Historical fiction remains a wonderfully rich and diverse section of the market.
At the top, it comprises such stellar talents as the multi-prize winning Hilary Mantel. But it also includes the commercial talents of Kate Mosse and Phillipa Gregory, the bloodthirsty or thrilling talents of Conn Iggulden and Robert Harris, not to mention such weird and wonderful things as Victorian-inspired steampunk fantasies and even historical erotica.
All this suggests (correctly) that historical fiction is a vibrant, intelligent and lively genre but it also means that locating the right literary agent to handle your particular novel is potentially more complex than it would be if, say, you had just authored a simple police procedural. After all, the agent who represents Hilary Mantel might not be the right person to handle your steampunk fantasy. Mere interest in history isn’t enough of a connecting line.
That’s why when you have created a longlist of possible agents, you need to filter them. Try to find points of contact with individual agents. (Ah, that person represents my favourite authors, that one has an interest in all things Irish and my book is partially set in Dublin, etc., etc.) Those sorts of things give you subtle additions to your covering letter and may point to the kind of agent who will love your work.
AgentMatch and how to use it
AgentMatch provides a full list of every UK literary agent, with full details of what genres they’re interested in, and details on whether they’re seeking clients or not.
In short, if you’ve written a novel and you’re looking for an agent, then you’re in exactly the right place.
There are plenty of history-loving agents and you won’t want to approach them all. The best way to develop and refine your own shortlist of likely targets is to visit our page and use the search tools on the left to make your selection.
You can select by genre (e.g. historical) but you can also select by the agent’s level of experience, their appetite for new clients, and very much more. Our database is completely comprehensive and it’s really, really easy to create the searches you want.