Saturday, August 29, 2015

Final author reading night at CJ's Cafe ~ Don't miss it!

Authors gathered for a previous reading night at CJ's
Last Author Reading Night at CJ’s Café
Thursday, September 10, 2015
6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
CJ’s Cafe, 2416 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville
(On the south side of Lakeshore, just east of Bronte Road, across from a big grocery store. Lots of parking around the back. Map here.)

This is the night that graduates of Brian Henry’s writing classes and random readers of Quick Brown Fox strut their stuff. We’ll have a line-up of the most amazing emerging writers west of Toronto, and they’ll be reading some of the best work you’ll hear this year. Don’t miss it!

But Tonight
poetry by our hostess, CJ Martin
This reading night will also be a send-off for CJ Martin who will soon be closing her cafe and moving on to a new adventure. To help her on her way and to show our appreciation for hosting our reading nights all these years, I’ve arranged to have CJ’s collection of poetry, But Tonight, available for sale at the reading night. 

Copies will be signed by the author and are available for only $10 (regularly priced at $17.95). ~ Brian

Note: This fall, I have a full line-up of six weekly courses for beginners through advanced. See details of all six fall courses here. Or here's the schedule... 
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, Sept 24 - Nov 26, in Mississauga (see here).
“Writing Personal stories,” Thursday mornings, Oct 8 - Nov 26, in Oakville (see here)
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, Sept 30 - Dec 2, in Burlington (here).
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, Sept 24 - Dec 3, in Georgetown,  (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Sept 15 - Dec 8, in Burlington (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, Sept 16 - Dec 16, in Burlington  (here).
For details or to reserve a spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca
Read reviews of my courses and workshops here.

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rising Spirits contest for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Youth entries, Melted Wing wants downers, Red Hen Poetry Award, and Rhizomatic Ideas wants posts

River Electric with Light
by Sarah Wetzel
from Red Hen Press
Entries are invited for the 2015 Red Hen Press Poetry Award. Prize $1,000; entry fee $20 for up to three poems.  
Deadline: September 30, 2105. Guidelines here
Red Hen Press also has five other annual awards. See details of all of them here. Plus, Red Hen publishes books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Guidelines here.

Third Annual Rising Spirits Writing Contest is now open!

The Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) Writers’ Circle is pleased to announce that the 2015 Rising Spirits Writing Contest is now open. Winners will receive prize packages valued at $100 and will be published in the Rising Spirits Anthology 2.
The theme is Autumn. What does the spirit of this season mean to you?
Categories include: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Youth entries.
Deadline: September 30, 2015. Full contest rules and submission form here.

Melted Wing is an online journal/discussion of depression, despair, suicide, and other dark matters. Seeks fiction, poetry, journalism, and visual art by engaging and uncommon new voices. Want their readers to be “surprised and delighted by the breadth of what we hope to be a conversation about acts, feelings, and thoughts [experienced] in our tightrope walk from birth to death.”
Deadline: None. Guidelines here.  

Rhizomatic Ideas, the bi-weekly blog of Zoetic Press, is accepting blog posts and pitches for serial blog posts. Open to posts on any topic related to writing, publishing, academia, and the life of a working writer (or reader.) Length: 300-500 words.
Deadline: rolling. Send a pitch or post to blog@zoeticpress.com
Also, Zoetic Press is looking for the best and most innovative in electronic and interactive literature, regardless of genre. It’s not enough that your story be novel in presentation – it must also be well-written, compelling and engaging. Guidelines here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

You're invited to the book launch for Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang

Hi,
You’re invited you to my book launch for my middle grade book Speechless, published by Scholastic Canada.

The launch will be Sunday, October 4th 
2:00 p.m.
at A Different Drummer Books
513 Locust St, Burlington, Ontario. (Map here)

Put that one on your calendar NOW :)
And please email me to let me know you can come 

I am so looking forward to celebrating with you.
Cheers,
Jennifer Mook-Sang

Here's what one reader has to say about Speechless:
"Omg, it's amazing! Brilliant, witty, hilarious and at the same time brought out the reality kids are facing in school. Go figure, my eyes were watery reading some parts of the book!" – Patty Sim.

Read more about Speechless at Scholastic Canada here.

Note: Along with Yasemin Ucar, senior editor at Kids Can Press, Jennifer will will be one of guest speakers at the Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop, Saturday, Sept 12, in Toronto.  Details here.

