So, you’re looking for a list of literary agents in the UK for historical fiction.
We’re guessing because you’ve written a historical fiction novel, which you believe has fantastic commercial potential and you want a literary agent to help you get a publishing deal with a book publisher.
Below we’ve featured 15 literary agents in the UK that have experience in representing authors who write historical fiction.
The Hardman & Swainson literary agency was founded in the year 2012 by Caroline Hardman and Joanna Swainson. Caroline mainly looks forward to working with authors of literary and commercial fiction. Before co-founding Hardman & Swainson, she gained experience at the Christopher Little Literary Agency and The Marsh Agency. The Lost Letter from Morocco by Adrienne Chin, The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane by Liz Trenow and Daughters of War by Lizzie Page are a couple of historical fiction titles that Hardman & Swainson has represented. The company is located in the city of London, UK. If you are a writer looking to submit your manuscript to them, make sure to read the submission guidelines and contact any one agent only. To get in touch with Caroline Hardman, make use of the contact information available on the website.
Joanna Swainson, being the co-founder of Hardman & Swainson literary agency, freelanced for many literary agents before beginning her own journey as one, at this London-based literary agency. She has represented authors like Helen Cox, Elizabeth Brooks, Rachel Edwards and Harry Freedman. Does your book have an original and distinct voice? Are your book characters larger than life? Or maybe your writing has a vein of subtle humour? If you answered yes to either of these questions, Joanna Swainson may just be the right literary agent for you. Having been working as an agent from 2012, since the establishment of the agency, Joanna definitely has the experience needed to take on your historical fiction work and give it the best possible chance of being published. Make sure to send your manuscript to the agency’s email ID and not Joanna’s. But if you wish to reach out to her with any queries, you can also follow her on Twitter. Here are the agency’s submission guidelines for your reference.
London is also home to this other literary agency called Greene & Heaton Ltd. Antony Topping began working at this agency in the year 1995, nearly 33 years after the inception of the firm in the year 1963. It was established by Elaine Greene. Some of the clients Antony has worked with are historical thriller writers, historical literary novelists and contemporary writers. If you’ve heard the name C.J Sansom, author of a series of historical crime novels, you’d understand the calibre of Antony’s skills as an agent. The agency has specified some guidelines that you should adhere to if you wish to submit your manuscript to them. You’ll find all the necessary contact details on their website. Take note that they do not accept postal submissions, so only send in your book via email.
Greene & Heaton Ltd. is the firm where Judith Murray works as a literary agent. The agency not only takes care of book representation, but also assists the writers with contract negotiation and film/TV adaptation, so that they may receive the best possible deal while working with a publishing house. Judith worked as an editor at some publishing firms in UK before joining Greene & Heaton in 1995. Her expertise includes representing authors of thrillers, historical non-fiction, women’s fiction, historical novels, crime etc. If you take a look at Judith’s page, you’ll see how many authors she has represented. Out of all the titles she has worked on, The Painted Lady and The Lady and the Poet, both by Maeve Haran are two historical fiction novels. Read the submission guidelines carefully so that you know in what format to submit your manuscript and then, if you have any query, you can contact the agency. You’ll find this agency located in Goldhawk Road, London.
5. Sam Copeland
Sam Copeland works as an agent at the Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency. It is based in London, UK and has been in the market since 1987. Pat White and Gill Coleridge are two of the co-founders of this agency. While the agency accepts manuscript submissions by post, you can also submit your work by email to Sam Copeland. He has worked on genres like historical fiction, science fiction, crime, thrillers, speculative fiction and nonfiction. Some of the authors he has represented have won or been nominated for many prestigious awards like Carnegie, Costa, Booker, National Book Awards and more. Bedford Park by Bryan Appleyard, Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh and A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee are three historical fiction titles that Sam has represented. If you think that Sam is the right agent for you, check out the agency’s submission guidelines. You can contact the agency or Sam using the information available on his page.
6. Jenny Hewson
Is your work inspired by the likes of Kate Mosse, Helen Dunmore or Elizabeth Gifford? Because Jenny Hewson is particularly interested in historical fiction as written by these authors. Other than this genre, Jenny is also open to reviewing literary fiction, gothic fiction and book club fiction, to name a few. An agent of Rogers, Coleridge & White agency, Jenny is based in London, England. The agency was founded in the year 1987. Writers who’ve been represented by Jenny have won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Man Booker Prize and John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Take a look at the clients Jenny has worked with to get a better understanding of whether she’d be the right agent for you or not. Since it is not mentioned whether she accepts manuscript submissions via email, you should contact her on Twitter or even on her email ID to clarify the same. Make sure to follow the agency’s submission guidelines before you approach them.
7. Isobel Dixon
Head to Highbury East, London to visit the Blake Friedmann literary agency. It was started in the year 1982 by Carole Blake and Julian Friedmann. The two women had initially started their own agencies in the 1970s, but soon merged both to form the Blake Friedmann agency. They aim to represent a writer’s career rather than just a single project like a book. Isobel Dixon is the Director and Head of Books at this agency. She welcomes writings pertaining to historical, contemporary, literary fiction, crime and thrillers amongst others. She has worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors. Some of her clients are Kathleen Jones, Peter James, Sheila O’ Flanagan, Gus Ferguson, Sally Andrew and Pippa Goldschmidt. You should take a look at the agency’s guidelines for submissions, so you know exactly how to go about submitting your work. The email address at which you can send in your work to Isobel is mentioned on the page. You can also reach out to her, with any doubts, on Twitter.
