Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Mrs. W," a memoir by Anne McGouran


“I never rent to females  – ” Mrs. Wrigley blew a stream of bile-coloured smoke in my face “ – but the Caruso family vouched for you and you rather remind me of a young Katherine Hepburn, in that anorexic wolfhound gangly gamine way.”

Desperate for cheap lodging, I imagined kissing Mrs. W’s sapphire and diamond ring right there on her High Victorian-Second Empire verandah.

The main salon to the right of the foyer exhibited lacquer boxes, bronze griffins and heads on plinths. As I was gawking at an antique folding screen (peonies and peacocks), a stoop-shouldered maid manhandled a walnut tea trolley over the threshold, slopping liquid onto the turquoise Aubusson carpet.

Mrs. W rose to her full height and started reprimanding the maid – loudly.

I excused myself to go to the powder room. In the sumptuous privy, a series of framed 1950s newspaper columns detailed Deer Park socialites’ attire. So and so wore “a white silk chiffon Albere model over palest pink, a hand-pleated bodice with portrait neckline, tiny cap sleeves and a high-waisted effect,” one column informed me. “A going-away ensemble of imported honey beige lace, the jacket’s short sleeves banded with dark Majesty mink, a tiered hat of tulle in mink tones.”

The shouting in the salon subsided. I crept back to my supplicant’s chair. 

Mrs. W’s reptilian eyes narrowed as she examined my scuffed Oxfords. 

“Milk or lemon?”

“Milk,” I whispered.

Mrs. W squeezed lemon into my cup. “As I was saying, women are slovenly and conniving, creeping around after hours as if this were a bawdy house not an upscale apartment rental for discerning tenants….  An A student are you? Educated by the Loretto sisters? By the looks of it, you won’t be smuggling men into your room. Now in my day, women were schooled as hostesses and ambassadresses….” She pointed to an alarmingly athletic erotic sculpture. “The male and female energies must be in balance, in equipoise.”

My eyes wandered to the gilt-framed oil painting above the fireplace, a lithe Rosedale debutante in shimmering satin with heavy-lidded dark eyes. Now those same eyes peered out from under Mrs. Wrigley’s freakish Sally Bowles wig, blazing out of her face like a bulldog swallowing a thistle.

We finalized our rental arrangement over stale Swiss roll cake, cigarette ash falling on Mrs. W’s saffron shawl with its pattern of wild geese in flight.
*  
A Toronto native, Anne McGouran relocated to Collingwood, Ontario, where she crafts short stories and essays and is currently researching ice huts and orchard picking ladders. Anne has served as a grants manager and development officer for a range of community foundations, social justice and health organizations and has raised funds for preventive health, palliative care, abused women, youth violence prevention and arts programs for the homeless.  Anne creates one-of-a-kind envelopes from repurposed vintage wallpaper. Funds from this philanthropic venture fund the Nature League of Collingwood Student Environmental awards.

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book launch for The Stain by Charlene Jones and Talking to Myself by Linda Stitt


Come and hear Charlene Jones read an excerpt from her new novel, The Stain.
The Stain reveals the lives of three women separated by centuries, bound by madness, betrayal, loss and a love that will not die. Can one free them all?

Linda Stitt
Linda Stitt will also be on hand to welcome you to the release of her latest book, Talking to Myself, a retrospective of Linda’s best, proudly launched on the Wild West of e-publishing.

Stroll into the Portobello Bar and Restaurant
on Saturday, September 27,
between 1:30 and 4:30 and celebrate with us.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NonBianry review pays for your work; Flexible Persona seeks anxiety & horror, London Magazine short story contest, and Nat Brut wants flash fiction

NonBinary Review, the quarterly literary publication of the always interesting Zoetic Press, wants art and literature “that tiptoes the tightrope between now and then … and language that makes us reach for a dictionary, a tissue, or both.” Open to work of a hybrid or experimental nature. Each issue is themed; authors are invited to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. 
Themes: L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz (Deadline: Oct 31) and Bulfinch’s Mythology: The Age of Fable (Deadline: Jan 31, 2015).
Pays 1 cent per word for prose/hybrid work, $10 flat fee per poem, and $25 flat fee for art.
Guidelines here.

The Flexible Persona invites submissions of nonfiction and fiction pieces of terror, anxiety, and horror for a themed issue: The Horror of Everyday Life. They “invite you to face that which truly shakes you to the core, armed with the alchemy of the written word.” 
Publishes fiction with emotional weight and evolved characters and relationships and non-fiction that explores “how people find a sane, happy life in a basically insane world.” 
Selected works will be published online in audio format as well as in a special e-reader issue in February 2015. Deadline: October 31, 2014.


