Welcome to the new Author Salon Novel Writing home page and FAQ. For starters, this program was not assembled by a university low-residency MFA program, or by operators of any of the currently popular multi-course websites. This program was created by a team of professionals in the commercial novel writing program world, and designed to provide aspiring authors with comprehensive, pragmatic, and rigorous training in the art of writing a commercial novel. We do not waste time, or cut corners, or artificially extend our course material to five or six courses in order to make more profit. We are business oriented, of course, but also writer-oriented in our approach. We provide great course work at a very competitive price, and since we are new, we offer a course registration guarantee specific to this program.
See our FAQ below, and our links to the left for more information about the program. Regardless, whatever you decide, we wish you the best with your novel. It's not easy to become commercially published, and it never will be.
"Nearly Everyone Has The Potential"
Nearly everyone has the potential to write a breakout novel and go on to become a successful commercial author, but precious few finally accomplish the task. Writer conferences, author workshops, books, MFA programs, and so forth, all play a part in a writer's evolution, and can be very helpful, but none provide the overall pragmatic means and method to finish the job. If this were not the case, an imaginative and ambitious writer would only have to attend an MFA program, for example, and become a published author in due course. But this rarely if ever happens, despite expenditures in the range of $30,000 to $50,000. And aside from this lack of comprehensive and realistic training, many other factors come into play that hamper the aspiring commercial author, everything from prickly skin to incompetent writer groups to misunderstandings of market dynamics.
Consider. Would you try to build a livable and quite stylish home on your own without an architect and a professional home builder simply because you had the ability to hammer a few boards together with nails? Of course not. You would acquire the expertise and skills before you began. And yet, new writers approach the creation of a thing equally or more complex, such as the writing of a competitive commercial novel, in the belief they can do so because they have a story idea, can type words on a page, and have read a few magazines about writing. They consult with other new writers as ignorant as themselves and proceed to build a house called a novel, but one that will not risk their lives because fortunately for them, it is all on paper.
To address the above issues in all ways, Author Salon, the novel development and network site for aspiring authors, has created this competitive novel writing program with one goal in mind: to provide you with the professional guidance and advanced writer skill set, necessary craft technique, practical application and online learning environment you must have if you truly desire a realistic opportunity to transform your current manuscript or work-in-progress, regardless of genre or stage, into a successful commercial project, i.e., a novel that major New York publishers will wish to publish and actually promote, and one that will launch your career.
The program consists of a two-course 16 module series of advanced technique and craft application, character sketching, plot outlining, and work-in-progress manuscript edits combined with separate skill-building exercises, as well as relevant reading assignments, all related to the art of writing commercial novel-length fiction and designed to enhance your novel manuscript step by step on every structural and narrative level. The point is to make your novel far more competitive from a standpoint of marketable story premise, plot line(s), dramatic complications, point-of-view dynamics, narrative style technique, theme application, character arcs, and more (see our program syllabus page).
And if you do not yet have a novel manuscript or a partial, the point is to cajole you into creating it and filling in the details as you go. Regardless of your stage, your work will be reviewed by our faculty who are teachers, writers, and business professionals. See our faculty page for more details and credentials.
Why Is This Novel Writing Program Unique?
A number of significant things, as follows:
Our "model-and-context" and "cross-module method" approach to studying and applying proper technique on all vital levels (see our program page and a sample of our program) while your novel is being effectively developed and edited at the same time.
Our detailed 16 module syllabus that notes all the major elements covered as well as the authors studied or referenced (see our syllabus page).
The array of fiction works studied and referenced in the program modules (see our works page).
The books and analytical fiction articles studied in the program (see our works page).
Our layer by layer approach to teaching you how to write multi-angled and unpredictable cinematic narrative, taking show-don't-tell to its ultimate expression.
Our program faculty which consists of a best selling author and two literary agents very hungry and actively looking for new projects for both film and book purposes (see faculty page). If your novel manuscript is very close to being a publishable work, we will most certainly refer you to one of many literary agents known to us via our contacts on Author Salon, or else take on your project ourselves for representation to major commercial publishers (Random House, Harper Collins, etc.), but we cannot guarantee this by any means. Keep in mind, however, it is in our very best interest to get you an agent or book contract, since this is great publicity for our program.
The fact that advice and critique on all levels derives exclusively from faculty professionals. In our opinion, this approach is crucial. If you wish to learn how to build your own house, and then actually do so, or invest your money wisely and then actually invest it, you know better than to seek advice from inexperienced non-professionals. Why? Because the issues are important and the stakes are high.
