10+ Excellent Science Fiction Literary Agents Seeking New Authors

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10+ Science Fiction Literary Agents Seeking New Authors to Represent

Are you currently writing, or have already written a science fiction novel that you would like to publish traditionally? If yes, then you will need to find yourself a literary agent who specialises in science fiction. This is important, since a literary agent who specialises in sci-fi will have the right connections needed to get your manuscript in front of the right people.

In this article, you will find out more about what a literary agent is, what they do, how they can help you, how many literary agents you contact, and of course, a list of 10+ excellent science fiction literary agents to consider submitting your work to.

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What is a Literary Agent?

First off, what is a literary agent? If you came here looking for the list, then you already know what a literary agent is. If you don’t know what a literary agent is, allow me to explain.

A literary agent is a person who is in charge of representing the business interests of a writer, and subsequently, their written work. Literary agents will work with new authors as well as experienced, previously published authors. They will act as business minded intermediaries between writers and book publishing houses, film producers, and theatrical producers.

Basically, you give your work to the literary agent, and they will help you get your book published by using their connections and pitching your book to a publishing house or producer for you. You do the writing, they take care of the business side of things.

A Good Literary Agent Will:

  • A good literary agent will help their client get paid for their writing. One key aspect of an agent’s job is have the knowledge needed to work together with book publishers as they negotiate publishing contracts. Additionally, agents will help their client get speaking arrangements and organize licensing deals, all while keeping track of payments received from these endeavors.
  • A literary agent will review manuscripts for their client. A good agent will always review their client’s completed manuscript, collection of short stories, or nonfiction book, offering helpful creative insights and edits along the way. Reputable agents will want to ensure the manuscript is in the best possible shape before submitting it for publication.
  • A literary agent will put together query letters and pitch packages. When the time comes to submit the book to the traditional publishing industry, a good agent will help the author put together their query letters, book proposals, sample chapters, and marketing plans as part of an overall pitch package for the literary work. Agents will keep track of various submission guidelines and formats, which will vary depending on whether or not you are submitting commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, or children’s books. They will keep track of what is required where and how.

Is a Literary Agent a Good Fit for Me? Pros and Cons of Getting an Agent

If you aren’t certain if a literary agent is a good fit for you, do some research. Find the pros and cons. Consider your current situation and what your plan is for the future.

Note: I am not telling you that one way or another is the best solution for you. Your situation, needs, desires, and ambitions all play a role in determining whether getting a literary agent is the best choice for you. Please consider the following questions and the pros and cons and do your own research.

Things to consider:

  • Do you want to be traditionally published (through a publishing house or production company) or would you rather self-publish?
  • Do you need someone to give you valuable feedback on your manuscripts and offer regular advice that knows the publishing business and what the big houses are looking for?
  • Do you want to simply write and let someone else take care of the business side of things?
  • Do you want to potentially sell millions of copies of your book or are you content with publishing and marketing your work yourself and will be thrilled about whatever number of sales you make?
  • Do you want to simply write as a hobby or for friends and family?
  • Do you want to turn writing into a serious career?
  • Do you want to publish your books right away and market them yourself?
  • Do you want to keep a bigger chunk of the sales profits for yourself?

Those are some serious questions you have to ask yourself. Are you willing to put more work, time, and effort into the publishing process or are you happy going it alone? It is worth noting that while getting an agent could be the best thing you ever did for your writing career, it might also not be the solution for your needs.

Here are some pros and cons of getting an agent:


  1. An agent can help you land lucrative book deals. It is possible to make money by self-publishing as an indie writer, but your best shot at getting a big advance upfront from a high-profile New York or UK publisher is through a literary agent. Most of the big publishers won’t accept unsolicited manuscripts — especially if it is for the first book a new author has written — and are only looking for books with bestseller potential. Agents have the contact information for publishing executives, and traditional publishers have a familiarity with an agent’s client list. This publisher-agent relationship can increase your chances of signing a lucrative book deal and increase the chances that your manuscript will make it to the top of the vast slush pile of submissions.
  2. An agent enables you to focus all your attention on writing. The business side of writing can be complex and mentally exhausting, especially if you’re a first time writer who’s new to the industry. Agents can tackle the tricky stuff, like negotiating foreign rights, subsidiary rights, and keeping track of royalty statements. An agent can also deal with the logistics of planning a book tour and hiring a publicist for your completed work. Having a dedicated partner to help with the business aspects of the industry can free you up to focus on what you do best — writing.
  3. An agent can help guide your writing career. Agents work on commission, so they should be actively invested in your success. In a perfect world, you and your agent are partners, working together to promote your career. They can offer you constructive feedback and advice as to the current state of the writers’ markets. Hopefully, they will have your best interest in mind and guide and encourage you to succeed at your writing and earning goals.
  4. Extra insights on your manuscript as you write. Using years of experience gained from reading and pitching manuscripts, veteran literary agents have already developed a good eye for what the big publishers are looking for. Their insight on what publishers want, can help you make strategic and creative changes to your manuscript to turn your book into the next bestseller.


