Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Three great writing workshops and a free seminar coming soon

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker,
represented by the Donaghy Agency
How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, January 28, 2017
10:15 a.m. – 4:00 / 4:30 p.m.
Glenview Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here)
If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!
Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, three copies could be helpful.
And be sure to bring your elevator pitch! Following the end of the formal workshop at 4:00, Brian Henry will be staying for at least half an hour and helping interested attendees, who didn’t have their queries critiqued earlier, write query letters that will get a yes, while literary agent Stacey Donaghy will be listening to your pitches. Agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.
Guest speaker Stacey Donaghy, lead agent with the Donaghy Literary Group. The Donaghy group has three agents to choose from: Stacey Donaghy, Valerie Noble, and Sue Miller.  Representing NY Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors, they’re focused on commercial fiction and are always interested in new and upcoming talented writers.  
Stacey Donaghy began her career with an agency in New York, then in 2013 opened her own agency in Canada. Asked what manuscripts she’d like to get right now, Stacey said, “I would love to see more diverse stories that are highly commercial.  LGBTQ stories that focus on the characters and story development and less on the "issues" related to coming out or being out.  It would be exciting to receive a LGBTQ in adult or YA that is story driven, such as a romance or thriller in Adult and in YA a Mean Girls, Duff, even a thriller that highlights diversity but where the story leads the way.”
More generally, Stacey is seeking Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction. Specifically, she’s looking for: Romantic Suspense, LGBTQ Stories, standalone or series, Diverse books, Contemporary romance, Romance with  varying heat levels, New Adult, Thrillers, Middle Grade (quirky not cute), and Young Adult.
Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

From Inky Girl
Writing Query Letters That Get a Yes
A free seminar
Monday, January 30, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Kitchener Public Library, Central Branch, 85 Queen Street, North, Kitchener, Ontario (Map here.)
If you want to get the attention of an agent or a publisher, you need to craft a good query letter. Using real life examples, this seminar shows you how to do it. There isn’t just one way to write a successful query, and your query doesn’t have to be perfect; but it does need to persuade an agent that you’ve got a book that they can successfully pitch to a publisher.
Attendance is free, but please let me know you’re coming so I know how many handouts to bring. Email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

How to Build Your Story
Plotting novels & Writing short stories
Offered at two locales:
Saturday, February 4, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Unity Church, 3075 Ridegeway Drive, Unit 8, Mississauga, Ontario (Map here)
And
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Albion-Bolton Branch, Caledon Public Library, 150 Queen Street South, Bolton, Ontario (Map here.)
This workshop will show you how writers plot a novel and will give you the best tips on writing short stories. We’ll also look at where to get your stories published and how to win contests. Best yet, you’ll see how to apply the story-building techniques you’ve learned to your own writing.
Fee for the Mississagua workshop : 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca
Fee for the Caledon workshop: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 + $6 for pizza lunch = $55 paid in advance by mail or in person or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 + $6 for pizza lunch = $59 if you wait to pay at the door
To pay in advance, make your cheque out to the Caledon Public Library and mail it to:
Attention:  Laura Nolloth, Caledon Public Library, Albion Bolton Branch, 150 Queen Street South, Bolton, ON, L7E 1E3
Or you can pay in advance in person at any Caledon Library branch. (Branch locations here.)
To reserve a spot now, email: programs@caledon.library.on.ca

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 Sarnia 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 Brian’s current complete schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Six agents at Don Congdon Associates seek new authors, especially YA and Middle Grade, but also many kinds of fiction and nonfiction

The Help by Kathryn Stockett,
represented by Congdon Associates
Don Congdon Associates
110 William St.
Suite 2202
New York, NY  10038

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

Don Congdon Associates was founded in 1983 by Don Congdon and his son Michael, who is now the president of the agency.  The agency has six experienced agents, all accepting new authors.  But two agents in particular are actively seeking Young Adult and Middle Grade novels:

Maura Kye-Casella started her career as an agent in 2001 with the Denise Marcil Literary Agency. She joined Don Congdon Assoiciates in 2008.

Maura is seeking literary works, horror (all ages), women’s fiction, multicultural voices, and any well-written novels with quirky characters and/or unique plots and settings. Maura is especially interested in works for both the Young Adult and Middle Grade markets.

