I’ve got lots of good news to share as we head in to spring. In addition to being a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Writers’ Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, The Break by Katherena Vermette is shortlisted for Canada Reads 2017. For those of you not familiar with the contest, it asks the question, which book is the one all Canadians need to read?, and an advocate for each shortlisted book fights for it to remain in the running, until only the winner is left standing. The debates are live and broadcast nationwide on television, radio, and live stream. Crossed fingers for The Break to come out on top on March 30!
It’s perhaps not a strange coincidence that several of my clients are active and successful in more than one medium. Théodora Armstrong is an accomplished photographer, and the film works of both Katherena Vermette and Jared Young were recently recognized with awards. Katherena Vermette’s this river won the short documentary award at the Canadian Screen Awards. You can view this river here: https://www.nfb.ca/film/this_river/ Also, the book trailer, which Jared Young created for Into the Current with his colleagues, won the audience choice and jury awards at the South by Southwest Film Festival in the category of excellence in title design. Have a look at the book trailer here: https://vimeo.com/184248826
A new publishing association was announced last month, and I’ve taken on the role of inaugural secretary. The Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents aims to create a united voice among Canadian agents with which to advocate on behalf of authors. The U.S. and the U.K. have had similar organizations for many years, and we’re pleased to share resources and strategize with them. Have a look at our new website here: http://www.pacla.ca/
I’ve signed up new clients but their manuscripts aren’t yet ready for submission, so stay tuned for more happy news soon!
I’m very pleased to welcome another client to MBLM: Daniel Livermore. Daniel’s book: Off the Streets: Canadians, Islamic Fundamentalist Extremism, 9/11, and the War on Terror will be published by McGill Queen’s University Press in the spring of 2018. Daniel’s perspective on these issues and events is unique: he became the head of Security and Intelligence at Foreign Affairs Canada soon after 9/11. He’s the consummate diplomat, academic, and spokesperson, and I’m honoured to have been a part of bringing this book to publication.
Warm and hearty congratulations to Katherena Vermette on her début novel, The Break’s shortlisting for two out of three of Canada’s major fiction awards, The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Literary Fiction. I’ve found the reviews for the book especially perceptive and wise in their praise, and you can see excerpts from them on her author page on this site. Last month, Katherena appeared at the ImagiNATIVE Film Festival in Toronto for the début of her short film this river. She has criss-crossed the country with events at the Vancouver Writers Festival, Ottawa Writers Festival, and the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
I enjoyed participating in the International Visitors’ Program at IFOA, where Canadian agents and publishers host visiting editors from all over the world. Here’s a link to the website for the program: http://ifoa.org/international-visitors-programme
I’ll be off to Montreal soon to meet with many French-Canadian publishers. Always a pleasure to visit la belle province! I’ll check in again soon!
Anakana Schofield’s novel Martin John was published in the U.K. in February to spectacularly enthusiastic reviews. Anakana appeared at the Bookworm International Festival in China in March, and will attend several literary festivals in Canada and in the U.K. in the months to come. Do have a look at her author page on this website for the quotes from the rave U.K. reviews.
Arcade just published the U.S. edition of Cathie Borrie’s The Long Hello, and already the book has received a glowing appraisal in the Kirkus Review. The New York launch for the book was held on April 20th. Cathie has strong ties to the city, and the evening attracted a full house. She and her friend, Jill Eikenberry, from L.A. Law fame, read passages from the book, as a rapt audience looked on. We love the cover of the U.S. edition. Have a look at Cathie’s author page on this website to have a look.
I’m terrifically excited to welcome Trina Moyles to the agency. Women Who Dig: How Female Farmers are Feeding Their Families, Communities, and the World, is currently on submission in the US and Canada. I really enjoyed the process of readying this title for submission, and have every confidence that Trina and her book are going to contribute significantly to the growing conversation about women and agriculture. She’s got many more books in her, and we’re already in conversation about the next!
I’m eagerly anticipating the publication in the fall by House of Anansi Press of Katherena Vermette’s first novel, The Break. We’ve been receiving spectacular endorsements for it, which I hope we’ll be able to reveal soon!
And, I want to thank my clients here for their patience, as I took the time I needed to cope with the illness and death of my beloved friend and inestimably valued colleague, Ellen Seligman. I’m back at it, just as Ellen would have wanted, and hope to have more agency news to share with you soon.
The summer seems like ages ago, now that we’re well in to the fall publishing season. I had great fun teaching three classes this summer in the Agenting Specialty of the Humber College Creative Book Publishing Program. Students were keen to absorb all the subtleties of the practice through lots of creative work and discussion.
I attended two literary festivals for the first time this fall: Eden Mills Writers Festival and the Kingston Writers Festival. Eden Mills takes place in a beautiful park setting, but the weather this year didn’t fully co-operate. Audiences, nonetheless, braved the rain and blustery winds to hear brilliant readings, including one by Anakana Schofield from Martin John. I’d love to go back next year and hope that the weather will be bright and sunny.
