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Publishing Speaker Series

Léonicka Valcius - January 27, 2023
Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency and the founder of #DiverseCanLit 

About: Léonicka Valcius is a Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency, representing commercial and genre fiction for adults and children. As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the former Chair of The Festival of Literary Diversity, working with writers of colour is a key part of her mandate. Léonicka previously worked on the Online and Digital Sales team at Penguin Random House Canada, as the French book buyer for Scholastic Book Fairs Canada, and as a Book Sales and Marketing instructor at Centennial College. She is currently a JD Candidate at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, with a special interest in Intellectual Property Law, Labour Law, and Entertainment Law.

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Uzma Jalaluddin  - January 12, 2023
Bestselling author of Hana Khan Carries On and Ayesha At Last.

About: Uzma Jalaluddin grew up in a diverse suburb of Toronto, but her favourite place in the world is the nearest bookstore or library. Her debut novel, Ayesha at Last (2018), is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the Toronto Muslim community. The novel was a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, featured on The Today Show, and was a Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2019. Ayesha at Last was optioned for film by Pascal Pictures. Jalaluddin’s second novel, Hana Khan Carries On (2021), was an instant Canadian bestseller. The novel is a reimagining of You’ve Got Mail set in rival halal restaurants. Hana Khan Carries On has been optioned for film by Amazon Studios and Mindy Kaling. Jalaluddin also writes a culture and parenting column for the Toronto Star and has written for The Atlantic. She lives near Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two sons, where she teaches high school. Follow Uzma Jalaluddin on Twitter @UzmaWrites or Instagram @UzmaJalaluddin

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Raphael van Lierop - December 7, 2022
Founder and Creative Director of Hinterland Studio, Creator of The Long Dark
Hosted by Christina Fawcett, Department of English

About: Raphael van Lierop is the founder and chief creative officer at Hinterland, an independent game developer and IP creator based in Vancouver, BC. After a dozen years working on award-winning franchises in the triple-A industry as a director, producer, designer, and writer, van Lierop founded Hinterland in 2012 to create thoughtful, innovative worlds that engage players in the joy of exploration. Believing that interactivity is at the heart of all future entertainment, van Lierop is passionate about original IP creation, bringing experiences to life through ethical and sustainable business practices, and proving it's possible to lead a team humanely while also producing best-in-class experiences for players.

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Carly Watters – October 6, 2022
SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary & Sitting VP of the sitting VP of Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents

About: Carly Watters has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Her master’s thesis was on the social, political, and economic impact of literary prizes on trade publishing. She began her publishing career in London as an assistant at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. Watters joined Toronto-based P.S. Literary Agency in 2010 and has sold over 100 books during her career. She represents award-winning and bestselling authors in the adult fiction and non-fiction categories, and select children’s books.

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