The London Magazine’s prestigious short story competition is returning for its third year in September. We are home to some of the very best names in short story writing, including Raymond Carver, Alison MacLeod, Hilary Mantel and William Boyd.
To continue its literary history, The London Magazine is always looking for new voices from across the world. Our competitions provide emerging literary talent with an opportunity for publication and distinguished recognition.
We would be grateful if you could share this email with your writers. We can also provide leaflets if you think they would be useful.
Deadline: 31st October 2014
Prizes:
  • 1st Prize: £500 (and published in a future issue of The London Magazine)
    2nd Prize: £300 (and published on The London Magazine’s website)
    3rd Prize: £200 (and published on The London Magazine’s website)
The winners will also be announced at a champagne reception at the House of Commons in early 2015. 
Entry fee: £10 per short story.
Judges: Polly Samson and Harriet Kline.
You can also visit our website for more details here
Many thanks,

Dear Brian,
My name is Axel Severs. I co-edit an online art/lit journal called Nat. Brut. We've opened our first Flash Fiction Contest with Kathleen Hale serving as judge, and we would be delighted if you could share the information regarding the contest with your readers. The details are below.
Sincerely,
Axel Severs
We are excited to announce our first ever Flash Fiction Contest!
We'll be offering firstsecond, and third place prizes. All three winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter and will be listed on our homepage. Each submitter is allowed only one entry for a $15 entry fee. 100% of the money raised through the contest will go directly into the magazine and it's projects.
First place includes a $200 prize and the winner's entry will be included in Issue Five.
Second place includes a $50 prize, and the winner's entry will be included on the Nat. Brut Blog.
Third place winner's entry will be included on the NB blog and will receive a T-Shirt from our store.
Each submitter's name will be listed on our website as a Supporter of Nat. Brut for a year.
There is no theme to this contest. There is no minimum word count, but the maximum word count is 750. Please limit one entry per person.
Deadline November 1, 2014. Guidelines here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The World's Top-Earning Authors

Do you wonder sometimes how much money really successful authors make? So does the staff at Forbes, and once a year, they try to figure it out… Brian
, Forbes magazine, Sept 8, 2014. 
Watch out Danielle Steel and Stephen King – the kids are coming. The world’s top-earning authors list includes three newcomers who made more than $9 million each in the last year  and were born after 1970. 
In a ranking long-dominated by stalwarts like crime writer James Patterson (b. 1947) and romance author Nora Roberts (b. 1950), these fresh ink spillers, two of whom write young adult fiction, rank thanks to the increasing commercial appeal of teen literature for readers of all ages.
Young adult author Veronica Roth‘s ranks 6th on account of her Divergent trilogy which sold a combined 6.7 million copies in 2013, earning her around $17 million from print and ebook sales between June 2013 and June 2014. She also benefited from the book’s 2014 film adaption, which grossed $270 million at the global box office. At just 26, Roth is the youngest newcomer on the ranking, and one of seven women on the 17-person list.
37-year-old newcomer John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars propelled him to an estimated $9 million yearly paycheck before taxes and fees. The YA love story, which follows the trials of two cancer-stricken teens, has sold well over 1 million copies in the U.S. and spawned a weepy summer blockbuster.
{Actually in the first half of 2014, The Fault in Our Stars sold 4 million copies in the States, plus he sold 1.45 million copies of his earlier books, so Green is doing even better than Forbes thinks he is.}
And here’s the list of this year’s top-earning authors:
James Patterson $90 million
Dan Brown $28 million
Nora Roberts $23 million
Danielle Steel $22 million
Janet Evanovich $20 million
Jeff Kinney $17 million
Veronica Roth $17 million
John Grisham $17 million
Stephen King $17 million
Suzanne Collins $16 million
JK Rowling $14 million
George R.R. Martin $12 million
David Baldacci $11 million
Rick Riordan $10 million
El James $10 million
Gillian Flynn $9 million
John Green $9 million
 
Kelley Armstrong
P.S. I’m leading “How to Write a Bestseller” workshops with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong on Saturday, Nov 22, in Burlington (see here) and Saturday, Dec 6, in London (see here). And I have “Writing for Children & for Young Adults"workshop on Saturday, Nov 8, in Guelph (see here).

