Submission guidelines

At Greene & Heaton, all our agents are actively seeking submissions from new writers, across a range of fiction and non-fiction. As an agency we are passionate about discovering new voices, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, and we’d love to hear from you.

Please see below for details on how to submit to us.

What do I need to include in my submission?

Please include your covering letter in the body of your email, and add your submission materials as attachments. In your letter to us, you should include a brief pitch for your book, as well as any relevant information about you, your inspiration for the book and your writing background (if applicable).

Fiction writers, please send us the first three chapters (or about fifty pages), alongside a synopsis. Please only send your novel when you have completed a full draft, as if we’re keen on the opening, we’ll want to read the rest of the manuscript. We ask for a one or two page synopsis, which should be a summary of the main beats of the story. Do remember to reveal the ending of the story in this synopsis – it’s useful to help us see the overall arc of the story when we’re initially considering your work.

Non-fiction writers, it’s not essential that you’ve completed the work in advance of submitting to us. Please send over a three sample chapters (or about fifty pages), alongside a summary of proposed chapters for the book or a synopsis. We want to know why this subject is something you’re passionate about, why you’re best placed to write this book, and who you envisage to be the intended readership.

How should I submit my work?

Please send your submission to submissions@greeneheaton.co.uk, and if possible include the name of your preferred agent in the subject line of your email. We’d appreciate if your attachments were sent as Word Documents, rather than PDFs.

Please note that we do not accept postal submissions.

Which agent should I submit my work to?

You can find out everything you need to know about what the agents are looking for at Greene & Heaton on each agent's page, so do make sure that you’re submitting to an agent who represents the genre of your work. If you’re not sure who might be the best fit for your project, please do send your submission over addressed to the Submissions Team, and we’ll make sure it’s read by the right agent.

What happens next?

If we’re interested in reading more of your work, we aim to be in touch with you within eight weeks. We look at every submission we receive, and carefully consider each one, but please do be aware that due to the volume of submissions we receive, we’re unfortunately not able to respond to every writer individually, or to provide specific feedback to a writer.

Please do keep us updated about any interest you may have received elsewhere while your work is on submission to us.

If you have any queries, do get in touch with us at info@greeneheaton.co.uk. Thank you for submitting your work to us, and we’re looking forward to reviewing your submission.

Help me choose who to submit to

All of our agent's manuscript wishlists are outlined below. This information should help you decide who best to send your submission in to. You can learn more about the agency and each of our agents on our agency page.

Antony's Manuscript Wishlist

What I’m looking for in new submissions is constantly evolving, often in response to what I’ve been able to read recently just for the pleasure of it, books that I take on holiday in the knowledge they are going satisfy and take me somewhere new and interesting. Novels that have served me well recently, in areas where I’d love to see more submissions, include:

HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILY by Bella Mackie, THE LAST DAY by Andrew Hunter Murray, THE MAID by Nita Prose, SORROW AND BLISS by Meg Mason, BIG SWISS by Jen Beagin, YELLOW FACE by RF Kuang, THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt,  SLOW HORSES by Mick Herron, MY NAME IS LEON by Kit de Waal, THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett, LULLABY by Leïla Slimani, SHY CREATURES, the brilliant new novel, not yet published, by my colleague Judith’s author Clare Chambers, GIRL WOMAN OTHER by Bernardine Evaristo, CIRCE by Madeline Miller, REALLY GOOD ACTUALLY by Monica Heisey. In non-fiction I’ve been reading and particularly enjoying memoirs such as I AM, I AM, I AM: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O'Farrell and THIS IS NOT A PITY MEMOIR by Abi Morgan and re-reading MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL by John Berendt.

In submissions often what catches my eye is when an author seems to have an interesting new take on a genre. When the historical crime writer CJ Sansom joined us in 2002 with his first novel DISSOLUTION, I fell in love first with the manuscript, without a thought for how it might fit into the commercial market. At that point in time there was effectively nothing comparable in the world of crime fiction, except maybe for Ellis Peters’ Caedfael novels. CJ Sansom started a significant trend and I do now represent a number of brilliant, bestselling authors of historical fiction, whether crime or otherwise, and I’m always on the hunt for more. More often than not these novels take a well-known tipping point in history. This isn’t a requirement but it can help. What I’m looking for is characters who embody the dilemmas of their time but whose struggles also shine a light on our lives today.

It’s often the points of difference that speak to me, whether it’s literary or commercial, contemporary or historical. I’d love to hear how you think your book fits into what’s already out there, and the books that inspired you, but I’d also love to hear about what gives your work a clear identity of its own particularly if you’re writing from a point of view or community marginalised and neglected by publishing.

