The HSW Literary Agency


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Shelly Sanders’ RACHEL’S SECRET set to launch

Shelly Sanders YA novelOur calendars are marked for the launch of Shelly Sanders‘ debut young adult novel, Rachel’s Secret!

Burlington, Ontario’s historic  A Different Drummer Books will host Second Story Press as it fetes Shelly and her book on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Published in April 2012, Rachel’s Secret explores the life-affirming friendship of a Jewish girl and a Christian boy as they stand against the racialized violence in pre-revolutionary Russia.

  • What: Launch for Shelly Sanders’ Rachel’s Secret.
  • When: Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: A Different Drummer Books, 513 Locust St., Burlington, ON.
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MENNONITES DON’T DANCE nominated for OLA Evergreen Award

Darcie Friesen Hossack short stories storyThe HSW Literary Agency is thrilled to announce that Darcie Friesen Hossack‘s Commonwealth Prize- and Danuta Gleed Literary Award-nominated collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance (Thistledown Press 2010), has been shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA’S) 2012 Evergreen Award!

The Evergreen, which is part of the OLA’s Forest of Reading program, is an annual reader-selected honour bestowed upon an adult work of Canadian fiction or non-fiction. The public is invited to vote for a favourite shortlisted book in October 2012, and the top vote-getting title will be awarded the Evergreen at the OLA Super Conference in February 2013.

The HSW Literary Agency knows how it will be voting in October. Congratulations, Darcie!

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Steven Skurka to host own show for NewsTalk 1010

Skurka Tilted First Edition Dundurn PressIn addition to making appearances on CTV news programs, Tilted (Dundurn Press 2008, 2011) author Steven Skurka writes a weekly legal column, “Skurka’s Spin,” for Now Torontonians can look also to NewsTalk 1010 when in need of Steven’s sound legal perspectives.

Beginning February 26, 2012, Steven will host is own NewsTalk 1010 legal show, “Closing Argument,” every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET. The HSW Literary Agency, for one, can’t wait to tune in!

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Novella recognized by Miami University

Erika Rummel, honoured by Random House of Canada with a 2011 Student Award in Writing, has another accolade to add to her literary CV: a new novella, Unspeakable, was a runner up in the Miami University Press Novella Contest. Congratulations, Erika!

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Breakfast with legal expert Steven Skurka

Legal Expert Author SkurkaSteven Skurka–trial lawyer, CTV News legal expert, and author of Tilted: The Trials of Conrad Black (2nd ed. Dundurn Press 2011)is slated to appear at a breakfast hosted by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto on Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 a.m. For only $20.00, attendees will enjoy a kosher breakfast and Steven’s insight into the legal wranglings surrounding former-Hollinger International head Conrad Black. Also appearing at the brunch will be Financial Post business correspondent Theresa Tedesco, who covered Black‘s trials for the National Post.

  • What: UJA Federation breakfast with Steven Skurka and Theresa Tedesco, regarding the legal implications of the Conrad Black trials.
  • When: Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
  • Where: Norton Rose Canada, Royal Bank Plaza – Toronto.
  • How: As space is limited, advance registration is required by contacting Cindy at 416-631-5816 or at
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Darcie Friesen Hossack to give university lecture on Mennonite writing

Mennonite author HossackBritish Columbia-based food columnist Darcie Friesen Hossack, author of the acclaimed short stories collected in Mennonites Don’t Dance (Thistledown Press 2010), is heading east this March.

On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, Darcie will be a guest of Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. As part of “Mennonite/s Writing in Canada: The First 50 Years,” a reading and lecture series which also features Rudy Wiebe and David Bergen, Darcie will be speaking about how her Mennonite upbringing informs her writing in a talk entitled “Writing Towards Home: A Prodigal Daughter Looks Back.”

  • What: Darcie Friesen Hossack speaks about how her cultural upbringing shapes her writing.
  • When: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • How: For further details, contact Professor Hildi Froese Tiessen.

All are welcome.

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GIRL IN SHADES makes waves south of the border

Perhaps we wrote too soon when we recapped the best of the press garnered by Allison Baggio‘s debut novel, Girl in ShadesA review from Pennsylvania’s The Weekender found its way to our inbox only this morning, and it is quite the rave.

From the review:

It sounds like such an overdone cliche to call any book the coming-of-age story of a young girl. It especially sounds banal in reference to Allison Baggio’s “Girl in Shades,” as her heroine is anything but commonplace…. Baggio manages to give Maya a voice that starts out as a young girl and develops into a woman, and that is no small feat, especially because it isn’t noticeable until after the last page has been turned.  Continue reading

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New writing by Erika Rummel

Rummel authorFans of Erika Rummel‘s Playing Naomi (Guernica Editions 2009)–among them, surely, the poet and critic Judith Fitzgerald, who called the book ”imaginatively artful” and “gripping” when she reviewed it for the Globe & Mail–will be delighted to hear that an audio excerpt of Erika’s next work is available as part of a free podcast.

The excerpt–from the title novella in The Effects of Isolation on the Brain (currently on offer), a collection of three linked novellas that is as fresh and clever as Naomi–was previously recognized for excellence with a 2011 Random House of Canada Student Award in Writing.

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Season’s Readings

Of all the book-related holiday pursuits the HSW Literary Agency enjoys, the one we look forward to the most is the Advent Book Blog. Now in its third year, the blog offers book-lovers and those who shop for them, as we put it back in January, “An eclectic collection of passionate recommendations from those working in and around the publishing industry.” And with your holiday shopping days numbered, what better place to discover a great book that’s perfect for the reader on your list?

That some of this season’s suggested reading has come from HSWLA clients is just a bonus: Continue reading

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MENNONITES DON’T DANCE a 2011 best first fiction pick!

Mennonite short storiesAt this time of year, there’s no better way to begin the work week than with news that a client’s book has made a year-end best-of list. Things are off to a great start here at the HSW Literary Agency thanks to the Globe and Mail, which named Darcie Friesen Hossack‘s debut collection of short stories, Mennonites Don’t Dance, as one of the five best first fiction titles of 2011!

Though the collection was published by Saskatchewan’s Thistledown Press in late 2010, it first garnered widespread attention after it was named to the regional shortlist for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in February, and was selected as the runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in May.

A screencap of the Globe announcement and citation is below the cut. Congratulations, Darcie! Continue reading

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