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.

  • It seems that you have two intersected dilemmas here: language and society–governance. Which is more important? Your question itself focuses on society, but have you considered the avenue of publishing in another country and in Arabic (عَرَبِيّ‎‎)? It might help if you share with us your reasons for preferring to write and publish in English rather than Arabic — not that it seems you have a poor grip on a non-native language, of course. Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 1:38
  • @can-ned_food Actually, I don't like my native language, I cannot express myself well in Arabic, I express myself way much better in English.
    – Yostina
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 16:11
  • Ah. So, exactly what you already told us. :-) I read it as saying ‘i want to write in english --> i want to publish outside Egypt + most Egyptians wouldn't like the ideas anyway’ Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 11:17
  • @can-ned_food well, I meant all that :)
    – Yostina
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


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.


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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