Welcome Frances Peck!

We’re delighted to be welcoming Frances Peck to the Transatlantic team today!

Frances is a Vancouver-based writer, teacher, and speaker about the finer points of language. She’s the author of the collection Peck’s English Pointers, a co-author of the popular HyperGrammar website, and an essayist and blogger whose work has appeared in The Editors’ Weekly, West Coast Editor, Language Update, and Geist. Frances wrote fiction and poetry until her early twenties, when she stopped (ironically) to become a professional writer. Now she’s rediscovering the magic of making things up. THE BROKEN PLACES is her first novel.
 
Frances is represented by Stephanie Sinclair.

Sharon Bala Wins the Journey Prize!

Congratulations to Sharon Bala, who has won the 2017 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, for her story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” (first published in The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers & Writing)!

From the Jury: “Tense and expertly plotted, the story is also packed with rich, sensory detail. This is writing that wades, unafraid, into complexity and controversy, but which is nuanced enough to wrangle finely drawn, utterly human characters to moments of aching vulnerability, confused pain, and unexpected joy. Bala takes big risks and reaps big rewards in this unforgettable story.”

The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize is awarded annually to an emerging writer of distinction for a short story originally published in a Canadian literary magazine. Previous winners of The Journey Prize include Yann Martel, Alissa York, Jessica Grant, YasukoThanh, Timothy Taylor and Miranda Hill. The prize holds a $10,000 prize for the winner, and $1,000 for the finalist. $2,000 goes to the the journal that originally published the winning story. 

Sharon’s highly anticipated debut novel, THE BOAT PEOPLE, is forthcoming from McClleland & Stewart Canada and Doubleday US in January 2018.

For full information about the award, please visit: www.writerstrust.com/Awards/Journey-Prize.aspx

The Boat People Pre-Order Promotion

We’re delighted to share that you can now pre-order Sharon Bala‘s highly anticipated debut novel, THE BOAT PEOPLE! The novel officially publishes with Doubleday US and McClelland & Stewart Canada on January 9, 2018. THE BOAT PEOPLE will be exported internationally in March 2018. On her website, Sharon shares some fascinating details about the wonderful designs of each cover: www.sharonbala.com/blog/feast

For readers of Khaled Hosseini and Chris Cleave, THE BOAT PEOPLE is an extraordinary novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism.

When a rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees from Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war reaches Vancouver’s shores, the young father thinks he and his sixyear-old son can finally start a new life. Instead, the group is thrown into a detention processing center, with government officials and news headlines speculating that among the “boat people” are terrorists now posing a threat to Canada’s national security.

Visit the following links to preorder!:

www.amazon.ca/Boat-People-Sharon-Bala

www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-boat-people/9780771024290-item.html?ikwid=sharon+bala&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-boat-people-

www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/549833/the-boat-people-by-sharon-bala/

Sharon Bala’s short fiction has won three Newfoundland and Labrador Arts & Letters Awards and been published, or is forthcoming, in: GrainPRISM internationalThe New Quarterly, RoomRiddle Fence, and in a collection called Racket. Two of Sharon’s short stories, “Reading Week” and “Butter Tea at Starbucks”, were longlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize with the latter continuing to the shortlist as well. THE BOAT PEOPLE is her debut novel.


Pre-publication Praise for THE BOAT PEOPLE

“This earnest debut novel forcefully explores the issues surrounding immigration…deeply moving and nuanced, The Boat People asks what price a country is willing to pay when public safety comes at the cost of human lives.”
-Booklist

“A real ship of refugees inspires a novel about the messy consequences of war Memorable…Chilling…”
-Kirkus Reviews

The Boat People will – and should… – linger long in the mind as an almost Graham-Greene-esque thriller about Canada’s Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Homeric in her narrative arc, Bala’s novel is rhetorically purposive – but poetically, softly rhetorical…Bala is ahead by a century in the cricket score of politically powerful contemporary fiction.”
Atlantic Books Today

“The Boat People is a powerful, gripping moral drama told with deep compassion and humanity. Sharon Bala takes us behind the headlines about refugees and asylum seekers straight into the beating hearts of unforgettable human beings. A timely tale and a beautiful, remarkable debut.”
-Lynne Kutsukake, author of The Translation of Love

“This wise and compassionate novel is an intimate portrait of one of the great humanitarian crises of our time. Its power lies in its breadth, for it examines not just those who come to our country seeking refuge, but also those who determine their fate. As such it implicates us all in the ongoing crisis.”
-Shyam Selvadurai, author of The Hungry Ghosts and Funny Boy

