• About Us and FAQ

• Methods and Goals

• The 16 Module Syllabus

• Writer Commentary

• Works and Writers Studied

• The Program Faculty

• Application and Registration

• Part I Program Sample

• Contact The Program


Janet Zupan earned her M.F.A. from the University of Montana in 1996. Her work appears in the collection, MONTANA WOMEN WRITERS: A GEOGRAPHY OF THE HEART (Far Country) ... [more]

As a kid, A.L. Torres fell in love with fantastic stories of worlds beyond our own such as "Animal Farm," "On the Beach" and "Metamorphosis." More recently, he's added "The Giver," "The Road" and "Hunger Games" as some of his favorites, ... [more]

Robert Steedman is a proud native New Yorker, receiving his B.A. in Art History from State University of New York at Geneseo and an M.S. Ed. in Art Education from Nazareth College. His first YA manuscript, FALLING, took First Place ... [more]

Brittany Hughes graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing, and subsequently earned a Masters in Teaching. She recently spent two years living in the Midwest, a landscape that inspired the setting of her novel, "Breaking Clay." ... [more]


• The Six Act Two-Goal Novel

• Maximizing Opps For Verve

• A Dose of Antagonism

• Guide to Best Comparables

• Crossing the Epiphany Line

• Novel Coverage Counts

• Storyboarding Scenes

• Sympathy Factors in Hook

• Third Person Point of View


   Agents, Authors, Editors - Betsy Maury, Paula Munier, Katharine Sands, Michael Neff, Barbara Kyle, Michelle Richter
    "Algonkian Writer Conferences, the New York Pitch Conference, and the editors of Author Salon have joined to mutually support and work with this new Algonkian Novel Writing Program which we feel is the best of its kind online, or off. It is rigorous, informative and challenging, taking the novel step by step from first line to denouement in a realistic manner unequaled by other classes or programs."
      - Michael Neff


Writer Professionals Consulted in The Creation of This Program:

  • Random House Senior Editor Caitlin Alexander
  • Bestselling Author Barbara Kyle
  • Literary Agent Kimberley Cameron
  • Algonkian Director and Author Michael Neff
  • Literary Author Robert Bausch
  • AEI Film Producer, Author and Literary Agent, Ken Atchity
  • Literary Agent Paula Munier
  • Writer and Columnist Cary Tennis
  • Literary Agent Gordon Warnock

Program Faculty (Also With Algonkian Conferences/New York Pitch)


Michael Neff is the founder and director of the famous New York Pitch Conference and its mother organization, Algonkian Writer Conferences, and also a contributing editor and "craft content provider" at Author Salon. Michael's editorial skills and Algonkian/Author Salon workshops have ushered dozens of new novels over the past several years into mainstream publication, including but not limited to OBEDIENCE by Will Lavender, ON MAGGIE'S WATCH by Ann Garvin, STASH by David Klein, LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN by Roberta Gately, CROAK by Gina Damico, THE WISDOM OF HAIR by Kim Boykin, and more recently, THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton, and the non-fiction BLACK PANTHERS by Gina Nicolo. He routinely works closely with senior publishing house editors in New York to locate and tap potential in budding new authors working in a variety of genres including upmarket literary and general fiction, serious and light women's fiction, narrative non-fiction, historical fiction, mystery, and SF/F (both YA, MG, and adult).

As an agent and developmental editor for AEI Books and Films Michael is currently involved in the development of both book and film projects including THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANNES (fantasy novel by Richard Hacker), SISTER ISLANDS (HBO series and book by Melanie Rollins), MESSAGE TO SHIGATSE (independent film by Don Thompson), MY LIFE BEHIND BRAS (a "mammoir" by bra celeb Lori Kaplan), THREE ALARM SHIH-TZU (film - Storycreator and Producer Michael Neff), and KILLER ON THE WALL (mystery novel by Wendy Eckel just sold to Thomas Dunne Books in a co-agent deal with Michael and Ken Atchity). Michael recently sold RISE OF THE AMERICAN CORPORATE SECURITY STATE by Beatrice Edwards to Berrett-Koehler, a publisher with over 150 best sellers to its credit. He is looking for film scripts, genre novels that can be made into film, non-fiction works, as well as publishable novel manuscripts in a variety of genres.

