Monday, October 2, 2023

Rescheduled: Online Kid Lit workhshop with literary agent Eve Adler, now on Saturday, October 28

The Final Trial, a middle grade novel
by Kelley Armstrong, a NYT bestselling author
and one of Brian's students

Writing for Children and for Young Adults

  ~ The world’s hottest market

With Eve Adler 

   ~ Literary agent with Red Fox Literary

Saturday, October 28, 2023
 1:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom and accessible wherever there’s Internet

If you want to write the next best-selling children’s books or just want to create stories for your own kids, this workshop is for you. Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love and find out what you need to know to sell your book. This is your chance to speak with someone within a publishing company in a small group setting and to pull back the curtain and see how it all works. Be sure to bring your questions – we'll have lots of time for interaction.

Special option: Participants are invited to submit the opening couple pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or up to 800 words if that gets you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter). Email your pages to me prior to our workshop. Eve and I will publicly critique about half a dozen submissions so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve your story-telling. If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started! ~Brian

Guest speaker Eve Adler is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary, a California-based agency, with eight agents, all specializing in representing children’s authors and illustrators, board books and picture books through to young adult. 

Eve worked as an editor for over 16 years before becoming an agent. She edited books mostly for ages 0–12 at Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Union Square Kids, including a NY Book Show Merit award winner, New York Times Bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Sydney Taylor Notable Picture Book, and many titles that garnered starred reviews.

Eve is building her list with authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books. She’s drawn to stories that make kids feel comforted, loved, and understood; to diverse voices; to ideas that break the mold; to projects that meet kids where they are developmentally; and to books that expand kids’ worlds while helping them understand their own.

After years of working in-house, Eve loves how agenting offers the ability to discover talent anywhere, to develop ideas with authors and illustrators, and to find the right home for projects, whether at big or small publishers. She's looking forward to being an advisor and cheerleader for clients throughout their careers, and is eager to find new talent!

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor, author, and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers and is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing Inc). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published.

Read reviews of Brian’s classes and workshops here.

Fee: $45.13 + 13% hst = $51 paid in advance by mail or Interac

To reserve a spot now, email:

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

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Online Writing Personal Stories course, Tuesday afternoons, January 16 – March 5

Writing Personal Stories 

 ~ A wealth of writing and sharing

Online: Tuesday afternoons, 1 – 3 p.m.
January 16 – March 5, 2024 (Or to March 12 if the course fills up)
Offered on Zoom and accessible from anywhere there's internet 

If you've ever considered writing your personal stories, this course is for you. We’ll look at memoirs, travel writing, personal essays, family history ~ personal stories of all kinds. Plus, of course, we’ll work on creativity and writing technique and have fun doing it. 

Whether you want to write a book or just get your thoughts down on paper, this weekly course will get you going. We'll reveal the tricks and conventions of telling true stories, and we’ll show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Weekly writing exercises and friendly feedback from the instructor will help you move forward on this writing adventure. Whether you want to write for your family and friends or for a wider public, don't miss this course.

We’ll have a guest speaker for this course – an author who’s published her memoir with a traditional publisher.

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’s has helped many of his students get published.   

Read reviews of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

Fee: $220.35 plus 13% hst = $259

To reserve your spot, email:

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

Friday, September 29, 2023

Kudos to everyone who made the short list for the CANSCAIP Writing for Children Competition!

The Canadian Society for Children's Authors Illustrator and Performers {CANSCAIP} has just announced the shortlist of potential winners for the 2023 competition.

Congratulations to everyone, but special kudos to those of you from my weekly classes. In the Middle Grade division: Beth Elliott, Catherine McKenzie, Christine Michaud (who has two books on the short list!), and Penny Thompson.

And in the Picture Book division: Beth Elliott, and Pawan Kaur Singh.

Plus, I recognize more names from one-day workshops – congratulations to you all!

(And if you've been in my weekly classes and I've managed to leave you off my list of congrats, please forgive me! I remember stories better than names.) ~Brian

CANSCAIP offers this competition for would-be authors of picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels each year. This is a great opportunity, and thanks to the wonderful efforts of numerous volunteers, the hundreds of entries, not only get read, they get comments. CANSCAIP

Children's author Erin Silver
will be one of the guest speakers
for our weekly Kid Lit class

P.S. There’s still space in the Writing Kid Lit – The Next Level class starting this Monday, October 2 (see here).

Here’s the full short list for the CANSCAIP competition:


Underground Symphony  Rita Bates

Ninang's Here  Analene Belanger

Can We Be Friends?  Donna Chastko

Hide-and-Go-Sheep  Susanne Connolly

Not a Book  Tanya Elchuk

The King's Court  Beth Elliott

Don't Mind if I Do  Cynthia Ford

Finding Footprints  Jody Jones

Carols for Mansi  Pawan Kaur Singh

I Remember for Her  Sarah Ker-Hornell

Stay Away from This Book  Eva Klassen

The Journey Home  Christine J. Lee

The Mango Princess  Kalinda Link

Nadia and Lili: The Brilliant Boulangers  Heather McLennan

One-Night Bike  Kamilla Milligan

Together Tea  Kamilla Milligan 

Orange Truck, Blue Truck  Sheryl Niebergall

Wildflower Waltz  Laura Polasek

Tameeka's Race  Michale Raske

Kimone's Music  Sashoya Simpson

The Instrument Maker  Sashoya Simpson


Children's author Lana Button will be
one of the guest speakers for our
weekly Kid Lit class


