He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

19 New Literary Agents Seeking Clients (in 2021)

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{{Please check out my new post of literary agents.}}

This post is based on old-fashioned research: I emailed 19 new literary agents seeking to build their client list, and got the inside dish from each of them.

  • The type of books they’re looking for
  • The type of books they read when they’re not working
  • Personal information — their history, hobbies, etc.

Many agents responded promptly to my question regarding what type of work they were seeking, and I was impressed and encouraged by the warmth and directness of their replies. By and large, agents are really looking for emerging writers.

(Side note: If you’ve never submitted to an agent before, please check out these fantastic Bookfox articles: “How to Find a Literary Agent (in 8 steps)” and “The Secret to Finding a Literary Agent.”)

6 crucial steps to remember:

  1. Before you leap to drafting 19 new queries be certain you’ve done your homework: Is the manuscript up to professionally edited standards? Do you know what category your book falls into? Do you know the sort of agency you would want to represent your work? And are your goals for your manuscript realistic?
  2. When you submit your query to an agent, be a professional first, and a personality second. No matter what your brain tells you in moments of doubt or frustration, agents aren’t looking for seers, and they won’t be won over by efforts to prove you really, truly, deeply know them. Presenting an agent with biographical details that you dug up on her by googling her name won’t charm her. She wants a concise, professional query that displays your book, its qualities and potential, and a general sense that you submitted to her with care.
  3. Keep the query brief.
  4. A touch of personality is professional. You should aim to highlight those qualities that make you interesting, but such qualities can be limited to your publication history, education, or professional qualifications that relate to your manuscript.
  5. Know that a “No” is in your best interests just as much as a “Yes.” This can be tough. When you’ve finished your manuscript and it’s time to sell it, you can’t imagine one reason why anyone would reject it. That’s a good sign. It means you have faith in the outcome. But don’t confuse confidence with good business. You wouldn’t want an overbooked agent to take on your project any more than an agent would want to represent an author who never plans to write another book.
  6. Agents offer career representation. If the agent doesn’t take to your work, she’s saved you valuable time by rejecting you. Taste is a powerful thing, and you want the agent author relationship that will foster your talents and encourage you to persevere. After all, securing literary representation is only the first gate toward publication. Editors offer a whole new round of rejection, and for that, you want someone in your corner to champion your voice.

The below list of 19 New Literary Agents aims to facilitate a conversation between agents and potential clients. Whether the writer writes literary fiction, young adult, MG, upmarket, genre fiction or some blend of each, whether the author is seeking an agent for fiction or nonfiction, for novels or memoirs, short stories, essays, biographies, even graphic novels, the below list provides options for everyone.

1. Lesley Sabga

Lesley Sabga has worked for The Seymour Agency since 2014, but only in the fall of 2017 stepped into an associate agent position. She’s got a soft spot for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Seeking middle grade, young adult, science fiction and fantasy as well as how-to and coffee table nonfiction, Leslie tends to champion ambitious plots with memorable characters set in unforgettable worlds.

How to Submit: Lesley prefers email queries and asks that you paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your email. Direct your queries to Lesley AT TheSeymourAgency DOT com.

A Couple Reads that Excite Lesley:

  • Game of Thrones
  • The Handmaid’s Tale

2. Natalie Grazian

Natalie Grazian, an Associate Literary Agent at Martin Literary Management, is seeking adult fiction clients. She’s partial to cuttingly perceptive contemporary, soft sci fi, and fantasy—particularly historical fantasy at the moment. She likes her protagonists hapless and ill-equipped. The lone-wolf, savvy, cool types don’t tend to catch her eye, though she enjoys strong character transformations.

Authors who stage their novels in fantastic locations, and build big worlds will catch Natalie’s attention, though she enjoys claustrophobic settings as well, such as boarding schools located in the middle of nowhere.

Plotless action is the quickest way to sink a query when submitting to Natalie, while authors who give a sneaky history lesson; develop subtle, magical undertones; write truly vile villains; portray complicated families; and craft contemplative, omniscient narrators will keep her reading. She’s sure to turn pages if she finds a non-stereotypical character who is marked, but not defined, by difference.

How to Submit: Please include a query letter in the body of your email and attach the first ten pages of your manuscript, preferably as a Word doc. Please send your queries to Natalie AT MartinLit DOT com.

A Couple Reads that Excite Natalie:

  • Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love
  •  Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
  • Porochista Khakpour’s Sons and Other Flammable Objects
  • David Benioff’s City of Thieves

3. Whitney Ross

Whitney Ross of Irene Goodman Literary Agency seeks YA, contemporary, and adult fiction across all genres. She is also interested in nonfiction about cooking, design, and fashion. She loves novels set in unusual time periods and locations, both fantastical and ordinary.

She rarely rejects the trickster king motif, and has a weakness for read-between-the-lines subtle romances. Books not on her “wish list” consistently surprise her, and she is always open to stories with compelling characters and emotionally involving plotlines.

