McIntosh & Otis

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McIntosh & Otis
Founded 1928
Founder Mavis McIntosh (1906-1986), Elizabeth Otis
Type Literary agency
Headquarters New York City, New York
  • 353 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Eugene H. (Gene) Winick
Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein[1]
Director of Subsidiary Rights
Shira Hoffman
Literary Agent
Christa Heschke

McIntosh & Otis is a literary agency based in New York City.[2] It was incorporated in 1928 by Mavis McIntosh and Elizabeth Otis. The agency handles literary estates and subsidiary rights for the authors that it represents.


Mavis McIntosh (1906-1986) and Elizabeth Otis founded McIntosh & Otis in the mid 1920s, after they quit the literary agency at which they were working because they were dissatisfied with its practices. In 1928, they incorporated the firm, and by the early 1930s, it was a reputable and successful literary agency.[3]

In 1963, McIntosh & Otis merged with New-York based agency Constance Smith Associates. Patricia Schartle Myrer, who was a partner at Constance Smith Associates, became President of McIntosh & Otis.[4]

In the 1970s, McIntosh & Otis hired Eugene Winick, a copyright attorney, as outside counsel to represent the literary estates of authors represented by McIntosh & Otis, such as Mary Higgins Clark, Harper Lee, Sinclair Lewis, Ayn Rand, and Thomas Wolfe. In 1984, Patricia Schartle Myrer retired and appointed Eugene Winick as President of McIntosh & Otis.[4]

In 2001, Samuel Pinkus, a literary agent at McIntosh & Otis and Eugene Winick's son-in-law, took over as President of the agency but left in 2004.[4]

Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, Eugene Winick's daughter, is currently the President of McIntosh & Otis.[5][6]

Authors represented[edit]

John Steinbeck[edit]

In 1931, John Steinbeck sent McIntosh & Otis a number of his early manuscripts based on the recommendation of Carl Wilhelmson. McIntosh & Otis gave Steinbeck positive encouragement, and he stuck with the firm as his only literary agency for the rest of his career, spanning nearly 40 years.[3][7]

In 1952, McIntosh & Otis sold the film rights of Steinbeck's classic novel East of Eden (1952) to Warner Brothers, which adapted it as a 1955 movie starring James Dean. Steinbeck received $125,000 for the film rights, plus 25 percent of the profits.[10]

When Steinbeck won the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature, he gave McIntosh & Otis a percentage of the award money out of gratitude for their support.[4]

In 2004, McIntosh & Otis sold the film rights of Steinbeck's classic novel East of Eden to Universal Pictures, after the book was chosen for Oprah's Book Club list. The option expired, and Universal had to once again obtain the film rights.[11] A forthcoming two-film series, starring Jennifer Lawrence, was scheduled for production as of April 2014.[12][13][14]

Patricia Highsmith[edit]

Patricia Highsmith appointed Patricia Schartle Myrer as her literary agent in 1959, when Myrer was with Constance Smith Associates. After Constance Smith Associates merged with McIntosh & Otis in 1963, Myrer continued as Patricia Highsmith's American literary agent. A. M. Heath served as Patricia Highsmith's British agents. Over time, Patricia Highsmith came to resent the 5% commission each literary agency took, and Myrer fired Highsmith in 1979.[9]

Literary Agents[edit]

Subsidiary Rights[edit]

McIntosh & Otis handle the subsidiary rights for Louisiana University Press and the University of Nebraska Press.

On September 12, 2013 McIntosh & Otis announced that they would handle the subsidiary rights for Rutgers University Press with respect to paperback reprints, audio, e-book, book club, foreign, film, TV and stage rights.[21]


In June 2013, McIntosh & Otis filed a lawsuit against a literary agent formerly employed with them, Samuel Pinkus, in relation with another lawsuit that was filed against him by author Harper Lee, who claimed that Pinkus had duped her into handing over her copyright for her novel To Kill A Mockingbird.[4][22][23] McIntosh & Otis claimed a percentage of commissions Pinkus earned from clients he took with him when he left the company in 2004 but eventually settled the lawsuit in September 2013.[24]


  1. ^ Heidi Richards (September 13, 2013). "Meet woman in Business Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein". WE Magazine for Women. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  2. ^ Chuck Sambuchino, ed. (Aug 9, 2011). 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. F+W Media, Inc. p. 225. ISBN 9781599632438. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Brian E. Railsback, Michael J. Meyer (ed.). A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Mark Seal (August 2013). "To Steal a Mockingbird?". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein". The Muse and the Marketplace 2015. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Heidi Richards (September 13, 2013). "Meet woman in Business Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein". WE magazine for women. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Bio of Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein". Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Love & History - a Perfect Match". Publishers Weekly. 12 Nov 2001. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Kera Bolonik (November 20, 2003). "Murder, She Wrote". The Nation. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "East of Eden (1955), Turner Classic Movies". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  11. ^ Borys Kit (Feb 24, 2014). "Gary Ross to Write New Jennifer Lawrence 'East of Eden' Adaptation". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Recent News at McIntosh & Otis". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  13. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (September 26, 2013). "Jennifer Lawrence to play 'East of Eden's' 'psychotic monster'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence's 'East of Eden' May Be Two Movies, Says Director (Exclusive Video)". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  15. ^ "McIntosh & Otis, Inc. - Eugene Winick". 1000 Literary Agents. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  16. ^ "McIntosh & Otis, Inc. - Elizabeth A. Winick Rubinstein". 1000 Literary Agents. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  17. ^ Chuck Sambuchino (January 20, 2011). "Successful Queries: Agent Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein and "The Weird Sisters"". Writer's Digest. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  18. ^ "Ina Winick , McIntosh & Otis, Inc". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  19. ^ a b Chuck Sambuchino (April 28, 2013). "Agent Advice: Shira Hoffman of McIntosh & Otis, Inc". Writer's Digest. Retrieved April 20, 2014. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "shira-hoffman" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  20. ^ Chuck Sambuchino (Sep 30, 2013). "New Literary Agent Alert: Adam Muhlig of McIntosh & Otis". Writer's Digest. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "McIntosh & Otis to Handle RUP's Sub Rights". Sep 12, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Pete Brush (September 6, 2013). "Harper Lee Settles With Agent Over 'Mockingbird' Copyright". Law360. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  23. ^ Cara Matthews (August 12, 2013). "'Mockingbird' author stars in her own courtroom classic". The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News. USA Today. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  24. ^ Cara Matthews (September 6, 2013). "Harper Lee settles 'To Kill a Mockingbird' suit". The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal. USA Today. Retrieved April 20, 2014.

External links[edit]