New President and Agency expansion at Transatlantic Agency

 

Transatlantic Agency announces change of ownership and company expansion with two new agents

David Bennett, President of Transatlantic Agency, has sold his controlling interest in the agency to partner Samantha Haywood, who becomes President of the company. David Bennett remains at the company as Chairman Emeritus, Lynn Bennett will remain Treasurer.

Haywood joined Transatlantic in 2004, becoming a partner in 2013. She is a founding member and current President of the newly-formed Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents. She represents award-winning and bestselling fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels including THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A Harrison and THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall. Haywood specializes in international publishing, and handles foreign rights for Drawn & Quarterly.

Rob Firing photoRob Firing joins Transatlantic as a Speakers’ Agent & Literary Agent to create a Speakers’ Division. He has already signed Paulette Bourgeois, Karen Le Billon, and Zarqa Nawaz. Firing was Senior Director of Publicity, Communications and Speakers’ Bureau at HarperCollins in Canada and brings with him nearly  a decade of experience negotiating speaking engagements for some of the most influential speakers in Canada and around the world.

Marilyn Biderman photoMarilyn Biderman, previously of Marilyn Biderman Literary Management, joins Transatlantic as Senior Literary Agent, bringing her clients to Transatlantic including Katherena Vermette, the internationally bestselling author of The Break. Biderman established her own boutique agency in 2010 after twenty years of experience inbook publishing, most recently as Vice President, Marilyn Biderman Director, Rights and Contracts, at McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

David Bennett, who co-founded the Transatlantic Agency with Lynn Bennett, said of the changes, “Lynn and I are thrilled to be passing the torch to Samantha Haywood at a time when the agency is thriving and expanding. Samantha Haywood has always led by example, and will contribute dynamic energy and vision necessary to drive the company’s continued success.”

Said Haywood, “I am excited to invest in the agency and its talented agents. This company has helped me grow significantly as an agent over the past decade, and working hard for my clients will continue to be a top priority while I look forward to building the agency further together.”

Said Firing, “Transatlantic is one of the most dynamic and energetic agencies in Canada or anywhere. Incorporating a speakers’ division seems completely natural. I look forward to working with my current clients under this highly regarded banner, and to exploring new opportunities for Transatlantic’s impressive roster of authors.”

Said Biderman, “I am so excited about this new phase in my publishing career, and so happy to join the strong team at Transatlantic. Many of the agents are people I’ve worked with in the past, and long admired. I’m so grateful for their warm and enthusiastic welcome.”

Rob Firing has managed high-profile media relations and marketing campaigns for over 20 years. He was co-founder and partner in his own publicity and marketing firm before moving to HarperCollins Canada in 2002. He has negotiated paid engagements for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, rock legend Gene Simmons, renowned explorer and scientist Tim Flannery, Little Mosque on the Prairie creator Zarqa Nawaz, General Rick Hillier, and many others.

At MBLM, Marilyn Biderman helped launch the careers of several prize-winning début authors. At McClelland & Stewart, she sold internationally the works of many acclaimed and bestselling authors, including Leonard Cohen, Alistair MacLeod, Anne Michaels, and Madeleine Thien. She is a lawyer, secretary of the newly-formed Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents, a member of the Advisory Board of Ryerson University’s Publishing Program and Sheridan College’s Creative Writing and Publishing Program, and is a frequent guest-lecturer at publishing courses and writers’ seminars.

About Transatlantic Agency: 
Transatlantic Agency now has 13 literary agents located in the US and Canada representing over 350 clients. It is currently ranked number one for fiction and children’s books in Canada. From the west coast to the east, we are the only literary agency in North America with experienced agents in both the United States and Canada actively covering adult and children’s books in every market. Founded over 20 years ago, the Transatlantic family is a vibrant collective of tenacious, independent, publishing professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties. Our clients make frequent appearances on notable best-seller lists across North America, and have won major awards such as the Newbery Medal (US), the Giller Prize (Canada), Michael L. Printz Honor Book (US), and the Governor General’s Award for both adult and children’s literature (Canada).

For more information contact: Samantha Haywood at samantha@transatlanticagency.com

The Mosaic Publishes with Groundwood Books!

Happy book birthday to Nina Berkhout‘s THE MOSAIC, which publishes today with Groundwood Books!

About the Book
Twyla Jane Lee has one goal: to finish senior year so she can escape her military hometown of Halo, Montana, with her boyfriend Billy Goodwin. But to graduate, Twyla needs to complete 40 hours of community service. When she reluctantly signs up for the Help a Vet program, she is paired with the rude and withdrawn former football star, Gabriel Finch.

As the two form an unexpected bond over the secret buried in the missile facility, Twyla begins to unearth Gabriel’s ghosts from the Middle East Wars. Her discoveries force her to question her view on the wars and she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won’t ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch’s story behind her.

Nina BerkhoutAbout the Author
THE MOSAIC is Nina’s debut YA novel. Nina is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Elseworlds (Seraphim Editions) which received the 2013 Archibald Lampman Award for the year’s best poetry. Her earlier work has been shortlisted for THIS magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt, The Archibald Lampman Award and the John Hirsch Award. Her debut novel, GALLERY OF LOST SPECIES, was published by House of Anansi.

Pre-publication Praise
“Berkhout provides a realistic view of the complex effect wars have on veterans, and people’s varying perspectives on the subject. Poignant descriptions ignite the setting. The characters have depth; readers will empathize with Gabriel as a survivor of PTSD, and will revel in the two’s compassionate connection.” – School Library Journal

“A rich and jumbled mix of war and peace by an author to watch.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Berkhout creates a cinematic feel with her evocative language and scene setting.”
– Quill & Quire

Selected for the Toronto Star‘s “Five upcoming Young Adult books that make a statement” list.

A HALE AND HEARTY “WELCOME ABOARD” TO THE SALMON SISTERS

We’re riding high since adding Emma Teal Laukitis and Claire Neaton, aka THE SALMON SISTERS to Transatlantic’s client roster. These two young women have already lived a life dreams are made of and there’s so much more for them on the horizon. Having grown up on one of the world’s most unique and remote places — the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, they still work on their family’s boats commercial fishing for salmon and halibut in the Bering Sea.

Their love of life at sea and their deep respect for the ocean is apparent in everything they do. When they’re not fishing, they’re designing original sea inspired clothing, home goods and adventure gear for use on and off the water, marketing Wild Alaska seafood, supporting their Give Fish Project, writing, cooking, and generally advancing awareness about the importance of sustainable fisheries and the role of wild sustainable seafood in our food chain. These bold seafaring young women are two of the world’s most natural advocates for the vitality of a fisherman’s livelihood, and we are proud to represent them and their future writing and publishing endeavors.

Have a look at their beautiful writing, work, and unique merchandise at http://WWW.aksalmonsisters.com

Represented by Sandra Bishop

Photos by Scott Dickerson, Homer Alaska

A hale and hearty new client welcome to voice artist, Gail Shalan!

Gail Shalan is a talented professional story-teller who loves narrating audiobooks from her professionally equipped home studio in New England.

In 2015, Gail was selected as one of Audible’s ACX University Up-and-Coming Narrators. She holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University and has trained with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Dame Judi Dench’s Mountview Academy, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Shakespeare and Company.

In addition to narrating audiobooks, Gail also adores acting Shakespeare and telling new stories—from local Boston premieres, to touring premieres at the NYC & Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

Gail is currently at work narrating the award winning The Lady & The Lionheart for Blackstone Audio; Gail’s second title with Transatlantic author, Joanne Bischof.

Gail is represented by Sandra Bishop.

Andrea Cascardi Returns to Transatlantic Agency

Cascardi72David Bennett, President of the Transatlantic Agency, announced that Andrea Cascardi will be re-joining the agency as a literary agent based in New York, and establishing a new client list.

Andrea Cascardi was recruited to serve as the Publisher and Managing Director of Egmont USA from 2013 to 2015. Before that she pursued a successful ten-year career as a literary agent with the Transatlantic Agency.

Said Cascardi, “I am delighted to be returning to agenting with Transatlantic, a company I know and trust, after a period of three years on the other side of the desk. I am very excited about working closely with authors and illustrators and I look forward to bringing a new perspective to my work as an agent.”

David Bennett said, “We are so pleased that Andrea is returning to the agency to represent a broad range of talent in different genres from her base in New York.”

