Algonkian Writer Conferences

Editorial Svcs, Courses, Seminars, NY Pitch, Retreats

About Algonkian WC

Algonkian Mother Page There are no great writers, only great re-writers.

Algonkian Writer Conferences began in late 2001 on the banks of the Potomac River at Algonkian Park in northern Virginia. By 2004 it had expanded to include more professionals in the literary business, i.e., agents, editors, and authors. The format also evolved to feature novel analysis and preparation, as well as perfection of the Algonkian Writer Conferences pitch model used to both examine and sell the novel. Over the years, additional novel writing events formed on both coasts, including the New York Pitch Conference and many more.

Algonkian events nurture intimate, carefully managed environments conducive to practicing the skills and learning the knowledge necessary to approach the creation of a competitive novel. If you are beginning a novel or working on a novel-in-progress, or if you have a completed ms and require a strong reality check, you must receive professional, highly focused reaction not only to your prose and narrative, but to your entire work, including the story premise (most important), plot and pinch points, character arcs, conflict lines, theme and all else. Our ultimate goal is to increase your odds of becoming a published author by showing you how to inhabit that upper percentile of writers who will have their work taken seriously by professionals in the business.

Method Points

Algonkian Coffee A model-and-context pedagogy that utilizes models of craft taken from successful fiction authors and also playwrights, thereby enabling the writer to pick and choose the most appropriate techniques for utilization in the context of their work-in-progress. Emphasis on providing pragmatic, evidence-based novel writing guidance rather than encouraging multiple "writer group" opinions and myths. Insistence that a writer's particular genre market must first be thoroughly understood and taken into consideration when it comes to the planning of the novel. Our conviction that you were not born to be a good or great author, but that you stand on the shoulders of great authors gone before and only by hard work will you succeed... [MORE}.

How Different?

Algonkian WC Sufficient time for productive dialogues with faculty. MS and prose narrative critiqued by professionals only, not attendees. Comprehensive 86-page novel-and-fiction study guide. Extensive story and pitch prep prior to sessions with agents or publishers. Unique and challenging pre-event assignments. Focus on market-positioning, high-concept story premise, author platform, and competitive execution. No inappropriate back slapping - emphasis on pragmatism and truth telling... [MORE}.

Classic Algonkian Home

New York Pitch Conference

NY Pitch First Novel Arguably the most successful writer conference (if measured by careers and books launched), the New York Pitch Conference and writers workshop is held four times a year and features publishing house editors from major houses such as Penguin, Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, Tor and Del Rey, Kensington Books and many more who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals. Just as importantly, the pitch is also a diagnostic method for workshopping the plot, premise, and other elements of the story to determine quality and marketability. Therefore our motto:

Workshop the Novel, Pitch the House.

Authors Comment

It's hard to fathom that over a decade has passed since Rosemary DiBattista (Rosie Genova) and I attended the New York Pitch Conference. There we were-two aspiring writer-hopefuls, and yet frozen in terror... It has been a long, sometimes thorny journey. But we made it to the other side, both of us having now published three books... So thank you for giving us the opportunity and the jump-start that we needed to launch.
- Loretta Marion

Authors Comment

The New York Pitch proved the best decision of my fiction writing career--though it didn't feel that way at first. I was assigned to a small workshop with the woman who would become my agent, Paula Munier. She critiqued our query letters and first pages explaining what sells and what makes industry professionals ship things to the slush pile. Afterward, we had the opportunity to pitch real editors.
- Cate Holahan

Classic New York Pitch

Algonkian Workshops and Retreats

Workshops and Retreats Like most European and American retreats and workshops, writers discover themselves immersed in a scenic and relaxing location. Both events include pre-event development assignments online, the Algonkian Study Guide, ample one-on-one time with commercial professionals (agents and editors, not just authors) as well as pragmatic doses of technique and knowledge--the kind necessary to produce competitive and artful work. Our workshops and retreats, including the St. Augustine Author-Mentor (see below), also include a post-event novel development program online. Thus, our events are the only ones that begin before you arrive and continue after you leave.

