Countdown to Muse 2022: Finding Your People by B.A. Shapiro

The Muse and the Marketplace 2022 is almost here! This year's conference is our first ever hybrid conference, taking place Wednesday, April 27th - Sunday, May 1st, with the Manuscript Mart taking place Wednesday, May 4th - Sunday, May 8th.

This year’s conference theme is “Finding Your People.” As writers, we may draft our work alone, but it takes many people to bring a creative project into the world — from family and friends, to fellow writers, instructors, publishing professionals, literary champions, and ultimately eager readers. Muse 2022 is celebrating all of the connections that enable and enrich our writing and literary lives. 

As we count down to the conference, we are asking presenters, agents, and editors to tell us about who has enabled or enriched their own writing or literary life, and how that relationship began. Our next presenter in the series is B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Metropolis (May, 2022), The Collector’s Apprentice, The Muralist, and The Art Forger.



Thirty some odd years ago, I was running the Boston office of a software development firm. Child One: I juggled the competing roles. Child Two: I couldn’t cope, and I had to face the fact that superwoman was dead. What to do? Exhausted and freaked out that I wasn’t up to my feminist dream, I did what any confused daughter would do: I asked my mother.

“If I’m not superwoman, who am I?” I whined as we sat over lunch at the MFA.

My mother nodded and sipped her coffee. Then she asked, “If you had one year to live, what would you do?”

Without thinking, I blurted, “I’d write a novel and spend more time with my children.”

She nodded again. My wise woman.

So that’s what I did, with her cheering me on all the way. The first novel I wrote was called “The Death of Superwoman.” You’ve never heard of it because it was never published—and rightly so. But my mother encouraged me to write another. That one got published. And then another and then another.
My ninth novel, Metropolis, will be out in May. It will be the first released without my mom to cheer me on. Pub day will be bittersweet without her. But all those years of encouragement are still with me as I embark on novel number ten.


B. A. Shapiro is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Metropolis (May, 2022), The Collector’s Apprentice, The Muralist, and The Art Forger, which won the New England Book Award for Fiction, among other honors. Her books have been selected as Community Reads throughout the country and have been translated into over a dozen languages. She holds a PhD in sociology and has directed research projects for a residential substance abuse facility, worked as a systems analyst/statistician, headed the Boston office of a software development firm, and served as an adjunct professor teaching sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She likes writing the best. Barbara splits her time between Boston and Naples, Florida. Read more about B.A. Shapiro on her website.



You can catch B.A.’s virtual craft discussion, "Classical Story Structure: You Don't Need to Use it But You Have to Understand It," via Hopin at Muse 2022 from 2:00pm to 3:15pm on April 27th. Don't wait! Register for the Muse and the Marketplace 2022 today.

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