How to Submit: Email a query letter and the first ten pages, along with a synopsis (3-5 paragraphs) and bio in the body of an email to whitney.queries AT irenegoodman DOT com. Whitney does not accept snail mail queries.

A Couple Reads that Excite Whitney:

  • Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden
  • Amy Harmon’s The Bird and the Sword

4. Lindsay Davis Auld

Lindsay Davis Auld is a junior agent with Writer’s House. She specifically seeks YA and children’s literature. Mysteries, fantasy, and humor spark her interest faster than anything. She’d love to find a great middle-grade puzzle mystery in the vein of “The Westing Game” or “When You Reach Me.”

How to Submit: Submissions can be emailed to: lauld AT writershouse DOT com. Please send a query, along with the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. For picture books, please send the full manuscript. She does read each query carefully, and aims to respond within one week.

A Couple Reads that Excite Lindsay:

  • The Westing Game
  • When You Reach Me

5. Alex Field

Alex Field opened The Bindery in 2017. His agency reflects industry knowledge he developed and honed over eighteen years in publishing and journalism. He seeks Christian spirituality, literary fiction, science fiction and fantasy, memoir, biography, business, diet and health, pop culture, theology, and more.

How to Submit: To query Alex about literary representation email your book proposal to info AT thebinderyagency DOT com along with a cover letter. Please include a clear summary of your book concept, table of contents, author biography, at least one sample chapter, relevant contact information, and your publishing history.

A Couple Reads that Excite Alex:

  • Chase the Lion
  • Shaken by Tim Tebow with A.J. Gregory

6. Meg Davis

Meg Davis joined Fletcher & Company in 2017. She’s passionate about social justice, and women’s rights. One book she couldn’t put down was Ta-Nehesi Coates’s “Between the World and Me.” She seeks adult literary fiction and is drawn to flawed characters with complicated family histories.

How to Submit: To query, please send a letter, brief synopsis, and the first 5-10 pages of the manuscript/proposal pasted into the body of the email to info AT fletcherandco DOT com. Do not include email attachments with your initial query, as they will be deleted. Only query one agent at Fletcher & Company at a time.

A Couple Reads that Excite Meg:

  • Between the World and Me
  • The Age of Innocence

7.  Julia Livshin

Julia Livshin spent time as an intern at The Atlantic where she worked with writers like John Updike and Roxana Robinson. She’s refined her practice as a freelance book editor, copy editor, and fiction reviewer extraordinaire.

As a native of Chicago she understands the brutal cold of a Midwestern winter, and her studies have taken her to North Carolina and Massachusetts. Duke and Harvard aren’t bad schools to have on one’s resume. She’s in search of literary and upmarket fiction as well as children’s literature.

In addition to fiction, she enjoys narrative nonfiction. Her hope is to cultivate new writers.

How to Submit: Please send queries to jlivshin AT gmail DOT com. Queries should include the first fifty pages of your manuscript, as well as a brief synopsis and a bio.

A Few Reads Julia Enjoys:

  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Stoner by John Williams
  • Anything by Aimee Bender or Alice Munro

8. Nicki Richesin

Nicki Richesin may be new to Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc. Literary Management, but she’s an industry vet with years of experience as a freelance editor and book editor.

While chatting recently with another agent at the San Francisco Writers Conference Nicki mentioned how much she loved Zadie Smith’s collection of essays Feel Free and would like to find a client like her. The other agent said, “Zadie Smith is a unicorn!” So in Nicki’s eternally optimistic way, she’s hunting for unicorns.

She’s especially interested in upmarket fiction from wry observers with a different slant on life and how to live it. She’s drawn to stories that teach her something new about the world. Books that make her weep (like she did when she read “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker) or laugh until she cries (such as “Standard Deviation” by Katherine Heiny).

She loves historical novels like Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing” and strangely ingenious fiction like “Pond” by Claire Louise Bennett. The unicorns, of course, impossibly well-written, story-driven novels like “The Animators” by Karla Rae Whitaker, “All My Puny Sorrows” by Miriam Toews, and anything (novels, essays, letters, doodles, etc.) by Zadie Smith. Unicorns may be difficult to find, but Nicki is still searching.

How to Submit: Email submissions to submissions AT wsherman DOT com. Include your last name, title, and Nicki’s name in the subject line. For fiction, please include a query letter and your first 10 pages copied and pasted in the body of the email. They will not open attachments unless they have been requested. For non-fiction, please include your query letter and author bio.

Other Books Nicki has enjoyed:

  • Andrew Sean Greer’s The Story of a Marriage
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  • Anything by Karen Russell

9. Eva Scalzo

Eva Scalzo, pronounced “Eh-vuh”, of Speilburg Literary Agency, trains her eyes on Romance and YA fiction. Since the fifth grade when she discovered Sweet Valley High, she’s bonded with YA literature.

