Monday, March 26, 2018

Three agents at Canadian literary agency the Helen Heller Agency seek adult and young adult fiction and nonfiction

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena,
represented by the Helen Heller Agency

The Helen Heller Agency
4 – 216 Heath Street West 
Toronto, ON  M5P 1N7  

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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 nonfiction, with clients at the top of the New York Times and London Sunday Times lists, including such authors as Kelley Armstrong and Linwood Barclay. (The agency also represents Corrinne Clark, who many Quick Brown Fox readers know from my classes in Georgetown.  ~Brian)
As a boutique agency, they “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

The newest member of the team is Barbara Berson.  Barbara 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 Young Adults min-conference on Saturday, April 21, along with Patricia Ocampo, Children's Books editor at Simon & Schuster, 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 Kelley Armstrong, who many Quick Brown Fox readers will know from Kelley's appearances as a guest speaker at Brian Henry’s workshops. Helen is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.
Query Helen at:
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.

Author Tanaz Bhathena
Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller Agency will be one of three guest speakers at the Writing for Children and for Young Adults mini-conference on Saturday, April 21, along with Simon & Schuster children’s editor Patricia Ocampo, and Young Adult author Tanaz Bhathena (see here).
If you’re interested in writing for children or young adults, you’ll also want to sign up for the Writing Kid Lit weekly class, Thursday evenings, April 18 – June 13, in Burlington, which will feature guest authors Jennifer Mook-Sang and Kira Vermond (see here).

Also in April, check out Writing Conflict: Fight scenes, Dialogue scenes & Love scenes, Saturday, April 7, in Midland (see here), Secrets of Writing a Page-Turner,  Sunday, April 8, in Sudbury (see here), and Writing With Style, Sunday, April 29, in Brampton (see here).
And don’t miss Writing Your Life on Saturday, May 5, in Burlington (see here), and Saturday, June 23, in Mississauga (see here) and Writing and Revising, Saturday, May 26, in Oakville (see here).

Also, starting very soon – a full range of weekly writing classes, from introductory to intensive and including Writing Personal Stories and Kid Lit. (Details of all 7 courses here):
Welcome to Creative Writing, Wednesday, afternoons, April 18 – June 13, in Burlington. See here
Writing Personal Stories, Friday afternoons, April 13 – June 8, in Toronto. See here.
Writing Kid Lit, Picture Books to Young Adult, Thursday evenings, April 12 – June 14, in Burlington. See here.
The Next Step in Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons,  April 12- June 14, at the Woodside Library in Oakville. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Friday mornings, April 6 – June 15, in Toronto. See here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, April 10 – June 11, in Burlington. See here. (Wait list only for this one.)
Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, April 11 – June 13, in Georgetown. See here. (Still lots of spaces in this one.)
          Details of all 7 courses here.

To reserve a spot in any workshop, retreat, or weekly course, email

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Navigation tips: Always check out the labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. Also, if you're searching for a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

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