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Are brutal reviewers more often right than wrong just because they're brutal, or are other factors at work?... So what spurred these questions? A friend recently said she had a "brutal critique partner" that could be relied on. It got me to thinking about brutal reviewers in my own experience who were worse than useless and actually destructive. We need to keep in mind that the better an ms becomes, the harder such “brutal” critics are forced to dig for critique at all costs, inevitably focusing on matters of taste, e.g, "I don’t like that character's personality..." as opposed to "I think this point could be made clearer by doing XYZ" ... [more]

Contracts and Reviews, News and Craft

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

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 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 (which wi… 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

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

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

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

Last winter, 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 NY… 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

Algonkian Author Salon's Kate Cox has signed with JENNIFER LYONS AGENCY, and we couldn't be more pleased. Kate has attended several Algonkian events, been a member of AAS, and has worked periodically with Algonkian direc… Read more