, horror, fantasy, and historical fiction. Stories with folklore elements, complex villains, morally enigmatic protagonist, medieval literature influences, and taboo subjects are bound to catch her attention.

Jeanne Shannon

Jeanne Shannon

Jeanne Shannon has published three full-length collections of her poetry and several chapbooks. Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous publications in the US, Canada, and Japan. She has conducted poetry workshops for SouthWest Writers and the New Mexico State Poetry Society.


Melody Groves

Melody Groves

Melody Groves, the winner of six first-place writing awards, is a member of Western Writers of America,SouthWest Writers and the New Mexico Press Women. She is the author of the Colton Family Saga series, Border Ambush, Sonoran Rage, Arizona War and Kansas Bleeds. She teaches workshops on magazine writing for SouthWest Writers.

Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl

Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl

Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl grew up together in Iowa and have been writing together ever since. They have coauthored two published novels from UNM Press, Sunlight and Shadows and A Growing Season. The latter has been honored as a finalist in the 2013 Zia book awards, the 2013 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction, and the 2013 Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction at the New Mexico/Arizona book awards.

Chris Eboch

Chris Eboch

Chris Eboch is the author of the Haunted series for ages 9-12 which includes The Ghost on the Stairs, The Riverboat Phantom and The Knight in the Shadows. Her other books include The Well of Sacrifice,a middle-grade Mayan adventure used in many schools. She has also written biographies of Jesse Owens and Milton Hershey.


UNM Tuition Remission

UNM Staff, Faculty & Retirees: You may use your Personal Enrichment Tuition Remission for Writers Conference.

Learn more about UNM Tuition Remission