The Muse 2014 | Marketplace Clinic

NEW IN 2014!

In A Nutshell

Join this targeted “conference-within-a-conference” offering both individualized guidance and community-building to 30 students interested in engaging in strategic thinking about their writing careers. Based on a “logic model” used by leaders and innovators and now by Grub Street, we will help writers explore their professional goals and understand what success means to them. The goal of the clinic is to help writers build their careers and focus their book marketing efforts in authentic and sustainable ways. This unique framework helps individual authors learn to spend their precious time and financial resources thoughtfully.


Inspired by feedback from previous conferences, Grub Street has developed a “conference-within-the-conference” – called the Marketplace Clinic -- that focuses on teasing out writers’ long term goals so they can be both strategic and authentic when promoting their work. The 30 select students who sign up for the Marketplace Clinic will follow the same track on Friday morning and Saturday morning and spend the bulk of their time learning together. These sessions will be led by experienced instructors who will take advantage of the smaller teacher-student ratio to build connections, grouping writers by project or stage, and offering individual feedback on each writer’s individual goals in the context of a larger discussion about mission, strategy, entrepreneurship, harnessing social media and other marketplace-related issues. We will provide a workbook for the conference sessions that will be a resource not only for the current conference but for future goals.

The Marketplace Clinic is designed for writers at any stage of their career looking to be more strategic about building and finding their audience. Participating writers are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.


Eve Bridburg founded Grub Street in 1997 with the goal of creating a supportive yet rigorous place to study writing beyond the halls of academia. Eve’s mission has been to expand Grub Street’s offerings to better educate and equip writers to take full advantage of the new opportunities ushered in by the digital age. Under her leadership, Grub Street has doubled in size since 2010, relocated to a beautiful new space, launched new, innovative programming, and expanded scholarship opportunities and outreach. Eve was named one of Boston’s 50 most powerful women by Boston Magazine in 2010. Eve has presented on publishing, the future of publishing, and on what it takes to build a literary arts center at numerous conferences, including AWP, O’Reilly’s Tools of Change, Grub Street’s own The Muse and the Marketplace, Whidbey Island Writers Conference, The Sanibel Island Writers Conference, and Writers at Work. Before starting Grub Street, Eve attended Boston University’s Writing program on a teaching fellowship, farmed in Oregon, ran an international bookstore in Prague and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with awards for academic excellence in Philosophy and Religion from Colgate University.

Dorie Clark is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is also a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press and Fortune, Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank. She is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and more. She frequently appears in worldwide media including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and MSNBC. Learn more at or follow her on Twitter @dorieclark.

Lynne Griffin is a nationally recognized expert on relationships and family life. She is the author of Sea Escape–A Novel (Simon & Schuster, 2010), Life Without Summer–A Novel (St. Martin’s Press, 2009) and the nonfiction guide Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment (Penguin, 2007). Lynne teaches family studies, early childhood education, and leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Wheelock College in Boston. She recently completed a second year stint as visiting scholar of education in Singapore. In addition, Lynne teaches fiction writing at Grub Street Writers in Boston, and co-created an innovative and intensive program for soon-to-be-published writers called "Launch Lab." Her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, The Drum Literary Magazine, Parenting magazine, Scholastic’s Parent & Child, The Writer magazine and more. For more about Lynne's work visit

Katrin Schumann is the co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children and Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too. She has been featured on the Today show, Talk of the Nation and in The Times, as well as other national and international media outlets. Current works-in-progress include a novel of psychological suspense, a book on parenting strategies that can make or break affluent children, and on-going editorial work for editors, agents and writers. For the past ten years she has been teaching fiction and nonfiction, most recently at Grub Street and a local women’s prison, and running parenting focus groups and surveys. She helped design and run Grub Street’s innovative program for debut authors, "The Launch Lab." Before going freelance, she worked at NPR, where she won the Kogan Media Award. Schumann has been granted fiction residencies at the VCCA, the Norman Mailer Writer's Colony and the VSC. Awarded scholarships to Oxford and Stanford Universities, she studied literature, modern languages and journalism. Schumann was born in Freiburg, Germany, grew up in New York City and London, and now lives in Massachusetts.

