Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Write Great Characters workshop, Saturday, August 16, in Hamilton

“How to Write Great Characters”
Saturday, August 16, 2014
1:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Volunteer Hamilton, 267 King Street East, Hamilton
{Note this is downtown Hamilton, a block west of Wellington St. S. Map here.}

Whatever you're writing – fiction or nonfiction – readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He 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.

Fee: 34.51 + 13% hst = 39 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 37017 + 13% hst = 
42 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 Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three literary agents at Marsal Lyon agency are looking for new authors

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency 
PMB 121
665 San Rodolfo Dr. 124
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Kathleen Rushall started as an intern at the Sandra Dijkstra Agency, and then spent almost two years at Waterside Productions

Kathleen looks forward to garnering fresh voices, strong narratives, and whimsical tales in all areas of young adult literature including contemporary fiction, suspense, Southern gothic, historical fiction, and science fiction. She is open to all genres of YA, but has a soft spot for thrillers, horror, romance, laugh-out-loud voices, and would love to find a dark mystery. She’s also open to New Adult queries.

Kathleen is looking for funny, character-driven, quirky picture books and all genres of big voiced middle grade fiction.

Kathleen also represents select nonfiction and is interested in parenting, cooking, crafts, business, alternative medicine, women’s interest, humor, pop-culture, and some how-to.

Kathleen graduated from Seattle University with her bachelor’s degree in English and minor in fine arts. She moved back to her hometown of San Diego to earn her master’s degree in English, specializing in children’s literature, from San Diego State University. When she is not at her desk, Kathleen enjoys exploring new restaurants, dreaming of Ireland, and walking her Australian Shepherd, Finn.

Read an interview with Kathleeen here.

Include “Query” in the subject of your email and include your phone number in your query. Full submission guidelines here.

Shannon Hassan brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for more than a decade.

She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction.

With respect to fiction, she is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose, and enjoys both contemporary and historical settings.

For nonfiction: she is interested in memoirists with exceptional stories to tell, as well as authors with a strong platform in current affairs, history, education, or law. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she is also eager to hear from authors with a unique perspective on the New West.

Before entering the publishing world, she was a corporate attorney at Arnold & Porter in New York, and she received her JD from Harvard and her BA from George Washington University. She has served on the board of the Publishers Association of the West and was a founding board member of the Boulder Writing Studio.

Include “Query” in the subject of your email and include your phone number in your query. Full submission guidelines here.
Deborah Ritchken has a broad based knowledge of the book world. After college she managed a chain of bookstores in the Midwest; learned editing and production with a small LA-based publishing house, and had positions as a marketing manager at both Prentice-Hall and Harcourt Brace. Deborah was with the Sandra Dijkstra Agency and for the last four years, the Castiglia Literary Agency.

Deborah is currently looking for lifestyle books, specifically in the areas of food, design and entertaining; pop culture; women’s issues; biography; and current events.

Her niche interest is projects about France, including fiction.

Include “Query” in the subject of your email and include your phone number in your query. Full submission guidelines here.

Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency
Brian Henry will lead “How to Get Published” workshops  in Stouffville on May 24 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here) and in Ottawa on June 22 with literary agent Maria Vicente (see here).

Also, Brian will lead a "Writing for Children & for Young Adults" workshop on May 31 in Burlington (see here).

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. Check out the details of the summer session of ‘The Next Step in Creative Writing” here and “Intensive Creative Writing” here.

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, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are getting published ~ And Writer to Writer classifieds

Hi, Brian.
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been chosen as one of the authors for the local writers’ event on May 8 at the Oakville Public Library. More of your authors might be on the list.
Best,
Joyce Wayne
Note: Joyce is the author The Cook's Temptation (reviewed here). of  Everyone’s invited to this event with Joyce and five other Halton Region authors:

Local Voice, Local Words
Oakville is a community bursting with talent.  Meet authors Plum Johnson, Heather A Clark, George Arnold, Josie Di-Sciascio-Andrews, Joyce Wayne and Andrew Glascoe and hear about their latest books. To learn more about the authors, click here to read their bios.
Thursday, May 8
7:00  to 8:30 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, 120 Navy Street, Oakville
(Parking around the back off Water St. Map here).
$13.56
For more details, phone: 905- 815-2042

Hi again, Brian. 
I’m pleased to relate that I’ve placed another poem with Northern Cardinal Review. You can read it hereThis is my second acceptance from them, and hopefully I’ll have many more in due time. Promoting the beauty of Canada's natural geography will never grow old, and I am well on my way to 50 writing credits by age 50, thanks to you and Quick Brown Fox!
Sincere-Lee,
Francine Lee
P.S. I also, have had several poems and short fiction and nonfiction pieces published with another online publication, One Thousand Trees.
Northern Cardinal has also published pieces by other Quick Brown Fox readers in the past couple years, and it seems like a good place to send your work. Check it out here.   
And for information about One Thousand Trees, see here.

