Submissions (Currently Closed)

I’m currently closed to submissions as I work through a backlog of subs in my inbox. For those of you waiting to hear back on a submission, please know that my usual response times are delayed. You can read more about this here. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


I am seeking commercial and upmarket fiction ranging from middle grade to adult. I accept submissions from all ages/countries/abilities, as long as it is written in or translated into the English language.

Please use my submission form to submit.* This will ensure you receive a reply, and likely a quick one. I try my best to read and respond to initial queries within a few days, sometimes hours. If you have not heard back from me in a week or two, it means I have set aside your submission for further consideration. If you are confused by the form, click here for more information.

Partial response times can take up to 3-4 months sometimes longer. I try not to keep partials longer than 6 months.

Full response times can take 6-8 months. I try not to keep anything longer than a year. I know this is a frustrating amount of time, read my post on why this happens here. Feel comfortable nudging me if you get anxious.

What I am seeking is constantly evolving, so if you’re not sure and it’s fiction and falls within the age ranges, query me!

I’m currently extremely interested in whimsical/humorous/poignant middle grade and weird/surreal/contemporary adult fiction. For a detailed wishlist you can visit my MSWL profile.

Please note I do not represent short story collections, memoirs, picture books, or non-fiction. I am also not interested in books that have already been self-published (although I’m happy to consider your next unpublished work).

I will auto-reject the following:

  • Stories that promote racism, sexism, bigotry of any kind
  • Animal cruelty
  • Rape as a plot device

If you have questions about the submission form, you can read further clarification here.

To submit click here.

Best of luck!

*If I favorited your pitch during a Twitter pitch party (#DVpit, #PitMad, #SFFpit etc.) click here for the specific submission form. Don’t forget to include your tweet that I favorited.

*All submissions sent to my email will be deleted unread. Feel free to resubmit using the correct submission form.


  • Kyleigh Grace

    April 25, 2021 at 10:44 am Reply

    Hi Mary!

    When will you be open to submissions again? I have a manuscript that I think you may enjoy!


    Kyleigh Grace

    • Mary C. Moore

      April 25, 2021 at 5:48 pm Reply

      I hope this fall. Still a bit overwhelmed from the workload this last year!

  • Megan J Crowhurst

    April 24, 2021 at 4:07 pm Reply

    I’m not querying you (my work would not be a good fit for you) but would like say how impressive it is that you take the trouble to all of the helpful posts you do and then respond to so many comments. I’m sure as a representative you must rock.

    • Mary C. Moore

      April 25, 2021 at 7:52 am Reply

      That is kind of you to say!

  • Luke Harding

    January 22, 2021 at 3:21 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    I was curious if you were open to submissions again. I have a 70’000 word YA Fantasy manuscript I think you would enjoy.

    Best wishes
    Luke Harding

    • Mary C. Moore

      January 28, 2021 at 11:44 am Reply

      I’m hoping to open to submissions in February and by the latest end of March!

  • Lawrence Abbott

    January 15, 2021 at 2:49 am Reply

    Dear Ms. Moore:

    I have a question related to real (not fantasy) witchcraft, so you may be among the very few literary agents who can answer it knowledgeably. I’ve written a novel (138,000 words, complete) set within a character grouping of modern wiccans, and I’m having trouble getting the right pitch for it.

    At heart, it’s about a young adult MC who has to make a choice between his current belief system and the more radical beliefs of a charismatic figure who has come into his life. It’s a clash of beliefs, of how one chooses to determine the right path of life. There aren’t good guys and bad guys, but rather (as in real life) clashing views of what is right.

    I’ve chosen to play out this drama in a community of modern wiccans. The MC’s beliefs are shaped by the traditional Gardnerian coven he belongs to and his maternal high priestess. The challenge comes when a bold father figure who stretches the boundaries of neopagan thought enters his life. I want to give the general reader a glimpse into a marginal but very real community in modern America—not because I want to preach its beliefs but because it gives me the opportunity to highlight in a novel way the struggles of making ideological choices.

    My problem comes down to genre. The novel is about witchcraft but in no way is it fantasy. I conceive of it as literary fiction about what could really take place among people who identify as witches. How does an author pitch literary fiction with such a setting?

    I hope that, as a green witch yourself, you’ll appreciate my dilemma and offer me a word of advice. Many thanks in advance –

    Lawrence Abbott

    • Mary C. Moore

      January 28, 2021 at 11:43 am Reply

      Hi Lawrence,

      You can pitch this as literary or contemporary fiction. Just as historical books about witch trials and the like would not be classified as fantasy, neither would yours.

