Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, St. Augustine is the oldest city in America. But what is it like? Imagine the French Quarter in New Orleans meets Santa Cruz, California, and as a bonus, a miles-long strip of one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States (Vilano Beach) thrown in for good measure. Here in St. Augustine, the best of classic Florida and old-world Spain fuse to form a ideal location for a stimulating and productive writer event.
The Author-Mentor in St. Augustine creates an intimate and professional space that combines extended private consults with small-group workshops, thereby enabling writers to more comprehensively approach the development and editing of their novel.
At the A-M workshop, aspiring authors will 1) Receive advanced developmental and narrative critique from track-record faculty; 2) Acquire the "write to market" genre skills they must possess to be competitive; 3) Learn the necessary inside mechanics of the publishing business; 4) Leave the workshop with a detailed plan to work towards major commercial publication; and 5) Become part of the Algonkian network of industry insiders and author professionals.
What Makes the A-M Unique?
Like other Algonkian-focused events, this novel writing and development intensive begins before you arrive and continues after you depart. See "Crucial Prep and Post-Event" on this page for elaboration.
The Author-Mentor setting and method allows you to get close and relaxed with published authors and business professionals in a manner that larger events disallow. Private face time with the right people in the industry is priceless. Faculty are relaxed, congenial, willing to help, and most importantly, not bombarded by hundreds conference attendees to the point of irritated exhaustion.
Application of a "model and context" genre-inclusive pedagogy that utilizes models of craft, plot, and character taken from successful genre and literary authors, thereby enabling you to pick and choose the most appropriate techniques and approaches for utilization in the context of your work-in-progress.
Amateur opinions do not arise to compromise the quality of the workshop. Critical analysis and discussion of your work is provided exclusively by the faculty professionals in attendance.
St. Augustine Alums and Reviews
Our updated "Algonkian Book Contracts" page also features workshop and conference observations over the past several years, including the following comment by successful commercial author Joanna Elm: "It was understood, and pointed out to us that, of course, for every rule or factoid about the publishing business there is always the exception that proves the rule."
Writers meet on Thursday night and go to dinner in St. Augustine (time and place to be announced).
Beginning Friday morning, 9 AM, group workshop sessions will be interspersed with agent and author consultations, workshop assignments, as well as consults with workshop leaders. On the first day, writers meet in a group with author-agents Paula Munier and Michael Neff who work in tandem on each writer's novel premise and all other vital developmental issues as they present themselves during the course of discussion and analysis.
Workshops continue into the second day, each session layering in more technique and constructive editorial detail. Writers also have been given evening assignments to present which involve their narrative and story hook, first scenes, and protagonist "sympathy factors." At this juncture, other faculty are present and matriculating, meeting informally with writers as circumstances dictate. Beach walks, scenic strolls in old St. Augustine, informal dinners, and bar hopping are becoming routine.
On day three, each writer formally meets one-on-one with event faculty to present and discuss their work, and with ample time to do so. This continues from morning into early evening, as long as it takes. A fabulous gourmet dinner in St. Augustine follows that night.
On the fourth day, writers meet with faculty to accomplish a important wrap-up consults that consist of formulating a publication plan going forward, as well as discussion that involves the utilization of the post-event novel development program. The event concludes no later than 2 PM.
Who Should Apply?
We wish to interact with writers willing to receive honest reaction to their writing, learn the craft, and work towards commercial publication. We consider novel writing to be a calling, not a hobby. We accept published writers as well as beginners who demonstrate in the application they are serious about writing a novel.
Genres we work with include upmarket/literary, general fiction, women's fiction, romance, SF/F, young adult/middle grade fantasy and non-fantasy, speculative and urban fantasy, mystery (cozy/detective) and thrillers.
Crucial Prep and Post-Event
Writers receive specific pre-event assignments, readings, and even a dedicated eBook, all of which will be found in the novel development forums of Algonkian Author Connect (AAC). At the conclusion of the retreat, you will be provided a follow-up novel editorial and development program, also found at AAC, which includes additional faculty mentoring. Participation is strictly voluntary, but we strongly encourage it, especially if you're serious about writing a novel you wish to see published.
Compared to all the other novel workshops in the U.S., the St. Augustine Author-Mentor provides the ideal mix of best selling authors and track-record agents dedicated to working one-on-one with aspiring authors and memoir writers to not only teach them the advanced knowledge and skills they must possess to be successful, but also provide them with a valuable pre-publication edge via careful analysis and honest discussion of their work.
Distinguished faculty include the legendary best-selling author Hallie Ephron, book-to-film producer Brendan Deneen, six-figure book agent Adam "1000 Deals" Chromy, premiere agent and best-selling author Paula Munier, famous "Pitch Goddess" agent Katharine Sands, and last but not least, the indefatigable Algonkian CEO: Michael Neff.
Their complete bios can be found here.
Application, Logistics, Bio, Etc.
Dates and Event Application
The upcoming St. Augustine Author-Mentor takes place on February 23 - 26 (Friday to Monday) with arrival on Thursday the 22nd. If you have reviewed the mission and location, and found the dates suitable, the next step is to fill out the event application and tell us about yourself, your writing life, and your primary goals for the St. Augustine workshop.
And btw, if you've never been to this incredibly unique and beautiful city, we strongly recommend you taking an extra couple of days to sightsee. It's totally worth it!
Cars and Houses
If you are attending the event in St. Augustine, you will require transportation to the "Main House" (see accommodations page) in Vilano Beach on Thursday, the day before it all begins. Arrival time is no earlier than 4:30 PM. That gives our staff time to check-in and prepare the property. The Main House will be the core workshop and meeting space for the event.
For those arriving from out of town, you do not need to rent a vehicle. We will provide transportation to dinner and local points of interest as needed. There are ample grocery stores and eating establishments in Vilano Beach. St. Augustine itself, including the historic section, is an easy three minute trip across the inter-coastal waterway bridge.
Private rooms in our select beach homes are provided to writers upon arrival at the Main House.
Registration for Event
The event fee of $1695.00 includes four nights lodging at select AirBnb residences in Vilano Beach (see examples here), private rooms (unless a sharing arrangement is made in advance), full house privileges, transportation in the general area, and a grand continental breakfast each morning. In the context of the A-M workshop, it includes our two-editor "novel development" workshops, formal "mentor meetings" with faculty, pitch sessions, pre-event forums and all materials, and the post-event Algonkian Novel Editorial program (see "Crucial Prep and Post-Event" on this page). There is no other cost or fee directly associated with full attendance at the event.
Registration is $1195.00 if you choose your own lodging . Links found below. If requested, a full refund will be provided up to 30 days before the workshop begins, otherwise we allow for rescheduling or alternative event selection.
Email: info (at) algonkianconferences.com with the subject line: "St. Augustine Questions 2023"