In nonfiction, Maura is seeking narrative works (memoirs, adventure, true crime), books on pop culture, lifestyle sports, and fun, interesting works that fall into the humor category.

Query Maura Kye-Casella at: dca@doncongdon.com
Include “Query” and the agent’s full name in your subject heading. You may also paste the first chapter into your email. No attachments.

Katie Grimm joined Congdon Associates in 2007. She is actively seeking young adult novels, specifically “compelling, heartbreaking contemporary and fantastical high-concepts rooted in history.” In Middle Grade, she’s seeking “novels with a heartfelt timeless quality and a strange twist.”

Katie  is also the business manager and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writer and Illustrators (SCBWI).

In the adult market, Katie represents literary fiction, historical fiction, up-market woman’s fiction, cohesive short story collections, and mysteries with faraway or historical settings.

She also represents graphic novels and nonfiction, particularly memoirs that reveal greater social issues, narratives about dark times in human history, weird science, and off-beat topics explored through an academic lens or with a practical approach.

Query Katie Grimm at: dca@doncongdon.com
Include “Query” and the agent’s full name in your subject heading. You may also paste the first chapter into your email. No attachments.

Other agents:

Cristina Concepcion has been at Don Congdon Associates since 1996 and represents writers of crime fiction, narrative nonfiction, political science, journalism and history.  She’s also looking for novels outside the crime genre that aren’t too commercial or overly literary, but are readable, thought provoking and character driven.  

Michael Congdon represents, commercial and literary fiction, including novels of suspense, mysteries and thrillers, as well as a variety of nonfiction, such as history, military history, biography, memoir, current affairs and narrative non-fiction (adventure, medicine, science, and nature). 

Katie Kotchman is actively seeking new nonfiction clients with built-in platforms from whom she can learn something new. In fiction, she’s interested in representing women’s fiction, realistic young adult, literary fiction, and psychological thrillers.

Susan Ramer started at Don Congdon Associates in 1986.  She is looking for literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction (contemporary and historical, American in particular), and narrative nonfiction. For nonfiction, her interests include social history, cultural history, smart pop culture (music, film, food, art), women’s issues, psychology and mental health, and memoir with a distinctive theme. She particularly likes a narrative that combines a personal thread with reporting and analysis of a broader social or cultural issue.  In everything, Susan appreciates a sense of humor, especially when it’s on the dark side. 

Query any Congdon Associates agent at: dca@doncongdon.com
Include “Query” and the agent’s full name in your subject heading. You may also paste the first chapter into your email. No attachments. Full submission guidelines here.

Sylvia McNicoll, author of over 30
young adult and middle grade novels,
will be one of the guest speakers for
Kid Lit course starting in April
Brian Henry will be leading How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Jan 28, in Toronto with Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy agency (see here) and on Saturday, April 22, in Midland, again with Stacey Donaghy (see here).
Note: If you're viewing this posting after March 11, 2017, see current How to Get Published workshops
here (and scroll down).

Also, Brian will lead How to Build Your Story Saturday, Feb 4, in Mississauga (see here) and Saturday, Feb 11, in Caledon at the Bolton library (see here), Writing and Revising, Saturday, Feb 25, in Burlington (see here) and Saturday, March 4, in London (see here), and Writing With Style, Saturday, March 11, in Georgetown (see here).

Also, he'll lead How to Write a Bestseller on Saturday, Feb 18, in Guelph, with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (see here).

And Brian will  be leading Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops on Saturday, April 1, in Windsor (see here), on Saturday, May 13, in Caledon at the Bolton Library with Yasemin U├žar, senior Editor at Kids Can Press (details to come) and on Saturday, May 27, in St. Catharines with Anne Shone, senior editor at Scholastic Books (see here). Brian will also be leading a weekly Kid Lit class, Monday afternoons, April 10 – June 19, in Mississauga (here).
Note: For updated listings of Writing for Children & for Young adult workshops and for weekly Kid lit classes, see here (and scroll down).

