Agent Irene Goodman Is Holding a Historical Fiction Pitch Contest

I am looking for brilliant new historical fiction, and am holding a pitch contest to find those hidden pearls. I currently represent historical fiction authors Sharyn McCrumb, Diane Haeger, Carrie Bebris, Amanda Elyot, newcomers Anne Barnhill and Juliet Grey, and many other New York Times bestselling authors.

Irene Goodman is the founder of
the Irene
Goodman Literary Agency


Here’s how it will work:

1. The event will start with pitches only. Please submit your pitch in the body of an e-mail to If you have a question, send it to this e-mail address, as well. Your pitch should consist of no more than 3-4 single-spaced paragraphs. It should include a brief plot description, the major characters, and the time period and setting. The final word count of the novel should be indicated.

The cutoff date for pitch submissions is July 1, 2011. If you want to submit after that, you must go through the regular channels of this agency. You will hear from me if I am interested. If you don’t hear anything by August 1, 2011, it means that your pitch wasn’t right for me. However, I will personally read all pitches submitted. I reserve the right not to read anything that is not submitted in the specified manner.

2. I will ask to see chapters on the pitches that I like. If I like the chapters, I will ask to see a complete manuscript. All submissions should be e-mailed. Winners will be announced on our agency website on August 15, 2011.

3. I am looking for anything set from the dawn of time to World War I. I will consider anything European, but especially England, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Some American settings will be considered, but the market is not currently favoring those, so selectivity is essential. A few Asian subjects might work, but again, selectivity will be crucial.

4. The book must be a novel based on real or fictional historical events. Time travel is okay, but other paranormal elements should be limited. Books set both in the present and in the past are okay.

5. The book must be completed, or in the final stages. If I ask to see it, it needs to be ready and edited.

6. Winners will be offered representation. There may be one winner, or multiple winners. (I have to reserve the right not to declare any winners, but I sincerely hope there will be at least one if not more than one!)

Our agency receives many thousands of queries every year. If we represent a book now or in the future that bears reasonable similarity to something you submit for this event, we cannot be responsible for the similarity. Good luck and I look forward to your pitches!



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