How to Submit

Query FAQ
Manuscript Submissions
Illustrator Information

Submission Guidelines


Dunham Literary accepts query letters. We request any and all projects that might be right for us. If you would like a response, please enclose the customary, self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot respond without that envelope. Please do not send manuscripts unless they are requested. It generally takes between three and seven business days from the time we receive them for query letters to be read and the response to be mailed.

At Dunham Literary query letters are read directly by the agents who might be interested in the projects. 

Please do not send query letters by email or fax.

We do not charge a reading fee.

A query letter is an initial contact with a literary agent to see if that agent would like to read more of a writer's work. It's a fast way to see if it's worth your time and money in sending a longer submission. It's faster and easier for us too. We've found that the best query letters include an opening line stating the purpose of the letter and how you found out about us, a paragraph describing the manuscript including a few sentences about the plot and a sentence or two about the themes, and a paragraph describing the author's credentials.

Many people honor our request for query letters first. A few people try to send a partial or whole manuscript without sending a query letter first. Hey, come on, there are a few things in life you just shouldn't do. Don't steal candy from babies, don't cut the line when everyone else has been waiting an hour, don't run while holding scissors, and don't drink and drive. Other agencies have different policies, but this is how we like to do it. It's harder for us to track and read submissions if we don't receive them this way.

Be brief. Please keep it to one page if at all possible.
Don't forget an envelope for our response (pre-stamped, pre-addressed to you)
Don't send headshots or other unnecessary items. (You don't need to look like Harrison Ford or Julia Roberts to catch our attention.)
Don't send candy or other gifts as bribes. (Honestly, we do read those letters.)
You do not need to employ an agent to find the right agent for you. 
Don't call or fax to ask if we're still accepting query letters or new clients. If we weren't, you'd be reading it here.
Don't call to follow up on the query letter you sent.

It's always nice to know how you found out about our company. If you found out from a book, please give us the title. If a friend recommended us, please tell us the person's name. You don't have to do this. But it helps us to know. 

If you attended a conference where you met or heard Jennie Dunham speak, we encourage you to send a query letter. Please mention the specific conference where you met or heard her in the first paragraph of your query letter. Please don't say you attended a conference you didn't go to. We take lists of attendees home with us so that we can check, and fudging the truth  sure isn't a great way to start a relationship.

Types of Projects Dunham Literary represents.

We have three areas of specialty.

Literary Fiction and Non-Fiction

Alternative Spirituality

Children's Books 

We tend towards literary, character-driven writing rather than  to mass-market, commercial style of writing. Sometimes we handle clients who write other types of books, but we do so less frequently. 

We are not currently looking for any alternative spirituality projects.


Types of Projects Dunham Literary does not represent. (Save money, don't waste your postage.)

Poetry (for adults)




Individual short stories and articles


A few reminders (based on experience).

It's hard to put the reply in the envelope if it's already licked and sealed. (SASE does not stand for self-addressed, sealed envelope.)
If you put Dunham Literary's address on that envelope, the mailwoman will send it to us, not to you.
If you forget your postage, the mailman will tell you that he doesn't work for free. If he gets around to telling you that.
If you send postage and a mailing label without an envelope, the mailwoman will lose the response.
If the envelope is too small, it's impossible to put the material in it.

                                               We hope this list provides humor as well as useful information.