On January 26 southwestern New Mexicans can participate in a day-long workshop with one of New Mexico's best writers, Steve Havill, according to Jeannie Miller, workshop coordinator for the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, sponsor of the Havill event.
Meeting at Bear Mountain Lodge in Silver City, no more than 15 participants, encompassing accomplished writers and bare beginners, will have what Havill calls a "wide-ranging, productive" day identifying the problems and solutions that face every writer — poet, literary or genre author, non-fiction or memoir writer, maker of articles, stories or books.
"Anyone who attended Steven's visit to Silver City Public Library last year knows that he is a first-class teacher and a gifted raconteur," says Miller.
"We've heard from writers who have driven to Pie Town to attend a Havill workshop," Miller continues. "They're returning to workshop reunions because they found their time together to be so valuable."
Born in rural New York, Havill graduated from the University of New Mexico, worked as a journalist in New York until he recovered his senses, and returned to New Mexico to teach. A teacher for 22 years, he and wife Kathleen lived in Grants and Lincoln; he then went to gunsmithing school in Raton and taught journalism. Since 2010 the couple has lived in Datil, which Havill describes as a "great place."
When he taught in secondary school, Havill says that he "loved seeing how excited folks could get about writing [as they] learned to weave a good story that would engage readers." Now as a novelist who is working on his 25th book, Havill observes, "Many folks look at a 400-page manuscript as a daunting challenge, but it doesn't need to be."
"Readers of Steve's mysteries and westerns find optimistic books that express a bed-rock sense of humanity," says Miller. "His fictional Posadas County, which sure looks and sounds like Grant County, is filled with familiar people like a grumpy, overweight undersheriff and a Hispanic female undersheriff who worries about her six-year-old musical prodigy."