      Best of luck!

  • Jeff Bender

    November 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm Reply

    Ms. Moore:

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. Would love to submit my adventure memoir to you set in a small town in Wisconsin when you are felling up to it. Lots of humor, something the world seems to be in a bit short supply of now.( ms and proposal finished). Positives coming your way for feeling better!

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 17, 2020 at 12:52 pm Reply

      Thanks for your well wishes. I’m closed to submissions right now and I don’t represent memoir. Best of luck.

  • C. Moore

    June 24, 2020 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Hi! I have a question that doesn’t really count as a submission so I’ll ask it here if that’s alright.

    I am an American man who has spent the last 8 years of his life in Japan. I have a young son with my wonderful wife (she is Japanese) and all of this has inspired me to write a fictional story about a young half Japanese man in a fake small town in Japan.

    My question is simple–am I setting myself up for failure? I am confident that I can write something that accurately reflects life in a small Japanese town (and can consult friends and family to make sure I’m not full of it) but this will be a novel in English that:

    1. Uses Japanese names such as Yusuke, Mr. Murata, Ms. Tanabe, Tomoko, etc (I will try to avoid overly “difficult” names)

    2. Refers to real-life Japanese locales that may not be well-known in predominately English speaking countries

    3. Will be written with Japanese culture and life in mind, and the unique experience of a half-Japanese person in a small town

    I can easily change this story to be about a man in an American small town but I feel that the story will lose important bits of its DNA.
    I would really appreciate a response from an actual agent as simply asking Reddit/Twitter/my dog hasn’t managed to help me make a decision.

    Best regard,

    A fellow Moore

    • Mary C. Moore

      July 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm Reply

      I honestly do not have a clear answer for you on this, sorry.

  • Rae Jones

    May 24, 2020 at 1:55 pm Reply

    I hope all is well with you and your family. Please take care of yourself.

  • Emilia Rosa

    May 13, 2020 at 7:39 am Reply

    I hope you are feeling well!

    • Mary C. Moore

      May 14, 2020 at 2:34 pm Reply

      I am, thank you!

  • Clark Johnson

    February 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Hello Ms. Moore,

    I read the submission clarification but I still have a question. The font in my manuscript is a basic one, Times New Roman, without any fancy formatting, but I do have a few sentences in italics (to represent the protagonist’s internal monologue, usually for a humorous effect in this MG fantasy) will the submission form automatically reject the submission or simply not display the italics (which would be actually worse)?

    • Mary C. Moore

      February 12, 2020 at 6:55 pm Reply

      You can use italics in the sub form.

  • Adediji Taiwo Israel

    October 18, 2019 at 5:52 pm Reply

    In this heart-rending story, Kyle, a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) patient with two personalities/identities, is in love with Hannah, a beauty queen. Kyle in his first personality is a down to earth young man, crazily in love with Hannah. In his second personality however, Kyle is a killer who rampages to murder the beauty queen and her family at all cost. The palpable stake apparent here is that Kyle is not even aware of his second personality and its atrocities. Dr Radius, a therapist and psychologist, who happens to be Kyle’s therapist; finds it difficult to unravel this second personality.

    Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is not merely expressed as a disorder in this novel but is rather used as a rigorous twist to create suspense and drive conflict throughout the whole novel.

    Kyle’s second personality is a cogent example of how people with mental disorder are manipulated and delineates likely resulting disasters. Kyle murders the family of the Hannah, the woman he loves in cold blood and rampages to kill her because his uncle, Minnie, is able to manipulate his mental condition.

    Hannah had murdered Kyle, in revenge, before she realized that the young man was not even aware that he was the killer that went after her parents, and that left her broken forever. She becomes even more despondent when she realizes the pregnancy she carries is for Kyle, the man she had just murdered.

    See this novel as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in contemporary literature with elements of mystery and suspense and different genre mix.

    This is something you will like to represent. The manuscript is polished and ready to go – 110,000 words approximately. Querying you immediately. Thanks for your prompt reply to people’s inquiries. You are the best!

  • Robert Polk

    September 4, 2019 at 10:20 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    On June 20 I queried my upper MG contemporary PATCHING HOLES through your submission form yet I’ve not seen an email response. Perhaps I erred and did not submit properly or maybe missed the response letter?

    I’d like to resubmit if you’ve not received it. Of course, my apologies if you already passed on it and I missed the email.


