Saturday, May 14, 2022

Three agents at Canadian literary agency The Helen Heller Agency seek new authors

The Helen Heller Agency

216 Heath Street West, #4 
Toronto, ON  M5P 1N7   

Note: Don't ever miss what’s happening with Quick Brown Fox. If you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale to:   ~Brian

The Helen Heller Agency is known on both sides of the Atlantic as a key agency, but as a small, boutique agency, it prides itself on maintaining direct and accessible relationships with their authors. The titles they represent include multiple New York Times, UK Sunday Times, and Globe and Mail #1 bestsellers; 5 Richard and Judy Picks, and twice they’ve represented the top-selling novel of the year in the UK. 

Internationally, the agency represents major best sellers in numerous languages, and many of their titles have been optioned for film and TV. Authors include Linwood Barclay, Shari Lapena, and Corrinne Clark (who many Quick Brown Fox readers know from my classes in Georgetown and author readings I’ve organized.  ~Brian).

All three agents at the Helen Heller Agency are open to queries:

Barbara Berson specializes in fiction – adult, YA and middle grade – and narrative nonfiction. She has a deep editorial background in the publishing industry, including ten years at Penguin Canada as senior fiction editor and children’s publisher. 

She has served as Jury Chair for the Canadian Jewish Book Awards and the Sunburst Awards for Literature of the Fantastic. In 2016, she was honored by Editors Canada as a finalist for the Tom Fairley Award for editorial excellence. 

In addition to agenting, she maintains a small editorial practice. 

Query Barbara at:  

Note: Barbara will be the guest speakers at the Online How to Get Published workshop on Sunday, June 12. Details here.

Helen Heller worked in senior positions at various publishers before opening her agency. Widely recognized as a top tier agent for thrillers and major front-list fiction, Helen is always open to books that meet the sweet spot of commercially successful literary fiction, and is of the strong belief that popular fiction can have serious literary quality. 

Helen loves to work with new voices, and in addition to thrillers she is always ready to look at historical, domestic, and contemporary novels with a strong story arc.

Helen does not represent high fantasy, science fiction, dystopian or juvenile fiction. She is, however,  open to a good ghost story!

Helen is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Follow her on Twitter here.

Query Helen at:

Sarah Heller has developed a list of New York Times and international bestsellers. She specializes in establishing new authors, with a focus on front list middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, with an emphasis in working editorially with her authors. 

Prior to joining the agency, Sarah worked in advertising design and copywriting; she also founded and continues to run Traverse Press, a digital Press division of the Agency.

Sarah is open to all genres if there is a strong narrative and relatable voice, and is hightly experienced in working with authors at all stages of their careers.

Query Sarah at:

Full submission guidelines here.

Kids Can senior editor Patricia Ocampo

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to Get Published workshop Sunday, June 12, with Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller agency. Details here.

Note: I will be offering a one-day kid lit workshop Saturday, July 16, with Patricia Ocampo, senior editor of Kids Can Press. See here.
And in the fall, I'll again be offering a weekly kid lit class. Once this course is posted, you’ll find it here and just scroll down for all upcoming Kid Lit courses or one-day workshops.

Beyond that, my schedule continues to take shape….


Online: Beginning Right: How to Start Your Novel, Sunday, May 15. Details here.

Online: How to Write Great Dialogue,  Sunday, June 26. Details here.

Weekly classes:

Online: Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday mornings, 10 a.m. – 12 noon; July 6 – August 24. Details here.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., July 7 – Aug 25. Details here

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.; July 6 – August 24. Details here.

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Thursday mornings, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., July 7 – Aug 25. Details here.

Writing retreats:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, June 3 – June 6, 2022. Details here(Wait list only.) 

Summer in Algonquin: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines  Resort, July 8 – July 11, 2022. Details here(Wait list only.) 

Muskoka Writing Retreat at Sherwood Inn, Friday, Oct 14 – Monday Oct 17, 2022. Details hereMark your calendars and reserve early before it fills up! 

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. If you're searching for more interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

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