Are you an unpublished author who has written a book that you believe has got big commercial potential?
If so, a traditional publishing house might be interested in your manuscript.
However, the bigger the publisher, the less like you can send your work directly to it.
Here’s where a great literary agent comes to the fore and approaches publishers on your behalf.
Below we’ve featured 21 top literary agents seeking new clients.
1. Cameron McClure with Donald Maass Literary Agency- Brooklyn, NY
Cameron McClure has been working with the Donald Maass Literary Agency for more than one decade. Specializing in fiction, she only represents a select group of talented writers. Cameron is especially interested in speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and mysteries. She is also interested in multicultural projects exploring diverse subcultures, environmental issues, and LGBTQIA+ themes.
Some of her clients are Robert McCammon, Ada Palmer, and Randy Henderson.
You can find her agency’s submission guidelines on this page.
2. Noah Ballard with Curtis Brown Ltd. – Brooklyn, NY
Noah is in the market for literary debuts, upmarket thrillers, and narrative non-fiction. He is especially interested in noir-genre writing. His list of clients includes Justin Taylor, Tom O’Donnell, Nicholas Seeley, Josh Gondelman, among others.
Submission Guidelines are found here.
3. Suzy Evans with Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency – Del Mar, CA
Suzy loves history writers, especially those transitioning from academic to trade readership, parenting books, food, health, sports crossover books, self-help, memoir, inventive cookbooks, and legal thrillers. She is also looking for engaging non-fiction for children, young adult fiction and graphic novels that bring history to life.
Suzy is also an author herself. Her recent books include Machiavelli for Moms (Simon & Schuster) and Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and People with Disabilities. She is a ghostwriter for a #1 New York Times best-selling author with more than 25 million copies in print and will be publishing her first children’s book with HarperCollins in 2018.
You can find Submission Guidelines here.
4. Nicola Barr with The Bent Agency – New York, NY
Nicola is looking for new authors who are writing literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, crime, and young adult fiction, as well as non-fiction popular culture, and memoir. She is also interested in working with Irish and Scottish writers on their titles representing the voice of the working class, and also things pertaining to Ireland, where she was born. She has worked with authors like Katherine Webb, author of “The Legacy”, John Grindrod, Travis Elborough, and Holly Seddon.
Submission Guidelines can be found here.
5. Maximilian Ximenez with L. Perkins Agency – Riverdale, NY
Maximilian has a history writing for the gaming industry. Now he is looking to help publish your work. He is seeking fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thrillers, cyberpunk, and neo-noir. In non-fiction, he is looking for popular science, true crime, books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields and cultures.
His former clients include: New York Times bestselling graphic novel author, Micky Neilson, and also Lucien Soulban, lead writer of the BAFTA award winning video game Far Cry 3.
Submission Guidelines can be found here.
6. Laura Yorke with Carol Mann Agency- New York, NY
Based in New York, Laura Yorke is not just a talented literary agent, but she is also a veteran book editor, writer, and publisher. She started her career as an editor at Simon & Schuster. After a couple of years, she joined Regan Books/HarperCollins where she once again worked as an editor. Laura finally joined the Carol Mann Agency where she has represented best-selling authors like Henry S. Lodge MD, Chris Crowley, and Jane Alexander.
Laura represents both fiction and non-fiction. Submission guidelines can be found on this page.
7. Whitney Ross with Irene Goodman Literary Agency – New York, NY
Whitney is a former editor for Macmillan, and worked with authors such as Susan Dennard, Cora Carmack, Eric Van Lustbader, and Steven Erikson.
She is now looking for middle grade, YA, and adult fiction with a special focus on historical themes, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and contemporary fiction. In non-fiction, she is looking for submissions in the subjects of design, cooking, and fashion. She loves unusual time periods and locations and subtle romances. She is looking for compelling characters and emotionally involving plot lines.
Check here for Submission Guidelines.
8. Alexander Field with The Bindery – Colorado Springs, CO
Alexander Field is founder of The Bindery, which he formed in 2017. He is a former Vice President for two imprints of Penguin Random House, the largest publisher of trade books in the English-speaking world.
