Monday, January 25, 2016

Former Penguin senior editor Barbara Berson joins Helen Heller Literary Agency seeks literary and YA fiction and narrative nonfiction; two other agents at HH also seek new authors

The Helen Heller Agency
253 Eglinton Ave W. Suite 202 
Toronto, ON  M4R 1B1

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to: ~ Brian

The Helen Heller Agency describes itself as a full service boutique literary agency specializing in internationally successful front-list adult and young adult fiction and non-fiction, with clients at the top of the New York Times and London Sunday Times lists. As a boutique agency, we are proud to be able to maintain strong relationships and work closely with our authors at all stages of the publishing process. You can follow the agency on Twitter @TheHHAgency

Barbara Berson has been an editor for the past 30 years, first in her native New York, then in Toronto, where she was most recently a senior editor with Penguin Canada, one of Canada’s premier general publishers. Barbara has worked with both established and emerging authors of literary fiction, nonfiction, and young adult books. Her authors have been the recipients of numerous prizes, including the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

“I’m looking for literary and YA fiction, as well as narrative non-fiction,” says Barbara. “What I mean by literary fiction is a great story, excellently told. My taste has always been somewhat eclectic, but defined consistently by strong writing, authentic characters, thematic ambition, and a deep engagement, even inventiveness in story form and in story itself.  The brilliant writer Zsuszi Gartner said something that stayed with me, to the effect that how one tells the story becomes the story itself.

“I’m keen as well on YA fiction – dark, funny, energetic, compelling, and narrative non-fiction too.”

Query Barbara at:
Put it to Barbara’s attention and include a short sample of your work. No attachments.

Note: Barbara will be one of three guest speakers at the Writing for Children & for Yong Adults min-conference on Saturday, April 21, along with Patricia Ocampo, Children's Books editor at Simon & Schustur, and Young Adult author Tanaz Bhathena. (Details here)
The two other agents at the agency are also accepting new authors: agency founder Helen Heller and her daughter Sarah Heller, who specializes in establishing new authors…

Helen Heller has spent her career in publishing and specializes in thrillers and major front-list fiction. She likes a big story well told and handles a number of internationally bestselling and multiple-award-winning authors. 

One of Helen’s bestselling authors is Kelly Armstrong, who many Quick Brown Fox readers will know from Kelly's appearances as a guest speaker at Brian Henry’s workshops. Helen is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Include a short sample of your work. No attachments.

Sarah Heller has developed an internationally and New York Times bestselling list. She specializes in establishing new authors with a focus on front list commercial YA and adult fiction, with a particular interest in high concept historical fiction. Sarah received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and is a graduate of the Advertising program of the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Query Sarah at:
Include a short sample of your work. No attachments.

Full submission guidelines here.

Brian Henry will lead How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Feb 20, in Kitchener, with literary agent Olga Filina of The Rights Factory (see here) and on Saturday, Feb 27, in Brampton with Martha Webb of the McDermid Agency (see here), and From the Horse's Mouth ~ Strategies for Getting Published on Saturday, June 18, with Barbara Berson of Helen Heller Agency, Michael Mirolla, publisher Guernica Editions and Bhavna Chauhan, editor, Penguin Random House Canada, at Ryerson University in Toronto (see here).

Also, Brian will lead Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops on Saturday, March 5, in Burlington, with literary agent Monica Pacheco and author Jennifer Mook-Sang (see here), on Saturday, Apr 2, in Barrie, with literary agent Rachel Letofsky (see here), on Saturday, April 30, in Guelph, with Yasemin Uçar, senior editor, Kids Can Press and authors Jennifer Mook-Sang and Kira Vermond (see here), and Sunday, May 29, in Ottawa with acclaimed author Alan Cumyn (see here).

Other upcoming workshops include How to Build Your Story, Saturday, Jan 30, in Toronto (see here), Writing With Style, Saturday, March 12, in Oakville (see here), and Writing Your Life, Saturday, March 16, in Caledon (see here).

For more information or to register, email:

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. Two classes starting this winter still have space:
Welcome to Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – March 31, (no class March 17), in Burlington. (See details of this class here.)
Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday afternoons, Feb 2 – March 29, (no class March 15) in Burlington (see here.)

In the spring, Brian will again be offering a full range of courses from beginners to more experienced. See details of all six classes starting this spring here.
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, April 19 – June 21, in Burlington (see here)
“Writing Personal Stories,” Wednesday mornings, April 27 – June 15, in Mississauga
“Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, April 13  June, in Burlington (see here)
“Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, April 21  June 23, in Oakville (see here)
“Intermediate Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, April 14  June 23, in Georgetown (see here)
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, March 30  June 15, in Burlington

For information about spring courses, or to reserve a spot, email:

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.
To register or for more information for any class or workshop, email:

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to: ~ Brian

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