Are you an established writer, or a new author, thinking of how to sell your work?
Don’t worry, a literary agent can handle that for you.
They can approach publishers and negotiate deals on your behalf.
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Literary agents represent a range of creative artists, illustrators, composers, adult and children’s fiction authors, playwrights, script editors, scriptwriters and journalists. While some do not accept some genres, others represent a wide field of literary endeavors.
Here, we have listed 9 top Australian literary agents accepting submissions.
1. Brian Cook
With publishing experience of over four decades, Brian Cooks is a literary agent based in New South Wales. Throughout his career, Brian has helmed senior positions in adult and children publishing. By the mid-1990s, he also established his own literary agency and offered manuscript assessment services to authors across the globe. In addition to publishing and editorial experience, Brian also holds significant expertise in the sales, marketing, and contract negotiation. Thanks to this diverse experience, he has successfully launched the careers of hundreds of newbie authors.
Currently, Brian works as the Director at The Authors’ Agent. He’s also the Principal Agent here. His agency is open to new submissions in adult fiction, narrative non-fiction, children’s fiction, and young adult fiction. You can check the submission guidelines and send him your manuscript via post. If your work doesn’t belong to the mentioned genres, you can write to him, outlining a brief pitch.
Based out of Brisbane, Margaret Kennedy is a literary agent with more than three decades’ experience. After working as a book editor across UK-based and Australian publishing houses, she decided to establish a literary agency of her own. Margaret finally achieved her goal by setting up the Margaret Kennedy Literary Agency in 1996. Here, she has represented numerous authors for their fiction, non-fiction, and children’s fiction titles.
Margaret is always keen to represent ground-breaking work that can redefine existing norms, conventions, and narrative structures. So, if you’ve written something on a similar note, your approval chances are higher.
Since she follows an open submission policy, you can send your book proposal any time throughout the year. Check this page for details about the submission guidelines. While sending a proposal, make sure it includes a short synopsis of the manuscript, a brief outline of the chapters (for non-fiction), three sample chapters, total word count of the manuscript, brief biographical details, a list of previously published works, and anything else you deem fit. Although you can send your proposals via post and email, she recommends you to email her for a faster response.
A trained journalist and literary expert, Benython Oldfield started his career at Penguin Random House during the 1990s. After a few brief stints, he co-founded Zeitgeist Agency. He currently serves as the Director here.
Throughout his career, Benython has collaborated with local and global talents, most of whose works have amassed numerous accolades and awards. Currently, he is looking to work with new authors across the publishing, media, and film industry.
His agency is open to new submissions in fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, and picture books. For both fiction and non-fiction submissions, you need to send your entire manuscript along with a short biography (around 250 words), a synopsis (around 1 page), and a chapter outline featuring one paragraph for every chapter (only for non-fiction). For picture book submissions, you need to send a copy of your previously published work along with the text of your picture book. You can refer to this page for more details about the entire submission process.
Sarah McKenzie is a seasoned professional in the publishing industry with more than 15 years of experience in the sector both as a publisher, having held roles such as Consulting Publisher and Managing Editor, and also as a nonfiction writer whose pieces have been published in major Australian print and digital publications. Currently, Sarah is Editorial Director at Sarah McKenzie literary management.
Sarah’s literary agency at present is accepting submissions for commercial and literary fiction, nonfiction (excluding academic books and books about spirituality) and children’s fiction for all ages up to young adult. If you’re interested in making a submission, please ensure you read this agency’s guidance carefully first.
Despite holding a degree in Medical Science, Jaime always wanted a flourishing career in the literary industry. She took up a new course in Education to rekindle her creative side. A couple of months after completing this course, she ended up with her first publishing contract.
Over the next few years, Jaime honed her writing skills while mentoring newbie authors. During this time, she also completed a graduate degree in Laws and Legal Practice. After completing the course, she interned at The Nash Agency, and landed the job of Junior Literary Agent soon after.
Jaime is open to submissions in fiction and non-fiction, for both adults and children. Note that she is especially interested in middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, and thrillers. You can reach out to Jaime with your manuscript query here. Send the first three chapters of your manuscript in Word document while pitching your work. You can also check her agency’s submission guidelines on this page.
6. Gaby Naher
Gaby Naher is a seasoned literary agent with almost three decades’ experience in the publishing industry. She worked as a literary agent, bookseller and publicist in Sydney, New York and London. She has a Doctorate of Creative Arts and is an author of four books.
Gaby worked as a literary agent in several agencies before finally establishing The Naher Agency. Currently, she works as an agent at Left Bank Literary, a Sydney-based agency that represents quality fiction and non-fiction, which Gaby co-founded. Her agency is fond of representing authors whose works reflect the zeal and passion to create something out-of-the-box.
Left Bank Literary is currently open to submissions in fiction and non-fiction. You can pitch your manuscript to Gaby from January 20, 2020. Your pitch should feature the title of your book, the genre, a brief synopsis, and a short author bio. For more details about the process check this page.
A leading editor and literary agent, Monica Dennison is passionate about the varying nuances of the written word. She holds a degree in English, French, and Professional Writing. Over the years, she has also garnered some experience in teaching and authoring. Being a seasoned literary professional, Monica understands the efforts required to get one’s work published. That is why, she is always looking to assist authors in editing, publishing, and marketing their books.
Monica represents both newbie and experienced talent and follows an open submission policy all year-round. To pitch your manuscript, you need to write a brief book proposal listing the genre, intended readership, word count, a short character outline, a brief summary of the themes, and an outline of the plot. Monica can be consulted via phone, LinkedIn, or email. Details about the process can be found here. In addition to book representation, Monica also offers manuscript editing services. You can personally contact her to know more about this.
8. Haylee Nash
Haylee Nash is a seasoned literary agent with extensive experience in the publishing industry. Before establishing the Nash Agency in 2016, she worked as a Publishing Manager at Harlequin Australia, Sales Manager at Booktopia, and Commissioning Editor at Pan Macmillan Australia. In addition to serving the role of Principal Agent and Director at Nash Agency, Haylee also works as a Digital Manager at the Dymocks Group.
At Nash Agency, Haylee has represented both newbie and experienced authors for their groundbreaking works in fiction and non-fiction. Her agency is currently open to submissions and you can pitch your manuscript with a short 100-word synopsis, a brief author profile, and the first three chapters of your work. Submissions should be mailed here. Note that in addition to manuscript representation, you can also seek Haylee’s assistance with manuscript assessment and copyediting projects. Details about her services and submission guidelines can be found here.
9. Jane Novak
With more than twenty-five years’ experience in the publishing industry, Jane Novak is a leading publishing and bookselling expert. She created the Jane Novak Literary Agency to represent and promote local Australian talents. Over the years, she has successfully represented local and global talent, and most of her authors have been lauded for their best-selling works.
Jane represents authors across diverse genres. She is also open to working with literary estates. While her agency is currently closed to submissions in fiction and children’s titles, you can always reach out to her with her nonfiction. Check out the submission guidelines on this page and reach out to her via post or email.
Are you a literary agent in Australia currently accepting submissions? Please introduce yourself in the comments box below!
9 Top Australian Literary Agents Accepting Submissions is an article from Writing Tips Oasis.
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Editor’s Note: This article was first published in March 2018.
John Smith is a 36 year old writer from the UK. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Birkbeck, University of London. He enjoys reading, writing, editing, proofreading and reviewing books for publishers. John has been writing for 8 years and he is presently a Consultant writer for Supreme Consults, London.