We are incredibly excited to read your work.
But we would like you to read our guidelines really carefully before submitting.
We've designed them carefully simply to try to ensure that we can see as much of the potential in your writing and ideas as possible and not get too bogged down in the practical side of handling lots of submissions.
Below is some more detail about what we're looking for, some general rules and guidelines and then links to more specific guidelines and submission forms depending on what you want to submit.
What we're looking for
You can send us anything you want. All we ask is that it is as good as you think you can make it right now.
There’s a cliché in publishing but it’s very true: we don’t know what we’re looking for till we see it. So we don’t know if we’re looking for your work till we’ve seen it. But! There are some things we are particularly looking for at the moment and also some tips we have if you're writing in particular areas that might help your book really catch our eye.
We will always be looking for great literary fiction and particularly for fiction that changes how we think. And likewise beautiful general / reading group fiction that we can just lose ourselves in the characters and stories of. But right now we are particularly looking for
- Genre fiction: crime and thriller, contemporary love stories, family sagas, science fiction and fantasy, historical romance. We would love submissions from writers who see themselves as the next Lee Child, Jojo Moyes, Martina Cole, Jenny Colgan, Paula Hawkins, EL James, Mike Gayle, Octavia Butler, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, George RR Martin, Ursula K Le Guin, Nnedi Okorafor, Philippa Gregory, Dan Brown, Marian Keyes, Dorothy Koomson, Nick Hornby, Dilly Court, Rosie Goodwin, Abir Mukherjee, Peter James, Ian Rankin, JK Rowling... whichever commercial fiction writer is your favourite we are really excited to see your tightly plotted stories and your completely enthralling characters.
- Whatever you're writing we're excited to see characters from under-represented backgrounds expertly centred in your stories, whether you're writing stories where your characters' identity is defining to the plot but also particularly where they aren't centrally defined by their identity, it's an important part of who they are but not driving the narrative.
Scroll down for general guidelines or click for more specific guidelines on fiction submissions here.
Overall we aren't seeing as much non-fiction as fiction, so we're definitely interested in any submissions that are bold, challenging and utterly unique.
We will consider proposals for books dealing with the big hitting non-fiction subjects like history, science, economics and politics as well as more popular subjects like self-help, lifestyle, pop culture, technology and travel. We are also always interested in biography and memoir.
The below list by no means means we aren't interested in your idea but these are a few of the things we would particularly like to see:
- Traditional and popular subject areas approached in a new way by voices that haven't been heard in those areas as much as they should. This applies to everything from subjects that need genuine expertise and qualifications, like history and science to those that need a deeply personal but more philosophical approach like nature writing.
- In fact nature writing is something that particularly needs better representation. Nature writing encompasses a wide variety of works, ranging from those that place primary emphasis on natural history facts (such as field guides) to those in which philosophical interpretation predominate. It includes natural history essays, poetry, essays of solitude or escape, as well as travel and adventure writing.
- Personal memoir that tells stories we haven't read before, or tells more universal stories in a particularly unique way that elevates them above being 'just' someone's life story. This includes seeing some of the more confessional and deeply personal memoirs that have been very successful recently (eg Bryony Gordon, Dolly Alderton etc) from people who come from very different backgrounds to those writers. Really consider the themes of the book. Everyone gets told they've led an interesting life. Really hone in on what will resonate with a reader who has never met you. Think about the themes!
- Books that really get to the heart of contemporary life in a way that isn't seen very regularly - think Poverty Safari or a British equivalent of Hillbilly Eligy (and it's not just us interested in these, pretty much every non-fiction publisher we've talked to said they really wanted to find these books).
- Books that are funny. We could all use a laugh.
See below for general guidelines or click for more specific guidelines on non-fiction submissions here.
Children's & Young Adult
We are looking for stories for children and young adults that challenge and change the way that we think and represent the diversity of young people’s experiences.
We are sorry but we are not currently taking open submissions for picture books or illustrated books. This is simply because it is a very specialist area and not one we are as experienced as we would need to be to represent writers in this area. We are working on how we can increase our expertise but at present we cannot accept picture book submissions.
- We are always excited by strong characterisation which will engage children and, as with adult submissions, we are keen to see characters from under-represented backgrounds expertly centred in your stories.
- We are looking for stories for readers age 8 upwards, and your novel can be the first in an intended series, or a standalone.
