Representing Adult Authors
Photo Credit: Katherine Holland

Biography

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 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 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 Breathing Space Creative Literary Studio. As an avid speaker, she often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Chelene teaches poetry at the University of Toronto online.

Submissions

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, 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.

Submission Guidelines

Chelene Knight is currently closed to submissions.  

Clients

  • Bailey, Garvia
  • Brobby, Christina
  • Brugel, Amanda
  • Harvey, Katherine Alexandra
  • Kilanko, Yejide
  • Mattes, Amy
  • Maynard, Robyn
  • Quammie, Bee
  • Thomas, Kai