Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Visit to Tim Horton’s, by Barry Rosen


Sigmund Freud walked into Tim Horton’s. He took off his hat. He looked around the restaurant. He had never seen such a place, with such strange signs and bright lights. He looked at the other customers. The customers looked at him. Most of them thought he was an actor on a lunch break from a film shoot. But he wasn’t an actor. He was the real deal. Sigmund Freud.

He took his pocket watch out of his vest and checked the time. It was getting late and he soon had to get back to the office. Finally it was his turn to be served.

The server wore tight pants. He had slicked back hair and long sideburns. His name tag read “Elvis.” Instead of asking Freud for his order, Elvis greeted him with the words of a song: “Well since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell. It’s down at the end of lonely street, it’s heartbreak hotel.”

Before Elvis could continue, Freud held up his hand and stopped him. “Please do not tell me ze problems zat you haf,” said Freud. “I am not verking now. I am on a break.”

Elvis, looking puzzled, asked Freud what he would like to order.

“I vud like Viennese coffee mit lots of cream,” said Freud.

“We don’t have that,” said Elvis. “We have regular coffee, dark roast, and all the other drinks listed on the sign behind me.”

“Zis is no good,” said Freud. “I must haf my Viennese coffee.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry that. How about a double double?”

“No! No!” said Freud emphatically. “Double double just von’t do. Goodbye to you.”

Freud abruptly left. The other customers stared at him with puzzled expressions.

After leaving the restaurant Freud stood on the sidewalk, wondering where to go for his Viennese coffee. Tim Horton showed up.

“Are you who I think you are?” asked Tim.

“Yah, probably,” replied Freud. “And who might you be?”

“You don’t know? I’m Tim Horton, the founder of this restaurant.”

“Vell, since you are ze boss, I haf a complaint,” said Freud. “Vy don’t you serve Viennese coffee?”

“What a great idea!” said Tim Horton. “Why don’t I ask my people if we could develop that as our newest product? Maybe you could appear in a television ad, saying that our new Viennese coffee is Freud approved!”

“I do not know vat iz television and mine answer is absolutely no. If I cannot find my Viennese coffee I vill go back to mine office. Goodbye to you.”

“Too bad, I thought we could do business together.”

Freud turned his back and walked away, shaking his head while muttering to himself under his breath.  “Zis man is disturbed, and he needs help. Maybe ze double double portion.”

And meanwhile, back in the restaurant, Elvis continued to greet his customers with the words of a song.

Addendum: Any resemblance to actual persons, living or, especially, dead, is purely coincidental.

Barry Rosen was a social worker for many years but is now retired. He has loved words, stories and books almost since birth, and currently spends much of his time at Tim Horton’s, trying to figure out how to spend his time.


See Brian Henry’s 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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Writing With Style workshop, Saturday, March 11, in Georgetown

Writing with Style
Saturday, March 11, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
St. Alban's Church, 537 Main Street, Georgetown, Ontario (in the village of Glen Williams (Map here.)

If you do any kind of creative writing, fiction or nonfiction, this workshop is for you. We’ll tackle the nitty-gritty of putting words on paper in a way that will grip the reader’s imagination. You'll learn how to avoid common errors that drain the life from your prose. And you'll discover how to make your writing more vivid, more elegant and more powerful.

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 Saint John. 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’s full 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, Milton, Mississauga, Orillia, Oakville, Orangeville, Ottawa, Peterborough, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Vaughan, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

L. Perkins Agency has 5 literary agents looking for authors, including new agents Maximilian Ximenez and Tish Beaty

Lori Perkins, founder of L. Perkins Agency
L. Perkins Agency
5800 Arlington Avenue
Riverdale, NY 10471 

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

The L. Perkins Agency has five agents actively seeking new clients (and a couple more who aren’t), including two new members of the team, and like all new agents, they really need authors:

Maximilian Ximenez grew up within the New York publishing industry. Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, he worked at Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the popular Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo video game franchises. He is a strong believer in publishing and narrative as a central pillar of franchise and transmedia development.

Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is acquiring science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime, and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields and cultures.

Maximilian’s clients include two-time New York Times bestselling graphic novel author, Micky Neilson, and Lucien Soulban, lead writer of the BAFTA award winning video game Far Cry 3.

Query Maximilian at: maximilian@lperkinsagency.com
Include your bio, a brief synopsis, and the first five pages of your book or novel in the body of the email. No attachments unless requested.

Tish Beaty was raised fifteen minutes outside of Clinton, Missouri - down Pretty Bob Road - where writing became her creative outlet from an early age. She studied English Literature (emphasis in Victorian Lit) at MU, received a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia College and a M.A in Counseling Psychology from Forest Institute of Psychology. She's the momma of two energetic, young boys – her heart and soul.

In 2010, she was part of the team that developed The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House from the ground up.  During her time with the TWCS, Tish managed both authors and editors – acquiring several of the authors who have become literary successes, including the NYT #1 Bestseller - Fifty Shades of Grey

I'd say it's a good bet she's looking for romance and erotica. ~Brian 

In between facilitating therapy, attending ball games and PTA meetings, and day dreaming of the white sands of St. John Island, Tish enjoys Zumba and meditating. Tish has a tendency to drop the f-bomb, indulges in salted almond dark chocolate, and has a standing Tuesday date with the boys of Deadliest Catch!

Include your bio, a brief synopsis, and the first five pages of your book or novel in the body of the email. No attachments unless requested.

Literary agent Stacey Donaghy
Brian Henry has a number of hot-ticket workshops coming up soon: How to Get Published, Saturday, Jan 28, 2017, in Toronto with Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy agency (see here), and How to Write a Bestseller, Saturday, Feb 18, in Guelph, with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (see here). 

Come the new year, Brian will offer a full slate of classes (details of all six here): 

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. Details here.
Intermediate Creative Writing, Thursday evenings, Jan 19 – March 23, Georgetown. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 25 – March 28, Burlington. Details here.
Extreme Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons,Jan 25 – March 15, Burlington
See details of all six courses here.
To reserve a spot, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Brian Hanry at Jitterbug Cafe
Other workshops coming in the new year include: How to Build Your Story, Saturday, Feb 4, in Mississauga (see here) and Saturday, Feb 11, in Caledon at the Bolton library (see here) and Writing and Revising, Saturday, Feb 25, in Burlington (see here) and Saturday, March 4, in London (see here).

To register of for more information for any of the above, emailbrianhenry@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.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Free seminar: Writing Query Letters That Get a Yes

From Inky Girl
Writing Query Letters That Get a Yes
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.

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 published.

Read reviews of Brian's weekly courses and Saturday workshops see here.

Attendance is free, but please let me know you’re coming so I know how many handouts to bring. Email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A review of Brian Henry’s introductory class: Welcome to Creative Writing, by Hina Zia


Here’s something I have often found to be true: people who enjoy reading a good tale, also like telling their own stories. At least I do! And while some lucky ones are born story-tellers, others like myself, need help. That’s where Brian Henry’s courses and workshops come in.

When I signed up for Welcome to Creative Writing, I was excited, but also nervous and apprehensive. An introvert by nature, I found walking into a room full of strangers daunting. Brian soon put me at ease with his gentle demeanour. His opening advice was simple yet potent, “Silence your inner critic!”

But just as I thought I was easing into this class, he requested casually that would we please share our work every week in small groups. At this I almost made a beeline for the exit! I thought writers wrote away happily in their hovels and publishers took care of the rest. How could I share my scribbles with “critics” I barely knew?

Surprisingly, though, when we broke up into pairs before the end of the first session, I was grateful for a listening ear and delighted by my companion’s encouragement. It helped that we were both equally apologetic about the pieces we had so quickly composed. And over the course of the next few weeks, the “critics” I’d feared so much all turned out to be friends offering a listening ear.

Every week we walked away with renewed fervor and enthusiasm. Brian gave great nuggets of advice on openings, endings, dialogue, fiction, non-fiction as well as the technicalities of penning a well formatted piece. He began every session by asking us to share any interesting news relating to writing, answered any questions we had, and concluded it by giving us different writing exercises. 

He never put any performance pressure, but it felt like we didn’t want to disappoint him, so everyone rolled up their sleeves and did their best.

The show-and tell segment – when one participant would read a piece to the whole group – was my favorite part of the day, though for a month, was quite certain, I’d never work up the nerve to read to the whole group.

Through these “show and tell” pieces, though, we came to know each other better and I got to hear so many wonderful pieces of writing. And I did eventually work up the courage to read one of my pieces to the whole group, and it was such a positive experience that I did it again.

Brian also took out time each week to chat with people individually, reviewing their work and giving some great pointers to make it better. If anyone missed anything, the handouts arrived each work by email, along with the homework.  

