Helfa Literary Agency is a thief and a cheat

Something disappointing happened to me today:
I learned that my European agent is a thief and a liar.

Iza Garztecka, proprietor of Helfa Literary Agency, sold translation rights to my novel to a Polish publisher.

In October 2005 she took the money on my behalf and lied for over a year that Publisher did not pay.

Then she closed shop, even went so far as sending me information through a third person saying that she died... along with all her debts. It was, of course, a lie.

Iza Garztecka robbed me. She is a thief.
Contact me if you are an author, agent or a publisher and want more information or have been robbed by her too.

Be aware of this cheat.

Addresses this agency was/is using:

Helfa Literary Agency
Agencja Literacka Helfa
Halina Jablonowska-Garztecka (Iza Garztecka)
Aleje Jerozolimskie 198f m 5
02-486 Warszawa
Aleje Jerozolimskie 195 m 5
02-486 Warsaw , Poland
Zielna 45/90
01-108 Warszawa, Poland
Grojecka 28/30 m.23
02-308 Warszawa, Poland
Telephone numbers:

+48 (22) 620 55 15

+48 (22) 817 35 50

cell phone: +48 509 464 787


  1. You may want to report this to Preditors at [...]. Andrea

  2. Thanks Andrea, I did. It's good to have that site for this purpose.

  3. I'm a British agent and was also caught by Helfa who sold several books for me, made excuses for delaying payment and then disappeared. The son has been trying to set up his own literary agency. Andrew Lownie


    I am sorry to hear it. My case is being handled by a repo company, and I suggest the same for you. It was a long and complicated process to even find out what options are open to me, and the answer from various sources, including lawyers, was to hire a repo company before engaging attorneys. Contact me directly if you want to proceed and I'll forward you to the company that is handling my case. This process is call WINDYKACJA.

  4. I was ripped off by Iza Garztecka this year. She represented four of my books to a polish publisher who has now published my books in Polish. My agent has been unable to recover our money. He continues to pursue this but currently without success.


    If your case is still unresolved you are welcome to contact me directly and I'll direct you to the repo company that is representing me. I found from a variety of sources that it is the best way to go after your money in Poland.

  5. Robert Golebiewski12 February 2008 at 15:14

    I have placed my comment in some other area of this website. I was also robbed by her in a way you might call in financial language "estimated income". I aproached her as a publisher to be and comissioned her with finding for me Sven Hassel's copyright. I wanted to publish his books in Poland. It was some 3 years ago. I explained her the target, printrun and advertising treating her as business partner. She had lots of problems with getting me these rights. To my surprise I saw Sven Hassels books published by her with Garztecki's translation.
    I lost trust in any agents.
    Since I run profitable technical translation agency and I have my pwn printing house I decided to publish my stories myself. I think of going to Frankfurt this year to get some contacts but I believe I would prefer to work directly.
    There is something wrong with the general literary agency trade since she and her sone are still in business! It is shocking! In normal circumstances her name should be deleted from any business contact books. Something like civil death.

  6. Folks,

    Anyone who is ripped off by this thief should contact the accounting department / editors at the house that published their book(s). Demand that all correspondence regarding you and your work be sent directly to you.
    If you were published by BELLONA the contact is:
    ULA KULINSKA ukulinska(AT)bellona(DOT)pl - Ula speaks English and serves as the main foreign contacts person.

    Below is a sample letter in Polish. Fill the spaces accordingly and send off to the publishers.

    Szanowni Panstwo,

    Nazywam sie (YOUR NAME) i jestem autorem (BOOK TITLE) wydanej przez (POLISH PUBLISHING HOUSE) za posrednictwem Agencji Literackiej HELFA - Iza Garztecka.
    Iza Garztecka przywlaszczyla sobie nalezna mi zaliczke, w zwiazku z czym prosze aby wszelka korespondencja dotyczaca mojej ksiazki i mnie przesylana byla bezposrednio do mnie.

    Z powazaniem,