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Our submission process

Literary agents

Fast-track submission to the best literary agencies in the world.

The fast track to publishing

From blank page to book deal

Why do you need a literary agent?

Almost all new writers seeking to be traditionally published need a literary agent in today’s publishing world.

The major traditional publishing houses account for almost 80% of book sales worldwide and acquire books almost exclusively from literary agents.

A good literary agent can get you a traditional publishing deal, as well as TV and film rights. If you want to be published by one of the major publishing houses, also known as the Big Five (Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan Publishers) you’ll want to find the right literary agent to get you a book deal.

Understanding agent listings

Agent listings are hard to navigate. You’ll research literary agents no doubt for many weeks to find literary agents who represent your genre whether it’s historical fiction, science fiction, crime fiction, middle grade etc. As you begin work to query literary agents, you’ll pore through each literary agent’s list, scrutinise their submission guidelines, spend time learning how to craft a strong hook, write a great query letter, and fret and sweat over every detail down to the subject line of your email query letter. After all that, you’ll no doubt be happy to sign with the first agent who offers you representation!

Finding the right agent

But even if a literary agent shows interest, requests a full manuscript, and likes your writing, you may still have questions.

How well are they regarded in the publishing industry? New agents may not have contacts at a publishing house that represents authors in your genre. What would their submission process be? Editors receive submissions from many literary agencies, but they will prioritise their inbox according to how highly they regard a particular literary agent. You want to sign with the right agent.

Demystifying the publishing industry

Many new authors think the publishing industry is impenetrable, a closed shop. But that’s not the case.

The writer’s market is stronger than it has ever been. You might be closer than you think. In fact, most literary agents and publishers are in search of the same thing. A literary agent views the query letter with the same eye the acquiring editor of a publishing house does. They’re looking for a certain something, and we know what that is because our team has hands-on experience of the publishing process having worked as acquiring editors for the Big Five publishers. Getting a literary agent interested is a challenge but we can dramatically improve your chances.

How we can help

When your manuscript is deemed ready to submit to literary agents, our editorial team will invite you to our submission service. An editor will work with you to hone your query letter and submission package. We will then prepare a list of literary agents who work in your genre and are looking to take on new writers.

We submit on your behalf, keeping you informed throughout and allowing you the choice of meeting those agents interested in taking things further. We neither ask for nor accept a commission for this; it’s part of the service. We cannot guarantee representation, but we will always do everything we can to help you. When we submit our writers, our success rate is over 60%. It’s a joy for us to make that life-changing call to say an agent loves your book.

Madeline, course graduate

“A wonderful organisation for aspiring writers, and we’re thrilled to work with them!”

— Madeleine Milburn, Director of Madeleine Milburn Literary TV & Film Agency

A relationship based on reputation

Our trusted literary agencies

Our literary agents are AAA and AAR members, and they operate worldwide representing authors around the globe.

They represent bestselling and award-winning authors like Tom Clancy, Meg Wollitzer, Philip Pullman, Michael Ondaatje, Hilary Mantel, Marilynne Robinson, Madeleine Miller, Celeste Ng, Gail Honeyman, Richard Osman, Paula Hawkins, J.M. Coetzee, Jacqueline Wilson and many more famous names.

The Book Group

The Book Group

The Book Group was founded in 2015. They work with every major New York publisher and represent award-winning novelists and illustrators, book club favorites, bestselling thrillers, and fantasy, horror and young adult classics. Their clients include Celeste Ng, Liane Moriarty, Madeleine Miller, Joshua Ferris, Rumaan Alam, Alice Sebold and other writers.

Janklow & Nesbit Associates

Janklow & Nesbit Associates

The famous US literary agency began as Morton L. Janklow Associates, founded by attorney Morton Janklow in 1977. The arrival of Lynn Nesbit created Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 1989. Janklow & Nesbit (UK) Ltd was established in 2000 to provide the same level of service and expertise to British and European-based writers. The literary agency has represented books that have appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists cumulatively for more than 9,300 weeks between 2010 and 2017. Their amazing authors have garnered every major accolade from the Pulitzer Prize to the Academy Award.