His motto is From the heart, but smart. He preaches the art of passion and rigorous training, frank feedback, and the mental toughness necessary to become published. Michael himself is a published author (YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS, Red Hen Press), and his fiction has appeared in such prestigious publications as North American Review, Quarterly West, Mudlark, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Literary Review, and Conjunctions, among many others. Michael has also created, directed, and contributed as editor to several literary journals and projects including Del Sol Press, The Potomac Journal of Poetry and Politics, Del Sol Review, In Posse Review, and Double Room (the first journal to publish new Walt Whitman work since the 19th century). He is the founder of a popular blog known as the The Writer's Edge that assists fiction writers in all stages from story conception to matters of publicity.


Betsy Maury is a former senior editor at Dell Publishing where she oversaw Delta Cutting Edge, an imprint of trade paperback fiction that showcased bold literary voices. During her tenure she published the cult classic GOING NATIVE by Stephen Wright and ARISE AND WALK by Barry Gifford. She also acquired upmarket mainstream fiction including the national bestseller THE SIXTEEN PLEASURES by Robert Hellenga. She likes accessible literary fiction with memorable characters and settings. Betsy acquired popular nonfiction as well including notable books, U2 AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Bill Flanagan and DEBATING SEXUAL CORRECTNESS edited by Adele Stan. She comes to the novel writing faculty with both publishing and writing experience, having written numerous books for Fodor's Travel Publications on Europe. She currently teaches a writing workshop and is an editorial consultant to Page Arts Journal,a New England literary magazine inspired by the Transcendentalists.


Paula Munier comes to Talcott Notch Literary with broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside. She began her career as a journalist, and along the way added editor, acquisitions specialist, digital content manager, and publishing executive to her repertoire. She most recently served as the Director of Innovation and Acquisitions for Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, where she headed up the acquisitions team responsible for creating, curating, and producing both fiction and nonfiction for print, eBook, eShort, and direct-to-eBook formats. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She's currently VP of that organization.) She's also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she's an active member of Sisters in Crime.

Her most recent deals include a six figure deal for THE REGISTRY by Shannon Stoker to Harper Collins; SNIPER by Vaughn Hardacker, Skyhorse Publishing; DYING FOR ATTENTION by James Shannon, Five Star; THE BODY LANGUAGE OF LIARS by Dr. Lillian Glass, Career Press; and TREAT ME LIKE A DOG by Larry Kay, Sourcebooks. Paula is currently seeking new clients who write mysteries, crime/detective, thrillers, SF/fantasy, YA/MG fantasy/SF, romance with an edge, and quirky women's fiction, memoir and humor.


A literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. She is the agent provocateur of MAKING THE PERFECT PITCH: HOW TO CATCH A LITERARY AGENT'S EYE--a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents.

For compelling reads in faction, memoir and femoir, she like to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed; for fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled. Actively building her nonfiction client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers' lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture.


Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Tudor-era "Thornleigh" novels The Queen's Gamble, The Queen's Captive, The King's Daughter and The Queen's Lady, all published internationally, and of contemporary thrillers including Entrapped and The Experiment. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold. Barbara recently signed a 3-book deal with Kensington Books, New York, to continue her "Thornleigh" series. Barbara is passionate about helping writers learn what they need to break into the publishing industry. She has taught her "Writers Boot Camp" for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations. She offers twice-yearly Master Class workshops focused on each participant's first thirty pages.

Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S. She and her husband are sailors and enjoy the beauty of Georgian Bay aboard their Cal-46 ketch. www.barbarakyle.com and one of her sample writer training videos can be found here.


Michelle Richter is now an agent at Fuse Literary Agency. A former editor at St. Martins, she has worked with bestselling authors including Tom Perrotta, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and Ian K. Smith, MD and with authors well-known in other media such as Paul Anka; Albert Brooks; and Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian on fiction and on nonfiction topics. As an agents, she is seeking book club fiction, literary fiction, and well-crafted women's commercial fiction, as well as thrillers and mysteries, specifically amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and smart cozies.

On the faculty of Algonkian Author Salon, she is standing by for any full ms evaluations that might come her way.


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