Thursday, April 18, 2024

Canadian literary agency CookeMcDermid has six agents looking for new authors

Daughter by Claudia Dey
represented by CookeMcDermid

CookeMcDermid Literary Management

219 Dufferin Street
Unit 208B
, Ontario

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CookeMcDermid was created in 2017 by the amalgamation of two preeminent Canadian agencies, The Cooke Agency and The McDermid Agency.

CookeMcDermid is a full-service literary agency, representing authors in Canada, the U.S., and throughout the world. The agency represents literary, commercial and speculative fiction, a broad range of nonfiction, and middle-grade and young adult books. These books have been adapted into major motion pictures and translated into more than 60 languages.

CookeMcDermid sells directly into Canada, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and India and sells translation rights in conjunction with 35 co-agents around the world. CookeMecDermid also has an in-house film/tv division that sells these rights directly or works with associates to do so.

Six of the nine agents with CookeMcDermid are seeking new authors:

Ron Eckell is a literary agent and co-owner of CookeMcDermid. A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing program and a twenty-nine-year veteran of Canadian publishing, Ron worked with Penguin Canada, Westwood Creative Artists, and Random House of Canada before joining CookeMcDermid in 2009. He also co-owned Cooke International, an agency specializing in foreign rights management for a diverse group of publishing clients, until the end of 2021. 

Ron’s client list at CookeMcDermid includes international bestselling author, RUSH bassist, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Geddy Lee, culture writer, broadcaster and bestselling author Scaachi Koul, CBC Radio columnist, writer, broadcaster and producer Jesse Wente, horror writers Michael Wehunt and Adam Pottle and the Women’s Prize longlisted author Alicia Elliott.

Ron is a former president and current member of PACLA (the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents) and you can find him on Twitter @roneckel and on Instagram at @eckelron.

Ron is particularly drawn to dark fiction, both commercial and literary, in the areas of horror, science fiction and fantasy, suspense, and psychological thrillers that terrify.

He is also seeking story-driven narrative nonfiction in the areas of pop culture, music, sports, pop science, and story-driven current affairs that start conversations.

In both fiction and nonfiction, he wants strong, unique voices that have a compelling, engaging story to tell.

Query Ron through his Query Manager here.

Note: If you’re interested in getting published, come to our in-person “How to Get Published” workshop in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. Learn how it all works and get some help with your query letter. Details here.

Rachel Letofsky joined the agency in 2010, and specializes in children’s literature (middle-grade and YA, fiction and nonfiction), narrative driven nonfiction, and literary, commercial, contemporary and historical fiction for adults.

Her clients include National and International bestsellers, and nominees and winners for many prestigious awards. She frequently travels throughout North America to writers’ festivals and literary events to moderate panels, take part in quick-pitch sessions, and host workshops for authors. 

When not travelling or reading for pleasure or work, Rachel loves spending time with her family, going on hikes, inventing new recipes under the strict supervision of her cats, Mimsy and Frodo, listening to true-crime podcasts, planning for the upcoming alien/zombie invasion, and swimming in lakes and oceans as much as possible. She is on Twitter at @rachelletofsky.

Rachel is actively seeking ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and YA 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.

Rachel also has a natural soft spot for exquisite literary fiction, and thought-provoking, high-concept speculative fiction.

In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs and anything quirky, life affirming or mind blowing.

Specifically, Rachel is seeking Middle Grade & Young Adult Fiction and nonfiction (but not prescriptive nonfiction).

For adults, she’s looking for Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.

She also wants Narrative nonfiction or Essay-driven nonfiction in the areas of politics, pop culture, true crime, humour, personal history

Query Rachel through her Query Manager here.

Note: If you’re interested in writing kid lit, don’t miss our upcoming online “Writing for Children and for Young Adults” workshop with Erin O’Connor, senior editor at Scholastic Books, Saturday, June 15. Details here.

Also, this summer, we’ll offer an online “Writing Little Kid Lit” course on Wednesday evenings, July 3 through August 14. Details here.

Hana El Niwairi is a literary agent and the Rights Manager at CookeMcDermid. She leads the rights team in representing the works of agency authors outside of North America: in Asia, Europe, the UK, and more. Since 2017, Hana and her team have placed agency books into over 50 territories around the globe. 

Prior to joining the publishing industry, she worked in the non-profit, arts, and culture sectors with organizations such as the Book and Periodical Council, Culture Days, and Paprika Festival. She is a graduate of Humber College's Arts Administration and Cultural Management program and holds an Honours BA (Specialization in Creative Writing and English Literature with a Major in Psychology) from Western University. Outside of her role at the agency, Hana is also one of the co-founders of BIPOC of Publishing in Canada.