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop, Saturday, September 12, in Toronto

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong,
a New York Times #1 bestselling author
and one of Brian's students
Writing for Children & for Young Adults ~ the world’s hottest market
With guest speakers Yasemin Uçar, Senior Editor at Kids Can Press & author Jennifer Mook-Sang
Saturday, September 12
10:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Glenview Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto (Just off Yonge St, a couple blocks south of Lawrence Ave. Map here)
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.
Special option: You may, but don't have to, bring 3 copies of the opening couple pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or 1,000 words if that will get you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter.) If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started on the spot!
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
by Louise Rennison, one of the best-selling
author Yasemin has worked with
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 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. 
Guest speaker Yasemin Ucar is a Senior Editor at Kids Can Press. Altogether, she’s been a children’s book editor for seventeen years. She worked at Scholastic Canada before moving to the UK in 2001, where she worked as a Senior Editor at Piccadilly Press in London, managing a list of about 25 titles a year. 
She moved back to Toronto in 2006 and worked as a freelance editor for six years for several publishers, including Scholastic, Second Story Press, Madison Press Books, and HarperCollins. She joined Kids Can Press in 2012.
Yasemin has worked with many popular and award-winning authors and illustrators, including international bestselling author Louise Rennison, Barbara Coloroso, Anne Velleneuve, Pierre Pratt, Caroline Adderson, and Ashley Spires.
We will also have author Jennifer Mook-Sang as a guest speaker. Jennifer lives and writes  in Burlington. She’s as amazed as anyone to find she’s a published author. Her humorous middle grade novel Speechless was started in one of Brian Henry’s classes and will be released by Scholastic in September. 
Jennifer was a finalist in the Writing for Children Competition 2014 sponsored by CANSCAIP and The Writer’s Union of Canada. (For information on this year’s CANSCAIP/Writers’ Union contest, see here.) At the workshop, Jennifer will speak about how she got her first book published.
P.S. The book launch for Speechless will be held 2:00 pm Sunday, October 4th, at A Different Drummer Books in Burlington (513 Locust Street). All welcome!
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca
See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Literary agent Sarah Levitt of Kuhn Projects seeks serious nonfiction and literary fiction

Sarah Levitt
Kuhn Projects
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10010

Kuhn Projects primarily represents adult nonfiction. The newest member of the team is Sarah Levitt.   Sarah previously worked at The Zoë Pagnamenta Agency for five years. She received her BA in Classics and English from NYU.

Sarah is interested in serious nonfiction (biography, cultural history, memoir, science, “ideas” books, and narrative), in addition to voice-driven, imaginative, literary fiction that demands a reaction from the reader.

Include the first chapter in the body of your email. Not attachments

Full submission guidelines here.

Rachel Letofsky
Brian Henry will lead "How to Get Published" workshops in St. John, NB, on Saturday, Oct 3 (details here), and in Hamilton on Saturday, Oct 17, with Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency (see here). 

Other upcoming workshops, include "Fall Colours Writing Retreat," Sept 19 - 21, in Algonquin Park (see here), "Writing Your Life," Saturday, Sept 26, in Brampton (see here) and Saturday, Dec 5, in Burlington (details here), and "How to Make Yourself Write," Saturday, Oct 24, in Guelph (see here).   

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. This fall, Brian will offer a full line-up of six weekly courses for beginners through advanced. See details of all six fall courses here. Or here's the schedule... 
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, Sept 24 - Nov 26, in Mississauga (see here).
“Writing Personal stories,” Thurs mornings, Oct 8 - Nov 26, in Oakville (see here)
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, Sept 30 - Dec 2, in Burlington (here).
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, Sept 24 - Dec 3, in Georgetown (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Sept 15 - Dec 8, in Burlington (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, Sept 16 - Dec 16, in Burlington  (here).
For details or to reserve a spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.


See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two reviews of Nightcrawler, “The best movie ever” by William Henry (Brian's son) and Charlene Jones


Directed by Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Riz Ahmed. Available on Netflix

Review by William Henry:
Nightcrawler is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen,” says William Henry. “It’s up there with Birdman. Certainly, Nightcrawler is the best thriller I’ve seen.” And William sees a lot of movies. “About two a week,” he says, "when there’s nothing good out, more when there’s something worth seeing. “ He catches all the movies at Cineplex, except the 18A flicks (because he’s only 13), plus movies at the Kingsway (a repertory cinema) and at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (an art house venue in downtown Toronto).

