• Maggie Meahl

Field Trip: Muse and the Marketplace

*Originally posted April 9th 2019*





Today I went to Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace #Muse19 writer’s convention at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. At $435 for one day of the 3-day event, I was hoping for inspiration and to make a few contacts. So what happened?


Well, it had its’ ups and downs. The upside was I had a chance to pitch my idea in front of three literary agents. I didn’t do so well. But, I got practice in pitching! I was soooo nervous (tight, shaking, etc.) and did the pitch in front of other writers (in a setting like the one above) during a session called: Nonfiction Idea Clinic. The agents pulled names out of a hat and we each got 2-mins to do the pitch. Mine was not focused and was probably “five books” trying to be one. I did not convey the drama that my book will have and it’s all about that first line–that one-line pitch that gets an agent perked up. Other people’s pitches included: girls and sports, 30 people who changed careers, memoir of growing up in turbulent Vietnam (but with no chapters), the frustration with marijuana farms in southern California, and arson in Boston in the 1970s.


The downside was that the event has outgrown the old Park Plaza hotel. Navigating through the narrow hallways to get to the conference rooms was challenging and wasted valuable time in connecting with other authors which is sort of a delicate dance (I think). Also prevented reflection and social media posting. Sounds whiny but that was my take.

I also connected and had lunch with an inspiring woman with a great book idea on the art collection industry. She reached out to me after my not-very-good pitch and I am forever grateful to her. I hope to go back to Muse or some other literary conference and I will be experienced.

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