I always want to see contemporary crime novels and thrillers.

As for non-fiction, the tantalising thing about it is that it’s possible to write a best-seller or a prize-winner on pretty much any subject (in recent years I’ve represented books on lemons, David Bowie, violins, money, the Periodic Table, astrobiology, stonemasonry, human failure, the whole universe, the Riemann Hypothesis, suicide bombing, and the novel NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR). It’s a matter of choosing your angle and working out how to make a page-turning story out of your material so in terms of submissions to me I don’t think there are any subjects that are off-limits.

Judith's Manuscript Wishlist

When submitting to me, please send the full manuscript of your work, alongside your synopsis.

Books I have enjoyed reading recently include TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin, which our very well-read assistant Mia Dakin recommended to me. It took me into the world of video games, a world I didn’t know I wanted to visit – I love it when books do that. I also love novels about friendship, particularly unlikely ones, so Sadie and Sam and the ups and downs of their three decades of friendship really charmed me.

I love eeriness and weirdness in novels – explorations of the uncanniness and oddness (at times) of desire and how powerful our imaginations are – so Julia Armfield’s OUR WIVES UNDER THE SEA is right up my street. Armfield’s examination of the shapeshifting qualities of her characters’ imaginations and bodies is disquieting, wryly funny at times, and intensely moving. I still think about this novel – it was published a few years ago – it really got under my skin. And it reminded me of that other great modern novel of big ideas and bodily transformation, UNDER THE SKIN by Michel Faber. I love that novel. My favourite uncanny read of the last few years though was Susanna Clarke’s fabulous PIRANESI. Such incredibly intricate and magical world-building, and the most delightful and loveable narrator.

I also loved reading THE COLONY by Audrey Magee – she represents the voices of her characters so vividly and immediately – I can hear them all talking in my head. I’ve been wanting to go to the Skelligs, off the west coast of Ireland for ever, and now – thanks to Audrey – I sort of am there (her island setting is fictional but could be the Skelligs, I think). The factual news reports that intersperse the island chapters read like bleak poems. And she writes about art and the making of art so well too. Especially about how selfish and strong you need to be to make art. And I love her exploration of the idea of languages that are lost or about to vanish – she uses this theme to explore colonialism in such an interesting way.

I just read FOUTH WING by Rebecca Yarros and it was the most fantasy fun I’ve had since reading A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE – Violet is such a great heroine who succeeds with and because of her flaws and weaknesses, like all the best heroines – and the dragons were smoking hot. I now want to read Sarah J. Maas while I wait for IRON FLAME.

What I am looking for in a submission:

I want to find joy and inspiration in the submissions I am reading. I want to read about humanity being altruistic and courageous and visionary - and overcoming the terrifying challenges of our current world and changing our future for the better for all of us. I want fiction that helps me be optimistic and hopeful and resilient. But I also want to be distracted, and taken out of myself and my own head and away from my own fears and worries and tiny first world life problems more than ever. And I want a good laugh too sometimes. So I also want fiction that is fun and immersive and distracting, and makes me want to press the novel into the hands of all my friends because it will be

such a gift and a comfort to us in our troubled times. As you can see above, I like weird and thought-provoking too – I would like to find some horror that is uncanny, subtle, scary but not gory (a modern John Wyndham perhaps or LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND by Rumaan Alam – so beautifully written and thought-provoking); and I would like more novels of ideas – whip-smart future-gazing and mind-blowing retelling of ancient myths, like my own author Temi Oh’s MORE PERFECT or Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID'S TALE; I would like to find a classy, intriguing ghost story (“THE TURN OF THE SCREW” or THE LITTLE STRANGER); and I also am longing to find a returning crime series, with an unusual and beguiling detective (not a policeperson unless it is MARE OF EASTTOWN or HAPPY VALLEY’s Catherine Cawood) with whom I want to spend quality time (I am also thinking about the Jacksons, Brodie and Lamb and Mrs Judith Potts from Marlow). I never stop loving historical fiction but it has to be really clever (in terms of plot and/or form and/or how it is narrated – ie doing something ambitious and different). I am so jealous of my colleague Antony getting to represent the brilliant Laura Shepherd-Robinson and her gorgeous new novel THE SQUARE OF SEVENS, which pushed all those buttons for me. I also would love to find a big, muscular, high-stakes international thriller – like I AM PILGRIM or THE NIGHT MANAGER. I also love glossy, sexy, intricately plotted destination thrillers like those by my own authors Lucy Clarke and Sabine Durrant. And I am also still longing to find a big love story – something that sweeps me up and is unabashedly passionate and romantic – but sad too: like the utterly wonderful SMALL PLEASURES by my own author Clare Chambers.