Her sensibilities were further shaped when she inherited a vast collection of vintage Harlequin romances from her grandmother. She’s always on the hunt for good romance novels, but prefers not to represent inspirational romance. There is such a thing as too sweet!

How to Submit: Send all unsolicited submissions via e-mail to speilburgliterary AT gmail DOT com. In the subject line of your query email, please include “Query Eva” followed by the title of your project. Include a query letter and the first three chapters of the novel in the body of the email.

A Few Reads that Excite Eva

  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Replica by Lauren Oliver
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Keeper Amy Dawes

10. Deborah Hofmann

Deborah Hofmann joined the David Black Literary Agency in December 2017, but her adventures in publishing date back to the New York Times where she edited the NYT Best Seller lists. Discovering new authors brings Deborah great joy. She enjoys representing literary and commercial fiction as well as narrative nonfiction, autobiography and memoirs, culture and the arts, humor, practical how-to skills and artisanal arts and crafts.

How to Submit: Query Deborah at dhofmann AT dblackagency DOT com. Summarize your book idea and include in the body of your email your proposal and, if appropriate, the first 50 pages. Do not attach any documents as attachments will not be opened.

11. Cynthia Ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti joined Books & Such Literary Agency in 2016 after a brief stint as the board president of American Christian Fiction Writers.

As an author of numerous books, and as someone who spent 33 years writing a radio show that blended quasi-devotional spiritual insights with gripping elements of fiction, Cynthia brings empathy and insight to her clients, offering representation to authors at all stages of their careers.

Cynthia is currently focused on finding captivating nonfiction projects, and would be especially interested in acquiring exquisitely written nonfiction with the emotional depth and intricate storytelling of “This Is Us” coupled with the soul-healing beauty of God’s grace. Cheesy need not apply!

How to Submit: When submitting a query, follow these guidelines: Limit your query to one page; include the genre and subject of your manuscript, its unique elements, and target audience; highlight your vision for marketing your book, your writing experience, the name of the person (if any) who referred you to Books & Such, and whether you’re currently submitting your query to other agents. Visit https://www.booksandsuch.com/submissions/ for specific requirements regarding fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.

12. Jordan Hamessley

Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary & Mediafocuses exclusively on children’s and YA literature.

She came to her career as an agent after nearly a decade working the editorial side of publishing at Penguin Young Readers (Grosset & Dunlap), Egmont USA, and Adaptive Studios. Winning queries possess a sense of fun and humor. She has a keen eye out for work that brings the queer experience to children’s literature, and always holds her breath when she opens a YA sci-fi or middle grade horror query.

Her interests in nonfiction focus on picture books with a STEM focus.

How to Submit: Send your query to query AT newleafliterary DOT com. Do not query via phone. The word “Query” must be in the subject line, as well as Jordan Hamessley’s name. Also include the category (i.e., PB, chapter book, MG, YA, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, etc.) You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email. Attachments will not be opened unless specifically requested. Include all necessary contact information.

A Few Books on Jordan’s Wishlist:

  • YA version of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • YA take on ballet book from male dancer’s perspective
  • YA take on Chopped or Master Chef (after the filming concludes…)

13. Kieryn Ziegler

Kieryn Ziegler joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2017 as the assistant to Michael Bourret in the West Coast office. She grew up in central Pennsylvania and moved to LA to study at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she graduated with a BFA in Writing for Screen & Television. She loves books about exciting new worlds, found families, fantastic female characters, and stories with diverse POVs — especially YA & MG. Aside from good books and good TV, she’s a big fan of dogs, road trips, and coffee shops with lots of outlets.

How to Submit: send queries to kziegler AT dystel DOT com, along with the first 25 pages (or nearest chapter break) of your manuscript. See these submission guidelines for more query guidelines and information on nonfiction proposals.

A Few Reads that Excite Kieryn:

  • Harry Potter Series
  • Percy Jackson Series

14. Rachel Horowitz

Rachel Horowitz of The Bent Agency specializes in commercial adult fiction, children’s, YA, and middle grade fiction.

She’s a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and twice attended Breadloaf Writing Conference as a writing fellow. Because everyone needs a good binge watch from time to time, Rachel’s bookshelves might house a stray DVD television series or two, but mostly she’s collected works by Mary Karr, Alice Munro, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher and others. She’s ready to champion a great YA series or a strong stand-alone thriller with universal appeal.

How to Submit: Email Rachel at horowitzqueries AT thebentagency DOT com and tell her briefly who you are, about your book, and why you’re the one to write it. Include the title of your project in the subject line of your email. Then paste the first ten pages of your book in the body of your email. Attachments will not be opened or read. Visit https://www.thebentagency.com/submission.php for more details on submissions that include illustrations.

