Hello, I am Gordon


Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Foreword Literary, bringing years of experience as a senior literary agent, marketing director and editor for independent publishers, freelance publishing consultant, and college-level writing tutor. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide. He is an honors graduate of CSUS with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing.

With a zest for fresh, new voices and a deep love of the classics, Gordon actively seeks out both the timely and the timeless. In that spirit, he establishes involved, long-term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres.

A note from Gordon on submissions:

Please query via email at querygordon@forewordliterary.com or in person at any of the conferences listed. Queries via paper mail will be referred to Homeland Security. And though I would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter, unsolicited submissions via either of those will get you deleted without notice.

My response time is usually between one minute and 8 weeks. Due to the volume of submissions, I can not offer lengthy responses or detailed critiques outlining why your work was not selected.

For information on how to write a book proposal, read The Foreword Literary Guide.


Non-fiction comprises most of my list. I’m looking for projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. I prefer to work with socially-responsible books that raise new issues or illuminate common issues in new ways. I love books with strong charity tie-ins and celebrities coming together to promote a good cause on a large scale. For memoir, please paste in the first chapter below your query. For all other genres, please email your query letter only. Unsolicited attachments and links will not be opened. The genres I consider include the following:

• Memoir (Adult, New Adult, YA, Graphic)
• Cookbooks and Food Studies
• Political and Current Events
• Pop-Science
• Pop-Culture (also punk culture and geek culture)
• Self-Help
• How-To
• Humor
• Pets
• Business and Career

Some of my favorites are: The Glass Castle, The New Brooklyn Cookbook, What to Drink with What You Eat, Barolo, Drinking at the Movies, and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.


Since fiction is a much smaller portion of my list, a novel really has to grab me from the first page and not let go until I finish it at 4 AM. This is most likely to happen with realistic, younger adult or older YA set in the present day. Plot is very important, as is voice. I am not a big fan of paranormal or SF/F, so please, no vampires, zombies, werewolves, angels, chupacabras, etc. Novels must be completed, polished and between 55,000 and 100,000 words long. Please paste in the first chapter below your query. Unsolicited attachments and links will not be opened. The genres I consider include the following:

• High-Concept Commercial Fiction
• Literary Fiction
• New Adult
• Contemporary YA (Think Kristin Elizabeth Clark and Jay Asher, not Stephenie Meyer)
• Graphic Novels (I especially enjoy Contemporary YA)

Some of my favorites are: Super Sad True Love Story, The Garden of Eden, This Is How You Lose Her, But I Love Him, Freakboy, and We the Animals.

Not looking for:

• Religious Fiction
• Genre Fiction (Western, Romance, Sci-Fi)
• Satire
• Legal Thrillers
• New Age
• Children’s and MG
• Novellas
• Screenplays
• Collections of essays, short fiction, or poetry