• About Us and FAQ

• Author Talk & Contracts

• Course Module Syllabus

• Works and Writers Studied

• The Program Faculty

• Application and Registration

• Part I Program Sample

• Contact The Program


• The Six Act Two-Goal Novel

• Maximizing Opps For Verve

• A Dose of Antagonism

• Guide to Best Comparables

• Crossing the Epiphany Line

• Novel Coverage Counts

• Storyboarding Scenes

• Sympathy Factors in Hook

• Third Person Point of View


   Agents, Authors, Editors - Betsy Maury, Paula Munier, Michael Neff, Michelle Richter

   In Cooperation and Partnership with
Algonkian Writer Conferences and The New York Pitch

    "Algonkian Writer Conferences, the New York Pitch Conference, and the editors of Author Salon have joined to mutually support and work with this new Algonkian Novel Writing Program which we feel is the best of its kind online, or off. It is rigorous, informative and challenging, taking the novel step by step from first line to denouement in a realistic manner unequaled by other classes or programs."
      - Michael Neff


Writer Professionals Consulted in The Creation of This Program:

  • Random House Senior Editor Caitlin Alexander
  • Literary Agent Kimberley Cameron
  • Literary Agent, Author and Editor Paula Munier
  • Algonkian Director, Editor and Author Michael Neff
  • Literary Author Robert Bausch
  • AEI Film Producer, Author and Literary Agent, Ken Atchity
  • Literary Author and Teacher, Susan Breen
  • Literary Agent Gordon Warnock

Program Faculty (Also With Algonkian Conferences/New York Pitch)


Michael Neff is one of two Developmental Executives for AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles. He is actively searching for high concept projects that can be transformed into films or books, or both. His recent agent deals and commercial novels he has worked on as developmental editor include ON MAGGIE'S WATCH by Ann Garvin, MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW by Wendy Eckel, THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton, THE BLACK PANTHERS by Gina Niccolo, and RISE OF THE AMERICAN CORPORATE SECURITY STATE by Bea Edwards, among others. Novels ushered to commercial publication via his workshops include THE WISDOM OF HAIR by Kim Boykin, ORPHAN 8 by Kim Van Alkemade, DARK TURNS by Cate Holahan, THE GOAT WOMAN OF LARGO BAY by Gillian Royes, and THE FICTION CLASS by Susan Breen, among others. In addition, he is collaborating with Macmillan Entertainment's executive editor, Brendan Deneen, to develop new high-concept projects for both film and print. He is a story creator for the forthcoming novel by Macmillan, MAGICIANS IMPOSSIBLE, as well as a producer for the adaptation of the novel to a television series by Fox.

Michael is the founder and director of Algonkian Writer Conferences and its associated events. In his capacity as the director of the New York Pitch Conference he works with senior publishing house editors to locate and tap potential in budding new authors working in a variety of genres including upmarket literary and general fiction, serious and light women's fiction, narrative non-fiction, historical fiction, mystery, SF and fantasy. Articles on fiction and novel craft written by Michael Neff include the Six Act Two-Goal Novel, Storyboarding Your Scene, Studies in Third Person POV, and more.

Michael also contributes as editor and publisher to several journals and literary projects, including but not limited to Del Sol Press, The Potomac Journal of Poetry and Politics, Double Room, and the Del Sol Review. His own work has appeared in such literary journals as the North American Review, Quarterly West, Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Literary Review, American Way Magazine, and Conjunctions. His novel, ALL THE DARK WE WILL NOT SEE, is published by Serving House Books. He was one of the winners of the first Imitation William Faulkner Contest sponsored by the University of Mississippi, and has served as judge for various writing contests, including the Writer's Digest Finalist Prize for best short fiction.

He is a founder, contributing editor and content provider for Author Salon and its novel writing program, and a founder and contributor to a popular writer blog known as The Writer's Edge that provides assistance to nascent authors.


Betsy Maury is a former senior editor at Dell Publishing where she oversaw Delta Cutting Edge, an imprint of trade paperback fiction that showcased bold literary voices. During her tenure she published the cult classic GOING NATIVE by Stephen Wright and ARISE AND WALK by Barry Gifford. She also acquired upmarket mainstream fiction including the national bestseller THE SIXTEEN PLEASURES by Robert Hellenga. She likes accessible literary fiction with memorable characters and settings. Betsy acquired popular nonfiction as well including notable books, U2 AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Bill Flanagan and DEBATING SEXUAL CORRECTNESS edited by Adele Stan. She comes to the novel writing faculty with both publishing and writing experience, having written numerous books for Fodor's Travel Publications on Europe. She currently teaches a writing workshop and is an editorial consultant to Page Arts Journal,a New England literary magazine inspired by the Transcendentalists.


Paula Munier comes to Talcott Notch Literary with broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside. She began her career as a journalist, and along the way added editor, acquisitions specialist, digital content manager, and publishing executive to her repertoire. She most recently served as the Director of Innovation and Acquisitions for Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, where she headed up the acquisitions team responsible for creating, curating, and producing both fiction and nonfiction for print, eBook, eShort, and direct-to-eBook formats. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She's currently VP of that organization.) She's also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she's an active member of Sisters in Crime.

Her most recent deals include a six figure deal for THE REGISTRY by Shannon Stoker to Harper Collins; SNIPER by Vaughn Hardacker, Skyhorse Publishing; DYING FOR ATTENTION by James Shannon, Five Star; THE BODY LANGUAGE OF LIARS by Dr. Lillian Glass, Career Press; and TREAT ME LIKE A DOG by Larry Kay, Sourcebooks. Paula is currently seeking new clients who write mysteries, crime/detective, thrillers, SF/fantasy, YA/MG fantasy/SF, romance with an edge, and quirky women's fiction, memoir and humor.


Michelle Richter is now an agent at Fuse Literary Agency. A former editor at St. Martins, she has worked with bestselling authors including Tom Perrotta, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and Ian K. Smith, MD and with authors well-known in other media such as Paul Anka; Albert Brooks; and Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian on fiction and on nonfiction topics. As an agents, she is seeking book club fiction, literary fiction, and well-crafted women's commercial fiction, as well as thrillers and mysteries, specifically amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and smart cozies.

On the faculty of Algonkian Author Salon, she is standing by for any full ms evaluations that might come her way.


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