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"Any first time author can be made to look "fabulous" -- it's all about how an agent, author and publisher present the author. Every author has a background and a story, which can be told to the book- sellers and public in a boring way or a way that is spectacular."

  Barbara   Zitwer


   Unique Craft-and-Market Novel Workshops and Events Phone: 1-800-250-8290
   For Planners, Beginners, and Veterans

"From The Heart, But Smart: Premise, Platform, and Execution
       in Today's Novel Market - All Genres"

DATES TBA, 2015 - Write info (at) for Info

   Tuition, Private Room, Meals, Agent Sessions, Online Forum : $1095.00
More Info | Application | Syllabus | Our FAQ | Faculty | Workshop Schedule

Tuition, Private Room, Meals, Materials, Sessions and Consults : $1095.00

This novel workshop is for writers who are serious about learning how to write and position their novel for the commercial market. For this small-group workshop on the Potomac River in Virginia, Algonkian has brought together four of its best professionals: author Robert Bausch, literary agents Howard Yoon and Shannon O'Neill, and Algonkian director and AEI agent Michael Neff. During 45+ hours of actual novel workshop time, students will engage in those rigorous narrative and plot-complication assignments necessary to produce a commercially viable manuscript, as well as learn how to pitch their novels to professionals, and write a novel with a high-concept premise that a commercial market will want to buy. Genres we work with include general commercial fiction, upmarket/literary fiction, serious and light women's fiction, mystery/cozy/thriller, SF/F, young adult SF/F, and memoir/narrative non-fiction.

The three areas of emphasis in this novel workshop will be PREMISE, PLATFORM, and EXECUTION. Please read the novel workshop syllabus for more details.

The Writer's Block Features Pre-Event Assignments for Algonkian
  Algonkian Novel Workshop News
Algonkian has established online forums at the Writer's Block as a means of delivering pre-event assignments to writers preparing to attend Algonkian events. Assignments focus on foundational aspects of writing a competitive commercial novel ... Read More

What Does The General Schedule Look Like?

It begins before you arrive. Assigned novel and craft essays, as well as foundational and market-focused assignments provided in the Algonkian Pre-Event Assignment forum, all in preparation for the five day workshop which begins on a Tuesday night and lasts until Sunday afternoon.

On the first day and a half, writers communicate to the workshop leader, via a pitch model of 150-200 words, the major fictional elements in the novel. The "pitch" thus serves as a diagnostic means of examining the premise, plot, theme, antagonist/protagonist roles, character arcs within the story, and other vital elements. Using it as a spring board to discuss and formulate a larger synopsis for the entire novel, the workshop leader works with each writer to discuss productive and meaningful ways to address all those elements which need strengthening for commercial publication.

Moving forward with a revised story, and an improved pitch which reflects an improved novel, writers communicate their projects with workshop literary agents on days three and four while discussing creative writing issues with the visiting author and the workshop leader. Days three and four are also reserved for specific and complex narrative assignments that enable the writer to understand the specific level of competitive craft the market demands. Day five is reserved for establishing an individual plan for publication for each writer, as well as for reading and critique of individual manuscript chapters.

Again, please read the novel workshop syllabus for more details on above.

The Algonkian Novel Workshop Faculty

Robert Bausch has taught literature and creative writing at George Mason University, The University of Virginia, and The American University. He is the author of many novels, including ON THE WAY HOME, THE LIVES OF RILEY CHANCE, A HOLE IN THE EARTH, THE GYPSY MAN (winner of the 2003 DLB Award for Distinguished Fiction). His collection of short stories, THE WHITE ROOSTER AND OTHER STORIES won the DLB Award for Distinguished Short Fiction in 1995.

Author and fiction editor, Michael Neff, will be the chief workshop leader at Algonkian Park. He is the founder and director of Algonkian Writer Conferences and the New York Pitch Conference. He is an Associate Agent with AEI International in Los Angeles, and author of YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS, a novel about the Reagan years in Washington. His popular agent interview series can be found here.

SHANNON O'NEILL is an agent with the New York based literary agency Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. A native Washingtonian and onetime bookseller at P&P, Shannon still calls the capital home. Before joining LMQ in 2014, she spent six years at The Sagalyn-ICM Agency as agent and editorial director. She graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and earned a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins. Shannon acquires books that inform, intrigue, or inspire: special interests include narrative nonfiction, popular science, current affairs, the history of ideas, and literary and upmarket fiction. .

Howard Yoon is the Vice President and Editorial Director of the Gail Ross Agency. Howard specializes in editing and developing book ideas with clients. He has more than 17 years of experience as a literary agent, editor, and writer. A list of GRLA literary projects can be found here.

