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"Any first time author can be made to look "fabulous" -- it's all about how an agent, author and publisher present the author. Every author has a background and a story, which can be told to the book- sellers and public in a boring way or a way that is spectacular."

  Barbara   Zitwer

"If an author is a terrific writer and has a voice or perspective or style that's not been seen before, there is a far greater chance it will have a place in the literary market. Though it's true that it can be tough to get a first book published, agents and editors are always looking for the next voice or story."

  Elise Capron

"Whatever you're doing in this business, whether you're an agent, editor, or writer, it's crucially important to keep on top of what's happening in the industry. Agents and editors are much more likely to take writers seriously if they can name other writers in their genre whose work they admire ..."

  W. Gottlieb

"The truth is that most publishing professionals needn't read further than that ... Judging a book in five sentences might sound like an outrageous idea. But it's really not."

  Noah Lukeman


Algonkian Writer Conference Faculty

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Algonkian only works with authors, literary agents, and publishing house editors who have established a reputation for being forthright and fair with writers. The list below consists of senior faculty who attend multiple events and serve in an advisory capacity, and a follow-up list of ongoing faculty who attend specific events. Additional faculty may be found on the New York Pitch Conference website.

Senior Algonkian Writer Conference Faculty

Caitlin Alexander

Caitlin Alexander is freelance editor in New York, also an editorial consultant for Author Salon. As a senior editor at Random House Publishing Group she acquired and edited a variety of projects including New York Times bestsellers Michelle Richmond (THE YEAR OF FOG), David Gibbins (THE LOST TOMB), Andy McDermott (THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS), and Gwen Cooper (HOMER'S ODYSSEY); Angela Davis-Gardner (PLUM WINE), and International Thriller Writers Award winner Tom Piccirilli (SHADOW SEASON).

Ken Atchity

With more than forty years experience in the publishing world, and over fifteen years in entertainment, Ken Atchity is 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, he has produced 26 films, including "Joe Somebody" (Tim Allen; Fox), "Life or Something Like It" (Angelina Jolie; Fox), "Shadow of Obsession" (NBC), "The Madam's Family" (CBS), "Henry's List of Wrongs" (New Line), and Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not (starring Jim Carrey; Paramount-- approaching production). His 14 books on writing cover every stage of a writer's career. Based his teaching, managing, and writing experience, he has successfully built bestselling careers for novelists, nonfiction writers, and screenwriters from the ground up.

Robert Bausch

Robert Bausch has taught literature and creative writing at George Mason University, The University of Virginia, and The American University. He is the author of eleven novels including ON THE WAY HOME, THE LIVES OF RILEY CHANCE, A HOLE IN THE EARTH, THE GYPSY MAN (winner of the 2003 DLB Award for Distinguished Fiction). His collection of short stories, THE WHITE ROOSTER AND OTHER STORIES won the DLB Award for Distinguished Short Fiction in 1995.

Susan Breen

Susan Breen is the author of the novel THE FICTION CLASS, discovered at the New York Pitch and published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group. Her novel was also published by Headline Review (in the UK), Wheeler Publishing (large print) and is a selection of Reading Group Choices. Susan has been a finalist for the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship Competition. Her stories have been published by a number of literary magazines, among them North Dakota Quarterly, The Chattahoochee Review and American Literary Review. Susan teaches beginning and advanced fiction classes at Gotham Writers' Workshop; she is also a contributor to The Writer and Writer's Digest.

Kimberley Cameron

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.

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin is the author of "On Maggie's Watch" (Berkley Penguin November 2010). She is an award winning short story writer with a host of fiction and nonfiction publications ranging from The Potomac Journal to Health Psychology. A compelling and humorous speaker, Ann is a literary crowd-pleaser. Her new novel is forthcoming from Penguin in 2014.

