Countdown to Muse 2022: Finding Your People by Crystal King

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 Crystal Kingauthor of The Chef’s Secret and Feast of Sorrow.



You opened a door into a new world for me. 

That’s the dedication to GrubStreet in my second novel, The Chef’s Secret

It’s a door that opened up for me fifteen years ago in January 2007. Stepping through it transformed nearly every aspect of my life. I still tear up talking about it, even now as I write these words. 

I met my writing group—individuals I took classes with, or who I met year after year at The Muse & the Marketplace—at GrubStreet. We’ve been going strong now for nearly fifteen years, and we all have published books in the world. 

I met my agent at a Muse & the Marketplace gathering. I remember the conversation so clearly—our introduction by a fellow Grubbie, me trying to make my book sound interesting, and her immediate excitement about my story. 

GrubStreet also gave me my first teaching opportunity. I’ve since taught undergraduate and graduate courses at some of the best universities in the country. In addition to writing novels, I make the bulk of my money today teaching.  

And my circle of friends…oh, there aren’t enough words to explain this best gift of all. Grateful doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Because of GrubStreet, I am surrounded by writers of all genres, who understand the struggles of an author in an unforgiving industry, who get the challenges of sitting down to the blank page, who know the exultation of a plot finally beginning to flow. Friends who cheer me on, cheer me up, and make this whole wild writing path worth it. 

I found my people.


Crystal King is the author of The Chef’s Secret and Feast of Sorrow, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was a Must Read for the MassBook Awards. She is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at GrubStreet and several universities, including Harvard Extension School and Boston University. A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston. You can find her at



You can catch Crystal's virtual craft discussion, "Food Writing Across Genres,” via Hopin at Muse 2022 from 10:00am - 11:15am on April 28th. Don't wait! Register for the Muse and the Marketplace 2022 today.

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