|Yann Martel, one of Westwood's clients|
Westwood Creative Artists
94 Harbord Street
Toronto ON M5S 1G6
Westwood Creative Artists is the largest agency in Canada, representing more than 420 writers. Clients include Thomas King, Carol Shaben, Bill Gaston, Caroline Adderson, David Bergen, Marcello Di Cintio, Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Richard Wagamese, Yann Martel, Conrad Black, Barbara Gowdy, Rohinton Mistry, and M. G. Vassanji.
Westwood represents literary fiction, quality commercial fiction including mysteries and thrillers, nonfiction in the areas of memoir, history, biography, science, journalism and current events, and a limited range of practical non-fiction.
Agents look for authors with a mastery of language, a passionate, expert or original perspective on their subject, and a gift for storytelling.
Though Westwood takes on very few new clients, it does accept queries. See their full agent list here. But your best bet with this agency is probably with Carolyn Forde.
Carolyn Forde has been with Westwood since 2005. She represents over thirty authors including Trevor Cole, Lynn Crosbie, Sonia Day, Sylvia Fraser, Bill Gaston, Joel Thomas Hynes, Vincent Marcone, Mark Richardson, Manjushree Thapa, and the blogging duo Fiona Stevenson, Lyranda Martin-Evans, and Karma Brown.
She also represents some authors jointly with Bruce Westwood, the Founder, President and CEO of the agency.
Carolyn travels to New York regularly to further the interests of Westwood authors and has attended both the London and the Frankfurt book fairs.
Carolyn became a shareholder in the agency in 2010 and has a BA Hons in English Literature and History from Trent University, a Postgraduate Certificate in Publishing Sciences from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, and has attended the Simon Fraser University Publishing Intensive course in Vancouver.
She has lived and worked in Japan, Mexico and the Czech Republic, she is a dual citizen of Canada and the U K, and is on Twitter here.
Carolyn has wide-ranging tastes – from literary to commercial fiction, from serious narrative non-fiction to pop-culture and humour.
Include your credentials, a synopsis, and a short sample of no more than ten pages in the body of the email. No attachments.
Westwood will reject submissions clearly addressed to multiple agencies at the same time, unsolicited complete manuscripts, and submissions that are poorly presented. Westwood does not represent screenwriters, and its agents are not currently seeking poetry or children’s picture book submissions. In most cases, it is best if you approach WCA after you have accumulated some publishing credits.
"I'm passionate about finding new writers," says Bruce Westwood the agency’s founder. However, "Coming in cold and saying, 'I have just written a novel,' with no previous history is very, very difficult." Send stories to magazines, write articles – get your name out there before you approach an agent.
Full submission guidelines here.
Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Published” workshop with guest speaker Carly Watters of P.S. Literary agency in Georgetown on October 5 (see here)
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian will also lead “You need to write great dialogue” workshop in Toronto on Sept 28 (see here), and “How to Make your stories dramatic” workshops in London on Oct 19 (see here), in Kingston on Nov 16 (here), Orillia on Nov 23 (here), and in Brampton on Dec 7 (here).
To register, email email@example.com
But before you submit, the best way to get your manuscript into shape is with a weekly course. In January, Brian will lead a “Welcome to Creative Writing” on Tuesday evenings in Burlington (see here); a “Writing your life & other true stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington (here);"Next Step" courses on Thursday afternoons in Mississauga and Thursday evenings in Georgetown; and “Intensive” courses for more experienced writers on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington and Wednesday evenings in Mississauga.
For details or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.