Is it posssible to find a literary agent if I'm Egyptian but write in English?

Yostina 07/11/2018. 2 answers, 836 views
fiction novel agent publisher

Here is my situation:

I am Egyptian, my native language is Arabic but I don't want to write in Arabic I want to write in English. Would a literary agent from an English speaking country agree to work with me? especially that I live in Egypt? I don't think my story ideas are fit for my society so I don't think any native publisher from my country will accept them.

2 Answers


Amadeus 07/11/2018.

I see no reason why not; agents have no bias against foreign writers, they want good stories.

You seem to have a command of English, and you obviously have Internet access. The technical details of you getting paid (if the agent sells your work) is easily solvable, on our end at least (American), I don't think your country is sanctioned by us (sanctioned meaning trade or commerce is prohibited and against the law).

Many agents never meet in person with the writers they represent. Your biggest stumbling block that might influence a decision to publish is if you cannot travel (in the USA or in English speaking countries) to promote your work; but that is not a show stopper.

I would add a line in your query letter that you are a citizen living in Egypt. That's it. If the agent responds with a desire to see your work, you can reiterate that, and hope they have no problem with it.

On your end, I would research and have ready some standard means of legal payment from their country to your own, should you sell anything. e.g. bank transfer through some international bank with a presence in both countries.


robertcday 07/11/2018.

I spent some time in Oman and Kuwait this year and in Egypt a few years back and found the people to be extremely welcoming and lovely. When I look around York I see many people from other parts of the world - the Middle East included, who appear to be living peaceful and productive lives.

From my perspective, you would be welcome to come here, or write from Egypt and publish here as an author. There are no restrictions in terms of political embargos in place between the UK and Egypt, and certainly no cultural obstacles.

Both on my blog and in 'real life' I have many friends in just about every part of the world, including the Middle East, and can truthfully say that their stories are as interesting as any I've found in the English speaking world. In fact, the unique (for me) perspective of writers who produce stories stemming from cultures other than my own (here in England) lends them a special cachet.

Providing your written English is of a good standard (and I can see from your question that it is) and your stories are interesting and entertaining, there are no obstacles to a literary agent from a England agreeing to work with you.

Good luck with your writing.


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