IV Keynote Speaker

Fiona McCrae, Director and Publisher of Graywolf Press

Fiona McCrae has been Director and Publisher of Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press since 1994, following 11 years with the British publishers Faber and Faber. Authors that McCrae has published at Graywolf include Anna Burns, Daisy Johnson, Elizabeth Alexander, Per Petterson, and Percival Everett. She currently serves on the board of the Anderson Center, and as Vice-Chair of the board of the National Book Foundation. McCrae received the Editor’s Award from Poets & Writers in 2017 and the Golden Colophon Award for leadership from the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses in 2014.

Canadian Editorial Fellowship

Janice Zawerbny, Senior Editor at HarperCollins Publishers

Janice Zawerbny has worked as an in-house editor in the Canadian publishing industry for more than twenty years. She has edited a wide variety of award-winning and critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction books in Canada, including the current bestseller, Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre Esprit Radisson by Mark Bourrie, The Break by Katherena Vermette, The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall, Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy to name but a few. Currently, she works at HarperCollins Canada, where she is editing a selection of fiction and commercial non-fiction. She is also an editing instructor at Ryerson University.

IV Fellows

Michał Alenowicz is a publisher and literary translator based in Gdansk, Poland. His translations include works by Michael Crummey, Alistair MacLeod and George Mackay Brown. As the owner of Wiatr od Morza (literally: "Wind from the Sea”) publishing house, he focuses on quality British and North American fiction. Always on the lookout for original literary projects, he was the initiator and co-editor of the Polish joint translation of Matthew Kneale’s multi-perspective novel English Passengers (21 voices – 21 translators). He is also the owner of the first book truck in Poland.

Supported by Konsulat Generalny Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej w Toronto

Valerie Brandes, Founder and Publisher, Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd (U.K.)

Valerie Brandes is the Founder & Publisher of inclusive independent publishing house Jacaranda Books, and one of the Powerlist 2019’s top 100 most influential Black Britons. Through Jacaranda Books, she has introduced voices from Africa, Asia and the Americas to the UK market, and published award winners such as Bernice McFadden and Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Valerie is an ardent promoter of inclusivity in publishing.  In February 2018 she launched the Twenty in 2020 project in partnership with Words of Colour, which tackles head on the lack of Black British talent being published in the UK. Follow Valerie on Twitter @valrey.

Alison Callahan began her publishing career as a reader for the fiction editors at The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. After attending the Radcliffe Publishing Course, she worked at International Creative Management, HarperCollins, and Knopf Doubleday. In 2014, she joined Simon & Schuster, where she is currently Vice President and Executive Editor. In 2015, she helped launch the brand new literary imprint Scout Press with Ruth Ware’s debut, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD. Along the way, the authors Alison has edited include Amy Schumer, Erin Morgenstern, Ann Patchett, Liane Moriarty, America Ferrera, Iain Reid, Kristen Roupenian, Daniel Alarcon and Peter Straub, among many others. 

Alison’s interests include literary fiction with ambitious, cutting edge, and inventive plotlines and characters. She also enjoys stylistic and visionary stories that are just left of center, domestic dramas, fish out of water stories, and books that take readers outside of their comfort zones and perhaps view the world in a different way.  Alison likes to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds…

Patricia Anne Campbell completed her MA and PhD in Religious Diversity in North America at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2009. She has taught university level courses in eastern religions and worked as a research assistant for the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, where she gathered research on the history of colonialism and the Saugeen Ojibwe Nation. She joined Kegedonce Press as Marketing Assistant in 2017. She lives in Chatsworth, Ontario. 

Chris Fischbach became publisher of Coffee House Press in July 2011, after sixteen years in various editorial roles. He has served as co-chair of the Minneapolis Arts Commission, assistant director of the Twin Cities Book Festival and on the board of directors of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library. He currently serves on the board of the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

Sharmaine Lovegrove, Publisher, Dialogue Books (U.K.)

Sharmaine Lovegrove is the Publisher of Dialogue Books, the UK’s only inclusive imprint, part of Little Brown Book Group and Hachette UK. She is inspired by innovative storytelling, and has worked in public relations, bookselling, events management and TV scouting. She was the literary editor of ELLE, and set up her own bookshop and creative agency when living in Berlin. Home is London, she is based in Bristol and her roots are Jamaican - Sharmaine is proud to be part of the African diaspora and books make her feel part of the world.

Sylvie Mouchès, Head of Foreign Rights, Liana Levi (France). Photo credit Stéphanie Grégoire.

Sylvie Mouchès is in charge of editing half of the publications, she’s now specialized in foreign authors, and loves working with translators. As an acquiring editor, she has led the publication in France of Eva Dolan, Esi Edugyan, Ernst Lothar, Abir Mukherjee, and Aura Xilonen, amongst others. Also as the foreign rights manager, she tries to do her best to make French authors cross frontiers. Désorientale, by Negar Djavadi (published in 2016), has now been translated in ten countries, and was a great success in the U.S. where she was shortlisted for the National Book Award in 2018, and won the Albertine Prize and the Lambda Literary Award in 2019.

Supported by Toronto Cultural Office of the French Embassy in Canada

Hannah Nuspliger-Fosh, Literary Agent, Liepman Agency (Switzerland)

Hannah Nuspliger-Fosh works as a literary agent at the Liepman Agency, based in Zurich. She grew up in London and Cologne and studied in Zurich and Berlin, where she completed a masters in comparative literature. Before joining Liepman in early 2016, she worked as an editorial assistant at the Swiss-based literary publisher Nagel & Kimche Verlag as well at the independent Berlin-based publisher Jacoby & Stuart. At Liepman, Hannah Fosh represents a wide range of international publishers and agencies from the US, the UK and Canada exclusively for German language publication rights. She also represents a selected list of German-language authors.

Katharina Picandet, Editor and Rights Manager, Edition Nautilus (Germany) Photo credit Anna Salomon

Katharina Picandet was born in 1974 in Hannover, Germany. She studied German Language and Literature, History and Philosophy at Universität Hamburg, Germany, and Université Bordeaux III, France, from 1995 until 2001 - only to return to university later part time and upgrading her MA into a PhD in German Literature in 2009. 

She's been a member of the Edition Nautilus crew since 1996, first in sales, then in press relations, and as an editor since 2003. She became co-CEO in 2016, when we transformed the publishing house into a limited liability company.

Dominique Pleimling is the editorial director at Eichborn Verlag in Cologne/Germany. He studied at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and graduated in 2008. He has worked in teaching and book publishing since.

Piero Salabè, Editor, Hanser Verlag (Germany)

Piero Salabè, born in Rome, has studied in Rome, Venice, London and Munich. He is Senior Fiction Editor of Hanser Verlag in Munich where he works foremost with English, Italian and Spanish literature. Among his authors are Michael Ondaatje, Lisa Moore, Colm Tóibín, AL Kennedy, T.C. Boyle, Orhan Pamuk, Roberto Bolaño and Claudio Magris.  He is also a publicist, a poet and as well as a translator of poetry, being fluent in five languages.

Margo Shickmanter, Editor, Doubleday, Penguin Random House (U.S.)

Margo Shickmanter began in publishing as a scout at Bettina Schrewe Literary Scouting. In 2014, she joined Doubleday US, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she acquires fiction and select narrative nonfiction. Her books have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among others. She lives in New York City.

After working as a teacher and a bookseller, Annette Weber worked as a trainee at S.Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt from 1990 to 1991. From November 1991 until July 1992, she worked as Scholarship (Carl-Duisberg-Gesellschaft) at Farrar, Strauß & Giroux and Scouting Agency Chandler Crawford in New York. From August 1992 until June 1996, she worked as an editorial assistant and then editor at S. Fischer Verlag. From July 1996 until 2014, she was an editor at Droemer Knaur Verlag, Munich and from 2011 onwards, she was the Editorial Director Fiction for Droemer hardcover.

Since 2015, she was the Editorial Director Fiction at DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne.

Distinguished Guests

Olga Baykova joined The Van Lear Agency (with offices in Moscow and the United States) twice – the first time in 2010 and the second time in 2019. Born in Moscow, she graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in journalism but  went on to spend almost twenty-five years in the Russian publishing industry. Here Olga developed her career as an Editor, an Editor-in-Chief, and as a Foreign Rights Director in various companies. Just before rejoining The Van Lear Agency she worked in the AST Publishing Group’s imprint, Mainstream, as Chief Editor for YA Middle Grade Fiction. As a Literary Agent Olga represents in Russia The Bukowski Agency and Transatlantic Agency as well as numerous UK and US literary agencies. The Van Lear Agency also represents UK and US publishing houses.

Myriam Caron-Belzile has taken up her role as Editorial director of Montreal based Éditions XYZ about a year ago, and immediately felt right at home. Because the imprint has published many favourites of hers in its 30-some years of existence? Because she instantly crushed on her very passionate team? Probably a bit of both, plus the fact that taking part in the evolution of artistic voices is simply a wonderful trade.

Having worked in the publishing industry for over a decade, she has edited all kinds of books, from short-stories collections to queer fantasy and North-bound crime novel.

Stéphane Cormier managed a bookstore prior to joining Éditions Prise de parole in 2012, first to oversee the digital shift, and then as head of marketing and co-director. He is involved in various associations, as vice-president of the Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens and president of the Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury, while he is also part of the committee currently giving shape to the bookstore to be included within the future Place des Arts de Sudbury. His recent project Poèmes de la résistance, a 40-poet collection rallied in reaction to Conservative budget cuts, resonated with many across French Canada.