A Few Books that Excite Rachel:

  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thomas Walker

15. Kaitlyn Johnson

Kaitlyn Johnson of Corvisiero Literary Agency is the fantasy novelist’s answer to representation. An Emerson College graduate, Kaitlyn has developed her skills as an agent working as a freelance editor and copyeditor. She’s seeking clients in upper YA, middle grade, and adult fiction, general romance and contemporary romance, LGBTQ+, and historical fiction (though she expresses a distinct aversion to Henry VIII).

Authors who have written a compelling story from the point of view of a character who often lives in the margin may find a sympathetic reader in Kaitlyn. She’d be especially excited to encounter “a dark retelling about one of the Lost Boys after his return to London with Wendy (think end of Mary Martin movie, not cartoon). It would be wonderful to see a character of color in this role as he’s adapting to life away from Neverland.”

She would also love historical fiction based off rarely known famous or influential women in history: Madam de Pompadour; Eleanor of Aquitaine; Neerja Bhanot; Sybil Ludington would also spark her interest.

How to Submit: Follow the submission guidelines on the “Submissions” page of Corvisiero Literary Agency and send to query AT corvisieroagency DOT com with the subject title: “Query: Kaitlyn Johnson, [name of manuscript]”.

A Few Books on Kaitlyn’s wishlist

  • Something in the vein of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. She loves the dark, creative, and thought-provoking world with such an involved, rule-based magic system.
  • Something dystopian where the main characters live in a now-abandoned Disney World/Universal theme park. It would be spooky and hit so close to home for readers to see the shells of this worldwide landmark incorporated into a dystopian storyline.
  • For more, check out her MSWL or Pinterest MSWL.

16. Caroline Eisenmann

Caroline Eisenmann joined the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in 2017. She’s building her client list with authors who write upmarket and literary fiction, reported narratives, cultural criticism, essay collections, and history and biography with a surprising point of view.

A Boston native, Caroline graduated from Wesleyan University with an interdisciplinary degree in literature, history and philosophy, which means she attends closely to her authors’ bios, how well those bios and the authors’ writings are written, and what the intention is behind the author submitting work.

How to Submit: Send a query letter and the first ten pages of your project (or a completed proposal, if the project is nonfiction) to ce AT goldinlit DOT com.

Authors Caroline Enjoys Reading

  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Brandon Hobson (Where the Dead Sit Talking)

17. Sarah Bolling

Sarah Bolling of The Gernert Company seeks blended fiction projects: the best that literary writers have, combined with the sensibilities of genre’s best works.

Diverse characters, far-flung locales, and inventive narrative structures all excite Sarah. She also enjoys representing memoir, pop culture, psychology, sociology and style in nonfiction categories.

As a native of Washington D.C., she knows lacking representation is a major challenge. A former Brown University student in East Asian Studies, Sarah continued her education at Goldsmiths University of London, earning an MA in Comparative Literature. 

How to Submit: Queries by e-mail should be directed to: info AT thegernertco DOT com. Please include Sarah’s name in the subject line, as well as your Query type, name, and project title.

A Few Authors Sarah Enjoys Reading:

  • Haruki Murakami
  • Carmen Maria Machado
  • Helen Oyeyemi
  • Brian K. Vaughan
  • Caitlin Doughty
  • Katherine Faw


Jody J. Sperling lives in Omaha with Ashley, Silas, Edmund and Tobias. His work has been featured in Red Rock Review, Litro, The Moth Magazine, and elsewhere.

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    1. Thank you so much for giving your time. You have given me a ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s morning and by all the responses to your effort the sun seems to be shining everywhere, God bless and have a great day.

  1. This was a well written article. I appreciated the information given. Invaluable for a new writer like myself. Thank you, Jody. You nailed it!

  2. Thanks for putting this together. The article was truthful and the list of new agents, motivating. Just what I needed on this Wednesday to pull me out of my writing funk.

  3. Thank you for sharing…helps most of us struggling seekers!!
    Its not always been easy…as you well know!

  4. thanks, this is a really helpful list.
    when you say agents never take from the slushpile, only from recommendations, is that gospel, is it pointless cold sending then? How can we get a referral other than from an editor who critiqued the MS and loves it and recommended it, or from knowing people in the industry? thanks

    1. Established agents rarely take from the slushpile. Your best chance is to go to conferences where you can meet and pitch agents face to face, and then send them the manuscript.

      Or you could take the advice of this post and send to new agents rather than established agents.

  5. Thanks! I was really disappointed not to find any interest in any of the genres inhabited by my current 3-part work, which introduces various entirely new ways of approaching music education. From infants learning to sing notation at 1st sight (and associated skills) to a novel for tweenagers set in Oz, Kansas & England, which deeply engages with essential subjects so often ignored in schools; from emotion & sensitivity to every kind of energy
    -including quantum. It’s a familiar situation, experienced by my 1st. & last book , ‘Give Your Child Music’; Good Book Guide of the Year 1979 -(!!!) etc. If any even newer agents are reading this …

    1. Hi Jill, Sounds like you’re looking for a very specific nonfiction agent, and these are mostly fiction agents. Sorry I couldn’t include more variety.