Nightcrawler is disturbing, partly because it shows a dark side of the news industry. Stuff like this actually happens,” says William. “Plus, there are lots of points in the movie where it’s like, ‘Wow, I did not see that coming.' And it’s great acting.

“Most importantly, Nightcrawler is way better than Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” which is something William says after every movie he sees.

William Henry is a professional actor and amateur movie buff. This fall, he’ll be going into grade eight. More adventures with William at the movies here.

Review by Charlene Jones:
The acting convinces, the script sizzles, scenes are humorous and the message, dark and slimy, delivers. All of this comes across in Nightcrawler, the slightly creepy film by director Dan Gilroy.

First the acting: some early scenes slide by so smoothly you almost believe Gyllenhaal’s character, Louis Bloom really says that’s his name. But he doesn’t. Committed to lying the way a politician commits to her career, Louis calls himself  Lou Lebloom but so quietly, so effectively the sound and the message about Louis rides under the radar.

Nor does Rene Russo’s character seem to mind the lies as they turn up, dead fish floating on a river of greed and ambition. Frustrated because she got a detail wrong? Yes. Morally upset? The character she plays finds morals a slight obstacle on the scale of a no-see-um insect on a hot summer night. Nothing a good swat, physical or mental, can’t cure. And cure the question of morals this character easily does in the quest for bloodier, more flesh flailed footage of urban terror and destruction.

Riz Ahmed, a newbie to my eyes, configures the loser, living almost on the streets of LA, desperate but naive with aplomb. We believe him as he manifests his understanding of equality with his employer, Louis Bloom. It is this uttered belief in the American Dream that results in such tragedy.

And ultimately it is the scourged inner seam of the American (read Canadian) dream that rises with bilge from the belly of this production. Success demands you leave your humanity at the door, there is no success like excess and, oh yes, the favorite trope of our latest social insights: corporations are run by psychopaths.

It’s a great film.

Charlene Jones’ poetry has most recently appeared on Commuterlit. Her poem “Visitors to the ROM” was a runner up in the Ontario Poetry Society’s annual Arborealis poetry contest. Charlene also writes for her radio program Off the Top with Whistle Radio, 102.7 fm, aired every second Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Note: Whistle Radio and CommuterLit have recently teamed up to run a monthly contest. Details here.) You can see Charlene perform her poetry and prose at Portobello Restaurant and Bar the first Saturday every month in Toronto. Finally, Chalene’s first novel, The Stain, was was released in 2014.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Club Iguana by Della Davis


She knew they were in trouble when they reached the door to the hotel room. A key had been broken off in the door lock, and the jagged end of the metal was sticking out. Karen gave a reassuring smile to her mom as she wiped the sweat from her brow. Sweat seemed to be crying out of every pore on her body.

She didn't know how long she could keep up this "what a wonderful mother-daughter experience we're having" charade. Her mom was wearing the same mask as she.

It was a very hot 38 degrees when they arrived in Cuba. Well, not Cuba exactly but a “beautiful Island Paradise” just off the mainland. This trip to paradise had cost $400 for two all-inclusive tickets, including airfare. Naturally she had been skeptical but it was all she could afford and they were desperate to get away.

As she stepped out of the plane into the shower room heat of Cuba, Karen had a dreadful premonition: We are going to get exactly what we paid for.

The hotel attendant at Club Iguana didn't speak any English. In fact, none of the staff at the hotel seemed to, which was a little disconcerting. It became even more disturbing when Karen realized he didn't understand English either. 

He did, however, appear to be very apologetic for the key incident. He smiled nervously as he ushered them back to the golf cart he had used to drive them to the hotel room from the Main Reception area. 

After some animated discussions with a number of other employees he came back to the golf cart. Karen noticed he was still smiling widely. Perhaps a little too widely. It looked like everyone's wearing masks today

He jumped back into the cart and whisked them off again.

After seeing the broken key in the first lock Karen had an uneasy feeling. This feeling was heightened when she noticed the scowling faces of the gardeners yielding machetes to manicure the grounds. They appeared to be staring angrily at Karen and her mom which made her downright fearful. She had convinced herself no good could come from this trip.