Mushens Entertainment

Mushens Entertainment

Mushens Entertainment is a leading UK literary agency that represents a diverse range of authors, from Sunday Times bestsellers to actors, brands and award-nominated authors. Juliet Mushens has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year four times. She represents a bestselling and critically acclaimed list, from historical fiction to crime fiction, from young adult to science fiction including debut authors and No.1 bestseller Jessie Burton, multi-million-copy bestseller Taran Matharu, and Richard Osman. Juliet Mushens represents our very own Krystle Appiah and Katie Khan.



A famous global operation, closing more than 1,000 international publishing deals a year, WME represents internationally bestselling authors, critically acclaimed literary writers, award-winning journalists, thought leaders and up-and-coming talent. WME authors have been the recipients of such esteemed awards as the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Edgar Award, the Orange Prize, the Giller Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Medal of Literature, among others. Authors include Kiley Reid, Tom Clancy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Curtis Sittenfeld, Amor Towles, Jean Hanff Korelitz and Meg Wolitzer.

Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency

Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency

Madeleine Milburn founded the agency described by The Bookseller as ‘a major force in publishing’ in 2012. Madeleine was chosen as one of the book trade’s Rising Stars and in 2017 she was one of a small handful of agents to be included in The Bookseller’s list of the 100 most influential people in the book trade, alongside the likes of J.K. Rowling. She has appeared in the list every year since and introduced to readers many new writers who have become household names.

In 2018, Madeleine won Literary Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards. She was praised for her ‘prolific deal-making’. In 2020, she was shortlisted again for the same award. She represents our Editorial Director Lizzy Goudsmit Kay (writing as Elizabeth Kay).

United Agents

United Agents

United Agents (UA) is a talent and literary agency headquartered in Soho, London, England.  In 2007 UA set up a literary division and further to the acquisition of AP Watt, now represents writers across fiction, non-fiction, history and children’s books, as well as illustrators. Their authors have won many of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes (including the Man Booker Prize, the Costa Novel of the Year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Book Award) and appeared at the top of the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller lists. Clients include John Banville, Julian Barnes, Tessa Hadley and the estate of Helen Dunmore.

Join us today

Reach the end of your first draft or finish a publishing-ready novel. Our courses offer various combinations of The Novelry’s three-step writing journey, and provide best value to achieve your ambition.

The Novel Kickstarter Class
The Novel Development Course Dome
The Finished Novel Dome

The Novel Kickstarter Course

Find your story, write the first draft

The Novel Development Course

Write and edit your first draft

The Finished Novel Course

The writer-to-author career path

Carla, course graduate

“The dream was to get an agent”

‘From the initial idea for my novel to the point of getting agent representation, The Novelry were on hand with support and advice. The dream was always to get an agent and so to receive interest from several was mind-blowing—to have Madeleine Milburn within that list was more than I could have hoped for. I’m thrilled!’

—Carla Jenkins went on to secure a two-book publishing contract with Trapeze, an imprint of the major publishing house, Orion.

We love being part of your story

Is it time to take your writing seriously?

Yes, you can

Leading literary agencies are seeking exciting debut authors, and they’re looking for great stories in all genres of fiction, by debut authors who present their writing professionally and with flair. There’s every chance you will get a literary agent if you’re serious about your career as a writer and take good advice.

Get good advice

Whether you’re a debut author, have never been published, or you have self-published or been published by a small press or independent publishers, whether you’re seeking your first agent or want to find a new agent, we can help you get the best agent for you. Our editorial services team are in conversation with literary agents on a weekly basis and they’re able to tip off literary agents to exciting debut authors.

Work with professionals

Our team have good relationships with many literary agents and they’re extremely well placed to match your work with the best agents. In their former lives as publishing editors they bought books from those same literary agents so they enjoy trusted and respected relationships with them. Our editors know what makes for an exceptionally good submission, because they were able to choose from highly-polished literary agency submissions.

To become a professional

We will help you establish your author brand, voice and genre specialism. We help our writers all the way from shaping their commercial fiction or literary fiction idea to ensure the story is as strong as it can be for publishing through to crafting the pitch-perfect submission package and an outstanding query letter. Leave thoughts of self-publishing behind and enter the major league of the publishing world with The Novelry.