Thursday, May 16, 2024

ArtHouse Literary has three agents looking for authors ~ everything from picture books to literary fiction

ArtHouse Literary Agency

Note: You can now get new postings on Quick Brown Fox delivered straight to your Inbox as I publish them. Subscribe to the new Quick Brown Fox page on Substack here:

ArtHouse Literary is a new agency, originally founded in 2020 (I think) as Art + Deco and relaunched in 2021 as ArtHouse. To date, they have just 32 deals listed on Publishers Marketplace (largely romance) and, as of yet, don’t seem to have any well-known authors. In short, it’s a start-up looking for authors who wow them with their queries.

They’re trying to position themselves as “an agency built around bold, thought-provoking, and underrepresented voices.” But of course, everyone and their dog is looking for underrepresented voices, so nothing to set them apart there. In truth, like every agency what will (or perhaps won’t) eventually give them a reputation are the authors they represent. So far they're still looking.

The firm has four agents, including the founder and Senior Agent Felice Laverne, plus three associate agents, real beginners, all of whom really need authors:

Esty Loveing-Downes, Associate Agent

Esty holds a BFA in creative writing from Ringling College of Art + Design and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Queens University of Charlotte. Aside from serving as a daily editor for the Southern Review of Books, she joined the teams at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency and Tobias Literary Agency before joining the ArtHouse Literary Agency team and becoming an Associate Literary Agent.

Esty is looking for romance, upmarket fiction, YA, genre-blending sci-fi, picture books, and select nonfiction and literary fiction.

In romance and YA, Esty is looking for tropes like enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, and grumpy-sunshine like THE FLATSHARE or BEACH READ, or marriage-of-convenience stories like THE UNHONEYMOONERS. She’d love to see a fresh take on PRIDE & PREJUDICE, EMMA, or ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. If you’ve got contemporary stories with dual POVs and impossible love like THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, or a classic retellings like THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS that include high stakes, plot tension, and compelling soulmate vibes—send those her way, too.

In upmarket, Esty is looking for titles with women in STEM like LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, updated classics like Ann Napolitano’s Little Women retelling, HELLO, BEAUTIFUL, and wlw knockouts with queer representation like THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO. She’s also looking for genre-blending sci-fi or speculative fiction like THE NIGHT CIRCUS, magical realism like Carmen Maria Machado’s HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES, or nonlinear, poetic work like THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR. She’d also love to see “romantasy” with strong leads like A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, fae stories with romance tropes like THE CRUEL PRINCE, character-driven journeys like THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, or the fairy tale vibes of SPINNING SILVER.

In picture books, send heartwarming titles with a BIPOC focus like EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS and creative, imagination-friendly projects like DRAGONS LOVE TACOS.

Esty would also like to see literary fiction with artful realism like THE RABBIT HUTCH and TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW, the heart wrenching yearning of NORMAL PEOPLE, characters challenging society like OUR MISSING HEARTS, or books like THE INCENDIARIES and SEVERANCE that examine marginalized characters, injustice, or religion. Characters examining systems of oppression through twisty plots in books like THE NICKEL BOYS, SALVAGE THE BONES, and INTERIOR CHINATOWN are welcome, and mythological retellings like Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, especially those set outside of Europe. This is a home for fresh retellings, fairy tales, and artful, rebellious prose.

For a better look at the kind of titles Esty gravitates towards, scroll her Pinterest board here.

In nonfiction, Esty is looking for insightful social commentary like that of Ijeoma Oluo, Brené Brown, and Mikki Kendall.

Query Esty through the agency’s Query Manager here.


Note: If you’re interested in writing kid lit, don’t miss our upcoming online “Writing for Children and for Young Adults” workshop with Erin O’Connor, senior editor at Scholastic Books, Saturday, June 15. Details here.

Also, this summer, we’ll offer an online “Writing Little Kid Lit” course on Wednesday evenings, July 3 through August 14. Details here.


Miriam Cortinovis, Associate Agent 

Born and raised in Italy, Miriam (they/she) moved to Chicago as a teenager and has since earned a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing & Publishing from DePaul University. After an excellent internship at Aevitas Creative Management, for which she also freelance read, she landed at ArtHouse Literary as an intern. 

