Transatlantic Agency is a North American, full-service literary agency recognized in the industry for integrity, passion and commitment. Transatlantic specializes in career management for writers and illustrators, covering domestic and international rights, speaking engagements, film/TV and content development, ranging from commercial to literary fiction and nonfiction of all types and for all ages. Transatlantic has 15 agents located across North America, with U.S. agents in New York, Boston, and Portland OR, and Canadian agents in Toronto, Vancouver and Nova Scotia.
Founded 25 years ago by literary agents David and Lynn Bennett and now headed by Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic is a vibrant collective of tenacious, independent professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties. With our strengths combined, we represent more than 500 bestselling and award-winning clients, who regularly appear on notable bestseller lists across North America and have won major awards such as the Newbery Medal (U.S.), the Giller Prize (Canada), Michael L. Printz Honor Book (U.S.), and the Governor General’s Award for both adult and children’s literature (Canada).
Our agents actively represent a broad spectrum of writers, creators of intellectual property, and speakers, helping them to connect with readers and audiences throughout the world and in all media. We respect and encourage each client by working closely to define and support their specific needs, establish goals for their careers, and create thoughtful and effective strategies for placing their work in the most appropriate areas of opportunity. We work non-exclusively with a variety of out-of-house specialists in the areas of freelance editorial, publicity, and PR, and we have a special affiliation with customized publishing professionals, Page Two Strategies. Additionally, we work extensively with scouts and film/TV agents in L.A., New York, and London.
Alongside our vibrant and recently launched Speakers Division, the agency also proudly represents a select number of photographers and voice artists. For information on our speakers mandates please see the Speakers Division.
Domestic and International Reach
As a literary agency known for our active international rights track record, Transatlantic’s agents consistently attend industry book fairs in Frankfurt, London, and Bologna, and travel to wherever book publishing professionals gather in conferences and festivals.
We sell directly into all the major English-language markets including U.S., U.K., Australia & New Zealand, and Canada, and sell collaboratively with our valued co-agents in 28 translation territories worldwide to help achieve a global presence for our clients’ work. Transatlantic represents foreign rights for a select group of quality independent publishers, including Drawn & Quarterly.
Transatlantic’s Anti-Harassment Policy
The Transatlantic Agency supports those who confront bullying, harassment, intimidation and defamation both in their writing and in their daily lives. The agents of this agency believe we have a responsibility to work to protect our clients and agents from predatory behavior whether this abusive behavior takes place in a workplace environment, during school visits, at industry events or conventions, and whether it discriminates by gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or countries of origin.
David Bennett (CDN Agent): David Bennett is a shareholder and Chairman Emeritus of the Transatlantic Agency. He worked in both trade and educational publishing in the UK as well as sponsored commercial publishing before moving to Canada in 1980. Based in Toronto, he pursued a writing career for twelve years before starting the Transatlantic Agency with Lynn Bennett in 1992. He developed a client list of talented children’s writers and illustrators whose works he sold into the United Kingdom, the United States, Scandinavia and Canada. He is now retired from active agenting and is focused on the corporate side of the business. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Elizabeth Bennett (US Agent): Elizabeth has spent her career in the children’s publishing industry with positions in marketing, product development and editorial at such companies as Scholastic, Readers Digest and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Prior to joining the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, Elizabeth was an Executive Editor at HMH where she focused on brand-forward publishing around classic properties like Curious George, Little Blue Truck and The Little Prince as well as novelties, board books and picture books. During her tenure she established an IP program launching several middle grade series including The Next Best Junior Chef, Survivor Diaries, and Junior Ninja Champion..
As an agent, Elizabeth represents a balanced list of talented picture book, graphic novel, middle grade and YA authors and illustrators. She is interested in fiction and non-fiction submissions especially those with series potential and is partial to books with humor; books that approach contemporary issues in a fresh, new way; books that are inspired by pop-culture and current trends; books that make even a reluctant reader want to curl up in a nook and read.
Contrary to evidence suggesting otherwise, her favorite book is not Pride and Prejudice.
Recent sales include:
The Astonishing Maybe by Shaunta Grimes. Middle grade fiction to Feiwel and Friends.
Camp by Kayla Miller. Graphic novel to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Jo by Kathleen Gros. Graphic novel to HarperCollins.
Get Wanda by Susan Lurie. Middle grade fiction to Disney/Hyperion.
