How to Get an Agent The Lazy Way

These days I barely have enough time to write let alone pester people to publish my stories in their magazines. I've got some longer manuscripts but these are even harder to pester people with as most publishing companies only accept submissions through well connected literary agents. (Psst there are a few that still accept direct subs, click here to see who they are.)

But there is a way in which you can get the agents to come and pester you. In many a conversation I've with other writers significantly higher up the ladder, ones lucky enough to have novels and story collections published with very respectable publishers, I've noticed something strange.

The agents and publishers pestered them!

I didn't realise this happened I thought it was us writers that did all the hard work.

So I'll let you in one a secret that I've learned. Now, gather round we don't want everyone to know.

Most publishing companies seek out new talent by buying all the latest copies of the most prestigious literary magazines in their chosen areas. If a story really jumps out at them they will get in contact hounding that author asking to see what other projects they're working on.

So if you're really ready to push yourself to the limits and really show the world just how good a writer you are. You can get an agent the lazy way.

Though this will mean you'll have to get one of your stories in a top magazine which has fierce competition.Just make sure to write to the best of your ability and always, ALWAYS follow the submission guidelines.

It seems that it's quality over quantity when it comes to publishing credits. Having one of these publications on yours writers CV will open a lot of doors, mostly in offices of publishing companies.

Nightmare - Possibly the hardest magazine to get accepted into if you're a horror and dark fantasy.
I've read a few of these issues and they're really very good. Edited by John Joseph Adams

Black Static -  UK horro magazine, once called The 3rd Alternative from TTA press. Again I've read a few of these and the stories are great and will give you actual shivers down your spine. Edited by Andy Cox

Shimmer-  A journal of speculative fiction which publishes, fantasy, horror and other types of beautiful stories as the name suggests. They've published some huge names. Previously I've published an anthology from them and the stories were all beautifully strange. Edited by E.Catherine Tobler.

Apex Magazine  -  This is a magazine that features prose and poetry of science fiction, fantasy , horror and mash-ups of all three. I would say they have a very distinctive style that is
somewhat hard to explain. Again great stories in here, the bar is set high. Edited by Lesley Conner.

Clarkesworld -  A Hugo award winning science fiction and fantasy magazine. Enough said. Edited by Neil Clarke.

Cemetery Dance Magazine  - Probably the biggest magazine out there for horror. It is a World Fantasy Award winning magazines and pulls in the big stars of horror literature.

So do buy these magazines if you're really serious about appearing in it one day. You'll also help the support the magazines that help support you and other fellow writers. Read the stories, not just for the sake of a great tale  but to see what stories sell. As you read think how they are different to yours. Are they emotionally  moving? Do they scare you?  Are they in first person, third person narrative?

About the Author

S.J.Budd is a writer of all things weird and creepy. Previously her tales have been featured on Deandman's Tome,  Sanitarium Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Liquid Imagination, Aphotic Realm, Aurora Wolf, Aphelion, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Danse Macabre, Shadows at the Door, Inner Sins, Bewildering Stories, Siren's Call and many more.
She lives at  and  @sjbuddj 
Spells and Persuasions, her debut collection of short stories of horror and dark fantasy is available now in paperback and kindle from Amazon


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