Finally they reached their room and this time the lock didn't appear to have been tampered with. Things were looking up. They were greeted by a nice cool blast of air. Refreshing. At least they hadn't skimped on the air conditioning. Maybe this was a turning point. The room was much nicer than she'd expected. There was even a mini fridge and a TV. Normally Karen wouldn't have considered a TV a luxury but at this point anything positive was a pleasant surprise.

"Oh this is lovely Karen!" Her Mom said optimistically yet barely concealing nervous apprehension.

"Yeah Mom, it's great," Karen said with enthusiasm.

"We should go and check out the beach. Oh I just love the ocean!"

Karen appreciated her moms' flare for the dramatic on this occasion. It had been a long day but they were both determined to make the best of it. From now on this would be the tranquil and therapeutic escape Karen had envisioned at the time she booked it.

With bathing suits on, all lathered with lotion and books in hand they headed off to the beach with guarded anticipation. On the way, they stopped off to get a couple of frozen tropical treats. Banana Daiquiris to be precise. Feeling the beautiful breeze lifting their spirits off to the beach they went.

They couldn't believe their eyes. It was even more beautiful than they  could have imagined. The water was a fabulous turquoise and went on as far as the eye could see. The sand was like icing sugar beneath their feet. In a word it really was Paradise. Not believing this remarkable change in luck they looked up and down the beach.  It was deserted. Not one person on it.

"Are they all crazy?" Karen looked at her mom who was clearly thinking the same thing. 

"Why would anybody come to such a beautiful beach and sit at a cement pool?"

"I don't know Mom, but their loss is our gain! Let's not jinx it. Cheers to us and our private beach!" Karen said wearing the first genuine smile since they landed.

They laughed as they settled down for a nice relaxing afternoon. The daiquiris had worked wonders in conjunction with the warmth. The sound of the waves was so soothing they were both feeling very relaxed. 

Yes this is exactly what they needed. This was definitely worth it, all $400, Karen laughed to herself. Now it's almost too good to be true.

The peace ended abruptly. Karen was startled and had an awful feeling she was being watched. Something just felt creepy. She looked over at her mom who had nodded off happily. Karen sat up and looked back over her shoulder. On top of the hill behind them overlooking the beach a number of bystanders were talking excitedly amongst themselves. It must be all the other guests. Maybe even the hotel staff too! Had they nothing better to do than come and invade our privacy on the beach? They were all staring shamelessly. It was very odd.

Karens' mom was now awake thanks to all the noise everyone was making. They quickly covered up their bathing suits. Suddenly they noticed a group of men heading toward them from another direction. They were approaching quickly, yet methodically. It looked like they were holding metal detectors. The men were completely ignoring them and were extremely focused on finding whatever it was they were looking for. The language barrier made the situation more awkward but even without words they made it clear Karen and her mom were in their way.

The ladies gathered their things and quickly moved off the beach. They had no choice but to join the group at the top of the hill. Karen lead the way through the crowd directly to the bar to order cocktails. She was determined to get things back on track. The bar was closed and it was only 4pm. She turned to her mother and noticed that everyone had gathered around them. Karen felt crowded and uncomfortable. What the hell is going on? 


 "Did they find anything?" Asked one of guests.

"I have no idea," Karen said, "but they were really rude".  "Why is this bar closed?" she continued, exasperated.

The guests became very quiet all of a sudden.

"Are they searching for lost treasure or something?" she asked sarcastically. "Were we on the X that marked the spot?" Why did they care if anyone found anything? These people are weird!

"Actually they're not looking for jewelry – they're looking for body parts."  A woman said very matter of factly as if they should have known. It must have become obvious Karen and her Mom were clueless by the blank look on their faces. They awkwardly exchanged glances.

"Those things they're holding are some kind of heat sensors or something – not metal detectors. There was a murder last night in that building over there. In that block, he gestured. Right in that room in the middle, on the ground floor." He pointed.

All eyes were back on Karen and her mom. The blood drained from Karen's face as her eyes followed the direction the man was pointing to.  The room he pointed at was the one that had the key stuck in the lock. The room they were originally supposed to be staying in. For the second time that day Karen's face matched her Moms'...

Della Davis is a proud mother of three.  She enjoys travelling, reading, writing, and exploring new things . She loves the outdoors and enjoys a variety of physical activities, especially Zumba. She is committed to lifelong learning as a student of life and try's new things whenever possible. 

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.