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INTERVIEW
OBSERVATIONS

"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



   

Frequently Asked Questions About AWC




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    If you wish to overview articles on advanced fiction craft click here.



It takes not only heart, but brains and savvy to be successful in today's extremely competitive market. To that end, a method has been developed by Algonkian to maximize a writer's chance for publication, and in larger writer events and small-group events held nationwide, we work with serious writers in all genres who wish to either begin the novel, greatly improve their novel-in-progress, or study and apply advanced novel craft while learning the demands of the market as well as the need for platform (where appropriate). See our FAQ below for more information.


How Can You Possibly Get So Many Writers Published?


How Are Algonkian Events Unlike Other Conferences?


Which to Attend First, WTM, NYC or Algonkian?


If I Wish to Attend, Will I Automatically Be Accepted?


How Did Algonkian Get Started?


What is The Purpose of Algonkian?


What Genres Do You Work With?


Do You Have a Syllabus?


How Does Algonkian Differ From An MFA Approach?


How Do Writers Interact With Agents?


Any Pre-Conference Work Involved?


What is a Typical Conference Schedule Like?




How Can You Possibly Get So Many Writers Published?

By taking the time and making the effort to put together competitive programs and materials that give aspiring authors the edge they need. Compare our approach to those at other writer conferences or workshops.

 


How Are Algonkian Events Unlike Other Conferences?

  • No bells or lines or timers - sufficient time and productive dialogues with faculty.
  • MS and narrative reviewed and critiqued by faculty only, not attendees.
  • Comprehensive 86-page novel-and-fiction study guide.
  • Pre-event online assignment and article forum.
  • Small and relaxed groups that facilitate interaction.
  • Extensive pitch and story prep before agent sessions.
  • Unique and challenging pre-conference assignments that focus on all major novel elements.
  • The only commercial writer events on the planet with a syllabus (correct us if we're wrong).
  • Focus on the major areas of marketing, high-concept premise, platform and competitive execution.
  • Superior in-shop writing assignments and story dissection.
  • Less fluff and more work - seven hours per day of workshops as well as evening assignments (we do give breaks).
  • No inappropriate backslapping - emphasis on pragmatism and truth telling (btw, the market is tougher).
  • No tedious lectures or Writing 101 panels.
  • Faculty chosen for wisdom as well as compassion - no snobs.

 


Which To Attend First, WTM, NYC or Algonkian or ...?

It is preferable to attend an Algonkian workshop event or at least the Write to Market Conference before the New York Pitch Conference. Why? Because it makes more sense to straighten out as many wrinkles in the novel as possible before presenting it to New York publishing. New York Pitch is generally considered the top of the literary food chain.

 


If I Wish to Attend, Will I Automatically Be Accepted?

We have an application process designed to separate serious writers from the hobbyists. Nothing will harm a workshop faster than someone who doesn't belong. Other factors in the selection process include event size and type. Regardless, we work with new writers as well as advanced writers, and even published authors. We want attendees who are willing to shelve the ego and acquire the craft and market knowledge they need to realistically approach the creation, or completion, of a competitive commercial novel.

 


How Did Algonkian Get Started?

We held the first group workshop at Algonkian Park in Virginia, back in 2002. The name stuck. Then we began holding larger events, improving the method while adding on more faculty and network.

 


What is The Purpose of Algonkian?

To enable writers in all genres a chance at becoming published authors by providing them with the craft skills, professional connections, and savvy they need to succeed in today's fiercely competitive market. Every writer leaves an Algonkian event with a detailed plan for working towards the publication of their novel.

 


What Genres Do You Work With?

Almost all genres. Upscale/literary, memoir and narrative non-fiction, mystery/thriller and detective/cozy genres, urban fantasy, YA and adult fantasy, middle-grade, historical fiction, general fiction and women's fiction. Our agent and publisher faculty handle all genres.

 


Do You Have a Syllabus?

Yes, a complete syllabus and a list of authors studied can be found here. We believe that in order to stand a realistic chance of having a novel manuscript published, the writer must first learn the fundamentals and complexities of craft employed by the best authors. Secondly, and just as important, the writer must understand the publishing market.

 


How Does Algonkian Differ From An MFA Approach?

Algonkian emphasizes writing-to-get-published, creation in the context of heart, wit, and market knowledge. We teach writers to think pragmatically about the development of their ms while retaining their core values for the work. Our motto is "From the Heart, but Smart." College MFA programs do not prep a writer for the cold reality of the current publishing climate. Many of our most grateful writers are graduates of MFA programs.

 


How Do Writers Interact With Agents?

Each student pitches his or her novel to the agent. The model for the pitch is a "book jacket" the student creates with the help of the workshop leader prior to the pitch session. The process is part of a longer evolution the student begins even before arriving at the conference. Once the pitch is accomplished, the agent interacts with the student in a Q&A session. The workshop leader then follows up with the student to create a plan for publication, i.e., a step-by-step post-conference process the writer must undertake in order to stand a realistic chance of having his or her manuscript published.

 


Any Pre-Conference Work Involved?

Yes, and lots of it. Writers are given written assignments, pitch models, and several books to read. They are also required to conduct "protagonist sympathy analysis" on current literary sellers. All of this prepares the student before arrival.

 


What is a Typical Conference Schedule Like?

Workshop schedules are broken into three basic parts: novel structure, narrative/prose enhancement, and market (see the syllabus for more details). The first four days and nights of the conference are devoted to readings, discussions, and written exercises, as well as interactive meetings with faculty. Writers have homework each night that must be complete by the following morning. The fifth day is dedicated to one-on-one ms consults and finalizing each student's publication plan. The conference begins the night of arrival, and then each day by 8:00 A.M. and on to 5 P.M. (or as necessary) .... Please see the New York Pitch Conference and the Write to Market Conference for more information concerning their schedules.

 







 










AlgonkianAlgonkian Novel Workshop in VA - - A method workshop for writers serious about commercial publication. Plot, voice, pitch and market workshops led by M. Neff, Shannon O'Neill, Mr. Yoon, and R. Bausch.  



AlgonkianAlgonkian Port Townsend in WA - - A method workshop for writers serious about commercial publication. Plot, voice, pitch and market workshops led by M. Neff, Andrea Hurst, A. Banerjee, and Melanie B.  



It started at Algonkian Park and evolved to "The Fiction Class" by Susan Breen. Going into 2014, Algonkian events have assisted and networked writers into dozens of agent and publishing contracts. More information can be found on our commentary page




THE NEW YORK PITCH CONFERENCE

THE NEW YORK PITCH CONFERENCE





WRITERS AND AUTHORS
TALK ABOUT
ALGONKIAN CONFERENCES


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...


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, 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, 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...









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



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