Why should they be less high when you are writing a break out novel with the goal of becoming a career author?
Who Should Register For This Program?
Aspiring authors working in most genres (see list below), regardless of manuscript stage. The program methodically addresses all structural, premise, and narrative aspects of your project, and in a manner beneficial to evolving the project and skill set, no matter the writer's level at the start of the program.
Having said that, you must first consider your goals and where you wish to be in five years. You should also decide on whether or not you wish to self publish, or become a career commercial author. It makes a big difference. Quite often, those who wish to self-publish fail to achieve the necessary levels of competence and refinement required for a successful commercial career. It isn't because they are not capable, rather because they choose not to do so. If you are one of these individuals, we highly recommend you focus on courses, programs or workshops that do not ostensibly distinguish between goals in the way we do.
How Does This Program Apply to All Genres?
The courses and their modules approach the art of writing commercial fiction in a manner that applies to upmarket/literary and all commercial genres. See the Six Act Two-Goal Novel page on Author Salon to get an idea what we're talking about. The courses accomplish three primary goals. They enable you to:
Learn and practice foundational and advanced art-of-fiction and storytelling technique
Learn and apply said technique, craft and knowledge to your own work-in-progress
Come to a firm understanding of the role today's market plays in the bullet point above (keep in mind, the "market" is your reader).
There is no start date, or end date. You begin the first module and proceed through the next 15 modules once you've entered the program, or at such time you decide to begin. In theory, you might wish to review a few modules first, take some notes and consider before the first assignment.
What is "Cinema On The Page"?
Once Mark Twain set the standard for show-don't-tell American fiction for all time to come, it's been the goal of successful commercial novel writers in America to continue to duplicate the feat, regardless of genre. The Author Salon novel writing program devotes a significant number of modules to utilizing a methodical and rigorous method for transforming each writer's extant prose narrative into competitive cinematic narrative, i.e., prose narrative that displays dynamic imagery and style technique that creates verve and unpredictability on the page.
All literary professionals know that the mastery of such narrative is essential to competing in the marketplace--an issue rarely if ever sufficiently addressed by college or commercial writer programs.
How Does Author Salon Benefit From The Program?
Aside from the obvious monetary reward related to providing writers with arguably the best high-end novel writing program online, Author Salon gets the opportunity to screen new writers and novels for possible promotion to commercial publishers and literary agencies. The program is open to two types of writers: those who simply wish to learn from the program and work their manuscript, and those who wish to learn and apply for membership in Author Salon at the conclusion of the program.
What About Cost, Time Involved, Etc?
The amount of time it will take any particular writer to complete the entire novel writing program depends on each writer's current skill set and project quality. Given the fact that most people work and have other lives, we estimate four to six hours per week minimum time investment, for a period of 16 to 25 weeks. Out of necessity, each writer must therefore work at their own pace.
The cost of the program is $239.00 for each of two major parts, or $399.00 for both Part I and II (see our registration page) which includes all 16 modules.
What About This Author Salon Network Place?
At Author Salon, it's not just about getting a first novel published, it's about launching a career.
The mission of Author Salon is twofold. First, to serve as an ongoing and effective bridge between our aspiring author members and professionals in the business. Our faculty actively networks with major New York publishers, as well as top literary agents, to promote a variety of projects throughout the year. In other words, we pitch and query on behalf of our writers, providing them with the visibility and promotion they need to stand a realistic chance of becoming published career authors. We work with all genres, including upmarket and literary, historical, serious and light women's fiction, romance, erotica, fantasy, SF, middle-grade and YA, urban fantasy, general fiction, thrillers, cozy mystery, detective and true crime. So far, over four dozen fulls and partials have been requested by publishers and agents including Random House, Dijkstra Agency, AEI Films and Books, Harper Collins, Penguin Books USA, St. Martins, Tor Books, Larsen-Pomada Agency, ICM, Donald Maass Agency, Fine Print Literary, Kimberley Cameron Agency and many more.
Second, to attract promising writers and transform them into great writers by guiding them through the project development process in a realistic and methodical manner with nothing short of commercial publication of their manuscript as the goal. To this end, Author Salon functions as a new and rigorous form of writer university, utilizing a criteria-based step by step approach that includes primary and upper level peer-and-pro reviews and writer workshops, a separate two level review by Author Salon, additional forum-based draft workshops, as well as a final top level review on the part of seasoned peers and agent/editor players in the publishing business.