How to put your own work on display
As dozens of the agents and writers we spoke to for this article note, aspiring authors have three actionable options if they want to flip the power dynamic and have an agent come to them.
Option 1: Publish short fiction well.
By that, I mean send to journals that regularly appear in the prize anthologies, like Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, etc. (The journals name-dropped above aren’t a bad place to start.) And if you’re a nonfiction writer, publish in the glossy mags you find at Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. (Rule of Thumb A: If you’re getting 50 cents a word or better, it’s probably a big/respectable enough venue to catch an agent’s eye.)