True Story of a World Traveling Bug Hunter by Christine Evans. Picture book to Innovation Press.
Drive the Car by KC Hayes. Novelty format to Chronicle.
In-Put Out-Pet by Vicky Fang. Picture book to Sterling.
Other Boys by Damian Alexander. Graphic novel to First Second.
Chain Reaction by Christine Evans. Picture book manuscript to Sounds True.
Until it Wasn’t by Jen Sendros-Keshka. Illustrated board book to Penguin.
We Walk by Kari Lavelle. Picture book manuscript to HarperCollins.
Moving Words about a Flower by K.C. Hayes. Picture book manuscript and concept to Charlesbridge.
The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost Kiss by Amy Parks. YA romantic comedy to Abrams.
Our Girl by Nina Chapman. Middle grade fiction to Capstone.
Two untitled middle grade graphic novels by Kayla Miller to HMH.
Marilyn Biderman (CDN Agent): Before joining Transatlantic Literary Agency, Marilyn worked at her own literary agency and consultancy practice for seven years, where she helped launch the careers of début and prize-winning authors. She had previously worked at McClelland & Stewart for twelve years, most recently as Vice President, Director, Rights and Contracts. At M&S, she handled the international rights for many renowned authors, including Leonard Cohen, Alistair MacLeod, and Madeleine Thien.
Marilyn is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, and also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in English Literature. She has guest-lectured at the publishing programs at Humber College, Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and taught a course in the publishing program at Centennial College. She has also mentored many publishers under the auspices of the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Canada Council, and has acted as a juror in literary competitions. She has authored several papers on copyright law; served on the inaugural executive of the recently-formed Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents; and served for many years on the organizing committee for the International Visitors Program of Toronto’s International Festival of Authors. Marilyn is a member of the Professional Advisory Council for Sheridan College’s Creative Writing & Publishing Program. She also chairs the board of Canada’s dance magazine, The Dance Current, and is especially proud of her work with the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Sandra Bishop (US agent): A literary agent since 2008, Sandra Bishop represents non-fiction and established fiction authors who write across a variety of categories.
Her notable books and authors include Jessica Long, one of the top medaling Paralympic athletes in the world; ONLY LOVE TODAY by beloved blogger Rachel Macy Stafford of handsfreemama.com; HOMESTEAD KITCHEN by Eve and Eivin Kilcher of Discovery’s ALASKA: The Last Frontier; ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER KNEW by Sheila Hamilton, five-time Emmy winning reporter and radio host; POSITIVE PARENTING by Rebecca Eanes of positiveparenting.org; and GUNNY’S RULES by Oscar Award winning actor, R. Lee. Ermey.
Sandra is also proud to represent a select list of fiction authors including 5-Star Romantic Times author Joanne Bishof; YA historical novelist and founder of goteenwriters.com, Stephanie Morrill; two time RITA winning romance author Wendy Warren; Pushcart prize winner, Karen Schreck – BROKEN GROUND; and, still, her very first client, Hillary Manton Lodge – JANE OF AUSTIN.
Sandra passionately supports her clients closely from idea through negotiation and beyond, and works alongside an author’s editor, publicist, and marketing team to help create opportunities for the success of every release.
Sandra is a former Marine, and is also a Portland, Oregon native who doesn’t like ale, drive a Subaru, sport a beard, ride a bike everywhere, wait two hours in line for brunch, or live in a tiny home. She does enjoy hiking, live music, sunshine, star gazing, and working out of her home office located 15 minutes west of the Willamette (pronounced Will-ah-Met) River, and halfway between the scenic Columbia River Gorge and the rugged Oregon coast.
Shaun Bradley (CDN Agent): Shaun Bradley has worked with books and in publishing for over 35 years, most notably with McClelland & Stewart, the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront (IFOA), and the Canadian Manda Group. She became an agent with Transatlantic sixteen years ago, and has been a board member, partner, and a shareholder in the company at various times.
