Canterbury Literary Agency

The literary agency that treats writers like human beings

Welcome to Canterbury Literary Agency! Founded in 2011, we pride ourselves on being a literary agency devoted to the needs of writers. We welcome all kinds of submissions, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, collections of short stories and collections of poems. Our aim is to respond to all submissions in no more than two weeks. We will do all we can to give you the best chance of a literary career.

We believe in transparency and friendliness and we realise that, as a writer trying to get your literary career started, you may often feel the literary world is not very friendly to you; we will be friendly and positive and will do all we can to help you.

Also, we will get back to you. At a time when you are more likely to get an email reply from Charles Dickens than from most literary agencies, we aim to get back to you within two weeks. We reply to ALL emails we receive.

We are very well connected with publishers, we understand what needs to happen with a book to take it from a draft stage to being accepted by a publisher and we spare no effort for our writer clients.

How do I submit to Canterbury Literary Agency?

Please send the entire book, whether it’s a novel, a memoir, a collection of poetry or a collection of short stories or whatever it is, to Francesca Garratt whose email address is please include your phone number in the email.


A literary agency is a commercial organisation that sets out to sell novels to publishers. Many publishers nowadays do not accept submissions direct from authors and in effect many literary agencies are essentially gatekeepers working for publishers as a sort of initial way of identifying what books are strong enough to be sold to a mainstream publisher who will in most cases offer an advance.

On a purely commission basis. We don’t charge a reading fee, but if we place a book with a publisher we charge a commission of fifteen per cent for deals in the UK and twenty per cent for deals outside the UK and for other rights including but not limited to movie and TV rights, audio book rights, serialisation rights and so on.

Our main criterion is very simply whether we think we can sell the book to a publisher that pays advances. If we decide not to represent a book, it doesn’t by any means mean that we don’t think it’s a good book, just that we don’t believe we can easily sell it. It is easier to sell novels and narrative non-fiction – non-fiction books written in a narrative style – than it is to sell other kinds of books such as collections of poetry, memoirs and collections of short stories. However we do not set any limits to the genres that we consider.

Please send the entire book, whether it’s a novel, a memoir, a collection of poetry or a collection of short stories or whatever it is, to Francesca Garratt whose email address is

We tend to take no more than about two weeks. We know how important that decision is to you and we don’t like writers being kept in a state of suspense for longer than necessary.

Please ideally use the font Times New Roman 14 and please don’t use bold text anywhere in the book. If it’s a novel please can you make your main hierarchy of quotation marks single quotation marks and only use double quotation marks for quotations within quotations. Please note that a book must be one single file, we can’t accept submissions where different chapters are in different files, or short stories or poems in different files; everything must be in one file. We don’t have an upper word limit for submissions but if it’s a novel it needs to be at least 50,000 words long.

Please keep it fairly brief and to the point but do give us some information about your career as a writer to date and anything you’ve published so far. We’re always interested in our writers’ careers rather than just the book they’ve sent us.

Then please address them, like submissions, to Francesca Garratt at


Our People

Canterbury Literary Agency is run by: Francesca Garratt and Helen Komatsu. Helen is a highly experienced writer and literary agent and has been involved in the publishing industry for more than twenty years.

Francesca Garratt

I have a BA Honours degree in English and Law from Keele University and a PGCE from Canterbury Christchurch University. I worked as an HR Manager for twenty-five years including working for British Airways and for various national housing associations prior to becoming a teacher.

I taught English Literature and Language GCSE for Kent Adult Education, as well as Creative Writing and Literature Discussion from 2013 until April 2022. I teach creative writing classes online; edit books for both private customers and for The Conrad Press and I teach English as a foreign language.

Helen Komatsu

Helen has worked with the Canterbury Literary Agency since its inception in 2011.

Helen’s passion is for assisting talented new authors in getting their voices heard, and their stories published.

She is herself a published author, having written books for the Financial Times organisation, Pearson and Reuters and other well-respected publishing houses, and her journalism is published in national newspapers and magazines. She is also a multi-disciplinary artist, best known for her ceramic works.