    • Mary C. Moore

      September 4, 2019 at 12:37 pm Reply

      Hi Robert,

      I will resend the response. Perhaps it got lost in your spam folder?



  • Anthony Regolino

    July 10, 2019 at 10:42 am Reply

    When searching for literary agents and Doctor Who, your answers for tops the list, but are you actually looking for Doctor Who material? I have a children’s book (text half, will need accompanying art) and wish to submit it to a publisher licensed to handle the Doctor Who franchise. Would this be something you would handle or are actively seeking?

    • Mary C. Moore

      July 12, 2019 at 9:15 pm Reply

      I’m not actively seeking already licensed material. Not familiar with the publishers who handle Doctor Who at this point.

  • Samantha Harve

    June 24, 2019 at 11:11 am Reply

    HI Mary,
    My question is, are you only looking for fully finished novels? Its still a little rough and I am only 50 pages and 15,000 words in but it is coming along quickly. Is this something I should submit or should I wait until it is complete? I have never been published and I am still learning best practices and how everything works. Thank you

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 25, 2019 at 4:51 pm Reply

      Definitely wait until it is finished, reviewed by others, revised and polished to the best of your ability. Agents expect to see finished manuscripts when considering novels for representation. We get between 15-30 submissions a day. If yours is not finished, it’ll be passed over.

  • John Galloway

    June 24, 2019 at 7:45 am Reply

    Hello Mary,
    How would you suggest that I categorize a western fantasy, where the main character is from this current time and current reality?

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 25, 2019 at 4:48 pm Reply

      Probably contemporary fantasy or weird west. But I’d have to read it to know for sure.

  • Asha Leu

    June 15, 2019 at 9:52 pm Reply

    Hi Mary, I noticed you said a while back that you weren’t looking for dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction a while back. Is that still the case? My novel is fantasy, but can also be classified as post-apocalyptic fiction.


    • Mary C. Moore

      June 19, 2019 at 9:30 pm Reply

      I’ll take a look. I’m still not super keen, but you never know!

  • J. Clark

    June 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Hello Mary,

    I do have a question about your auto-reject pile. I have a UF that features a bit of racism/sexism as part of the community that the MC struggles with as part of her identity. Would that still be a cause for an auto-reject?

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 14, 2019 at 12:26 pm Reply

      I auto-reject anything that supports racism or sexism, e.g. neo-nazis are the good guys etc. Featuring it as part of world building or character development is different and totally fine.

  • Nicole

    June 6, 2019 at 8:17 pm Reply

    Hi Mary. I just wanted to clarify with you about your auto-reject list, as you have said animal cruelty is an automatic no. My MS has a teenager with magic, able to communicate with animals, however in gaining control of the magic, two animals die inadvertently.

    Does this fit into your auto-reject pile, or as it is part of the character development and story, would it be ok? My character really loves animals, so it is not about cruelty.

    Appreciate your advice 🙂 Thanks

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 8, 2019 at 8:37 am Reply

      That’s fine. I just don’t want to read about animals suffering at the hands of someone before someone else comes to rescue them as a way of character building. I was seeing a lot of that for some reason.

      • Nicole

        June 11, 2019 at 1:23 am Reply

        Thank you! Super excited to query you 😊

  • Licrezia

    April 14, 2019 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Hello, I was confused by the submission guidelines. On the pitch box I literally only pasted the pitch and did not include the usual greeting as in “hello Ms. Mary C. Moore”. In the unluckely chance you see this comment before a query without salutation, well my apologies and I hope this make up for it. I was so nervous I panicked and messed up.


    • Mary C. Moore

      April 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm Reply

      No need to worry, my submission form is set up to give me the clearest picture of your story, even if you’re super nervous and think you messed up, you didn’t!

  • Laura

    March 3, 2019 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Thank you! 🙂 I appreciate it.

  • Laura

    March 2, 2019 at 11:33 pm Reply

    Hi Mary! I have a question. I’ve had a lot of conflicting advice as to whether I should categorize my MS as fantasy, magical realism, or even urban fantasy, so I’ve just played it safe and said fantasy. How bad does that look in a query? There’s not an overwhelming amount of magic in the book – there’s both science and magic (gods). Part of the book takes place in relatively recent time, and other parts take place in the future (time travel). It seemed safer to categorize a book which was an almost even mix of SF and fantasy as fantasy than to call if SF. I’ve tried calling it science-fantasy, but was told that wasn’t a thing. 🙁

    • Mary C. Moore

      March 3, 2019 at 8:52 am Reply

      You can call it contemporary fantasy and be fine. Avoid using magical realism as that genre is completely different than SFF.

  • Adam N Vasquez

    September 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Good evening,
    My name is Adam and I am reaching out to you from San Antonio Texas. Like many others, I have written a book, it was originally 400 pages but is now split for two books, hopefully. My work has been submitted to many others and a few have turned it away because it wasn’t their genre. Jodie Reamer publicist for Stephanie Meyer turned it away but said it had potential. And now I am contacting you. “In a world of worlds, not many have the understanding of who is who or what is where, nothing is at it seems and mere mortals have such luxuries of happiness they seem to take for granted, but not for I, times indeed have changed and we are not alone. It is time to make a change for something more and something better, to reclaim the love we have for mortals, to show them we are here and they are not alone. I long for the companionship of love and a partner but I am not blessed with such treasures, but I ask you my once more father, grant me the opportunity , allow this for me, I have wandered through many centuries alone.” But a piece of the puzzle to piece together for I have more. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for your time.

    • Mary C. Moore

      October 3, 2018 at 10:54 am Reply

      Please follow my submission guidelines and use the form to submit. Thank you.

  • Sara Codair

    August 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm Reply

    I was checking your website to see if you still posted updates about your slush pile (I’m not 100% you did before, but I thought there had been a feature on your website that said what dates you had read through) and accidentally clicked on the submission form. I went to query tracker, but when I queried you on Aug. 2, it was still your old form. Does that mean I need to re-query?

    • Mary C. Moore

      August 27, 2018 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Hi Sara, I am transitioning my sub form but plan on responding to all previous submissions. Thank you for your patience!

      • Sara Codair

        August 28, 2018 at 4:40 am Reply

        Sounds good! I’m not in a hurry. I just saw the form changed and worried I did something wrong. Thank you for replying. 🙂

  • Brian Hathaway

    August 1, 2018 at 6:48 am Reply

    Today’s the day! Would you be interested in a MG urban fantasy about dogs?

    In 2030 NYC, society has abolished guns & dogs are citizens, exposing their sentience & superpowers to the general public. 12 year old, telepathic, Hope must form a ragtag team of dogs & one wolf to thwart an evil scientist bent on stealing their superpowers to engineer a quantum leap in human evolution.

    • Mary C. Moore

      August 1, 2018 at 7:40 am Reply

      This will be a hard sell for me, but go ahead and submit because you never know!

  • L Suresh

    June 27, 2018 at 10:19 pm Reply

    Hi Mary,

    Your agency website states that you are ‘currently seeking fantasy, science fiction, upmarket “book club,” genre romance, thrillers with female protagonists, and stories from marginalized voices.’ Your mswl page mentions ‘historical’ under fiction. (Fiction: Fantasy, Historical, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult)
    Can I go with your mswl page and query you on HF when you open?

    • Mary C. Moore

      July 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm Reply

      Yes, I’ll be open to all genres of fiction when I open in August.

  • Caitlin Keim

    June 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm Reply

    I am a zookeeper and a writer, and I cannot wait to send you a proposal as soon as you are accepting once more!

  • Keli Vice

    April 13, 2018 at 10:25 am Reply

    Hello Mary –
    I see you are closed to submissions. However, your #MSWL lists “Wine country women’s fiction” – which is exactly the description of my latest manuscript.

    “Behind Cellar Doors” is a story about a recent Davis grad just who jumps in to run the struggling family winery in Sonoma County when her father falls ill. It was a PitchWars 2017 finalist, and has since gone through another thorough round of edits in response to a detailed R&R request.

    I will keep an eye on your submission status and send when you are re-opened. Or, let me know if you have any interest in seeing it now.

  • Kathleen Kaska

    February 18, 2018 at 7:06 am Reply

    Hi Mary,
    Do you plan to be open to submissions any time soon?

    • Mary C. Moore

      February 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm Reply

      Can’t give an exact date until I’ve gotten through the back log of work. Sorry.

  • Suresh L

    November 29, 2017 at 1:39 am Reply

    Hi Mary, hope things are better in your neighbourhood and everyone is safe. My best wishes for things to get back to normalcy.

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 30, 2017 at 1:52 pm Reply

      Thank you! Our community is recovering.

  • daniel eric leffingwell

    November 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm Reply

    Hello everyone I want everyone to know how I am not upset in least by Marvels plagiarizing several ideas of mine. What they did is perfectly legal but, in my opinion,not very ethical. It shows a lack of imagination of the writing stiffs, I mean staff, who are apparently, unable to come up with their own, original ideas. Several yrs ago, I’d queried them about a super hero, a Mr. Modem (Man Of Dark Energy Matter). This title is first title to a five sequel series with S.F. theme thereof. This year Marvel did a movie about a dark elf who uses dark matter for….? Because of this idea being stolen (again its legal to take ideas) I antagonized them in regards to how I had, within my third novel, did a parody about their alleged super heroes. “If Bruce Wayne were to cough up his billions of dollars and create jobs in Scrotum City, Scrotum City wouldn’t have the crime spree they…” And if Stuporman were to plow his way down to center of earth and bring back a beach ball size diamond, truly, there would be justice for all…” “As for the Green Latrine ….”
    This year Marvel did a parody, making fun of their own characters- they sure like my ideas! The first time I queried Marvel they wrote back stating, they had lack of resources…? This after they had just made 300 million off their movie?
    This above short, blip, only takes up a few paragraphs within said third novel. Mainly the theme is about a PC planet at bottom of a black hole. The characters are vying for control of this mechanical orb. It’s evolving into a biologic Godhead. Characters want control to redesign universe to their liking.
    Main theme is, Mr Mode chases aliens around the galaxy who are abducting earth’s musicians for their live music. These aliens need live music for the harmonics. They crave harmonics for nourishment.
    Within these novels, I am publishing 40 yrs worth of major inventions, ‘real’ ones base on laws of physics and logic. A brilliant, fool proof market plan is written within the theme. Base on said logic and physics, I have revolutionized entire space industry with an ultimate spacecraft design and a propulsion system. Said spaceship utilizes a tested and proven shield system to protect astronauts from radiation and collisions (up to a given point). Within his first book of Chronicles, Mr Mode is promising to disclose this spacecraft in his fifth book (RE; part of said market plan). There are also numerous way above average music compositions written within the book’s theme.
    My books are fairly much original, and fortunately, remain totally different and better than Marvel’s, pathetic attempt at writing.
    Here’s another example to just one invention- I can make a huge guitar string fly manually using it’s harmonics. By huge i mean large enough for numerous operators to fly; course their bottom sides will tingle like the beejesus- lots of humor in this universe Mode created.
    I am writing hereof to seek a professional editor and artist. I also need a custom website for this market plan. I can’t pay but, can give up a negotiated rate to whomever.
    Oh by z way, I own enough marketable inventions, music and novels to literally feed, house, create jobs for everyone on this planet and am going to do so. Its all written down in these five books of Chronicles. P.S. I know this is not the submission form but if you’d like to read a first draft Ms. Moore, I’d be honored for you to take a peek?

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm Reply

      Closed to submissions.

  • Metra Kootsikas

    November 8, 2017 at 8:44 am Reply

    Hi Mary — I continue to check back to your blog to see if there are any updates on you, your family and your home. You are in my thoughts!!

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm Reply

      Thank you! The rains have begun, and the community is slowly recovering.

  • Christina

    October 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Hi Mary! Thank you so much for opening up your comment section to questions! I just wanted to check and see if you would consider a Post-Apocalyptic (which has nothing to do with social or political structures , strictly survival post-apocalypse) novel as falling under Dystopian? Or do you (and the market) consider them to be separate?

    Thank you again!

    • Mary C. Moore

      October 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm Reply

      Hi Christina, in my case yes, that’s dystopian. I’m not looking for it right now because I have multiple clients who write it.

  • Josephine Carr

    September 26, 2017 at 11:49 am Reply

    Dear Mary Moore:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and expertise! I know many writers are grateful for the advice and direction you offer. A question beyond merely querying you. Can a writer who’s had five novels published traditionally, one of which sold 100,000 copies, approach an agent BEFORE the novel is completed, especially if the story appears to the writer to be fresh (your term on the blog today!)? For obvious reasons, psychologically and editorially, the ability to receive feedback in advance of finishing a novel is invaluable, as would be understanding whether its commercial concept, and writing ability, seems to be solid for the current marketplace. Again, many thanks!

    Josephine Carr

    • Mary C. Moore

      October 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm Reply

      Hi Josephine,

      It is really hard and rare to sell a novel based on a proposal. Unless the author is a big name, i.e. Neil Gaiman or Margaret Atwood, or they have a close and successful relationship with their editor, most publishers would be hesitant. And for that reason so will most agents. In my particular case I would want the manuscript to be finished the best it could be before seeing it.

