Sunday, July 22, 2018

November at the Briars Writing Retreat, Nov 2 – 4, Jackson's Point on Lake Simcoe


November at the Briars Writing Retreat
Friday, November 2 – Sunday, November 4, 2018
The Briars Resort & Spa on Lake Simcoe
55 Hedge Road, Jackson’s Point, Ontario, Canada (Map here)
Note: We’ll also have a late spring retreat, May 31 – June 3, 2019, in Algonquin Park at Arowhon Pines resort.

Give yourself a weekend of writing time – a weekend of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do, delicious food at every meal, and with the leisure you need to sit with your feet up and write.

The retreat will feature both instruction and guided writing exercises, plus one-on-one critiquing and coaching from Brian.  You’ll also have lots of time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your creativity. All writing levels welcome. Whether you’re just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us. 

The Peacock House
The setting: Originally a Regency-style Manor House built by Captain William Bourchier in 1840, the estate was purchased in 1870 by Dr. Frank Sibbald, who added two wings to the manor house, a coach house, a brick stable and of course a peacock house, because where else are you going to keep your peacocks?

The Briars also has a storied literary history. Humorist Stephen Leacock was a great friend of the Sibbalds, visited often, and is buried just down the road from the resort at the pretty St. George’s churchyard, as is author Mazo de la Roche. De la Roche’s Jalna series were worldwide bestsellers, making her one of Canada’s bestselling authors ever. Indeed, her books are still available from Dundurn Press.

Today, the Briars still offers the warmth of a country estate steeped in history while providing all the benefits of an extensive, modern lakeside resort.

Rates include accommodation. For the retreat, we have our own lodge, the Mayfair, with ten rooms, each entirely private, with a king, a queen, or two twin beds, an en-suite four-piece bathroom, and a desk for writing. The eight downstairs rooms each has a deck. The large, comfortable second-story living room features a wet bar and refrigerator (so do bring your own wine or beer if you like) and coffee service.

All meals – Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch – are provided, as are coffee & snack breaks on Saturday. Alcoholic beverages are extra, as are Spa treatments – but you might want to check those out (see here).


All activities included. When you’re not writing, or for spouses who accompany you, there is plenty to do. The resort has an indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna, a well-equipped exercise room, and a games room with pool, shuffleboard, ping pong, and foosball. The beautiful Lake Simcoe setting offers idyllic opportunities for biking and hiking, with the resort featuring its own nature trails and with other trails three kilometers down the road at Sibbald Point Provincial Park. And of course there are plenty of nooks around the resort that are ideal for reading, resting and unwinding.

Check-in on Friday is 4 p.m. Our first writing get-together will be at 5 p.m. On Sunday we'll have our last writing get-together at 10 a.m., ending at 11 a.m. Check out is at 12 noon. (though we may push the Sunday schedule an hour later if the resort isn't full and they can accommodate a 1 p.m. check out) But once you’ve had lunch, don’t feel you have to rush off! You can stay for the rest of the day, enjoying the amenities of the resort. Participants are welcome to bring a non-participating significant other. 

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 has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Fee, including both the writing retreat and accommodation, meals, coffee & snack service, and all resort amenities: $345.135 per night plus 13% hst
or $690.27 for the weekend, plus 13% hst
Not included: Tips (probably easiest just to leave $20 – $30 for the wait staff when you check out), alcoholic drinks (or any drinks bought at Drinkwaters Lounge), spa services, or other extras.
Bring a (non-participating) significant other along for the weekend to share your room for an additional $238.94 plus hst for both nights (includes accommodation, meals and all resort amenities, but not the writing part of the retreat).

Book early – space is limited! Full receipts issued.

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

Note: Bookings for accommodations for this retreat must be done through Brian (unlike our retreats in Algonquin, where you book your accommodations through the resort).

Who can attend the retreat?
Everyone interested in developing their writing skills is welcome to attend, whether you're aspiring writer or an accomplished author or simply enjoy writing as a hobby. There is no requirement for you to have been previously published or even to have an intention to publish.

I'm a poet / playwright / other writer. Is this retreat for me?
The retreat is open to anyone who enjoys writing. Instruction will focus on narrative writing; i.e., stories, whether fiction or memoir. But if you’re an essayist or poet or whatever, you’re entirely welcome.
Should I bring my work in progress?
Yes, if you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you! If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.

