We would like to welcome Peter Russell to the SBAM as 2015 guest faculty. For 15 years Peter Russell has been a story doctor in Hollywood, working with on projects like The Da Vinci Code (SONY), working for companies like IMAGINE (Einstein), for PARTICIPANT (Food, Inc.), for WALDEN FILMS (Chronicles of Narnia), for CBS Television's Movies of the Week, for HBO, VIACOM, and scores more. Peter recently helped shape Brian Gazer's PELE, (coming out in the spring of 2015). Peter also works with the most talented writers and producers in the business. [more]

The Villa Rosa Inn

The Santa Barbara Author-Mentor Novel Workshop 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 Santa Barbara 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 ... [more]

How Does The Santa Barbara Author-Mentor Workshop Differ from Other Writer Events?

In several fundamental ways, as we note above, but we will elaborate. First of all, and most importantly, the Santa Barbara AMW creates a way for the aspiring author to get close and relaxed with published authors and business professionals in a manner that larger events disallow. Private face time with the right people is priceless.

Second, attendees are taught (even before the workshop begins by means of pre-event assignments and mailings) to address all the major conflict/complication, plot, theme, narrative/voice, dialogue, scene construction, and character arc-and-development issues that affect their novel.

Third, writers are prepped in advance for their interactive sessions with authors, editors and literary agents, and the sessions are not rushed. The professionals are relaxed during the sessions and not bombarded by hundreds of conference goers.

Fourth, the Santa Barbara AMW requires the writer to complete exercises far more advanced and beneficial than those conducted at other conference workshops.

Fifth, amateur opinions do not arise to compromise the quality of the workshop. Judgments on a writer's work are approved, filtered, and/or provided by professionals in attendance.

Come Prepared to Write and Learn From The Best

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, Santa Barbara AMW 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. Writers with manuscripts will have an opportunity to pitch their work, and writers with works-in-progress will be able to network and learn about the publishing biz. To read more information about our approach, click on Frequently Asked Questions.

The Santa Barbara AMW employs the Algonkian workshop syllabus as well as the Algonkian study guide and reference manual. Once you've examined them, it will be obvious that literary craft at the Santa is taught more exhaustively than craft at other workshops and conferences. [more]

The Villa Rosa Inn: Where It Happens

The Villa Rosa Inn is one of the finest Santa Barbara inns, combining an ideal location with the sort of personalized attention you'd expect from the area's top bed and breakfast inn. Every room at the Villa Rosa boasts a spectacular view, whether of the ocean, the harbor, the mountains, or their beautiful garden courtyard. The inn also offers deluxe rooms with fireplaces. Its location is only 84 steps away from Santa Barbara's stunning East Beach, as well as an easy stroll away from famous Stearns Wharf, with its numerous shops, restaurants, and activities.

The inn provides a deluxe continental breakfast daily, so you can sit back and enjoy the morning. For total relaxation, you can lounge by the pool or soak in the spa in the garden courtyard. Later in the day, you can enjoy mingling with other writers and faculty around complimentary wine and cheese or evening port and sherry.

The Villa Rosa Inn is a unique environment that offers all of the amenities associated with larger resort hotels, while maintaining the intimacy of a small inn. The quality of construction, the ambiance of the interior design and the attentive, personable staff ensure that no detail is overlooked.

We could not have chosen a more suitable location for this type of intimate workshop.

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

Algonkian Home Office:
Phone: 1-800-250-8290

The Santa Barbara Author-Mentor Novel Workshop provides an ideal mix of experienced professionals dedicated to working one-on-one with aspiring authors to not only teach them the knowledge and skills they must have to be successful, but also provide them with valuable commentary on their completed novel or work-in-progress. All writers will work with a Pulitzer winner, a Hollywood Producer, a senior publishing house editor, as well as two literary agents and a seasoned writing workshop leader.

(DATES TBA in 2016)

The 2015 Santa Barbara A-M takes place on February 26 - March 1 (Thursday to Sunday) with arrival and a meet-up session on the evening of February 25th (Wednesday). Faculty include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, Executive Editor to Bestselling Authors Lyssa Keusch, literary agent of renown Kimberley Cameron, agent and major film producer Ken Atchity, writer/teacher Katherine Cox, and Algonkian author-agent-editor, Michael Neff. Much more on them below.

Kimberley Cameron Kimberley Cameron
Literary Agent

Kimberley Cameron was the co-founder of Knightsbridge Publishing Company with offices in New York and Los Angeles. In 1993 she became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. Among its clients have been Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller. She opened Reece Halsey North in 1995 and Reece Halsey Paris in 2006. Her associate Elizabeth Evans opened Reece Halsey New York in 2008, and in 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates. Kimberley has been a guest speaker at numerous writer's conferences over the years. She is looking for exceptional writing in any field, particularly writing that touches the heart, and makes us feel something. She's been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors.

