Algonkian Writers Conference - Event Comparisons

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Comparisons of Algonkian Conferences, Retreats, and Courses

Intensity Level = emotion present / # of tasks to accomplish
Mentoring Level = amount of one-on-one mentoring time with faculty

Algonkian Novel Writing Courses
Intensity Level: **** Mentoring Level: ****

Algonkian Novel Writing Courses (16 Modules - Online) set a goal to get you as close to the brass ring as possible by making your novel as commercially competitive as it needs to be on all levels while avoiding critical missteps and bad advice. And it does not matter what stage the novel is currently in, or where you are in your writing life. The program steps 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. Once you accomplish the program, 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 needed and appropriate. There simply is no other online novel writing program that can compare in terms of rigor, approach, or syllabus; and as a bonus, we all avoid the usual pitfalls that accompany the MFA approach of group feedback and instructors who don't understand genre fiction or commercial markets.

Algonkian Writer Retreats
Intensity Level: *** Mentoring Level: ******

Algonkian Writer Retreats will suit you if you desire a relaxed and inspirational atmosphere mixed with frank feedback on your work from the best professionals in the business. Do you wish a review of your short stories or flash fiction? Do you need to discuss the reality of the market, or your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a sample chapter? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer? Whatever works for you. Our mentors are all experienced professionals in the commercial and literary worlds of writing and publishing.

St. Augustine Author-Mentor Workshop
Intensity Level: **** Mentoring Level: *****

Algonkian workshops last four to five days with an average of 12 attendees. Focus is on all phases of novel creation, as well as development of necessary platform (credentials, authority, etc.) and the art of marketing the ms to agents and editors (log lines, pitches, query letters, etc.) Distinguishing features as follows:
  • Small Group Environment.
  • Feedback on all novel elements from professionals, not attendees.
  • A set of novel-prep assignments and readings completed in the Algonkian online forum.
  • Separate pre-event assignments emailed to participants which include hook and marketing analysis.
  • The 86-page Algonkian Study Guide.
  • Workshop syllabus.
  • Relaxed meetings with workshop professionals (agents/authors/producer).
  • Creation of an individual publication plan with workshop leaders.

New York Pitch Conference
Intensity Level: ***** Mentoring Level: ***

The New York Pitch is the higher end event. Though all writers benefit tremendously, the event is more suited for those who are already working on commercially viable manuscripts. It lasts four days and allows up to 60 attendees divided into four workshop groups. Focus is on devising a pitch model for the novel, and using it to not only attract editors and agents in the publishing business, but as a diagnostic tool to determine the plot, story and premise needs of the novel itself. Advantages include:
  • An opportunity to have the novel manuscript selected and read by acquisition editors from major publishing houses. The odds are currently running 1/3 for selection based on the quality of pitches and writers in attendance (due to workshop efforts to create great pitches and manuscripts, vigorous screening of potential attendees, and the conference itself which attracts top talent). Please understand, however, that selection does not assure publication. The current fiction market is very picky and extremely competitive. We do our best to make that clear in a myriad of ways.
  • Novel deconstruction and analysis from the best qualified industry professionals (editors, authors, and teachers of writing) that addresses the major fictional elements of plot, character, complication, and resolution, among others--the purpose being to not only assist writers with creating competitive projects, but prepare them pre-pitch to receive maximum productive reaction from publishing house editors.
  • Knowledge of the latest bewares, trends, and needs of the book market at the source: the New York publishing world.
  • Ability to directly apply the above knowledge to the matter of the pitch itself, i.e., written and oral emphasis on logs/keynotes, premise/high concept, comparables, credentials, genre, and the composition of the project synopsis.
  • Networking opportunities with industry professionals and other writers in an artistic and relaxed setting. The conference screening process assures writers chosen for the New York Pitch Conference are a few notches above. In other words, writers will not be closed in a room with people who don't know a plot point from a character arc.
  • Opportunities, depending on writer and project, to interact with faculty following the conference for purposes of obtaining agency representation, or editorial assistance, as needed.
  • Project validation or plan for validation. The conference method enables writers to obtain either validation of their novel project (understanding the novel premise/plot is commercially viable), or knowledge of what they must do to create a competitive novel project in the context of today's market.

San Francisco Write to Market Conference
Intensity Level: **** Mentoring Level: ***

The San Francisco Write to Market conference is unique in the writer conference world. Why? Because, among other things, they also include the pre-event assignments and readings featured in the smaller Algonkian workshops. The events last for three to four days and allow up to 50 attendees. The event provides comprehensive, hands-on experience with everything the aspiring author must know in order to become realistically competitive in today's market. Lectures, assignments, and panels follow the Algonkian workshop format with emphasis on premise and plot, platform, market, and execution. Distinguishing general features as follows:
  • A set of novel-prep assignments and readings completed in the Algonkian online forum.
  • Separate pre-event assignments emailed to participants which include hook and marketing analysis.
  • Conference "pitch panels" wherein writers role play as agents and editors.
  • Feedback on novel structure, premise, and narrative from professionals, not attendees.
  • Pitch training in conjunction with novel workshopping.
  • The 86-page Algonkian Study Guide and workshop syllabus.
  • Creation of an individual publication plan with workshop leaders.
  • Interactions and one-on-one sessions with literary agents.
  • Competitive registration fees of $595.00 per event.

- Algonkian Writer Events in The U.S. -

Algonkian Park Writer Retreat takes place on 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 soul searching...

Upcoming Algonkian events with only the best faculty, story analysis, pitch training, cross-market craft and market-positioning methodology. All events are enhanced with new pre-event studies, extended consult time with professionals, and an emphasis on making novel as competitive as possible... [more]

It began at Algonkian Park and evolved into "The Fiction Class" by Susan Breen. Going into 2016, Algonkian events have assisted and networked writers into dozens of agent and publishing contracts. More information can be found on our commentary page.  

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

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