Michelle Toth is the author of Annie Begins, an bestselling novel, and founder of SixOneSeven Books, a small press based in Boston which she runs together with Andrew Goldstein, author of The Bookie’s Son. Established with the idea of “writers publishing writers,” SixOneSeven Books’ additional titles include Girls I Know by Douglas Trevor (2013), Veronica’s Nap by Sharon Bially, and Twelve Weeks by Karen Lee Sobol. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Michelle is currently the head of human capital for a leading investment management and technology development firm in New York City. Michelle is a long-time member of the board of directors of Grub Street, and divides her time between NYC and Boston.

Friday, May 2nd

8:15 AM: Welcome & Introductions
Participants and co-leaders Lynne Griffin and Katrin Schumann meet for breakfast in the Imperial Ballroom at Park Plaza. This is a chance to begin building community, and to discuss the plans for the Clinic and for the conference as a whole.

9:00 – 10:15am: Participants attend Session 1H: “The Strategic Writer,” led by Michelle Toth & Eve Bridburg.
This session will set up the innovative theoretical framework, upon which the Marketplace Clinic is built. While this session is open to the rest of the conference, 30 spots will be saved for participants in the Marketplace Clinic.
Description: There’s the muse and the marketplace, and then there’s you. Sometimes writers forget that the latter is the key driver for having not merely a winning book but a sustained, successful career. You spend countless hours working on your books and thinking about marketing, and you should. But without also being crystal clear on your goals, and making an honest assessment of your skills and resources, your path forward can be driven by tactics and anxiety instead of a thoughtful, coherent and personal strategy. It is possible to map out a plan that that draws on your strengths, aligns with your values and priorities, and gives you energy and joy. With the guidance of a literary agent and an editor of a small press, this session will get you started.

10:30 – 11:45am: Breakout Session #1: Mission Statements & Goals
Led by Lynne Griffin, Katrin Schumann, Eve Bridburg and Michelle Toth, this session exclusively for Marketplace Clinic participants will include small group workshops in which participants work on their individual mission statements for both their specific books/projects and their career as a whole. Held in a private meeting room at the Park Plaza.

12:00 – 1:15pm: Lunch at the Park Plaza Hotel

1:15pm: For the rest of Friday afternoon, participants attend sessions of their choice at the conference. Grub Street is happy to suggest specific sessions geared to the writers’ goals and projects.

Saturday, May 3rd

7:30 – 9:00am: Breakfast in Imperial Ball Room at Park Plaza [optional, included in conference fee].

9:00am: Group meets in lobby of Park Plaza and walks to Grub Street office. All Marketplace Clinic sessions on Saturday held at Grub Street. Refreshments provided.

9:30 – 10:45: Full-Group Session: “Social Media Matchmaking” with Dorie Clark
Strategic writers understand the social media view from 10,000 feet. With all the social social media footprint options--Facebook, twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest, websites, blog et al—Dorie Clark will point out what kinds of writers do well with each platform, reinforcing our message that writer outreach should be personal and differentiated. In today’s landscape, those who are most effective work selectively and with passion, rather than indiscriminately, trying to do it all.

11:00am – 12:15pm: BREAKOUT SESSION #2: Aligning Social Media, Developing Networks, Finding and Cultivating Readers.
Working again in small groups, and building on the previous sessions, participants will decide which social media are best aligned with their missions and discuss authentic practices for maximizing their use. Writers will explore how to develop their existing and potential networks based on their individual goals and will examine practical strategies for finding and cultivating readers.

12:15 – 1:00pm: Working Lunch. GrubStreet provides food and drink. Vegetarian options available.

1:00 – 2:15pm: Final Plenary Session: “Building A Community of Readers” with Lynne Griffin and Katrin Schumann
In small groups, each Marketplace Clinic participant will formulate a sustainable and strategic plan for how to stay the course. They will leave with three individualized priorities for themselves and an action plan for addressing them.

2:30pm: For the rest of Saturday afternoon and Sunday, participants attend sessions of their choice at the conference. Grub Street is happy to suggest specific sessions geared to the writers’ goals and projects.


$100 per student. Marketplace Clinic participants must be registered for the entire conference in order to participate in the Clinic.