Past Missteps
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
2M ago
      Several years ago, when I was much stupider, I briefly interned for a reasonably well-known agent. I let her know ahead of time that I had a vacation lined up where I would be off grid about a month after I started, which she was on board with.   However, due to some wires getting crossed on my end and some stressful visa shenanigans, my last email to her before I left didn't end up getting sent, and I didn't notice until I got back - effectively meaning I accidentally ghosted her a week early. I apologized profusely once I returned, but she never responded, and, in ..read more
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Do I really need an agent?
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
3M ago
      Here's a question for the blog: does a reasonably established but not MAJOR author really need an agent?   I've been querying for months with a really good project because my agent is retiring.  I'm getting full requests and plenty of "this is a great project but not for me" -- and no offers. And I'm also still selling work: short stories, and probably soon a re-up from the small startup press that did my summer book. And starting a new series next week at Level Best, with a second one picking up there in April.   My last two books -- X, and Y -- both earne ..read more
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Pet Card flash fiction results
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
3M ago
  Sorry for the dreadful delay in posting this. I was beset by a foul ailment that laid me low. I'd say it was fur deprivation, but I did have a nice long week with Mx Pix the parkour puss.   There's no critique on these; they're all terrific and besides, they're your furred friends. They're perfect even when they're not.   That said, the entry by Fburgos was breathtaking. I read it once and thought, ok, got it. Then I read it again.   Dimitrius Harmata       Hi! I’m Fluffy.     I chose to spend one of my nine lives standing guard over D ..read more
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Medicinal Flash Fiction
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
4M ago
  I'm still under the weather but I console myself by saying at least I don't have pneumonia (which two of my friends have now) and at least I don't have covid (which half the world seems to have now.)  Time for some medicinal flash fiction!    The usual rules apply:   1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.   2. Use these words in the story: jolly roger beach bum shell   If you are Steve Forti, or wish you could be, I hope you thought you'd prevailed forever BUT NO!!  If you are Steve Forti or want to be you must also use pneumonia.     &nb ..read more
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No monday post
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
4M ago
 A bit under the weather these past few days. More to come later this week ..read more
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Flash fiction contest of a different sort
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
4M ago
A friend and I were talking about her dogs and she casually mentioned she had business cards for them!  Well, that made me curious so I asked to see one. Kind soul that she was, she didn't mention she'd have to go digging, but dig she did.   Here it is:     So this week's flash fiction contest is: write copy for your dog/cat/dragon pet of any sort and post it in the comments column of this blog post. Word count limit: 30 words. You must include your familiar's name. You don't need to tell a story. And your familiar doesn't need to be anything but themselves (ie couch pot ..read more
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Including maps with requested pages
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
4M ago
Dear Janet,   The question is regarding maps in novels and sample pages (In usual fashion, my cart is bopping along the rocky road pushed by the nose of my weary horse. This is for my next and as yet unfinished novel).    I did read your old posts regarding graphics and maps and understand why graphics are generally frowned upon for debuts and that illustrative maps are typically outsourced.      However, I do actually have the skillset to do this (the map illustrations, I mean. Jury is still out on the writing bit). I was in a graphics heavy profession in my f ..read more
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Flash fiction contest results
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
4M ago
  Thanks to all of you who stepped in to assuage my pain at the shellacking I've taken from Steve Forti. It was medicinal flash fiction indeed!   Here are the entries that caught my eye.   Steve Forti   “I mean, who mixes meerkat with warthog? Ridiculous. And don’t get me started on Pac-man. ‘Cuz there’s Ms. Pac-man. Did she have just one choice in a guy? Is there like a whole race of Pac-men out there running from ghosts? And how do sheets stay on ghosts, anyway? Or pants. Is there naked ghost butt on every surface top in haunted houses? Oh, remember that ghost episode of ..read more
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Flash ficton contest to assauge my thorough besting by Steve Forti
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
5M ago
  I am surrendering to the brilliance of Steve Forti. I've never managed to thwart him. I slink off in shame.   However, we'll have a flash fiction contest to assuage my pain.      The usual rules apply:   1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.   2. Use these words in the story: punk button thwart acme pi     If you are Steve Forti, or wish you could be, just enjoy your victory.   3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the prompt must appear in consecutive order. They cannot be b ..read more
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Yes, Jeff Somers IS brilliant (don't tell him I said so)
Janet Reid, Literary Agent
by Janet Reid
5M ago
Jeff Somers has a terrific substack going that uses movies to illustrate points about writing. It's true-to-form Jeff: hilarious, and helpful. Here's one of his recent points that really hit home for me: Restraint can be challenging when writing a story, because it sometimes feels like it’s not writing. Depicting something in a realistic fashion sometimes feels like you’re simply describing an experience and not value-adding as a creator, or something¹³. The urge to dress everything up, to make every character “quirky,” every scene emotionally loud, every speech a brilliant soliloquy of ..read more
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