The Cooke Agency represents authors of literary and commercial fiction (including science fiction, fantasy and crime); narrative-driven nonfiction in the areas of health and well-being, popular culture, politics, science, history, natural history, and personal reference; and young adult and children's books.

We do not represent poetry, picture books, or screenplays.

What we do for our clients  

Personal Attention

Our authors benefit from an energetic and client-focussed team. We give writers the time and personal attention they deserve as we work collaboratively to fine-tune manuscripts and develop proposals. We submit the material to publishers on our authors' behalves, and then negotiate contracts and monitor marketing and sales efforts to ensure they receive the maximum benefits of their work. We are interested in helping authors to build their careers and therefore concentrate not only on what is the best offer now, but what will be the best decision in the long term. Furthermore, we respond promptly and personally to resolve any difficulties or concerns our clients may experience during the publishing process.

International Representation

Our authors' work has sold into more than two-dozen territories around the world—to independent publishers, large multi-national houses, and film companies—earning sizeable advances. To secure these sales, we work with Cooke International, a dedicated foreign rights sales team who are well-known and highly regarded in the international publishing community. Our clients are further represented through Cooke International's extensive network of specialized co-agents, who in turn trust us to sell some of their best-known clients in Canada. We travel regularly to major publishing centres, book fairs, and conventions to foster these relationships abroad and promote our authors' work. We are honoured to represent clients who hail from all over the world, giving us the advantage of an international perspective.

Our Expertise

Our authors write quality fiction and non-fiction and are regularly recognized by national and international awards. Each of our agents has a background in professional editorial and publishing work and we are conscientious and meticulous in our editorial input on your manuscripts and proposals. Our clients also share the benefits of our broad network of colleagues and contacts in the international publishing community, as well as our up-to-the-minute perspective on North American and global markets acquired through daily information gathering and analysis. The Cooke Agency is at the forefront of the legal, financial and contractual issues surrounding e-books and has taken a leading role in shaping this exciting new publishing market. We offer great attention to detail in all our paperwork and financial transactions, which are communicated to clients in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand format. There is always someone available to answer questions in a knowledgeable and timely fashion.

Who We Are  

Dean Cooke, Proprietor and Literary Agent, has worked in publishing for over thirty years, having first started in the warehouse of a small publishing company and has worked in various capacities for both independent and multi-national publishing houses.  In 1992 he left his position as publisher of Bantam/Seal Books to found The Cooke Agency. Dean represents many of Canada’s best-selling authors who are regularly nominated for major literary prizes, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General Awards for fiction and non-fiction, the IMPAC, and many other national and international literary awards. His clients’ works are published around the world and in many languages. His client list reflects his reading tastes: literary fiction; historical fiction; history; royalty, from ancient Egypt to contemporary Britain; pop culture; business; and popular science. He has probably represented more hockey books than any other agent in Canada, but as a transplanted American, has only recently learned what a hat trick is. No self-help or inspirational, romance or other genre fiction. In 2007, Dean was appointed adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and has lectured in Canada and the United States on a wide range of publishing-related subjects. Most recently, Dean spearheaded the annual HarperCollins Canada and University of British Columbia Prize for Best New Fiction to celebrate emerging talent. In October 2014, he received the Ivy Award in recognition of his significant contributions to Canadian publishing. When he is not reading Dean enjoys spending time in the desert in Southern California.


Sally Harding is a Literary Agent and co-owner of The Cooke Agency. Her list is largely (although not entirely) research-based non-fiction, and the more literary end of science fiction, fantasy, and crime. Rather than being restrained by the accustomed boundaries of geography or genre, she determines the channels through which each work will find its best audience. She is interested in developing careers (not just single works) with writers who are deeply engaged with their subject and their craft. This is not only about how they put words on a page, or the stories those words reveal, but the larger human questions and dilemmas the writer is trying to resolve through their work. Being both a Canadian and a New Zealander, she cheers loudly for both countries, until faced with Canada vs. All Blacks. Sally is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. She is on Twitter: @SallyHardingTCA.


Suzanne Brandreth, Literary Agent, has worked in publishing for over twenty years, having previously worked as a bookseller, a non-fiction proposal writer, a ghost writer, an editor at Doubleday Canada, and a literary agent and rights director for The Cooke Agency before joining Cooke International in September 2009 and becoming co-owner of Cooke International in August 2016. Suzanne has an international sensibility and is particularly interested in books that will connect with readers in multiple markets and languages, be it story-, platform- or evidence-driven non-fiction, especially in the areas of current affairs, psychology, business, personal development, and lifestyle, or literary, quality commercial, and contemporary women’s fiction. Above all, she is seeking stories that challenge the mind and/or move the heart. Suzanne closely monitors book, reader, and retail trends in Canada, the US and UK, and translation markets. She has cultivated close working relationships around the world as a result of her frequent attendance at the London and Frankfurt book fairs, regular trips to New York and Europe, and participation in numerous international publishing fellowships (most recently the Taipei Rights Workshop and Jerusalem Fellowship). Suzanne is a hands-on agent and works with her clients to develop their brands and platforms, brainstorm and fine-tune book ideas, craft proposals, and substantively edit the work before submitting to publishing houses. She also works creatively and collaboratively in the marketing of her clients’ books following publication. Suzanne has helped develop and place international rights to numerous bestselling titles, including Dr. Piers Steel's The Procrastination Equation, Emily White's Lonely: A Memoir, CS Richardson's The End of the Alphabet, and Tanis Rideout's Above All Things. When Suzanne doesn’t have a book in her hand, she is listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and international news programs while exploring Toronto’s ravine system, neighbourhoods, and cafés (in pursuit of the perfect almond croissant). Follow her on Twitter @SuBrandreth.

