How to approach a literary agent

Photo of an envelope with a wax seal
Be polite and professional
1 June 2012
Writers Victoria

It will save you time and reduce your chances of rejection if you research an agent’s submission style and business practices before approaching them.

When contacting agents, remember the basics: be polite, follow any submission guidelines and keep your communication clear and concise.

Before an agent agrees to represent a writer they will want to read the writer’s manuscript, so be sure to make contact only when you have something concrete to offer.

We also recommend that Australian authors approach Australian agents in the first instance. An overseas agent may wonder why you haven't got local representation.

Helpful Reading

  • 'Literary Agent and Author Agreement'  a free Australian Society of Authors paper that includes information on agreements with agents and a sample agreement
  • Between The Lines' by Lynne Spender