Agents Eric Smith and Allison Hunter talking on a panel.
Celeste Ng talks with Peter Ho Davies

The Gist

Our three-day literary conference educates aspiring and emerging writers on the craft of fiction and nonfiction, prepares them for the ever-changing world of publishing and promotion, and creates opportunities for meaningful networking.

Established and emerging authors lead 130+ interactive sessions on the craft of writing – the “muse” side of things – while editors, literary agents and other industry professionals tackle the business side – the “marketplace.” Though 800+ presenters, participants, volunteers, and special guests will attend, GrubStreet creates an intimate atmosphere designed to give everyone access to the wealth of talent on both sides of the classroom.

Additionally, The Muse features special events, which have included keynote addresses, evening receptions, full breakfasts, Literary Idol, a competition for self-published authors, and many more.

The Muse and the Marketplace is one of the few conferences that offers a concrete and candid assessment of your fiction and/or nonfiction manuscript. For an additional fee, attendees meet one-on-one in our Manuscript Mart with an established literary agent, an acquiring editor at a publishing house, and/or a literary journal editor. These consultants will evaluate twenty pages of your manuscript in advance of the conference and provide in-person feedback.

At the Shop Talk Happy Hour attendees network and socialize with invited agents, editors, authors and/or other presenters. Shop Talk tables, which require an additional fee, are reserved in advance so you’ll know exactly which publishing professionals you’ll be sitting with.

Muse attendee stands to ask a question amongst a crowd of other attendees
Muse attendees sit around a table playing with Jenga blocks that have words on them
Candace McDuffie writes on a easel pad in a session

Registration & Payment

Registration opens in late November for GrubStreet members and early December for everyone. Registration is announced via email, so be sure you're signed up for our mailing list!

The cost of the Muse and the Marketplace varies depending on your membership status, the number of days you attend, when you're registering, and your optional participation in the Manuscript Mart and/or Shop Talk Happy Hour.

Early-Bird Pricing (ends February 11th at 11:59pm ET!):

All 3 Days: $535 / GrubStreet members get $40 off!

Friday or Saturday Only: $395 / GrubStreet members get $40 off!

Add Ons:

Manuscript Mart: $195 per meeting

Shop Talk Happy Hour: $85

Tardy-Bird Pricing (Begins February 12th):

All 3 Days: $575 / GrubStreet members get $40 off!

Friday or Saturday Only: $435 / GrubStreet members get $40 off!

Add Ons (Stay the same):

Manuscript Mart: $195 per meeting

Shop Talk Happy Hour: $85

Past Muse & the Marketplace Keynote Speakers

Min Jin Lee, 2018

Peter Ho Davies, 2018

Isabel Wilkerson, 2017

Colum McCann, 2016

Aminatta Forna, 2015

Regina Brooks, 2015

Walter Mosley, 2014

Jane Friedman, 2014

James Wood, 2013

Amanda Palmer, 2013

Julia Alvarez, 2012

Richard Nash, 2012

Ron Carlson, 2011

Chuck Palahniuk, 2010

Ann Patchett, 2009

Jonathan Franzen, 2008

Charles Baxter, 2007

Grace Paley, 2007

Ethan Canin, 2005

Jennifer Haigh, 2005

Lan Samantha Chang, 2005

Matthew Pearl, 2005

Dennis Lehane, 2004

Julia Glass, 2004

Arthur Golden, 2003

Margot Livesey, 2003