Muse and the Marketplace conference, hosted by Boston's Grub Street, has come to an end. I am tired but happy, and currently shuffling through my notes to see what might be fun and useful to post here on the blog. I went to several great sessions and had a most encouraging interview with an agent. Even though I was pretty much solo for the event, I got to hang out with some new friends, and met a lot of interesting people. I'm following a lot of them on Twitter now, and it's a lot of fun to get more like-minded writers into my feed.
As for pluses for Muse, there are lots. Most of the sessions I went to were presented by engaging and knowledgeable speakers. I enjoyed the fact that there were few panels. (You know my thoughts on panels as I've posted about them before.) All of these speakers were well prepared, and most had handouts so you didn't have to be taking notes like wild the whole time. I was unable to attend the social events because of personal conflicts, but it looked like there were many of them, and they seemed quite popular given how attendees spoke about them afterwards. The agent/editor portion of the event was organized and run well.
My gripes are pretty minor, generally speaking. One is that some of the rooms were long and skinny, meaning that it was hard to get seated and easy to get lost in the back. And, well, this conference isn't cheap, since it includes a hot buffet breakfast for two days, as well as other offerings. In addition, there wasn't much for people interested specifically in speculative fiction, nor were there any poetry-related sessions that I spotted. But no conference can be all things to all people. (As for genre, I'm hoping to hit Capclave later in the year.)
I think it is a very good conference for writers overall, if one can afford the price tag. And I'd certainly recommend it over other, larger, writer's conferences that are all panels. This conference gave me more of a feeling of community than others I've been to, and I'm hoping to go back again whenever my schedule permits.