The Algonkian Author Salon Novel and NF Development Site

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Welcome to the Algonkian Author Salon, a multifaceted novel writing program, agent pitch network, craft library and writer community for novices and veterans. Here at AAS, we tell the writer what works, what doesn't, and what needs to be developed further before an agent or publishing house editor shuts the door in their face. Our primary objective will always be to get the writer on a realistic path to commercial publication.


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 (for pitch sessions), 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 Facebook 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. This is what clearly separates us from the 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:
    1. Writing for a commercial market isn't about writing whatever you want, it's about desiring and striving to write what that market will buy. Can you write an article about varieties of American slugs and then sell it to Shoot Animals Quarterly? No. Neither can you write a trope-heavy space opera, for example, and stuff it down the throats of contemporary SFF agents or editors. You must understand your market.

    2. You were not born to be a good or great author, but you stand on the shoulders of those great authors gone before. Their technique and craft are there for you to learn, and learn you must as an apprentice to your art. You can no more sit down and write a commercially publishable novel without guidance and practice than a novice med student can perform successful brain surgery. Every success you achieve is based on hard work and evolving your consciousness. It can take years, at least two of trial-and-error before the graph begins to trend upward.
A few more things. For the benefit of our writer community our online work space combines the technical advantages of a Facebook-like environment (instant chat, site mail, video embeds, etc.) with the content approach of Writer's Digest (though with more advanced analysis and technique method). In other words, Algonkian Author Salon provides the communication and tech stuff needed by writers seeking community and access while also including a staging set of resources and advanced craft content. It's the perfect place to start a new and guided writer peer group as you work towards creating a novel suitable for showcasing to literary agents connected to AAS, as well as all other literary agents.

If this approach makes sense to you and you wish to join our community and begin your trek towards publication--or just learn more about us--click on JOIN ALGONKIAN AUTHOR SALON.


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