Shaun represents a specialized list of approximately 25 clients and is involved in all aspects of their publishing lives. She assists them to develop new projects, coordinates film and television rights related to their books, and oversees their international sales. Shaun works primarily from an office in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, but travels regularly to Toronto, New York, and other international book centres. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Andrea Cascardi (US agent): Andrea Cascardi has held senior editorial positions at Random House and Disney Publishing, and was an agent with Transatlantic for ten years before returning to the Publisher role at Egmont USA. As an editor she acquired and edited Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King winner Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold, the Raffi Songs to Read series, and Pura Belpre winner Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez among many other award-winning books. As an agent she represented many bestselling and award-winning titles including Clare Vanderpool’s Newbery winner MOON OVER MANIFEST and Printz Honor winner NAVIGATING EARLY, e.E. Charlton-Truillo’s Stonewall winner FAT ANGIE, New York Times Bestseller NUBS: A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE, and Texas Bluebonnet winner TEN RULES YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT BREAK IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE THE SCHOOLBUS by John Grandits. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Photo Credit: Rob Tannenbaum Photography
Jesse Finkelstein (CDN Agent): In conjunction with Trena White, Jesse Finkelstein is one of the principals of Page Two, and represents adult non-fiction to the book trade as an associate agent with Transatlantic Agency.
Finkelstein and White met on the management team at D&M Publishers Inc., whose day-to-day operations Finkelstein ran as chief operating officer. She also led the company’s digital and international sales strategies, licensing content in multiple formats and in global markets, and developing one of Canada’s first enhanced ebook apps. Prior to working at D&M, Finkelstein was associate publisher at Raincoast Books, where she managed the publishing department and oversaw acquisitions. She is a graduate of the Simon Fraser University Master of Publishing program.
Rob Firing (CDN Agent): Rob Firing has been working as a promoter and publicist for more than 20 years, 15 of those at HarperCollins as their Senior Director of Publicity, Communications and Speakers’ Bureau. Rob has worked closely with everyone from JK Rowling to Tom Wolfe, from Margaret Trudeau to Margaret Drabble – literally hundreds of writers across many genres. He has won awards for his work from the Canadian Marketing Association and other marketing and PR organizations. He is also the co-author of The Everyday Squash Cook (HarperCollins, 2014), and the author of the upcoming STEAK REVOLUTION (HarperCollins, 2018). [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Samantha Haywood (CDN Agent): Samantha Haywood is President of the Transatlantic Agency. Haywood specialises in international publishing and has extensive experience selling authors in North America for publication and TV/film representation. She launched her client list with Transatlantic Agency in 2004 after working in the foreign rights departments of Random House of Canada Ltd and WCA Ltd. She represents a diverse and vibrant client list of authors, ranging from award-winning and bestselling fiction such as THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A Harrison, THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall and I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid to narrative nonfiction, such as THEY LEFT US EVERYTING by Plum Johnson, BASEBALL LIFE ADVICE by Stacey May Fowles and OPEN HEART, OPEN MIND by Clara Hughes, and she has a passion for graphic novels such as Michael Cho’s SHOPLIFTER. She also handles foreign rights for Drawn & Quarterly. Haywood is a founding member and current President of the newly-formed PACLA, the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents. [SUBMISSIONS INFO] [CLIENT LIST – 2018 – PDF]
Fiona Kenshole (US agent): Fiona brings a lifetime of passion and experience of children’s and YA books: she was still just a teen when she started working in a children’s bookshop. After graduating with a Masters in English Literature from Cambridge University, she went on to spend 20 years as a senior publisher holding key positions in the UK, as Publishing Director at Oxford University Press Children’s Books, Deputy Managing Director of Hodder Children’s Books and Editorial Director at HarperCollins. Her authors have won or been nominated for every major British children’s literary award. Several have become million copy bestsellers. Fiona was nominated for “Editor of the Year” at the British Book Awards.
Fiona has lectured widely on children’s books including at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and taught publishing to Masters degree students at Oxford Brookes University. She is herself a published author. She has organized children’s events for the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. In 2004 she became Vice President of Development Acquisition at Laika Inc. She moved to the USA and spent several years creating a development slate of new projects for the animation studio. Fiona has worked with major directors and screenwriters, acquiring and adapting children’s books and original scripts into movies, including the Academy nominated “Coraline” and “Paranorman”.
Fiona Kenshole is actively looking for children’s picture books, YA, and middle grade. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Stephanie Sinclair (CDN Agent): Stephanie is a Senior Agent with Transatlantic Agency and oversees international rights sales for clients represented by Samantha Haywood and Page Two Strategies. Sinclair joined Transatlantic in 2012. She has been an Associate Agent for five years, while also working as Samantha Haywood’s Executive Assistant, a role she left last Spring. Within her own list, Sinclair represents writers of award-winning fiction and nonfiction including Journey Prize winner Sharon Bala’s THE BOAT PEOPLE and the Indigenous writers Harold Johnson and Billy Ray Belcourt.