The Boat People is a beautifully crafted story with a big heart. This novel has an urgency and relevance that cuts to the bone and will resonate with readers of all stripes. Bala offers no easy answers and no political posturing, but her magnificent storytelling will leave readers wondering about their own convictions, asking themselves, ‘What would I do? What would I have done?’ I love this book and, somehow, I empathized and understood every character’s motivation and heart, despite their seemingly opposing stances. The spirits of Bala’s complicated, well-developed characters will linger with you like ghosts; you will look for them in the newspaper, on the evening news, everywhere, and when you encounter them, you will pause and wonder, not only about them but about yourself.”
-Michel Stone, author of Border Child

The Boat People is a burning flare of a novel, at once incendiary and illuminating. With a rare combination of precision, empathy and insight, Sharon Bala has crafted an unflinching examination of what happens when the fundamental human need for safety collides with the cold calculus of bureaucracy. In the best tradition of fearless literature, it shatters our comfortable illusions about who we really are and reveals just how asymmetrical the privilege of belonging can be. This is a brilliant debut – a story that needs to be told, told beautifully.”
-Omar El Akkad, author of American War

DEAL NEWS: THE HONEY FARM by HARRIET ALIDA LYE

ANZ rights to Harriet Alida Lye‘s THE HONEY FARM, in which two budding artists move to a remote farm and begin a romance, as creepy, inexplicable events, possibly orchestrated by the enigmatic woman in charge, start to unfold around them, to Kimberley Atkins at Penguin Random House Australia (Previous rights sold to Liveright US, in a pre-empt and in Canada to Nimbus Press, Summer 2018) by Stephanie Sinclair.

Kimberley says, “I personally can’t remember a time that I found a novel so atmospheric and foreboding – it’s a really clever thriller that seduces you from the start, then builds to that thunderous conclusion.”

Advance Praise:

“Beguiled by the promise of a writers’ retreat, Silvia leaves her staunchly Catholic family home for the uncertain territory of a honey farm in Northern Ontario. The Honey Farm offers readers an accomplished meditation on love, creativity and the wonder of the natural world, and a gripping exploration of a community that is perhaps not as it seems.”
—Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls

“I loved this book. The way Harriet Alida Lye captures and registers moments of encounter with gentleness and specificity, like bees bumping against flowers—there’s magic afoot here.” —Lauren Elkin, author of Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London (A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice)

“Mysterious, suspenseful, and unnerving, The Honey Farm offers a thrilling narrative that examines the distorted realities and conflicting perceptions that often exist in the quietest places.”
–Iain Reid, bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, an NPR Best Book of the Year, 2016

“In THE HONEY FARM, Harriet Alida Lye has created a modern-day Eden, shot through with innocence and foreboding. The landscape of this gripping debut is alive with tension and temptation, and I found myself seduced alongside Lye’s unforgettable characters. Laying bare faith, identity, and love, this book presents a world where nothing is quite as it seems.” —Adrienne Celt, author of The Daughters

“The Honey Farm delves into the intimate mysteries of art, madness, religion, and love through a story built with beautiful language and lush sensory detail. Gothic and subtly menacing, it’s a book as rich as the sweet substance at its core.”
—Grace O’Connell, author of Be Ready for the Lightning

“The secret world of bees and the sensuous natural order in all its peril and glory come alive in this mesmerizing, suspenseful novel. Harriet Alida Lye is a writer of prodigious talent and The Honey Farm a thrilling, chills-inducing debut. Brava!”
—Carol Bruneau, award-winning author of Glass Voices and These Good Hands

Peninsula Sinking Publishes with Biblioasis!

Today PENINSULA SINKING by David Huebert publishes with Biblioasis! Happy Book Birthday David!

From the Publisher: “In Peninsula Sinking, David Huebert brings readers an assortment of Maritimers caught between the places they love and the siren call of elsewhere. From submarine officers to prison guards, oil refinery workers to academics, each character in these stories struggles to find some balance of spiritual and emotional grace in the world increasingly on the precipice of ruin. Peninsula Sinking offers up eight urgent and electric meditations on the mysteries of death and life, of grief and love, and never shies away from the joy and horror of our submerging world.”

PRAISE FOR PENINSULA SINKING

“This book is Noah’s freaking Ark. All of life, animal and human, is intimately crammed inside of it and the whole vessel has been expertly designed to stand the surrounding storm. David Huebert has some of the smartest, saddest, funniest, best stuff I’ve read in years. There are scenes and sentences in here that will stick with you for a very long time.”
—Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting

“David Huebert’s Peninsula Sinking is a marvellous combination of a precise mastery of language and sheer confidence in voice – no matter who or what his characters are, no matter where they go, you believe and you see. His is an unusual gift.”
—Russell Wangersky, author of The Hour of Bad Decisions

“[Peninsula Sinking]establishes Huebert as one of Canada’s most impressive young writers … the stories are far-reaching, but tightly woven, each focused on characters in significant moments of development or change.”
—Robert Wiersma, Quill & Quire

