Funny Women #152: Features of the Groundbreaking American Writers Museum



Rather than focusing just on the historical aspect of American literature, the [American Writers Museum] aims to engage today’s writers as well by incorporating elements that will encourage their craft…features of the museum include a large projected ‘word waterfall’ and touchscreen educational videos detailing American literary themes.

Other notable features include:

The Room of Silence: museum goers get to have an immersive sensory deprivation experience of being alone in a room with their thoughts.

“Going to Have to Pass This Time” interactive VR rejection experience.

In Your Head playroom to simulate agonizing, negativity spirals, and self-trolling.

Gallery of Other Jobs Society Deems Valuable: preserved in glass cabinets you’ll find a unique collection of unfinished law school applications, personal statements for college admission (donated generously by the tutored), sold souls.

Reading Library includes comments sections, imitations as forms of flattery, bad reviews, glowing reviews of peers’ work, Elena Ferrante.

Just Checking In: Throughout your museum journey, you’ll need to check in with your designated “editor” docent; failure to check in or checking in too much will result in banishment from the museum.

In unique exhibitions at authors’ homes, see “Chairs,” “Beds,” “Palpable Stench of Despair”; with “Animal Friends” video installations and family disappointment piped in though state-of-the-art loudspeakers.

Pitching Abyss: write the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on complimentary pieces of paper to throw into the wind.

Screaming into a Void is a completely empty soundproof space to bellow into wherein the outside world will give zero fucks.

See also: 

The Lightness and the Dark audio tour; Kill Your Darlings mausoleum of dead darlings; Submission Portal to submit and resubmit dreams for rejection; Writing the Self hall of mirrors; Slush Pile ball pit.

Photo retrospective tentatively titled “Writing Prose in Repose.”

Envy and Emotional Eating touchscreen educational videos.

“You’ll Be Okay, You’ll Be Okay, You’ll Be Okay” self-hugging workshop.

“I Regret Everything” panel of voices in your head (late evenings only).

Refurbished Typewriters, Open Veins, and Bloodied Paper gift of gab shop.

Museum café with free Wi-Fi and outlets (next to kiosk of Dystopian Magnetic Poetry, across from Cafeteria of Snacks, northwest of Grass Is Greener garden and patio; if you see Imposter Syndrome urgent care, you’ve gone too far).

Only a Suggestion is our 300-foot long wall of notes that is the largest workshop critique in the United States and Canada; add your compliment/heartless critique/off-base insight/another forced compliment in red pen before exiting the museum.


Be advised: Trash and paper recycling bins are a part of an exhibit (use only for first novels). Enjoy the bathroom of your choice to avoid socializing. “Diversity” exhibit now open to the public (NB white, hetero, able-bodied, cis American male citizens must check their privilege with their coats and silence themselves before entering).

Please note: The museum will operate Monday through Friday, more or less, from noon to 2ish, and on Friday and Saturday nights. Ticket prices will be on a sliding scale for adults. Kids are not welcome. (Financial assistance available to writers from writers’ parents.) Acceptance into the museum qualifies you for “I Don’t Mean to Brag” Brag-Off benefiting debut writers. We’ll be open as long as the National Endowment for the Arts is. Stay tuned for future TinyLetters with links to personal essays about the grand opening in Brooklyn’s Independent Bookstore District.


Rumpus original art by Kaili Doud


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Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches humor writing at The New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →