I no longer agent manuscripts in the manner of a traditional literary agent. The best places to begin your search for an agent are (in Australia) the Australian Literary Agents’ Association and (in the United States), Agent Query.

Instead I provide a range of services to authors seeking a literary agent and/or publishing deal, which I describe here.

If you have a question, please send me an email or ask me in the comments of one of my blog posts.

I look forward to hearing from you and maybe to working with you.

36 Replies to “Submissions”

  1. Hello Virginia

    I have recently completed Eden Seed – a 200,000 word speculative fiction.

    I am aware that submission guidelines must be adhered to and each of these publishers who accept non-solicited manuscripts say max 300 for synopsis – I cannot get my synopsis shorter than 700.

    Would you (for a fee) look at my blurb (290 words) and my synopsis (7oo words.)


    Pamela Parker

    1. Hi Pamela, thanks for your message. I’m afraid that you would have to cut your manuscript by about two-thirds to a half to interest most agents and publishers, though I am not a specialist in spec. fiction and would not be the appropriate agent for you. Unfortunately I am no longer able to offer editorial services for fee now that I work as an agent. Best wishes, Virginia

  2. Hi Virginia,

    I am looking for a publishing agent to help me sell my book, Diary of a FAT Woman, to a commercial publisher. Would love to send you a copy of my book for consideration if you are interested that is.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Best Regards,

    Stephanie La

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Thanks for contacting me. I’ll be opening my books again to new queries later this month. I will post my guidelines then and look forward to hearing from you then. –Virginia

  3. Hi Virginia,
    I am just writing to ask your opinion on my true story and if it in your opinion would make a good book. Please Email me if you would be interested in hearing it.



    1. Hello Dan,
      I’m not sure I can advise you at such an early stage of your writing process. There is no guarantee of publication unless you self-publish, and my job as a literary agent is to respond to queries from Australian writers with polished manuscripts. All I can suggest is that you be absolutely certain you wish to undertake writing a book. Perhaps joining a writing class would be a useful step for you. Good luck –Virginia

  4. Hi Virginia

    Last year I had my first novel published by Boolarong Press up here in Brisbane. A have a second manuscript which is in the final stages of proofing and I am currently working on a third. Although I have been able to sell a few hundred copies through Boolarong (I’m not sure how many ebook editions have been sold as yet) I am hoping I might be able to attract the attention of a larger publishing house with my future work. I have had positive feedback from people I have never even met which was a real ego buzz and I am available in the council libraries and have been reasonably popular.

    Any help you could provide would be gratefully accepted!!!



    1. Hi Grant,
      Congratulations on publishing your first novel. Publicity and marketing are always difficult when it comes to books, no matter how well resourced the publisher. When my submissions door opens again to new inquiries (after the Australia Day weekend) I will post my guidelines on this page. I’d love you to get in touch with me after that. Best wishes with your writing. –Virginia

  5. Hi Virginia,

    Just wondering if you are more likely to consider a (non-fiction) book if interest has already been shown by a publisher, or whether you make the decision based on your own appraisal of the book.


    1. Hi Lindy,
      That’s a great question. It never hurts to know that a publisher has shown interest, but in the end I personally have to feel strongly about the book. There are subjects I just can’t excited about or which I can’t see how they could work commercially. Sometimes a publisher can be excited about a concept for a book but unenthusiastic about how the author has executed the idea. Best case scenario is that a publisher’s interest is a litmus test for how other publishers might feel about the same book, in which case an agent can be more picky on behalf of her client as to negotiating a deal with the best publisher for that work.
      I hope that means I’ll be hearing from you! –Virginia

  6. Hi Virginia,

    What is the likely window of opportunity to submit an e-mail query to you this year ? I am currently reworking a manuscript after I’ve taken on feedback from a dozen or so reliable & critical sources, and would like to submit the completed version for your assessment when it’s done. Hopefully you won’t be closing submissions too soon. The manuscript is a non-fiction account of our travels and extensive catalogue of comical disasters whilst working in Saudi Arabia for over 5 years.



    1. Hi Steven
      Thanks for your question. I will likely close my submissions window during April-May but reopen it in June. The most important thing for you to do is to focus on revising your manuscript, then to put it away for a couple of weeks, and then read it again with fresh eyes and a critical distance. Every single manuscript I see needs more work, so the more editorial development and refinement you can do before submitting, the better. So I look forward to hearing from you when your work is ready, and hopefully not before. Good luck with your rewriting — Virginia

  7. Hi again Virginia,

    I take it that your submission window is (almost?) closed. I’m about a week away from having a ready submission, so if this is too late, I’ll wait till June.

    I hope your Chocfest went well – Steve

    1. Hi Steven, my Submissions page states that I’m open to nonfiction submissions but closed to fiction submissions for the time being. I believe your ms is nonfiction so I will see it when you believe it’s as strong as you can make it. For any fiction writers reading this, I will open the window again in a few months. –Virginia

  8. Hello Virginia

    I am so pleased your books are open to new Australian writers. I am drafting a query letter to you in accordance with your guidelines and have one query. In step two, a description of the book is required in one or two sentences including the word count. As the manuscript is currently being edited, I can’t provide an exact figure on the word count, however, it will definitely be between 80,000 and 90,000 words. Would this range suffice in a query letter to you, or would you prefer that I wait until the edit has been completed (in several weeks) to give you the exact amount?

    Thank you for your time and giving Australians this amazing opportunity.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Milena,
      Thanks for your comment and query. An approximate word range is fine. Agents like to have a rough idea of word length because a manuscript that is twice the length a publisher prefers is an immediate red flag. As for editing, please refer to my numerous posts about the revision manuscripts go through both with an agent and with their eventual publisher — if they are successfully placed. On that note, the “amazing opportunity” I offer is simply to assess manuscripts that interest me. An agent cannot guarantee publication of your manuscript. But thanks for the feedback! –Virginia

  9. Hi Virginia,
    I wonder if you can advise whether a market comparison applies as strictly to memoirs/biographies which are unique to that individual’s experiences? I do understand the importance, particularly, when writing about topics that have been written by other people from a different, or even similar, angle.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Milena,
      A market comparison is essential for every book that an agent or publisher considers. You need to be able to identify common human themes – whether of place, time period, emotional situation – that apply to your work and the others you name. Nothing is unique in terms of human experience. Every book needs some context for your book in the marketplace. At the most basic level, a bookseller wants to know where to put it in her shop, or an online retailer how to categorize it? Even within the memoir genre there is a huge spectrum of published work. Where does yours fit? What is it like in tone/approach? The comparison titles don’t need to all be contemporary ones or published in Australia. If you are having trouble with this, ask those who’ve read your manuscript to help you. If an author tells me there’s nothing like their book “out there” I find it a bit of a red flag that they’re not thinking about the business side of publishing.
      Hope that helps! –Virginia

  10. I have a non fiction memoir but with a specific theme, book that I have done extensive work on and received extensive feedback on. It has undergone four draft revisions and I think it’s now ready to be looked at to find an agent.
    Would like to send it to you when your window for consideration opens again. I found your blog very interesting and helpful in considering what genres I already write in. I have had many small pieces published both online and in print and looking to publish full length non-fiction and fiction. Thanks.
    June recently posted..Here is a Feather

    1. Hello June,
      Thanks for reading my blog. My submissions page states that although I’m not accepting fiction queries I am very interested in hearing about nonfiction projects, so please submit your query when you are ready. Keep in mind that I’ll be away for the rest of May so won’t be doing any reading until early June.
      Best wishes –Virginia

  11. Hi, I am a lecturer at Sydney university with several degrees. I am published both in international journals and a book in my field ” A Matter of Concern: the ethical dilemma of using Nazi medical research data in contemporary society”.
    I have completed a doctorate the title of the dissertation “Survival: Jewish doctors in Auschwitz. I have been encouraged to seek interest in having it published. To date little research has been conducted on the subject and no publications have taken place. Historians, students, and Jews would provide a large market
    Regards Ross

    1. Hi Ross,
      Thanks for contacting me. I’d need to see a query from you with the details I set out above on the Submissions page. Typically a PhD dissertation needs to undergo substantial revision to make it a viable project in the eyes of a commercial publisher. I look forward to hearing from you. –Virginia

  12. Hello Virginia,
    How exciting to come across your website, your interest in philanthropy is exactly what I need. I am currently composing a submission for my two non-fiction books. I’m putting a lot of time into the marketing comparison and am finding the process enlightening. My fingers are crossed that your books do not close before I am done.
    Marsha McGuire recently posted..Hello world!

