If you want to publish your book the traditional way, you’ve most likely thought about literary agents. If you’re looking for a literary agent to represent you and negotiate contracts on your behalf with publishing houses, we’ve compiled a list of 21 top literary agencies you should take a look at. Read on to learn who these are.
Andrea Brown Literary Agency is focused on representing both new authors and also those with established careers. With offices in New York, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay region, authors benefit from the agency’s collaborative approach, where they are supported by a team of people. In addition to its team of highly experienced agents, Andrea Brown Literary Agency has a number of co-agents, enabling the organization to be highly active in the area of selling subsidiary rights. The agency was founded by Andrea Brown in 1981.
Submissions information: https://www.andreabrownlit.com/how-to-submit.html
Co-founded by Clare Conville and Patrick Walsh in 2000, Conville & Walsh is one of the best literary agencies in the world, whose headquarters are in the UK. The agency is highly experienced in both commercial and literary fiction, and has capabilities to represent all types of books including nonfiction. Conville & Walsh has worked on behalf of numerous bestselling and award-winning authors who come from different walks of life. Agents at Conville & Walsh can assist authors in producing the best possible book, along with representation across various types of media, and selling of rights into international markets and in different languages.
Submissions information: https://www.convilleandwalsh.com/index.php/literary/submissions
3. Curtis Brown
As one of the world’s largest literary and talent agencies, Curtis Brown has experience of representing individuals across the creative sector including authors, film and television writers and directors, playwrights, television presenters, actors, radio presenters and theatre directors. The books department at Curtis Brown in particular, was founded in 1899 and the agency has a renowned translations rights department.
Submissions information: https://www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/submissions/submissions-guide
Founded by David Black in 1989, David Black Agency focuses on helping authors to both get books published and on assisting them to develop their careers as writers. The organization uses a team-based approach, so that authors can gain input from individuals with different expertise. Top literary agents at the agency are David Black, Jenny Herrera, Linda Loewenthal, Gary Morris, Susan Raihofer, Sarah Smith, and Joy Tutela.
Submissions information: https://www.davidblackagency.com/submissions
The President of Donald Mass Literary Agency is Donald Mass who founded the agency in 1980. Jennifer Jackson is Vice President. Other agents working at the organization include Stacia Decker, Cameron McClure, Jennifer Udden, Caitlin McDonald, Michael Curry, and Katie Shea Boutillier who also oversees rights management. Every year, Donald Mass Literary Agency sells in excess of 150 novels to major publishers in the United States and across the world. The agency’s team of agents look for submissions in various genres and sub-genres of fiction, and also nonfiction.
Submissions information: https://maassagency.com/submissions
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management was formed by Jane Dystel in 1994 and provides authors will a full range of services including selling, negotiating contracts, collecting monies for clients, and also strong editorial support. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, the agency has a team of literary agents who are looking for books from various genres across both nonfiction and fiction spectrums.
Submissions information: https://www.dystel.com/submission-requirements
Nonfiction proposal submissions information: https://www.dystel.com/nonfiction-proposal-guidelines
Folio Literary Management works with both first-time authors, as well as renowned ones. In addition to representation, the agency offers a full suite of services including marketing, development of websites, and media training. The agency’s support spans across all platforms, including film adaptation, digital books and apps. Folio Literary Management represents authors of both fiction and nonfiction. The organization also has a division called Folio Jr, which is devoted to working on behalf of first-class children’s book authors.
Submissions information: https://www.foliolit.com/submissions/how-to-submit-to-us
In addition to negotiating contracts for authors with publishers, Foundry Literary + Media also offers a host of other services such as foreign rights, film, television, stage and digital publishing. The agency is also credited with having a book development team that helps take a book from concept to completed copies. Assistance can also be obtained in brand development, merchandising and licensing. Foundry Literary + Media works with various types of authors; these can range from first-time ones to those who are established and have celebrity status.
Submissions information: https://www.foundrymedia.com/submissions
Agents at Harvey Klinger are David Dunton, Sara Crowe, Andrea Somberg and Harvey Klinger who is also President of the agency. The organization represents authors of high quality adult fiction, children’s fiction and nonfiction books. Harvey Klinger has extensive relationships with co-agents across the world, in order to reach publishers globally, and with other co-agents that assist in film and television rights.
Submissions information: https://www.harveyklinger.com/submissions.php
Based in New York, InkWell Management is a globally leading literary agency whose clients include authors, chefs and personalities across the world. The authors which InkWell Management represents are literary prize winning and writers of bestselling works. The agency has a large staff base consisting of agents, assistants, and other experts who handle foreign rights, social media, marketing, publicity and contracts management.