Before her period as a literary agent, Andrea held senior editorial positions at Disney Publishing and Random House US.

Photo Credit: Rob Tannenbaum Photography

Transatlantic Agency Announces New Vice-President

Haywood (1)TORONTO —  David Bennett, President of the Transatlantic Agency, has announced a new management structure for the company. The day-to-day management of the agency will now be handled by a management committee, to be chaired by Samantha Haywood. Haywood, a long-time partner and shareholder in Transatlantic, will become Vice-President of the company. The management committee will be comprised of a core group of Transatlantic agents and administrative staff, with others rotating in as their expertise is required. David Bennett founded the Transatlantic Agency in 1994 and wishes to reduce his administrative workload. Said Bennett, “this new structure draws on the talent and experience of our longest serving senior agents and promotes their greater involvement in guiding the future of the company. Samantha Haywood has always led by example, and will contribute the energy and vision necessary for the company’s continued success.”

Said Haywood, “I have committed the last decade of my career to growing my client list at Transatlantic and look forward to leading the company through this new, exciting phase of growth.”

Haywood launched her client list with Transatlantic in 2004. Prior to joining the Agency she worked in the foreign rights departments of Random House of Canada Ltd. and at WCA Ltd. She lives in Toronto with her husband Pieter Swinkels, EVP Publisher Relations & Content of Rakuten Kobo, and their two children.

About Transatlantic Agency:

For more than twenty years the Transatlantic Agency has been the umbrella for a vibrant collective of independent publishing professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties. Its 250+ clients make regular appearances on notable bestseller lists across North America and around the world and regularly win major awards both domestically and internationally.

McClelland & Stewart and Doubleday U.S. Make Joint Pre-empt for First Novel The Boat People by Sharon Bala

BalaSbwToronto, March 23, 2016—Melissa Danaczko of Doubleday (New York) and Anita Chong of McClelland & Stewart (Toronto), have jointly acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to THE BOAT PEOPLE, a debut novel by Sharon Bala. The book was purchased on a pre-empt, for publication in January 2018. The deal was arranged by Stephanie Sinclair.

Says Danaczko: “THE BOAT PEOPLE is an extraordinary novel about a group of Sri Lankan refugees trying to navigate a byzantine immigration system. Bala is a vivid, compassionate writer, immediately pulling you into the mindset of not only the asylum-seekers from a war-torn country but also those whose job it is to decide their fate. A stunning debut that is at once intimate, urgent and universal in the questions it raises.”

Upon the acquisition, Anita Chong added: “Fiction has the power to create bridges of empathy and understanding, and this is what Sharon Bala has done so powerfully in THE BOAT PEOPLE, by illuminating the universal and deeply human aspects of the immigrant and refugee experience in a way that feels both fresh and urgent. From the bones of a little-known, real-life incident, Bala has crafted a beautiful and high-stakes story that asks difficult but necessary questions—questions that will only become increasingly relevant as the world-wide refugee crisis continues. I devoured this novel, and I know readers will do the same.”

The manuscript for Bala’s novel won the Percy Janes First Novel Award (May 2015) and was short listed for the Fresh Fish Award (October 2015), and has already begun to catch the eye of other writers: “THE BOAT PEOPLE is full of drama and character, sharp bold sentences and movement of all sorts, global and interior,” says bestselling author Lisa Moore (Caught and February). This is “gorgeous writing, compassionate and urgent.”

THE BOAT PEOPLE focuses on thirty-five-year-old Mahindan, who has survived the harrowing experiences of civil war, a prison camp, and a perilous ocean voyage from Sri Lanka. When the rusty cargo ship carrying him and 500 fellow refugees reaches safe Canadian shores, he thinks the struggle is finally over. But in reality, his journey has only begun. Set in Vancouver and Sri Lanka, THE BOAT PEOPLE follows Mahindan and his six-year-old son as they are separated, imprisoned, and forced to navigate the morass of the refugee system. Inspired by real life events, THE BOAT PEOPLE is a timely novel about identity and belonging, family secrets and loss, and the rift that can sometimes form between immigrant parents and their third culture children. It is an important contemporary novel that invites us to explore what people leaving everything they know to become strangers in a strange land are going through, and provokes a more compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Sinclair, 416.488.9214stephanie@transatlanticagency.com