Representing Adult Authors

Biography

Photo Credit: Jon McRae

Chelene Knight came into agenting after years of working on the editorial side of publishing and in the magazine industry. She is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her novel, Junie is forthcoming with Book*hug Press, in the fall of 2022, and her commissioned book on Black Self-love and joy is forthcoming with HarperCollins Canada in 2023. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Book award.

Chelene Knight has a strong editorial background and has worked as a substantive editor for manuscripts in poetry, literary fiction, historical fiction, hybrid and traditional memoir, and most recently, children’s books. Chelene has juried for many literary prizes, including the Amazon First Novel Award. She’s also been on many arts boards’ granting juries, including the Canada Council for the Arts, and participated in numerous literary festivals across Canada.

Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine and festival director for the Growing Room Literary Festival in Vancouver. She is now the president of her own literary studio Breathing Space Creative Literary Studio.

Submissions

As a Black female writer myself, I will always prioritize submissions by Black, Indigenous, and people of colour writers. I am primarily interested in literary fiction and memoir. I will also consider some commercial and upmarket fiction, if the story entertains me and there is a strong plot. 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). I crave stories that find unique ways to investigate systemic class inequalities by speaking from an unexplored vantage point as a catalyst for change. For memoir, I need not only a compelling story, but an intentionally constructed, unconventional structure that amplifies the narrator’s experiences and contributes to the reflective voice in a unique way. Grief and memory are not linear. I want to champion stories that not only force us to reimagine the ways in which we write our stories, but how we experience and re-experience them.

Submission Guidelines

Chelene Knight is currently open to submissions. Please submit to https://QueryManager.com/1863.

Clients

  • Bachan, Nadine
  • Bailey, Garvia
  • Brobby, Christina
  • Brugel, Amanda
  • Dhaliwal, Preeti Kaur
  • Harvey, Katie
  • Jones, Zilla
  • Kilanko, Yejide
  • Mattes, Amy
  • Maylott, Paige
  • Maynard, Robyn
  • Moorthy, Rachael
  • Quammie, Bee
  • Shakur, Prince
  • Taylor, Wanda
  • Thomas, Kai