Submissions Guide

How do I submit my work?
In order to submit your novel to us, please fill in this form carefully. Rather than sending an attachment, we ask instead that you copy and paste into relevant fields a cover letter, synopsis and sample material (three opening chapters of your novel or equivalent of maximum 10,000 words if your work doesn’t have chapters). We do not accept links to third party websites, blogs or content stored online.

We also ask for your contact details and some background information about you and your work so the submission reaches the right reader. Please complete all of the required information fields correctly to make sure your submission gets to us. We may not be able to respond to submissions that fail to include the required details in the correct format.

Who will read my work?
When submitting your manuscript to us, it is important to select an agent who you think would be most suitable for your work. Misdirected submissions may lead to rejection, e.g. if you have written a crime novel, it would be unwise to send it to an agent who only represents non-fiction.

Make sure you read the agents’ profiles carefully before indicating your preferred agent. Who is looking to expand their list? Which agent represents your genre? It is possible that the agent you have selected will pass the submission to the New Writing Team. In this instance, we will do our best to match your writing with the most sympathetic reader. Make sure you do your research before selecting an agent.

Please submit your material to one Curtis Brown agent only. Please do not submit round robins addressed to more than one agent.

Only contact individual agents by email if you already have a relationship with them or if they have asked you to contact them personally.

What if I am offered representation by another agency?
We don’t expect to read your work exclusively as we don’t think it’s right to lay down the law to new writers in this way. We would, however, appreciate you letting us know in your cover letter if you have submitted your work elsewhere. If you are offered representation from another agency in the interim, please come back to us before accepting an offer of representation elsewhere. If we have been busy reading your work already, we’ll get a chance to respond to it and you’ll get the chance to explore your options properly.

What are you looking for?
We are looking for great writers committed to making writing the focus of their careers. The range of genres we represent is very wide, which is why you should look at each agent’s profile before submitting your work, for example, some Curtis Brown agents represent literary fiction, others focus on crime and thrillers.

What are you NOT looking for?
Please do not send us poetry, picture or illustrated books, practical guides, foreign language novels, textbooks or academic works unsuitable for a mainstream audience. These are genres rarely represented by agents.

When will I hear from you?
We read all submissions and we aim to respond to each within ten to twelve weeks. If you do not hear from us in that time please make sure you check your junk folders as our emails can occasionally get mistaken for junk mail by some email servers. It is a good idea to make an approved sender and an approved domain in your email contacts list to reduce the chances of our emails ending up as junk mail.

If we say no to representing you, it won’t necessarily mean that we didn’t like the work, but each of us owes it to our existing clients not to become over-committed and through professional experience we also have an informed eye as to what we can currently place with publishers.

Are you able to send me detailed comments?
If we like your work, we will ask to see more material and then contact you to discuss it in detail. If we have decided not to offer representation on the basis of the material you’ve sent in, we will reply with a brief note.

We are unable to send detailed critiques because of the volume of material we receive. Editorial comments are a huge responsibility which requires serious thought and time commitment. This is not a level of service we can offer when declining submissions.

Though we absolutely don’t require authors to have taken a writing course before we consider their work, it’s well worth taking a look at the creative writing courses we offer at our writing school Curtis Brown Creative – all of which are taught by published novelists and feature direct input from the literary agents at Curtis Brown and our sister agency C&W.