China Literary Agencies

With a population of over 1.3 billion living in 9.6 million square kilometres, China is the world's most populous country and the second largest by land area on the planet. Consequently, those born with a creative writing talent, have an immediate market without ever having to sell a book internationally.

These writers can also take pride in developing their skills in the country that invented woodblock printing and movable type printing. China was not just fascinated with story but how best to print it to earn the widest readership possible. The early exponents of prose and poetry flourished even more as written text gave them a louder voice. But fiction was slower to emerge. China was a country built on history, politics, military science, philosophy, astronomy, and religion. As a result, non-fiction was China's most popular outlet. Even today, one of those books from the 6th century BC, is as widely read, referenced, and studied as it was over a thousand years ago: The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Whereas fiction in the form recognisable to the modern world did not begin to emerge in China until the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty.

After the collapse of the dynasties in the early 20th century, the voice of literature in China broadened with love stories and female writers sharing the stage with the traditional stories of social conflicts.

By 1930 the League of Left-Wing Writers launched by the Communist Party of China, who themselves were founded nine years earlier, enabled novels to be used to spread the political message of communism. After coming to power in 1949 they took this literary control to a whole new level: they nationalised the publishing industry and censored all writers. Today, China's state-run General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) monitors, censors and bans any book or electronic work they choose. Moreover, it is illegal for any publisher to operate without being licensed by the GAPP. This has not stopped the thousands of underground publishers from trying to publish works free from government control. But to deter them, the Chinese government regularly holds public book burnings as a warning to those trying to write outside of the political system. Nevertheless, the competition between the state-sectioned publishers and the underground ones has seen China become the largest publisher of books in the world.

These books are often published without a literary agency being involved. The fact that a writing income can be so low in a Communist state, except for the established authors, means that many aspiring writers simply cannot afford to be represented by a literary agent who will further eat into their small slice. Consequently, the first stand-alone literary agency was not even founded until 1987. It is more common for publishing houses to offer representation for its authors than to allow them to be represented by an agency outside of their control. However, in recent years, more agencies have emerged that are seeking to change the agency model in China and if anything bring Western literature in and sell Chinese literature to the world.

Below is a list of some of these agencies, and this initial list will grow throughout the year. The majority of these agencies do not have Twitter accounts as Twitter, like all social media platforms along with search engines like Google, are all blocked in China. However, some get round this situation by tweeting from their offices based outside of China.

If you are unsure of any of the genre and sub-genre categories, a guide to the definitions can be found here.

To view any of the agency websites, send them an e-mail, or follow them on Twitter, simply click on the relevant links provided.


Asia Literary Agency

The agency is based in Hong Kong.

Genres: Fiction | Non-Fiction

E-mail submissions only:

*The agency is currently closed to unsolicited manuscripts*


Big Apple Agency, Inc 

The agency is based in Shanghai.

Genres: Fiction | Non-Fiction

E-mail submissions only: Agent specified.

Address to Maggie, Lily, Wanda, or Chris and the query will be based to a suitable agent.


Maggie Han: 

Lily Chen:


Wanda Chou:


Chris Lin:

Query letter only.

Founded in 1987, they are the oldest literary agency in mainland China.

The agency also has offices in Beijing and Taipei.


Changjiang Literature and Arts Publishing House

They are based in Wuhan.

Genres: Fiction | YA | Non-Fiction

E-mail submissions only:

Query letter only.

*Founded in 1955, they are predominately a publishing company that offers representation for its authors"

They also have offices in Beijing and Shanghai.


Dakai Agency 

The agency is based in Beijing.

Genres: Fiction | Children's Books | Non-Fiction

E-mail submissions only:

*The agency handles translation rights and is not open to unsolicited manuscripts*

As well as Chinese literature the agency also works with French translations.


Peony Literary Agency

The agency is based in Hong Kong.

Genres: Fiction | Graphic Novels | Non-Fiction

Does not represent: Children's Books.

E-mail submissions only:

Address to one agent only:

Marysia Juszczakiewicz: Fiction | Graphic Novels | Non-Fiction

Tina Chou: Fiction | Graphic Novels | Non-Fiction

Julia Chen: Fiction | Graphic Novels | Non-Fiction

Fiction: Query letter, synopsis, bio, and the full manuscript as a Word or PDF attachment.

Non-Fiction: Query letter, full proposal and a bio.

Twitter: @MarysiaPeony


Watchman Agency

The agency is based in Hong Kong.

Genres: Fiction | Illustrators | Non-Fiction

E-mail submissions only:

Address to 'Submissions' and query will be passed to a suitable agent.

Fiction: Query letter, and the first 5 chapters. Both as Word Document attachments.

Non-Fiction: Query letter, bio, one paragraph synopsis for each chapter, and the first 2 chapters. All as Word document attachments.

Illustrators: A low-res PDF dummy or sample layouts, otherwise 10-15 medium res photos with captions. Send images by pasting link from SendSpace or a similar FTP email service into the message.

All written text must be Times New Roman, point 12, and double-spaced.


Zui Book Company

They are based in Shanghai.

Genres: Fiction | Comics | Manga | YA

E-mail submissions only:

Address to 'Submissions' and the company will review.

Query letter only.

They also produce the monthly magazine Zui Novel which has a circulation of 500K.

Only founded in 2008 they are predominately a publishing company that also offers representation for its authors. Most of these authors are young as the focus is on the teen market. Zui are often responsible for the majority of books on China's best-sellers list.

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