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Emerging writer?

It’s tempting to think of publishers and agents as fortresses with writers as feeble invaders, easily repelled. It’s true that there are more writers than there are opportunities but we have to remember that without us the publishers and agents would have no business. They need us; some of us have to get through!

If you are sceptical, have a browse through the Directory on this site and see how many of the entries invite submissions. Very few say that their lists are closed; many are constantly looking for new talent. There are even some who strongly encourage hitherto unpublished writers. Here’s a sample of the open door people.


Black Sheep – specialises in small print runs of books by new writers with the aim of attracting the attention of big time publishers. They are particularly interested in thrillers, crime fiction, true crime and children’s books but they will consider a wide range of fiction and non-fiction.

Mainstream Publishing Co (Edinburgh) Ltd. – produces a very wide range of non-fiction and declare themselves to be keen to find authors who can develop in partnership with them.

Multi-Sensory Learning Ltd. – this is very specialist, but anyone with the skills to write material suitable for dyslexics or their teachers would be welcomed by this organisation.

Piatkus Books – this company produces fiction and non-fiction and it is looking to extend its range. Authors who are enthusiastic and who will work with the company to build up productive relationships are particularly welcome.

Quiller Press – most of the output of non-fiction originates within the company but there is a willingness to consider any works within their range which will attract sponsorship or promise guaranteed sales. If you have an idea for a book that will be of interest to a circumscribed but keen readership, this may be the house for you.

Walker Books Ltd. – if your speciality is children’s books, whether fiction or non-fiction, bear in mind that this company is keen to hear about new ideas.


As a very first resort, read Simon Trewin’s interview on this site and have a good look at his web site. Simon has a very genuine interest in discovering new talent and promises to give swift feedback.

Otherwise, here are some further agent suggestions:

Caroline Davidson Literary Agency – if you believe that your first novel is well-crafted and finished to a high standard, then try this agency. Have a look at the entry in the Directory for submission guidelines.

David Grossman Literary Agency Ltd - the emphasis in this agency is on established writers but if you believe that your novel is highly original and beautifully written then it is worth making an enquiry in keeping with the submission guidelines.

Jane Judd Literary Agency – an organisation which is looking for good contemporary women’s fiction as long as it transcends the Mills & Boon formula.

Jeffrey Simmons - has a special interest in fiction from writers under the age of forty. If you are young and talented, knock on the door!

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