  • Lorraine Storms

    September 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm Reply

    Hi Mary, I queried you about two years ago with a project that was an Adult Fantasy. You requested the full ms and ended up passing (but provided wonderful feedback – thank you!). The manuscript has been extensively revised since then and is now a YA Fantasy (which is probably always where it should have been). I was contemplating requerying you, but definitely don’t want to waste your time if you’ve already given the project a hard pass and wouldn’t consider reading the new YA manuscript. Should I refrain from requerying or would you consider a query?

    • Mary C. Moore

      September 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm Reply

      Hi Lorraine, thanks so much for thinking of me. My YA fantasy list is pretty full right now, so I’m probably not going to have a chance to consider this for quite a long time.

      • Lorraine Storms

        September 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm Reply

        It was worth a shot! 😉 Thanks for the quick response!

  • Mikayla

    September 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Hello Mary,

    I was wonder if you would be willing to look at a manuscript that has a mix of teen fiction, fantasy and paranormal genres.

    • Mary C. Moore

      September 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm Reply

      Hi Mikayla,

      I’m not really looking for young adult paranormal right now, but thanks for asking.

  • Justin Lee

    August 18, 2017 at 6:13 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    I have a word count question. For my debut novel I decided to write what I know–epic fantasy. I outlined the series and, after an extensive editing process, completed the first installment at about 210,600 words. I’m still very early in the querying process, (though I have already sent it your way), but I received my first rejection today about 30 minutes after querying the agent because my manuscript is very long for the genre. I understand that 200k is not within the ideal word count range for “fantasy,” but many “fantasy epics” are far more than 200k, and if I were to edit my manuscript down to 115k I would likely be cutting important characters and portions that set up for events in the rest of the series. It would hardly even feel like the same story to me. It’s very disheartening; I did everything I could to replicate the quality of work that goes into a multi-POV fantasy series like Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire, only to be automatically rejected because it’s too long while my inspirational authors wrote even longer books as their first installments!

    Do I need to be seeking out agents who specifically are looking for fantasy epics? Or, if it is widely unacceptable to query a 200k+ word manuscript, how did books like Name of the Wind get published? Thank you for all the work you do to make people’s dreams come true!

    • Mary C. Moore

      August 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm Reply

      Hi Justin,

      200k will definitely make some agents wary, especially for a debut. The reason for this is because publishers are less likely to make the larger investment needed to cover print run costs on an epic length book by a debut author. Fyi, GRRM’s debut novel wasn’t more than your average length, GoT was his fourth or fifth successfully published book, so he already had the author cache to convince publishers to take the leap. Patrick Rothfuss won awards from excerpts of NAME OF THE WINDS before it got picked up by Daw. (Daw is also one of the few publishers that will take on lengthy epic fantasy from a debut author). Even the hugely-successful JK Rowlings wasn’t allowed to write bigger books until the first few did really well. You’ll notice book one in the HP series is so much shorter than book 7 that it’s almost laughable. So yes, you have a much harder hill to climb than other new authors. However you can seek out agents, such as myself, that are willing to give it a chance as long as the writing is solid. If that doesn’t work, than consider writing something new, i.e. a simply high fantasy, as your breakout, and return to your epic once you’ve established your author brand. Or go the Rothfuss route and get yourself noticed by publishers in other ways. Good luck!

      • Justin Lee

        August 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm Reply

        That is very informative; thank you! And thanks for giving those of us who do exceed typical word count guidelines a chance!

  • Joshua Cleveland

    August 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm Reply

    Hello Mary,

    I have been hard at work writing a series of four novels in a series, the first of which is complete at a little over 109,000 words. I would classify my science fiction novel to be mostly Asian cyberpunk, although instead of heavily using computers and hackers, it uses television shows as an allegory to represent alternative dimensions and/or obfuscate a group’s true intentions, be it an entertainment troupe or the government within my book. An example I give is that war within my book has been reduced to entertainment and is generally considered a commodity. Another example revolves around an entertainment troupe’s creation of a serial involving the real-life mysterious death of a high-profile actor and the accusation of a director from a rival troupe. For the physical setting, the Asian world that I’ve built is clockwork, yet the driving force is plasma and not steam, including holographic portals called “holoviews” and buildings that can continuously change form and function. What is your take on it, and are you interested in this kind of science fiction?

    Best Regards,
    Josh Cleveland

    • Mary C. Moore

      August 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm Reply

      Hi Josh, this sounds interesting, but your explanation is confusing. It’s a better idea to submit to agents directly, rather than “pre-query” as tempting as it may be. Query letters (and in my case my sub form) are (ideally) to avoid this kind of confusion and allow the agent to get an clear idea of what you’re writing.

