My aim in writing The Writers’ Conference was to create a fast, entertaining read that would shed light on the closeted world of publishing. 

The publishing world has secrets…

The Clymer Workshop, one of the oldest writers’ conferences in the country, has successfully hidden a shameful history. It has a lofty reputation that attracts aspiring writers like Laura Belmont.

Laura has been unable to get a literary agent for her first novel. Hoping to connect with an insider in the publishing industry, she’s thrilled to be accepted to the prestigious writers’ conference. She thinks the expense is worth it because she believes her acceptance is a credential.

Despite being held in a picturesque setting in rural Western New York, the atmosphere at the conference is intense. Almost two hundred aspiring writers are attending for the same reason she is there. They are all competing for the attention of visiting agents and editors.

Laura attends writing workshops while games of literary politics are being played in the shadows by the famous authors teaching her. She is unaware of the favors made, the courtesies given, the grudges held. She would be shocked if she knew what they were saying to each other in their private cottage about the writers they were hired to teach.

What Laura learns about publishing are unexpected lessons that aren’t on the conference schedule, lessons that change her life.

The Writers’ Conference is a fun read for everyone, and a useful education for anyone who might be thinking of a writing career. The story moves along quickly and holds the reader’s interest all the way to the exciting (and surprising) ending.”  Peter C. Foster, author

The Writers’ Conference…is alternately moving and funny, and never dull. It was interesting to read about the “dirt” in the publishing/reviewing industry.”  Mark Stevens

Carried by the substantial characters and surprising plot twists, author Marian Schwartz’ meditations on the state of fiction and symbiotic relationships of agents, publishers, and critics are insightful….an entertaining and very smart book.” JB Hicks

Read an excerpt here.

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Book cover showing an aspiring writer walking alone at writers’ conference with manuscript papers flying around her.

What Readers Are Saying

The story is well plotted…the twists and turns come naturally, yet remain unexpected…engaging from start to finish.”
Charles Findlay
“Carried by the substantial characters and surprising plot twists, author Marian Schwartz’ meditations on the state of fiction and symbiotic relationships of agents, publishers, and critics are insightful…an entertaining and very smart book.”
JB Hicks
“The twists of the plot are unexpected; there is so much information about the realities of the publishing world…A great read.”
Lillian Bloom