"Any first time author can be made to look "fabulous" -- it's all about how an agent, author and publisher present the author. Every author has a background and a story, which can be told to the book- sellers and public in a boring way or a way that is spectacular."

  Barbara Zitwer

"If an author is a terrific writer and has a voice or perspective or style that's not been seen before, there is a far greater chance it will have a place in the literary market. Though it's true that it can be tough to get a first book published, agents and editors are always looking for the next voice or story."

  Elise Capron

"Whatever you're doing in this business, whether you're an agent, editor, or writer, it's crucially important to keep on top of what's happening in the industry. Agents and editors are much more likely to take writers seriously if they can name other writers in their genre whose work they admire ..."

  W. Gottlieb

"The truth is that most publishing professionals needn't read further than that ... Judging a book in five sentences might sound like an outrageous idea. But it's really not."

  Noah Lukeman

   Unique Craft-and-Market Workshops and Conferences
   For Novel Planners, Beginners, and VeteransPhone: 1-800-250-8290

"From The Heart, But Smart: Premise, Platform, and Execution
    in Today's Tough Novel Market"

Five Days in San Francisco  , November 7-11, 2012
LIMITED TO 15 | $495 tuition also includes agent pitch sessions

The Faculty | Workshop Info | Lodging Info | Application | Registration

Beside the San Francisco Bay, aspiring authors will study and apply the most effective techniques of craft and style while also learning the necessary facts about the publishing market. This Algonkian Writer Conference event is only open to serious writers who wish to either begin the novel or work towards perfecting their novel-in-progress (while also learning to write short fiction). To assist in the endeavor, Algonkian has put together a team of literary pros. They include literary agents April Eberhardt, Gordon Warnock, and Elizabeth Kracht, as well as market and publicity pros Isabella Michon and David Cole, and author-editor, Michael Neff. More on them can be found here.

During 45+ hours of actual workshop time, students will engage in those rigorous narrative and complication/plot exercises necessary to produce a publishable manuscript. The three areas of emphasis will be PREMISE, PLATFORM, and EXECUTION. Writers, regardless of experience, will come away from this five day intensive with the specific knowledge they need to create an intellectual and emotionally powerful novel. Genres we work with at Algonkian Writer Conferences include general commercial fiction, literary fiction, serious and light women's fiction, mystery/cozy/thriller, SF/F, young adult, and memoir/narrative non-fiction.

The workshop leader will also devote time to film adaptation, high concept pitching, and other aspects of novel and screenplay. We want to help you get published, and discuss the potential of turning your novel into film.

For those students writing short fiction to build publishing credentials, we're including a comprehensive collection of our lectures and readings from the Algonkian "Art of Fiction" short story workshops. Students will meet in extra intensive sessions with chief editor Michael Neff to review short fiction craft and market.

Location and Lodging - Motels, Hotels, and Hostels

Lodging possibilities in the SF area are many and varied. We have included a listing of reasonably priced motels and inns in SF, many within walking distance of the conference, and all within a short commute by cable car or bus.

NOTE: If on a budget, we highly recommend researching a private room at The Elements Hotel. The hotel is sort of a cross between a boutique hotel and a hostel, offering both private rooms and shared dorms, all with private bathrooms. Add to that Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the hotel, a free Internet lounge, rooftop parties, free movie nights, lockers, free continental breakfast, luggage storage and laundry facilities, free linens, TVs (in private rooms), a lively restaurant and lounge called Medjool. Also, you might look into the Fort Mason hostel adjacent to the Center complex. Amenities include breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, fully equipped guest kitchen and dining room.

Other hostels in SF are top notch and many include private baths (they are as good as an economy motel, if not better). Also, there are plenty of good accommodations just 15 minutes south of SF in the Pacifica area--also adjacent to bus lines and the local metro known as BART. You can find a list of them here.

More lodging potentials can be found on the Fort Mason Center website. and also on this website. For higher end hotels we recommend starting with this Google collection.

