Friday Five Thanks for Bank Holidays

1) Lets start with something cool, namely the shortlist for the inaugural Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award. The details are here  – – but I reckon the eight should be listed here in full:

Blood of the Wolf by Jaya Martin
Kali’s Call by Dolly Garland
Nowhere more Changeable than the Mortal Heart by Ewen Ma
Seeds of Heaven by Victor Ogana
The Principles of Moments by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson
The Reeves’ Guild by Kyla Jardine
The Scent of Cloves by Dan Buchanan
The Shape of the World by Amy Borg

A huge congratulations to them all. I wish I could you more about them but not only have I heard of none of them before, it seems very difficult to find information about them. I hope this changes.

2) Two great tweet craft threads here, one by David Dalglish and one by Melissa Caru – read them rather than reading me.

3) Also on twitter, we saw an agent warn that people contacting their authors to ask what they were like to work with *before* they got an offer would get on their blacklist (note only before, after is fine). Name with held to avoid any feeling of witch hunt, because I want to talk about the concept more than anything. It seems a little, hmm, harsh. Certainly a lot of authors kicked off at the idea to varying degrees. Me, myself, I don’t see why I’d want to do due diligence on agents only *after* I’ve submitted. Would I email authors working with the agent?  Honestly, it had never occurred to me but with authors I know a little, why not? That said, I don’t have the immortal rind to ask that question of people who don’t know me from Adam. And I get why some authors would like to avoid that happening. But is it really so commonplace? The answer seems to be make as many connections as possible to avoid being in that situation, but that’s not so easy done. I’ve seen quite a few comments asking whether the British publishing industry can become less London-centric after corona virus, but making personal connections more important sounds like it would make it more so. Do we need some sort of Rate Your Agent website? I don’t know. But, perhaps contrary to the agent’s purpose, it has made me even more aware of the need to reach out and do my research. 

4) I’ve been having a splendid time doing Wyrd & Wonder – making friends, finding book recs, and hopefully not annoying too many people with all the blogs. The hosts do great round-ups (Imyril’s is here, Lisa’s is here) but I still wanted to do a shoutout for some of my favourite posts. I love these reviews of the Discworld Imaginarium and Dawnspell. The Littlest TBR list at 13th Shelf is a) adorable b) likely to be pretty useful to a lot of people. Finally, there were also some good introduction to fantasy posts around here and here, which is something I do very much enjoy reading

5) I‘ll be honest I had no idea what to do for five here so this craft thread from a literary agent just saved my day. It’s a bank holiday, I’m crashing, there’s a limit to how much effort’s going into this.

Have a great weekend!

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