Do I recommend this Course? Highly. If, like myself, you have ever toyed with the idea of writing for pleasure, for catharsis, to make some money, or merely as a hobby, do sign up. Not only will you learn some great tips, you will get to know yourself a little bit better. Brian is a great coach and a knowledgeable guide. He will take you on a creative journey, and along the way you’ll  also learn about the mysterious workings of the publishing world. Because who hasn’t struggled trying to get their work published?

As with all good things, the Course concluded too soon. However, Brian has an exciting line-up for winter, and I can’t wait to get my feet wet again! Join me at one of the other sessions, or check out the workshops. Your creative alter-ego will be glad you did!

Brian's next introductory creative writing course starts in January 2017. See details here. For details of all six classes starting in the new year, see here. If those courses have already started, see all upcoming weekly classes and Saturday workshops here


Hina Zia believes in the power of the written word and its ability to challenge perceptions and break down barriers. She is fond of a quote from Thomas King: “I get stopped every time I try to cross that border but stories go wherever they please.” She hopes her words will reach a wide audience some day. Currently she lives in Oakville with her children. Having moved a few times herself, she’s particularly interested in the immigrant experience and it’s effect on the psyche of people. When she’s not actively parenting, she’s happiest reading or dabbling with words herself.

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, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The 2017 Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar is available now

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced writer, if you’re looking for places to send your work, you should put contests on your list. 

The Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar is a book that gives a full listing of annual writing contests in Canada arranged by deadline date. It lists contests for short stories, poetry, children’s writing, novels, and nonfiction – contests for just about everyone. 

The Calendar costs just $20 at one of Brian Henry's workshops or classes or $25 by mail within Ontario (all taxes & shipping included). 

To order, 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, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Make Yourself Write workshop, Saturday, April 29, in Oakville

The Oakville Public Library presents…
How to Make Yourself Write
A creativity workout
Saturday, April 29, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario (All-day parking is around the back of the library and then up the hill a bit on Water Street, across from the Canoe Club. Map here.)

Let's get motivated! This workshop is designed to help you find the time and the inspiration to write. No more staring at a blank screen. Come to this workshop and give yourself a kick-start, and then learn how to keep going. This creativity workout will get your words flowing and help you make the breakthrough into the next level of writing.

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 Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published. 

You can read reviews of Brian's courses 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 here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are getting published

Hi, Brian!
Exciting news! The anthology of “chilling holiday tales for the black-hearted” titled O Horrid Night! which includes my very own piece, A Ghost Story,” is now available for pre-order from Amazon.ca here. The price is great, too: $0.00 for the Kindle edition or just $18.73 for the paperback.
O Horrid Night! is also on Goodreads and my name is there in the listing as a writer! Check it out here.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that at last I have my website up and running. It has a (very) short bio and some excerpts of my work.
All the best,
Corinne Clark

Hi, Brian.
I'm happily passing along the news that two of my pieces are getting some visibility soon. CommuterLit ran my story “Attitude,” and The Globe & Mail published a piece called “Dad’s Workshop” in its daily "Facts and Arguments" space.
All good for the resume!
Regards,
Dave
Read “Attitude” on CommuterLit here, and see links to all eight stories Dave’s published on CommuterLit here. For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.
I’ve reposted Dave’s essay originally published in the Globe & Mail on Quick Brown Fox here. For information on submitting a “Facts & Arguments” essay to the Globe & Mail, see here.

Yay, Mary!
Hi, Brian.
I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter but in case anyone missed it (can’t have that!), you can find  a link to my latest 50-word story here.
It’s a humorous story this time. Please click the “like” button if you do like it – obviously don’t if you dislike it – the site counts the clicks but that’s it (unlike FB which tells who clicked).
And for anyone I told about being a semi-finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award – well, boo. I didn’t make it to the final three. Better luck next time I guess!
Mary Steer
For information on submitting to 50-Word Stories, see here.
To see who won the $2,000 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award and the runners-up, see here, and for information on submitting a story to the Galbraith Awards, see here.

Dear Brian,
I'm excited to tell you that my YA novel Passport Control will be coming out with Merit Press, NY (Editor Jackie Mitchard).
I just signed the other day and I'm thrilled. The book should be out within a year in hard copy and digital and I'll be sure to keep you updated.
All best to you and, yes, I am a fan of Leonard Cohen z'l as well.
Gila
Author of King of the Class Amazon Kindle
Check out a review of King of the Class here.

Writer to Writer
A Burlington critique group is looking for new members. If you write children's stories – Picture Books to Young Adult – and are interested in joining our group, please contact Dianne Matich at: Dianne@diannematich.com

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