Should I bring my laptop?
Yes, if you prefer to work on your laptop. If you prefer to work on paper bring that. Or bring both.

Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?
Yes. But you need to let me know at least a week ahead of time, so I can let the staff know about your needs.
The Briars, with a view of the tower, where you'll find writing tables set up
I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is that possible?
If you want to arrive early or stay longer, that’s fine. You’ll book the Friday and Saturday night with Brian, and arrange any additional nights with the resort; just make sure they know you’re with Brian Henry’s writing group.

Is there cell phone reception and WIFI?
Yes.

How about alcohol?
The resort serves alcohol with meals and has a licensed lounge called Drinkwaters. Guests are also welcome to bring their own wine, beer or whatever for consumption at our own lodge. (Though do note that Hemingway’s advice to write drunk, mostly produces drivel.)

Can I bring my spouse (or partner or friend)?
If you want to share your room with a partner, they’re very welcome. Just let them know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day).

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

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

Saturday, July 21, 2018

New book: Beyond Faith, the 3rd book in the Beyond mystery series by Sharon A. Crawford


Beyond Faith by Sharon A. Crawford, reviewed by Michael R. Dyet
Beyond Faith is the latest instalment in Sharon A. Crawford’s Beyond crime fiction series. It picks up where Beyond Blood leaves off with Dana Bowman and her son David still recovering from the trauma of David’s kidnapping. But fate does not allow them much time to heal as Dana and her twin brother Bast, owners of the Attic Investigative Agency, are thrust into a perplexing new case.
It quickly becomes apparent that this new case has personal overtones as it intersects with Dana’s childhood. Sister Mary Olsen, a Catholic nun, is the connecting thread and at the center of this new mystery that involves secret adoptions and their consequences. The case and its multiple players lead Dana and Bast through a endless series of baffling twists and turns as they attempt to solve it.
Murders, a bank robbery, a life threatening fire and extortion all play a role in weaving a web so complex it almost defies reason. Dana can’t help but delve deeper into these events even when it puts her in harm’s way. At the same time, she tries to navigate the fragile ground of her growing personal relationship with Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding.
Beyond Faith is a wild, roller-coaster ride for mystery and crime fiction fans. But it is also a penetrating study of two truths we often try to avoid: 1) We can never entirely bury our past however hard we try to do so. 2) Family ties, and the baggage that comes with them, can circle back to ensnare us decades later regardless of our efforts to distance ourselves from them.

Beyond Faith is available through Blue Denim Press here at Amazon here.
Visit Sharon at her website here.

Hey, do you have a book you want to promote? I’m always glad to help by posting an announcement on Quick Brown Fox (though sometimes it may take a while). Just send me an email that I can post to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca


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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Nine paying markets for your short pieces and poetry, plus a contest

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in the "Follow Brian by Email" box to the right under my bio and get each post delivered to your Inbox. 
Also, you can hang out and chat with Quick Brown Foxes (and vixens) on Brian Henry's Facebook page here
Finally, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian


The Penmen Review accepts original poetry, essays, book and script excerpts, and short stories. (Poetry – no more than 3 poems per submission cycle, each submitted as a separate document. All other Review submissions – up to 2,500 words).
Penman also accepts Writing Resources pieces – tips, advice and first-person articles (300-1,500 words) from industry professionals.
Deadline: ongoing. Submissions here.

Outlook Springs is a literary journal "from another dimension." Seeks fiction, poetry, and nonfiction tinged with the strange. Pays $25 for fiction, $10 for poetry. 
Deadline: August 15, 2018. Submission guidelines here.

 Zsenon Publishing
 Seeks speculative fiction 350–500 words for an anthology. Pays 6 cents/word.  
Deadline: August 15, 2018. Guidelines here.

Psychopomp Magazine seeks short stories up to 5,000 words. Looks to redefine traditional story-telling. Pays 2 cents a word up to $100 (and starting at a minimum of $5). 
Deadline: August 15, 2018. Guidelines here.

