Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ron Eckel of CookeMcDermid

Ron Eckel is a proprietor and literary agent with CookeMcDermid.

Ron is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing program and a twenty-five year veteran of Canadian publishing, Ron worked with Penguin Canada, Westwood Creative Artists, and Random House of Canada before joining CookeMcDermid in 2009. He also co-owned Cooke International, an agency specializing in foreign rights management for a diverse group of publishing clients, until the end of 2021.

As an agent Ron is particularly drawn to dark fiction, both commercial and literary, in the areas of horror, science fiction, fantasy , suspense, and psychological thriller. On the nonfiction side, Ron loves pop culture, music, pop science, and story-driven current affairs that start conversations.

Ron’s client list at CookeMcDermid includes bestselling author, RUSH bassist, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Geddy Lee, senior culture writer at BuzzFeed and bestselling author Scaachi Koul, CBC Radio columnist, writer, broadcaster and producer Jesse Wente, and horror writers Eric McCormack and David Nickel. On his bedside table you will find equal amounts of fiction and non-fiction, but always, always at least one biography (authorized or not) of the Ramones.

Ron is a former president and current member of PACLA (the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents) and you can find him on Twitter @roneckel and on Instagram at @eckelron.

Ron is currently seeking

  • Story-driven narrative non-fiction in the areas of pop culture, music, sports, pop science, and current affairs
  • Commercial and upmarket horror, SF, suspense and psychological thrillers that terrify
  • Strong, unique voices that have a compelling, engaging story to tell

Ron is currently NOT Seeking

  • Children’s, Middle grade, or YA fiction and non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Cookery
  • Graphic novels

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Claire Caldwell of Annick Press

Claire Caldwell is a Toronto-based editor and writer with over ten years’ experience in the publishing industry.

She is the Senior Editor at Annick Press, where she acquires books for young people, including the award-winning picture books Salma the Syrian Chef (written by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron) and Abuelita and Me (written by Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani). Claire is also the author of two poetry collections, Invasive Species (Wolsak and Wynn, 2014) and Gold Rush (Invisible Publishing, 2020).