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Listing Criteria for Literary Agents

These are our general criteria for agent listings. However, we reserve the right to refuse a listing or to remove a listing for any reason without notice.

To qualify for a listing, an agent must meet these minimum criteria:

Material and Queries

They must accept unsolicited queries/submissions of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction projects. These submissions must be from the creator of the work.
Exception: Agents who only represent translations, picture books for children, plays, and/or graphic narrative do not qualify.
Exception: Agents who only allow queries by referral or invitation do not qualify.
Agents that stay "temporarily closed" to unsolicited queries/submissions for two years or more do not qualify.


They must accept submissions/queries in English and provide submission guidelines in English.

Official Website

The agency must have an official, regularly updated, and up-to-date website. (An official site is one under the control of and maintained by the agency staff. Sites maintained by third parties are not "official" websites.)
Note: "Pages" on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., do not qualify as official websites; however, websites hosted on blogging platforms, such as Wordpress, do qualify.

Information about the Agent

The agency's website must have a bio or other pertinent information for the agent being listed. Ideally, the agent's page should also include a "wish list" of the type of material the agent would like to see, as well as contact information. It's also helpful if it includes a client list and/or a list of represented books.

Submission Guidelines

Their complete, up-to-date guidelines must be posted on the agency's official website in written format. At a minimum, this should include the type of material they wish to see , whether they are currently open or closed to submissions, and instructions on how to submit if they are currently accepting queries/submissions.
These guidelines must be easily found from the home page and must be accessible without a login or CAPTCHA.
The guidelines must be in HTML format (preferred) or PDF format (displayed in the browser without requiring a download). We will not accept any other file formats.
A note about third-party submission/query managers: While we prefer guidelines posted directly on the official website, we will also accept guidelines posted on our own submission manager, Duosuma, as well as Submittable, Green Submissions, Moksha, Publishers Marketplace, MSWL, or QueryManager. No other third-party submission/query managers are approved. (Google Forms, JotForm, Cognito Forms, Airtable, and Oleada do not meet our technical requirements and cannot be approved.)
Agents should read our recommendations and always inform us when their guidelines page changes locations.

No Fees

If they charge fees for any aspect of representation (including editing services) or the submission process (such as reading fees or expedited response fees), they do not qualify.

Standard Commission

The agent must not charge a commission rate higher than the standard rates (10-15% domestic/20-30% subsidiary).

Accurate Representation

The agent and members of the agency's staff must not misrepresent themselves, their services, commissions, fees, or their backgrounds.

Established Agencies

We only list agents who work at established agencies. The agency must have been in business for at least one year. We do not list agents at start-up or "fledgling" agencies. (New agencies that form from mergers between established agencies or spin-offs from established agencies may be acceptable.)

Three Strikes Policy: If we disqualify an agent listing for not meeting our criteria on three different occasions, the third disqualification will be permanent. We always attempt to contact agents about these qualification issues and give them ample time to respond before taking action.

How to Request a Listing

ATTN Agents: Please read our Policies for Agents before requesting a listing. The information there will help you understand what we do and how we work, and how you can help the process go as smoothly as possible during the lifetime of our listing.

If you believe the agent meets all the criteria listed above, go to our Request a New Listing Form. Please read all the instructions. We will add all qualifying listings as soon as we are able.

Request a New Listing or Ask Us a Question