Algonkian Writer Conferences began in 2002 on the banks of the Potomac River in northern Virginia. After Michael Neff and company 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 events formed on both coasts, including the New York Pitch Conference, the Author-Mentor Novel Workshops, and our Algonkian writer retreats.
And now, the big question:
Is there a single best way to work towards becoming a published commercial author? There is, 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.