The HSW Literary Agency


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Gearing up for the Forest of Reading 2011

As the tickets for the 2011 Forest of Reading Festival of Trees go on sale today, the HSW Literary Agency once again congratulates Richard Scarsbrook on his White Pine nomination for The Monkeyface Chronicles. Richard’s last young adult novel, Cheeseburger Subversive, was nominated for the White Pine in 2005.

The Monkeyface Chronicles, which has been selling well on, tells the story of Philip Skyler, who struggles with the disfiguring effects of a rare and severe facial condition, ”Van der Woude Syndrome,” and with the school bullies who nickname him “Monkeyface.” Called a “multi-layered, engrossing, complex tale” and rated ”highly recommended” by CM Magazine, The Monkeyface Chronicles was published by Thistledown Press in 2010.

The HSW Literary Agency is also pleased to be the agent of record for Marina Cohen’s Red Maple-nominee Ghost Ride, which was published by Dundurn Press in October 2009.

Congratulations, Richard and Marina!

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Mark your calendars!

In honour of Black History Month, Jamaican-Canadian poet and author Pamela Mordecai will appear at the Toronto Public Library’s Don Mills Branch on February 23, 2011 at 7 p.m. She will be joined by Rachel Manley and Olive Senior who, like Pamela, will read and discuss “the art of loving Jamaica.” Donna Bailey Nurse will host the evening.

Want a taste of what’s in store? Several past interviews with Pamela Mordecai can be found online, including these excerpts of Pamela in conversation with Velma Pollard:

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Recommended Reading

This past holiday season saw the return of the Advent Book Blog, the brainchild of Book Madam‘s Julie Wilson and Books On The Radio‘s Sean Cranbury. Simply stated, the blog’s benevolent purpose is to “[help] you buy better books,” but also to “showcase the enthusiasm that people have for the books that they love. To highlight not only the book, but also the person who recommends it,” and “to build a better community conversation about good books, writers and publishers. Also, we hope to give readers a genuine alternative to the generic holiday reading lists of the Usual Suspects Guild.”

The result? An eclectic collection of passionate recommendations from those working in and around the publishing industry.

Among the 2010 recommendations were a pair of HSW Literary Agency authors:

- Kim Moritsugu had her novel Old Flames recommended by up-and-coming crime writer Robin Spano, who described the experience of reading Old Flames as “living inside [the novel], chilling with the characters.” First published by The Porcupine’s Quill in 1999, Old Flames is available through your favourite independent bookseller, as well as through the publisher (via and online retailers including and

- Allison Baggio, author of Girl in Shades (ECW Press, forthcoming), offered readers two enthusiastic recommendations: Barbara Gowdy’s The Romantic and Sarah Selecky’s This Cake is for the PartyAllison’s own Girl in Shades–sure to be a hit with Advent Book Blog readers in coming seasons–is a gently humorous coming-of-age story that centers on a Corey Hart fan whose struggle to fit in is complicated by her grief over her mother’s death, her alienation from her father, and the fact that she sees auras.


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New Sale

Margaret Hart, in association with Italy’s Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale, sold Italian rights to Joseph KertesNational Jewish Book Award-winning Gratitude (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s 2009) to Elliot Edizioni.

First published by Penguin Canada in 2008 and translated by Caleidoscópio (Portugal), also in 2008, Gratitude tells the story of a Hungarian Jewish family that is saved from deportation during the second world war, only to banish from their lives as soon as the war is over the very cousin who rescued them. This is an intelligent, moving novel after The Garden of The Finzi-Continis and Suite Francaise.

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Nairne Holtz’s This One’s Going to Last Forever (Insomniac Press 2009) is a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for lesbian fiction! Since their inception in 1989, the Lambda Literary Awards, or Lammys, have honoured outstanding writing by and about the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgendered community. This year’s awards gala will take place in New York City on May 27, 2010.

This One’s Going to Last Forever collects Holtz’s darkly comic short stories and a novella, “Are You Committed?” Heralded by as a “rich” novel that “combines the personal with the political through characters that are engaged in real struggles and triumphs,” This One’s Going to Last Forever is peopled by unforgettable characters who find love in the most unexpected places. Congratulations, Nairne! We’re rooting for you!

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Blue Mountain Trouble

Blue Mountain Trouble (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic 2009), the debut young adult novel by Martin Mordecai, has received two new accolades.

First, Blue Mountain Trouble was named to the United States Board on Books for Young People’s honour list of best international books for readers in grades three to five. More recently, Blue Mountain Trouble—one of Kirkus’ Best Children’s Books of 2009—was honoured here in Canada with a nomination for the Canadian Library Association’s 2010 Book of the Year for Children Award.  The CLA winners will be named on June 3, 2010 at the CLA National Conference and Trade Show. Good luck, Martin, and congratulations on all your successes so far!

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