Algonkian Writer Conference Reviews

A Few Book and Agent Contracts

What Makes Algonkian Writer Conferences Unique as Compared to Similar Events?

Conferences and workshops begin before you arrive and continue after you depart with preliminary and post-event novel writing, editorial, and development forums.
Faculty chosen for publication track records.
A factual and demonstrable list of book contracts and attributions.
Sufficient time for productive dialogues with faculty (no timers).
MS and prose narrative critiqued by professionals only, not attendees.
Extensive story and pitch prep prior to sessions with agents or publishers.
Focus on market-positioning, high-concept story premise, author platform, and competitive execution.
No inappropriate back slapping - emphasis on pragmatism and truth.

Latest Book Contracts

The Ugly Reviews

A Salting of Review Samples

Pixie Dust Romantic - @rebeccaacorio, @AlgonkianAuthor, I wanted to say thank you Michael Neff and Susan Breen, all the staff. You, your conference, your teaching and experience were not in vain. I did the thing. Agent @JulieGwinn, 3-book contract, @TouchPointPress.

AmyStappNY, Thanks to @AlgonkianAuthor for another great conference wknd. I always wish I could sit down with every #amquerying writer one on one to explain why your query is or isn't working. And this is the one conference where I'm actually able to give that kind of practical feedback.

Moveable Type Managment has signed several NYWP and Algonkian authors since 2022 for commercial publication. Among them are Gregory Carpini Jr. and his historical novel SHINEY POWDERED FACES; Jennifer Ericson and her cozy mystery series CURIOSITY RESCUED THE DATE; Jody Gerbig's postpartum horror novel TAKE CARE; and Gerri Lewis' obituary writer mystery THE LAST WORD sold to Tara Gavin at Crooked Lane.

Nish Amarnath @nishamarnath Replying to @JennyMaattala and @AlgonkianAuthor - Well, an editor at #SimonSchuster was interested in #VictimsForSaleBook back then (at this conf, you mainly pitch to #publishers), but applying Paula's advice and insights helped me get rep from a big #literaryagent outside.

I've yet to leave without requesting manuscript pages from participants. What's more, the manuscripts deliver. I recently signed and sold Gina Damico's YA fantasy in a two book deal to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt after hearing her project pitched at the conference. Serving on the Algonkian Writers Conference faculty has also been tremendously gratifying. Not only does the conference attract a wide variety of writers working in many different genres, it also has a great vibe--supportive, friendly, fun. I highly recommend it.

- Tina Wexler, agent at ICM

You know that joke about the sculptor who, when asked how he made a sculpture of an elephant, said he took a piece of stone and chipped away everything that didn't look like an elephant? Well, the pitch conference really helped me see the "elephant" I wanted the book to be, and that made it easier to cut out all the stuff that didn't look like an elephant.

- Doug Grudzina

I wanted to pass along the good news that I signed with Writers House this week, and they'll be representing my novel Tiny Dancer. I'm certain that I would not have gained their attention were it not for the vastly improved pitch I crafted at Algonkian's NY conference in June. Susan, I remembered that you are with Writers House as well, so I was especially excited to tell you. Thank you both so much for all of your help and invaluable advice! I couldn't be happier with the results thus far!

- Kelley McNeil, signed by Writers House

I have already had a novel published by a major publisher, but getting the second book out there has turned out to be more difficult than I expected. I asked my agent what she thought about taking the new book to the New York Pitch Conference. She thought it was a fine idea, so I went for it. It turned out to be a great experience. I got lots of help refining my pitch and the opportunity to pitch my book to four editors. Where else can you tell your story to four editors who are actively looking for books to buy? I think the answer to that is "Nowhere else." But the icing on the cake, I think, was that the workshops gave me new insight into the very essence of my book. I had lots to think about when I got home, and revised accordingly.

- Author Natasha Bauman

It's main focus [Algonkian New York] is to help authors understand the traditional publishing industry, understand what "high concept" means and how to translate that into publishable material, and then to meet industry professionals and get their opinion on your work. It's a 4-day event. The first day is a very intensive workshop, where everyone gives their pitch and it's critiqued and reworked, oftentimes leading to the restructuring of the novel's concept as a whole (especially in the SFF crowd, where overall premises are so key). The second day there's another workshop led by a different industry professional (usually an experienced editor or agent) who will give further critiques and advice while also requesting the work they're interested in seeing. The last 2 days are one-on-one pitches with Big 5 editors and top agents who are actively looking for material, often with more workshopping and tweaking between pitch sessions. In my experience, 50-75% of people leave the conference with requests from publishing houses (meaning that the editor is interested in reading your novel) and many of those requests have led to publication.

- Audrey A. Woods (Reddit)

I've since refined the pacing of the novel to better hold the reader's interest. Also, I've omitted characters, revised with a more consistent POV, and readjusted elements to highlight the action and tension more efficiently. Most importantly, I've learned that what works best about an entire manuscript can often be pitched in a clear, concise way, helping me to streamline the novel's movement to better support the feel of the workshopped pitch.

- Sara Beth Johannsen

My novel became a higher concept project because of the New York Pitch Conference experience. I was also encouraged to think of it in broader terms and consider developing a series.

- Author Pamela Binder

Algonkian offered me the opportunity to be part of a real writers group where my ideas and evolving characters were first introduced to other writer and potential readers. That critique allowed me to tweak my characters and storyline to perfection. Algonkian's approach in fine tuning my pitch helped me to tighten my manuscript as well. As a result, my manuscript sold to the very first publisher who saw it!

- Author Roberta Gately

The Algonkian Writers Conference was pivotal in moving my career forward. While I went there thinking it was just a really cool way to meet publishing editors, it turned out to be a portal into so many other avenues of the publishing business. Because of the conference, I've signed with the agent of my dreams!

- Dave McMenamin, Signed by Talcott Notch Literary Agency

FROM PUBLISHER'S MARKETPLACE : Wendy Eckel's KILLER ON THE WALL, in which a woman sets out to solve a murder, and with the help of a Facebook group composed of amateur sleuths known as "The What Ifs," she begins the search for evidence and clues; after friending suspects on Facebook and working with a nervous programmer living in mortal fear of Mark Zuckerberg, she hacks into the dead girl's Facebook account and assumes her identity, only to discover a dark underbelly to what had originally seemed a charmed and effortless life, and THE DAY LILY CAFE, to Anne Brewer at Thomas Dunne Books, in a nice deal, for publication in 2018, by Ken Atchity and Michael Neff at Story Merchant (World Rights).

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