The Muse 2014 | Details

When & Where

The Muse & the Marketplace 2014 will take place from Friday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 4th, 2014 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston. The Park Plaza Hotel is handicapped accessible.

Keynote Speeches: Featuring Walter Mosley and Jane Friedman

GrubStreet welcomes two exciting keynote speakers who will address the entire conference on Saturday evening, May 3rd, and over lunch on Sunday, May 4th.

Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 43 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City. Learn more here.

Jane Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the media industry as an editor, publisher, and professor. Currently she serves as the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), based at the University of Virginia, where she also teaches digital publishing and online writing. Her newest digital media initiative is Scratch magazine, a quarterly publication for writers, all about the intersection of writing and money.

Before joining VQR, Jane was the publisher of Writer’s Digest, a $10-million multimedia brand where she was responsible for the business strategy and financial performance of a team of twenty, which covered editorial, design, advertising, and online media operations. She also worked personally with many authors and oversaw the publication of hundreds of books.

Her expertise on the transformation of the publishing industry has been featured throughout many events and media, including NPR’s Morning Edition, Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishers Weekly, SXSW, Nieman Journalism Lab, and AWP. Since 2001, she has spoken at hundreds of writing and industry conferences, and has also served on panels and advisory boards for nonprofits such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Choosing Sessions & Appointments

1.) In attending the conference, you'll have numerous opportunities to participate in sessions on both the craft of writing and the world of publishing. All sessions are led by established and emerging authors, top literary agents and editors, and other industry professionals whose bios you can read here. Many of these presenters are generously donating their time, effort, and expertise, such that all proceeds from the Muse and the Marketplace are used to support GrubStreet and in particular our free outreach programs for teens and senior citizens. To contribute as well, or become an official sponsor of the Muse, click here.

2.) All sessions generally have between 15 and 55 participants. While "Literary Idol" and other interactive sessions offer the chance to get direct feedback on your work in a group setting, no sessions are traditional workshops that offer a thorough critique of your manuscript. If you are interested in getting such feedback, consider submitting a 20-page manuscript to the Manuscript Mart.

3.) All sessions are labeled as Lecture with Q&A, Discussion, Guided Writing Exercises, Panel Discussion, or a combination of the above. Please read session descriptions carefully to decide which format is best for you. We have asked each session leader to provide at least one handout.

4.) All sessions at the conference are geared toward the "intermediate to advanced" level of writer, with the exception of the "Essentials Of..." sessions, which are led by active GrubStreet instructors and pitched to those who want to revisit the fundamentals of craft or gain an introduction to some aspect of the marketplace.

5.) You are required to select which sessions you would like to attend when you register for the conference in advance. Please know that some sessions fill very quickly. If your session descriptions ask you to bring or read work in advance, please do so. You do not have to pre-register for the "A La Carte" sessions, which you may sample at the conference. A La Carte sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to the number of chairs set up in each room.

6.) When you register, the online form you complete represents a series of your REQUESTS to be placed in particular sessions/appointments, and NOT official placement. One week before the conference, we will email you a final itinerary of all your sessions and applicable Manuscript Mart/Lunch Table appointments, based on the preferences you submit here. While it's extremely likely that you will be placed with all your top choices if those choices are available at the time of registration, we cannot guarantee those placements. GrubStreet reserves the right to make changes to our conference offerings at any time due to unforeseen circumstances, but will always let you know in advance if we need to do so.

Book Signings

Books by guest authors (including selected backlist) will be available for purchase at all times during the conference courtesy of Porter Square Books. Authors will be available in their session rooms to sign books immediately following their sessions. A book-signing schedule will be printed in the conference program. Book plates will also be available for authors to inscribe if their books are not available.

"MuseFlash:" The Drum Flash Fiction Contest

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your flash fiction recorded by The Drum, an online literary magazine with a twist: You don't read The Drum. You listen to it. The Drum publishes short fiction, essays, novel excerpts, and author interviews exclusively in audio form. The editor, debut novelist and frequent Muse Presenter Henriette Lazaridis Power, is looking for 500-word flash fiction that stands on its own (no excerpts), and has a beginning, middle, and end. The best pieces will be included in an upcoming issue of The Drum.

