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Announcing CookeMcDermid

The Cooke Agency and The McDermid Agency announced today that they have amalgamated to become one new company to be known as CookeMcDermid. The new company will be owned in equal part by Chris Bucci, Dean Cooke, Sally Harding, and Martha Webb. Bucci and Webb are the owners of The McDermid Agency, formerly Anne McDermid and Associates, whose founder, Anne McDermid, will remain with the new company in the role of agent, continuing to represent her authors.

In a rapidly evolving publishing environment, the new company will share resources and expertise. The owners see this as an opportunity to unite each agency’s considerable experience and strengths, creating a powerful agency partnership for its writers. In a joint statement, the owners have expressed their conviction that the combined resources of CookeMcDermid will allow it to better position authors to take advantage of, and succeed in, the ever changing, multi-faceted world of publishing, be it print, audio, or digital, and through strategic partnerships in film, TV, and other media platforms and public appearances.

There will be nine agents working with the new company: Suzanne Brandreth, Chris Bucci, Dean Cooke, Ron Eckel, Sally Harding, Rachel Letofsky, Anne McDermid, Monica Pacheco and Martha Webb. Eckel and Brandreth are also the owners of the independent company, The Cooke Agency International, which remains unaltered by the amalgamation. There will be no change to authors’ representation; clients will continue to be represented by their current agent. The CookeMcDermid client list will consist of more than 300 writers, among them Man Booker nominees, Giller and Governor General’s award–winning authors, prize-winning journalists, New York Times bestsellers and some of the literary world’s most notable names, including: Jen Agg, Omar el Akkad, Deborah Campbell, Michael Crummey, Robyn Doolittle, John Irving, Rupi Kaur, Scaachi Koul, Geddy Lee, Robert Munsch, Jordan B. Peterson, Alison Pick, Andrew Pyper, Bob Rae, Nino Ricci, David Adams Richards, Amy Stuart, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Jeff VanderMeer, Sarah Waters, and Jesse Wente.

Harding and Cooke said, “Martha and Chris have impressed us with their entrepreneurial drive, their enterprising, energetic vision and their ability to spot great ideas and attract wonderful new writers. They are doing Anne McDermid’s considerable legacy proud while at the same time building a vibrant business of their own. We’re thrilled to be moving forward with them into the future.”

Webb and Bucci said, “We have long admired our colleagues Dean and Sally and their team for their unparalleled business savvy, integrity and tremendous success, as evidenced in the impressive list of writers they champion. We could not be more delighted to be joining forces with them, and to continue to build on Anne’s accomplishments.”

Anne McDermid says: “Dean Cooke and I were colleagues once, when I was a senior partner at Curtis Brown UK, and Dean ran Curtis Brown Canada. He’s remained a friend ever since and it’s thrilling for me to have him as a colleague again now. My colleagues Chris Bucci and Martha Webb have been on this journey with me in my Canadian agency, with never a dull moment, and it’s exciting to see their energy join with Dean’s experience and in-depth knowledge of the profession to move on to the triumphs and challenges of the next phase of the publishing industry. I look forward to representing my talented writers internationally, supported by CookeMcDermid.”

For more information please contact Paige Sisley at or call 647-788-4010.


Press release: S&S Canada to publish The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi

Canadian rights to Tima Kurdi’s memoir The Boy on the Beach: A Syrian Family’s Story of Love, Loss, and Hope, sold to Nita Pronovost and Brendan May at Simon & Schuster Canada.

Read more about the upcoming title!

Best Canadian Sports Writing By Stacey May Fowles and Pasha Malla

ECW editor Jen Knoch has acquired world rights to Best Canadian Sports Writing, edited by Stacey May Fowles and Pasha Malla, for release in fall 2017. Best Canadian Sports Writing collects recent journalism that draws a clear picture of why sports mean so much to us and what they say about our broader culture. The deal was arranged by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Agency and Martha Webb of the McDermid Agency.

New deal: Better Now by Dr. Danielle Martin sold to Penguin Canada

Penguin Canada Publishing Director Diane Turbide has acquired world rights to an urgent book that every Canadian should read. Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve the Health of All Canadians by renowned physician Dr. Danielle Martin uses real patient histories to illustrate what works in our healthcare and what doesn’t. She proposes bold fixes that are both achievable and affordable. The deal was arranged by Chris Bucci of the McDermid Agency and the book is scheduled for release in January 2017, under the Allen Lane imprint.

