Hilary McMahon

My agent, Hilary McMahon, has been a gracious and unwavering champion for me and my work for fourteen years. The entire team at Westwood Creative Artists is smart, effective, ethical and well-connected in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. I couldn’t ask for better representation.

Susan JubyAuthor of The Truth Commission

Pursuing a degree in journalism and English was a practical career choice for someone obsessed with the written word. But after graduating and working in public relations and the magazine industry, I realized that my true passion was reading the work of others, rather than producing my own. I joined Westwood Creative Artists in 1995 and never looked back. Now I’m a senior agent and shareholder, representing the company in New York, Frankfurt and London. I speak regularly about publishing and agenting at events across Canada. As an extrovert and a diplomat, I’m also in charge of human resources at the agency.

Now that I have a robust client list I’m very selective about taking on authors

But I still love the thrill of discovering a new voice. I’m particularly proud of the authors I’ve nurtured since the beginning of their careers, such as Susan Juby, Susin Nielsen and Carrie Snyder. I love narrative non-fiction that makes me look at the past and the present in a new way; that engages my curiosity and provokes contemplation and discussion. Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston, The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray and Empire of Deception by Dean Jobb are recent highlights. I represent a number of skilled ghost writers who are available for commissioned work.

What I’m looking for

I’m drawn to compelling and unique voices in fiction, and fresh stories that provoke a strong emotional reaction, whether it’s laughter or tears. I’ve been in a book group for more than twenty years and am always hunting for those crossover literary/upmarket fiction titles that are perfect for word of mouth success, such as The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake. I’m open to realistic, accomplished, middle-grade and YA. In non-fiction, I want the singular project that only that author has the authority, skill and perspective to deliver, whether it’s a memoir like Juliet’s Answer, an expose like Jacques Poitras’ Irving vs Irving, or a cookbook like Lucy Waverman’s Flavour Principles.

I’m not the right fit for

  • Genre fiction
  • Fantasy, sci fi, mysteries, horror, romance
  • Prescriptive non-fiction
  • Politics

My approach

I work hard and I expect my authors to do the same. Both of our names are attached to outgoing submissions and that means working through as many drafts as it takes. I value the enduring, rewarding relationships I have with my clients; relationships built on honesty and respect.

Amusing miscellany

My parents are Newfoundlanders, which explains my love of laughter and my tenacity. As the mother of two very sporty boys, I am a late-blooming athlete, far more enthusiastic than skilled. In the office I am known for my whistling and my addiction to chocolate. No intervention required.

Founding member of PACLA

Selected Clients