The Muse and the Marketplace 2024: Director’s Vision

The Muse and the Marketplace 2024: Director’s Vision

Are you ready for the Muse and the Marketplace 2024? We’re returning to an entirely in-person, three-day conference on May 10-12, 2024, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. While we’re putting the final touches on some exciting updates—including our keynote speakers, engaging session topics, and more—we invite you to read a special message from our Muse Conference Director, Leila Meglio, to discover our vision for this year’s experience. From honoring the legacy of past Muses to embracing the evolving literary landscape, discover the guiding principles for our anticipated in-person return.




When I joined GrubStreet in August 2023 as Muse Conference Director, I was given one key directive: return the Muse and the Marketplace to an in-person conference. The dates had been earmarked, the hotel booked, and the rest? A dream ready to be dreamed.


When I thought about how to approach bringing the Muse back to an in-person format (the first since 2019), I knew that we needed to be true to this conference’s deep and cherished legacy. Magic has happened here, in ways big and small, since its founding in 2001, not by mistake but through meticulous care for both the big picture and the minute details. That’s why the vision for a Muse of the future looks a lot like the Muse you’ve loved in years past: awesome keynotes, a schedule packed with craft and publishing sessions led by fantastic presenters, unique opportunities to meet with agents and editors, and just enough fun and intrigue sprinkled in to keep you on your toes. Of course, we have to account for the changing times and needs of writers in 2024, so I can’t promise that it will look exactly the same — but honestly, who among us can claim to look just like we did in 2019?


OK, a confession: my guiding principle has come in the form of an LL Cool J lyric: “Don’t call it a comeback, been here for years.” Whether this is your first Muse and the Marketplace experience or you’ve been to every single incarnation, we, as writers and as people, have been quietly honing our perspectives, our writing, and our story this whole time. No matter if you’re at the beginning of your writing journey or can find your name on a book jacket: we’ve all been here, doing the work, dreaming our dreams.


and so that’s what I’ve aimed to bring to every aspect of planning your Muse 2024: honoring the diverse experiences that have brought us all together to seek out the teachings, connections, and opportunities that help us move forward, as better writers, savvier marketers, clearer voices. Collectively, the group of us — writers, agents, teachers, editors, friends and strangers — we have the tools to get there, and the Muse and the Marketplace is your vehicle.


I want to acknowledge that writers face increasing challenges in this day and age, from grappling with the sea changes AI is bringing into creative spaces to the proliferation of book bans nationally to the consolidation of major publishing forces and well beyond. It’s tempting to tell the “safe” story, focus on the most “selling” project, and veer away from these danger zones. But that danger is exactly why the truest tales are our sharpest weapons. It’s why we need to lean into our voices and artistic choices without regret, so that one, five, ten years down the road, with or without the book deal, we can look back with pride for the journey and say, “See? I’ve been here for years.”


Because this isn’t a comeback — it’s a take back, as in, take back your Muse from the grip of expectations, the ones imposed upon you by the industry, past rejections, or even by yourself. Let’s share the knowledge, the tips and tricks to sidestep neat categorizations, or how to welcome them in, only to flip them on their heads. Let’s learn and write together, the best way we know how — simply as ourselves, and let the combined momentum of our words flood this conference, the marketplace, and beyond.


We can’t wait to host you this May. Information on registration will be shared in November, so be sure to stay connected – and see you at the Muse!

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