Submissions information: https://inkwellmanagement.com/contact
With offices in New York and London, Janklow & Nesbit Associates is one of the biggest names in the world of literary agencies. The organization was formed in 1989 and has represented some of the most famous authors in the world, such as Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Thomas Harris, Danielle Steel, and politicians such as Jimmy Carter and Senator John Kerry, among many more famous authors, scholars, scientists and celebrity status figures. The agency was founded by Morton Janklow and Lynn Nesbit.
Submissions information: https://www.janklowandnesbit.com/submissions
MacGregor Literary has been in business for more than two decades, and has experience of representing authors of bestselling books that have been featured on major lists, which among others includes New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and USA Today. The organization was founded by Chip MacGregor who has been a lover of books since childhood. Other agents at the agency include Holly Lorincz, Erin Buterbaugh, and Amanda Luedeke, all of whom have varied interests in the types of books they like to represent, covering a vast range of fiction and nonfiction.
Submissions information: https://www.macgregorliterary.com/submission
Marsal Lyon Literary Agency works with authors, right from concept stage, through to editorial and then finding a publisher and beyond, as the organization emphasizes on helping individuals develop their careers. Founded by Kevan Lyon and Jill Marshal, other members of the team at the agency include Kathleen Rushall, Deborah Ritchken, Shannon Hassan and Patricia Nelson. Marsal Lyon Literary Agency represents fiction and nonfiction, as well as offering subsidiary rights services.
Submissions information: https://www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com/submissions/submission-info
Nonfiction proposals submissions information: https://www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com/submissions/non-fiction-proposals
Open to both new authors and experienced ones, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency is headed up by Sandra Dijkstra and its agents include Elise Capron, Jill Marr, Roz Foster, Andrea Cavallaro, Karla Gomez, Thao Le and Jessica Watterson. The agency has represented countless bestseller books across the entire range of genres and also offers internships opportunities to students at college.
Submissions information: https://www.dijkstraagency.com/submission-guidelines.html
With offices in New York City, Sterling Lord Literistic is a literary agency born out of the merger in 1987 between Sterling Lord and Literistic. It is a prestigious organization, which is credited with representing authors who are Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award recipients, New York Times bestsellers, literary and commercial authors, politicians, scientists, journalists and renowned writers of children’s works. In addition to representation of authors, Sterling Lord Literistic has particular strengths in the adaptation of literary works into films and television programmes, and in foreign rights.
Submissions information: https://www.sll.com/submissions.aspx
Formed in 1996 by Deidre Knight, The Knight Agency through its agents has negotiated contracts for more than 2000 book titles with the largest publishers in the world and also with independent publishing houses. Many of these have reached bestseller lists in New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly, among others. The agency has offices spread across the United States and provides a full suite of services for its clients including subsidiary rights management for foreign, electronic, film, television and audio, along with branding and book marketing support. The Knight Agency represents both authors of fiction and nonfiction.
Submissions information: https://knightagency.net/manuscript_submissions
With over 34 years of experience in the publishing industry the President and founder of this agency is Steve Laube. He is supported by a team of literary agents that includes Tamela Hancock Murray, Karen Ball, and Dan Balow. The Steve Laube Agency is a renowned expert in the Christian marketplace and offers a full range of services that are founded upon three key principles. The first one is a focus on content and assisting an author to produce the best book possible that has commercial appeal for years to come. The second principle is an emphasis on career and providing assistance in developing a writer’s career through giving advice and guidance on the intricacies of the publishing industry, and how to navigate it successfully. The third principle is contract negotiation, and getting the best possible contracts with publishers for authors.
Submissions information: https://www.stevelaube.com/guidelines
With David Bennett as President of Transatlantic Agency, the organization offers a complete literary service, including support for subsidiary rights. The agency has particular expertise in representing adult trade authors, children’s and young adult authors, and illustrators. The team is made up of highly experienced literary agents in Canada and America who you can query, such as Sandra Bishop, Shaun Bradley, Marie Campbell, Jesse Finkelstein and Samantha Haywood, among others. Transatlantic Agency has experience of representing more than 250 authors, many whose works have become award-winners and bestsellers.
Submissions information: https://transatlanticagency.com/agents/submissions
Trident Media Group (TMG) is a leading literary agency based in New York City. TMG has an entire team of agents specializing in different types of genres of fiction, in all variations of nonfiction, and in assisting authors in building their careers. Founded by Robert Gottlieb and Dan Strone in 2000, TMG has represented over 1000 authors. Many of the works of these authors have been New York Times bestsellers and have won prestigious awards, which among others, include the Pulitzer Prize, The Booker Prize, and The National Book Award. TMG offers a full range of services; some of these include editorial support, book sales, foreign rights, film and TV sales, contract negotiation and audio and eBooks.
