Friday, March 11, 2016

Canadian literary agent Rachel Letofsky seeks middle grade and YA fiction, plus literary fiction and memoir

Dean Cooke
The Cooke Agency
320 Front Street West, 
Suite 1105
Toronto, Ontario

The Cooke Agency was established in 1992 by Dean Cooke, who operated for several years as the sole literary agent and employee. Twenty years later, the agency employs seven full-time employees and sells to publishers around the world. In 2007 the company merged with The Harding Agency of Vancouver and is now co-owned by Vancouver-based literary agent Sally Harding, and The Cooke Agency’s founding owner, Dean Cooke.

Sally Harding
The Cooke Agency represents more than one hundred writers, including award-winning and best-selling authors, such as John Irving, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Catherine Gildiner, Mary Novik, Nancy Richler, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Joyce Wayne. The Cooke Agency’s clients are routinely long-listed, short-listed and awarded prizes for the high quality of their work.

The agency represents literary and commercial fiction (including science fiction, fantasy and crime); narrative-driven nonfiction in the areas of health and well-being, popular culture, science, history, natural history, politics, and personal reference; and young adult and children's books. The agency does not represent poetry, picture books, or screenplays.

Rachel Letofsky
At the Cooke Agency, Rachel Letofsky is actively seeking new authors.  She wants ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and young adult titles in all genres. She is drawn to works with a whimsical nature or a grounded, gritty edge in equal measure, though in either instance, unforgettable characters and original concepts are a must.

She also has a natural soft-spot for exquisite literary fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs and anything quirky and life affirming. Rachel is particularly committed to working with previously unpublished authors in a focused, collaborative and hands-on manner.

Rachel's clients include  middle grade authors Nikki Vogel and Deirdre Baker, author of the beloved book, Becca at Sea, published by Groundwood, and the young adult author Janice Lynn Mather, author of Learning to Breathe, which was nominated for the HaperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize. She also represents multiple award-winning poet and novelist Méira Cook – whose new novel Night Watching was published by HarperCollins Canada in 2015; Kim Gaal, a fresh voice in urban fantasy from Australia, and Erin Frances Fisher, whose short story “Girl” won this year’s RBC Bronwen Wallace award and is currently available for free download from iTunes (you should read it!).

On Saturday, April 2, Rachel will be Brian Henry’s guest speaker at the Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop in Barrie (details here).

Queries to The Cooke Agency should be directed to Elizabeth Griffin at:
Address the query itself to Rachel (or to whichever agent you think is most suitable). In the subject line, you must include "Author Query" to get around the spam filter. Also include your name and the title of your work.

Author Alan Cumyn
Brian Henry will also lead Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops 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  Writing With Style, Saturday, March 12, in Oakville (see here), Writing Your Life, Saturday, March 16, in Caledon (see here) and Saturday, April 16 in London (see here).

Also, Brian will be part of the Windsor International Writers’ Festival May 5 – 8, where he’ll be leading Writing Query Letters that Get a Yes and a Query Letter Clinic (see here). And Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12, Brian will lead a Writer’s Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park (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. This spring, Brian will be offering a full range of courses from beginners to more experienced. See details of all six classes starting this spring here.
Spring is coming
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, April 19 – June 21, in Burlington (see here)
“Writing Personal Stories,” Wednesday mornings, April 27 – June 15, in Mississauga (see here)
“Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, April 13 – June 15, 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 16, in Georgetown (see here
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, March 30 – June 15, in Burlington

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. 

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