Monday, November 30, 2009

We’re reading out loud at CJ’s Café

Tuesday, Dec 8
6:30 p.m.
CJ's Café, 2416 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville
(On the south side of Lakeshore, just east of Bronte Rd, next to Lick’s ice cream)

Participants in the Advanced Creative Writing course will be reading aloud from their work. Come and be blown away! We’ll have a line-up of the most amazing emerging writers west of Toronto, and they’ll be reading some of the best work you’ll hear this year. Don’t miss it!

Meanwhile, be sure to check out all the other great stuff going on at CJ’s, home of the best lattes in North America : http://www.cjscafeinbronte.com/

Note: For information about Brian Henry's creative writing courses and writing workshops, see here.

"Writing Romance," Jan 30, Woodstock

“How to Write and Sell a Romance Novel”
Saturday, January 30, 2010
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
576 Brant Street, Woodstock (Map here.)

Get the inside story. Whether you want to write chick lit (like Bridget Jones’s Diary,) a traditional Harlequin-style romance or woman’s erotica, this workshop will show you how. Learn the "secret formulas" and how to brainstorm a story line. Find out how much money authors earn and where the best opportunities are to get published now.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor for more than twenty-five years, including seven years with Harlequin, the world’s largest romance publisher. He teaches a credit course in writing romance novels at George Brown College and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Sudbury.

Fee: $39.05 plus gst = $41 paid in advance
or $42.86 plus gst = $45 if you wait to pay at the door

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

Note: For information on all of Brian's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Knight Agency

The Knight Agency (TKA) specializes in commercial woman’s fiction, including science fiction and fantasy, mystery, suspense and thrillers, and romance of all kinds. The Knight Agency also represents non-fiction, mostly with religious/spiritual themes, and young adult and middle-grade fiction, mostly for girls.  TKA is a bi-coastal agency, maintaining offices in Los Angeles, Florida and metro Atlanta.

Deidre Knight established the agency in 1996. The staff also includes Pamela Harty, Lucienne Diver, Nephele Tempest, Elaine Spencer and Melissa Jeglinski. Altogether the Knight agency has placed more than 2,000 titles with major publishers such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin Putnam, St. Martin’s, Hachette Books (Formerly Time Warner), Tor Books, Kensington Publishing Group, Chronicle Books, Adams Media, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Bethany House, Baker Books, Zondervan, Dorchester and Harlequin, among others.

Knight Agency authors have produced bestsellers featured on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Barnes & Noble Bestseller and Amazon.com Hot 100 lists. Awards received by clients include the RITA, Gold Medallion, Walden Books Award for Best New Author and Romantic Times’ Reviewer Choice Awards.

In the winter of 2007, four Knight Agency clients landed on the New York Times bestseller list simultaneously, marking an agency first.


The most junior agent at TKA (and hence the agent hungriest for authors) is Melissa Jeglinski, Editorial Consultant/Associate Agent/submissions coordinator.  Melissa has been at The Knight Agency since September of 2008, just over a year ago, which is practically no time at all in the publishing world.  Previously, she was at Harlequin Enterprises for 17 years. During her years at Harlequin she ascended to senior editor of the Silhouette Desire line, one of the company’s most successful series, and discovered more than a dozen authors who have become national bestsellers.

Home: http://www.knightagency.net/
Current books: http://www.knightagency.net/our_books/
Address your query to the submissions coordinator, Melissa Jeglinski, or to any specific agent and submit a query only (with no manuscript pages) to: Submissions@KnightAgency.net
Knight Agency bios here: http://www.knightagency.net/about_us/

Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Great news: Quick Brown Fox has advanced to the final round of voting for the best literary blog in Canada. Please vote for QBF. Go here. Find Quick Brown Fox on the ballot. Click on the tab and rank QBF 1st. Click “vote” at the bottom of the screen, and click to confirm.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Open Heart 4 Poetry Competition

The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS)
Open heart 4 poetry competition


Open to Canadian Residents Only

Grand Prize: $100 for the best poem, plus $100 to be donated to the favorite charity of the Grand Prize winner
18 Honourable Mention Awards
All winning poems will receive a fancy certificate and will be published in a chapbook. Each winner will receive one free chapbook.

Poems must include at least one of the following Heart themes:
Love won, Love lost, Love of family, Love of animals, Love of humanity, Valentine poems, Bonding, Charity, Generosity, Compassion, Courage,Heart health problems, Heart wood, Broken heart, Heartach, Hard hearted,Emotions carried in the heart.