Hana's tastes are eclectic and she reads widely across genres. She’s drawn to character-driven stories, featuring morally grey protagonists, “difficult” women, and commercial fiction written by and about marginalized communities.

Additionally, in her (somewhat futile) pursuit to learn everything, ever, Hana is an avid reader of nonfiction, particularly politics, social science, media criticism, science, and history. She is keenly interested in nonfiction exploring systemic issues and how they play out in the day-to-day lives of the average person.

Specifically, in fiction, Hana is seeking Science Fiction & Fantasy (adult and YA), Romance: works in the vein of Emily Henry's Beach Read or Mia Sosa's The Worst Best Man, Book Club fiction, and Thrillers

For nonfiction, Hana wants well-researched projects in various topics including but not limited to: politics, social justice issues, pop culture and media, sciences, and history.

Examples of her recent favourites include: Elaine Castillo’s How to Read Now, Ethan Cross’s Chatter, Johnny Pitts’s Afropean, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein’s The Disordered Cosmos

Query Hana through her Query Manager here.

Suzanne Brandreth is a co-owner of CookeMcDermid and a hands-on agent who works with her clients to help them turn their ideas and books into conversation-shifting, enduring commercial successes. Her clients’ books have been published across the globe, in English and into over 40 languages, and have appeared on numerous international bestseller and “Best of” lists. 

Suzanne is the agent for #1 New York Times bestselling poet Rupi Kaur’s global hits the sun and her flowers and home body, Ritu Bhasin’s instant bestseller We’ve Got This: Unlocking the Beauty of Belonging, and thinker and bestselling author Charles Montgomery’s forthcoming book on how the modern world kills our trusting relationships, and what we can do to revive them.

Suzanne has worked as a bookseller, an editor, and most recently ran and co-owned Cooke International, one of the few agencies worldwide focused solely on foreign / translation rights. Suzanne has a keen understanding of what succeeds in international markets and works closely with a network of editors, publishers, and scouts around the world.

In fiction, Suzanne s seeking voice-led (upmarket and literary) novels with indelible characters, unexpected plot points, and compelling perspectives.

In nonfiction she wants idea-driven narrative non-fiction that grapples with what it is to be human (especially in the 21st century), particularly in the areas of economics, nature, organizational behavior, psychology, philosophy, and science.

She’s also seeking practical nonfiction from authors with well-established platforms in all areas of personal development, including work life / finance / health / wellness / transformation.

Query Suzanne through her Query Manager here.

Cody Caetano began his agenting career at Transatlantic Agency, where he worked as an Associate Agent, Editorial Agent, Agent Assistant, Receivables Clerk, and Contracts Administrator before joining CookeMcDermid in 2022. He has an MA in English in the field of Creative Writing and a BA in Professional Writing and Communication from the University of Toronto.

As an agent, Cody represents writers of original literary fiction and nonfiction, poets transitioning into prose, and storytellers who take risks for the betterment of their readerships.

Cody is Anishinaabe, Portuguese, and an off-reserve member of Pinaymootang First Nation. His mother’s family comes from the Manitoba Interlake and his father’s family emigrated from the Azores in the 1960s. Cody’s memoir, HALF-BADS IN WHITE REGALIA, sold in a seven-bid auction, received two Indigenous Voices Awards, was longlisted for Canada Reads 2023 and the 2023 Leacock Medal for Humour, and debuted as a national bestseller via Penguin Canada’s Hamish Hamilton imprint.

Cody is seeking literary fiction.

In nonfiction he’s looking for memoir, investigations, and book-length essays.

Query Cody through his Query Manager here.

Martha Webb is an agent and co-owner of CookeMcDermid. Her list comprises literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction and a broad range of nonfiction, including investigative journalism, memoir with a particular focus, popular science, history and philosophy, and some self-help. 

She is drawn to rebels and contrarians with a good sense of humour, and to books that are topical, deal with important issues, or strive for social betterment while also being great reads. She values distinctive voices and good storytelling, in whatever form. 

Her clients include: Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Jen Agg, Michael Crummey, Claudia Dey, Robyn Doolittle, Cathal Kelly, Sonya Lalli, Carol Off, Saleema Nawaz, Joan Thomas, Shannon Lee Simmons, and Britt Wray.

Martha began her career in publishing in 2005 with The McDermid Agency, of which she later assumed co-ownership prior to the creation of CookeMcDermid. She holds an MA in literature from the University of Edinburgh, and was born and raised in Montreal.

Martha is currently seeking upmarket commercial fiction and literary fiction.

She’s also looking for narrative nonfiction of all kinds, but especially investigative reporting, adventure, and science & nature.

Query Martha through her Query Manager here.

See CookeMcDermid’s submissions page here.


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