Sep 3, 2018
Robert Lecker is a Canadian scholar, author, and Greenshields Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal, where he specializes in Canadian literature. He has held a number of prominent positions in the Canadian publishing industry throughout his career. He co-founded ECW Press in 1977, he co-edited the Canadian literary journal Essays on Canadian Writing between 1975 and 2004, he has edited several anthologies of Canadian and international literature, and he currently heads a literary agency in Montreal, the Robert Lecker Agency.
I met Robert in his office at McGill. Among other things we talked about the role of the literary agent, gatekeeping, stamps of approval, how writers should pitch their works to agents, the creative process and saleability, getting the reader to want to turn the first page, literary agents as sales people, art being a collaborative exercise, Matie Molinaro, Doris Hedges, Canada's best writers looking abroad for agents, the importance of the Canada Council, the authors' platform, the New Canadian Library, historically insufficient Canadian copyright laws, Canada's demographic and distribution disadvantages, subsidiary rights, and agents as "editors."