The HSW Literary Agency


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Around the Country in 180 Days: Richard Scarsbrook confirms readings through October

If our date book is any indication, Richard Scarsbrook is as busy as he is prolific! The Nothing Man and the Purple Zero (Dancing Cat/Cormorant Books) author has announced public appearances–including readings and writing workshops–right through to October. Scarsbrook kicked off his grand tour last week with a trip to Global Toronto’s The Morning Show, where he chatted with Liza Fromer and Antony Robart about writing across genres and age groups. The full segment is available online.

Select Richard Scarsbrook 2014 author appearances are available below the cut.

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In Memory of Karen Hill, 1958-2014

The HSW Literary Agency is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Karen Hill, our client since 2012. Karen leaves behind her daughter, mother, and brothers, as well as sisters-in-law and several neices and nephews. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

Karen was a fiercely honest writer who both challenged and engaged readers through her intelligence and candour. Her voice was compelling, her insight fresh, and she tackled difficult subjects with bravery and aplomb. She will be missed by all of us here.

In her memory, we renew our commitment to Karen’s writing and to fulfilling her dream of publishing Café Babnussa, her debut novel. Others may wish to remember her through the Humber School for Writers, which is raising funds to establish a scholarship in her honour. Memorial donations may be sent to The Humber School for Writers (Attention Antanas Sileika: “In memory of Karen Hill”) at 3199 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Toronto, Ontario, M8V 1K8.

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Team Can Lit: Tamai Kobayashi joins Waterloo Indie Lit Night

If one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party, what’s five?

Next month, five of Canada’s best independent presses team up to present Waterloo Indie Lit Night, an evening of readings and literary celebrations featuring some of Can Lit’s most promising writers. Representing Goose Lane Editions is our very own Tamai Kobayashi, author of Prairie Ostrich, a sensitive exploration of sisterhood, storytelling and sexuality. Event details are included in the poster and in the text below the cut.

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Subversive storyteller: Pamela Mordecai and the narrative sonnet

Anyone who’s read Pink Icing can tell you that Pamela Mordecai is a consummate storyteller. But readers of Subversive Sonnets can attest Mordecai brings the same narrative skill and flair to her poetry.

Writing in the Summer 2013 issue of Canadian Literature, poet Emily Wall raves about Subversive Sonnets:

…like all good stories, [Mordecai's poems] make us feel like part of the fabric of humanity. These poems are a brilliant blend of lyric and narrative. Most of them are narrative poems, but they also play with the sonnet form and end rhyme to excellent effect. Mordecai has built very seductive, musical stories. She translates the sonnet form into something new and it works beautifully….These poems are fierce. Unafraid. Mordecai shows us shocking images and tells us terrible stories. However, it’s the presence of the speaker that makes them so powerful. She’s not afraid to become the characters in her stories and to probe the darkest places of humanity.

Subversive Sonnets, published by TSAR in 2012, is available online from and Chapters Indigo, as well as from independent bookstores and directly from the publisher.

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Excitement Builds for Tamai Kobayashi’s PRAIRIE OSTRICH

Tamai KobayashiTamai Kobayashi‘s Prairie Ostrich (Goose Lane) is arguably one of the most anticipated independent-press novels of the spring. Certainly it is here at HSWLA, as well as at 49th Shelf. Now, with just under two weeks before the book’s March 4 publication date, Goodreads reviewers are buzzing.

We’re pleased to announce that fans of the book have two upcoming opportunities to share their excitement with the author in person: a Hamilton, Ontario reading on March 18 and a Toronto launch on March 27. We can’t wait to see you there!

  • What: Readings by Tamai Kobayashi and Nancy Lee.
  • When: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Bryan Prince Bookseller, 1060 King Street W., Hamilton, ON.
  • How: Admission is free and open to the public. Call the bookstore at 905-528-4508 or 1-800-867-0090 for details.
  • What: Tamai Kobayashi’s Prairie Ostrich is launched.
  • When: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Another Story Book Shop, 315 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON.
  • How: Admission is free and open to the public. Call the bookstore at 416-462-1104 for details.
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Season’s greetings from HSWLA!

As 2013 draws to a close, we at the HSW Literary Agency reflect on the authors we’ve worked with this year. We feel very fortunate to have been entrusted with reading and selling so many promising manuscripts, and we look forward to seeing some wonderful projects come to fruition in 2014, including Tamai Kobayashi‘s Prairie Ostrich (March), Anna Leventhal‘s Sweet Affliction (April), and Lynne Kositsky‘s The Plagues of Kondar (June).

May your 2013 have been just as rich with good books as ours has, and only a small taste of the reading pleasures to come in 2014!

Wishing you a healthy, happy, and restful holiday season,

Margaret Hart and Natalie St. Pierre

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For your reading pleasure: HSWLA clients share their favourite books of 2013

Less than two weeks remain on the 2013 calendar, and publishers, reviewers, and authors are busily posting their lists of the year’s most-loved books. Inspired by Quill & Quire‘s author-sourced list, we asked a few clients to join in the fun.

The full list of recommended reading is available below the cut; it will be updated as more recommendations come in. Continue reading

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Keeping dreams alive: Pamela Mordecai to read at Romanian General Consulate

With help from Subversive Sonnets poet Pamela Mordecai, the Romanian General Consulate in Toronto has two reasons to brave the cold on January 15th: the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mihai Eminescu, men linked by dreams of freedom. Mordecai will join George Elliott Clarke and Romanian-Canadian poets Diana Manole and Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu in–as the Consulate press release puts it–”voicing their own dreams through poems in both English and Romanian.”

  • What: Pamela Mordecai reads as part of “Shared Dreams of Freedom,” an evening honouring Romania’s National Cultural Day and the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mihai Eminescu.
  • When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Romanian General Consulate, 555 Richmond Street – Suite 1108, Toronto, ON.

The evening will also feature a speech by Toronto’s Romanian General Consul Antonella Marinescu, Dracula wine, and traditional Romanian foods.

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Yes, we can: overcoming writer’s insecurities with Allison Baggio

On Saturday, May 3, 2014, Allison Baggio, author of Girl in Shades (ECW Press 2011) and In the Body (ECW Press 2012), will give Ontario Writers’ Conference attendees a boost of confidence with a workshop on overcoming writer insecurities.

Through anecdotes, exercises, group work, and a question-and-answer session, Baggio’s workshop provides the much-needed tools to overcome the negative self-talk that hinders writing.

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A Voice that Cares: Dr. Gretchen Roedde speaks at Ethiopiaid gala

Building on her work in A Doctor’s Quest (Dundurn Press 2012), noted doctor and author Gretchen Roedde continues to raise awareness of issues in global maternal health care: she will address attendees of Ottawa’s second annual Ethiopiaid fundraiser on Thursday, December 5. All proceeds of the gala–which also features dinner by Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine, a silent auction, and music by Jon Hynes and Craig Mainprize–will support Ethiopiaid‘s mother-and-child health care programs in Ethiopia.

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