   Algonkian Novel Workshop Prologue
(+ "Novel-to-Film" Feature)

Alongside the shores and waters of the upper Potomac River, writers will study and apply techniques of craft, style, and complication learned from such dramatists and authors as Ann Patchett, Sue Monk Kidd, Flannery O'Connor, Tennessee Williams, Michael Chabon, E. Annie Proulx, Nathaniel West, Gail Godwin, Robert Graves, Nabokov, R.P. Warren, and many others. Writers, regardless of experience, will come away from this five day intensive with the specific knowledge it takes to create an intellectual and emotionally powerful novel. The workshop leader will not only review promising novel concepts, but he will also devote workshop time to film adaptation, high concept pitching, and other aspects of novel and screenplay. We want to help you get published, and discuss the potential of turning your novel into film (if it's ok with you!). Students will also learn ALL THEY NEED TO KNOW about the publishing marketplace. As a bonus, the perfect query letter and synopsis are included.

STEPS: 1) If need be, review the Algonkian Novel Workshop syllabus, and author study list for the workshop; 2) Put in your application for the workshop by using our application form; 3) If you are accepted, please register by using our secure credit card option below, or else by mail to the address noted below. (please note that if cancellation is necessary for whatever reason, registration will be returned in full up to four weeks prior to the workshop date. After four weeks, payments may be credited towards a future workshop.). Transportation to and from the airport and dinner are not included.

The total fee for our novel workshop at Algonkian Park is $1095.00. It includes tuition, a private room for five nights, breakfast, lunch, the Algonkian Workshop book, "Immersed in The Art of Fiction," professional manuscript consultation, and access to the pre-event assignment forum online. Please call our home office at 1-800-250-8290 if you have any questions.

REGISTRATION for workshop due following APPLICATION acceptance.

The Syllabus
Author List


REFUND of registration amount if refund requested more than 30 days before the event. After 30 days, Algonkian will consider a credit of amount towards a future event or workshop of the writer's choice.


The Algonkian Park is located 30 miles from Washington, D.C. It is 12 miles from Dulles International Airport (the perfect place to fly into--cab fares from Dulles to Algonkian are about $25.00). The cottages are fully furnished with WI-FI Internet, TV, phones, linens, dishes, central air and heat. All cottages feature fireplaces, decks with grills, equipped kitchens, cathedral ceilings, and expansive riverside views of the Potomac. Participants each have their own room in the cottage. The address of the Algonkian Park is 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, Virginia, and their phone number is 703-450-4655. If you have any questions about the cottages or facilities not answered here or on the park website, ask for Anna, the facilities manager. Please note that all other issues related to the workshop should be directed to Algonkian Conferences, not to the Park management.

Check-in is on Tuesday night at the primary cottage location in Algonkian Park (to be announced by email), anytime after 3 PM. Participants check-out by Sunday afternoon. Sessions and exercises are intensive and continue through the day. The workshop begins promptly at 8:30 AM, lunch at noon, and ends usually at 5:00 PM, but continues longer if needed. Participants can unwind before dinner but are expected to work on their assignments in the evenings.

Breakfast and lunch will be supplied daily, as well as snacks, sodas, coffee, and tea. Dinner can either be delivered to custom fit or available at local restaurants and pubs. We'll be dining out somewhere wonderful almost every night and everyone is welcome!

Weather permitting, day trips are known to include Great Falls Park, and of course, THE BEST used bookstore on the east coast, located at Lake Anne Village.

Look forward to seeing you there! Don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-250-8290 if you have questions.




Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Julie Kaewert: "Because I was changing agents, I knew it was important to learn how to package the MS effectively ... When I saw the Seven Mountains Writers Conference on the website, it looked like just the thing. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations in every way."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian Writer Conference attendee, author Kate Gallison: "One way to lengthen your life is to stretch it backwards, and so I read a lot of history. Early movies fascinate me. They were both like and unlike stage plays of the time, borrowing actors and melodramatic plots, but developing entirely new techniques for portraying dramatic action. "   Read More...

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Interview with Algonkian attendee, Candy Somoza: "The preparation work got us thinking about the book in the store, how it got there, what makes it sell. While we read works and studied the writing, we also focused on the outside, so to speak, the marketing, and that was essential to prepare us."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian Writer Conference attendee, Barbara Marquart: I also wanted to tell a story that celebrates the deep bond between mothers and daughters - the struggles we all face to transcend our circumstances, forgive each other's failures and accept each other's limitations in order to find peace.   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Thierry Sagnier: "I was stuck, hadn't done any serious writing for months, and a friend of mine—also a writer—suggested I attend a workshop to kickstart me. So I looked on the net and found that there were quite a few places that offered what I wanted, but when I researched the Algonkian conference, I recognized the name of a reporter I really respect. He'd been there and was highly complimentary, so that sealed it for me."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Rae Bryant: "After completing the first draft of Ficklestick's , I wanted professional guidance and a community of writers to help me marinate the work. It was important to me as a first time novelist to seek feedback before finalizing the intricacies. By retaining a sense of early process malleability, I was able to really hear criticisms and then incorporate skills learned. Algonkian provided the perfect setting."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Alex Keto: "I've been to handful of other conferences and decided that if you find yourself in a large room with someone almost out of eyesight in the front talking at you, the results are what you would expect: generic advice that doesn't really help."   Read More...

Algonkian Writer Conferences
2020 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Suite 443
Washington, D.C. 20006

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