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Muse 2024 Presenter Applications

We invite all interested writers, authors, literary agents, editors, and publishing experts to apply to present at the Muse & the Marketplace 2024! The Muse & The Marketplace conference will take place fully in person at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston from May 10 to May 12, 2024. The deadline to submit your session proposal will be Monday, September 11th at 11:59 pm EST. Final decisions on session proposals will be sent out by the end of September after review by our selection committee.

All Muse presenters enjoy tuition-free conference sessions, keynotes, and special events, and receive a small thank-you honorarium. Please know that while we accept proposals from applicants living any distance from Boston, our travel funds are quite limited.
**Session proposals for the 2024 Muse have now closed - thank you for your interest!**

What We Want

Our conference offers two types of session topics: "Muse" topics, which focus on the craft of fiction and/or nonfiction in any genre, and "Marketplace" topics, which focus on elements of publishing. We seek thoughtfully designed sessions that examine a familiar topic in a new way OR a new or overlooked topic in a clear and compelling way. Innovation, rigor, and generosity of spirit are key.

We want interactive sessions that actively engage writers in discussion or debate, get us writing in class, or introduce us to an interesting genre or approach to publishing. Think of this as a teaching laboratory—a place to explore an idea you've been kicking around. Or as a place to show off how clearly and compellingly you can present a complex topic. Even an opportunity to give the primer on a topic that you'd wished you'd had at another part of your writing journey.  Each year we seek a mix of both classic and new ideas. Feel free to review the 2023 sessions, but note that we'll return to a balanced schedule of both craft offerings and publishing industry insights for 2024. Here are a few of our favorite sessions from 2019, our last in-person gathering:

Muse-goers want to study diverse texts. If you will be referencing published pieces in your session(s), please select authors from a diverse group of ethnicities, races, genders, countries, literary traditions, and/or time periods.

We want presenters from a rich and diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, and literary traditions. We welcome proposals focusing on any and all genres, from poetry to mystery thrillers to YA to memoir and beyond. We seek those who genuinely enjoy teaching and who are actively submitting and publishing stories and essays. If you have a book coming out in the next year or so, that's a bonus, but not required.

What We Don't Want

In a word: panels. For the 2024 conference, we have a strong preference for solo presentations; we feel this format best allows for a focused, deep exploration of the topic at hand. We will also consider those co-led by two presenters.

Your session will likely flow from your work or experience—and will likely inspire book sales and even post-conference business—but this is not the place to hawk your book or audition for new clients. We seek sessions that will be educational, not promotional.

Session Formats

  • Presenters read from prepared notes for approximately 30–45 minutes (or longer), leaving the balance of the session for Q&A.
  • Lecture topics can include close readings, literary analyses, explications of craft issues, arguments for or against certain modes in fiction or nonfiction, etc.
  • Lecture can include a reading of the presenter’s own fiction or nonfiction, but the reading should take minimal time and be meant to demonstrate an idea or issue. Please include some context for the reading: i.e. insights into the construction of the text or the questions it raises, before and/or after.
  • Lecture can include elements of the other two types of sessions: i.e. a discussion of a contrasting text, a guided writing exercise based on the issues raised in the lecture, etc.
  • Presenters briefly introduce/explicate a craft (or publishing) topic and then facilitate a discussion of that topic.
  • The class should be audience-focused, inspiring students to wrestle with a short text (or texts) through the lens of the craft or publishing topic. The presenter is mainly responsible for asking the right questions and providing enough context for the conversation to be meaningful and illuminating. Presenter is not necessarily “onstage” the entire time.
  • Discussion class can include elements of the other two types of sessions: i.e. the introduction of the craft topic can be quite long (up to about 20-25 minutes) and can include examples from the author’s own work. A guided writing exercise can also be used to put into practice some of the issues raised during the discussion or to set up that discussion.
  • Presenters set up a series of short writing exercises that audience members complete on the spot. These exercises should be unique and not necessarily pulled from a familiar book. They should also be related to each other in some way: i.e. three or four exercises focused on different aspects of plot or dialogue.
  • Audience members may be asked to read some of their exercises aloud, but keep in mind that this often eats up a lot of time.
  • These sessions work best when they are framed by a craft topic and/or the presenter has some agenda in mind: i.e. the exercises and the way they are handled or shared in class will add up to a deeper understanding of some element of craft.
Timing & Attendance

Sessions range from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the conference day and the topic. The number of attendees per session varies from 25-75. You will know your enrollment by the time of the conference because students sign up and reserve their spots ahead of time.

Room Arrangements

Rooms are arranged “theater style,” with chairs in rows facing forward. Presenters have a podium with a microphone, 2'x3' whiteboard on an easel, whiteboard markers, and an eraser. If you require another arrangement, please tell us ahead of time and we will try to accommodate your request.


If your session is accepted, we request that you provide at least one handout, of at least one page, per session. Feedback from previous conferences has shown that students love to have something to take away, even if it’s just a list of further reading—particularly any titles mentioned during the presentation.



After review by our selection committee, all presenter application notifications will go out at the end of September. You will be notified whether or not your session is accepted.

If you have not received a confirmation email within four hours of submitting your application, please check your spam and junk folders. If there is no confirmation email, please reach out to

All presenter applications are due Monday, September 11, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Yes! We welcome resubmitted sessions, but you are likely to have more success if you refresh your idea a bit. That said, a session that is a perfect fit for the Muse lineup one year is not necessarily a perfect fit for the next.

Yes! To submit multiple sessions, please fill out the form multiple times.