8. Kate Burke
Kate Burke has a lot of industry experience preceding her title as literary agent at the Blake Friedmann literary agency. She has worked at Northbank Talent Management, been an editor at Headline and HarperCollins, as well as an Editorial Director at Penguin Random House. She joined Blake Friedmann in early 2019. Kate is interested in historical crime fictions, especially those that have to do with detective-led mysteries or serial killers or psychological suspense. She is, however, not looking to read any science-fiction or fantasy works. So bear that in mind. You can find her email ID and some instructions for submission on the agency’s guidelines page. Alternatively, Kate can also be reached out to via Twitter.
Felicity Blunt works at the Curtis Brown agency located in London, UK. Before joining as an agent, she interned at the Wylie agency and Curtis Brown as well. Curtis Brown was set up in the year 1899 by Albert Curtis Brown. The agency has represented the likes of Margaret Atwood for her novel Alias Grace, Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Felicity enjoys working with authors of suspense crime, literary fiction, thrillers and historical fiction. She is open to considering works that dabble in alternate histories too. If you’d like to know more about her interests, read this manuscript wishlist page. Once you’ve done that, check out the submission guidelines for more instructions on how to submit your work. They do not accept physical submissions, so only forward your manuscript using the online portal. Here’s more of the agency’s contact information.
10. Catherine Cho
Debut novelists rejoice! If you are a first-time writer, wanting to get your novel published, Catherine Cho is a literary agent you should surely consider. She is particularly interested in working with debut authors and has gained industry experience at the Folio Literary Management New York as a literary assistant. She likes atmospheric settings, magical realism, speculative elements, novels that transcend genres, strong characters, emotional and powerful stories. Catherine joined the Curtis Brown literary agency in London, UK in the year 2015. Use this submissions portal to submit your manuscript to her. Or you could even send her an email on the address mentioned on her agent page. Be sure to follow the specifications mentioned.
11. Rupert Heath
Traitors Blood by Michael Arnold, Brethren by Robyn Young and The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber are three historical fiction titles that the Rupert Heath literary agency has represented. This agency was established in 2001 and is located in London, UK. Many of the titles they’ve represented have been published by famous publishers like Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber, Harlequin and Pan Macmillan. Rupert Heath founded this agency and also works as an agent at the company. He is mainly looking to sign with authors of commercial fiction such as thrillers, science fiction, historical fiction and cutting-edge literary fiction. The agency welcomes manuscripts by new and unpublished authors. Even though they do receive a lot of physical manuscripts, they prefer receiving email submissions. If you decide to submit your novel, first send them an email with information about yourself and your work. You can also follow them on Twitter.
12. Jane Gregory
Jane Gregory founded the Gregory & Company literary agency in 1987. This agency was later acquired by David Higham Associates. Jane Gregory has worked as a literary agent for more than 30 years and enjoys working with authors of literary, historical fiction, thrillers, psychological suspense and crime. She is not looking to work on young adult fiction, children’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy and any supernatural novels. For more information about the submission guidelines and what kind of work Jane is looking to sign on, visit her agent page. Noel Street, London is home to this agency that has represented award-winning authors. The agency accepts both email and physical submissions. You can contact the company directly using the information that is available on their website.
13. Samar Hammam
Samar Hammam founded the Rocking Chair Books literary agency in the year 2013, prior to which she was a Director at the Toby Eady Associates. She is based in London, UK and is looking to work with writers who have penned page-turning adult trade fiction. It should be noted that she does not wish to represent any children’s books, YA or science fiction and fantasy novels. To give your manuscript the best chance of getting selected, be sure to follow the submission guidelines. If you’d like to contact them, either use the query form or one of the email IDs mentioned on their contact page. Follow the agency on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop about the kind of titles they have represented in the past.
14. Judith Murdoch
Housed in Primrose Hill, London, the Judith Murdoch literary agency was set up by former editor Judith Murdoch in the year 1993. You will be happy to note that the agency’s website home page features quite a few historical fiction titles such as The Nightingale’s Nurses by Donna Douglas and The Barefoot Child by Cathy Sharp. Other than science fiction, children’s stories and fantasy, the agency welcomes all sorts of fictional novels. Take a look at their submissions page to know where you should send in your manuscript. They can be reached out to via email or the phone number mentioned on this contact page.
15. Anna Power
Do you have a historical fiction novel that is in need of representation? Maybe yours is a multi-genre story that has elements of psychological thriller and women’s fiction. You should consider submitting your work to Johnson & Alcock literary agency that can be found on the Great Russell Street in London, UK. The agency was formed as a result of a merger between John Johnson Ltd. and Michael Alcock Management in 2003. Anna Power is the MD of Johnson & Alcock and you can get in touch with her via Twitter. Once you’ve read the agency’s submission guidelines and/or contacted Anna, you are free to submit your manuscript by email or post. The Bone Ships by R.J Barker and The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal are two of the fictional titles they’ve represented.
Do you know of any other UK literary agents for historical fiction? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
A 22 year old writer from India, Meera Nair has been blogging for over 5 years. She has a triple major Bachelor’s degree in Media, English and Psychology from Christ University Bangalore. She regularly reviews books for publishers like Bloomsbury, Pan Macmillan, Penguin etc. Reading and writing are two of her utmost passions and she is glad to have the opportunity to share that love with others.