 Peninsula Sinking comes on like weather: A gust, then calm, then a whiteout, then sheet lightning followed by a bone-soaking warmth as another treacherous cloudbank forms in the distance. David Huebert’s prose doesn’t flag, not once. Each sentence is alive and crackling. His turns of phrase will catch your breath in your throat. These stories will sweep you up.”
—Laurie D. Graham, author of Rove

“…one of those young writers who has the ability and confidence to present the everyday in extraordinary ways. Many of his characters are seemingly trapped not only by common demands and current circumstances but also by their own desire to be unambitious. His characters might sometimes be a little lost, but like David Huebert’s writing they often soar far above the mundane and demand to be hard.”
—David Layton, author of The Dictator

PRAISE FOR DAVID HUEBERT

“A paean to intimacy and to things rarely seen, ‘Enigma’ is an eloquent meditation on the mystery of life and death, love and grief, both human and animal. This is a vivid personal narrative of remarkable spiritual and emotional grace.”
—CBC Short Story Prize Jury

“I was impressed by the way that “Colloquium: J.T. Henry and Lady Simcoe on Early Ontario Petrocolonialism” repurposes historical texts to frame the ongoing violence of extraction and dispossession within the language of early settlers.”
—Damien Rogers

“These poems have the keys to the zoo, and they’re ready to let the wild rumpus start.”
—Geoffery Morrison

Please visit the following link for more information: www.biblioasis.com/shop/new-release/peninsula-sinking/

Rights Sold: World English, Biblioasis 

Becky Blake wins the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize!

Massive congratulations to Becky Blake who has been announced as the winner of the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize for her story “Trust Exercise“!
 
“Trust Exercise” was selected out of more than 1400 submissions. From the jury: “‘Trust Exercise’ is an elegant reminder not only of the malleability of memory, but also of its interruptions,” wrote the jury in a statement. “The writing here breathes like a series of long sighs, and there’s a quiet to the prose the way a flame set to parchment is muted yet alive. The devil is in the details, sure, but this wry story of love glides and swoops, too.”
 
Becky will have her story published in Air Canada enRoute magazine and on CBC Books. She will also have the opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
 
For more information about the award and “Trust Exercise” please visit: Cbc.ca/becky-blake-wins-the-2017-cbc-nonfiction-prize
 
For an inside look on how Becky wrote the story, read her interview with CBC books here: Cbc.ca/books/how-becky-blake-wrote-the-story-that-won-the-cbc-nonfiction-prize
 
Congrats again, Becky!

WELCOMING RYAN MCMAHON!

We are excited and honoured to announce that Ryan McMahon is joining the Transatlantic Agency as a client of Samantha Haywood & Stephanie Sinclair. Ryan McMahon is an Anishinaabe comedian, writer, media maker & community activator originally from Treaty 3 territory (Couchiching First Nation). Armed with a degree in Theatre & as a graduate of the prestigious Second City Conservatory (Toronto), Ryan’s comedic storytelling style is fast paced, loose & irreverent as he explores the good, the bad & the ugly between Indian Country & the mainstream.

Since 2010, McMahon has recorded 3 National comedy specials (Welcome To Turtle Island Too, UnReserved & Red Man Laughing) & 2 taped Gala sets at the prestigious Winnipeg Comedy Festival. In 2012, McMahon became the 1st Native comedian to ever record a full mainstream comedy special with CBC TV (Ryan McMahon – UnReserved). Later that year made his debut at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, QC where he was named to the NEW FACES LIST at the festival. Ryan’s latest full length CBC comedy special, Red Man Laughing, aired Nationally on CBC Radio 1 in 2015. McMahon’s new live show, Wreck-On Silly Nation, is scheduled to tour across Canada in 2018. Ryan has written for the GLOBE & MAIL, VICE, CBC, CBC Indigenous, APTN among others.

McMahon’s latest major project, the documentary, “Colonization Road,” just had its worldwide premiere at the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival and was sold to CBC TV and it aired Nationally in January 2017. Currently, Ryan is producing Season 6 of his hit podcast, Red Man Laughing, and when not busy with that he is also a host with the CANADALAND franchise, co-hosting, Canadaland Commons, a podcast about politics in Canada.

This week Ryan appears on Turtle Island Reads, discovering the best of Canadian Indigenous writing. He is defendingSon of a Trickster by Eden Robinson.

On the book side of things: Ryan’s hotly anticipated debut work of fiction THE GREAT NDN PARADOX is forthcoming from Robin Egg’s Books of Arsenal Pulp Press in October 2018.

Plus he is writing his first book of nonfiction based on his popular column with VICE called Canada 2167 which peels back the layers on the last 150 years in Canada and explores the path to the next 150 years in Canada. Find out more about the VICE series at: Video.vice.com/what-i-think-canada-should-look-like-150-years-from-now.

