Janet Reid is a literary agent in New York.

She hosts small writing contests on her blog.

I enter them hoping to win.


  1. Write a story using 100 or fewer words.
  2. Include the use of predetermined words.

Here are my entries and her responses:


Date: 10/27/13, 11:23 AM

Words to use: Beautiful, Await, Shining, Love, Craft

S.L.A.B. 1929-2013

The town mortician was gracious with silver hair that could have lined the clouds. In her presence, grief was an afterthought and funerals like celebrations, until her own. They discovered her naked body in bed, covered in tattoos, but to their dismay none were her own. Over the years she developed a craft for removing inked flesh from the deceased and preserving their images. At night she arranged them like a collage of postcards on her body. Amongst them leathered butterflies, Veteran flags, and four words on her stomach, Shining Love Awaits Beautiful, which later marked her headstone.

Reid’s response: None (Darn-it)


Date: 8/24/13, 3:29 PM

Words to use: beautiful, downtown, queens, rental, cat

Speed Dater #7: Jerry


“You’re a handsome woman. People say I would make a beautiful woman, so I guess we’d make a good-looking pair, but then we might get mistaken for a lesbian couple. I could probably live with that if you could. My hobby? I steal chess pieces, well only the queens. One day I’m going to use them to decorate my cat rental business, Queen Kitty. I figure there’s a lot of lonely people who don’t want the full responsibility of a cat. Sometimes I get that Petula Clark song Downtown stuck in my head…”

Date: 8/17/13, 11:15 PM

Words to use: Degrees, Chum, 3, Bucket, Pants

Mergee squeezed through the double doors of Fairy Hall and demanded to see the Director of Height Requirements.

“You know he doesn’t start work until 3:33,” said the Fairy bitch behind the desk. “Please wait outside, you take up too much space.”

No, Mergee was going to sit there suffocating them all until someone changed the law. As it were, she was a Chum at three buckets tall, well above the three-thimble requirement.

Fairies received degrees and worked anywhere they wanted, but not the Chum’s. They were only suited for the oversized pants factory, but Mergee, had a new plan.


Date: 8/11/13, 12:59 AM

Words to use: fiction, slush, spade, hear, 262

Soldier 262

Harvey raced along the fence line looking for his marker, a red roped tied to the barbed wire. He could hear the sirens, but the winter slush slowed his pace. Once at the rope he dropped to his knees and began digging with his old military spade; it had saved his life by blocking a stray bullet during the war. Today it would save him again as he pulled a rusted box from the earth and he smiled knowing the fictional life created for him was over.

Reid’s response: None (shucks)


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