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About Algonkian Events and Workshops

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    Haste born of impatience is a writer's second worst enemy. Hubris is the worst.

              - Director Michael Neff
Algonkian Writer Conferences began in late 2001 on the banks of the Potomac River at Algonkian Park in northern Virginia. With its beautiful setting and cottages, it seemed a natural place for a workshop, and thus, Algonkian Writer Workshops was born. By 2004 it had expanded to include more professionals in the literary business, i.e., agents, editors, and authors. The format also evolved to feature novel analysis and preparation, as well as perfection of the Algonkian Writer Conferences pitch model used to both examine and sell the novel. Over the years, additional novel writing events formed on both coasts, including the New York Pitch Conference and many more.

At Algonkian, we believe there is a single best way to become a published commercial author, and without trying to give offense to anyone, we frankly reject the stereotypical conference carnival as a satisfactory solution for aspiring commercial authors. We don't deny that several writer conferences out there stir up lots of energy and make for a good time. Regardless, given they are generally mob-heavy and juggling speakers, panels, brunch for hundreds, and whatnot, they cannot possibly schedule the time and effort it takes to prepare each individual writer for the ruthlessly competitive reality of the commercial market.

On our end of the pole, we maintain intimate, carefully managed environments far more conducive to practicing the skills and learning the knowledge needed to realistically approach the creation of a competitive novel. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more details on our advantages, methods and goals. If you are beginning a novel or working on a novel-in-progress, or if you have a completed ms and require a strong reality check, you should receive professional, highly focused reaction not only to your prose and narrative, but to your entire work, including the story premise, lines of complication, plot arc, theme and character arc, and all else.

There are 250,000+ first-novel manuscripts being written each year in America. What percent of those will eventually fail to be published by a major house? 99.99%... The statistics can't be denied. The job of Algonkian isn't to make this process risk free and easy. Our ultimate goal is to realistically increase your odds of becoming a published author by showing you how to inhabit that upper percentile of writers who will have their work taken seriously by professionals in the business.

Take a minute and read our commentary page and the writer interviews there to get a better feel for what we're talking about.

- Algonkian Live Items -
At the Algonkian Writer Retreat you can be as goal-focused or hesitant in approach as you wish. You can go to a workshop or two, discuss your novel with us, have your synopsis and writing samples read by our onsite mentors, or just clear your head and find your path, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow as an aspiring author... [more]

In keeping with the spirit of writers gone before on the California coast, you can be as goal-focused at the Monterey Writer Retreat, or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our onsite author-agent mentors, whatever helps you grow and find your vision as a writer ... [more]

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

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