Ron Eckel, Literary Agent and co-owner of Cooke International, is a graduate of Simon Fraser University's Master of Publishing program and an eighteen-year veteran of the publishing industry. Ron works actively in the US and UK, as well as the translation markets on behalf of Canadian and international authors. Ron worked with Penguin Group Canada, Westwood Creative Artists, and Random House of Canada Limited before joining The Cooke Agency and Cooke International in 2009. Ron devours fiction and non-fiction, in print and on his many devices, and is particularly drawn to contemporary fiction, both commercial and literary, SFF and horror, young adult fiction, as well as pop culture, entertainment, music, humor, biography, and story-driven current affairs. His reading habits mirror what he’s looking for as an agent. When he isn’t immersed in the world of books, Ron enjoys running, planning extravagant holidays with his family that they will one day enjoy, and turning up his Marshall way too loud while jamming with his two sons (both drummers!) in the basement. Follow Ron on Twitter at @roneckel.  

Rachel Letofsky, Associate Agent, is a graduate of both the Humber Creative Book Publishing Program and the University of Toronto, where she specialized in English literature. She joined The Cooke Agency in 2010. She frequently travels throughout Canada and the US to various writer’s festivals and literary events such as Bloody Words, PNWA, CanSCAIP, SiWC, VWF, NorthWords and Quick Brown Fox Writer’s Workshops to take part in quick-pitch sessions, moderate panels and host workshops for authors. Rachel is actively seeking ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and YA titles in all genres. She is drawn to works with a whimsical nature or a grounded, gritty edge in equal measure, though in either instance, unforgettable characters and original concepts are a must. She also has a natural soft-spot for exquisite literary fiction. In non-fiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs, and anything quirky and life affirming. Rachel is particularly committed to working with previously unpublished authors in a focused, collaborative and hands-on manner. When not travelling or reading for pleasure or work, Rachel loves inventing new recipes in her kitchen under the strict supervision of Mimsy and Zam (her cat and dog), watching quest-based reality TV shows, planning for the upcoming alien/zombie invasion, and swimming in lakes and oceans as much as possible.


Paige Sisley, Senior Literary Assistant, joined The Cooke Agency in June 2013 following an internship. Paige has her Master of Arts from Ryerson University's Literatures of Modernity program and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of King's College and Dalhousie. She is the agency’s marketing voice, liaising with co-agents and scouts, managing social media and providing in-house assistance to authors. As a keen and market-focused reader, Paige also assesses submissions, provides editorial insight on clients’ manuscripts and is enthusiastically involved in project development. She is currently focused on expanding the agency’s non-fiction list in the lifestyle, health and wellness areas, and is always on the lookout for well-written commercial fiction that both entertains and has something to say (i.e. Eliza Kennedy’s I Take You or Michelle Miller’s The Underwriting). When Paige’s head isn’t in a book, you can find her devouring the latest culinary, interior design and fashion blogs, at a concert, or simply watching the world go by in her busy downtown neighborhood. A born and bred Torontonian—and the go-to person if you need just the right restaurant recommendation—Paige has also lived in LA, a sleepy New Zealand surf town and Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can follow her on Twitter: @paigesisley.


Leah Shangrow, Operations Administrator, joined The Cooke Agency in November 2014 following an internship, focusing now on administration and financials. She is a graduate of Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program, holds an Honours BA in English literature from Dalhousie University and has a BA in Philosophy from York University. Before pursuing a career in the publishing industry, she worked for seven years as an Accounting Clerk in the calibration and NDT industries. She will devour any cultural artifact that makes her think or makes her laugh. Preferably both. She is drawn to high-concept fiction, creative or quirky non-fiction, middle-grade fiction, bleak graphic novels and feminist comic books, but is particularly fond of Modernist classics. Her most loved and most hated writer is James Joyce.

Photo credits: Lisa Myers

The Cooke Agency was established in 1992 by Dean Cooke, who operated for several years as the sole literary agent and employee. Twenty years later, the agency employs seven full-time employees and sells to publishers around the world. In 2007 the company merged with The Harding Agency of Vancouver and is now co-owned by Vancouver-based literary agent Sally Harding, and The Cooke Agency’s founding owner, Dean Cooke.

The Cooke Agency represents more than one hundred writers, including award-winning and best-selling authors.