It was my first time at the Muse & the Marketplace, and I will absolutely be back next year. Was blown away by the range of fabulous sessions, the inspiring keynotes, and the thoughtful ways the conference encouraged participants to connect with each other. I walked away inspired to set new writing goals for myself and felt better prepared to meet those goals.
Muse 2016 was brilliantly organized, easy to navigate, and wonderfully rewarding. The panels I attended were all top notch. The friendliness of the staff and volunteers was unflagging. The participants seemed well informed and lively. And the visiting authors and publishing professionals were conscientious about offering useful insights and valuable information based on their experiences. I’d recommend this conference to anyone and everyone who loves the written word!
- Virginia P., 2016
What the Muse has given me is a sense of community, a way to brush up on the basics I may have started to take for granted, an introduction to writers I might not have discovered on my own, and a chance to meet members of my tribe. One of my favorite friendships started with a chance meeting at the Muse. It’s a yearly measuring stick for progress.
- Cathy E., 2016
The Conference and Manuscript Mart far exceeded my expectations. Having professional, experienced agents read 20 pages of my work was invaluable. The Muse is extremely well organised, from the initial email correspondences and general notices, to the friendly and very available guides during the day to the classes themselves, it all works like clockwork.
- Heidi L., 2016
I loved this conference. I feel like I learned a ton, got to meet some wonderful people, and had many opportunities to grow and network. I wanted to be immersed in the community and to learn about myself as a writer, and I came away feeling I had achieved both of those goals and then some. Thank you!
- Teresa W., 2016
You guys are amazing! This conference is super-organized, the sessions are very informative, and the staff was beyond friendly/available to answer any questions. The ENTIRE weekend there was chatter (in the hallways, on the elevator, in the lobby) from participants how this was one of the best conferences (of any kind) people have been to.
- Jennifer J., 2016
“Grub Street is the reason my novel is being published. Let me rephrase: without Grub Street, my novel would not have been published, or probably even completed. And this is for two reasons: the classes I took there, where every instructor made me believe I could write this book, and The Muse conference, where I met an agent that introduced me to my publisher. If you are a Boston area aspiring author, there is no logical reason why you shouldn’t call Grub Street right now and say, ‘I want in’.”
- Connie Mayo, author of The Island of Worthy Boys
Wow– where do I start! It was my first Muse Conference, and having travelled all the way from Miami, I had high hopes. I was not only impressed with how organized and professional the conference was run, but also with how open, warm, and friendly all the instructors and participants were. As a newbie, that was such a delight to discover. To a person, all your instructors seemed to embrace the spirit of sharing knowledge, skill, and inside tips without judgement.
Without over stating it, it was such a happy gathering of people that shared a love of the written word. It met and far exceeded all of my hopes. Bravo! This Muse group is a hidden gem.
- Julie Hanrahan
“This was THE best conference I’ve attended in any profession. It was organized; had clearly communicated details; volunteers were located where I needed them and seemed so beneficial during sessions; the food was a delightful surprise of deliciousness. I could go on and on. Superbly organized and orchestrated. A great balance between Muse-filled sessions and Marketplace-wise sessions.”
- Peggy Montague
“I walked into The Muse and the Marketplace with a handful of essays and a book proposal. I walked out knowing I had found my agent. Five months later, I had a book contract. This event changed my life in every possible – and every positive – sense of the word.”
- Leslie Talbot, author of SINGULAR EXISTENCE
“Attending [The] Muse and Marketplace, affectionately know to me as M&M, is better and purer for your writing than taking anabolic steroids! I am a published author who needs pumping as much any aspirant. At M&M you will experience writing without taking pen to paper; you will be in a community diverse but driven by the same passion. You will have a grandstand of cheerleaders and fans for your efforts. You will learn more than you can possibly absorb. You will feel reassured that there is no exact right way to write, just your way. I came away exhausted (the good kind of tired) and ready to keep on doing my best to breathe life into language.”
- Lyn G. Brakeman, author of SPIRITUAL LEMONS
“[The] Muse and the Marketplace is the best conference for writers of all levels. I first attended five years ago and at the time didn’t dare say I was a writer out loud. The workshops provided inspiration and I still use advice that I learned from Carlo Rotella in his seminar on revision. Each year The Muse has helped me to feel more like a writer. Last year, I had a promising meeting with an agent and am now enrolled in an MFA program. If you treat yourself to one thing this year, you should honor your inner muse and attend this conference.”
- Sarah Banse, student
“As someone who enjoys writing in my “spare time,” I found the workshops and keynote at “[The] Muse and the Marketplace” inspirational! Manuscript Mart was especially helpful— the editor I met with gave me invaluable feedback on the second draft of my novel (and the deadline for submission made me finish that second draft!)”
- Dr. Marlayna Schmidt, writer and ordained minister
“I went to The Muse and the Marketplace conference a number of years ago and met with an agent. I wasn’t really focused at the time, and she encouraged me to go in a direction that I hadn’t really thought of. The result was my book, Holy Hullabaloos. Though the woman I met with didn’t end up being my agent, I think her advice was critical to this new stage of my career, and I’ve always felt gratitude toward her and GrubStreet for that help.”