      1. I have the same problem. I have written a book about music teaching that, as far as I can tell from my own research, is unique. Not another like it on the market. That’s why I wrote it – to fill a gaping hole. On one hand this may be good, but on the other hand, most agents seem to be looking for another Harry Potter. (And if I remember correctly A.J. Rowling had a heck of a time trying to get her first book published.) So writing something that hasn’t been written about before should be appreciated, but it seems most agents and publishers understandably want “more of the same,” i.e., what they know will sell. So, can you make a list of agents who are interested in non-fiction works? I queried one of the agents you listed here, but haven’t heard anything (too soon). But we non-fiction authors need to find representation, too. It would be a big help!!!

  6. i am really ready for publications. very happy you brought these people to attentions. my book will finally have a home. been looking far and w

      1. It surprises me that novella/short novels aren’t more popular right now. With fewer people willing to commit 8-12 hours to a full length book, it seems natural to compress a story into a 4-6 hour read. Am I wrong?

  7. This is a wonderful resource. The challenge I am having, is that my property is really atypical in the sense that I have created a world and hired writers to help me with the massive undertaking of authoring the stories. Here is a link to an article on what we created:


    We initially self-published 3 chapter books that are sold with our patented mermaid tail sleeping bags. These children’s books are merely an introduction to the character’s and the world of Enchantail. We have planned and outlined the YA book series and have 4 (unedited chapters of book 1 written)

    I know rejection is as common as nitrogen when submitting queries, but I can’t help but get the impression that no one knows what to do with us…

  8. The first question you should ask yourself: if I were in BN, would I buy my own book?
    If the answer is yes, keep writing. If the answer is no, stop and set it aside
    and start another book.

  9. Are most literary agent females? I ask because of the way you keep using the female pronoun as if an agent is naturally expected to be a woman. Or maybe it’s because you are just another one of the gay male feminists that are so common in the modern literary world.

  10. Then again, given the list you displayed, it looks like the vast majority of literary agents ARE females. Interesting. I wonder why. It must be because it is just another one of those easy jobs that pretty much anyone can do (just sitting around and deciding whether or not you like a certain book or the other).

    1. A majority of literary agents are white women. This is just the truth of the business.

      But, um, it’s certainly not an easy job. They are reading huge amounts of material every week, going to conferences, helping their current clients with marketing and promotion, networking, and about a thousand other things. It’s an intense and crazy job. They’re putting in 50 or 60 hour weeks.

      And to answer your question, I try not to use the female pronoun to indicate mixed gender groups.

  11. In the 1990s I published two works of nonfiction that did very well including foreign rights. One of them is still out there as an e-book. I also had a wonderful career as a freelance feature writer for national magazines and major newspaper. Like many journalists, I’ve turned to writing fiction. Five years ago I self-published a book of short stories, mainly because I couldn’t find an agent to represent collections. I have just completed writing a novel. Now the quest for an agent (mine have either retired or out of the business). I’m well into my 70s so not exactly a prime client for guaranteeing future books. I’ve been advised by one of my retired agent friends that the best bet is for me to look for a young agent. How ironic! When I found you website today with spot-on advice I was newly encouraged. Thank you for taking the time to put this valuable information together.

  12. Screenplay ” Restless Time ” Farzin Youabian film
    Hi my name is Farzin Youabian and at this time I do have a screenplay is action pack crime story looking for manager or agent for representation . Sincerely yours Farzin Youabian writer and director

  13. Hi Bookfox, my name is Edward Riepe. Glad I found your page. I am including a couple of links for you. I am, was, a member of the Western Writers of America and still am a member of Science Fiction Writers of America. Woo hoo. Are these the type of people I should be speaking with to take me to the next level?

    1. Yes, if you want to go the traditional publishing route, I would recommend seeing which one of these agents might be right for you.

  14. I have an idea involving not just a wonderful children’s story but it revolves around Disney and Apple joining forces to creare the biggest and most successful ad campaigns in the history of two of the largest corporations in the world. I just need you to legitimise my submission as a solicited idea,


    Ade McCarthy

  15. We have created a series of books: 1. When is it time to go on a diet? 2. When is it time to throw the kids out of the house? 3. When it is time to tell your lover to get lost? Books contain 100 one liners plus cartoons drawn by a world class cartoonist. Writers are Emmy award winning Hollywood comedy writers. Your son comes homes and says, “Ma, I can’t remember where I parked your car but I know it’s somewhere in Manhattan.” OUT!!!!!!

  16. This list will also be useful for writers of cli-fi novels in English speaking countries, since clifi is now considered as a subgenre of sci-fi and a cousin of the sff genre or a younger brother sister.