Poems not to exceed 36 lines - stanza breaks count as lines.
All styles welcome

Deadline: Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2009

Submssion details: http://www.theontariopoetrysociety.ca/Openheartpcomp.html
The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS) home page: http://www.theontariopoetrysociety.ca/

Note: For information about all the annual writing contests in Canada, order The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Details here.
For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bananafish - Call for submissions

Bananafish will launch January 1, 2010, as an online venue for short fiction and memoir, with print editions forthcoming.

Editor Daniel McDermott says: "We favor work that is honest, true to life, humorous, professionally structured, and engaging the whole way through. If you have an original voice, a creative style, and the prose to back it up, then we would love to read your stuff. Make us laugh, make us cry, and place every word with purpose.

"Each submission should not exceed 2,000 words, as this represents the limit of our web-based attention span. Please do not send more than one story at a time. If you send bulky emails with multiple submissions enclosed then we will think that you are high-maintenance. And here at Bananafish we are afraid of maintenance, and heights.

"There is no payment at this time. And we do not say “at this time” to imply that there will be payment sometime in the future, because this is doubtful. We are professional writers of moderate success and decent education; we no longer understand money and forget what it looks like. In other words, we have none, and therefore have none to give to you. But we will love you eternally, praise you publicly, and tell our grandchildren of your literary genius."
 
Complete submission guidelines: http://bananafishmagazine.com/Submit/
 
Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

James McIntryre Poetry contest on national radio


The CBC follows all the big literary awards – the Governor General’s Awards, the CBC Literary Awards, the Gilller Prize. But this Monday at 1:00 p.m. on Radio One, Shelagh Rogers will look at the most important literary event of all: Ingersoll, Ontario’s James McIntyre Poetry contest.

Shelagh won’t be announcing all the winners on air – well, how could she? In the juvenile division alone, I named 40 winners, including 17 in first place. And goodness knows how many winners there are in the adult category. However, the James McIntyre contest includes a special award for Cheese Poems and Dairy Odes, and rumour has it that the winners in that category will be announced on-air. Maybe we’ll even get to hear one of the poems. Or perhaps we'll hear James McIntyre's infamous Ode to the Mammoth Cheese.

More about the James McIntyre Poetry Contest here.
And you can read a selection of James McIntyre’s famously awful verse here.

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

“Beans” by Janice S. Waters


It was the kind of storm that you feel first. You feel it in your bones. We were outside, Tyler and I. Tyler was digging in the dirt with his trucks. I was swinging in my red button-down sweater. I liked the way it flapped in the wind behind me as I pumped the swing higher, like Underdog’s cape.

The wind was dizzying, rushing at us from all directions at once, and the sky had taken on a sickly green hue. Tyler stood, dirt swirling about him and getting in his face. “We should go in,” he said. “It’s going to rain.”

My body thrilled with excitement. Everything sharpened. The grass was a deeper green. The bars of the swing set were colder and more vivid. The trees came to life, dancing furiously in the bursts of wind. The whole world around me pulsed with dangerous excitement. It wasn’t going to rain. It was going to storm.

I kicked my legs harder to swing higher, joining in the fray, thrilled by the disturbance and drama in the air. Tyler sauntered across the lawn calling back to me, “You have to come in, you know. Mom’s going to make you come in. You can’t stay outside. You’re going to get into trouble.”

From my swing, I saw the clouds amassing. Towering storm clouds muscled wispy gray clouds from the sky. Lightning dashed furiously about high up in the gray interior. The storm moved at a furious pace towards me, grumbling angrily. An occasional crash blasted out. The wind came in mighty bursts, sending furniture flip-flopping across the lawn. Giant drops of water pelted me like little water balloons. Drops exploded about me making craters in the dirt.

Mother appeared at the sliding glass door. Pulling her sweater tight around her lean torso, she shouted. I knew she shouted. I could see her. I could hear her voice screech across the lawn. The shrill of her voice blended into the wild orchestration of the storm and I pumped harder and went higher still. I heard more yelling ending in, “THIS INSTANT!” and I knew she was serious. I jumped out of the swing and attempted to run across the lawn. The wind was so strong that it held me back. I had to fight with each step. I was a great explorer fighting my way to the summit, gasping for air, struggling, but overcoming all obstacles.

I stepped in the house just as the waves of rain exploded upon it. My body floated in the kitchen, an airy balloon after the work of walking across the lawn. I pranced excitedly about while Mother spat dire warnings at me. “If you know what’s good for you ... Come immediately when I call ... You could have been killed!”

