Our Editors’ Advice on Creating Narrative Tension

March 12, 2015 • 3 Comments There are stories that you can’t put down, and there are those that you can’t wait to put down. The difference? Often, it comes down to tension. What’s pulling the readers through, hurtling them headlong…


January 22, 2015 Johnston_Tim_Author_LR - (c) Dave Boerger

The Writing Life: Tim Johnston

3 Comments January 22, 2015 • 3 Comments Like many authors, novelist Tim Johnston’s path to publication was rife with rejections. An earlier draft of the manuscript that would become his just-published novel Descent was turned down by eight different editors. Massive revisions…


October 30, 2014 rejected

Rejections, Part 2: Don’t Give Up

No Comments October 30, 2014 • No Comments No matter how you look at it, getting a rejection letter can take the wind out of your sails. It can be hard to keep going, or know what to do next. When it comes…


August 14, 2014 onthehouse

A Dialogue on Dialogue

2 Comments August 14, 2014 • 2 Comments In this high-wire act of derring-do and ersatz dialogue, senior editor Kathy Pories and executive editor Chuck Adams discuss one of the most challenging aspects of craft. Kathy: “Nice weather we’re having. Aren’t you sick…


July 31, 2014 onthehouse

The Quotable Algonkian, Part 2: Summer Slump Edition

No Comments July 31, 2014 • No Comments Algonquin authors, a spectacularly talented lot, are also exceptionally generous with their hard-earned writing advice. During the dog days of summer, even the most dedicated writer’s momentum can stall, so we’ve compiled another installment of…


May 22, 2014 stack of manuscripts

Query Do’s and Don’ts

6 Comments May 22, 2014 • 6 Comments Algonquin is one of a dwindling number of publishing houses that still accepts unsolicited queries, and we accept them only through regular mail. Since you’ve worked so hard already and may soon be adding a…


March 13, 2014 onthehouse

Writing Advice: On Brevity

1 Comment March 13, 2014 • 1 Comment The Twitter Fiction Festival, which started yesterday and goes through March 16, includes Algonquin authors Bill Roorbach, Sara Farizan and Gabrielle Zevin. Each author is creating an original work of fiction, meted out in 140-character…


February 6, 2014 onthehouse

Writing Advice from Author Drew Perry

No Comments February 6, 2014 • No Comments In Drew Perry’s new novel, Kids These Days, an expectant father is paralyzed by the idea of taking responsibility for another human life when he can’t seem to manage his own. While Perry, the…


January 8, 2014 onthehouse

Writing Advice from Robert Morgan

1 Comment January 8, 2014 • 1 Comment What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve gotten? The novelist Alison Lurie said that when writing a novel I would have to find a “passive gear” and let my characters take over the story…


December 4, 2013 louisandrufus.

Writing Advice from Louis Rubin

1 Comment December 4, 2013 • 1 Comment It’s only fitting that one of our first “On the House” posts should feature the words of co-founder Louis Rubin, whom we lost recently but whose ethos we try hard to keep alive. Rubin’s astute…