Miriam became Associate Agent through intense months of professional growth and supported learning. When not reading or writing SFF fiction of their own, Miriam enjoys playing videogames with their partner and scheming on Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Their MSWL is inspired by all these speculative passions on top of their non-binary, bisexual, and chronically ill identity.

In general, Miriam is eagerly looking for everything and anything speculative across most age ranges – Adult, Young Adult, and Upper Middle Grade.

Query Miriam through the agency’s Query Manager here.

Carleen Geisler, Associate Agent

Carleen lives in the Greater Vancouver area. She comes from a background in technical writing and content marketing. When she found the world of publishing, she fell in love and dove in head first: starting her own author career as well as an internship at ArtHouse. She works on both sides with equal passion, and loves to help authors discover their "why" and curate their careers.

For fiction, Carleen is looking for adult contemporary stories across genres. She loves suspense, especially if it comes with a dose of weird (think GOOD RICH PEOPLE by Eliza Jane Brazier or BUNNY by Mona Awad), and dark stories are her typical go-to. She is okay with mild speculative elements if they are close to real-world or very grounded.

She loves the strange and whimsical, as well as the dark and dreadful. She likes romance, but prefers it to be part of a "bigger picture" story (think THE ARC by Tory Henwood Hoen), or at least that it has a great b-plot.

She is especially interested in stories told from the voices of women, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities. She loves morally grey characters, or stories where no one is really good in the end, and craves finding something that breaks the norm of a trope in a satisfying way.

She prefers shorter stories over long ones (still within novel standards though, please!) and is happy to consider manuscripts that bend or combine genres.

For nonfiction, Carleen is interested in topics along the lines of spirituality, intuition, natural living, community, culture, food, and agriculture.

Query Carleen through the agency’s Query Manager here.

See the agency’s submission guidelines here.

See all our upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and four-day writing retreats here.

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. If you're searching for a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Deadlines coming up fast!

We Were the Bullfighters

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of We Were the Bullfighters by Marianne K. Miller, perfect for historical fiction readers!

Sent to cover bank robber Red Ryan’s daring prison break, a young Ernest Hemingway becomes fascinated with the convict.

Deadline May 28. More about We Were the Bullfighters and details about how to win your copy here.

Note: See more about forthcoming books and book launches by your fellow authors here (and scroll down).  


CANSCAIPs annual Writing for Children Competition is Canada’s largest competition for unpublished children’s writers. 

Four $500 cash prizes will be awarded to the winning Middle Grade and Young Adult entries, and to the top two Picture Book entries. Two finalists in each category will also be selected. The winners and finalists will be given time to revise their entries before CANSCAIP submits them to Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Scholastic Canada for evaluations. 

Every entry receives a written evaluation from a traditionally published CANSCAIP Member volunteer reader. Entries advancing to the second round receive another evaluation, and entries on the shortlist receive evaluations from each jury member.  

We can’t wait to read your story!

Deadline: May 31. Full submission guidelines here.

Note: If you’re interested in writing for kids don’t miss our June 15 Writing for children and for young adults” workshop with Erin O’Connor, senior editor at scholastic books (see here).

Also, this summer, we’ll have a weekly “Writing Little Kid Lit” course (see here).


The Future by Catherine Leroux
published by Biliosasis

Book publisher Biblioasis is always open for submissions of literary fiction and nonfiction. 

We are looking for works of exceptional literary and cultural merit across the board. From established writers, we seek work that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with books by Clark Blaise, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Lucy Ellmann, Stephen Marche, Kathy Page, Eric Ormsby, or Rinaldo Walcott. From emerging writers, we look for potential within both the work and the author: we’re proud to have published debuts by Kathleen Winter, Alexander MacLeod, Luke Hathaway, Kevin Lambert, Alice Petersen, and more.

Full submission guidelines here.

Currently, Biblioasis is also open for submissions of poetry manuscripts and will remain open until Friday, May 31st, or until they reach two hundred submissions—whichever comes first!

Individual poems in the manuscript may have appeared in journals or anthologies, but the collection as a whole must not have appeared in either print or digital editions.