Laura's Manuscript Wishlist

I love working on literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction, of all different kinds, and I'm always on the lookout for meditative or moving novels about modern life. I prefer warmth and heart to coldness or ennui, although I love novels with a bit of bite and sharpness to them. Recently I loved WE ALL WANT IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Katherine Newman and SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE by Claire Keegan - both desperately sad stories, but with love and the importance of caring for each other shining through. I love stories about female friendships or conversely groups of women who don't get on, such as the hugely fun BAD SUMMER PEOPLE by Emma Rosenblum. I am always looking for historical and period fiction, particularly early- or mid-twentieth century, which sheds light on untold stories, like the fantastic IN MEMORIAM by Alice Winn, or historical mysteries or ambitious cross-centuries narratives, like RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson or NORTH WOODS by Daniel Mason, both brilliantly ambitious in scope and structure.

I'm also always on the lookout for a big tragic love story that will sweep me away and make me cry happy or sad tears - recently I have adored TALKING AT NIGHT by Claire Daverley, ROMANTIC COMEDY by Curtis Sittenfeld, and of course THE PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller. At the more commercial end of fiction, I love funny novels with warmth and romantic comedies with a bit of depth – I think I’ve probably read every book by the masterful Marian Keyes.

I’m keen on darkness and a claustrophobic feel in novels, from gothic to horror to murder mysteries to ghost stories to psychological thrillers to speculative/magical realist fiction to novels that feel like true crime, or intense and emotional narratives about dark things, and I think being truly scared by a story is one of the most difficult things a writer can achieve. I love weird and wonderful stories with unexpected twists, I love witches and cults and magic and being amazed by an author’s imagination, but I also love brilliantly plotted conventional murder mysteries or procedurals, as long as there’s something fresh and exciting about it. Recent favourites with a dark bent include HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILY by Bella Mackie, MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite, NOTES ON AN EXECUTION by Darya Kukafka, and everything by Catriona Ward and Tom Hindle.

Most of all I’m looking for novels I haven’t read before – something unusual structurally or thematically, something that shines a light on a subject the author is passionate about, something that’ll break my heart or raise my blood in an entirely new way. I don’t want protagonists in novels to hold a mirror up to my own life, I want them to show me an open door into theirs. I’m always looking to promote diverse voices from across the globe, and I’m particularly keen on LGBTQI+ stories.

Some of my other favourite novelists, the ones whose new books I’ve always got on pre-order, are Lauren Groff, Ned Beauman, Patrick deWitt, Sarah Winman, Sjon, Attica Locke, Elizabeth Strout, Megan Abbott, Leila Slimani, Rene Denfeld, Sarah Moss, and Colson Whitehead.

I also have a very small list of young adult and middle grade fiction, which I love working on. I’m looking for something that feels current and contemporary, with a real conversation at its core. I’m not currently looking for fantasy, or anything younger than middle grade.

On the non-fiction side, I love working on memoirs of extraordinary people, or narrative non-fiction about something the author feels passionately about. I’ve worked on many books about mental health, and I’m interested in untold stories across popular science, history and popular culture. I’d also really like to find a brilliant true crime book. Cookery, wellness and lifestyle would be a better fit for one of my brilliant colleagues.

Holly's Manuscript Wishlist

In fiction I read widely across genre and am usually drawn to voice-led novels set in the real world, particularly if they engage with the complexities of human experience. That may be an insular, personal experience, a focus on family relationships or an exploration of a wider community or world. I like writing that is witty and sharp but that maintains warmth. I’d absolutely love to find a British Katherine Heiny. I’ve recently loved EITHER/OR by Elif Batuman, WRITERS & LOVERS by Lily King, OPEN WATER by Caleb Azumah Nelson, BEWILDERMENT by Richard Powers and LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND by Rumaan Alam. While I don’t read a huge amount of romance, if you’re writing about publishing in the vein of Emily Henry’s BOOK LOVERS I want to see it! I’d also love to find some fresh new voices in the thriller space, particularly ones with as much incisive social commentary as Sabine Durrant’s.

