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Writers Interviewed - an Algonkian Writer Conference Event in The Big Apple

What are they doing? Are we talking New York?

Just a cute little piece on writer types with novels to workshop and pitch who are talking about one of our Algonkian Writer Conference events in New York. Will it prove it's possible to learn, be inspired, and have a good time all at once? Seriously though, this one is what we call the American Idol of our events. We have no Simon as such, and we don't tolerate that type of person, but we're firm and no gratuitous unproductive back-slapping is allowed. Following days of tension, on Saturday night, at our Post Pitch Cool Down, drinking is mandatory, followed by various forms of absurd behavior, if deemed appropriate. Whatever works for purposes of catharsis.

If you want follow up information and commentary, link to

And if you wish to learn more about Algonkian Writer Conferences:



  1. Gordon Nielsen9:35 PM

    A follow-up from a Suite 101 review article:

    "Often times, the pitch is not working because the novel is not working. Algonkian Writer Conferences uses the pitch as a diagnostic tool for examining the major fictional elements that propel and sell a novel."

    This is one reason Maui writers conference closed down, i.e., because they didn't use the tactics above. Huge lines of writers, little time, and a bunch of irate agents listening to writers pitch a bunch of crap with a lot of uh and um thrown in for good measure.

    Pitching is a total waste of time unless you know how to do it and use wisely for the right person. Getting a reaction to make changes to your novel would be a bonus, yes.

  2. Pitching has been a waste of time for me at all conferences, but I didn't know what the hell I was doing! One wrong impression and you're f**ked.

  3. Erika Marsh10:07 PM

    Algonkian Writer Conferences just posted a good piece about using the pitch to "wag the novel dog" ... it's the second post down on this blog.

  4. Another mention. A new Fisherman's Wharf event at Algonkian.

  5. David Sward2:03 PM

    The Algonkian Writer Conferences are composed of cells of craft workshops, even in the context of the larger events. The conference focus is divided into three or four crucial areas, and the critique, though fair, can be devastating for some. But if you really want to hear what you need to repair or add to your novel, and test the commercial appeal of your premise as well as the effectiveness of your pitch--which becomes a sharp query letter--then Algonkian conferences can be of tremendous help. btw, marketing your ms is a whole different skill than writing a novel.

  6. Gordon Nielsen2:34 PM

    From the new Algonkian Writer Conferences site:

    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.


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