Manuscripts should range between 48 and 100 pages in length.

Full guidelines re poetry submissions here.

Note: See information about other publishers looking for manuscripts here (and scroll down).


Burlington Library Writing Contest

Burlington Public Library's annual writing contest is open to everyone ages 10 and up, including adults. You must live, work, or attend school in Burlington, Ontario.

The theme for the 2024 contest is "Journeys of Discovery." You can interpret the word "journey" in any way you like. Your submission can be about physical journeys, emotional growth, self-discovery, exploration of new worlds or ideas, or anything else that fits the theme. To be eligible for judging, your written narrative must include the word "journey," or your comic artwork must represent the concept of a journey.

Judging Categories & Awards

  • Short story: Ages 10-12, 13-17, 18+
  • Poem: Ages 10-12, 13-17, 18+
  • Comics: Ages 10-12, 13-17, 18+

One winner will be selected in each age category and receive a $100 cash prize!

Deadline: May 31. Full submission guidelines here.

See information about upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Note: You can now get new postings on Quick Brown Fox delivered straight to your Inbox as I publish them. Subscribe to the new Quick Brown Fox page on Substack here:

Also, you can get an email about twice a month about what’s coming up in terms of writing classes, workshops, and retreats, plus providing links to the other material on the Quick Brown Fox blog. For that, add your name and email in the Sign-Up box at the top of the righthand column. ~Brian

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

“Collections” by Catherine Munro

Most people collect something during their lifetime.

Men collect luxury cars if they can afford them, ex-wives if they can afford them, stamps, coins, toy soldiers and train sets if they’re less ambitious.

Women collect shoes, handbags, scarfs, cats, teddy bears and lovers between husbands.

I collect Trimdin jackets.

It all started on a beautiful autumn day when my dear friend and colleague, Jane Baker and I were having lunch together in the park next to St. James Anglican Cathedral, King Street, Toronto.

When we had finished our lunch Jane said, “Let’s go and look in the new store in the concourse that has beautiful handwoven clothes.”

I was barely ten feet in the door when I saw this gorgeous cotton handwoven turquoise and blue jacket. It had a sign on it saying, “Buy me Catherine.” I tried it on for the size, and also to see how it looked with my black outfit – black was the standard Bay Street (financial district) dress code.  It looked terrific. I bought it. It’s still in my closet.  It might be considered vintage by now as it is over thirty years old.

One day I was at an art exhibition at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg, just north of Toronto.  I think it was about 2008. I went into the Gift Shop to buy some postcards, and what did I see but another jacket which had the same sign saying, “Buy me Catherine.” So I did.

I had a small collection of jackets at this point but my nascent collection had just become focused.  This jacket was a Trimdin jacket. Plus, it was reversible and so doubly beautiful.  It’s still in my closet, but beginning to look a little worn – just a little.

When I got home with my new jacket I checked the Trimdin website to see where they were located, and what else they made. They made only jackets at that time and were made in the US – that was a bonus. WOW what a gorgeous collection! They’re made from jacquard unique textiles. That’s what makes the jackets so special.  They’re  very classic so if you wanted to look like an up-to-date fashion icon they were not for you. But I liked jackets I could wear for years.

The collection was in various designs and colours – few in solid colours with a different design on the reverse side. The textiles are vibrant and unique and designed in house.  I’ve a beautiful deep red jacket for very special celebrations. They make long and short jackets but all very classic, and I soon learned they bring out new designs at least twice a year which are all designed in house.

There was an email address and phone number on the website.  I phoned to see if there was an outlet anywhere nearer to me in downtown Toronto than Kleinberg.  I talked to Michael, one of the owners, who told me about a store in the concourse of the Royal York Hotel that carried a small line of their jackets.

I live within walking distance of the Royal York so I went to the shop to see what their selection of jackets was like.  I bought two more Trimdin jackets.  You might say now I was hooked!  One of the jackets is a black and white reversible in the Ruffle style. It made its debut in New York at a performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Unfortunately, the store stopped selling these jackets when the Canadian dollar tanked against the US dollar. By now I have a good idea of my size and what suited my lifestyle.