  17. Thanks for this list. I’ll now waste my time sending them my proposal so they can send me their mildly patronizing form rejection email. With each one I get, the closer I come to going down that soul-consuming path of self-publishing. 20 discount copies on my bookshelf, 20 more sold online via Amazon to show for 5 years of hard work and 2,500~$ light in my back account!!!

  18. Hi Bookfox, thank you so much for sharing this info. Are these new publishers interested in international writers or is it very much USA based?
    I have self-published a memoir Fashion book “10 Successful Steps Into Fashion” in English which sells worldwide via Amazon.com

    1. These agents represent clients worldwide. But once your book is self-published, publishers/agents generally don’t want it.

  19. Very interesting for me. I write narrative nonfiction,three set in Jerusalem and that include lovers’ conflicts between religious and national affiliations somewhat like the old story, but modern between Arab and Jewish lovers. I have published a successful memoir, Cockney Girl, though need much more publicity. (Published many stories, essays, works on building design. )One publisher refused Jerusalem Affair because he said it was a thriller, and he didn’t take thrillers. Should I put more thriller into it and send it as a thriller? Also I worry because I am very senior, tho healthy, and they may reject me for age. Also have a collection of short stories, several published, Diary of a Mad Hatter. Am a retired PhD professor, Hatmaker(hatalog.com) and writer. What do first?

  20. Have written a collection of stories, fiction and non fiction ranging in length fro 8.000 to 22,000 words.based on my several missions as a CIA agent in Latin America and Western Europe during the Cold War. The fictional essays are written from my experience in the Mule Mountains that straddle the border between Sonora Mexico and Arizona.

    This compilation of literary agents is very valuable and am grateful for it. Good luck to all who persist through spells of inspired writing and then frustrating spells when not a word will fit for the bridge.

  21. Have completed a fictional narrative on urban contemporary life. I’m grateful for this valuable information. My goal is to have my novel, ‘Not Yet’ published by an interested agent. My best to all my fellow writers!

  22. I am a self-published author ~ “Rent A Doc” (Ex Libris) and it did fairly well. Recent resurgence in interest for reasons I do not understand. I have a content editor working with me on my second novel (“A Tainted Heart”) which is a medical murder mystery. She feels this manuscript has potential and advises I retain an agent. I have not the slightest idea how to begin to select an agent. Any counsel?

  23. Greetings.

    We are seeking a LITERARY AGENT to handle our Book (©1993) and Major Motion Picture (Movie Treatment is Registered with the Writers Guild of America West/WGAW). The TRUE story covers little-known historical events that changed Texas, Mexico and the USA forever. It BEGS to be told.

    The book is being published by a well-known publisher in New York. The screenplay is Registered with WGAW). Book, screenplay and movie Treatment are available for your inspection.

    Please see ATTACHMENT.

    Your comments are welcome. Thank you.


    Al Thompson, R.E.A., C.E.I.
    Y3K Solutions
    Principal, “The Texas Navy” Project
    2390 Crenshaw Blvd., Ste 360
    Torrance, CA 90501 USA
    Mobile: (310) 497-1798, Email: ThompsonY3K@att.net

  24. Hi John. Hope you are good. Thanks for the agent list. I will be connecting with some of them. I have written a manuscript which follows the life and death in 2053, of Biloxi born Walter Reece. We follow him to where we all go after earth. To where you arrive at the age you die, and can live forever. Walters story spans beyond 2053 for 150 years, almost like a documentary. Thanks again John. Best to you. Stew.

  25. Beta readers “can’t put it down.”
    It is not clear to me that these agents ever even open any query e-mails.
    What gives?

    1. You should meet them in person before sending to them (at a conference) and then you should write the most amazing query letter of all time. They don’t read 97% of manuscripts because the query letters aren’t good enough.

      1. Yea… agree! It would be great to meet some of them in person, but bit hard to do from Sydney. John, which of your list do you think would be more into Dystopian Speculative Fiction, or Epic Fantacy?
        Regards, Stew.

      2. I think I just caught you in a fib. First you write “You should meet them in person before sending [a query]. Then you write “They don’t read 97% of manuscripts because the query letters aren’t good enough.” Which is it? If I’m cute or handsome or have sex appeal or a charismatic personality that makes my writing better? It’s all bullshit, and you know it, and all the agents know it too.

      3. I don’t understand what the fib supposedly is. Yes, most of the time they won’t read a manuscript because the query letter isn’t good enough. But if you’ve met them AND the query letter is great, you have a better chance of getting an honest read.

        It has nothing to do with your level of beauty. It’s because they know you’re more serious if you went to a conference.

        It’s not bullshit. It’s very competitive. That’s just how it is.

  26. Any agents accepting new fiction, in 2019, that’s a little “adult oriented” — maybe in that Terry Southern/Henry Miller vein? (Sexy but comic.)