Tyler watched from the couch in the living room, arms folded, looking smug. The house felt solid and safe as it was pelted by sheets of rain. Mother’s tirade calmed as did my body and my excitement.

Now what to do? I circled out of the kitchen, purposefully taking the long way to my room so that I could pass by Tyler and prove that I wasn’t talking to him. I traipsed down the hallway to my room, the last one on the left. My window framed the mayhem which continued outside.

I went back to the kitchen. “I’m bored,” I announced. “There’s nothing to do.”

Mother placed a tomato on the counter, washed off a spoon, turned off the water, dried the spoon, put it away, and opened the refrigerator as she turned to address me.

“Why don’t you play a game with Tyler?”

Mother pulled some eggs out of the refrigerator, placed them on the counter, and shut the door.

“I don’t wanna. He’s boring. Besides, he cheats.”

“Do not!” Tyler exclaimed from the other room.

“All right, then, why don’t you play in the kitchen? Just don’t go near the stove. I have to go change the laundry.”

Somehow, a laundry basket had materialized under Mother’s arm and she disappeared down the basement stairs.

The storm still raged outside. Rain sprayed across the windows. The trees were dark silhouettes, labouring under the intense wind, fighting not to lie down. But that was outside. I looked in the cupboard with the pots and pans. I didn’t really have a play theme in mind until I saw a can of beans Mom had left on the counter. The play plan developed. I was a great chef cooking a fancy meal for a famous movie star. I thought we would start with the beans. I grabbed the beans and grabbed the oven handle. I pulled my hand away in a start. The handle was hot. That was strange. I pulled on the door. It didn’t move. Great chefs probably don’t have such trouble. I put the can down on the floor and pulled on the door with both hands. It resisted at first and then banged down loudly. Startled, thinking I was probably doing something wrong, I waited for discovery. When discovery didn’t come, I returned to my chef work. I placed the can on the oven rack. It was hot. I stepped back and pulled the door up. Again, it resisted for a moment and then slammed shut.

Beans cooking! I turned and pulled some pans out of the cupboard. Now, for the main course I’d make spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. I pulled all the pans out of the cupboard and rattled them onto the floor. I thought I heard a pop and then a hissing sound. I stopped what I was doing and listened. I heard the steady drumming of the rain. I heard Tyler in the other room turning the pages of a magazine. I heard the scraping of tree limbs on the roof. I heard the washing machine churning downstairs. I heard the wind blowing fiercely against the house. I heard thunder, now distant and innocent. And, I heard a funny hissing. Then, BLAM!!!!! The world exploded.

The oven door slammed open and the kitchen was showered with hot, slimy beans. Beans sprayed all over the kitchen floor. Beans splattered across the white, Formica kitchen table, across the plastic bucket seat chairs, and all over the tan rug in front of the sink. Sticky, hot beans covered the left side of my body. Beans were all over my clothes, the side of my face, and in my hair. Beans splattered in my pans. I sat, staring at the mouth of the stove, bewildered.

Mother appeared. “What happened? What did you do? What a mess! I think I smell gas!”

With that, the phone appeared in her hands. Tyler crept quietly up to the kitchen doorway. His big brown eyes surveyed the situation. I sat in a puddle of beans, gazing into the mouth of the oven. It seemed to be calling me into its dark abyss. Outside, the storm persisted. Rain swept across the roof in an intermittent rhythm. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the tops of the trees still dancing furiously about.

Mother hung up the phone. The lights flickered. Mother groaned. Outside, there was a sudden loud CRACK. We lost power. The house took on the eerie light of the storm. All the hums and whirrs went silent: the lights, the air conditioner, the washer, the dryer. The house sat in respectful silence to the rage and power of the storm.

Then, we heard a distant wail. First, a mournful cry from far away, lost in the wind. As it came closer, it took on a more distinctive pattern. Tyler perked up. “Fire trucks!” he exclaimed. He ran into the living room and leapt onto the couch. Grasping the back of the couch, he bounced frantically and gazed gleefully out the big picture window. “Fire trucks! Fire trucks!”

They came. They all came. The entire Sherberville fire department converged upon our tiny house. I ran in to join Tyler on the couch, leaving a path of sticky bean footprints behind me. We watched them roar up our little street, seven trucks in all. They brought the paramedics and the fire chief and a monstrous hook and ladder pulled right up in front, casting a giant shadow over our little house. They parked all down our street and around the circle.