I began ordering jackets on line. Every time Trimdin produced a new line I’d get an email.  Can I resist buying another jacket or not? Mostly it was not. Then they began having a sale twice a year. The $US exchange rate wasn’t getting any better and a sale always made me feel I could afford another jacket. I’m the perfect marketing target!

This was the beginning of a chatty telephone or email relationship with Michael and his wife and partner Marissa about what to buy next.  They have all my information on file – address, phone number, email address and credit card number so all I have to do is send an email, or phone saying what I want, not need, to buy.

Trimdin has the most outstanding customer service I’ve ever come across. A couple of years ago I ordered two jackets from one of their sales.  When the jackets arrived they were a size larger than I wear.  I phoned Michael to see if they had my size before I returned them for an exchange. eHh He told me to keep them and he would send the size I ordered – no charge. I sent the jackets to my daughter, Melissa in Australia.  Now Trimdin has a presence in Australia! I’m not sure how often she can wear them because she lives in Cairns, Queensland where the temperature seldom dips below 35 centigrade, but visits her grandchildren in Sydney where it’s much cooler.e



There came a point when I realized I had an obscene number of jackets hanging in my closet.  Time to do a little culling – but what jackets? The women reading this story will probably recognize the panic that sets in I’ll probably need this jacket some time so maybe I should keep it. Mostly I did keep them.

I still have so many jackets I can divide them into seasons with a little overlap because they are reversible.  Some of the jackets I only like one side. There are certain jackets I only wear to the opera or ballet.  Others I wear to plays, lectures or to church. Most women of my generation like to be well dressed.

I did make an exception for my opera jacket when I was Irene Declute’s matron of honour when she married Doug Fisher in 2012. She deserved a very special jacket.           

A couple of weeks ago I was at my ophthalmologist’s wearing one of my long summer jackets. He said, “you’re looking very fashionable today.”

“I have a cupboard full of jackets and nowhere to wear them during this pandemic.”

“You can come to my office any time dressed like that.”


I bought my last jacket early in 2020 from a new collection. It’s called Classic Mardi Gras Confetti. This jacket was to wear for my 90th birthday celebrations.  Well, that didn’t happen.  The birthday happened in October, but the celebrations were postponed until October 2021 – 91 was the new 90. My jacket arrived with a handwritten note from Michael wishing me an early 90th birthday – I’ll treasure that note.

When I wake up in the morning I say to myself, What play am I in today and what’s the costume?

Then I get up, get dressed and put on a beautiful Trimdin jacket to start the day.


Catherine Munro was born Toronto and grew up in Mississauga when it was rural Ontario.  She left Canada when she was 24 to see the world and returned when she was 48.  In the intervening years she married an Australian, Kenneth Munro, lived in Ghana, West Africa, and Australia.  She writes memoirs for her children and their children. 

See Brian Henry’s upcoming one-day workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats here. 

Note: You can now get new postings on Quick Brown Fox delivered straight to your Inbox as I publish them. Go to Quick Brown Fox on Substack, click on any posting, and you'll find the Subscribe button down at the bottom. See here:

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

You have two "Intensive Creative Writing" courses to choose from this summer

“Intensive Creative Writing”

Offered online at 2 different times:

Tuesday evenings 6:30 – 9:00
July 2 – August 13, 2024 (extending to Aug 20 if it fills up).
First readings emailed June 25.


Wednesday afternoons, 12:30 – 3:00
July 3 – August 14, 2024 (extending to Aug 21 if it fills up).
First readings emailed June 26

Note: See all summer writing courses on offer here.

Intensive Creative Writing isn't for beginners; it's for people who are working on their own writing projects. You’ll be asked to bring in several pieces of your writing for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand-alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on. 

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada's most popular blog for writers, taught creative writing at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John.  But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.     

Read reviews and pieces about ~ or inspired y ~ Brian's various writing courses, workshops, and retreats here (and scroll down).

Fee: $247.79 + hst = $280

To reserve your spot, email:

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here. 

Note: You can now get new postings on Quick Brown Fox delivered straight to your Inbox as I publish them. Go to Quick Brown Fox on Substack, click on any posting, and you'll find the Subscribe button down at the bottom. See here: