Special Note:

Deadline Extended For Select Advanced Workshops—There is still time to apply for Advanced Workshops in Poetry, Memoir, and Advanced Revision and Submitting Strategies for both Fiction and Nonfiction. Applications close on Monday June 3rd at 11:59 pm EST.

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Special Series

Special Series

Muse and the Marketplace Presenter Spotlight: Phoebe Baker-Hyde

Join us for Moving On: A Community Memorial Service for Manuscripts We Must Abandon (at least for now). At this year’s Muse and the Marketplace conference (in-person, May 10-12) author Phoebe Baker-Hyde will lead a light-hearted guided writing session reflecting on our works that we have moved on from to make space for new craft.

We recently caught up with Pheobe to ask her about writing in community, the Muse, networking and more.


GrubStreet: What does the phrase "writing in community" mean to you personally and professionally? Could you share a moment from your career where community support at events like the Muse and the Marketplace made a significant difference?


Phoebe Baker-Hyde: Writing in community is more like thinking in community or listening in community. A fellow student teaches the kind of class I’d like to run: she knows a stack of books I should read. A workshop leader has wrestled with a similar thorny plot issue and suggests a fix; I don’t like it, but it leads me to my own, better, answer. A talk I attend—way outside of my genre, just happens to fit in my schedule and be in air-conditioning-- introduces me to a word and concept that helps reframe my story collection. Thinking in community is the writer’s mycorrhizae, the magical, rooty, electrical/nutrient exchange system that powers the trees above.


GrubStreet: Networking is a vital part of a writer's journey, but can sometimes feel like a new skill for writers to learn. Based on your experiences, what practical advice can you offer to attendees on making the most of networking opportunities at the Muse and the Marketplace? How have connections you've made at events like the Muse and the Marketplace shaped your writing trajectory creatively or opened new doors for you professionally?


Phoebe Baker-Hyde: The word “networking” gives me hives: anxious self pep talks in dim bathrooms, sweaty palms, painful, rapid-fire conversations with gross power-differentials; snap judgements.

Blech.

But the point in meeting other writers and book-lovers like editors and agents is much like the point of writing at all—that is, to go brain-to-brain and heart-to-heart with other souls. We might connect with just one appreciative reader, or a roomful of encouraging compatriots, or even someone willing to promote a print run of thousands of copies. In essence, it’s intimate. It’s risky. We can’t know who will cross our paths, but we can come prepared with our best work and best selves. We can come--not armed and armored with self-promotion-- but open, centered, and alert to those who dig our vibe and understand our project’s gift to the world. It’s not everyone, and it might not even be the people we think or hope it will be. But it is the people who light up for our work--and who we light up for, too -- that we’re after.


Only 10 days until the Muse and the Marketplace - register here!


Keep reading in this series