A list of things to (not) do while you're querying agents including not placing a voodoo hex on agents who reject you. To that I'd like to add that engaging the supernatural -- be it negatively or positively -- in pursuit of publication is probably something you want to avoid.
But before you query an agent you should probably know what it is an agent does -- a really nice informative essay by author Steven Harper Piziks on the things his agent has done for him that he would have never done himself.
And while we're on the topic of agents, Jessica Faust has a great post on the Bookends blog about how writers (even those hoping to score a deal with a small academic press) need to think of agents not as contract negotiators but as career builders. I know a lot of writers who wouldn't even think of attempting to get an agent after they've gotten a small press contract on their own, so this post was rather enlightening -- think of what an agent could do for that manuscript while it's still malleable.
Writing a novel way too big an investment for you? Don't worry, the Hint Fiction Contest has been "reloaded."
Is hint fiction too short? Novels too long? Novellas too dead? Wait!--they're not dead; they've just moved to Canada.
But if you're in workshop you rarely have the luxury of choosing your form; short stories are the gold standard. So you write a short story and take it to workshop. No one wants to go to workshop for therapy -- or at least I sure as hell don't -- but perhaps some people need it. "I have learned that sometimes the problem with a story is a personal problem, not a writerly problem." Damn. Yeah, I follow. It's a nice essay I just wish it spoke more to how she deals with it as a workshop instructor and not just how she deals with it in her own writing.
And for your gratuitous hot-men-reading-books pleasure I give you Hot Men Reading Books. (found via)