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The top 10 writing conferences in North America

The writing universe is filled with festivals, conferences, workshops and book fairs. Which are truly worth the hype (and the registration fees)?

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Writer Jennifer Mattson shares her top 10 must-go-to conferences for writers, taking conference size, geographical locations, topics and experience levels into account. No matter your background, your interests or your budget, there’s a conference on this list for you.


1. The Muse and the Marketplace

Grub Street, a writing center in Boston, holds its annual conference at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel for three days each spring. The weekend draws over 140 well-known authors, literary agents, editors and publishers. (Disclaimer: I teach online classes for Grub Street.)

Past faculty: Charles Baxter, Colum McCann, Roxane Gay


Why you should go: It’s a large conference with more than 800 people on some 100 panels. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to survey multiple sessions or want a conference aimed at all levels.

Highlights: The Muse draws a number of top New York agents and editors. For an extra fee, you can pitch them one-on-one by signing up for the popular Manuscript Mart. Don’t miss the Shop Talk Happy Hour for guaranteed face time with agents and editors if you’re looking to land a book deal.

Where: Boston

When: May



Originally Published