Anakana Schofield, with her Giller-shortlisted novel, Martin John, has been very busy this fall on the authors’ festival circuit, which has taken her to Austin, Texas; Brooklyn, New York; and Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Windsor, and Halifax. The book has received tons of media attention and Anakana has handled the spotlight brilliantly. Her chat with Shelagh Rogers gives wonderful insight into why she wrote Martin John and what she expects readers to experience in reading it: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thenextchapter/anakana-schofield-robert-j-wiersema-and-joel-thomas-hynes-1.3296215/anakana-schofield-on-creating-an-uncomfortable-character-in-martin-john-1.3296323
I’m delighted to have our first sale in translation for Anakana Schofield’s work, a two–book deal to Encore in Istanbul. Many thanks to Amy Spangler, our co-agent for Turkish-language rights for her efforts.
I’m working with two new clients, whose pages I hope to reveal here shortly. There’s plenty going on, and I’ll write with an update soon.
I’m delighted to introduce two new clients of the agency: Katherena Vermette and Jared Young. Welcome! In The Break, to be published by House of Anansi Press, we have a début novel that I believe has the potential to become an instant Canadian classic. You can read more about Katherena Vermette and The Break on her author page: http://mblm.ca/?authors=katherena-vermette
Goose Lane Editions will publish Jared Young’s Into the Current in the fall of 2016. To read more about Jared and his wonderfully stylish first novel, please visit Jared’s author page on this site: http://mblm.ca/?authors=jared-young.
Congrats to Cathie Borrie on our having secured a US publisher for her wonderful memoir, The Long Hello. Cal Barksdale at Arcade, now an imprint of Skyhorse, acquired the US rights, and Arcade will publish in the spring of 2016. Watch for an excerpt from The Long Hello in the July issue of Reader’s Digest in Canada.
Biblioasis has come up with an outstanding cover for Anakana Schofield’s novel, Martin John, which it will publish this fall. Have a look! http://mblm.ca/?authors=anakana-schofield When I posted it on FB, I got likes from publishing friends as far away as the Netherlands and Israel. Anakana is a brilliant auto-didact, whose intellectual interests range far and wide. To read her most recent posting on the London Review of Books blog, click here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/06/26/anakana-schofield/diseases-incident-to-literary-and-sedentary-persons/ Needless to say, publication of Martin John is highly anticipated.
Théo Armstrong’s short story, “Spider in the Jar” from her début short story collection, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, has received an extraordinary international distinction. Maya Feldman is by day an editor at the prestigious Israeli literary press, Am Oved, and is also the creator of a web-based publishing venture called The Short Story Project, which publishes short stories in English and Hebrew. She selected “Spider in the Jar” for the project. The Short Story Project has published stories by Jamaica Kincaid, Jennifer Egan, and Lorrie Moore, so Théo is in great company! Congrats, Théo!
I’m busy with new non-fiction projects, consulting gigs, and I’ll be guest-lecturing at Humber’s Creative Book Publishing Program in a few short weeks. Have a wonderful summer, everyone!
The new year started brilliantly with one of the most amazing book launches I’ve ever been to. About a hundred people gathered in downtown Vancouver for Sunday brunch to celebrate The Long Hello by Cathie Borrie. Cathie gave a lovely speech, and afterwards, to the astonished delight of the crowd, about forty exuberant members of the choir in which Cathie sings stood up, flash-mob style, to sing, “Hello Goodbye” by the Beatles. You can check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQGOnt-CAqk. The Long Hello made the Maclean’s bestseller list for two weeks in February, and Cathie will read this month at the Incite reading series in Vancouver. She has many other engagements lined up in the months to come, including the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in August. For more details, have a look at her website: www.cathieborrie.com.
Congrats to Anakana Schofield, who has already received four festival invitations for the fall season. There she will read from her new novel, Martin John, which Biblioasis will publish in the fall of 2015.
I’ve been busy working with clients to get their manuscripts ready for submission, reading new manuscripts, teaching, and travelling. I attended the Galiano Literary Festival http://galianoliteraryfestival.com/, which takes place at a beautiful inn, and features West Coast writers. There I gave a talk to writers, both published and aspiring, on the business of book publishing. On the last day of the festival, Théo Armstrong read from the title story in Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, and it was great to see and hear her again. Small festivals have their own kind of magic and intimacy, and I really loved attending this one. Thanks to Mary and Lee Trentadue for the invitation, and for their hospitality.
I’ll check back in soon!
You can imagine how excited I was to receive the manuscript for Anakana Schofield’s second novel, Martin John. Biblioasis quickly picked up its option and will publish the novel in Canada in the fall of 2015. Also on board is And Other Stories in the UK.
We’re currently awaiting finished books for Cathie Borrie’s The Long Hello, and excited about all the great publicity Simon & Schuster Canada has set up for January 2015 publication. Have a look at the splendid author page S&S did for Cathie: thelonghellobook.ca. On that page, you’ll also be able to view the moving promotional video that S&S prepared for the book. I’ve now seen it countless times, and still can’t watch without getting teary, it’s that beautiful.
Congratulations to authors Ruth Mitchener and Rachel Sumner on the sale to Presença of Portuguese-language rights in Portugal to Recipes for Play. It’s the first translation sale for this title, and we hope it signals that more are on the way!