Writers work with a team of professionals who possess solid track records and a range of practical experience in the world of creative writing, editing, and publishing. The Algonkian success rate has born out the fact that only a certain kind of professional is truly qualified to provide the accurate and detailed advice a writer needs to succeed in this current marketplace. No longer is the faculty credential of only being an author good enough.

Monterey Retreat

Monterey Writer Retreat Only once before have such experienced writer-mentor professionals gathered on the wondrously scenic and soothing Monterey Peninsula for the express purpose of working intimately with aspiring authors, fiction, and memoir writers. In fact though, literary people of all kinds have journeyed for over a century to this location on the California west coast. They come in search of inspiration, individuality, purpose and vision, but more importantly, they all eventually come to share an understanding that art has preceded their arrival in the form of a brutally beautiful sea and windswept shore. Event Home Page.

Algonkian Classic

Algonkian Park Retreat This event is an evolution of our Algonkian Park Workshop, now enhanced with new pre-event studies as well as greatly extended personal consult time with business professionals. The workshop retreat takes place at Algonkian Park in Virginia--a beautiful and rather enormous expanse of land beside the Potomac River. The scenery, the local wildlife and deer families, the walks along the river and hiking trails, all combine to provide you with an environment conducive to productive writing and inspiration. This is where Algonkian began many miles and years ago. Event Home Page.

Workshops and Retreats

Novel Development Course Program

Novel Development Modules Algonkian Novel Writing Courses online (16 course modules) set the goal of getting you as close to the brass ring as possible by making your novel as commercially competitive as it needs to be on all levels of structure and craft while avoiding critical missteps and the omnipresent tripwires of bad advice. In addition, it doesn't matter what stage the novel is currently in or where you are in your writing life. The program steps, course modules, and methodology, as well as the faculty, enable you to learn and grow as a writer together with your novel, and at your own pace. Your work is reviewed by a professional developmental editor and together you set publication goals, discuss agent representation options, and engage in manuscript edits as necessary and appropriate.

There simply is no other online novel writing program that can compare in terms of rigor, approach, or syllabus. As a bonus, you avoid the usual pitfalls that accompany group feedback from amateurs, not to mention poor guidance from instructors insufficiently versed in the nuances of genre fiction and commercial markets.

Syllabus Emphasis

Choosing the Antagonist; Antagonist Role in Energizing Plot Lines and Defining Dramatic Tension; Social Reaction and Psyche Profile of Antagonists; Traits and Physical Nature of the Antagonist; Anecdotes Featuring Your Antagonist; Antagonist Relation to Three-Level Conflict Dynamic; Using the Hook Line to Bait and Test Your Commercial High Concept; Hook Elements; the Coming of the "Agon" and Creating the Three-Level Conflict Dynamic; Writing Conflict Lines; Using the Right Setting to Maximize Opportunities for Unique Circumstance, Complications, Character and Verve.

Program Features

A thorough, editor-approved outline of all your novel's plot points, reversals, and complications. Your first 100 pages of your novel in competitively polished shape. An editor-supervised application of our advanced craft technique (see syllabus), resulting in a personalized and competitive narrative style. Access to an indefinite number of private phone consultations from program faculty regarding your story premise, prose narrative, and all major novel elements A realistic publication plan going forward based on your manuscript's current stage of development, as well as your skill set.

Novel Development Online

Novel Editorial Seminars Online

NY Pitch First Novel If you're looking for a valuable novel writing, pitch prep, and development seminar all in one, we have several to choose from. Algonkian faculty believe that developing and writing a commercially successful novel depends on interweaving three primary subsets. These seminars therefore address in detail a commercial foundation in terms of premise, plot, and "six act" progression; pre-publication novel marketing in terms of title, genre choice, comparables, and pitch; and finally, focus on vital branch elements including protagonist and antagonist creation, scene choice and design, prose style technique, narrative verve, foreshadowing, exposition, pinch points, theme, and more. The aforementioned subsets are filtered by faculty according to each writer's genre, and each receives individual attention and feedback in two stages (one in AM session, one in PM session).

Paula Munier - Faculty

Literary agent, editor and author Paula Munier possesses broad experience in a wide variety of genres, and in creating content in multiple formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside... As a literary agent, her deals over the past two years span the genre spectrum. They include a nice six figures for THE REGISTRY by Shannon Stoker; SNIPER by Vaughn Hardacker, and many more.

