After yesterday’s announcement, I figured it’s time to share some of the resources that helped me in my agent hunt. Please note: I don’t claim to be any kind of expert. I’m just trying to help out.
You’ve written and revised the most awesome book ever, and now you want to find a British literary agent to represent your novel… but you don’t know where to start, right? I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks during the submission process, so I’ve compiled them into this post to try and help out other writers. Take a look at the links below to help you hunt down those elusive UK literary agents.
Keep in mind that the UK and US submission processes are very different. I’m not going to go into the submission process because it’s a little too complicated for this post, and post is focused on finding the agencies to contact, but do your research before sending out e-mails.
A good ol’ fashion Google search: Searching for ‘UK literary agent’ or ‘UK literary agency’ isn’t a bad place to start, but make sure you check any results out thoroughly (and avoid any sponsored or ad-supported results) as Google results are prime real estate for scam agents.
Nicola Morgan’s “Write a Great Synopsis” and”Dear Agent” e-books and her “Write to be Published” printed book are great starting points with a UK focus.
The Writer & Artist’s Yearbook: This is the gold standard of agent-hunting, a yearly updated book listing all agencies and publishers in the UK alongside advice on how to write a covering letter or submit to publisher. If you can’t afford a copy most UK libraries will have one in the reference section. The Children’s Writers & Artists Yearbook is also useful for children’s writer, but as far as I can see all its agency listings are the same as in the normal W&A Yearbook.
The Writers’ Workshop’s Agent Spreadsheet: Most writers keep track of agents they submit to using a spreadsheet, and this template provided by the Yearbook makes a good starting point.
AuthorAdvance Agent & Agency Listings: Up-to-date listings with a great filter function to narrow down agencies and agents by genre.
Writer’s Services Agent Listing: They’re slightly out of date (from 2010) and a pain to search, but the list is handy to have and can make a solid starting point for your submission spreadsheet.
Follow agents on Twitter: Not as many UK agents are on Twitter as in the US, but many of them are and they often tweet advice for writers. You can view my list of UK literary agents on Twitter here (I also have a list of US literary agents), and you can follow yours truly here.
Association of Author’s Agents Member List: This is a list of all AAA registered agents. While a lot of UK agents operate without registering under this association, an agency’s membership is an encouraging sign because the agents will be bound to the AAA’s stringent code of practice.
The Wikipedia UK agency list: Sorted by the year the agency was formed, this is a snazzy way to see which British agencies have been around since the dawn of time.
Lou Treleavan’s list: Lou’s posted a very useful list with submission advice and links to the websites of various big agencies in the UK.
Querytracker: Querytracker is more focussed on the US so it’s UK listings are poor and should always be double-checked against the agency website, but it has a good search function and makes a decent starting point. If you’re planning on querying in the US it’s fantastic.
AbsoluteWrite: Despite having a US majority of members, AbsoluteWrite’s huge forums often have threads dedicated to UK agencies and their members are excellent at sniffing out any issues. Googling for ‘[agency name] absolutewrite’ is an easy way to find posts about an agency.
Preditors & Editors: Before you sign with any agent, check them out on Preditor’s & Editor’s listings to make sure they’re legit. There are plenty of scammers, conmen and plain bad agents out there, and you don’t want to waste your time with them.
Have I missed something? Leave a comment and I’ll get this post updated!
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