2167: Future Reason For This Country will be available for submission in late 2017/early 2018. For rights inquires contact: samantha@transatlanticagency.com

Visit his website to learn more: ryanmcmahoncomedy.com

Sharon Bala’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” shortlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize!

Congratulations to Sharon Bala, who has been shortlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize, for her story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” (first published in The New Quarterly)!

The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize is awarded annually to an emerging writer of distinction for a short story originally published in a Canadian literary magazine. Previous winners of The Journey Prize include Yann Martel, Alissa York, Jessica Grant, Yasuko Thanh, Timothy Taylor and Miranda Hill. The 2017 winner will be announced on November 14th.

Sharon’s highly anticipated debut novel, THE BOAT PEOPLE, is forthcoming from McClleland & Stewart Canada and Doubleday Books​ U.S. in January 2018.

To view the full shortlist, please visit Writerstrust.com/Journey-Prize-Finalists

THIS SIDE OF SAD by Karen Smythe publishes with Goose Lane Editions!

Happy book birthday to Karen Smythe‘s THIS SIDE OF SAD, publishing today with Goose Lane Editions!

For fans of Joan Didion and Sheila Heti, and reminiscent of Jenny Offill’s The Department of Speculation, THIS SIDE OF SAD is a provocative and piercing novel that lingers in mind and heart.

Meditative, philosophical, confessional, elegiac: THIS SIDE OF SAD is a many-sided novel. It is about the disintegration of a marriage, but it’s also about relationship between memory and identity; the enduring colloquy between the living and the dead; the varieties and limitations of love; and how we find meaning in the random architecture of despair and joy that makes and unmakes our lives.

Karen Smythe is the author of Stubborn Bones, a collection of short fiction (Polestar/Raincoast Books, 2001). Karen’s stories have appeared in several literary publications including Grain, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Gaspereau Review, and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. While living in Halifax, she guest-edited the Michael Ondaatje issue of Essays on Canadian Writing and served as the fiction editor of the Pottersfield Portfolio. Figuring Grief, her ground-breaking monograph on Gallant and Munro (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992), is still in print and widely cited. Karen is at work on her second novel.

Pre-publication Praise:

“Smythe’s prose is powerful…The author’s choice of narrative perspective ensures that this book is likely to provoke lively debate.” – Quill & Quire

“It’s always wonderful to stumble upon what could be a sleeper, and leave it Goose Lane to have one on offer. Karen Smythe’s THIS SIDE OF SAD is due in September and it’s a stunner.” – 49th Shelf

“Karen Smythe is a bright original. Her writing is wry, visceral, intriguing, and very moving. What Smythe has done here is really quite brilliant: she has found new ways to write about a difficult subject — the peculiar passion that is longing — and to make it palpable, leaving the reader with something profound to hang onto.” –Diane Schoemperlen, award-winning author of Forms of Devotion

“Mesmerizing.” –Antanas Sileika, author of Underground

Interviews with the Author:

“I spent a lot of time actually on bulletin boards with thumbnail tacks and little paces of paper, moving them around. So that’s how it came to be.” – a captivating interview with Karen Smythe about the inner-workings of her novel THIS SIDE OF SAD via Queen Mob’s Teahouse

Karen sit down with Humber College and talks about writing this novel after graduating Humber’s Creative Writing program: Humber.ca/this-side-of-sad

Join Karen on September 21st as she launches THIS SIDE OF SAD at the eBar in Guelph on 41 Quebec Street from 7:00pm to 9:00pm!

Sharon Bala Long-listed for the 2017 Journey Prize for “Reading Week”

Congratulations to Sharon Bala, who has been long-listed for the 2017 Journey Prize, for her story “Reading Week” (first published in PRISM International)! This is her second nomination for this prize, with the nomination for “Butter Tea at Starbucks” (first published in The New Quarterly) being announced earlier this month.

Awarded through Writers’ Trust of Canada​, McClelland & Stewart​’s The Journey Prize​ lauds an emerging Canadian writer for a short story originally published in a Canadian literary magazine. Previous winners of The Journey Prize include Yann Martel, Alissa York, Jessica Grant, Yasuko Thanh, Timothy Taylor and Miranda Hill. Sharon’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and “Reading Week” will appear in The Journey Prize Stories 29, along with the other nominees. The winner will be selected from the anthology’s stories and will receive $10,000 from the Trust.

Sharon’s highly anticipated debut novel, THE BOAT PEOPLE, is forthcoming from McClleland & Stewart Canada and Doubleday Books​ US in January 2018.

To view the full longlist, please visit www.writerstrust.com/Awards/Journey-Prize.aspx.