  1. Trust and the risks of being scammed. While the best agents who have been working in the industry for years and have tons of experience can help shape your career, it’s important to do your research before signing with an agent. Not everyone out there who claims to be an agent, is one. And while some agents who claim to be reputable, may not be scammers, they may also not be the best at what they claim to do.

One way to confirm that your agent is reputable is to see if they are a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), an organization with a searchable database whose signatories promise to observe an ethical code of conduct when representing clients.

On another note, beware that some agents charge a high reading fee in order to consider taking you on as a client—these agents are usually not reputable. Though it’s not always possible to tell who is legit, you should stay away from agents who seem untrustworthy.

2. Costs involved in working with an agent. Generally, a literary agent will take somewhere between a 15% to 20% commission on your published work, which includes everything from audiobooks to film rights. This percentage is usually higher for things like translations and foreign rights sales. If you want to keep a greater share of the profits, you may want to consider self-publishing without an agent’s representation.

3. The waiting game involved with the process. Publishing a book can take a fair amount of time and patience under the best of circumstances. If you are hoping for a quick process, this isn’t going to be it. Publishing, itself can take a long time. If you have ever self-published, you will know this. Literary agents can increase the amount of time it takes between completed manuscript and your book actually hitting stores.

Submitting your book to an agent takes time. Then, you have to wait for your agent to go through the querying, pitching, and negotiating processes necessary to get a signed deal from a traditional publishing house. Since you’re actually submitting your book twice, once to the agent, then again to the publishing house, you should expect to wait a while longer to see the finished product than you would if you went the agentless route.

In conclusion:

That’s a lot of information to process and choosing whether or not getting an agent is right for you is a big decision. The fact is, however, if you want to get published traditionally, through a reputable publishing house, it will be almost impossible to do so without an agent. Most publishing houses will immediately toss unsolicited manuscripts.

Some companies will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Beware, however, as many such publishers are Vanity Press publishers, which means they make authors pay to get published. Pegasus Publishers is a popular Vanity Press publisher as is Austin Macauley Publishers. Olympia Publishers also offers ‘Hybrid Publishing’ which is essentially the same thing.

You pay to get published through these companies and they get the rights to your work by contract. You also aren’t likely to see many more sales than through self-publishing with amazon, for example. I wouldn’t recommend going this route, personally.

How Do I Get a Literary Agent & How Much do Literary Agents Charge?

How much does getting an agent cost?

A literary agent should be free … at first, anyway.

What a literary agent charges you for championing your work varies from agent to agent. One thing to note is that you should not be expected to pay an agent anything before your book is published and earning royalties. Reputable agents work on commission. You make money, they make money. Usually around 15% to 20% of the overall earnings that your book makes.

How do you get an agent?

To get an agent, you first have to do some research and make a list of agents who are accepting submissions at this time for your specific genre. Then, you can go ahead and send them a submission. Some things to note:

  • Don’t send a submission to an agent who isn’t open for submissions. It’s a waste of time and effort. Not every agent is open to submission at any given time. They will often be open to submissions for a period of time, then close submissions if they are too busy.
  • Read the submission guidelines carefully. Every literary agent has slightly different submission requirements. Please read them carefully. This can refer to font type, size, and document formatting/file type. The length of your synopsis. What to include in your query letter. How many words/chapter/pages of your manuscript to send them.
  • Check to make sure they are looking for work similar to your work. Literary agents will usually indicate what type or style of writing they are looking for. This can go beyond just the genre. Some might be interested in multiple-perspective or dual-timeline stories, while others may find this irritating. Some might want writing that moves them emotionally or gets their adrenaline rushing, while others may not specifically care about these things. Read the agent’s bio and what they are seeking to represent.

For most submissions, you will need to include a synopsis of your book, a query/cover letter, the first 10,000 words, or 30 pages, or 3 chapters, or even the full manuscript, and an author bio. Check what they want specifically, and give them that.

How Many Literary Agents Should You Submit Your Work to?