On the Same Boat – Christine Chang-Gardecki

Professional Pirate – Beth Elliott

The Time Eater – Andy Haynes

Aliens, and Other Teenage Troubles – Margaret Lafreniere

Kiko and the Dream Eater – Shawne Yukimi MacIntyre

A Drop in the Ocean – Catherine McKenzie

The Secrets of Spondulick Manor – Christine Michaud

Divinely Human – Christine Michaud

Riches – Penny Thompson



Consumed – Elena Bentley

My Accidental Life – Simone Garneau

Hydra – Dallas Nicholls

Last and Only Chance – Rina Nichols

Dirt Magic – D.M. Wagner

The Deepers – Carmen Wittmeier

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Assembly Press – A brand new Canadian publisher seeks book-length fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

Leigh Nash, Publisher, Assembly Press

Assembly Press

Note: You can hang out and chat with quick brown foxes and vixens on my Facebook page (here), and if you’re not yet on my newsletter list, add your name and email in the box in the righthand column. ~Brian

Poet and publisher Leigh Nash, poet and editor Andrew Faulkner, and veteran literary publicist and communications strategist Debby de Groot  announced a new joint venture: a brand new multi-genre publishing house, Assembly Press.

Leigh Nash, who formerly served as publisher at both Invisible Publishing and House of Anansi Press, will be Publisher at Assembly, with Faulkner, the former managing editor for Invisible, serving the role of Strategist, and de Groot heading up Communications.

Based in Prince Edward County and in Mississauga, Ontario, Assembly Press will publish a balanced mix of voice-driven and concept-driven fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They want their books to be notable for engaging with contemporary issues with thoughtfulness, incisiveness, and passion in equal measure. 

They are open to submissions from anyone now and until December 18, 2023.

They welcome submissions by all writers, regardless of publication history or writing experience. In other words – they welcome new authors.

Like everyone else, they especially want submissions from “equity-seeking writers marginalized by attitudinal, historic, social, and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, and transgender status.”  They will push proposals and manuscripts from these authors to the front of their reading queue. (Of course this means that if they do have submissions from "equity-seeking writers," they’ll push projects by other writers to the back of the queue).

What they’re looking to acquire


  • Our taste is literary, in that we prioritize quality of writing above all else, but we’re not afraid of plot. 
  • Inventive and innovative ways of telling stories, and work that plays with form and style. 
  • We love a good mood, especially writing that’s sly or has a witty sense of humour or that embraces dark or gritty emotions and that leave us with feelings. 
  • Genre projects (romance, speculative, mystery, etc.) that centre craft and writing quality just as much as the narrative. 
  • We’re big fans of short(er) novels and novellas. 

We’re not a good home for straightforward historical novels that don’t have a contemporary hook. We're also not looking for straight-up commercial projects, such as crime, thriller, mystery, romance, speculative fiction, or chick-lit.  

Assembly's first title will be County Harvest,
a follow-up to County Heirlooms

  • We want to see writers grappling with their passion for their subject matter on the page. 
  • Voice-driven and concept-driven nonfiction with contemporary relevance, especially nonfiction from historically underrepresented voices, that engages with the world. 
  • Our interests include ideas, science, psychology, nature writing, culture, memoir, business, and to a lesser extent, history and politics, as well as books that visit the intersection of those subjects. 
  • Work that plays with inventive and genre-bending narrative structures. 

We’re likely to pass on straightforward surveys of subject matter; memoir without any tie-in to larger cultural of social issues; political biographies; and books without any central narrative or intellectual hook.  


  • We are interested in a wide range of contemporary poetry, including lyric, experimental, and visual poetry.  
  • We’re especially keen on poems with a strong sense of voice, and poetry collections with a unifying concept or outlook and that engage with a specific idea, problem or cultural issue. 
  • Visual and experiment poetry manuscripts should be reproducible in a standard book format by commercial printing. 


Include a 12 page letter of introduction to you and the project you’re submitting, a 250-word synopsis, and a short bio (who you are, the communities you come from, the job(s) you work, any other personal details that will give us a good sense of who you are, and a list of publications, if you have one) as part of your letter. Additional context is always helpful; if it’s applicable to your project, please include any/all of the below info in your letter: 

  • what made you write (or want to write) this manuscript and why you’re the ideal writer to tackle such a project  
  • traditions or cultural conversations your manuscript participates in  
  • your manuscript’s ideal reader/audience 
  • books you’ve read and think would be good conversation mates for your manuscript 
  • your hopes for your writing career  

The work. A full manuscript for fiction and poetry, and either a full manuscript or a proposal for nonfiction. We have no word-count requirements, but our preference is for completed prose works between 35,000–90,000 words, and poetry manuscripts in the 60–100-page range. Nonfiction proposals should include a chapter outline and a writing sample of at least 10 pages. 

See Assembly’s full submission guidelines and submit through their online form here.


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

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. For more children’s and young adult publishers, see here {and scroll down}. For book publishers in general, see here {and scroll down}.