  27. You had me at „she enjoys flawed protagonists“ I consider myself human and therefore flawed and my stories reflect this inner struggle. I write a mix of genres that I’ve termed genre fusion breaking the mold (expectations of purists) because my own literary interests are so varied. I’m looking for a litererary agent to market my books not the traditional publishing route. Given that so many writers are self-published I wonder if modern literary agents also fulfill that role? Much appreciation for your research effort!!

    1. No, literary agents don’t work with self-published authors. They only connect authors to traditional publishers.

  28. WOW! This is a very timely information. My daughter who just turned 13, completed writing her first book and we are looking for an agent. Thank you!

  29. Hi, I was wondering whether it’s considered unprofessional to query more than one agent at a time?


    1. No, query up to 10. But don’t query agents working at the same agency — only one agent per agency at a time.

  30. Thank you for the information, I hope my book is ready to submit… I keep wondering how many pages my story would be paperback size versus 8×10 pages…. since is the first in a series, can easily add more, but wondering how some of that works…

  31. I have written many short novels, and long ones to. My Name is Donald Quinney and if you go to Amazon, you can see my work first hand. I just want to get these books out more into the world, and bring who ever trust in me also. e-mail, dquinney5656@outlook.com. #334-309-7953; thanks. I am the only African America that written his own ”Comic books series” DQ Comic” And The ”Occurrence Series”

  32. Great article. I saw in your response to Marishka Grayson, agents don’t market self-published authors, only connect them with traditional publishers, which I agree with. I have a somewhat related question. Might any of these agents be open to the less fashionable process of connecting self-published books with traditional publishers? I recently took my psychological thriller off the online-only market to query agents, and continue to hit this roadblock. It was only available for about 6 months.

  33. There are only 18. While all are good choices, I like number 19 best, and wanted to query whomever was 19th also.

  34. I wonder how likely are any of these to accept a manuscrit sent from abroad if it’s written in english? is that likely to be a big obstacle?

  35. The same as me, because I don’t live in an English speaker country, I wrote it in English because i learned your language, and i think I deserve to be published in the United States.

  36. With dirty, old 70s NYC trending, I have a novel made of vignettes and stories about the young man leaving a rural backwater to become an actor in NYC..in the 70s (which I did) but it’s only about 70,000 words. Would any agents be interested in that?

    1. 70,000 words is normal novel length. Just make sure it’s a continuous story with a main character rather than distinct and separate short stories.

  37. hey John, this is great, thanks. Would you consider ‘action’ a literary genre or would that fall more into the ‘thriller’ catergory. What is biggest difference between the two if so?

  38. Excellent list. Thank you. I see it was composed in 2018. How many of these agents do you suppose are still active?

      1. There are at least three that I found to be inactive now. An older list, so it was to be expected. Still enlightening!

  39. Yeah, thx for the list. Let me ask you something out of the ordinary. I am a prolific Writer. I learned to write screenplays at Paramount Studios and the film business along with Distribution. But I do not like show biz. However, I did develop a rare talent there and that is the ability to write a script in 10 days; synopsis to treatment, ruff draft, rewrite to polish. I tell a story like no one can in Hollywood. I literally have over 300 story lines of which I have written and registered 20 with the Writers Guild. So I decided to sit down and write a book about what happen to Jun Fan who was Bruce Lee and his son. Usually novel Writers cannot switchover to scripts writing but I did easily in reverse. But after 1 month I had written three books. (400 to 600 pages @ 250 words per pg) The one on Bruce Lee, 2nd on “Sexual Perfection” explaining how and why women are not sexually satisfied with their men in bed or any. The 3rd one is called “The Secret Place” about where and what it is and how God has to bring you there. What I am offering an Agent is 13 books in one year. The three up front and one every month for 10 months. I wanted to now from you have you ever heard of someone offering this to an Agent and what is your outlook on this proposition?

  40. Thanks for your recommendation! It was interesting to read.
    I have a script for Marvel Comics about their character, Magik, is there an agent who can get in touch with Marvel Comics for me?

    1. Welcome to the industry. Most agents are white women. But if you do some digging around, you can find whatever diversity of agent you’re looking for.

  41. I was realy excited about this list and I researched the agents who specifically were interested in my manuscript type (historical fiction/adult) to send my queries to. I have heard back from most of them – with NOs – and what I have come to realise that these agents are not interested in/cannot relate to characters of color and are not willing to take the risk with debut writers of color. A bit sad as I feel this attitude is industry wide.

    1. I would look on Manuscript Wish List and find agents who are specifically looking for POC. They will list this in their wish list desires, and you can target them — hopefully with better luck!

  42. Hello, I am a literary agent and would like to get listed as such. How do I go about this. I am a publisher, promotions specialist and author with a degree. I am licensed, bonded and insured. I have one client but would like more. Can you advise on how to get listed?