  • Dave Powers

    August 1, 2017 at 11:50 am Reply

    I’m trying to figure out if what I’ve written would be considered ‘urban’ fiction, at least as it relates to market oversaturation. It takes place in a city, and the first book centers on the most rundown section (it’s a series, with later books expanding into the whole city and probably beyond), but it’s steampunk with a Victorian-ish aesthetic. I don’t know which part of that agents and/or publishers would see first. Any thoughts?

    • Mary C. Moore

      August 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm Reply

      It’s hard to say without reading it. It sounds more like it would classify as steampunk over urban fantasy.

  • Dominic W.

    July 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm Reply

    How long does it usually take you to read a full MS once received?

    • Mary C. Moore

      July 23, 2017 at 11:17 am Reply

      It depends, I try to read them by 6 months, but often take longer. Read my blog post here and here about the process.

  • JSprenger

    July 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm Reply

    Hi, Mary! I’m curious as to your guidelines for Dystopian, as the novel I plan to submit to you has some dystopian themes.

    Thank you for you time!

    • Mary C. Moore

      July 6, 2017 at 7:50 am Reply

      Hi! I’m not seeking dystopian right now as I already have 3 clients who write it and the market for it is over-saturated so it’s difficult to sell to publishers. Sorry this isn’t better news.

  • Dina

    June 21, 2017 at 4:57 am Reply

    Hello Mary,

    I’m currently writing out my manuscript and have been curious as to whether you accept submissions from teenaged authors?


    • Mary C. Moore

      June 23, 2017 at 1:07 pm Reply

      I accept submissions from anyone at any age as long as they are in English. 🙂

  • b. L Albina

    June 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm Reply

    My novella that I want to publish is about an arranged marriage between two mer clans and the mermaid princess who is 107 equivalent to 17 years old does want to marry but at the end she does to a merman prince named Kai. Jewel also has vision, telepathy, and healing powers that come out of her body in the shade of her mer-tail. She also is a mer healer.

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm Reply

      Apologies, but I don’t represent novellas. Good luck!

  • Christine Scheel

    June 14, 2017 at 11:28 am Reply

    Hi. I am trying to send a query on posted form, but it will not “send” because I don’t have a website. How do I get around this?

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 14, 2017 at 11:33 am Reply

      You can leave it blank, it’s not required.

      • Kevin W. Smith

        September 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm Reply

        I have a website focused more on the world and the stories then about myself. Its a work in progress. Would that be alright?

        • Mary C. Moore

          September 4, 2017 at 7:11 pm Reply

          Yes, that’s fine, cheers.

  • Nate Stein

    May 23, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    Are you still looking for magical realism? My MS is high concept commercial/magical realism and I think it’d be perfect for you.

    Really like your writing and looking forward to hearing back!


    twitter: @natescity

    • Mary C. Moore

      May 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm Reply

      I am, although I tend to prefer latinx MR. Cheers.

  • Minas Tsambanis

    May 2, 2017 at 4:53 am Reply

    Hello, ms Moore. A real pleasure to contact you. My name is Minas Tsambanis and i have completed a science fiction-space opera novel. I would really like to take a look at it. Sci-Fi is not a well received genre in Greece and i really want to try to introduce it outside. Problem is that it is writen in greek. Is it essential to convert it into english before attempting submission it?
    With respect
    Minas Tsambanis.

    • Mary C. Moore

      May 2, 2017 at 8:17 am Reply

      In my case, yes. I will only consider submissions in English. I believe this is the case for most literary agents. Good luck!

  • Paul Moder

    April 30, 2017 at 2:35 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    I just submitted my query (The Color Kill) and may have a typo in the email address – amended below

    • Mary C. Moore

      April 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Hi Paul, please resubmit with the correct email address. Thanks!

  • Alexis Daria

    February 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm Reply

    Hi Mary. I emailed my query and first 10 to you using your tweeted DVpit guidelines, but now I’m worried I should have submitted using your form. Should I submit again, via form? Thanks!

    • Mary C. Moore

      February 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Hi Alexis, I just checked and I have your submission. Apologies it may take awhile for a response, I’m swamped!

  • Nicholas Binge

    January 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm Reply

    Hi Mary

    I sent you a query a couple of weeks ago through your submissions form. I was just wondering what your process was in replying and whether or not I should assume that you are declining to ask for further material if you do not reply within a certain time frame?

