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Boston writing center Grub Street hosted its annual Muse & the Marketplace conference at the Park Plaza over the weekend. Presenters included Alice Hoffman, Anita Shreve, Celeste Ng, Stephen McCauley, and Aminatta Forna. Sessions for writers addressed topics such as writing memoirs, pitching freelance stories, overcoming writers block, and writing sex scenes. (Steve Almond was the presenter for “Shades of Hot: How to Write Sex Scenes Without Shame.”) There were two big VIP parties during the weekend — the Friday-night bash at Beacon Hill speakeasy Carrie Nation that was sponsored by literary agency Zachary Shuster Harmsworth (guests at that event included “Fairyland” writer Alysia Abbott and Cheryl Strayed’s agent, Janet Silver), and the Saturday-night bash hosted by Christy and Jay Cashman that drew Grub Street executive director Eve Bridburg, Grub board chair Kathy Sherbrooke, writers Ann Hood and Patricia Park, and Grub artistic director (and novelist) Christopher Castellani.