I am happy to receive submissions of both fiction and non-fiction, but please read these guidelines below first, as I outline what sort of writing I am and am not looking to represent. (If, after reading this, you’re still not sure, feel free to drop me a line and ask.) I have no objections to writers submitting their work to other agents simultaneously.
Submissions are accepted by email only to: email@example.com. If you’re not sure about some of the basics of submitting to agents, this article by editorial service The Writers’ Workshop is very helpful.
For fiction, please send a synopsis of a page or two and the first 5000 words or so of the manuscript. (Please note that a synopsis is not a blurb, so when submitting fiction, outline the whole plot, including the ending.)
For non-fiction, please send a one-to-two page outline and a sample of around 3000 words.
In both cases, documents should be sent in Word format and accompanied by a brief outline of your writing and career.
For more thoughts on exactly what it is that catches my eye in a submission, you can read this blog I wrote for the 2017 National Creative Writing Graduate Fair.
Unfortunately, owing to the volume of submissions received, I am unable to offer a detailed response or editorial guidance unless I am considering representing you.
I’m happy to receive both literary and commercial fiction. I’m keen to find writers with something to say about society today and I’m particularly looking for storylines that showcase voices and communities that have tended to be overlooked by the publishing world, although that should deter no-one from sending their writing.
I’m also keen to receive historical fiction, whether literary or commercial in style.
I’m interested in crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers of all subgenres, although I’ve no taste at all for graphically violent crime. I’m particularly looking for innovative and original writers who will stand out in a very crowded field.
I’m happy to see fiction with elements of other genres – science fiction, fantasy, horror and romance – but only if your writing has the sort of mainstream appeal that would see it placed in the general fiction section in bookshops, rather than in the separate departments found in many of them.
No inspirational/religious fiction, erotica, westerns or graphic novels, please.
I like short stories a great deal, but they’re an extraordinarily tough sell. George Orwell noted in an essay published in the 1930s that the British had little taste for the form and things haven’t improved since. So, if you have a book-length short story collection, you’re welcome to send your best one or two, but they’ll need to change my life. The same too with novellas, which do sell at the more literary end of the market, but need to distinguish themselves with exceptional prose.
I’m specifically looking for narrative non-fiction. As with fiction, I’m most interested in books that have relevance to people’s lives today, although there are many ways of achieving this. I also tend to believe that any topic can be engaging with a sufficiently insightful and charismatic guide.
The types of books that flourish in all non-fiction categories are constantly evolving, to stay relevant and engaging, so I’m keen to find writers doing something fresh and innovative with their topics. (By way of example, look at how travel writing has moved away from the straight travelogue and recombined with genres such as memoir, nature writing and social history.)
As with fiction, I feel it’s extremely important to seek out underrepresented voices and communities.
So, all subjects considered, but I have a particular interest in social issues, the sciences and the arts, especially music.
Non-fiction is often sold on proposal – a synopsis and a sample of around 20% of the intended book – so I’m happy to engage with writers at an earlier stage in the project, especially as it will probably be beneficial to consider how best to approach a topic for its intended market.
The Ruppin Agency is unable to consider poetry, children’s and young adult titles, graphic novels, plays and filmscripts, self-help, illustrated, academic or professional titles.