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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Muse and the Marketplace Presenter Spotlight: Yasmine Ameli

Interested in funding your writing? At this year's Muse and the Marketplace conference, May 10-12, poet and essayist Yasmine Ameli will explore databases, lists, newsletters, and more to assist you in securing funding for your writing. Yasmine works as a holistic writing coach for creative writers seeking guidance on cultivating sustainable writing practices. Her writing projects have received support from Poets and Writers, Reese’s Book Club, MASS MoCA, Monson Arts, and more.

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

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?

Yasmine Ameli: I hate networking. Even the word networking—made up of “net” and “working”—feels uninviting: cold, fake, corporate—slimy. (And scary.) I don’t know a single writer who enjoys networking—but I do know lots of writers who crave community. Unlike networking, artist friendship is not about power exchange. It’s about dreaming, book recs, venting over pizza, giving and receiving help, showing up, late night solidarity texts about another story rejection (“It’s their loss!”), DMing open calls and memes, and more pizza.

Is it naive to believe we can reframe networking as friendship? If I’m deepening my friendships and professional relationships with an intentional focus on shared values, and if those values include authenticity and reciprocity, maybe not. Reaching out to writers on the Internet (and checking in on these people from time to time to say hi) has resulted in a surprising number of friendships in my life. Some of these friendships have led to professional opportunities: panels, classes, advice, submission and application resource sharing, collaborative projects, more friendships. Other friendships have centered on emotional support, humor, dog pics, and pizza. Thank God.

The best advice I could give my younger self: look up conference attendees, make a list of writers who—based on their profiles and/or writing— you could see yourself giggling with at a cafe over shared interests, reach out with a note articulating said overlapping interests, and offer to treat them to coffee or tea. Do it, even if it’s scary.

Personally, I drink tea.

Keep reading in this series