Free Programs – Denver

Denver-area monthly programs are free to both members and non-members. They are typically two hours long on a Saturday morning or afternoon. Topics vary. Check our website for up-to-date information. Email questions to

August Free Program

Common Problems of Beginning Writers
Jimmie H. Butler

Saturday, August 12 | 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm | Sam Gary Branch Library

While studying in Paul Gillette’s Workshop for Professional Writers in Los Angeles, Jimmie recognized that most writers shared a set of common problems when they joined Paul’s workshop. Jimmie also gathered useful tips for solving those problems to help writers give editors/agents fewer reasons to say “No” to a submission.

Some of the major problem areas involve:

  • Overwriting
  • Problems with both the content and the formatting of dialogue
  • Problems handling point of view (POV)
  • Problems with openings
  • Failing to keep the reader in mind
  • Being unable to describe their books succinctly

Jimmie offers useful paradigms, exercises, examples, and practical tips to help make your writing better in these areas. Even seasoned writers are likely to find some of Jimmie’s suggestions a useful refresher.
At the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, he normally made the following statement: If you apply the suggestions I give you this morning, you’ll be a better writer this evening than you are right now. He’ll likely open his presentation to RMFW writers with a similar statement—because it’s true.

Prior to returning to Colorado in 1991 and founding the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in 1993, Jimmie H. Butler had served nearly 28 years in the United States Air Force. A formative year of his life was spent flying 240 combat missions in small Cessnas over the heavily defended Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos 50 years ago. His novel, A Certain Brotherhood, includes a realistic look at what some of that year was like. His final 3 years in the Air Force were as Chief of Staff of the Air Force Space Division in Los Angeles. After retiring in 1987, he completed final courses for his Master of Professional Writing degree at the University of Southern California. His master’s thesis, The Iskra Incident, sold about 5,000 hard covers and more than 140,000 copies in paperback.

He ran the Pikes Peak Writers Conference for its first 5 years. His class on Common Problems of Beginning Writers was considered one of the most useful in the several years he presented it. He ran a critique group in Colorado Springs for 20 years.

His other novel published in New York in the early 1990s is Red Lightning—Black Thunder. He currently is working to complete the second novel of a mystery series. And he hopes to publish an ebook later this year on plotting/story structure.

Jimmie was honored in 1993 as the Writer of the Year for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.