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Algonkian Writer Conferences - Reviews and Backstory

    Where Did It All Begin?

    Algonkian Writer Conferences began in 2002 on the banks of the Potomac River in northern Virginia. After we came upon Algonkian Park for the first time, with its beautiful setting and cottages, it seemed a natural place for a workshop, and thus, Algonkian Writer Conferences 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 and workshop events formed on both coasts, including the New York Pitch Conference, the SF Write to Market Conference, and the Santa Barbara Author-Mentor Novel Workshop.

    What Makes the Algonkian Approach Unique?

    Algonkian emphasizes that you, the aspiring author, must understand and master three major areas pertaining to novel writing before you can hope to realistically compete in today's market. First, the art of the drama as it applies to structural technique, i.e., plotting and complicating the story. Writers in Algonkian Writer Conference events are provided with study guides and assignments that provide background and practice in the art of creating strong story lines and fully engaged characters. Without a moral dilemma, or an antagonistic force, minus real stakes or a core source of dramatic tension to resolve, you have a flat and quiet tale, as well as non-sympathetic characters. An understanding and application of dramatic technique not only cajoles you into facing these primary issues, it provides you with a map for evolving tense plot lines, regardless of genre.

    Secondly, Algonkian employs a pedagogical method we refer to as the model-and-context approach, to teach the art of fiction writing. Models of craft and style, voice and prose (gained from known authors, playwrights, and fiction writers) are presented, practiced and reviewed, thus enabling you to productively use this craft knowledge in the context of improving or editing the narrative that composes your work-in-progress.

    Finally, Algonkian stresses market knowledge and high-concept premise. Genre writers, and even literary or upscale writers, are strongly encouraged to create a premise, or story concept, that sounds sufficiently unique and commercially viable. Algonkian understands that in order to be as competitive as possible in the agent-seeking environment while creating a suitable marketing hook for publishers, you need to have a story that stands out from the crowd. Just know that if you're going to pitch a story to an agent or editor that sounds like a Junot Diaz, Janet Evanovich, or Dan Brown clone, you will lose them in twenty seconds. They've heard it a thousand times before.







- San Francisco Write to Market -

Ken Atchity, film producer and literary agent, has launched many books and films. His life's passion is finding great storytellers and turning them into bestselling authors and screenwriters. He will attend the SF Write to Market Conference.

Penny Warner, author of The Connor Westphal Mystery Series, will be a guest author at the WTM. She has had over 50 books published, fiction and non-fiction. Her books have won national awards, garnered excellent reviews, and have been printed in 14 countries. She will attend the SF Write to Market Conference.

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

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