Michael Neff - Faculty

Michael Neff is the creator and director of the New York Pitch Conference. Commercial novels published involving him as either developmental editor or agent over the past several years include ON MAGGIE'S WATCH by Ann Garvin, MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW by Wendy Eckel, THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton, THE BLACK PANTHERS by Gina Niccolo, DRAGON RIPPER by Melanie Bacon, DIE BACK by Richard Hacker, and KARMA CITY by Gardner Browning, among many others.

New York Online Seminars

Novel Editorial Service - MTM

The Novel Editors Manuscripts to Market specializes in successfully developing, editing, and market-positioning commercial genre and literary novels, concluding the process with query letter supervision and agent consultation. The primary goal for each novel we take on is simple: to get it published by a major house or distinguished press. The primary goal for the clients we take on is simple also: to remake and mentor them into better writers. Our success and expertise in developing and editing the popular genres of mystery, crime, suspense and thriller, SF/F adult and YA, historical and narrative nonfiction of any type, as well as women's fiction in all sub-genres, is the result of many years in the publishing business (both commercial and literary presses) as well as authoring our own fiction, and editing fiction for others, not to mention leading workshops at the most successful writer event in the country, the New York Pitch Conference. Many of the writers who attend are mentored by us into successful commercial publication.

Four Step Process

What differentiates the MTM approach and faculty credentials from the many academic instructors, former authors, ex-publishing house editors, and others of various stripes who labor daily on hundreds if not thousands of novel and nonfiction manuscripts? The answers as follows. Our "first line to final contract" services for any given project are more comprehensive and pragmatic than other novel editing outfits. A four-step editorial process includes a preliminary story premise and plot review, a core manuscript development review, and a follow-up review of the manuscript rewrite.

Inconvenient Truth

The inconvenient truth about the freelance novel editorial business consists of knowing that "one pass editing" (especially as it pertains to unpublished writers) will never result in commercial or literary publication. In reality, it creates enough edits and reveals enough structural and character flaws to make the revision process often seem nearly insurmountable. As professional editors, we've known this for years, and our experience taught us to devise a realistic editorial method and program that has the best chance of working to meet a writer's goals, and our goals, for their manuscript, i.e., commercial publication.

Manuscripts to Market

St. Augustine Author-Mentor

St. Augustine Come Prepared to Write and Learn From The Best

The Author-Mentor Novel Workshop in St. Augustine creates an intimate and professional environment that combines private meetings with small-group workshops, thus enabling aspiring authors to wisely approach the writing and publication of their novel. At the St. Augustine event, aspiring authors will: 1) work one-on-one with authors and savvy market professionals; 2) acquire the market skills and advanced story and narrative technique they must know to become published; 3) learn the necessary inside mechanics of the publishing business; and 4) leave the workshop with a detailed plan to work towards publication of their novel.

Because this workshop accepts far fewer writers than most conferences, those writers who are accepted are given more time to establish relationships with professionals who are present; and unlike several major celeb conferences, St. Augustine Author-Mentor doesn't simply import name authors or agents to give inspirational messages and smile over cocktails. Our prize-winning faculty are there to meet with writers in a setting conducive to productive discussion of writing and publishing.

Who Should Go?

The faculty wish to interact with writers willing to learn the proper technique, receive honest reaction to their writing, and work towards commercial publication. They consider novel writing to be a calling, not a hobby. The event accepts published writers, as well as beginners who demonstrate in the application they are serious about writing and possess a willingness to learn. Genres include upmarket/literary, general fiction, women's fiction, SF/F, young adult/middle grade fantasy and non-fantasy, speculative and urban fantasy, mystery (cozy/detective) and thrillers. MORE

St. Augustine

Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in America. But what is the oldest city in America like? Imagine the French Quarter in New Orleans meets Santa Cruz, California, and as a bonus, a miles-long strip of white Cocoa Beach thrown in for good measure. The best of classic Florida and old-world Spain fuse to form a ideal location for a stimulating and productive writer event. The event location, Bayfront Inn Marin House, is a unique environment that offers all of the amenities associated with larger resort hotels, while maintaining the intimacy of a small inn. MORE

St. Augustine A-M Event