Monday, January 18, 2021

Guernica Editions seeks fiction and nonfiction, plus submissions now open for The Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction

Guernica Editions

https://www.guernicaeditions.com/

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the Follow Brian by Email box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. If you’re not yet on my newsletter list, send me an email, including your locale to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian

Since being established in 1978, Guernica Editions has published over 500 titles from around the world. Headquartered in Montreal and Toronto, Guernica is headed up by Connie McParland {Publisher and Chief Administrative Officer} and Michael Mirolla {Publisher and Editor in Chief}.

The publisher has two imprints: Guernica which publishes literary and cultural material {fiction, nonfiction and poetry}, and MiroLand which publishes memoir, how-to, self-help, graphic novels, art books, cookbooks and children's literature, as well as genre literature. If you’re querying MiroLand, be sure to specify this in your query.

Query Guernica via the form found on their guidelines and contact page here

Note: Guernica is open to submissions only between January 1 and April 30.

To submit a manuscript to Guernica, send it as a Word attachment to:  michaelmirolla@guernicaeditions.com

Manuscripts should be single-spaced, in a 12-point easy-to-read type. If at all possible, please give the manuscript file a name that includes the title and the author; e.g.: The Trial, Franz Kafka. Full submission guidelines here.

Guernica also has an annual prize for unpublished novels: The Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction, which recognizes the best literary fiction novel that pushes boundaries and is cutting edge. Each entry must be an unpublished novel of at least 40,000 words.

A $50 entry fee (online submission through Submittable only) must accompany each submission.

The prize consists of $1,000 and a publication contract with Guernica Editions. The winning author agrees to publication with Guernica.

The Guernica Prize is open to Canadian citizens and/or residents of Canada only.

Deadline April 30, 2021. Full guidelines here.

Literary agent Alice Speilburg

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to get Published workshops: Sunday, January 24, with Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller Agency (see here), and Saturday, March 6, with Alice Speilburg of the Speilburg Literary Agency (see here).

And if you’re specifically interested in writing and publishing Kid Lit, don’t miss our online  Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshops with Scholastic Books Executive Editor Anne Shone, Saturday, Jan 30 (see here) and with Kids Can Press editor Kathleen Keenan, Saturday, Feb 27 (see here).

Also check out the Writing Kid Lit and Young Adult Fiction weekly class Tuesday evenings,  Feb 2 – March 30 (see here) and the Writing Little Kid Lit  weekly class, Wednesday evenings Feb 3 – March 31 (see here).

Beyond that, Brian’s schedule continues to take shape...

Weekly classes:

Online: Exploring Creative Writing, an introductory, low pressure course to get the creative juices flowing.  Offered at two times:  Thursday evenings, Jan 21 – Apr 1 {see hereand Friday afternoons,  Jan 22 – April 2 {see here}.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, nine weeks of creativity and fellowship. Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – Apr1 {no class Feb 25}. Details here.  

     See all winter classes here.

More upcoming workshops:

Online: Writing and Revising, Saturday, February 6.  Details here.

Online: How to Write a Bestseller, with New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, April 3.  Details here.

Spring  classes:

Online: Welcome to Creative Writing, an introductory, low pressure course to get the creative juices flowing, Thursday evenings, April 15 – June 24 {no class May 27}. Details here.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, nine weeks of creativity and fellowship. Thursday afternoons, April 15 – June 24 {no class May 27}. Details here.  

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, an island of luxury in the middle of a wilderness. Friday, May 28 – Monday, May 31.  Details here.

For more details or to register for any workshop, retreat or weekly class, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Welcome to Creative Writing course, Thursday evenings, April 15 – June 24 ~ Online

Welcome to Creative Writing

10 weeks of discovering your creative side

Thursday evenings, 7 – 9 p.m.
April 15 – June 24, 2021 {no class May 27}
Offered online on Zoom and accessible from anywhere there's internet 

This is your chance to take up writing in a warm, supportive environment. This course will open the door to writing short stories and writing dialogue, writing in first person and writing in third person, writing just for fun and writing all kinds of things. 

You’ll get a shot of inspiration every week and an assignment to keep you going till the next class. Best of all, this class will provide a zero-pressure, totally safe setting, where your words will grow and flower.

Fee:  $176.11 plus 13% hst = $199

To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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, teaches creative writing at Ryerson 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).

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Writing Personal Stories course, Thursday afternoons, April 15 – June 24 ~ Online

Writing Personal Stories

9 weeks of sharing and writing

Thursday afternoons, 1 – 3 p.m.
April 15 – June 24, 2021 {no class May 27}

Offered online and accessible wherever 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.

Also, we’ll have a published author as a guest speaker for this class.

Note: This class will be held live via Zoom. To participate, you'll need Internet access and a microphone and a camera {i.e., a webcam} on your computer, tablet or smart phone.

Fee:  $176.11 plus 13% hst = $199

To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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, teaches creative writing at Ryerson 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). 

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Two books about writing reviewed by Jennifer Reichow

Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, Benjamin Percy, 2010 Graywolf Press, Minneapolis. Available from Indigo here.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers, Betsy Lerner, 2010, Riverhead Books, New York. Available from Indigo here.

Back on June 13, 2020, Quick Brown Fox published my review of Stephen King’s On Writing. In that review I said that I had heard on a podcast never to read a book about writing by an author you’d never heard of. It seemed reasonable. However, I'd barely begun learning the craft of writing. With hindsight being 20/20, I was na├»ve to be agreeing with such a presumptuous statement. I can imagine my creative writing instructor smirking as he thought how I would, in time, come to rue those words.

