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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about the week's news. Negin, NPR this week broadcast a plea from the nation's literary agents. Please, people, stop sending them what?

NEGIN FARSAD: Oh, stories about the pandemic.

SAGAL: Yes. Stop sending them...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Your quarantine novels.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Hey, you know what would make a surefire best-seller? The story of a brave woman who managed to go three months without Zumba classes.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Apparently, many first-time writers have taken advantage of being locked inside to write that novel, often about being locked inside. And scientific studies show that 100% of these novels are terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A literary agent told NPR that, first, if you wrote your novel in less than three months, it probably reads like it was written in two months. And second, any cool idea you have about a pandemic story, it's been thought of, bought, published and has already failed.

JESSI KLEIN: What a cool voice of encouragement to people.

SAGAL: I know. Stop. You have nothing to say. Shut up.

KLEIN: What a chill vibe...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

KLEIN: ...From that literary agent.

SAGAL: That still little voice in...

KLEIN: I mean, let people just - people are just pecking away at it. Let them have something.

SAGAL: No, I'm sorry, Jessi. That's still voice inside you - crush it. I don't want to hear it.

KLEIN: Guys, you're going to love my novel.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: You can't...

JOSH GONDELMAN: I don't know...

KLEIN: Mine's different.

GONDELMAN: How much does it take to just not respond to an email, agent?

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: I am actually working on a second book that is not about the pandemic or coronavirus. And I can tell you it's not going well.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: The crushing anxiety and the unschooled child are not melding (ph) together to form a perfect book.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: If it makes you feel any better, I'm having a hard time reading a book. So...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PAPERBACK WRITER")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) Paperback writer, paperback writer, paperback writer, paperback writer.

SAGAL: Coming up, our panelists do some sleuthing in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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