After completing his college education, Alex worked at Los Angeles Times where he assisted the Calendar section and wrote plenty of freelance pieces. Over the next two decades, he worked at the top departments of leading publishing outlets like Writer’s Digest and Relevant Magazine.
Alexander is currently open for submissions in his agency. Submission Guidelines can be found here.
9. Quressa Robinson with Nelson Literary Agency- Denver, CO
Hailing from San Francisco, Quressa is an avid reader, a diligent student, and a supremely talented literary agent. While working at the Nelson Literary Agency, Quressa has represented best-selling authors like Brittney Morris, Roseanne A. Brown, and Valerie Valdes.
She currently lives in New York and is fond of works with eclectic characters, unheard voices from under-represented communities, and complex narrative techniques.
Right now, she is willing to build her young adult, middle grade, and adult fiction list. She is also looking for commercial fiction, nonfiction with a bold, narrative voice, and stories from marginalized communities. Since Quressa is fond of romance and character driven stories, she doesn’t mind romantic subplots even if your genre is not specifically romantic.
If you are willing to submit your works to Quressa, visit this page.
10. Nicki Richesin with Wendy Sherman Associates – New York, NY
Nicki is looking for upmarket fiction that makes her see the world in a different way, ,young adult fiction, narrative non-fiction, and memoirs.
Her agency works with authors like Wendy Walker, Therese Anne Fowler, and Emma Johnson, author of “The Kickass Single Mom”.
You can find Nicki’s Submission Guidelines here.
11. Eva Scalzo with Speilburg Literary Agency – Louisville, KY
Eva is building her client list. She has worked for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles. She is interested in Young Adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and good romance novels.
Her agency helps represent authors such as Jennifer Mason-Black’s “Devil and the Bluebird” and A.M. Bostwick’s “Break the Spell”, a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Submission Guidelines for Eva her can be found here.
12. Deborah Hofmann with the David Black Literary Agency – Brooklyn, NY
An excellent agent with a prestigious agency, Deborah is a former editor of the NYT Best Seller lists. She is looking for great literary and commercial fiction, as well as narrative non-fiction, autobiography and memoirs, culture and the arts, humor, practical how-to skills, and artisanal arts and crafts.
She welcomes first-time authors with vision and verve. Her agency represents many clients such as Jackson Galaxy, Chris O’Dell, and Ron Shapiro.
Deborah’s Submission Guidelines can be found here.
13. Cynthia Ruchti with Books & Such Literary Agency – Santa Rosa, CA
Are you writing for the Christian market? You need an agent like Cynthia Ruchti. Cynthia is an experienced author of 21 books and a former president of American Christian Fiction Writers.
She is open to a few novelists but is currently focusing on non-fiction projects. She is looking for emotional depth and intricate storytelling
Check here for Submission Guidelines.
14. Jordan Hamessley with New Leaf Literary and Media – New York, NY
Are you working on a middle grade sci-fi or horror book? Jordan may be looking for you. Jordan is a former editor for Penguin Young Readers and has worked with many authors including Sara Benincasa, Len Vlahos, Ilsa J. Bick, and Adam-Troy Castro, among many others.
She is looking for diverse children’s picture books through Young Adult, as well as adult science fiction and horror. Jordan loves middle grade and YA that carries a sense of humor. She is also looking for non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus.
Jordan’s Submission Guidelines can be found here.
15. Kieryn Ziegler with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret – New York, NY
Kieryn is looking for the next Harry Potter series! She has a background in Writing for Screen and Television and loves stories with exciting worlds, found families, fantastic female characters, and diverse perspectives. She is especially looking for YA and MG fiction.
Kieryn works with authors such as Katie Ashley, author of Vicious Cycle, Jessica Brody of “The Fidelity Files”, and Erin Downing Soderberg of “Moon Shadow”.
Her Submission Guidelines can be found here.
16. Johanna V. Castillo with Writers House Literary Agency- New York, NY
Johanna Castillo is an established literary agent who currently works as a Senior Agent at Writers House. Before joining this agency, she was the Vice President and Executive Editor at Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and the Editorial Director at Atria Espanol. She served these editorial positions for almost one and a half decades.