Robert Olen Butler Robert Olen Butler
Author, Teacher, Reviewer

Robert Olen Butler has published twelve novels including "The Alleys of Eden," "Sun Dogs," "Countrymen of Bones," "On Distant Ground," "Wabash," and and "The Deep Green Sea," as well as six volumes of short fiction including "Tabloid Dreams," "Weegee Stories," and "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain," which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and has received two Pushcart Prizes. His works have been translated into nineteen languages. He holds a distinguished Frances Eppes Professorship at Florida State University.

Jane Smiley Lyssa Keusch
Executive Editor
William Morrow

Executive Editor Lyssa Keusch acquires primarily commercial fiction for the William Morrow/Avon imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Her main focus is on rich, textured, thought-provoking commercial women's fiction, contemporary upmarket or historical fiction, and high-concept thrillers, mysteries and suspense. She is also known to pass along high-concept fantasy work to interested editors at HC. Lyssa has launched the careers of New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins ($15 Million Deal) and Julia Quinn, with whom she is thrilled to continue to work. Among her other authors are New York Times bestsellers J. A. Jance, Jefferson Bass, Samantha James, and Elizabeth Boyle, award-winners Jamie Freveletti, Sean Chercover, Robin Burcell, and Mary Daheim, and international bestsellers Kathryn Fox and Glenn Cooper. While her list is generally comprised of commercial fiction, she enjoys editing the occasional narrative nonfiction project as well, keeping an eye out for memoir.

Ken Atchity Ken Atchity
Literary Agent and Film Producer

With more than forty years experience in the publishing world, and over fifteen years in entertainment, Ken Atchity and his organization are responsible for launching dozens of books and films. His life's passion is finding great storytellers and turning them into bestselling authors and screenwriters. As well as being a famed literary agent at AEI, Ken Atchity has produced over 28 films, including "Expatriate" (Aaron Eckhart; Informant Media Entertainment), "Hysteria" (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rupert Everett; Informant Media Entertainment), "The Lost Valentine" (Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt; Hallmark Hall of Fame/CBS), "The Kennedy Detail"(Discovery), "Joe Somebody" (Tim Allen; Fox), "Life or Something Like It" (Angelina Jolie; Fox), "Shadow of Obsession" (NBC), "The Madam's Family" (CBS), "Gospel Hill" (Fox). Films in development include "Three Alarm Shih-Tzu," "Men Seeking Monsters" (Universal), "Demonkeeper" (Fox), and Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not (starring Jim Carrey; Paramount). His 14 books include books for writers at every stage of their careers. Ken has successfully built bestselling careers for novelists, nonfiction writers, and screenwriters from the ground up. Clients include bestsellers Jamise Dames, Noire, Shirley Palmer, Tracy Price-Thompson, Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not!, Cheryl Saban, and Governor Jesse Ventura.

Kate Cox Katherine Cox
Fiction Writer and Teacher

Katherine has an MFA in fiction from George Mason University. She taught creative writing and literature classes at George Mason where she studied with authors Richard Bausch and Alan Cheuse. In 2003, she began publishing a weekly newspaper for the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC. Between 1990 and 1993, she lived in Moscow translating catalogues and critical essays for Russian painters. There, she absorbed the setting for her first novel, THROUGH CHAGALL'S WINDOW, for which she has received multiple manuscript requests from top agents. Her story The Sailboat won runner up in the Glimmer Train new writer's contest--recognized for its brilliant prose style, use of setting and detail, all of which pull readers deep into the world of her story.

Michael Neff Michael Neff
Author, Teacher, Algonkian Director/Creator

Due to his "Algonkian method" novel writing events and editorial expertise, Michael Neff, Algonkian founder and director, has ushered dozens of authors over the past several years into agent and publication contracts with major houses, including such novels as "On Maggie's Watch" by Ann Garvin, "Lipstick In Afghanistan" by Roberta Gately, "Croak" by Gina Damico, "The Edge of Normal" by Carla Norton, and "The Wisdom Of Hair" by Kim Boykin. In addition to Algonkian pursuits, Michael is the "Bay Area Associate" for AEI Film Productions in Los Angeles. As an agent associate, he is actively searching for high concept projects that can be transformed into films or books. His recent deals as an agent with AEI include a sale to Berrett-Koehler for RISE OF THE AMERICAN CORPORATE SECURITY STATE, and a co-agented sale to Thomas Dunne books for Wendy Eckel's KILLER ON THE WALL, a "social media cozy" about a Facebook killer. He is currently on the AEI production team for MESSAGE TO SHIGATSE, joining with Angel Baby Films and Nextpix productions, and as AEI story creator and co-producer for THREE ALARM SHIH-TZU, a Disney-esque animal story. He is also collaborating with Macmillan Entertainment's executive editor, Brendan Deneen, to develop new high-concept projects for film and print. He works with a variety of genres including upmarket literary and general fiction, serious and light women's fiction, narrative non-fiction, historical fiction, mystery, SF and YA fantasy. Michael has also created, directed, and contributed as editor to several literary journals and projects including The Potomac Journal of Poetry and Politics, Del Sol Review, In Posse Review, and Double Room. Michael is a published author (YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS, Red Hen Press), and his fiction has appeared in such prestigious publications as North American Review, Quarterly West, Mudlark, The Literary Review, and Conjunctions, among many others.

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