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An examination of self-defeating behaviors and external circumstances that serve as obstacles to publication.
Read This Article in Algonkian AS

Credentials, platform, prior publications--these things can matter, especially for literary/upmarket writers. The vast majority of first novel writers do not get work published in viable short fiction markets. This makes it even more difficult to land a good agent. Many agents will not look twice at a writer whose cover letter does not demonstrate a track record of some type. A publishing record, even a meager one, helps convince publishers and agents that you have what it takes. Even in the mystery/thriller and SF/F markets, you go to the top of the stack if you've published shorts in reputable journals. ... [more]

As a Member You Will Pitch Quality Agents

If you succeed, we succeed.

Algonkian Author Salon has defined a high quality group of literary agents from respected agencies, and in various genres, who will appear in our AUTHOR CONNECT forums to read and comment on commercial novel and non-fiction pitches posted by member writers. AAS will schedule dates and times for pitch sessions to occur, as well as coordinate any and all matters related to the sessions.

Agents will communicate directly with the writer if they wish to pursue a potential business relationship, or simply learn more about the writer and their project.

In order for writers to qualify for the forum pitch sessions they must first receive appropriate review by Algonkian Author Salon staff, members or faculty. Why? Because we want you prepared, your pitch to be artful, and your novel as competitive as possible. We also want your member profile page to be polished and up to date because it will be linked in the pitch forum. All pre-pitch reviews of member work will be conducted in appropriate online spaces or by email.


About The Algonkian Author Salon

Until a writer has completed the top-to-bottom task of creating a publishable literary or commercial novel, he or she will never truly know how daunting, nuanced, and frustrating the task can be.

The Algonkian Author Salon and its companion Algonkian Novel Writing Courses evolved out of a desire on the part of the ALGONKIAN WRITER CONFERENCES and NEW YORK PITCH FACULTY to create a comprehensive, hook-to-denouement program that would methodically take writers and their novels-in-progress to the next level, i.e., assist with the creation of quality literature in all genres, then work towards commercial publication in a realistic manner.

But first, a considerable amount of new construction was necessary. Algonkian was tasked with providing a storehouse of advanced and pragmatic craft technique, a step-by-step novel writing process at an affordable cost, appropriate writer forums (with realistic critique rules) nested in an interactive website that can be utilized efficiently by writers as well as literary agents, and finally, a comprehensive review of the novel by Algonkian editorial staff with a focus on market positioning, necessary platform, narrative execution, and commercial story premise. And now, between Algonkian Author Salon (AAS) and our AAS NOVEL WRITING COURSES, we've covered all the bases.

Algonkian Pedagogy and FB Meets Writer's Digest

What distinguishes the Algonkian approach taken at the Author Salon. A few things as follows:
  • Our model-and-context pedagogy that provides models of craft taken from great fiction authors and playwrights, thereby enabling the writer to pick and choose the most appropriate techniques for utilization in the context of their own work-in-progress.
  • Emphasis on providing pragmatic, evidence-based novel writing guidance rather than encouraging multiple opinions and "writer conference myths" that might well confuse the aspiring author.
  • Peer group feedback filtered by strict critique guidelines designed to minimize politics, as well as ignorance, and thereby produce useful results--followed by AAS staff review prior to agent pitch sessions.
  • Our belief that a writer's particular genre market must first be thoroughly understood and taken into consideration when it comes to the planning of the novel, and on every level from narrative hook to final plot point (and this clearly separates us from MFA approach found at university programs like Iowa and Stanford).
Not to belabor, but there are two fundamental truths a writer must face and accept before joining this community. If you accept, you walk towards commercial publication, and if not, you detour to self-publishing:


Contracts and Reviews, News and Craft

THE FOUR-STAGE METHOD FOR WRITING FICTION NARRATIVE    A Way to Take You From Drab or Quiet to Can't Put It Downby Michael NeffWhat's one of the best ways to ensure a publishing contract? Master the art of… Read more

FOUR CATEGORIES THAT DEFINE "COVERAGE"by Michael NeffThe below "coverage categories" are not always typical of what every agency uses, however, they are comprehensive and now in use by the AUTHOR SALON NOVEL WRITING PROG… Read more
Top Ten Worst Pieces of Writing Advice       by Michael Neff Without Proper Advice Though, No PublicationOUTSIDE OF EXCESS NARCISSISM, BAD ADVICE IS A WRITER'S WORST ENEMY.If you ever run or… Read more

Acclaimed author of "The Fiction Class," NYC workshop leader Susan Breen launches a new mystery series with Maggie Dove, about a beloved Sunday school teacher who must nab a murderer after she finds her neighbor dead und… Read more

Top Seven Reasons Why Aspiring Authors Fail to Publish   by Michael NeffAt a conservative estimate, upwards of 250,000 writers in the U.S. are currently struggling to write or find an agent for their first comm… Read more

Algonkian Author Salon Emerging Author Interviews A Talk With Robert Steedman About His Writing Life and NovelTITLE: MADAME DE HART’S WAX MUSEUM (now THE PHANTASMAGORICAL THEATER OF CRESPIN VARLOT)GENRE: YA Ho… Read more
Algonkian Author Salon recommends the following query model below adapted from Jeff Kleinman's original query letter model. Note that this does not include a long story pitch or short synopsis to start off with (wh… Read more

TIPS FOR WRITERSThrillers to Learn From      Joe Finder   I gave a talk a couple of months ago at Muse and the Marketplace, the terrific annual writers conference sponsored by Grub Street in… Read more

ALGONKIAN AUTHOR SALON REVIEWS TECHNIQUE       Advanced Craft Necessary To The Creation of a Competitive Commercial Manuscript   As noted in our piece on scene storyboards, if you're wo… Read more

Author Salon Reviews the Lit Scene with Jill Marsal From Author Salon Interviews - Robin Stuart Interviewer Jill Marsal is a founding partner of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and has been in the publ… Read more
From The Writer's Edge:The Problem With Writer Groups? They Can Trip You Up and Hold You Back by Michael Neff  For many years I've realized the futility of obtaining useful and project-evol… Read more

MODULE II READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTSSocial Reaction and Psyche Profile of AntagonistTraits and Physical Nature of AntagonistAnecdotes Featuring Your AntagonistHow Antagonist Drives the Conflict _______ THE ANTAGONIST… Read more

Author Wendy Eckel, a veteran of Algonkian Writer Conferences, joined Author Salon in October, 2011, and worked closely with AS editors, including advisory editors Michael Neff, Penny Warner, and Ken Atchity, to ho… Read more

Tessa Woodward of Harper Collins added Kim Van Alkemade's novel ORPHAN NUMBER EIGHT to her list. The novel was pitched to her in Susan Breen's NYC Pitch workshop (women's fiction). Paula Munier of the NYC Pitch fac… Read more

A STUDY IN THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW       Lessons and Readings Necessary To The Creation of a Competitive Commercial Manuscript   By Michael NeffLet's get right to the point on this … Read more