Recording sessions will be held all three days of the conference at the following times: during Friday and Saturday registration (7:30 - 9:00am), Sunday's registration (8:00 - 9:00am), over Saturday's lunch (11:45am - 1:15pm), and anytime during the “A La Carte” sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. No need to sign up ahead of time.

To hear what The Drum has to offer, check them out at The Drum, a Literary Magazine For Your Ears. For Questions, email Henriette directly at

The Afters

For the second year running, we bring you The Afters: a series of evening events and gatherings organized by local Grubbies. Join local writers for a tour of nearby art galleries and studios, a Zumba class or two, or even a lesson in Fung Fu. More information coming soon.

What to Bring

Be sure to bring a pen and a notebook or laptop. We will provide a folder and any handouts you may need. If your session descriptions ask you to bring or read work in advance, please do so according to the description's guidelines.

Please do not bring full manuscripts, completed novels, or short story collections unless you have registered for the Manuscript Mart, in which case there are special instructions for you to follow regarding manuscript submission. Otherwise, you will have the opportunity to meet agents and editors informally, and we suggest you ask for their card if you are interested in submitting work for their consideration. He or she may be willing to read an excerpt if you mail it at a later time, and you may remind them that you met at "The Muse & the Marketplace." Agents and editors have been instructed NOT to accept full manuscripts of any kind at the conference.


Dress comfortably, but please note that proper business or casual attire is requested by the Park Plaza Hotel. No ripped jeans or athletic wear, please! We recommend wearing layers to accommodate any changes in temperature.

Child Care

We regret that day care facilities are not available for this event. Please make alternate arrangements for infants and children.

Where to Stay

GrubStreet has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Park Plaza Hotel at discounted rates. You may book a room at these rates online and enter the access code "GRS," or you may call the hotel directly and mention GrubStreet when making your reservation. These rooms sell out very quickly.

Hotels in Boston are notoriously expensive and are often booked long in advance. For the cost-conscious traveler, we recommend a discount site like Priceline and Hotwire to find accommodations. Because the conference is centrally located, most hotels in the Back Bay, Theater District, or Copley Square district are convenient on foot or via the T.

For those looking to splurge, boutique hotels The Lenox and the newish Mandarin Oriental are a short walk from Park Plaza.


The cost of the Muse and the Marketplace varies depending on your membership status, the number of days you attend, and your optional participation in the Manuscript Mart, Shop Talk Lunch Table, Social Media Mart and/or Marketplace Clinic. The breakdown is as follows:

Full Weekend (3 days) for members: $465
Full Weekend (3 days) for non-members: $490

One Day Only for members: $285
One Day Only for non-members: $310

Each Manuscript Mart OR Social Media Mart Appointment: $145
Shop Talk Lunch Table: $75
Marketplace Clinic: $100

Registration and Payment

Early registration will open for GrubStreet members in early February, and for non-members a few days later. You must register and pay for the conference online. Advance payment is due in full to reserve your place at the event. Registration will be accepted until Friday, April 25th, though please know that the conference usually sells out well before then.

We cannot refund money for this event. However, if you let us know that you are unable to attend by 12:00pm on April 28th we will gladly apply the amount of payment minus a $75 processing fee to a future GrubStreet class or manuscript consultation. Note that we are not able to offer any refunds or credits for the Manuscript Mart if you do not submit your manuscript by 5:00pm on Monday, April 7th, 2014. There are no credits or refunds for cancellations after 12:00pm on April 28th, 2014.

A portion of your ticket fee is tax-deductible. To calculate the tax-deductible amount, subtract $91.70 for one-day registrations or $285.58 for three-day registrations from your total registration fee.

For More Information

If you require additional assistance or information, please email Sonya Larson at