- Your plot can be driven by a character’s identity and the issues that they are experiencing related to this, but equally we would love to see characters where identity is an important part of who they are but not driving the narrative.
- We’d also love to see characters that we haven’t seen before in ever-popular genres such as adventure stories, fantasy, spy stories and any plots that will fuel childrens’ imaginations.
- We are as interested in stories that grapple with the social realities of young people’s lives as we are with more fantastical tales. Humour is always appealing, but we are also receptive to stories that address more serious aspects of childhood.
- As the majority of children's non-fiction is illustrated we are aware this is an area where we are very limited in what we will consider.
- But we would still love to see original and diverse takes on popular themes such as emotional intelligence, inspirational memoir and practical self-help.
Scroll down for general guidelines or click for more specific guidelines on Children's & Young Adult submissions here.
General rules and guidelines
- We only represent writers who are under-represented in mainstream publishing. This includes writers of colour, working class, disability and LGBTQ+ as well as anyone else who feels that they or their story are under-represented.
- We consider all types of fiction and non-fiction as well as children's books. We do not currently accept picture book submissions but are aiming to do so in the future.
- We represent some poets but do not accept poetry submissions, though if you are a poet wishing to write long-form work then we would welcome your submission. Likewise we are very interested in playwrights and screenwriters who wish to write long-form books but we do not accept plays, scripts or screenplays.
- In the main we only accept submissions via our online forms. Submissions which are emailed or posted to us will be disregarded except in a few circumstances. If you suffer from a disability that makes using our form hard (including where you have an anxiety related to using forms) then please email (preferably) or write to us to explain and we will let you know how to submit by email or letter. If you are in prison or have restricted access to a computer we will also accept submissions by letter, please make it clear when you are submitting that this the case.
- We want to see your best possible work. Often when we read submissions we feel like the work is a draft away from when it should have been sent to us. We understand that sometimes you get to a point where you can't evaluate your own work anymore or where you feel like you've done as much as you can. But we would always encourage you to get someone who regularly reads books similar to yours to look at it before you send it to us and to ask them to be as objective as possible. This can be someone you know, someone in a writers group or in an online forum. And if it it someone you know remember that people who love us will always be encouraging about our work but they can be asked to be constructively critical too.
- Remember that we expect all books to do one simple job: to make us want to keep turning the pages. Whatever you have written this is the central part of it. Writing is of course key and it's vital that the writing doesn't get in the way of the reader - it's why you're often told to cut adjectives, if they aren't helping us to want to keep reading because they're providing too much extraneous detail they shouldn't be there. And whatever you're writing the journey you take us on as a reader is also vital, whether that's the story in fiction and narrative non-fiction or the progression of your ideas in polemic or instructional non-fiction.
- We read every submission and respond to everyone with some brief constructive feedback. We aim to do this within 12 weeks but depending on how many submissions we have it isn't always possible. We will try to keep this page updated with our anticipated timelines though.
- Please do not just submit to us for feedback. We were really sad last year when we read someone's work and requested the full manuscript only to be told they already had an agent and were just submitting to us 'to get feedback and build buzz'. It wasted our time and meant other writers didn't get read as quickly.
- You are welcome to submit to other agents simultaneously with us. Please do let us know if another agent is interested but you are still interested in us. We can't guarantee prioritising you in these circumstances but we will try.
- We require uploaded documents for the proposal / sample chapter (for non-fiction) or the synopsis / first three chapters. Please make sure they are in the following format:
- Arial. 12 point. Double spaced. Numbered pages.
- Save either as a .doc, or a .docx.
- Don’t share a OneDrive file, Dropbox file, a Pages file or Google Doc with us. We need the saved file.
- Your name and the title of the piece should be on the front page. Don’t put it in the header or footer because e-readers sometimes do horrible things with these.
- Ideas from journalists, academics, experts and professionals writing within their field
- Personal memoirs
- Essay collections
- Ideas for popular non-fiction books where you think you are the perfect person to write the book
- All genres
- Short story collections
- Graphic novels
Though we do represent some poets we do not at this point accept poetry submissions. We are very interested in poets who wish to write long-form work.
CHILDREN'S & YOUNG ADULT
- Fiction & Non-fiction
- All age ranges
Though we do represent some illustrated books we do not at this point accept illustrated or picture book submissions.