Most of the books I have read on the craft of writing since then have been inspirational or nuts and bolts how-to. Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy dabbles in both areas. Percy's first essay is biographical, highlighting his journey towards becoming a writer. He grew up binging on genre writers and lived for sci-fi and fantasy until he discovered literary fiction in college. Of his own personal inspirations, he cites King and Ray Bradbury among others. My review of Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing is here. Percy is a voracious reader and mentions so many authors and titles (both genre and literary) that I wonder when he has time to write his own material. 

Over the next several essays he discusses plot, using backstory (don’t need it), and creating urgency and suspense. He references specific works, and then breaks it down easily to reveal the writing element. In one essay he mentions that he could have used the movie Jaws to explain the entire craft of storytelling, “Books and movies share many characteristics, but because film structure is usually tidier, the screen is sometimes easier to study,” Percy states. His essays are eager yet informative, thrilling the reader to pick up their storytelling tools.

When Betsy Lerner finished her English degree, she had a vague idea about graduate school and an even vaguer idea about working. However, she’d left her grad school application too late and so ventured out into the workforce, beginning her 30-year publishing career. Along the way, she got her MFA. 

Her book, The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers is not about the craft of writing (“Nor will I Strunk you over the head with rules about style”); instead it’s about living the writer’s life and how manuscripts progress from a blank piece of paper to a published book. 

Lerner divides her book into two parts: Part I Writing, is about the personality and psychology of writers, and Part II Publishing, pulls back the curtain of the publishing world.

In Part I, Lerner defines six categories of writers: ambivalent, natural, wicked child, self-promoter, neurotic and touching fire. It’s based on her decades-long association with writers in various capacities (editor, author, agent) and leaves the reader trying to decide which category is relevant. Maybe it's a bit of all of them. With many fascinating anecdotes, the reader will find some insights into what drives them as a writer and hopefully some motivations on how to be a better writer.

Part II begins with obtaining an agent, dealing with rejection, and then the practical aspects of what happens once you’ve signed a contract to sell your book. Updated and revised in 2010, Lerner includes some information about social media but in our fast-paced culture and increased indie publishing. Some of this is out of date. For those seeking traditional publishing, The Forest for the Trees will be an uplifting and exhilarating read. Seeing behind the scenes of the publishing world was incentive enough to get my creative juices flowing.

Reconsidering the advice never to read a book about writing by an author you’ve never heard of, I’d say, learn from those who’ve already accomplished what you want to achieve. In my case, that’s a published author. From there, I’ll take the advice that works for me and leave the rest behind.

Looking for books? There’s a great bookstore near you. For starters, see here.

Note: Quick Brown Fox welcomes your book reviews – or any kind of review of anything, of anywhere or of anybody. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. See examples of book reviews here (and scroll down); other reviews here (and scroll down). Read about how to write a book review here.

QBF also welcomes essays about a favourite book or about your experience of reading or writing. To get a taste of what other writers have done, see here and scroll down).

Submit to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Include a short bio at the end of your piece and attach a photo of yourself if you have one that’s okay. 

Jennifer Reichow knew as a child she was going to university and be a writer. As so often happens, life interrupted her plan. But now that she’s just retired from a fulfilling nursing career, she’s realizing her dream of becoming a writer. It feels like coming home.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Online How to Get Published workshop with literary agent Alice Speilburg, Saturday, March 6

8 Souls by Rachel Rust
represented by Speilburg Agency

How to Get Published

An editor & a literary agent tell all

Saturday, March 6, 2021
12:45 – 5:00 p.m.
Online and accessible wherever there's Internet

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll focus on the process of submitting to an agent or publisher, and show you exactly how to write a query letter that will get a “yes!” Bring all your questions! Come and get ready to be published!

Special Option: Participants are invited to prepare a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don't need to prepare anything, but if you like, email me a draft of your query prior to our workshop. We want to do some peer critiquing for everyone, and Alice and I will critique several queries, perhaps half a dozen, so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t and how to improve your query. Do remember that agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.

Alice Speilburg is the founding agent of The Speilburg Literary Agency, a boutique agency headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with three agents representing a wide array of commercial fiction, young adult fiction, and nonfiction. Alice has worked in book publishing for more than a decade. She is a member of the Association of American Literary Agents (formerly the AAR) and represents narrative nonfiction and commercial fiction for adults and YA readers. 

Her fiction interests include Action/Adventure, Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction.

In nonfiction, she’s looking for History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Physchology, Science, Sports, Travel, and True Crimes.

Her favourite sub-genres are Feminism, Narrative nonfiction, and Upmarket genre fiction.

Her first editing gig was on the news desk of her college daily, and she is still drawn to compelling nonfiction stories, especially those written by journalists, that deepen our understanding of culture and society. In fiction, she loves a complete immersion read that takes her to another world through the eyes of original characters. 

Alice previously worked at John Wiley & Sons, and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She has worked with bestselling and award-winning authors, literary and professional societies, and branded content. She spends her weekends hiking with her husband and two sons.

She has a dedicated submissions link for queries originating from workshops or conferences. See more about the Speilburg Agency here.

Workshop leader 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, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University, and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Windsor to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors. 

See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

Fee: $39.82 + hst = $45 paid in advance

To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.