    1. Crystal,
      I would like to query you with my adult fiction, a spy, espionage thriller. If you would be so kind as to shoot me an email with your email, submission requirements, I would be more than happy for you to take a look at my finished work.

      1. Harvey, You have to do the work to look them up and submit to them. They get far too many submissions to seek out writers.

  43. John, Haven’t heard from you for a while-my book “Midnight Chronicles” has been out for a year now. I have a new one ready to go to an agent and want to thank you for this list and info. This one must go to a traditional publisher with a really upbeat agent! Thanks again, Betty Roberts betts07pr@gmail.com

  44. i’ve written a short story collection. It is a detective series. Wondering if anyone can recommend agents, agencies etc that are happy to represent this type of book.


    1. Hi, agents generally don’t want short stories. But since it’s detective stories, you might have a chance, as long as it’s linked stories — same main character, or linked in some other way (place or theme).

  45. thanks, I am looking for a humor/fantasy agent. My book is Life Seemed Good, But…. A collection of short quirky stories. Over 90, each is about a page long and they are all different but interconnected. I know the odds are against me but I keep on trying.

  46. This is why I shouldn’t have self-published. I’ve queried all but 3 of the ones looking for psych thrillers, and either received no response or a form letter rejection.
    Have decided to go hire someone for marketing and distribution of my title.
    So disheartening. Anyone here who wants a free copy in exchange for honest reviews, let me know.

  47. Judging by this list and similar ones posted over the last few years, contemporary lit is now permanently & overwhelmingly in the lockstep hands of midwest millennial lit-agent gals who nest within big-ish publishing houses & gush over currently sanctioned writing styles & subjects. Razorwire parameters are well in place in corporate publishing, and these fresh-faced bourgeois legions are hired, seemingly by design, to make sure anything outside their mutual comfort zones gets zero traction. Discuss.

    1. That might be because they don’t know what “found families” are — I’m not even sure what you mean. It’s very difficult to write a pitch that grabs an agents attention.

  48. My second story entitled “The Winter of Her Life” is an adult woman’s fiction, which is currently being considered by Sundance Studios, who think the writing is great. My first story, “Death in a Garden of Icicles,” was quickly published in 2004 without a literary agent. It didn’t sell because there was zero promotion for it. I didn’t care because of my love of writing. I am a soon-to-be 88-year-old survivor of cancer (9 or 10 years) and would like to find a literary agent. The heroine is a misguided nearly-alcoholic person who finds her first man is a well-known OB/GYN and also a heavy drinker. Turbulence becomes her norm, losing two lovers under unusual circumstances. Question: What agent would take on this project? Thank you.

  49. I wash to have a manuscript published. I am not a marketing person and am not interested in being such. I only wish to have you accept my manuscript and publish it within the framework of the contacts you have at your disposal. Please let me know if this arrangement is acceptable and the price you will need to cover your services.

    1. Hi Peter, no I don’t but I would recommend checking out Manuscript Wish List to find an agent interested in this.

  50. Dear John, After spending over 6 years writing and researching for my MG Chapter series, I cannot find an Agent to save my life. Do I simply toss the story—a good one for today’s Kids, not too cute but not dark either! I have a feeling the Adult Agents reading have forgotten what it was like to a be a kid, dreaming and Believe that the impossible is possible!
    So What am I to do now?????? HELP!
    THANKS! PS my website has nothing to do with this story but going overseas to accept an award did!

    1. Hi Randi, Well, I could help you with developmental editing — I write a long essay about your book, talking about what you’re doing well and how you can improve it. Probably what I would see and think would be very similar to what many agents would see and think.

  51. Thank you for composing this list. I am close to being ready to submit my story so I am researching/dreaming about agents and this post has been extremely enlightening. One point you mention in a thread is that it is best to meet agents in person at conferences and then submit them an amazing query letter. Are there any resources you have on the better conferences and preferably international ones. I am doing my own research but was wondering if you had any handy that you would not mind sharing?

  52. I have self published a photo book called a Faith in Dogma with all my photos from a nightclub called The Viper Room which I managed and photographed from 1995-2004. What is the best way to get someone interested in publishing it and doing it right? These are never before seen photos that I own the rights too. Thanks in advance.

  53. Question for Sarah Bolling
    Hello, thank you for your time. My name is Adrian French, I am very green when it comes to this industry. During the Covid-19 lockdown, I took to writing. With my sons help we were able to put together a 12 episode made for tv script (and we are still going). The result of this has left us wondering how to get this script seen and read by the right influential company(s) that assist us to turn idea into reality. We are reaching out to you to ask for professional guidance or constructive criticism with our project. If you are in the position or have a moment of time where we could speak to you or anyone in your company that would be able to point us in the right direction, It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for you time,

    Adrian French

  54. Will you be posting a similar list for 2022? Or a list of agents specifically seeking upmarket fiction or women’s fiction?