Most of the non-fiction I work on is socially and politically engaged and I’m always looking for more writers in this area exploring new subjects. As in fiction, I’m drawn to books that explore the way we live, particularly in the modern world. I loved both TRICK MIRROR and FOUR THOUSAND WEEKS for that reason. I’m also keen to explore the range of human experience, I thought THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Gwen Adshead and Eileen Horne was brilliant and am still waiting for a memoir as fascinating as EDUCATED by Tara Westover. I studied languages at university so I’m always keen to find books about the spoken word, and more particularly about the way it relates to the way we experience the world. I’d also like to hear from academics interested in writing a book for general readers, whatever their expertise!

Imogen's Manuscript Wishlist

I'm currently on the look-out for novels that play with genre writing or span different genres, perhaps using the twist of a suspense, the slow dread of a horror, the thrill of a mystery. I always want to read historical fiction centring stories that aren't represented in book publishing enough. I love a literary novel or short story brought to life by an off-beat, unexpected voice, whatever the time period or place (from BRIEFLY, A DELICIOUS LIFE by Nell Stevens to THE DANGERS OF SMOKING IN BED by Mariana Enriquez). Queer joy and romance are always welcome!

Some favourites: MILK FED by Melissa Broder, SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid, FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters, PAUL TAKES THE FORM OF A MORTAL GIRL by Andrea Lawlor, HARLEM SHUFFLE by Colson Whitehead, MATRIX by Lauren Groff, VAGABONDS! by Eloghosa Osunde, LOVE AFTER LOVE by Ingrid Persaud, DETRANSITION, BABY by Torrey Peters, LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB by Malinda Lo, FIRE RUSH by Jacqueline Crooks, DREAMLAND by Rosa Rankin-Gee, PLAIN BAD HEROINES by Emily M Danforth.

On the non-fiction side of things, I represent academics, journalists and essayists who are writing books about a huge range of subjects e.g. heat, love, the future, bothies, AI... I’m interested in books that bring people, culture, places and time periods to life in surprising, vivid ways. I don’t shy away from memoir or narrative-led writing in this department, or an investigative angle.

I’m currently particularly looking for histories of all stripes (cultural histories, object histories, revisionist histories) that explode the way we think about a space or time. I also love non-fiction that uses real-life, seemingly smaller stories to welcome us into big topics, and books that have a beating political heart.

My favourites include DOPPELGANGER by Naomi Klein, FREE by Leah Ypi, AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY by Dipo Faloyin, SUPER-INFINITE by Katherine Rundell, TAKEAWAY by Angela Hui, SILK by Aarathi Prasad, SAVING TIME by Jenny Odell, IN THE DREAM HOUSE by Carmen Maria Machado, ISLANDS OF ABANDONMENT by Cal Flyn, ENTANGLED LIFE by Merlin Sherdlake, UNCANNY VALLEY by Anna Wiener, and SEA STATE by Tabitha Lasley.

Kate's Manuscript Wishlist

I’m keen to find aspiring writers, and am interested in stories that explore our recent history or show us something about our world, whether through fiction or research and reportage.  I’m always on the lookout for fantastically funny and compulsive commercial women’s fiction from rom-coms to romance to feel-good to novels that sweep you off your feet and everything in between.

As the Rights Director for the agency, I’m always working across the agency’s entire list to sell our books internationally. Beyond this, I represent narrative and inspirational non-fiction on behalf of some US-based clients and work with a few novelists. Because I’m so immersed in finding international homes for our author’s works, I’m drawn to and looking for novels that can also appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly in commercial to upmarket fiction that tackle universal themes of love, loss, friendship, romance, and family.

I’m keen to find a love story that’s a little bit cool, whether that’s a rom-com, something more sweeping, or a story that’s as much about friendship as it is romance. I'm open to love stories of all kinds (including romantasy where the world building matches that pull of ‘will-they-or-won’t-they,’ star-crossed lovers, and opposites attract). I’m looking for stories with characters you actually want to be friends with, characters coming into their own, discovering something new about themselves and their world, who come through something in their lives and out the other side. The kinds of stories that pull at your heartstrings, have you laughing out loud or cringing in disbelief and just give joy. Think anything by Emily Henry, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Kate Davies, Daisy Buchanan, an updated SEX AND THE CITY, or Nora Ephron meets Nick Hornby.

Besides books by the authors above, some others that have completely absorbed me of late: Alexandra Potter’s CONFESSIONS OF A FORTY-SOMETHING F##K UP, Akwaeke Emezi’s YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY, Ann Napolitano’s HELLO BEAUTIFUL, Miranda Cowley Heller’s THE PAPER PALACE, Rachel Yoder’s NIGHTBITCH, Clare Kohda’s WOMAN, EATING, and Daphne Palasi Andreades’ BROWN GIRLS.