New deal: memoir by Cathal Kelly to be published Fall 2018

Penguin Random House Canada editor-in-chief Martha Kanya-Forstner and Random House of Canada Scott Sellers VP and Associate Publisher have acquired Canadian English-language rights to The Globe and Mail’s national sports columnist Cathal Kelly’s first book, a memoir in essays touching on such topics as Star Wars, George Orwell, and the mid-80s Blue Jays. The book will appear on Doubleday Canada’s list in Fall 2018. Martha Webb of The McDermid Agency Inc. arranged the deal.


Zoey Leigh Peterson’s debut novel Next Year, For Sure, about a young couple trying out an open relationship, has sold in the US to Scribner for publication in 2017. Doubleday Canada previously bought the Canadian rights.


Doubleday Canada associate editor Kiara Kent has acquired Vancouver author Zoey Leigh Paterson’s debut novel, Next Year, For Sure, about a couple who tests the boundaries of their love by pursuing an open relationship. Martha Webb arranged the deal.


Susan Renouf at ECW Press has bought World English rights to a fiction-writing guide by authors Annabel Lyon and Nancy Lee, both professors in UBC’s Creative Writing programme and creators of forthcoming creative writing courses for Edx, the online open learning portal co-founded by Harvard and MIT. Bricks and Mortar: The Fundamentals of Fiction Craft will be published in spring 2017. Martha Webb arranged the deal.


CBC Literary Award winner Amy Jones’s debut novel, We’re All in This Together, has been acquired by Anita Chong at McClelland & Stewart. The two-book deal was arranged by Chris Bucci. The novel is pitched as being in the tradition of Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!, Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang, and Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You, about a dysfunctional family forced to start acting like a real one when their matriarch survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel, a feat captured on a video that goes viral.


First Nations lawyer, activist Caleb Behn signs with HarperCollins

Caleb Behn, First Nations lawyer, activist and recently the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Fractured Land, which premiered at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto in April 2015, will see his first book published by HarperCollins in 2017.

Caleb Behn, who is 33 and based in BC, specializes in environmental law and sustainability. His mother’s people come from the Dunne-Za territory in northeastern BC, and his father’s people are Eh-Cho Dene. Several in Behn’s family have been chiefs, including his mother. Behn straddles two worlds: the traditional world of his ancestors, who lived in tune with nature, and the contemporary realities of the petroleum industry.

Behn grew up infused with his family’s traditions, but at the same time his youth coincided with the explosion of commerce in the oil industry in BC and Alberta. His mother is senior in the Canadian oil and gas industry, and his upbringing presented a paradox: how to balance his people’s quest to protect the environment with the world’s relentless need for energy.

“Caleb Behn is one of the most impressive Canadians I’ve met: a lawyer, an activist, a champion axe thrower,” said Jim Gifford, Editorial Director of Non-fiction at HarperCollinsCanada. “His often provocative ideas about how we can improve our relationship with the environment and with each other will make for a compelling book that every Canadian should read.”

Behn’s book, with the working title The Tip of the Spear, will be a truly personal account of his world, giving readers an extraordinary perspective on the state of our country, the consequences of the path we’ve chosen so far, and the possible futures of the world we will leave our children.

“With privilege comes responsibility. I have been privileged to be educated in both the western and the indigenous traditions of my ancestors. This work with HarperCollinsCanada is an attempt to live up to the responsibility intrinsic to that education and experience,” said Caleb Behn. “This work follows protocol. I commit to gifting readers a frank and vulnerable analysis, and I believe that in return they will gift me a chance to change their hearts and minds.

“I commit to being vulnerable and unapologetically honest with readers about what I have seen, what I have done, and concrete ways to address our vicious history and create a just future that isn’t built by ‘decrepit dinosaurs’ above ground sucking up rotting dinosaurs below. Canada will be a lesson for the future of this species. The question is whether we choose to be a lesson never to be repeated.”

“Caleb has such a distinctive voice, and he challenges longstanding opinions at every opportunity,” said Iris Tupholme, Senior Vice President and Executive Publisher at HarperCollins. “His message is supremely important, and he is uniquely situated to write this essential book.”

The deal was arranged by Martha Webb.

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