Mystery Literary Agents: Market Spotlight

Nearly every week, I spotlight a segment of the markets we list in the Writer’s Market books and on Since we have our fourth annual Writer’s Digest Mystery/Thriller online conference coming up soon, let’s look at a few mystery literary agents.


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Mystery Literary Agents

In a sense, most good stories contain hints of mystery, but mystery novels don’t hold back. Whether it’s a murder or a missing person, mysteries are out to find answers to essential questions through the use of clues, red herrings, and interesting characters. Here are three mystery literary agents open to submissions from new writers.

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Don Congdon Associates Inc. represents fiction and nonfiction. On their website, the agents say, “We are currently accepting queries from new and established authors via regular mail and e-mail.” Agents represent mysteries, crime fiction, psychological thrillers, and more. Potential authors should query first.

Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency is known for guiding the careers of many best-selling fiction and nonfiction authors, including Amy Tan, Lisa See, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chitra Divakaruni, Eric Foner, Marcus Rediker, and many more. The agents say, “Remember that publishing is a business. Do your research and present your project in as professional a way as possible. Only submit your work when you are confident that it is polished and ready for prime-time. Make yourself a part of the active writing community by getting stories and articles published, networking with other writers, and getting a good sense of where your work fits in the market.” Prospective authors should query with a 1-page synopsis, brief bio, and the first 10-15 manuscript pages.

Donald Maass Literary Agency specializes in all manner of novelists. The agency says, “We are fiction specialists, also noted for our innovative approach to career planning. We are always open to submissions from new writers.” Potential authors should query by e-mail with a short synopsis (1 to 2 pages) and first 5 manuscript pages.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market, blogging at Poetic Asides and the Writer’s Market blog, judging contests, scheduling online writing conferences, and so much more.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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