    1. Hi Marsha, thanks for discovering my site. Take your time with your submission. My books remain open to nonfiction queries. It’s fiction that I’m not accepting at the moment. I look forward to hearing from you. –Virginia

  13. Dear Virginia. I understand you have been open to non-fiction submissions. I am a thrice- published novelist who has a different approach to writing a cycling book. The humour applied renders the book quintessentially different to any on the market. I have read everything I can which encompasses the world of cycling, and none use an approach in which each cyclist, of whatever persuasion, is able to see themselves personified and relate to the journey which is cycling at the social and racing level. I mix serious fact..the essence of cycling, diet, performance and safety in a format in which the intent is to create a must have book for all the cycling Dads and Mums birthday or Xmas gift. While set in Australia, it would have a global appeal.
    I write with the observation that cycling is full of human foible and is an emergent culture threatened by a backlash from road rage and poor public awareness. There is a massive market for well written books on cycling which, in the main, they are not.
    The first chapter would immediately calibrate your interest, but I understand that Cycling as a topic may be beyond your personal horizon.

    1. Hello Fred, thanks for writing. My Submissions page on this website, under the Contact tab, has the guidelines for you to submit a formal query. Regards, Virginia

  14. Hi Virginia – I just wanted to clarify the submission details above in terms of the synopsis / chapter summary. Are you looking for the chapter summary to likewise be one page?
    Also, are the points you list in your guidelines the only details you wish to see? For example, are you interested in marketing plans the author has in place / joint ventures / platform for the book or any advance praise the book may have received?
    Thanks for your time Virginia.
    Have a great weekend and week

    1. Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your questions about submission. You have helped me realise I have not been precise enough about the chapter summary, which I’ll now fix. I think a chapter summary can be one to three pages in length, depending on the project. What you’re trying to do in the outline is show me that there is a book’s worth of material in what you’re proposing, and that the arrangement of material is clear and well structured.
      As for the points listed, they are indicative rather than exhaustive. By all means include any information that is relevant to your project — such as the marketing references you have made.
      I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
      Best wishes — Virginia

  15. Dear Ms. Lloyd,
    Fiona Higgins spoke at the Ubud Writers’ Group last week. She was amazing, of course. She passed on your information. I see that you accept only non-fiction and I have just finished a full-length suspense FICTION novel. Since this is not your genre of choice right now, can you recommend a place to start? I have had the manuscript professionally edited and the rewrite (for the umpteenbillionth time) is finished.

    The book is about corruption in the oil industry. It is set in Dubai. The protagonist is female, a foreign correspondent/undercover CIA.

    I would appreciate any direction/advice you can give.

    Sherry Bronson

    1. Hi Sherry, thanks for your comment. There are endless resources online for beginner writers. You need to research appropriate agents for the genre you’re writing in and query them. I can assure you that your book is never finished until it goes to the printer, and you will have many more revisions ahead of you no matter how polished it is at the moment. You can approach an agent based in Australia or the US; in your case it might be best to try landing a US agent. But I urge you to research carefully and not to rush your approach. One other tip: don’t use the term ‘fiction novel’ because it makes book industry people suspicious. All novels are fiction. Good luck! –Virginia

  16. Dear Virginia,
    In Sydney for the weekend (I live in Canberra) I read your article in the Society of Women Writers magazine and took particular note that you ‘want[ed] to hear from a journalist with a subject he/she is passionate about …’.
    I am finishing/polishing my non-fiction book ‘The Island of Singing Fish’. The ‘island’ of my title is Ceylon – now Sri Lanka, and my family, from the small Dutch Burgher community (Michael Ondaaje, Michelle de Kretser ) arrived in Australia in the Fifties.
    People who have kindly read chapters for me have told me there are similarities with de Waal’s ‘The Hare With Amber Eyes’, though my childhood was, in fact, extremely happy, not traumatised by war.
    Would you be interested in looking at a chapter or two ?
    I currently write for News Ltd and (occasionally) The Spectator Australia.
    Thank you for your time reading this!
    Tina Faulk

    1. Hi Tina,
      Thanks for letting me know how you discovered me. Your manuscript does sound intriguing, so please email me with more information. On my Submissions page (under Contact) are the details I need you to cover in your query. I look forward to hearing from you! –Virginia

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