Submissions

General Guidelines

If you would like to submit to Joëlle Delbourgo Associates, send an email directed to a specific agent (see “About Us” and choose either Joelle, Jacqueline Flynn, or Carrie Cantor), or to submissions@delbourgo.com.  Be aware that email does sometimes get stuck in spam filters.  Your query MUST include the word “QUERY” in the subject line or it will not be directed to the submissions queue and will not be considered.

We do not read unsolicited manuscripts, click on links, respond to queries that don’t meet our guidelines, or return proposals or manuscripts, even if we requested them.

Please note that queries are answered in the order in which they were received. Do not ask to jump the queue, as that would be unfair to everyone who queried before you. While we do our best to respond to each query, if you have not received a response in 60 days you may consider that a pass.  Please understand that time does not allow for personalized rejections or critiques of your work, nor are we able to return materials.  Please do not send us copies of self-published books unless requested.

We receive hundreds of queries.  Here are some pointers that will help your letter to receive our attention:

  • Write a polished letter. Please read our guidelines for writing a query letter
  • Address your letter to a specific agent at our agency (see “About Us”).
  • Include the word QUERY in your subject line
  • Clearly identify the genre or category of your proposed book.
  • Research your genre before querying. Your manuscript should comply with the conventions of your genre as closely as possible.
  • Provide a brief overview of the proposed book.
  • Tell us something about yourself, specifically about your qualifications to write your proposed book.  We are also interested in why you decided to write the book.  Let us know if you are a previously published author, and if so, what you have published.
  • Let us know if you are sending your query to us exclusively or if this is a multiple submission.
  • For nonfiction, let us know if a proposal and sample chapters are available.  If not, you should probably wait to send your query when you have a completed proposal.
  • For fiction and memoir, embed the FIRST 10 pages of manuscript into the e-mail after your query letter. Please no attachments. If we like your first pages, we may ask to see your synopsis and more manuscript. Both should be completed before you query us.
  • If we have requested a partial or full manuscript or a proposal, a gentle follow-up after 30 days is fine.

Some gently suggested don’ts:

  • Do not address your query:  “Dear Literary Agent” or send us what is a clearly a form letter.
  • Do not query more than one agent.
  • Do not send us a project in a genre that we do not handle (see below).
  • Do not cold call us, unless you were referred to us by a client or colleague in the industry.
  • Do not tell us that you are sending us our next bestseller.
  • Do not ask us to make an exception for you.
  • Do not send us gimmicks.
  • Don’t query your manuscript until it is in final, polished form
  • Do not ask us to return materials.  We will not mail back your proposal or manuscript even if you provide postage.
  • If you are abroad, do not send us a coupon for postage; in that instance, provide an email address, and we will contact you if we are interested.
  • Please no queries via Twitter or LinkedIn
  • Do not follow up on queries.

You may submit the following to us:

Fiction: fantasy (Jacquie only), middle-grade, mystery, new adult, science fiction (Jacquie only), thriller, young adult, upscale and/or quality commercial women’s fiction.

Non-fiction; biography, business and career, current events, health, history, memoir, narrative nonfiction, parenting, popular reference, psychology, popular culture, science

Do not send us: category romance, Westerns, early reader and picture books, and/or screenplays.