 See my full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Literary agents Genevieve Nine and Katie Reed of Andrea Hurst & Associates seek YA and MG fiction and fiction and nonficiton for adults

Andrea Hurst & Associates

At Andrea Hurst & Associates, Genevieve Nine has recently been promoted to agent and is seeking new authors. Her tastes are eclectic, ranging from the classics to quirky. She’s drawn to the fantastic, the curious, and the unexpected. 

Genevieve is looking to represent authors who weave layered tales with well-developed worlds and characters who threaten to burst from the page. She appreciates smart and original plots with well-crafted twists. And no matter how zany or diabolical, every character should be undeniably human at heart.

Genevieve joined Andrea Hurst Literary Management as an intern in 2012. She has a background in professional editing and gets great satisfaction from developing authors. She’s a Creative Writing MFA candidate at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, holds a Certificate in Children’s Writing from the University of Washington, and graduated with honors and a B.A. from the USC School of Cinema & Television. 

Genevieve’s primary focus is young adult and middle grade fiction.
She’s looking to acquire: 
  • Fantasy (open to all subgenres except game-related)
  • Science Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Historical Fiction
  • Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth)
  • Contemporary Realism (especially with elements of humor) 
She also represents the following adult and new adult categories:
  • Mystery (detective/PI, amateur, cozy, historical, comic, caper)
  • Thriller (supernatural, historical, disaster, ecological)
  • Gothic/Hauntings/Quiet Horror
  • Historical Fiction
  • Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth)
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Magical Realism
  • Food Memoir
  • Travelogue/Travel Memoir 
Query Genevieve at: querygenevieve@andreahurst.com
Include “Query: Book Title” in the email’s subject line and paste the first ten pages of manuscript below your query.

Katie Reed is also looking for authors. Katie represents all areas of young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction, with a special interest in YA and fantasy. 

Katie’s Wishlist:

All areas of YA fiction, particularly:
Commercial, with a compelling hook and a protagonist who battles real life teen issues
Science fiction (soft)
Fantasy

Commercial and Literary Adult Fiction in the following genres:
Book Club Women’s Fiction
Science Fiction (soft)
Fantasy
Suspense/Thriller
Contemporary Romance

Nonfiction in the following genres:
·                     Memoir/Biography with a strong platform
·                     Self-help
·                     Crafts/How-to
·                     Inspirational
·                     True Crime (I would prefer to avoid this unless it is high profile and current)
·                     Parenting

Query Katie at: katie@andreahurst.com
No attachments. Do not send proposals, sample chapters or manuscripts unless specifically requested by an agent. Please indicate if you are simultaneously submitting to other agents. Expect Katie to take some time to respond—in busy periods this may take several weeks.

Full submission guidelines here.

Carolyn Forde
of Westwood Creative Artists
Brian Henry will lead “How to Get Published" workshops in Oakville on Saturday, Sept 27, with literary agent Carolyn Forde (see here) and in Niagara on the Lake on Sunday, March 1, with literary agent Olga Filina (see here).

He has a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults" workshop Saturday, Nov 8, in Guelph (see here).

Other upcoming workshops, include: “Writing & Revising,” Saturday, Sept 20, in Toronto (see here), and “How to Write a Bestseller" with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, Nov 22, in Burlington (see here) and Saturday, Dec 6, in London (see here). 

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. This September, Brian still has space in his
 “Welcome to Creative Writing" on Tuesday mornings in Burlington and “Writing Your Life & Other Personal Stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington.

See details of all six courses starting in September here.

“The Next Step in Creative Writing” and “Intensive Creative Writing” courses starting this month are full. But email to be put on the waiting list in case someone drops out or to reserve a spot for the winter session. Come January, Brian will be offering an Intensive course on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington, and Next Step courses on Wednesday evenings in Burlington, Thursday afternoons in Mississauga and Thursday evenings in Georgetown.

To register or for more details of any course or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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


Monday, September 15, 2014

You're invited to a book launch for The White Oneida by Jean Rae Baxter

The White Oneida by Jean Rae Baxter
from Ronsdale Press
Hello, Brian.
I have two book launches coming up for my new historical YA novel, The White Oneida. Everyone’s invited!
Jean Rae Baxter
P.S. Some great early reviews already.

Wednesday Sept 17
7:00 p.m.
Bryan Prince Bookseller
1060 King Street West, Hamilton (Map here)

And

Wednesday, October 1
7:00 p.m.
The Novel Idea Bookstore
156 Princess Street, Kingston (Map here)


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