Michael Neff

Michael Neff Michael Neff is the creator and director of Algonkian Writer Conferences and the New York Pitch Conference, as well as other Algonkian events. As a result of his "Algonkian method" workshops and his own editorial expertise, Michael and his programs have ushered dozens of authors over the past several years into agent contracts as well as 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 WISDOM OF HAIR by Kim Boykin, and more. He routinely works closely with literary agents and senior publishing house editors in New York to locate and tap potential in budding new authors working in a variety of genres. ... [more].

Algonkian Writer Conference Faculty

Ibrahim Ahmad

Ibrahim Ahmad is senior editor at Akashic Books. He has acquired and edited dozens of titles for the completely independent Brooklyn-based company, which is dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction, general fiction, crime fiction, and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers.

Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler has published twelve novels including "The Alleys of Eden," "Sun Dogs," "Countrymen of Bones," "On Distant Ground," "Wabash," 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.

Tom Colgan

Tom Colgan is Executive Editor at The Putnam Berkley Group of Penguin Putnam, Inc. He is a native New Yorker who has worked in the publishing business for seventeen years. He started at Berkley books in 1985 and has worked there ever since except for a five year sojourn at Avon/Morrow. He has worked with authors such as Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin, Jack Higgins, and Ed McBain. Tom acquires mystery/ thriller/ suspense, so-called "boy books," i.e., Clancy, and nonfiction.

Elise Capron

Elise Capron is an agent for the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency--widely regarded as the best on the west coast. Elise is interested in fiction that has unforgettable writing, a terrific narrative voice/tone, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge, and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. Some of Elise's recent and soon-to-be-published books include Jonathon Keats' "Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology" (Oxford University Press) and "The Book of the Unknown" (Random House), Tiphanie Yanique's "How to Escape from a Leper Colony" (Graywolf), Rikki Ducornet's "Netsuke" (Coffee House Press), Cynthia Barnett's "Blue is the New Green: An American Water Ethic" (Beacon), Ali Liebegott's "The IHOP Papers" (Carroll & Graf),

David Cole

David Cole has spent almost 30 years in book publishing with stints in editing, production, publicity, marketing, and management. His company, Bay Tree Publishing, focuses on nonfiction works in the areas of business, personal finance, psychology, health, and current affairs. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including The Complete Guide to Book Marketing. The Founder and first President of the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, he also served as an instructor in the University of California Extension certificate program in publishing. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Northern California Book Publicity and Marketing Association.

Scott Hoffman

Scott Hoffman's fiction list is about half literary, and half commercial. If your project doesn't fit one of the "established" categories, he might be your guy. He is always on the look out beautifully-written literary fiction, dark novels, SF and Fantasy, as well as heartbreaking memoirs. More about Scott can be found here.

Lyssa Keusch

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 or historical fiction, and high concept, smart thrillers and suspense. She has launched the careers of New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins 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.

Barbara Kyle

Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Tudor-era "Thornleigh" novels The Queen's Gamble, The Queen's Captive, The King's Daughter and The Queen's Lady, all published internationally, and of contemporary thrillers including Entrapped and The Experiment. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold. Barbara recently signed a 3-book deal with Kensington Books, New York, to continue her "Thornleigh" series. Barbara is passionate about helping writers learn what they need to break into the publishing industry. She has taught her "Writers Boot Camp" for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations. She offers twice-yearly Master Class workshops focused on each participant's first thirty pages. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

Michael Larsen

Michael Larsen, together with Elizabeth Pomada, founded the first literary agency in San Francisco in 1972, and since that time they have helped hundreds of authors to achieve successful publication of their books. Recent manuscripts represented and sold to Pantheon, Warner, Berkley, and Tor. Two novel ms were recently selected from Algonkian workshops.

Jill Marr

Jill is an acquiring agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, one of the most respected literary agencies in the U.S. Representing an impressive and eclectic client roster, SDLA has helped guide the illustrious careers of many best selling authors in several genres, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Lisa See and Diane Mott Davidson and on the non-fiction side, Peter Irons, David Landes, Mike Davis, Chalmers Johnson and Susan Faludi, among others. Jill is interested in commercial fiction, especially women's fiction, multi-cultural fiction, historic fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and horror.

