The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Updated October 24, 2009

The Ethan Ellenberg Literary AgencyI’m in the business because I love books. 

That’s why I became a literary agent.  If you’re serious about your writing, you’re going to need a literary agent.

Whenever I’m asked what a literary agent does, I like to highlight the three primary areas of responsibility I shoulder for my clients.

The first is editorial, to read their work, know the market, and give them the story coaching help that allows them to master their craft and sell their work.

The second is to actively market their work to publishers that are looking for the kind of book they are writing.

The final area is the nuts and bolts of publishing, everything from electronic royalties to permissions forms, to movie option agreements.   I’ve been a literary agent for twenty years now and there are few situations I haven’t dealt with in book publishing.

I continue to look for new talent.  Please spend some time on my site, perhaps I can be your literary agent.

We represent:

    WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:We are actively looking for established and new writers in a wide range of genres.

    We’re interested in all kinds of commercial fiction, including thrillers, mysteries, children’s, romance, women’s fiction, ethnic, science fiction, fantasy and general fiction.  We are also interested in literary fiction as long as it has a strong narrative.

    In nonfiction, we are interested in current affairs, history, health, science, psychology, cookbooks, new age, spirituality, pop-culture, adventure, true crime, biography and memoir.  We are also open to reviewing other genres and topics, as long as the material is for a trade or general audience and not scholarly.

    We do accept unsolicited manuscripts and seriously consider all submissions, including first time writers.

We do not represent:

    We do not represent poetry, short stories or screenplays.

Submission Guidelines

We are very anxious to see new work. That said, it is very important that you follow our submission guidelines precisely.  The new postal regulations intended to safeguard the mail have dramatically increased the burdens on us in getting out the mail.  We want all our prospective clients to have a response from us.  We can only make that happen through your cooperation.  The Post Office will discard or return mail that has no return address, is metered but mailed from a different location than the meter stamp or mailed improperly.  If you do not follow these instructions precisely, we cannot guarantee you will receive a response.Also, please do not call to check up on your submission; due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we cannot track them individually. If you included a SASE, you will receive a response.

How to submit your work:

For fiction, your submission should include:

  • a synopsis
  • the first 50 pages (approximately) of your manuscript
  • a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE)

For nonfiction, please include:

  • a book proposal (outline of the material, sample chapters, author bio, etc.)
  • SASE

For picture books, please include:

  • complete manuscript
  • if applicable, color copies of sample illustrations
  • SASE

Illustrators, please send:

  • representative portfolio of your work
  • color copies only—no original artwork
  • SASE

*DO NOT send personal checks, money orders or cash. Please do not bind your manuscripts; a simple rubber band or paperclip is fine, but no folders, binders, etc. Please send only paper submissions; no disks or CDs.

SASE instructions

We will not respond to submissions that do not include an SASE. In order to conform to postal regulations and ensure that you receive our response, please follow these guidelines:

  • Use US postal stamps only, not metered mail or international reply coupons.
  • Envelopes must be addressed and should include our address as the return address in the top left corner of the envelope.


  • Please use self-sealing envelopes.
  • We prefer business-sized (#10) envelopes (and like sized envelopes) that will be used for our response only—all submission material will be discarded.
  • If you want materials returned to you, large mailing envelopes with sufficient postage are acceptable. Please keep in mind that this is a courtesy; we do our best to make sure that you receive your manuscript back but cannot guarantee it.

Email queries

We do accept queries via email at  However, we will not download attachments and will only respond to emails that we are interested in.

  • Please paste synopsis, sample chapters, etc into the body of your email rather than including them as attachments.
  • We normally respond to email queries within two weeks.  If we haven’t            responded after two weeks, then we are not interested in the material.

International submissions

We welcome international submissions but can only respond on a limited basis.  We do not return any material outside of the United States regardless of what arrangements are made for its return.

  • If possible, please include a self-addressed envelope with correct, US postage for response. US stamps are available for purchase on the US Postal Service website (
  • Please include an email address. If a proper SASE is not included, we will respond to submissions by email if we are interested.

Where to send

Submissions should be sent to the attention of Ethan Ellenberg at:

Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
548 Broadway, #5E
New York, NY 10012

or via email at:

Because of the large volume of submissions that we receive, we will only respond to those that follow the above guidelines. Submissions made that do not follow our protocol will be discarded.

Thank you for considering us for literary representation.  We look forward to reading your work.

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