Contracts and Comments
Novel Writing Courses
Comparisons of Algonkian Conferences, Retreats, and Courses
Intensity Level = emotion present / # of tasks to accomplish
Mentoring Level = amount of one-on-one mentoring time with faculty
Algonkian Novel Writing Courses
Intensity Level: *** Mentoring Level: ***** Course Syllabus
Algonkian Novel Writing Courses (16 Modules - Online) set a goal to get you as close to the brass ring as possible by making your novel as commercially competitive as it needs to be on all levels while avoiding critical missteps and bad advice. And it does not matter what stage the novel is currently in, or where you are in your writing life. The program steps and methodology, as well as the faculty, enable you to learn and grow as a writer together with your novel, and at your own pace. Once you accomplish the program, your work is reviewed by a professional developmental editor and together you set publication goals, discuss agent representation options, and engage in manuscript edits as needed and appropriate. There simply is no other online novel writing program that can compare in terms of rigor, approach, or syllabus; and as a bonus, we all avoid the usual pitfalls that accompany the MFA approach of group feedback and instructors who don't understand genre fiction or commercial markets.
Monterey and Algonkian Park Retreat (four times per year)
Intensity Level: *** Mentoring Level: *****
An Algonkian Writer Retreat will suit you if you desire a relaxed and inspirational atmosphere mixed with frank feedback on your work from the best professionals in the business. Do you wish a review of your short stories or flash fiction? Do you need to discuss the reality of the market, or your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a sample chapter? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer? Whatever works for you. Our mentors are all experienced professionals in the commercial and literary worlds of writing and publishing.
[ Algonkian Writer Retreat ] .. [ Monterey Writer Retreat ]
St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop
Intensity Level: **** Mentoring Level: *****
St. Augustine Author-Mentor workshops last four to five days with an average of 12 attendees. Focus is on all phases of novel creation, as well as development of necessary platform (credentials, authority, etc.) and the art of marketing the ms to agents and editors (log lines, pitches, query letters, etc.) Distinguishing features as follows:
- Small Group Environment.
- Feedback on all novel elements from professionals, not attendees.
- A set of novel-prep assignments and readings completed in the Algonkian online forum.
- Separate pre-event assignments emailed to participants which include hook and marketing analysis.
- The 86-page Algonkian Study Guide.
- Relaxed meetings with workshop professionals (agents/authors/producer).
- Creation of an individual publication plan with workshop leaders.
- An online novel development workshop that continues after the event.
New York Pitch Conference (four times per year)
Intensity Level: ***** Mentoring Level: ***
The New York Pitch is the higher end event. Though all writers benefit tremendously, the event is more suited for those who are already working on commercially viable manuscripts. It lasts four days and allows up to 60 attendees divided into four workshop groups. Focus is on devising a pitch model for the novel, and using it to not only attract editors and agents in the publishing business, but as a diagnostic tool to determine the plot, story and premise needs of the novel itself. Advantages include:
- An opportunity to have the novel manuscript selected and read by acquisition editors from major publishing houses. The odds are currently running 1/3 for selection based on the quality of pitches and writers in attendance (due to workshop efforts to create great pitches and manuscripts, vigorous screening of potential attendees, and the conference itself which attracts top talent). Please understand, however, that selection does not assure publication. The current fiction market is very picky and extremely competitive. We do our best to make that clear in a myriad of ways.
- Novel deconstruction and analysis from the best qualified industry professionals (editors, authors, and teachers of writing) that addresses the major fictional elements of plot, character, complication, and resolution, among others--the purpose being to not only assist writers with creating competitive projects, but prepare them pre-pitch to receive maximum productive reaction from publishing house editors.
- Knowledge of the latest bewares, trends, and needs of the book market at the source: the New York publishing world.
- Ability to directly apply the above knowledge to the matter of the pitch itself, i.e., written and oral emphasis on logs/keynotes, premise/high concept, comparables, credentials, genre, and the composition of the project synopsis.
- Networking opportunities with industry professionals and other writers in an artistic and relaxed setting. The conference screening process assures writers chosen for the New York Pitch Conference are a few notches above. In other words, writers will not be closed in a room with people who don't know a plot point from a character arc.
- Opportunities, depending on writer and project, to interact with faculty following the conference for purposes of obtaining agency representation, or editorial assistance, as needed.
- Project validation or plan for validation. The conference method enables writers to obtain either validation of their novel project (understanding the novel premise/plot is commercially viable), or knowledge of what they must do to create a competitive novel project in the context of today's market.
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...
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 ...
BOOKS AND CAREERS
Algonkian Writer Conferences
2020 Pennsylvania Ave,
Washington, D.C. 20006