Taylor Martindale

Taylor Martindale is a Literary Agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. As an acquiring agent, Taylor is interested in commercial fiction, women's fiction, and multi-cultural fiction, and in particular, YA fiction (gritty contemporary, unique paranormal/urban fantasy). She is looking for engaging and unforgettable characters and stories that stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Isabella Michon

Isabella Michon is a former TV and radio producer with more than 20 years of publicity and promotion experience. She has worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors including Deepak Chopra, Clive Barker, Day in the Life series co-creator David Cohen, and Robert Thurman, who Time named as "one of the 25 most influential people". Isabella's bookings include USA, Today, NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, The Associated Press, NPR, CNN, The Tom Snyder Show, and the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

Paula Munier

Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, Paula boasts 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. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, and humor. 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.

Shannon O'Neill

Shannon O'Neill is an agent at the Sagalyn Agency, a literary agency in the Washington DC area that represents journalists, academics, thinkers, business writers, and novelists. The agency works primarily with the large New York houses, focusing on upmarket nonfiction and commercial fiction. Shannon has a Master's in Writing from Johns Hopkins University, and has taught writing at American University and The Writer's Center.

Elizabeth Pomada

Elizabeth Pomada, together with Michael Larsen, founded the first literary agency in San Francisco in 1972, and since that time have helped hundreds of authors to successful publication of their books. Recent manuscripts represented and sold to Pantheon, Warner, Berkley, and Tor.

Peter Rubie

Peter is the President of Peter Rubie Literary Agency. Prior to becoming an agent, he was a book doctor for such publishers as Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, Random House and others, the fiction editor for Walker & Co., a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, a broadcast journalist (BBC Radio News; ITN News), and a print journalist (Fleet Street, London). He represents narrative non-fiction, crime novels, thrillers, science fiction/fantasy, as well as literary novels and children's fiction. Peter has written two novels himself, and his nonfiction book, "The Elements of Storytelling" is known for being one of the best in the business.

Susan Sands

A literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. She is the agent provocateur of MAKING THE PERFECT PITCH: How to Catch a Literary Agent's Eye--a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. For compelling reads in faction, memoir and femoir, she like to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed; for fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled.

Susan Schwartzman

Susan Schwartzman has been in the publishing field for more than 20 years. She began her career in book publicity in 1992 as a freelance in-house book publicist, working for major publishers, including Workman Publishing, William Morrow, Penguin-Putnam, Harcourt Brace, Villard, Wiley, Avon Books, Simon & Schuster, Warner Books, Red Dress Ink, New American Library, and Downtown Press. As an independent book publicist, Susan has promoted a wide variety of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction titles. Her business, Susan Schwartzman Public Relations, has provided major media placements for her clients in major media throughout the country.

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley won a 1985 O. Henry Award for her short story "Lily", which was published in The Atlantic Monthly. Her best-selling "A Thousand Acres" received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992. It was adapted into a film of the same title in 1997. Her novella "The Age of Grief" was made into the 2002 film The Secret Lives of Dentists. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel" (2005), is a non-fiction meditation on the history and the nature of the novel that roams from eleventh century Japan's Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji to 21st-century American women's literature. From 1981 to 1996, Smiley taught undergraduate and graduate creative writing workshops at Iowa State University. In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Cary Tennis

Cary Tennis writes's famous SINCE YOU ASKED advice column, which boasts a readership of over half a million readers per month. In an unusual format for advice columns, "Since you Asked" publishes long letters, sometimes of 1,000 words, and equally long responses. The fiction side of Cary attended the masters program in creative writing at SF State and is currently working on an upmarket novel entitled "Burning The Rain Girl." He runs writing workshops in San Francisco and creative getaways on Northern California's Tomales Bay.