    Either way, thanks for taking the time to consider me.

    Kind regards

    Nick Binge

  • James G Kelly

    January 3, 2017 at 3:42 pm Reply

    Hello, Mary, I hope you are well. I’ll be pitching you in a workshop next Sunday and have a question if you don’t mind. I’m a life-long reporter and disabled Marine veteran writing an historical novel (trilogy) on my generation with a Navy nurse who served aboard the Hospital Ship Repose. My question is, should I bring the first couple of chapters to the workshop.

    Kindest regards,

    Jim Kelly

    • Mary C. Moore

      January 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Don’t bring them for me. If I like your pitch, I will request you to email me your submission and give you instructions on how to. However if the workshop has other classes where you can get feedback, then perhaps they could use the pages.
      In general agents don’t want any material when they are being pitched at conferences, it ends up in the recycle bin.


  • Jack Marshall

    January 3, 2017 at 10:12 am Reply

    Hi Mary,

    I think I have something that would interest you, but do you accept submissions from non U.S. writers? I am based in the UK.

    Kind Regards,


    • Mary C. Moore

      January 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm Reply

      Hi Jack, as long as it’s in English I will consider it. Cheers.

  • Kashya Smith

    November 2, 2016 at 6:46 am Reply

    Are you okay with post-apocalyptic? I know it says no dystopia, but would you consider those the same?

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 2, 2016 at 11:06 am Reply

      They are pretty close. I already have 3 clients who write post-apocalyptic/dystopian, so either is hard sell with me.

  • Roshoud Brown

    October 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply

    Hello Mary,

    I was very much surprised by your blog, more so when I discovered, without intending to, that I had read through every article in a single sitting.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Mary C. Moore

      November 2, 2016 at 11:07 am Reply

      Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  • Keith Chatterton

    September 1, 2016 at 11:45 am Reply

    Mary, I filled out your submission sheet, but was unable to get pass the “Author Website” field. I used my company’s, I own, website with no success.

    • Mary C. Moore

      September 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm Reply

      The author website field is not required, so you can leave it blank.

  • Jeffrey G. Roberts

    June 5, 2016 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Hello, Ms. Moore;
    I have 2 questions: One of your pages says you will be open to submissions on August 1st, and another one says September 1st. I want to do the right thing, but do not know which is the correct date?
    Also, will your submission form be back up, when submissions open? Because I could not find it.

    • Mary C. Moore

      June 5, 2016 at 11:31 pm Reply

      Hi, originally it was August 1st, but I realized I would be traveling out of the country for most of August, so I moved it back to September 1st. Sorry for the confusion.

      Yes the form will be available when I open again.

  • Christian

    February 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm Reply

    Do you only accept stories with female leads in them? And what if my story is a combination of genres you are looking for and a bit of some you are not interested in

    • Mary C. Moore

      February 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm Reply

      I do accept any gender leads. I simply tend to prefer female leads, but if the writing is solid, it doesn’t matter.

      As for your genre question, as long as the major genre is within what I represent I’m happy to consider.

      • David Mark Dannov

        April 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm Reply

        Mary, I’ve tried to find a way to email you my submission. I do not have a Twitter account so hopefully you have a regular email. email me your email if you feel more comfortable with this.

        • Mary C. Moore

          April 26, 2016 at 6:05 pm Reply

          Hi David, I am currently closed to submissions. When I am open, I don’t use email but rather a submission form. Please check back in September! Visit here for more information.

  • giora

    February 11, 2016 at 12:53 am Reply

    I submitted the one with the magical realism (mermaid) which fits better with your MSWL. The other one has a more realistic story and very different plot. Thanks for reading.

  • Giora

    February 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm Reply

    I write to you because your recent MSWL calls for Latino magical realism, by Latino author. Classic but Modern. And you prefer indigenous cultures and writing that glows. Sadly, I don;t have all of the above. What I have is two complete contemporary commercial YA novels set mostly in Mexico, where the main character is a 17-year-old chubby brown-skinned girl from the Maya indigenous people of Chiapas. One have magical realism with a story about a mermaid that joins the Mexican Police force to protect the main character. I’m not a Latino author. I can’t say that my writing glows. If that’s okay I can send you two queries with first pages about the two novels. Thanks for reading.

    • Mary C. Moore

      February 10, 2016 at 11:44 pm Reply

      Hi Giora, if you would like to submit, please fill out the submission form. And please only submit one at a time. Thanks!

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