Literary Agents

After I somehow survived South America, I got home, finished my Creative Writing Masters degree, and did a lot of online research on literary agents. After a certain point, all the literary agents’ “Personal Pages” on their websites start to blend into a horrifying mush in one’s mind. This is what writers see when they read the Personal Pages. I’m hoping that if any literary agents find this post and are offended, then they probably wouldn’t have been a good fit for me anyway… 

Indiana Jones and the quest to find literary agents

“I love books. Books, books – I just really love reading books. I guess it’s my love of books that led me to pursue a career in the book industry, which means I get to do what I love all day long – do book-related work from 9am til 5pm, then read books from 5:30 until 9am the next morning!

It’s hard to put my finger on what I’m looking for – I just know it when I see it! But it simply must be superbly written, with a unique, powerful voice, a compelling plot that keeps me hooked, and characters, and pages, and words. If your submission ticks all these boxes, and it’s a work of staggering artistic merit, please send it my way!

What I’m looking for is brilliant books that will absolutely blow me away, books which will get me so immersed in the story that I literally cannot put them down: I want to be quietly crying with emotion in the corner of a café for ten hours in a row, until I’ve finished your manuscript and my world is changed forever. The sort of books that I will spend the next month talking about to all my friends, when I see them between 5pm and 5:30 after work. If your book does this to me, then maybe I’ll get back to you at some point, if one of my existing authors happens to have died that month.

I specialise in literary, commercial, genre, thriller, crime, horror, fantasy, speculative, mystery, psychological suspense, experimental, zombie, historical fiction, women’s, children’s, crossover, nonfiction, memoir, political, gardening, cookery and self-help books – but outside these limits, I’m open to anything that is exquisitely written. Please don’t send me hardcore erotica or stories which involve children being tortured. And note that I do not take on science fiction or YA, because fuck those guys.

I receive, on average, 300,000 submissions per year, and I will normally only take on one or two of them – so please be patient. If I reject you, don’t be disheartened – it might just mean that your book isn’t quite right for me, or that it overlaps too much with my existing clients, or that it’s shit. I do read everything that I receive, but unfortunately I am unable to reply to the unsuccessful applicants, which conveniently means I’ll never be able to prove it.”


On the subject of rejection…

One Reply to “Literary Agents”

Leave a Reply