- Jay Wexler, author of Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars
“I’m so glad I took a chance on The Muse and the Marketplace. Sessions were full of solid tips. Networking was easy in the friendly atmosphere. I came away inspired, applied what I learned to my writing, and got better at sending things out. My work is getting recognized and I am building a following. What an invaluable boost to my writing journey!”
- Mary E. Gordon, fiction writer
“The weekend of The Muse and the Marketplace is one I hold sacred each year now, no matter what else is competing for that slot. It’s an oasis for me, two full days during which I can be a writer in a writer’s world, during which I can let fall away my other roles as an administrator, a freelance consultant, a dance teacher, a mother, and be reminded every second that my writing is important and that I should continue to nurture it, and the writing process. And then, on top of all that, I get to interact with writers, agents and editors of fantastic caliber, and I get to reconnect with friends met through GrubStreet. What could be better for a writing conference?”
- Anjali Mitter Duva, author of FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN
“The Muse was my first writer’s conference and it far exceeded my expectations. The sessions were varied & stimulating, the presenters were dynamic & knowledgeable, and I’m raring to put what I learned into practice. The manuscript mart sessions were extremely useful, and all of the grub street volunteers and staff were very friendly. I think the venue also helped. The lunches afforded an opportunity to meet other writers and build up connections that a less luxurious space might not have allowed. Thank you all for making this such an amazing event. I’m already looking forward to next year!”
- Catherine Mazur-Jefferies
“This was my second Muse. Last year I learned a ton and in the time since, finished my memoir and secured an agent. I was psyched to see there were sessions offered this year to extend my learning and help me prepare for the next steps in the process. You guys brought in awesome speakers and mentors as well as top-notch agents, editors and authors. I value this conference so much and look forward to it every year.”
- Chris Edwards
“The Muse and the Marketplace is one of the best investments a prospective writer can make. Attending it has provided me with access to top agents, publishers, editors and writing teachers. I can say without hesitation that the information I learned at The Muse and the Marketplace took years off of the writing of my first novel.”
- Elaine Buckley, fiction writer
“I love Grub Street but find writing classes to not always be a great fit for me. I have a strong aversion to in-class writing exercises and a stronger aversion to sharing whatever I might write in them with the group. I wanted to give Muse a try but had nothing to base my expectations on except individual writing classes.
The conference blew me out of the water! I loved every minute. It was, no exaggeration, at least 90% pure bliss. I loved soaking up the expertise of so many industry professionals, coming at things from different angles in rapid succession. I feel like I got a hard-nosed, brutal assessment of the publishing industry today, yet somehow left feeling goofily energized — hopefully a sign that I’m in this game for the right reasons (passion for writing and stories, with publication and monetary compensation as possible icing on the cake).
I also loved how deep conversations with other writers could quickly get during meals and cocktail hours. I expect writing, especially the way I approach it, to be a very solitary activity, but at Muse I could share only as much as I wanted to on my own terms. And it felt good to share little bits and better to kick around other people’s ideas with them. I loved how everybody had their own personality and story to tell, but there were instantaneously recognizable struggles that bonded us as writers. I love how well-equipped we were to give each other advice and encouragement.
- Preety Sidhu
“I brought a short story to the Manuscript Mart — a story I’d had trouble revising, one that had been rejected by at least a dozen literary journals — and one of the editors I met with said, ‘All right, we’re going to fix this thing right here and now.’ And she made a few surgically precise edits and twenty minutes later accepted the story on the spot. This is the kind of magical thing that happens at The Muse and The Marketplace. It’s where editors and agents give you the time of day.”
- Chip Cheek, fiction writer and GrubStreet Head Instructor
“After a number of unsatisfying experiences at week-long writers’ conferences, I was ready to throw in the towel on conferences. But then I followed a friend’s suggestion to The Muse and the Marketplace and finally found what I’d been searching for, and more! I left The Muse feeling 100-times more inspired, knowledgeable, and well-connected than after all of those week-long experiences combined. I will definitely be back, many times over!”
- Rebecca Fraser-Thill, freelance writer and author of VISUALIZING THE LIFESPAN
“I attended my first [The] Muse & the Marketplace in 2004 with the goal of being brave enough to talk to at least one writer or one agent. Now, many years later, I talk to many writers (and my agent) each day, in large part because of the connections I’ve made through GrubStreet and The Muse. One of my proudest writing accomplishments is being part of Grub and The Muse. Come. Learn. Connect. You’ll be happy you did.”
- Randy Susan Meyers, author and frequent Muse presenter
“The Muse & the Marketplace conference was simply the best investment I have ever made. Not only did I learn how to navigate the mysterious publishing industry, but within several weeks I had been offered representation by two great agents I met through the “five-star” lunch. One agent was at my assigned table, and a published author seated there later introduced me to his agent. In September, just days after submitting my proposal to several houses, my amazing agent sold the project for six figures – not a bad return for my conference fee!”
- Dyan DeNapoli, author of THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE
“When writers ask me how I sold my first book, I tell them about Grub’s [The] Muse and the Marketplace. The conference taught me how to refine my query letter and hone my plot. Even better, it introduced me to my agent, who sold my novel twenty-four hours after sending it out. It was the most valuable money I have ever spent.”