Frequently Asked Questions About Algonkian Events[ HOME ]

What is The Purpose of Algonkian?

To give writers in all genres a realistic chance at becoming published commercial or literary authors by providing them with the professional connections, feedback, advanced craft knowledge and savvy they need to succeed in today's extremely competitive market.

What is Your Strategy For Getting Writers Published?

Our philosophy and methods combine to form our strategy:
  • A model-and-context pedagogy that utilizes models of craft taken from great fiction authors and playwrights, thereby enabling the writer to pick and choose the most appropriate techniques for utilization in the context of their own work-in-progress.
  • Emphasis on providing pragmatic, evidence-based novel writing guidance rather than encouraging multiple "writer group" opinions and myths that might well confuse the aspiring author.
  • Our 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, and on every level from narrative hook to final plot point--thus clearly separating us from the MFA approach found at university programs like Iowa and Stanford.
  • 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. Their technique and craft are there for you to learn, and learn you must as an apprentice to your art. Every success you achieve is based on hard work and evolving your skills and knowledge base.
  • Our instructional and workshopping methods, as well as our pre-event assignments which we believe to be the best in the business.

How Are Algonkian Events Unlike Other Writer Workshops and Conferences?
  • No bells or timers - sufficient time for productive dialogues with faculty.
  • MS and prose narrative critiqued by faculty only, not attendees (no MFA methodology).
  • Comprehensive 86-page novel-and-fiction study guide.
  • Small and relaxed groups that facilitate interaction.
  • Extensive story and pitch prep before sessions with agents or publishers.
  • Unique and challenging pre-conference assignments that focus on all major novel elements.
  • Focus on market-positioning, high-concept story premise, author platform, and competitive execution.
  • Superior in-shop writing assignments and story dissection.
  • No inappropriate back slapping - emphasis on pragmatism and truth telling (btw, the market is tougher).
  • No tedious lectures or Writing 101 panels.
  • Faculty chosen for wisdom as well as compassion - no snobs or gratuitous cruelty.

Do You Have Any Successes I Can Check Out?

More than we have time to include on this website: Contracts, News, and Comments

What Genres Do You Work With?

Upscale and literary, memoir and narrative non-fiction, mystery/thriller and detective/cozy genres, urban fantasy, YA and adult fantasy, middle-grade, historical fiction, general fiction and women's fiction. Our agent and publisher faculty handle all genres.

How Does Algonkian Differ From An MFA Approach?

Algonkian emphasizes writing-to-get-published, creation in the context of heart, wit, and market knowledge. We teach writers to think pragmatically about the development of their ms while retaining their core values for the work. Our motto is "From the Heart, but Smart." College MFA programs do not prep a writer for the cold reality of the current publishing climate. Many of our most grateful writers are graduates of MFA programs.

How Do Writers Interact With Agents and Publishers?

The model for the pitch is a "book jacket" the writer creates with the help of the workshop leader prior to the pitch session. The process is part of a longer evolution the writer begins even before arriving at the conference. Once the pitch is accomplished, the agent interacts with the writer in a Q&A session. The workshop leader then follows up with the writer to create a plan for publication, i.e., a step-by-step post-conference process the writer must undertake in order to stand a realistic chance of having his or her manuscript published.

Any Pre-event Work Involved?

Writers are given several different types of relevant assignments, story and pitch models, as well as a considerable amount of reading on the subject of advanced craft that can be directly applied to their work-in-progress. The idea is to prep the writer before the event so they can hit the deck running and share with us a common language. As a bonus, the pre-event work saves wasting time with extra handouts.

Algonkian Writer Conferences
2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Ste 443
Washington, DC 20006

Algonkian Home Office:
Phone: 1-800-250-8290
info (at)

[ HOME ]