The Cochise Writers’ Group

WHO WE ARE: Half a dozen or so writers committed to getting better–and helping each other get better–at our craft. We’re everything from novices to published award-winners. We’re poets, short-story writers, memoirists, novelists, non-fiction writers, and bloggers. We’re serious about what we do but we laugh a lot, too. We’re a circle of friends always looking to expand the circle.

WHAT WE DO: Our mantra is “critique the writING, DO NOT criticize the writER.” Our purpose is to help each other become better writers through constructive critique. We read all kinds and genres of material. (We even accidentally critiqued someone’s math homework once!) We applaud the things done well and provide suggestions on how to improve the things that still need work. Not sure how to give good critique? Don’t worry: we’ll teach you how to do that. You can start by reading Ross’ “Critique Technique” posts on this blog.

WHAT ELSE WE DO: We share information and insights on writing techniques, finding agents and publishers, and self-publishing versus traditional; we critique query letters and synopses, go to area writers’ conferences, and help each other get comfortable with social media.

HOW DO WE DO IT: We meet every other Tuesday, alternating between the Sierra Vista Public Library and the Copper Queen Library in Bisbee. Sierra Vista meetings run from 4:30 to 6:45; Bisbee meetings from 5:00 to 7:00 (see the schedule below). Then we go out to dinner! We exchange material via e-mail in Rich Text Format between meetings so we can spend our meeting time discussing the work. Don’t know how to put something in Rich Text Format? Don’t worry: we’ll teach you that, too.

WHAT DOES IT COST? No money, but something more valuable: your time and effort. We expect each member to read everyone else’s work and do their best to provide timely and constructive feedback.

HOW DO YOU JOIN? If you live in southeastern Arizona, particularly southern Cochise County, come to a meeting. Check us out. If you like the vibe, submit your material and keep coming back.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? Leave a comment to this post and we’ll get back to you.


All meetings start at 4:30 and end at 6:45.

Tuesday, June 11, Sierra Vista Public Library, Mona Bishop Room

Tuesday, June 25, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, July 9, Sierra Vista Public Library, Mona Bishop Room

Tuesday, July 23, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, August 6, Sierra Vista Public Library, Conference Room

Tuesday, August 20, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, September 3, Sierra Vista Public Library, Conference Room

Tuesday, September 17, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, October 1, Sierra Vista Public Library, Conference Room

Tuesday, October 15, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, October 29, Sierra Vista Public Library, Conference Room

Tuesday, November 12, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

Tuesday, November 26, Sierra Vista Public Library, Conference Room

Tuesday, December 10, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Young Adult Room

(no meeting scheduled on Christmas Eve)

23 comments on “About

  1. Elyce Valiquette says:

    Hi Ross- I’m a new author and plan to self-publish on Amazon KDP. A friend was helping me with the process, and we got as far a ordering a draft of the book. However, the draft has many formatting issues and I am not technologically familiar with correcting them. Would you know of anyone that can help me with formatting? I would be happy to pay someone to assist me. Elyce

    • Hi, Elyce. Congratulations on your upcoming book. I have only one name to give you but I’m not sure she’s still doing the work. I’ll contact you via e-mail with that information.

  2. Susan Fern Amesse says:

    Hi, Ross! I’m still on that waiting list. I can only go to the Bisbee Library meeting (transportation) and so much need a critique group. I am actively writing, though I don’t publish, now that I know more about the kind of editing and marketing a novel needs to catch and keep the eye. Hope to hear from you soon.

  3. Diane Hildebrandt says:

    Do you still meet? If so, when do you meet next at the Sierra Vista library? Are you accepting any new members?

    • Hi, Diane. Your timing is excellent. We’re currently reaching out to the members of our waiting list to see if they’re interested in joining, so this is a good time for you to be added to that process.

      Our plan is to invite everyone who’s (still) interested to a “meet and greet” working meeting in the near future, most likely in Sierra Vista. Those who accept will be asked to submit a short example of their work (a short story, poem or two, a chapter from a novel). We, in turn, will send them the work we have scheduled for review that evening, plus a short synopsis, since they’ll be getting something from the middle of the work, more than likely. Everyone’s work will get critiqued and our guests will have the chance to offer their critiques as well. This will let them see the group in action, which should help them decide whether they’re right for us and we’re right for them. And you’ll be invited to join us for dinner afterwards. (If you can’t come along, that’s OK; not everyone does.) I take it you’d like to be added to that list. You can contact me directly at ross@rossblampert.com.

      Also, the Cochise College Creative Writing Celebration is hosting a reading event for local authors at Broxton’s Coffee in Sierra Vista on Thursday, January 18th, from 6 to 8 PM. Several members of the group plan to participate, and we’d love to have you join us for that, even if you just go to listen.

      Thanks for your note! Hope to hear from you soon.

  4. Charles Ray-davison says:

    Does your group still exist (2017)? When’s your next meeting?