For more information or to reserve a spot in any Saturday workshop or weekly course, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

To move closer to publication, your best bet may be a weekly course. Brian is currently offering a full slate of weekly classes, from beginner to advanced:
Exploring Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 26 – March 30, Burlington Details here.
Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday mornings, Feb 9 – March 30, Oakville. Details here.
Intermediate Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, Jan 18 - March 22, Burlington. here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Thursday evenings, Jan 19 – March 23, Georgetown. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 31 – March 28, Burlington. Details here.
Extreme Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, Jan 25 – March 15, Burlington. Details here.
See details of all six courses here.
To register of for more information for any of the above, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca
Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Navigation tip: For many more literary agents seeking authors, click on the Literary Agents button at the top of the page, just below the banner. To see only Canadian agents, click on the button in the right-hand column under More Content. To see only agents representing kid’s lit, click on the Children’s/YA agents button in the list of Labels below.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Algonquin Park Writers’ Retreat – How Perfect! by Barbara Baker

Arowhon Pines Resort resident fox, photo by Barbara Baker

The road was gravel. It twisted through tall, leafy, overhanging trees that created a tunnel-like effect. After the first kilometer, my cell phone binged. I checked. No Service. Really? I tucked it away.

The next eight kilometers took us farther into Algonquin Park and finally ended in a parking lot at the edge of the blue waters of Little Joe Lake. I got out of the car and followed the signs on the walking path through the woods to the lodge.

The initial shock of no cell phone reception was ... shocking. Add no tv, radio, wifi or even a clock. How will any of us writers survive in this archaic environment?

The reality of all that was not accessible wore off within minutes as the beauty and peacefulness of Arrowhon Pines Resort encapsulated me.

I was taken to one of the many log cabins tucked away in the forest. A giant bed with crisp white linens, private bathroom, a stone fireplace, veranda overlooking the water, roomies to share the beauty of the setting and the cabin (though certainly not my room), as well as the ups and downs of our writing projects – how perfect! I only checked my phone two more times to make sure it really had no reception.

Brian Henry, our writing mentor for the retreat, opened the session. Cheerful, quirky, enthusiastic, funny – the list goes on to describe his attributes but he’s probably already blushing so I’ll stop.

A cabin at Arowhon Pines, photo by Barbara Baker
There were a lot of people at the workshop. I counted fifteen but someone switched chairs and I lost track and forgot who was who. Thank goodness there were nametags.

After the “fortune cookie” warm-up exercise, the room was a hub of voices and chatter and excitement. What a variety of storytellers! The energy flowed intravenously through the group and followed me back to my writing corner.

Coming from Calgary, I thought I might get the prize for the furthest distance travelled but since I only had to fly for four hours maybe the people that drove seven hours would get it. But there was no Furthest Distance Travelled prize. We were all winners.

Breaks from the writing sessions and private writing times were spent kayaking, hiking to the 400-year-old medicine tree, early morning coffee on the deck watching the mist rise, following the resident fox for photo ops or just walking without a destination in mind. Pure bliss.

And then there was the food, the amazing food of Arowhon! Add the camaraderie of all those writers in one location and you encounter unstoppable laughter, encouragement, support, understanding, some very tall tales and so many new friendships.

Another highlight of the retreat was the one-on-one mentoring session with Brian to discuss individual projects. Intuitive, enlightening – Brian was full of suggestions and ideas, offered support and encouragement and dished it all out with honesty, in confidence and with sincerity. This man has a thing about helping writers improve their voices and write their stories. How great is that?

When it was over and time to go back to the binging of cell phones and our normal lives, it was very hard to leave the hugs and the companionship of like-minded souls and one of the prettiest places to visit. Thank you Brian Henry for making it all happen!

For information on upcoming writing retreats at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park, see here

Barbara at Arowhon Pines
Barbara Wackerle Baker grew up in Banff, Alberta and spends her free time racing up and down the Rockies trying to keep up with an active family of outdoor enthusiasts. Her passions include writing, photography, exploring landscapes and time with her grandchildren (the most beautiful grandchildren ever). 
Three of her stories have found homes in Chicken Soup publications, a dozen others are in short story contest anthologies, and one of her stories won the 2016 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. Currently Barbara is in the editing process of her YA novel titled No Reception.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, 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, January 13, 2017

Writing for Children & for Young Adults, Saturday, April 1, in Windsor

The Rising, a YA novel 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
Saturday, April 1, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Windsor, Ontario ~ Venue to be announced

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 2 or 3 copies of the opening 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!

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John. 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). But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published. 

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door

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

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