GLEN FALLS, NY—Revealing that her lousy peers’ advice had been invaluable, aspiring novelist Alicia Duncan confirmed Tuesday that the writer’s retreat she’s attending provides a great opportunity to receive critical feedback from other nobodies. “It’s been incredible to spend the week getting diverse perspectives on my memoir from a bunch of fresh MFA graduates and bored retirees, none of whom have ever been published,” said Duncan, adding that she enjoyed attending daily workshops about how to get a literary agent taught by a college professor whose only published book is about how to get a literary agent. “The $1,500 tuition is pretty steep, but it’s worth it for all the networking I’ve been able to do with people who have no industry connections and cannot help me. Every day we read our work aloud and take turns talking out our asses before sitting in on lectures from people who have barely sold 10,000 copies in their whole careers. They helped me figure out how to make my characters more two-dimensional and the best way to build out my story arc so it’s more convoluted.” Duncan added that she was eager to take all the inane, toothless critiques she’d received and turn them into something unreadable.

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