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

Finally, an inside look at a writing conference!

The writing conference, the Clymer Workshop, has a lofty reputation. It promises individual conferences with famous authors and the opportunity to meet agents and editors. Aspiring writers must submit their work and be accepted to attend.

Laura Belmont is one of the aspiring writers. She has finished writing her first novel. Her idea is to make a connection with one of the famous staff authors who will help her get a literary agent.

The conference is held in a picturesque setting in rural Western New York, but the atmosphere is anything but tranquil. Soon after Laura arrives she feels the intensity of two hundred people who have come for the same reason she is there.

Laura goes to creative writing workshops and readings unaware of the literary politics being played by the famous authors teaching her—the favors made, the courtesies given, the grudges held. Males on the staff are more interested in having sex with Laura than in her manuscript.

The lessons Laura learns aren’t on the conference schedule. When she receives an offer that comes with a price, she discovers how power works in the publishing world.

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

 “Some conferences are more respectable than others. All are there to take your cash. In The Writers’ Conference, Marian D. Schwartz tackles the topic with glee, laying bare the underbelly of one such event. It’s fiction, of course, but the writers, agents, publishers and academics who populate her story are clearly drawn from experience… 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

Read an excerpt here.

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