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Here come the judges

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
May 2, 2011

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Writers Anita Shreve, Elinor Lipman, Sebastian Stuart, and Mameve Medwed did their best Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, and Steven Tyler at “Literary Idol,’’ one of the many events that drew writers, editors, and literary agents to Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace conference over the weekend. Literary hopefuls packed themselves into a room in the Boston Park Plaza to hear the four storytellers critique the opening paragraphs of manuscripts by aspiring authors that were read out loud for the crowd. Shreve and Stuart were particularly amusing with their one-line reviews, especially when a manuscript confused or bored them. The authors happily stayed late at the event so that they could judge every manuscript they had been given.