Muse & the Marketplace Conference Series 2023

New for 2023

We’re kicking off our new Muse and the Marketplace Conference Series programming with two virtual publishing summits (that will include Manuscript Mart sessions!) this May and July.


Registration for both the May and July events will open on Thursday, February 16 for GrubStreet members and on Tuesday, February 21 for everyone.


Take a look below to learn more about this year’s summit formats and what else we’ve got planned for future Muse programming — don’t forget to save the date for registration!

 

About the Virtual Summits

 Whether you’ve just started writing page one or finished your final draft, figuring out how to get published can be arduous, overwhelming, and feel sadly out of reach. With few opportunities to meaningfully learn about how the publishing world works and connect with agents and editors, aspiring and emerging writers can feel like industry outsiders with no support network.

Taking place this May and July, the Muse and the Marketplace Virtual Publishing Summits will give writers at all stages direct access to literary agents and editors, real-time insights into the latest industry trends impacting the writing world, and the essential insider knowledge crucial for a realistic and achievable path to publication.

 

Dates for the 2023 Summits

  • Thursday, May 18–Sunday, May 21
  • Thursday, July 27–Sunday, July 30

 

Each summit gives you access to

  • 15+ Shop Talk Roundtable sessions with publishing professionals discussing industry topics writers need to know about and answering audience questions (sessions will be recorded and viewable after the summit)
  • 3 keynote panels grappling with major publishing trends and more
  • The option to add on 20-minute meetings with leading literary agents or editors who will read your work in advance and provide feedback from an industry perspective in our popular Manuscript Mart sessions
  • Plus, thoughtfully curated online networking opportunities and an in-person party at GrubStreet’s Center for Creative Writing

 

 

 

GrubStreet Member Benefits

GrubStreet members receive a discount for the summit registration as well as advanced registration to both summits and Manuscript Mart meetings (which sell out quickly!). Not a member or need to renew? Become a member today.

 

What's Next for the Muse? 

2023 is a transitional year as we plan, dream big, and revamp what the Muse looks like moving forward. For future Muse cycles, we are hopeful that our spring event will return to a fully in-person, large-scale gathering in Boston, offering the best energy and social opportunities of a traditional conference, while our July event will continue to be a fully virtual publishing summit, offering the lower prices and unprecedented access to the insights of agents and editors that only the virtual format can provide. Plus, as we continue to ramp up, we’ll be adding even more new programming that will take place independently of our two conference formats to create further opportunities to learn and connect.

To learn more about key changes, the reasoning behind them, and the future of the Muse conference series, check out our FAQs below, email us at muse@grubstreet.org any time, and join our mailing list to stay updated on the latest news from the Muse.

FAQ

When will registration open? On Thursday, February 16, for GrubStreet members and Tuesday, February 21, for everyone.

Can I sign up for just one summit? Yes, you are welcome to join us for only May, only July, or both.

How much does everything cost? Registration for each summit is $150 for GrubStreet members and $170 for nonmembers, which is the same price as a 6-hour GrubStreet class. Manuscript Mart meetings are $180 each, for a 20-minute meeting with an agent or editor who has read the first 5 pages of your work, and a highly encouraged query letter and/or synopsis (important pitch documents that agents and editors can also provide excellent feedback on).

Do I need to register for a summit to purchase Manuscript Mart appointments? Yes. May Manuscript Mart appointments are only available to people who register for the May virtual summit, and July Manuscript Mart appointments are only available to people who register for the July virtual summit.

Why did the Manuscript Mart sample length change to 5 pages? For many years, the Manuscript Mart consisted of a 20-minute meeting with an agent or editor who had read 20 pages of your manuscript. However, feedback from attendees and publishing professionals over the years suggested that a 20-minute conversation was not the best format for receiving a 20-page manuscript critique (should the attendee focus on taking notes or asking questions? will the publishing professional be able to cover everything there is to say about 20 pages in that time? will they have time to address anything but the pages?). More importantly, attendees often felt that receiving a 20-page critique was not the best use of their 20 minutes with an agent or editor. We hope changing the page count gives attendees and publishing professionals the chance to have a more relaxed and well-rounded conversation, where agents and editors are able to give feedback on the overall project concept and its marketplace positioning, making the query letter and synopsis documents themselves stand out, and other career questions the writer may have, in addition to the robust discussion of craft elements that agents and editors are experts at assessing from the first 5 pages. If the project is a good fit for them, they will ask for more pages! The new page count also allows us to keep the widest variety of accomplished and busy publishing professionals accessible to our attendees while lowering the price of an appointment.

When is the deadline to submit Manuscript Mart samples? For the May Manuscript Mart, appointment sales will close on Monday, April 10, which is also the deadline to submit 5-page samples. For the July Manuscript Mart, sales will close and samples are due on Monday, June 19.

How do I submit my Manuscript Mart sample? Please find the full instructions here!

Will the summits have craft sessions? No. While we at the Muse love craft sessions, we also know that writers have many opportunities to work on their craft, such as by taking a class at GrubStreet, and fewer opportunities to connect with and learn directly from publishing professionals about the business side of building a writing career. We are focusing on this for our 2023 spring and summer series, though we may introduce more craft offerings again in the future.

Can I propose a craft or publishing session to present at the Muse? We are not open to proposals at this time, but hope to reintroduce this opportunity at a later date. Sign up for the Muse mailing list to make sure you don’t miss any announcements about future calls for proposals.

What parts of Muse 2023 are in-person? It is possible to participate in Muse 2023 entirely remotely if you choose! We will also host in-person parties at GrubStreet’s Center for Creative Writing in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood (50 Liberty Drive, Suite 500) on the evenings of Saturday, May 20, and Saturday, July 29.

I’m an Incubator student. How will this impact me? All students currently enrolled in GrubStreet's Incubator programs will receive registration to both the May and July summits, which will feature unprecedented access to the timely insights 60+ publishing professionals, including the opportunity to ask questions of any participating agent or editor during the Shop Talk Roundtables and recordings of all Roundtables to view after the event. Incubator students will also receive two 20-minute Manuscript Mart appointments, each of which can be used in either May or July. The Muse team will reserve your appointments with your top choice professionals before registration day. The Muse team will reach out directly to Incubator students in the weeks before registration opens with more details.

Will the Muse always be two virtual summits in the future? 2023 is a transitional year as we continue to plan, dream big, and revamp what the Muse looks like moving forward. For future Muse cycles, we are hopeful that our spring event will return to a fully in-person, large-scale gathering in Boston, offering the best energy and social opportunities of a traditional conference, while our July event will continue to be a fully virtual publishing summit, offering the lower prices and unprecedented access to the insights of agents and editors that only the virtual format can provide.