Submissions information: https://www.tridentmediagroup.com/contact-us
Waxman Leavell Literary Agency (WLLA) with offices in New York and Los Angeles was co-founded by Scott Waxman and Byrd Leavell in 2012. This was after Scott Waxman had initially formed Waxman Literary Agency in 1997. The agency is an expert in representing both fiction and nonfiction authors; these range from first time authors, established authors and renowned journalists, to well-known personalities, sector specific experts and celebrities. Waxman Leavell Literary Agency has represented numerous New York Times bestsellers award-winning works.
Submissions information: https://www.waxmanleavell.com/submission.html
21. Writers House
Founded by Al Zuckerman in 1973, Writers House is one of the biggest literary agencies in the world. In addition to being highly client focused, Writers House provides services such as foreign rights, subsidiary rights, contracts, film, television and stage representation, estate representation, royalty and financial analysis, as well as digital publishing. With a full team of senior agents, and upcoming junior ones, the agency over the years has assisted hundreds of authors of fiction and nonfiction; these works have gone on to become New York Times bestsellers and have won prestigious books awards and medals in the literary world. Some of its bestselling books for adults include titles such as Flowers in the Attic by Vic Andrews, The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry, and The Fixer by Joseph Finder, among many others such as those that can be found at this page.
11 More Literary Agencies You Should Take a Look At
The Bent Agency is a boutique agency with offices in New York and London. Since their establishment in 2009, they have represented more than 50 New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers, and they have many titles on the charts of USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and other international lists. Many of their authors have also won or been shortlisted for major literary awards, including the Nebula Award, the Carnegie Medal, the Edgar Award, and more. They represent both fiction and non-fiction authors, and their agents all have different areas of interest.
If you are interested in submitting your work to The Bent Agency, the first step is reading the agent bios on their website. Once you have determined which agent best suits your work, you can send them a query according to the submission guidelines listed here. Do not query more than one agent at a time. For general inquiries, you can reach the agency via email.
Founded by Holly McGhee in 1998, Pippin Properties is a small literary agency based in New York City. They specialize in picture books, graphic novels, middle grade, and young adult novels, but they do occasionally represent adult trade books. They currently represent an array of talented authors and illustrators, including Sarah Weeks, Kate McMullan, Kim Baker, Erin Bowman, Leila Howland, Laurie Morrison, and Jess Redman, among others.
If you’d like to submit your work to one of the agents at Pippin Properties, you can check out their submission guidelines here. You may only query one agent at a time, so make sure you read the agent profiles on their website to find the best fit. When submitting a manuscript, paste the first chapter of your manuscript in the body of your email. Do not send any attachments. Should you have any additional questions, you can reach the Pippin Properties team via email.
Also based in New York City, the Jane Rotrosen Agency has been representing fiction and non-fiction authors since 1974. They currently have more than 1000 bestsellers on their list, including Kelly Rimmer’s The Things We Cannot Say, Joanne Fluke’s Christmas Cake Murder, Mark Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, and Barbara O’Neal’s When We Believed in Mermaids. JRA works with both established authors and those who are looking to publish their first book, but they are not interested in screenplays or children’s picture books at the moment.
Before querying JRA, make sure you get to know each of their agents by checking out the agent bios on their website. Once you are ready, you may submit your query to the JRA agent that represents your genre. Make sure you follow JRA’s submission guidelines. For fiction submissions, include a synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. For non-fiction submissions, include a proposal and several sample chapters.
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates is a full-service literary agency based in New York City. They have been operating since 1932, representing both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Throughout the years, they have helped nurture the careers of many bestselling and award-winning authors. Some of the titles on their list are Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Clint Emerson’s 100 Deadly Skills, Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy, Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal, Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Wake, and Dana Schwartz’s Choose Your Own Disaster, among others.
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates only accepts submissions via email, and your submission must be sent to the agent you are interested in working with. Do not query multiple agents from the agency. To determine which agent is the best fit for your work, you can read each agent’s profile and preferred submission guidelines here. Due to the volume of submissions they receive, they cannot guarantee that every query will be responded to.
Founded in 1996, Liza Dawson Associates is a successful literary agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York City. Prior to launching the agency, founder Liza Dawson spent two decades in the publishing industry and was executive editor at William Morrow and Putnam Publishing. Liza Dawson Associates specializes in commercial and literary fiction, as well as narrative non-fiction, and they represent books for readers of all ages. Some of the titles on their list include Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, Rebecca Zanetti’s Hidden, Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown, Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold, Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade, Robyn Carr’s Virgin River, and Tawni O’Dell’s Back Roads, among others.
