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About Algonkian Events and Workshops

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    Our ultimate goal is to realistically 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.

              - Director Michael Neff
Algonkian Writer Conferences began in 2002 on the banks of the Potomac River in northern Virginia. After Michael Neff and company came upon Algonkian Park for the first time, with its beautiful setting and cottages, it seemed a natural place for a workshop, and thus, Algonkian Writer Conferences was born. 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 and workshop events formed on both coasts, including the New York Pitch Conference, the SF Write to Market Conference, and the Santa Barbara Author-Mentor Novel Workshop.

And now, the big question:

Is there a single best way to work towards becoming a published author? There is, and without trying to give offense to anyone, we truthfully reject the concept of the stereotypical big conference carnival as a satisfactory solution for all but those in the earliest stages of their career. On our end of the pole, we create intimate, carefully managed environments far more conducive to learning the skills and knowledge needed to realistically approach the making of a competitive novel. See our Frequently Asked Questions page and workshop syllabus for more details on our advantages, methods and goals. If you are beginning a novel or working on a novel-in-progress, or if you have a completed ms and you require a strong reality check, you must receive professional and highly focused reaction not only to your prose and narrative, but to your entire work, including but not limited to premise, complications, plot, theme, and character arc.

We don't deny that several writers conferences out there stir up lots of energy and make for a good time and even include some useful short workshops for beginners. Of course. Regardless, given they are generally mob-heavy and juggling speakers, panels, brunch for two thousand, and whatnot, they cannot possibly schedule the time and effort it takes to prepare each individual writer for the ruthlessly competitive atmosphere of the literary book market.

There are 250,000+ first-novel manuscripts being written each year in America. What percent of those will eventually fail to be published by a major house? 99.99% ... The statistics can't be denied. The job of Algonkian isn't to make this process risk free and easy. Our ultimate goal is to realistically 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.

Take a minute and read our commentary page and the writer interviews there to get a better feel for what we're talking about.

It started at Algonkian Park and evolved to "The Fiction Class" by Susan Breen. Going into 2015, Algonkian events have assisted and networked writers into dozens of agent and publishing contracts. More information can be found on our commentary page.  

Algonkian Algonkian Novel and Memoir 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. Professionals Caitlin Alexander, Michael Neff, and Robert Bausch consult with writers one-on-one on matters of plot, narrative, market, characters, memoir, and all else.  

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


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