At Writers House, some of her notable clients include Isabel Allende, Anita Hughes, and Justin Baldoni. She is currently seeking upmarket fiction, commercial fiction, thrillers, narrative non-fiction, memoirs, and titles focusing on pop culture themes. She also accepts middle grade fiction and practical, self-help books.
Submission guidelines can be found here.
17. Sarah Bolling of The Gernert Company – Manhattan, NY
If you are familiar with the author Mark Z. Danielewski and are writing to push the boundaries of literature, Sarah is the agent for you. She is looking for blended fiction projects that combine the sensibilities of the genre’s best works. She wants diverse characters, faraway locales, and inventive narrative structures. She also represents memoir, pop culture, psychology, sociology, and style in non-fiction.
Her company’s recent books include “The Oracle Year”, by Charles Soule, “Miss You”, by Kate Eberlen, and “Royce Rolls”, by Margaret Stohl.
Sarah’s Submission Guidelines can be found here.
18. Lucienne Diver with Knight Agency –Madison, GA
This might be more of a long shot, but Lucienne is worth investigating. She has sold over seven hundred titles and worked with every major publisher. Lucienne has built her client list of more than forty authors from all across the commercial fiction genres, including fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense and young adult. Her authors have been honored with many awards and they have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
Her list is currently very full, but she is always open to new submissions. Specifically, she is looking for more diverse voices in any commercial fiction field from Young Adult up, with strong characterization and stories which draw the reader in emotionally.
You can find Lucienne’s Submission Guidelines here.
19. Elizabeth Wales with Wales Literary Agency – Seattle, WA
Elizabeth moved from England to Seattle and began her own literary agency there. She is looking for mainstream and literary fiction, graphic novels, as well as narrative-driven nonfiction and memoirs. In non-fiction she is looking for subjects such as science, nature, social justice, politics, health, food writing, and culture. Her agency is especially interested in story-driven narrative styles, bold, new narrative voices, and progressive cultural perspectives.
Recently published and forthcoming titles represented by Wales Literary Agency include: At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Samuel Harrington, MD; and Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David R. Montgomery, a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing.
Elizabeth’s Submission Guidelines can be found here.
20. Margret McBride with Margret McBride Literary Agency – La Jolla, CA
Out on the west coast you can connect with Margret McBride. Her initial success as a literary agent began in 1981 with the New York Times bestseller, THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson M.D. It has been an international bestseller for over 30 years.
Margret is seeking a wide range of commercial fiction and nonfiction, especially historical fiction, medical suspense, legal thrillers, and stories featuring strong female protagonists. Her nonfiction acquisitions include biographies and memoirs, travel, history, psychology, health, self-improvement and business, especially entrepreneurship, management, and finance. If you are writing a business parable, she is the agent for you.
Her current clients include Bob Burg, of “The Go-Giver Influencer”, and Richard “Cheech” Marin of “Cheech Is Not My Real Name …But Don’t Call Me Chong!”
You can find Margret’s Submission Guidelines here.
21. Sandy Harding with Spencer Hill Associates – Lakewood Ranch, FL
Down in the sunny Southeast you can find Sandy Harding. She is an excited agent who looking for new authors. She spent fifteen years at Penguin Random House and Penguin Group USA, most recently as a senior editor at NAL.
Sandy is looking for upmarket commercial and literary fiction for adults. She likes women’s fiction suitable for book clubs, smart page-turning thrillers, works of suspense with complex characters, mysteries of all sorts, and romance. Most of all she is after writing with a strong voice and a captivating story that keeps the reader engaged.
Submission Guidelines can be found here.
Are you a literary agent seeking new clients? Please tell us more in the comments box below!
Tony Franklin is a writer, pastor, and teacher from Illinois and Kentucky, United States, with a background in philosophy, psychology, and biblical studies. He is an advocate for and a student of multi-cultural ministries and has a passion for music of all types. He has been blogging inspirational reading for nearly ten years at www.myabishai.blog and www.myabishai.net and recently published a critical book at politics and religion called “Jesus Politics”.