Ideally, you want to submit your work to at least 10 to 12 agents to begin with. There are hundreds of good agents for every genre out there. You want to submit your work to a minimum of 10 to 12 agents at the same time, since it can take them between eight to twelve weeks to get back to you with an answer. You will get way more no’s than yes’s. Unfortunately, that is the truth. But you only need one yes. The more ponies you have in the race, the higher the chance of winning.

How to Submit to a Literary Agent

I recommend you make a list of agents or use the list below, seeking work specific to your genre. Once you have your list, you will also need a short, but very detailed, and spoiler-filled synopsis of your book. Check each agent’s submission requirements very carefully and prepare the items they ask for, such as a query/cover letter, and the first 10,000 words, or 30 pages, or 3 chapters, or the full manuscript, or whatever the agent you are submitting to requests. You may also need to provide an author bio. Check what they want specifically, very carefully, and give them that.

10+ Literary Agents Seeking New Authors in the Sci-Fi Genre

1. Laura Zats

Laura is from Red Sofa Literary, and she is interested in well-drawn cultures and subverting traditional ‘chosen one’, quest, and colonial narratives. Her first love is science fiction and fantasy, so she is a really good candidate for sci-fi authors. You can see her manuscript wish list to see if she would be a good fit.

Submission Guidelines: www.redsofaliterary.com/representative-categories/

Agency website:  www.redsofaliterary.com/contact/

2. Jim McCarthy

Jim is particularly interested in several fiction works including science fiction. He is looking for fresh voices and authors from underrepresented communities, new takes on old tropes, something that hasn’t been seen before, or all of the above.  You can see what else he is interested in by view his manuscript wish list.

Submission Guidelines: www.dystel.com/submission-guidelines

3. Maximilian Ximenez

Maximilian Ximenez is actively seeking science fiction submissions, so he could be a really good agent to send your manuscript to.

Submission Guidelines: www.lperkinsagency.com/index.html#submissions

Agency website: www.lperkinsagency.com/index.html#theagents

Manuscript Wish List: www.lperkinsagency.com/index.html#submissions

4. Alex Field

Alex Field launched The Bindery in 2017 and currently represents authors from different genres including science fiction. You can learn more about him here.

Submission Guidelines: www.thebinderyagency.com/#submissions-section

5. Jennifer Wills

Jennifer Wills is one of the agents at the Seymour Agency and is currently accepting submissions including work in the science fiction genre. You can learn more about the agency and Jennifer Wills on the website.

Submission Guidelines: www.theseymouragency.com/Submissions.html

6. Kelly Peterson

Kelly loves science fiction and is currently accepting new submissions.

Submission Guidelines: www.corvisieroagency.com/submissions.html

Personal link/ website: www.querymanager.com/query/KellyPeterson

Manuscript Wish List: www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/kelly-peterson/

7. Lesley Sabga

These next four agents come from the Seymour Agency. This agency is currently open to submissions, and they have a handful of sci-fi representatives.

First off is Lesley, an associate agent who loves character-driven plots. She seeks both science fiction and fantasy.

Submission Guidelines: www.theseymouragency.com/Submissions.html

8. Nicole Resciniti

Nicole is the agency’s president. She particularly loves books that she won’t be able to put down.

Submission Guidelines: www.theseymouragency.com/Submissions.html

9. Julie Gwinn

Aside from being a representative for science fiction and other specified genres, she’s also an awardee of several prominent organizations.

Submission Guidelines: www.theseymouragency.com/Submissions.html

10. Lynnette Novak

Lynnette Novak is another wonderful agent from the Seymour Agency.

Submission Guidelines: www.theseymouragency.com/Submissions.html

11. Emily Van Beek

“… I’m eager to find novels that are high concept, diverse, fantasy or magical realism, and am open to anything conceptually unique …”

Submission Guidelines: www.foliojr.com/emily-van-beek/

Agency website: www.foliojr.com/emily-van-beek/

Take the leap, and write to some agents

Take the initiative and send some queries to a few or all of the agents above. Use their submission guidelines, present your best work, and then … wait. Be prepared to wait 6-12 weeks to hear back from any of the agents. I know this sounds harsh, but they get so many submission on a daily basis that it may take them some time to make it to your submission.

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Approaching agents with your work can be scary and you may question if it is the wrong thing to do. If you don’t think submitting work to an agent is the best choice for you, then don’t do it. But, if you are resisting because you are afraid of getting rejections or you aren’t certain your work is good enough for publication, go ahead and send away some queries anyway. The only thing it costs you is time. And there is a solid chance that you may get a deal and succeed at getting your book published and that is so worth it.

If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it and exploring the other articles on this site with tips, tricks, resources, and tools for getting your novel written, prepped, and published.

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