Samantha Haywood is thrilled to announce thatAssociate Agent Chelene Knight has been promoted to full Literary Agent at the Transatlantic Agency. Over the past year Chelene has built a robust and impressive list of clients whose deals include six figure actions; some of her notable author clients include Kai Thomas, Yejide Kilanko, Wanda Taylor, and Paige Maylott. Chelene spear-headed the creation of the BIPOC Mentorship Program at the Transatlantic launching this Fall and built it from scratch with the collaboration of fellow literary agent Amanda Orozco.

Says Haywood: “Chelene joined us with a great deal of industry knowledge and applicable skills as an award-winning author, experienced editor and principal of her own literary studio. Chelene knew there was a glaring void of racialized/BIPOC literary agents in North America and wanted to train with us in this profession with that mission as an important motivator. She has proven herself to be an exceptionally strong agent and a wonderful colleague.”

Says Knight: “I am so thrilled to be promoted to full Literary Agent. I see the Canadian publishing industry growing and shifting for the better and I want to be as big a part of that as I can. My goal has always been to help writers publish and create in a way that is healthy and sustainable and my role as Literary Agent is helping me do that.”      


I am primarily interested in literary fiction and memoir. I will also consider some commercial and upmarket fiction, if the story entertains me. For literary fiction, I am incredibly drawn to character-driven narratives with rich language that push boundaries (think Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye). I also look for books that encourage the setting to be a living character (think Amber Dawn’s Sub Rosa). For memoir, I need not only a compelling story that expands to connect and highlight the world we live in today, but an unconventional structure that amplifies the narrator’s experiences and contributes to the reflective voice in a unique way (think Lidia Yuknavitch’s Chronology of Water). I have a soft spot for gritty stories where human nature, resilience, and experience take centre stage. The “grit” lends its qualities to books where the story and its characters have some of the roughness, imperfection and complexity of the real world.