    • Hi, Charles. Yes, the group still exists and has grown quite a bit since that description was posted. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 31st, in the Young Adult Room at the Copper Queen Library in Old Bisbee, starting at 4:30 PM. If you can’t make it to Bisbee, the next meeting after that will be on Tuesday, February 14th, in the Mona Bishop Room (the large conference room) at the Sierra Vista Public Library, also starting at 4:30 PM. Meetings at both locations run until about 6:45. As this schedule suggests, we meet every other Tuesday (with a few exceptions, when the meeting is on Thursday), alternating between Bisbee and Sierra Vista.

  5. Diane Stroud says:

    I just moved to Sierra Vista and am also looking for a Writers’ group preferably non-critique or one that does. Went to the one at SVPL this past Saturday. There were six in attendance, NO ONE ever spoke to me, introduced themselves, etc. I wasn’t asked my name or even what am I doing there? After 45 minutes of sitting there listening to non-writing chatter and talking all around me, I got up and left.

    Is there any hope to find another group?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Diane. First, let me apologize: I was one of those six! We all thought you’d visited before but maybe we hadn’t seen you in a while. Yes, we absolutely should have introduced ourselves.

      As for non-critique groups, ours is the only one I know of in the area.

      As for critique groups, I know of three in the area. The High Desert Writers meets once a month on a weekend day (Sunday, I believe) in the same room in the SV library. Leslie Clark leads the group. You can contact her at leslietc@cox.net. The Cochise Writers’ Group meets every other Tuesday, alternating between the libraries in Sierra Vista and Bisbee, from 4:30 to 7:00 PM. I’m the co-founder and moderator of the group. Unfortunately, we’re closed to new members at the moment, and while we do have a waiting list, I have no idea when we’ll be able to start offering the folks on it the chance to join the group. (We simply got too large and now have to wait to get down below the maximum size we’ve set before we can open up to new members.) The third group doesn’t have a name that I know of. They meet during the week (Thursdays?) during the middle of the day. Unfortunately, I don’t know much more about them, but you can contact Kathy Aamodt at kathryn.abbott.writer@gmail.com for more information.

      Once again, I apologize for us not having introduced ourselves and made you more welcome on Saturday. I hope you’ll give us another try next month. I’ll follow this reply up with a copy of the message directly to your e-mail address.

  6. Hi, do you still have meetings? I’m a published author looking for a writer’s circle in SV.

    • Hi, Danielle! Good news and not-so-good news. The good news is that yes, we’re still meeting. The not-so-good news (this is a matter of perspective) is that we’ve gotten so big (that’s kind of good news) that we’ve had to close the group to new members (definitely not-so-good news). We’re keeping a waiting list of folks who would like to join, should we shrink to the size where it’s practical to add new members, but I have no idea how long that’s going to take.

      Two other options. If you’re looking for a critique group, the only other one I know of meets during the day during the week (I’m not sure what day, the start time is about 1:30, as I recall). Please check with Kathy Aamodt at kathryn.abbott.writer@gmail.com for more details.

      There’s also a non-critique, social and networking group that meets on the first Saturday of each month (that’s today!) at the Sierra Vista Public Library’s Conference Room (next to the Baker’s Flor) from 10 a.m. to noon. Kathy and I are both members of that group, so if you get this message in time and can stop by, even if you come late, we can at least start making connections.

      Not the best news, I’m afraid, but I hope it gives you some options.

  7. Hello there, I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can find details on my most recent post, thanks for blogging. I’ve either found your work insirational, or resourceful, so you’ve earned it. Keep up the good work.

  8. tucsonconnie says:

    I live in Tucson but work at Fort Huachuca. I am looking for a writing group to help me move forward with a historical fiction idea. Originally from Portland, OR – having moved to AZ in 1999 – I had belonged to Willamette Writers and the Society for Childrens Writing and Illustrating. I have shifted from a children’s book to a possible screen play.

    I may be able to meet you all in April in Sierra Vista – but just got into a good yoga class on Tues. eves so I probably could only stay until 6:00.

    Let me know if April would be a good time to drop in.

    • Sure would, Connie. We (the Cochise Writers) seem to have a Portland connection, too: one of our former members came from there, one of our current members is moving back there soon :(, and it’s one of the places my novel-in-progress is set in! We’ll be meeting on April 3rd in the conference room of the Sierra Vista Public Library and again on the 17th, but at the Copper Queen Library in Bisbee, which won’t be too convenient for you, it sounds like. Please feel free to stop by and check us out.

  9. Hi

    I found your website (there is something about the word ‘blog’ that I don’t like so I try not to say it…) via a link from 101 Books. It looks jolly nice.

    I self-published a short horror story for free at the weekend and was wondering if you would be interested in reading it and posting a review of some kind about it.

  10. Joy Sue Ruterman says:

    Hey we have a Blog that’s wonderful. I read all the blogs and liked them all. I feel like i’ve missed a lot. I promise I will get to a meeting as soon as I can. Still unpacking and puting things away. I am writing while I unpack. See you soon JoySue

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