Helen Heller

Literary Agent

The Helen Heller Agency

Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Please no more books with graphic violence against women or girls starting on page 1. Instant query turndown for me.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Also cold-calling to tell me your book will make me $$$$$$$ won't help either...
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Please check out the website first! If it says 'email queries only' it means just that. Cold-calling will not help.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Please don't start your query letter 'Dear Helen Keller'. It's not a good idea. I know it's an easy mistake to make...
#querytip
#queryfail

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Please don't write a book with a creepy crazy caricature-ish Islamist bad guy. Or if you do, please don't send it to me.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Also a Halloween #protip.
Don't send me the same ms under a different name. I won't like it any better the second time!
#querytip
#ghostnic

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

If you are querying multiple agents *make sure* you change the name on the 'dear so-and-so' bit of the letter.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

If I read about a slum kid in 1874 who says on Pg 2 she limps because of 'polio I had as a babby' I'm out. Get. It. Right
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Please don't call me on Friday afternoon and say 'wow I can't believe you answered your phone!' In fact please don't call me.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Also if you see me at a conference don't join me as I walk to the washroom and try to give me your ms. Yes this really happened.
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Do not try to Friend me on FB to get my attention. Honestly it won't work!
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

There is no such thing as a 'fiction novel'. 'Non-fiction novel' yes. (Thank you Truman Capote!) 'Fiction novel', no.
#querytip
#queryfail

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Check out the website FAQ for querying. We pay attention to those who pay attention to us. That means no phone queries!
#badidea
#querytip

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Don't start a query letter with 'what if'. That advice is out there. It's wrong. Tell me about you first!
#querytip
#instantdelete

Helen Heller
@helenheller
Literary Agent
Terrifyingly blunt expat Geordie literary agent who loves good writing, great stories & fashion.
35 Tips

Small but useful tip: make sure to spell the agent's name correctly. I know it sounds obvious...
#querytip