Interested authors can learn more about LDA’s agents and their areas of interest here. On each agent’s profile page, you will also find their submission guidelines, contact information, and the kinds of books they are looking for at the moment.
Based in North Carolina, Adams Literary is a full-service boutique agency that specializes in children’s and young adult books. The agency was founded in 2004 by Tracey and Josh Adams, a husband-and-wife team. Before launching Adams Literary, Tracey spent nearly a decade working at literary agencies Writers House and McIntosh & Otis, while Josh spent more than a decade in media and publishing. Together, they now represent a range of talented authors and illustrators, including Joe Berger, John David Anderson, Jeffrey Salane, Megan Shepherd, Jane B. Mason, and many others.
Adams Literary is temporarily closed for submissions at the moment, but if you are interested in submitting your work to them in the future, you can check out their submission guidelines here. For general inquiries, you can reach the Adams Literary team via email.
Jo Unwin Literary Agency is a London-based agency that works with both established and debut authors. The agency is part of the Association of Authors’ Agents and is committed to promoting their clients’ works in both the domestic and global markets. They primarily represent authors from the UK and Ireland, as well as a select number from Australia and New Zealand. They don’t usually take on authors from the US, but they may do so under exceptional circumstances. Some of the clients they represent include Sylvia Johnson, Louise Lee, Maudie Smith, Jesse Armstrong, Gabriel Krauze, and Mick Finlay, among others.
If you would like to submit your work to Jo Unwin Literary Agency, you can send them a query via email. Make sure you indicate the name of the agent you wish to work with in the subject line. For more information, check out their submission guidelines here. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can reach Jo Unwin Literary Agency via email.
Established in 1988, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency is another literary agency based in London. They are considered one of the leading literary agencies in the UK, having represented titles such as The Oxford Classical Dictionary, The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, and The Penguin Companion to the Edinburgh Union. The agency’s founder, Andrew Lownie, has been shortlisted multiple times for the Agent of the Year award at the British Bookseller Awards. Their client list includes David Roberts, Daniel Tammet, Michael Schuster, Laurence Gardner, and more.
Andrew Lownie Literary Agency is currently open for submissions, but they are only considering non-fiction works at the moment. Both established writers and first-time authors are encouraged to submit. Submissions may be sent via email or through their online contact form. For more information about submitting your work, you can check out their submission guidelines here.
Also based in London, the Caroline Literary Agency is one of the leading literary agencies in the UK. Caroline Sheldon founded the agency more than three decades ago after years of working as a publisher of children’s books and women’s fiction. She was joined by Felicity Trew in 2015. Caroline continues to specialize in women’s fiction and books for children, while Felicity specializes in historical and contemporary fiction, as well as fun and imaginative children’s books. You can learn more about their areas of interest and the kinds of books they are currently interested in here. Their client list includes Julia Donaldson, Elaine Everest, Sandra Dieckmann, Fiona Gibson, Kirsty Eyre, and Corrinne Averiss, among others.
If you are interested in being represented by the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, you can send an email to either Caroline or Felicity. For more information about submitting a proposal, you can check out their guidelines here.
Cooke McDermid Literary Management is a full-service literary agency that was formed in 2017 as a result of a merger between The Cooke Agency and The McDermid Agency. Based in Ontario, the agency represents authors across various genres, including commercial, speculative, and literary fiction; middle grade and young adult literature; and narrative non-fiction. Titles on their list include Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers, Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Anna Olson’s Set for the Holidays, Cherie Dimaline’s Empire of Wild, and Robyn Doolittle’s Had It Coming.
Interested authors can submit a query through Cooke McDermid’s submission form. Make sure you indicate which agent you are interested in working with. If you’re not sure, you can check out the agent profiles on Cooke McDermid’s website. For general inquiries, you can contact the Cooke McDermid team through their online inquiry form or by sending them email.
Founded in 1996, the Margaret Kennedy Agency is a literary agency based in Brisbane, Australia. Margaret Kennedy, the agency’s founder, launched the agency after nearly a decade of working as a book editor. Since then, they have earned a reputation for building strong and lasting relationships with the authors they represent, some of whom have been under the agency’s care since it was first established. They have worked with many talented Australian writers, including Judith Wright, Patricia Clarke, James Cowan, and more.
If you are interested in working with the Margaret Kennedy Agency, you can send them a brief query letter via email. If they are interested in your idea, they will ask you to submit a full proposal. For more information on submitting a query, you can check out their submission guidelines here.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in October 2015.
Image credit: Pixabay
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.