Sally van Haitsma

A member of the prestigious Castiglia Literary Agency, Sally van Haitsma is actively looking for proposals and her fiction list covers literary and women's fiction, and SF/F as well. Her recent sales include "Silverstein and Me" by Marv Gold (Red Hen Press), "Wesley The Owl" by Stacey O'Brien (Free Press/Simon & Schuster), and "The Leisure Seeker" by Michael Zadoorian (HarperCollins).

Tina Dubois Wexler

Tina is actively list building at ICM. Her tastes are eclectic--most types of fiction, nonfiction, and even YA. Recent sales include the first two books in Susan Runholt's mystery series, "The Mystery of The Third Lucretia" and "Rescusing Seneca Crane" (Viking), and commercial fiction sales including Donna Gephart's "As If Being 12¾ Isn't Bad Enough" (Delacorte), Robin Friedman's "The Girlfriend Project" (Walker), Sanjay Patel's "The Little Book of Hindu Deities" (Plume), and many more. Prior to joining ICM over three years ago she worked at the Ellen Levine Literary Agency, Trident Media, and the Karpfinger Agency. She earned an MFA before becoming an agent.

Gordon Warnock

From his start as an intern, Gordon has worked his way up to becoming a full agent and an integral part of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. He frequently participates in conferences and workshops and speaks throughout the community. He is an honors graduate with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing. Gordon has his eye out for works which will not only thrive in the current market but will also withstand the test of time. He is especially interested in literary, general and upscale fiction, as well as memoir and true crime.

Howard Yoon

Howard Yoon is the Vice President and Editorial Director of the Gail Ross Literary Agency. He also handles foreign rights for the agency. Yoon specializes in editing and developing book ideas with clients. He has more than 14 years of experience as a literary agent, editor, and writer. A list of GRLA literary projects can be found here.


AlgonkianAlgonkian Novel Workshops - One of our best for writers serious about publication. Craft, pitch and market workshops led by M. Neff, Shannon O'Neill, Howard Yoon, and Bob Bausch.  



Interview with Algonkian attendee, Barbara Marquart: I also wanted to tell a story that celebrates the deep bond between mothers and daughters - the struggles we all face to transcend our circumstances, forgive each other's failures and accept each other's limitations in order to find peace.   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Thierry Sagnier: "I was stuck, hadn't done any serious writing for months, and a friend of mine—also a writer—suggested I attend a workshop to kickstart me. So I looked on the net and found that there were quite a few places that offered what I wanted, but when I researched the Algonkian conference, I recognized the name of a reporter I really respect. He'd been there and was highly complimentary, so that sealed it for me."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Rae Bryant: "After completing the first draft of Ficklestick's , I wanted professional guidance and a community of writers to help me marinate the work. It was important to me as a first time novelist to seek feedback before finalizing the intricacies. By retaining a sense of early process malleability, I was able to really hear criticisms and then incorporate skills learned. Algonkian provided the perfect setting."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Alex Keto: "I've been to handful of other conferences and decided that if you find yourself in a large room with someone almost out of eyesight in the front talking at you, the results are what you would expect: generic advice that doesn't really help."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Julie Kaewert: "Because I was changing agents, I knew it was important to learn how to package the MS effectively ... When I saw the Seven Mountains Writers Conference on the website, it looked like just the thing. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations in every way."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Kate Gallison: "One way to lengthen your life is to stretch it backwards, and so I read a lot of history. Early movies fascinate me. They were both like and unlike stage plays of the time, borrowing actors and melodramatic plots, but developing entirely new techniques for portraying dramatic action. "   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Greg Haas: "I could tell a story about how the process works. Fiction gave me a chance to go where non-fiction wouldn't let me…inside people at both ends of the political food chains heads. The final inspiration came from a strange place Karl Rove spent a great deal of time."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Candy Somoza: "The preparation work got us thinking about the book in the store, how it got there, what makes it sell. While we read works and studied the writing, we also focused on the outside, so to speak, the marketing, and that was essential to prepare us."   Read More...

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