Splickety Publishing Group pays 2 cents/word for flash fiction  300–1,000 words (but preferably under 700 words), plus nano-stories under 100 words, in three magazines:
Havok magazine publishes flash science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, paranormal, supernatural, horror, techno-thriller, superhero, and more. Currently “going back to the basics of classic Halloween horror stories. Monsters, witches, creepy crawlies, things that go bump in the night, and all things terrifying are what we’re seeking in this issue. Make our skin crawl with undead delight.” Deadline July 27, 2018. Guidelines here.
Spark magazine publishes romance flash fiction including  romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, inspirational romance, women’s fiction, and more. Currently looking for stories featuring broken bones, mishaps, and long night shifts. “As long as there is a happily ever after, we want to see them." Deadline: August 24, 2018. Guidelines here.
Splickety magazine publishes flash fiction in the young adult genre including (but not limited to) action/adventure, suspense, mystery, thriller, contemporary, speculative, and historical fiction. Currently seeking stories on the theme of “Christmas Abroad, including travel mishaps, holiday cheer, cultural traditions. “It’s any place but home for the holidays. Give us young adult stories that embrace the holiday spirit in faraway lands. What does Christmas look like in high summer when the family goes to visit their grandfather in Australia? Can an army brat find the Christmas spirit on her third overseas base in three years? What happens when an exchange student in Ecuador finds romance under the mistletoe? We want to see compelling characters, evocative settings, and a hearty dose of Christmas magic.” Deadline September 21, 2018.  Guidelines here.


Alien Dimensions seeks speculative short stories, “Set it in space, in the far future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens helping to solve a pseudo-scientific problem.” Pays US$10 for 3,500+ words. 
Deadline: August 24, 2018. Guidelines here.


Chicken Soup for the Soul is continually publishing new anthologies and pays for true stories and poems. 
Guidelines for all themes here.


Currently they’re looking for:
Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles
When our loved ones leave this world, our connection with them does not end. Death takes away their physical presence, but not their spirit, and we often sense them after they have gone. Sometimes we see or hear from them after they've passed, giving us signs and messages from beyond. We want to hear your story if you have experienced the other side or received a sign or signal from a loved one who has passed.
Deadline August 15, 2018
Stories about Miracles 
Miracles do happen each and every day. Everyone has experienced events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment and give them hope for a better future. Why did these things happen? Is there an explanation? Or did these things seem to happen for no reason at all?
We are looking for true stories of no more than 1,200 words for this multi-faith book that will awe you with examples of amazing events and unexplained happenings. Share your inspirational stories with us to remind us that each day holds hope and to never give up. A miracle can happen at any time.
Deadline August 15, 2018
Grandparents
The moment a grandchild is born, grandparents are born too. Just seeing your baby hold his or her baby is an unbelievable experience. Everyone has a great story about the unconditional love between grandparents and their grandchildren. We are looking for true heartwarming, insightful and humorous stories celebrating grandparents and grandchildren; written by grandmothers and grandfathers about being grandparents and written by grandchildren about their grandmothers and grandfathers. Stories about or by step-grandparents and honorary grandparents are welcomed too." Pays $200. 
Deadline: August 31, 2018.
Mom Knows Best: Deadline Sept 30, 2018 for release in March 2019 in time for Mother's Day. 
Life Lessons from the Cat: Deadline Oct 31, 2018
Life Lessons from the Dog: Deadline Nov 30, 2018
Running for Good: Deadline Dec 15, 2018
The Golden Years or Second Wind: Deadline Dec 30, 2018 
Detailed guidelines for all themes here.

Gemini Magazine invites you to enter their 10th annual Flash Fiction Contest for the chance to win $1,000 and publication. The entry fee is $5.
Deadline August 31.
No-fee 
general submissions remain open year round.

Freefall Magazine Canadians only, except for the annual contests. Seeks prose: Maximum length 4,000 words. Fiction: short story & novel excerpts, nonfiction should be writing related or general audience topics, creative nonfiction, plays, postcard stories. And poetry: Submit 2–5 poems, any style. Length of any individual poem cannot exceed 6 pages. Pays $10 per page in the magazine to a maximum of $100 plus and one copy of issue that your piece is published in for prose. Pays $25 per poem plus one copy of issue that your poem is published in.
Deadlines: August 31 for January issue, December 31 for annual prose and poetry competition, published in May, April 30 for September issue. Guidelines here

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner, Saturday, Dec 8, in Guelph


Secrets of Writing a Page-turner
Techniques for making any story more compelling
Saturday, December 8, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Avenue, Guelph, Ontario (Map here

Ever stayed up all night reading a book? In this workshop, you’ll learn you how to build that kind of tension.  And we'll help you put into practice the techniques professionals use – on every page and in every kind of story – to create drama and tension.

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 reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

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