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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


SolWave Radio Interviews With Literary Lights

Something different for our readers and alums. Algonkian explores the literary life. Controversial at times? As often as possible, but enlightenment takes precedence.

Jenna Blum
Ms. Blum's evolution as a writer underscores the actuality that there is no such thing as an overnight success story for a serious novelist. While her readers will have cause to celebrate the fact that a unique and talented voice will not remain unnoticed for long, her quest for publication reinforces the notion that tenacity and unwavering resolution are integral components of any writer's arsenal. [more]
Matt Bondurant
"There are those who claim that creative writing within the academy is ridiculous, a waste of time, or worse, a destructive force in American letters. I strongly disagree with the last bit, as at worst it may produce people writing so-called "workshop stories" - but that is just a current style that will come and go and all that has really been done is some average writers have been taught how to do this style fairly well. Despite the academies influence, so many amazing and brilliant authors keep showing up." [more]
Christopher Coake
It seems safe to predict that Chris Coake is a writer to watch out for. With his first book, a collection of short stories entitled WE'RE IN TROUBLE coming out in spring 05, and several projects in the works, there should be ample opportunity for readers to become familiar with him. [more]
Patry Francis - "No Kick!"
"Strangely, I don't read many mysteries; nor do I follow crime stories with particular avidity. However, I'm very interested in what people do when they're pushed to extremes—and why they do it. I enjoy creating suspense for the reader—and for myself—but my real interest lies in exploring the complex reasons why a crime is committed, rather than simply "whodunit." [more]
Kate Gale - "All Over The Lit Map"
"To live in Los Angeles is to be part of a dynamic swirl of cultures that invites writers to reach outside the conventional boundaries of self into a surreal place where the self is mutable. I see this literature continuing. It's a vision for us here. We can be anything. In literature. In life. In our community. Los Angeles literature might be the model for American literature. Inviting a stripping away of boundaries. We are here at the edge of the world. We live in a city transformed from desert. The light pours through us." [more]
Stephen Goodwin
Stephen Goodwin is one of the very rare and precious forces that anyone who appreciates exceptional writing would do well to celebrate. Whether you know him, have read him, or even heard of him, it is very possible that you've felt his influence. A respected writer of fiction and nonfiction, and a popular and well-regarded writing teacher, Goodwin has also made his mark-albeit in his unassuming and quietly confident fashion-as an eloquent advocate for the arts. [more]
Adrienne Miller
"Well, in terms of the actual writing of the book, my experience was absolutely no different from that of any other first-time author: I had a job, I had a life, and I had a book to write. There is no public expectation for anyone's first book -- there is an audience of precisely zero awaiting your arrival – and there was certainly no audience waiting for me. When I finished The Coast of Akron, after about five years of work, I had very little confidence ..." [more]
Jen Noon - "Putting David Foster Wallace on Hold"
Time to learn something about the copyediting world. Jen Noon has been a copyeditor and proofreader for more than ten years. She began her career in educational publishing, with Heinemann and Educators Publishing Service, but currently works as a copyeditor for Little, Brown. Authors she has worked with include Carolyn Parkhurst, Robert Hellenga, and Denise Mina. [more]
Todd Pierce
Writer, teacher, advocate for unpublished writers. Too good to be true? Nope. Todd Pierce epitomizes the literary life, and should stand as a role model for any aspiring fiction writer. Versatile enough to publish short stories while simultaneously setting his sights on novels, he brings a passion and erudition to his work, as well as the classroom, where he teaches fiction writing. [more]
Charles Salzberg
"It's not easy to talk about the evaluation process, because it changes with each manuscript I receive. I can tell you how I go about it, though. The first thing I do is note the competency of the writing. No matter how good a story might be, if the writer can't tell it well, it's not going to travel ... But overall, it's just a matter of having done much too much reading over the years and getting a "gut" feeling about a book. It's kind of like one of the Supreme Court Justice's comment on pornography--I know it when I see it. " [more]
Carolyn See
Carolyn See is the author of several novels, including THE HANDYMAN, DREAMING; MAKING HISTORY; GOLDEN DAYS; RHINE MAIDENS, BLUE MONEY, THE REST IS DONE WITH MIRRORS, and MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS. She is a book reviewer for "The Washington Post" and is on the board of PEN Center USA West. [more]
Tim Tomlinson - "The Portable MFA Debut"
"The most recalcitrant MFA's don't last long. They leave nurturing the sense that the philistines will never understand their precious vision. In some cases that's what they sign on for in MFA programs – validation of their precious vision, because if you get nothing else from the "writing can't be taught" saw, you get that – if nothing can be taught, nothing can be wrong." [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 the heads of people at both ends of the political food chain. 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...

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...

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