Hey, Brian: 
Good news! I have a poem coming out on CommuterLit.
I believe with writing the crossovers between courses, workshops and creation continue to weave and so I know the course I took with you Brian positively impacts the writing coming now. I'm looking forward to taking your workshop in Stouffville in May (At the “How to Get Published” workshop with literary agent Carly Watters – details here).
In the meantime, I’m sending many thank yous and blessings for all you do for writers, publishers and agents...
Charlene
Check out all of Charlene’s pieces on CommuterLit here. For information about submitting to CommuterLit, see here.

Hi, Brian.
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful classes you offer. The support and information your classes provide, gave me what I needed to keep going. I have finished my first draft of my first book. I can't tell you what a thrill it is. What you told us was so true:  just keep writing and it will all fall into place.
Thanks, Brian!
Carol Robinson

Karma
Hi,
I wanted to let you know the great news that I've accepted a two-book offer from MIRA (Harlequin's women's fiction imprint), and the first book will hit shelves mid 2015. It was quite the rollercoaster ride, the journey to publication, but the end result was well worth it.
Hope you're all doing well, and writing away!
Karma Brown
Note: Karma’s agent is Carolyn Forde of Westwood Creative Artists. For infomatio about querying Carolyn, see here.

Writer to Writer
Hi Brian,
I am looking for a writer's group in Hamilton to meet once a month and share work, offer feedback, and provide encouragement.  Can you share my email, mich720@gmail.com, with others who may be looking for the same thing?
Thanks!
Michelle

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

New books by Donna Mann, Emily Harper, and Theresa O'Neil (writing as B.J. Lucknow)

Hi, Brian.
I am delighted to tell you that I've had two books published recently.
Aggie's Voice (Brucedale Press) is the last book of the trilogy on the young life of Agnes Macphail, first woman elected to Canadian parliament. You can check out all three books in the trilogy here.
A Rare Find (Castle Quay Books Canada – available here) is the story of an Alberta midwife. This book was 25 years in the process toward publication. I learned valuable historical research lessons in this venture.
Your workshops have been invaluable to me over the years; each one I attend moves me closer to achieving my goals. Thank you. 
All the best to you and yours,
Donna Mann

Hi, Brian.
I have attended many of your seminars as well as your reading events.  I wanted to let you know that I’ve self-published my book White Lies. It’s available on Amazon here.
Thank you for all your advice!
Emily Harper

Hi, Brian.
I have self-published a book, Without Rigor Mortis, under the pseudonym B.J. Lucknow. I’ve pasted in more info below.
All the best,
Theresa O'Neil
aka B.J. Lucknow
Without Rigor Mortis by B.J. LUCKNOW
An overtired intern, Ian McClintock, is into his second shift in the Emergency Department of St. Cinnabar Hospital when he sees a strangely clad fellow intern waving at him to follow. Ian is surprised as he realizes the doctor is leading him into the morgue. 
The other intern mysteriously disappears, and Ian hears moaning and crying coming from one of the locked cadaver drawers. Fighting the urge to flee, Ian opens the drawer to find a cleaning lady inside, alive but suffering from hypothermia.
Ian finds himself obsessed with the need to discover who put the poor woman into a locked cadaver drawer. Nightmares and bizarre encounters with other medical staff pursue Ian until he is sure he will lose his mind before he solves the mystery.
Without Rigor Mortis can be purchased at my website:  www.withoutrigor.com or via http://bookstore.xlibris

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

“Winter” and “Loser,” two poems by Day Merrill

Winter
November 16, 2013

The Old Man blew into town last night,
two fingers of Canadian whiskey over ice in one hand,
two fingers of the other hand crooked around the faux-fur steering wheel cover
of his Caddie DeVille).
His cruel companion sat at his side, laughing wildly as they careened and spun out
on the road down the mountain into town.

Just like that old bastard to show up at least two weeks before we expected him,
making us look bad with leaves still brimming the gutters and
dead pumpkins on the porch.
Jesus! Does this guy have no shame? Drunk on possibility,
he slammed right into our driveway, blocking the car and making everything if not impossible, at the least a real pain in the ass.

He plans to stay “a while,” he informed me as he slid out from behind the wheel, his breath curling up into the frigid air like smoke from a cheap stogie.
His blowsy lady friend settled down a bit, stretching her long legs as she got out of the car, but you never know when she’s going to blow, unpredictable as she is.
What a bitch! As if the cold and snow weren’t enough on their own.

I opened the screen door to greet them, rueful that we’d left changing it out for the glass panel just one day too late. As they swept into the house, they tossed me the newspaper, frozen in its little blue plastic bag and covered with frost—
like something left in the freezer beyond all recognition.

I sighed as I dug out my boots, long underwear and shovel. Keeping up with these two is never easy, and if they’re already settling in by mid-November,
it’s gonna be a long, cold winter.

And good riddance
Loser
March 28, 2014

Ha! Old Man, your days are numbered.
You can bluster as much as you like,
but we’ve got you on the run now.
We had as much as we could countenance
of your cold, dour face a while back.
But you refused to leave,
like some high-maintenance house guest
who’s long overstayed his welcome.

You showed up four months ago with such panache, such élan.
At this point, youre merely tedious and pathetic.
Just look at yourself!
Petulant and mean-spirited,
You’re no match for the enlightened days we’re seeing now.

Your time is over – at least for another year –
and we are so over you.
So scram, vamoose, melt away like the wicked witch.
Spring ahead, fall back – whatever.
Leave behind the foul detritus you hid for months underneath
your cold butt – we don’t care!
We’ll gladly face the mess just to get you gone
and good riddance.

Day Merrill is an American who has lived in Canada since 1995. While her first published poem appeared in her college literary magazine in 1969, Day set aside writing for decades to pursue career and family and didn't take up the craft again until age 60. Now 65, she is working on several volumes of poetry and a first novel. Day lives in Collingwood with her husband and a rescued dog and cat. Her hobbies include shovelling snow and cursing the weather gods.


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.
  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis, reviewed by Susan Thomas

Pajama Press, 223 pages, paperback $12.24 from Amazon

Moon at Nine is set in Iran shortly after the Iranian revolution. The pervasive aura of political unrest creates a situation where social injustice and religious intolerance build tension and form the backdrop for a young girl’s rite of passage. 

Fifteen year old Farrin has much to hide.  Her parents’ support of the exiled Shah forces her to live a life of secrets, their illegal activities leaving them all in constant danger of discovery by the Revolutionary Guards.

Born to a wealthy family, Farrin is exposed to many forbidden treasures, videos and books delivered by the mysterious “man with a suitcase.”  She attends an academy for girls where enrollment was formerly coveted by families of good standing. Its reputation has since fallen and because of her life of privilege, she is not accepted by her fellow students. Though her resilient character allows her to survive the marginalization she suffers at the hands of her peers, her restless spirit demands more.

Sadira, a strong and passionate young woman, becomes part of Farrin’s life in a whirlwind of friendship and excitement when she enrols at the school. The girls feel an immediate connection but it is this attraction which presents Farrin with her most dangerous challenge yet. Drawn to each other in a way that is condemned by the religious police, the girls snatch private moments when they can.  Soon, Farrin becomes tired of living a lie, and empowered by the depth of her feelings for Sadira she risks everything to proclaim her love.

Discovery leads to isolation and discipline, and looking at the moon at nine each night from their separate locations offers them their only form of emotional connection, until they devise a plan to be together once again.

Deborah Ellis
From a formerly prestigious girls’ school to the horrors of Evin prison, the girls pay a high price for their disobedience.  Meagre subsistence in a refugee camp in Pakistan may offer the last resort.

Canada is a country that sparkles with diversity, and the dynamics created by the coming together of cultures can be unique and exciting.  A glimpse into the background and traditions of new Canadians is always an educational and sometimes intoxicating experience.

Looking deeper though, it can be brutally shocking to become aware of practices that are accepted as cultural norms in other countries.  In this book we get a glimpse of some of the harsh realities that are imposed on others in their native homelands.  

Accepting persecution or trying to escape are the two certainties which present themselves to those who suffer oppression. Is this really much of a choice?

Gay and lesbian youth have suffered the world over, sometimes driven to desperate measures and even suicide, to gain the recognition and acceptance they deserve.  Movements across North America are finally beginning to offer the support and develop the awareness needed to form a truly inclusive society. This is sadly not the case in other countries.

Multi award-winning author Deborah Ellis excels in creating stories of determination in the face of adversity and social injustice. Here, she presents us with a sensitive and passionate tale based on the true life experiences of a young woman in Iran, where execution is the accepted form of punishment for gays or lesbians.

