Should Canadians Seek a Canadian Literary Agent?

Q. If I am a Canadian writer, am I better to seek a Canadian agent or publisher versus a U.S.-based agent?

A. Good question.  Look into both. 
        Some Canadian publishers and agents only want to work with Canadians, so you have an inside track to some pros right there. In fact, I can recall several instances where I have contacted Canadian agencies and they were hesitant to be listed in GLA because they feared a mountain of submissions from American authors, who they do not represent. 
        That’s music to a Canadian writer’s ears. 

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12 thoughts on “Should Canadians Seek a Canadian Literary Agent?

  1. Office 2010

    A good reminder that when we put things out on the Internet, we never know who is going to read them. The results can be good or bad depending on what it is we wrote. I am glad to hear this one had a semi-happy ending.

  2. Lyle Ven

    Great advice guys!!! I’ve been so worried as none of the Canadian agencies seem to be interested in Fantasy, though given me some great responses.

    Looks like I need to buy a handful of American stamps for my SASE!

  3. C.

    Agreed. It’s a numbers game, and there are only 15-20 in Toronto versus hundreds in New York…

    I heard that American ones are a bit reticint about books set in Canada, but I’m not sure if that’s true…

  4. Jean

    As a Canadian, it is fine to query American and other agencies (like UK)–as long as they accept foreigners. When it comes to Canadian agencies, honestly there aren’t that many of them. Plus there are certain genres that aren’t really repped by Canadian agencies–i.e. romance. Therefore, if you want to get an agent, you are going to have to seek outside our chilly borders.

  5. Tuuli

    Since I live in Canada, I’ve wondered this myself. Problem is, I have no idea who the Canadian agents are, so I’ve stuck with querying on the American ones (especially since the book is set in Minnesota). And so far they haven’t cared that I’m Canadian.

  6. JohnO

    Ooh ooh, I have a follow-up question for you, Chuck (or any Canadian literary agents who happen to be reading).

    I grew up in Toronto, and then left (I’m a U.S. citizen). I’m getting ready to pitch a novel where some very prominent characters are from Toronto. And I’m thinking about setting my next book there.

    Any thoughts on what’s the most beneficial representation for such a scenario?


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