I always say that there’s lots more in the pipeline that I can’t yet mention, and it’s true once again. Happy holidays to everyone, and promise to post again soon with exciting news.
Congratulations to Theodora Armstrong who is a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2013. Here’s the jury’s laudatory citation for Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility:
Sharp and accomplished, the stories in Théodora Armstrong’s Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility don’t read like a first collection: they read like the work of an accomplished author already comfortable in her skin, and in her characters’ skins as well. They ring with a sense of place and a carved-out space in your mind. You don’t jump towards the unlikely – you simply read and believe that what you read has happened, curving into your head like memories you’d experienced yourself but had forgotten until then. There is a real art to building an experience a reader has never had: Armstrong has that art, yet uses it with care.
We’re excited about the publication this year of not one, but two new English-language editions of Recipes for Play by sisters Ruth Mitchener and Rachel Sumner. We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of finished books from Vermilion, UK, which is publishing in July; and from the Experiment, US, which is publishing in September.
The Irish Times printed an absolutely splendid interview with Anakana Schofield after her appearances at two Irish literary festivals – Cúirt International Festival of Literature and Cork World Book Fest – in April.
And congrats to John Schwinghamer, who was quoted in the Wall Street Journal about the falling value of Wal-Mart stocks.
There’s lots more in the pipeline! I’ll be in touch!
It’s been an interesting and wonderful time with lots of good news about MBLM and its clients. But first, a formal welcome to the new ones. Ruth Mitchener and Rachel Sumner are sisters from Aukland, New Zealand, who collaborated on a high-concept parenting book. Recipes for Play gives creative suggestions, along with recipes, for cool stuff to provide sensory-rich experiences for children at play. Penguin NZ originally published the book, and, after submission, we quickly sold North American rights to The Experiment and UK rights to Vermilion (Ebury). Both editions will be published in 2014.
A warm welcome also to Cathie Borrie, whose memoir, The Long Hello focuses on her journey of caring for her mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease. Simon & Schuster Canada has scheduled publication for January, 2015. Cathie originally self published The Long Hello, but the response to it — from lay readers, poets, and medical practitioners alike — was so enthusiastic that many people felt it deserved the wider exposure that publication by a trade publisher can afford. Martha Sharpe, Editorial Director at S&S Canada agreed! She, Cathie, and I had the happy occasion to get together recently for lunch in Vancouver. What a wonderful opportunity to introduce Cathie and Martha!
OneWorld has just issued its second edition of Malarky, which it published originally in the U.K. in the summer of 2013 to widespread acclaim. Have a look at the funky cover on Anakana’s author page. Anakana will be appearing at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway and the Cork World Book Fest in Ireland in April of this year.
Congratulations to Theodora Armstrong whose first collection of short stories, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility is a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.
Dimitri Nasrallah has accepted the position of Fiction Editor with Esplanade Editions, Véhicule Press. Dimitri will be responsible for the publication of two works of literary fiction every year. Congratulations, Dimitri
As for me, since the last posting, I have taught a course in the publishing program at Centennial College; guest-lectured at Ryerson University in its publishing program; and given talks on behalf of the Canada Council (at its Translation Fair in Montreal) and the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec and the Quebec Writers’ Federation. I recently attended the UBC Creative Writing MFA Program’s 50th Anniversary Gala in Vancouver. It was wonderful to celebrate with so many friends, clients, and colleagues. There’s much more in the works, and I’m sure I’ll be posting here again soon.
Congratulations to Theodora Armstrong, whose first collection of short-stories, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility was so well received. Théo’s website is up and running and features a video that portrays the cliff divers of Lynn Canyon, where “Mosquito Creek,” one of the stories in the collection, takes place. CBC Radiointerviewed Théo. Théo was also featured in the National Post‘s Story Behind the Story. Future confirmed appearances for Théo include the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in August, Word Vancouver (formerly Word on the Street) in September, and the Vancouver Writers Festival in October.
We tallied up the “Best of 2012” lists on which Malarky by Anakana Schofieldappeared, and they total a staggering sixteen. From coast to coast, Malarky was a critical and reader favourite. OneWorld will publish the UK edition this summer, and preparations are well underway. There’s lots of enthusiasm building for the book, and the cover design for the UK edition is taking shape in exciting ways. Here in Canada, Malarky has just won the Amazon First Novel Award, and has been shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Anakana recently appeared at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver; Word on the Water, the Campbell River Writers’ Festival; and will participate in the Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival in July.
John Schwinghamer has been busy with publicity for his book, Purple Chips. He appears monthly on the television show, Canal Argent On S’Investit; gives seminars on his stock-picking method regularly in Montreal, and has several media events lined up for Ottawa and Halifax in the near future. The Wall Street Journal interviewed him and investment guru James O’Shaugnessy for a piece about what investors can learn from the hit television show, The Walking Dead. John also had a busy time in New York this month, where his interviews and appearances included Barron’s, Taking Stock (Bloomberg Radio),The Squawk Box (CNBC Television), Yahoo! Finance, and the Wall Street Journal.
As for me, I’m working on an exciting new nonfiction project. Watch this site for a new author page, coming soon!