Founded in 2005, Kalem Agency is one of the biggest agencies in Turkey. The agency has two major roles: representing numerous esteemed Turkish authors. As of April 2023, it has signed over 3,000 contracts to promote Turkish literature abroad, covering not only major European languages such as English and French, but also languages of limited diffusion such as Georgian and Danish, reaching a list of 64 languages. The second major role of the agency is operating as a sub-agent, facilitating relationships between publishers and literary agencies on a larger scale. The agency represents fiction, nonfiction and children’s and YA titles of many prominent publishing houses and agencies by presenting their lists to Turkish publishers.
At Kalem Agency, each of us fulfils a specific role, and together, we form an integral part of a unified whole. Kalem Agency’s founder, Nermin Mollaoğlu was chosen as the young publisher entrepreneur in Turkey in 2009 by British Council and awarded with the International Excellency for The Agencies in 2017 at London Book Fair. It was announced that the reason behind this award was that “she has in one decade become a second bridge to the outside world for her writers at a point in Turkish history when this connection is more crucial than ever, and harder than ever to achieve.”
Events participation takes up a significant portion of Kalem’s work – not only book fairs, where authors are introduced to editors and deals are struck, but also literary festivals, with a view to facilitating post-production promotion.
Kalem organises events bringing together publishers, authors, translators, and readers. Istanbul International Literature Festival (ITEF), since 2009 with the initiative of Kalem Agency, organised by the Kalem Culture Association, a non-profit institution, it is an international festival that brings together local and foreign writers and literary professionals with Turkish literature, cultural scenes in Turkey, and writers and publishers of our country, both in Istanbul and in many cities of Anatolia. ITEF-Istanbul International Literature Festival includes international events for professionals such as the Fellowship Programme where collaboration among authors, publishers, editors and translators both from Turkey and abroad is encouraged. As of 2023, ITEF has hosted almost 600 authors and 150 publishing professionals from over 60 countries.
Kalem operationalizes professional networks that they themselves initiate and/or sustain in order to mediate between their international clients. It also stands out as one of the world’s most socially engaged agencies, particularly in its use of social media. We provide a platform for everyone to express themselves every Tuesday through the hashtag #salıbende and #kalemagencytakeover, fostering connections between publishing members and the broader community.
In 2021, Kalem also opened Kalem House, a literary house located in the Gacık village of Yalova, to the south of Istanbul to offer residency for authors and translators when needed.
- Translation Services / between Turkish and 53 foreign languages
- Copyright Management
- Publishing Consultancy/ International Relations
- Literary Events Organization / Professional Programs management / Translation workshops
- Union European Cultural Projects Consultance
Kalem Agency Team
Literary Agent ( Children and Young Adut)
Contract Coordinator / ITEF Coordinator
Literary Agent (Non Fiction Agent)
Burcu Ünsal Çeküç
Literary Agent (Children and Young Adult)
Elif Nur Şafak
Junior Literary Agent (Fiction)
F. Betül Uğur
Literary Agent (Fiction)
Literary Agent & Founder
Director of Finance
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