About Us

What We Believe

It used to be that writers had editors to watch their backs, but over the past century the literary agent has risen to stand by the writer, to help them birth their literary works, to polish them until they are ready for submission, and to help authors find the best publishing homes – eventually leading their works to widespread markets and audiences.

This is what we do at TRF. Whether you are a debut author just finishing your first novel, an expert, teacher or journalist working on a narrative non-fiction or prescriptive work, someone with a memoir or great life story to tell, or a graphic novelist, we’re interested in hearing from you – if you haven’t heard from us first.

Every agent at TRF is looking for work they can get excited about, in every genre and category. If you’re in the market, we encourage you to look at the agents here and see if one of them seems like the perfect business partner for you.

Film & TV

A strong story in book form is the perfect – and most common – raw material for film and TV adaptation. Selling great stories into other media is something we explore actively, with close ties to film and TV agents across the entertainment landscape, locally and internationally.

Origins

The Rights Factory was founded in 2004 with a handful of clients and a massive search for new talent in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. We now have nine different agents and represent hundreds of clients from around the world.

Editorial Feedback

We are an editorial agency and we will be tough on your work, because we are committed to developing your project until it is absolutely ready to take to market. Along the way, we will champion you across the industry and media and make sure what you wrote is seen by the best editors, and we will provide you with professional insight to help your project become the best book it can be, for the audience that will love it.

Staff

Sam Hiyate

President

Since 1990 Sam has worked at literary magazines, small presses and with New York Times bestselling authors, editing and representing everything from debut fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction to graphic novels. He has taught writing and publishing privately since 2000 and also at various universities. His most recent project is an online magazine, Don’t Talk to Me About Love, exploring love in literary and artistic works.

Mike Auty

Operations Manager

Over the last fifteen years, Mike has worked to modernize small businesses by using the right combination of technology, collaborative workflows and design. Always coming from a content-first, mobile-first, human-centered view of the customer experience, publishing is the latest industry to fall victim to his relentless pursuit of efficiency. Using software to enable the people who make up an organization to spend more time adding value and less time doing things that robots can now do for us.

Gina Zampino

Agency Assistant

Born and raised in New Jersey, Gina married her in-game sweetheart and ran off to Canada in a cube van before anyone could talk her out of it. Once across the border, she received an undergraduate degree in English Language & Literature at Queen’s University and later went on to earn a graduate certificate in Publishing at Centennial College. When she’s not in the office, Gina can reliably be found falling in love with video game characters, bumping into things in VR, and championing the sport of mushroom hunting.

Ryleigh Walsh

Agency Assistant

Born and raised in northwestern Ontario, Ryleigh Walsh now calls beautiful British Columbia home. A graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University with a certificate in Editing, she is a member of the Editor’s Association of Canada, and works as a freelance editor in Vancouver, Canada. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of the literary zine, skirt quarterly.

Selena Mercuri

Intern

Selena developed an affinity for the publishing industry during her time as a reader at The Transatlantic Literary Agency before finding the wonderful Rights Factory team. She is a student of English and French Literature at The University of Toronto, spending her spare time copy editing for The Spectatorial and interviewing authors for The Varsity. 

Selena’s interests include horror, sci-fi, historical fiction, literary fiction, and anything YA. She is currently working on her own historical fiction novel set in Russian during the 1930s. 

 Currently, Selena lives in Toronto with her cat, Horatio.

Alissa Brothers

Intern

Born and bred along the foggy coast of Newfoundland, Alissa’s love of reading was nurtured by the calm and mystical atmosphere of the island. After completing her undergraduate degree at Memorial University, she travelled to the mainland to complete her Publishing Certificate at Ryerson. She secured the position of an intern at The Rights Factory after meeting Sam through his Literary Rights course, and is currently enjoying learning as much as she can about the industry. If not reading or binge watching Netflix, Alissa can be found at just about any Harry Potter related event happening in the GTA.