Stephanie is a graduate of the publishing program at Ryerson University, creative writing program at the Humber School for Writers and the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. For many years, authors, journalists and theatre writers have benefited from Stephanie’s uniquely attuned and effective advice in her work as an award-nominated freelance editor. Stephanie is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents. She is actively curating her list and is looking for literary/upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Amy Tompkins (CDN Agent): Amy Tompkins has worked in publishing since 2002 and has been with the Transatlantic Agency since 2007. She represents both adult and children’s authors and is also the international rights agent for Orca Book Publishers Ltd. and Islandport Press. Amy was previously the contracts manager at Westwood Creative Artists, is a graduate of the Publishing Program at Ryerson University, and has an MA in English Language and Literature. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Timothy Travaglini (US Agent): Since 1994, Timothy Travaglini has worked in trade marketing for Scholastic, Inc.; been a bookseller for Books of Wonder, an all-children’s bookstore in New York City; and has edited for Henry Holt and Company, Walker & Company, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, and Open Road Integrated Media where he was the director of children’s acquisitions.
Books he has acquired and edited have been, among other things, #1 New York Times bestsellers, a Washington Post Best Children’s Book of the Year, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner, have been made into an award-winning musical, made into an animated television show now on Netflix, and one is currently on board the International Space Station soon to be read to school children on Earth. He has edited and published artists and authors who either previously won, or have gone on to win, nearly every award and honor under the sun. He has edited an American Library Association’s 10 Most Frequently Challenged book as well as a Christianity Today Book Award for Fiction winner.
Tim is looking for fiction and nonfiction for adults, as well as for young readers of all ages. Tim wants a book that makes him laugh out loud. He wants a book that makes him cry. He wants a book that makes him fall in love. He wants a book that breaks his heart.
He wants biographies or memoirs of people or groups that inspire: overcoming adversity, perseverance, hard work, compassion, empathy, giving back to the world. He wants nonfiction about topics that are amazing: but is also particularly interested in aviation, architecture, caves/tunnels/mines, cemeteries/memento mori, island cultures, outer space, politics, reading/writing/storytelling, all things Scandinavian/Nordic, and travel.
Tim has a fondness for science fiction and fantasy (SFF) in all forms, bibliomysteries, romantic comedies, literary romance, literary horror, middle grade boy books, picture books with monsters, graphic novels and comics, swashbuckling adventure, ghost stories, well-loved stories reimagined in new ways, exotic settings, parodies, anything over-the-top or weird or macabre, innovative books that break new ground, and anything to do with roller derby.
Tim is currently closed to submissions unless by referral or from attendees of his appearances at conferences or conventions. You can follow him on Twitter @DevilWrsBowTies.
Léonicka Valcius (CDN Agent): Léonicka Valcius was that kid who got in trouble for reading past her bedtime… and while the teacher was talking… and while crossing the street. In 2011 she was able to turn this obsession into an actual career, much to her mother’s relief.
After completing the publishing program at Centennial College, Léonicka interned at HarperCollins Canada before working at Scholastic Book Fairs Canada for nearly 4 years as a book buyer and marketer. She then joined the Online and Digital Sales team at Penguin Random House Canada where she sold ebooks and audio books. Léonicka is eager to draw from these experiences to return to her original passion: working with writers.
As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of colour has been the core of Léonicka’s career. She brings this same mandate to her work at Transatlantic. As Assistant Agent, Léonicka will be working closely with Samantha Haywood, Stephanie Sinclair and Amy Tompkins with whom she will be coagenting new clients. Léonicka is interested in commercial fiction (especially fantasy, romance, and historical fiction), general nonfiction, and YA & children’s books. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]
Trena White (CDN Agent): In conjunction with Jesse Finkelstein, Trena White is one of the principals of Page Two, and represents adult non-fiction as an associate agent with Transatlantic Agency. As the publisher of Douglas & McIntyre and Greystone Books, Trena White was responsible for running a publishing program of sixty new books a year. Before joining D&M, White spent several years in Toronto as a non-fiction editor at McClelland & Stewart. She is a graduate of the Simon Fraser University Master of Publishing program and is now adjunct faculty of SFU publishing. More information about Trena White can be found on the website of Page Two. [SUBMISSIONS INFO]