The Fisherman's Wharf Writers Conference will take place at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The complex overlooks San Francisco Bay with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Paved foot/bike paths run along the water, east to Fisherman's Wharf, and west to the Marina Green. It is within walking distance of: Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, North Beach, and Chinatown. The park can be reached by public transit (MUNI buses), The phone number there is 415.345.7555, and the contacts for events at the Fort Mason center are Julia and Janice (under the reservation name, "Algonkian").

Workshop and Schedule Info

The workshops are divided into 12-16 writers each. Sessions begin Wednesday morning at 8:30 AM and last to 4 - 5 PM each day, except for Sunday when they conclude at 2 PM. A meet-and-greet social event will be arranged the Tuesday night before the workshops begin. Sessions and assignments are intensive and continue through the day and into the night.

Algonkian Writer Conference's workshops are divided into three general areas: novel structure (character development, plot points and devices, hook, complications, theme, etc.), narrative enhancement (page tension, prose/voice, craft technique, first five pages, etc.), and marketing technique (query letter, synopsis/pitch, log lines, publicity, etc.). Please READ OUR SYLLABUS carefully to get a better concept of our methods and goals. We make certain that each and every writer leaves the conference with a customized and realistic plan to work towards publication.

As for supplies, participants should either bring their laptop or else plenty of note paper to write on in order to generate ideas and notes during discussions. Pre-conference assignments and readings will begin immediately following registration. PLEASE NOTE these assignments must be completed. If you by chance register only a week or two before the event, please coordinate with Algonkian for a prioritized list of work.

Application and Registration

STEPS: Click on the following to review the Algonkian syllabus and author list. If you believe this event will meet your goals, feel free to apply by using our application form. If you are accepted into the conference, you may register using our secure credit card processor below, or else mail your check payable to "Fisherman's Wharf Writers Conference." The cost for the five day event is $495.00 and that includes tuition, the Algonkian Conference manual ("Immersed in The Art of Fiction"), all workshops, and all meetings with agents.

PAYMENT for conference due following acceptance.



REFUND of registration amount under the following conditions: Must be more than 30 days before the event. If less than 30 days, Algonkian will credit the registration fee towards one future Algonkian event of the writer's choice.



Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Julie Kaewert: "Because I was changing agents, I knew it was important to learn how to package the MS effectively ... When I saw the Seven Mountains Writers Conference on the website, it looked like just the thing. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations in every way."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian Writer Conference attendee, author Kate Gallison: "One way to lengthen your life is to stretch it backwards, and so I read a lot of history. Early movies fascinate me. They were both like and unlike stage plays of the time, borrowing actors and melodramatic plots, but developing entirely new techniques for portraying dramatic action. "   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Greg Haas: "I could tell a story about how the process works. Fiction gave me a chance to go where non-fiction wouldn't let me…inside people at both ends of the political food chains heads. The final inspiration came from a strange place Karl Rove spent a great deal of time."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Candy Somoza: "The preparation work got us thinking about the book in the store, how it got there, what makes it sell. While we read works and studied the writing, we also focused on the outside, so to speak, the marketing, and that was essential to prepare us."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian Writer Conference attendee, Barbara Marquart: I also wanted to tell a story that celebrates the deep bond between mothers and daughters - the struggles we all face to transcend our circumstances, forgive each other's failures and accept each other's limitations in order to find peace.   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, author Thierry Sagnier: "I was stuck, hadn't done any serious writing for months, and a friend of mine—also a writer—suggested I attend a workshop to kickstart me. So I looked on the net and found that there were quite a few places that offered what I wanted, but when I researched the Algonkian conference, I recognized the name of a reporter I really respect. He'd been there and was highly complimentary, so that sealed it for me."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Rae Bryant: "After completing the first draft of Ficklestick's , I wanted professional guidance and a community of writers to help me marinate the work. It was important to me as a first time novelist to seek feedback before finalizing the intricacies. By retaining a sense of early process malleability, I was able to really hear criticisms and then incorporate skills learned. Algonkian provided the perfect setting."   Read More...

Interview with Algonkian attendee, Alex Keto: "I've been to handful of other conferences and decided that if you find yourself in a large room with someone almost out of eyesight in the front talking at you, the results are what you would expect: generic advice that doesn't really help."   Read More...

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