This is a story of love, courage, perseverance and ultimate betrayal by family, friends and country. Beautifully told, Ellis’s work represents the struggles and efforts of young people everywhere to gain acceptance in a world where inclusivity is not just a dream, but a reality.

Susan Thomas can’t imagine a world without books and loves to share the adventure by creating stories of her own.  She is a school administrator who spent many happy years as a Teacher/Librarian, immersed in the world of children’s literature. Susan was born in England but emigrated to Canada as a child, and now lives in Southern Ontario with her husband and her three children. 

She is very pleased to have recently published her first young adult novel, Incarnation, with Evernight Teen, under her maiden name of Susan Nolan. Check out Incarnation hereFor information on submitting to Evernight see here. And for information on submitting to Pajama Press, see here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Cambridge Writers Collective welcomes new members

Reading night
The Cambridge Writers Collective invites writers of all levels of experience to join us as we share our passion for the written word, our experience, and knowledge of the craft through critiquing and networking.

The group is a well-published and recognized literary force in Waterloo Region and beyond and was a founding member of the Cambridge Centre for the Arts. Many of their writers have earned publishing recognition and are often invited to judge various literary competitions.

Meetings consist of a short warm-up exercise, sharing member news and announcements, a homework segment, and critiquing.

Throughout the year, the group also hosts a number of events including workshops, literary readings, talks by guest speakers on topics of literary interest, and an annual retreat. On June 7, the group is sponsoring a “How to Build Your Story” workshop led by Brian Henry. For this workshop, Brian’s guest speaker will be the well known novelist Lynda Simmons. (Details here.)

Visit the Cambridge Writers Collective’s blog here and visit them on Facebook here.

For more information, email us at cwc.writershelpingwriters@gmail.com

See Brian Henry’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heritage House seeks nonfiction about the Canadian Northwest, other Canadian themed books, and children's lit

Heritage House
103 - 1075 Pendergast Street
Victoria, BC, V8V 0A1

Heritage House began telling Canada's stories in 1969. Many of our books celebrate the pioneer spirit and colourful history of western Canada, particularly the Cariboo region in which the company's roots are founded. 

Others delve into contemporary themes, focusing on significant cultural, social, political, environmental and recreational subjects. Heritage House also has a range of full-colour pictorials and recreational guides, and a series of shorter narratives designed for younger readers, new Canadians and casual readers, called Amazing Stories.

Heritage House publishes 20-30 new titles per year. Most of authors are Canadian citizens or residents, as the company’s mission is to publish and promote distinctive nonfiction works by Canadian authors. 

Submissions:
1. Before submitting your proposal, do your best to determine that your subject matter fits our publishing program. Browse our website to see the kinds of books we publish; pay particular attention to recent titles.

2. Include the following in your submission:
  • A 200-word (approximate) synopsis of the book. A good synopsis should generate interest. If you were in a bookstore reading the back-cover text on your book, what would it say? 
  • A marketing summary. Who is the intended audience for your book? What makes your book unique? How does it compare to existing books on a similar topic or of a similar nature? Why do you believe it will be a publishing success?
  • Copies (or a detailed list) of the photographs you'd like to use. When we evaluate a manuscript, we consider the illustrative materials that will be available to support it. 
  • Biographical information: your background, experience, interests/expertise pertinent to this project. In short, what qualifies you to write this book.
  • A table of contents, and either the entire manuscript or two to three sample chapters. 
3. If you want your submission materials returned, include a self-stamped, self-addressed envelope. Be sure that the postage affixed to your SASE is sufficient to cover the cost of returning the material.

4. Mail your submission to our editorial office. Do not send it as an email attachment, and please do not query by telephone.

Full guidelines here.  

Heritage House is a member of The Heritage Group, an affiliation of five separate entities. In addition to our company, it includes our distribution partner, Heritage Group Distribution, and publishing houses TouchWood Editions, Brindle & Glass and Rocky Mountain Books. By sharing select resources, The Heritage Group is better able to generate publicity, expand promotional activities and serve retail customers and readers alike

Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary Agency
Brian Henry will lead “How to Get Published” workshops in London on April 19 with literary agent Olga Filina (see here), in Stouffville on May 24 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here) and in Ottawa on June 22 with literary agent Maria Vicente (see here).

And Brian will lead a "Writing for Children & for Young Adults" workshop on May 31 in Burlington (see here).

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. Check out the details of  courses starting in April  here. See details of the summer session of The Next Step in Creative Writing here and of Intensive Creative Writing here.

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, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.