After completing degrees in Literature/Creative Writing and Latin American studies at UC San Diego, Alanna Feldman moved to New York to professionally pursue her lifelong passion for books. She worked at literary agencies including Writers House and Sanford J. Greenburger Associates before becoming a scout at Mary Anne Thompson Associates, where she worked for eight years. In February of 2017 she founded Alanna Feldman Scouting in Los Angeles; her clients are Orion in the UK, Sonatine and Le Cherche Midi in France, HarperCollins Italia in Italy, Hoffmann Und Campe in Germany, Karakter in Holland, and New Regency for film/TV. 

Lyndsey Fineran is Programme and Commissions Manager for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival – the oldest and one of the largest book festivals in the world. She holds Literature degrees from Durham and St Andrews Universities and worked in theatre and arts journalism before joining the Festival in 2013. In her 5+ years with the Festival, she’s been responsible for managing an annual programme of 450+ events, founded the ‘Off the Page’ programme and Lit Crawl Cheltenham, broadened the Festival’s digital work and forged international partnerships. She’s on the board of BAFA (British Arts Festivals Association), chairs events and writes for various publications.

David Forrer began his career in publishing in 1997 after receiving a Masters in Creative Writing (fiction) from Boston University. He has been an agent with InkWell Management since it was created in 2004. His areas of interest and representation range from literary, commercial, historical and crime fiction to suspense/thriller, humorous non-fiction and popular history.

Originally from Greece, Ioannis Kalkounos is Programme Manager at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Previously, he was Vice Chair of the Craigmillar Literacy Trust, and Director of the More!Fun Children’s Book Festival, a touring festival within the Edinburgh City Libraries. In 2011, his first collection of poems Dakryma was published in Athens.

John Parsley, Editor in Chief/VP, Dutton and Plume, Penguin Random House (U.S.)

John Parsley oversees Dutton’s editorial department. John was previously VP, Executive Editor at Little, Brown, and he has edited many New York Times bestsellers and prize winners, including works by Walter R. Borneman, Seth Casteel, Harlan Coben, Tamer Elnoury, Joseph Finder, Chris Hadfield, Oakley Hall, Annie Jacobsen, Sam Kean, Beth Macy, Don Mann, Kevin Mitnick, Willie Nelson, Joshua Ramo, Mariano Rivera, Tavis Smiley, Brad Stone, Craig Unger, Max Uriarte, and Alan Weisman. Authors John has worked with have won or been finalists for the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize, Lukas Prize, NBCC Award, PEN Awards, and Pulitzer Prize.

Sooyun Yum is an assistant manager at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea). LTI Korea is a South Korean public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. With the aim to share Korean literature and culture with the world, LTI Korea runs a wide range of programs directed at writers, translators, publishers, and readers. Sooyun is currently based in New York at the Korean Cultural Center and manages publication projects and events on Korean literature in the U.S. and Canada.

Canadian Delegates

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is Anishinaabe from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Chippewas of Nawash First Nation at Neyaashiinigmiing on the Saugeen Peninsula in southwestern Ontario. Kateri is the founder and Managing Editor of Kegedonce Press, an Indigenous publishing company staffed and run by women. Since 1993, Kegedonce Press has been publishing the literary cultural expression of Indigenous writers from across Canada and internationally and is committed to publishing beautifully crafted books, beautifully designed, showcasing the art and photography of Indigenous artists and geared, first and foremost, to Indigenous readers.

Kateri is a well-known writer, spoken word artist, librettist, mentor to Indigenous writers through her work as an instructor, teacher, and editor and has done readings, performances, and speaking engagements around the world.

Jill McConkey, Acquisitions Editor, University of Manitoba Press (MB)

Jill McConkey (MA) has worked in scholarly publishing for twenty years, primarily in the fields of history and literature and specializing in Indigenous studies. After a decade at University of Toronto Press, she became University of Manitoba Press’s first dedicated acquisitions editor. Pursuing the highest standards of scholarship, including rigorous peer review, and working closely with scholars to develop their work for publication, Jill strives to maintain UMP’s reputation for bringing new scholarship to wide audiences, promoting work by emerging scholars, and publishing innovative work in Indigenous studies and history. She also volunteers as a prison librarian in Winnipeg.

Natasha Slack, Operations Manager, Theytus books (B.C.)

Garry Thomas Morse, Editor, Portage & Main Press/HighWater Press (MB). Photo Credit KC Adams

Garry Thomas Morse grew up on the BC coast and now lives in Winnipeg. He has published several collections of poetry, notably Discovery Passages about his Kwakwaka’wakw Indigenous ancestors, shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and Prairie Harbour, also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. He has twice been shortlisted for the national Re-Lit Award for fiction, and has served as the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto and the Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg. He is currently an editor at Portage and Main/Highwater Press.

Kevin Williams is the President, Publisher and majority partner of Talonbooks. He has been in the book business for 38 years: 10 years as a bookseller and 28 years in distribution and publishing. He was a long time executive and partner at Raincoast Books, serving over the course of 20 years as Executive Vice President Business Development, Publisher, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of International Sales and VP of Operations,. He holds a BA in communications from Simon Fraser University. He is currently a board member of the ABPBC.