Muse Online Writers Conference 2009

(please be aware this is not a review of the rather weak new Muse album)

Over the weekend I took part in the Muse Online Writers Conference, hosting two events: a one hour pitch session for submission queries to our company and a one hour chat room, answering questions for those interested in Morrigan Books and/or the internal workings of a dark fiction publisher.

At first I was a little surprised by the high level of quality of the pitches I received (fully expecting some duds during the hour) but it was all made clear to me later by Lea Schizas, organiser and general goddess of the con, who explained that they had received pitches from more than 500 people and had filtered them down into the best of the best to meet me on the Saturday. As an aquistions editor, she knows what she is looking for, and so I have a few sample chapters on their way over the next few weeks.

Sunday was the chat and I thoroughly enjoyed this too. I found the questions thoughtful and engaging and twice I was caught out by questions on topics I just can’t seem to pin down. I’ll try and explain them here and hopefully some clever person might be able to help me in my search…

When asked if I preferred first person or third person POV, I responded by stating that I would love to publish an excellent second person POV novel. All went well until a wily person asked me which second person fiction I loved and I got a bit stumped. I mean, who is actually writing good second person stuff at the mo?

Not content with being caught out there, I then went off an rambled about how I prefer werewolf fiction to vampire fiction (after being asked my opinion on why vampires are so attractive to teens), which obviously gifted me with the question about what werewolf fiction has impressed me of late…oops…I knew I should have bought the Stephen Jones anthology at FCon…

And now, nearly a full twenty four hours later, I have just remembered that I rather enjoyed Carnies by Martin Livings. I think Martin still has a few copies left and I strongly advise buying one before they sell out.

I’d love some tips of where I can go for some top drawer werewolf stuff (just so I’m ready for next year’s con and tough questions), as it seems my werewolf lore mainly concerns itself with films.

Speaking about the werewolves, I received my copy of Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater today, and I do confess to being a little apprensive about this one. Elaine Cunningham was impressed though and that’s always a plus sign in my book!

But back to the conference and with it being on EST time (six hours behind us here in Sweden) I wasn’t able to take place anywhere near as much as I wanted to be but I am going to make sure I am ready for 2010, after already being invited to be a participant there too.

And I could go on all day about Lea Schivas, host of both my groups and very involved in the whole conference, full of support for writers, publishers and editors, encouraging groups and chats and even pushing a writer to pitch to me when the writer didn’t actually feel like she could (and it was a very good pitch indeed)!

I already hinted that I’d like to be involved with Lea on something in the future and I hope that she doesn’t take that as an empty invitation as it definitely wasn’t (and I’ll stalk her to prove it ;)).

All in all, a very enjoyable con and, as I mentioned earlier, one that I am going to make sure Morrigan Books is very involved in next year.

About Mark S. Deniz

English teacher, writer, editor, publisher, reviewer and blogger. Founder of publishing company, Morrigan Books and imprint, Gilgamesh Press. Also cycles, listens to lots and lots of music, reads a ton of books and tries to fit in some TV, film and writing too. View all posts by Mark S. Deniz

2 responses to “Muse Online Writers Conference 2009

  • Lea Schizas

    Thrilled you enjoyed the Muse Conference, Mark. And for folks to know, it’s totally FREE. Donations are accepted because mom and dad didn’t raise a fool, but even without the donations I’d still put on the conference because there are so many writers out there with good tales to tell who either have no money to attend a conference, disabled in one way or the other, or too far to travel.

    Looking forward working with you during the year with more chats and pitch sessions.

    I’ll post your blog link in the conference’s LINKS section.


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