A spectacle of lights danced madly through the gloomy living room, keeping the beat as Tyler and I bounced on the couch. All up and down the quiet little street, Firemen swung out of their trucks and in their great big fire boots and raincoats and their battered old fire hats, they all sloshed through the saturated front lawns towards our house.

When we heard them stomp onto our front porch, Tyler and I jumped off the couch and ran for the hallway. Mother slid into her slippers and tugged on her sweater, her skirt, a tuft of hair. She stood for a moment, straightening and breathing. The world paused and the doorbell rang.

Mother stepped forward and opened the door. The wind slapped the screen door back against the house with a loud crack. The fireman army marched into our house. They marched, in their muddy boots, through the hallway and into the kitchen. Two firemen came into the living room to befriend Tyler and me. They pulled off their helmets, rainwater spilling on Mother’s carpet, and set them on our heads. Tyler and I ran back to the couch and started jumping again. We jumped and giggled and spun about, arms flailing wildly, helmets slapping against our heads falling this way and that.

The other firemen trod into the kitchen leaving mud droppings along the way. They walked through the beans and assessed the situation. Two of them bent sideways in front of the stove and looked into the mouth of the oven. Rainwater spilled off their helmets and coats and splashed into the beans on the floor.

“Smells like gas,” they said. “Did you call the gas company?”

As my mother responded, two of the firemen surveyed the slop scattered about the floor. They looked at one another, nodded, and disappeared into the wind and the storm. They returned with giant plastic runners and smug expressions. “We wouldn’t want to dirty up your house, ma’am,” they said to Mother as they proudly dragged the plastic runners over the mud and the beans and the rainwater until they covered the hallway and the kitchen floors.

The entire Sherberville fire department milled about on the wet plastic runners, smearing the beans and mud beneath, cracking fireman jokes that we didn’t understand and talking to my mother about calling the gas company. Tyler and I stood on the couch and watched with big, brown eyes from under giant, black fire helmets.

Then, they left.

They pulled up the plastic runners and snatched back the helmets and tramped out the door in their boots and gear. On the way out they winked at me and tousled Tyler’s hair and said the pointless things grown-ups say when they want to make you seem closer than you really are like, “Be good, sport.” And “Keep smiling, sweetie.” The wind had tamed by now. A steady, heavy rain covered them as they ducked under their fire helmets and returned to their trucks. Tyler and I watched them as they all climbed up into their shiny rain-washed rigs. Up and down the block, giant engines roared back to life in the drumming of the rain. The strobing lights were extinguished yet I could still see their shadows each time I blinked. Then the great parade edged its way from the curve, snaked around the cul-de-sac and ground off into the distance.

Mother wasted no time. Before we had finished watching the last of the fire trucks disappear behind the gray curtain of rain, she had mopped the hallway and was well into the kitchen. She was firing off orders: “Tyler, take this rag and wipe off the kitchen chairs. Jan, get out of those dirty clothes and bring them down to the basement. You two know better than to jump on the couch!”

We worked together, an efficient crew, cleaning and straightening. Tyler and I, energized by the excitement of the day, poured our enthusiasm into helping. Before we knew it, the house was restored to cleanliness and order. The kitchen was clean. The hallway was clean. The living room was straightened. Supper was on the stove. And, the storm outside had faded away to a fragile, pale rainbow.

The lights came on. The heartbeat of the house returned. I could once again hear the hum of the refrigerator, the churn of the washing machine, and the drone of the air conditioner.

We settled into cozy activities. Tyler played GI Joes in the living room. I curled up on the kitchen floor and coloured. Mother, towel over her shoulder, gazed out the kitchen window and sighed. Our reverie was interrupted by a click and the opening of the door. Father leaned into the house as he kicked off his wet shoes behind him. He sniffed the air and looked up. Disappointment shadowed his face. “Beans for dinner, again?” he asked.
*
Jan Waters is from Northern Illinois, USA, and recently moved to Lindsay, Ontario for work. She has recently started attending writer's workshops and pursuing a life long interest in writing. Jan enjoys writing poetry and short stories and hopes to write a novel one day.

Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing worskhops and creative writing courses, see here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Adam Korn joins DeFiore literary agency


DeFiore and Company
47 East 19th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003

Adam Korn has joined DeFiore and Company as an agent after a short stint at Vigliano Associates. He had been a Senior Editor at HarperCollins and, before that, an editor with Crown and Random House. “Adam's general non-fiction areas of interest include pop culture, humor, pop psychology, pop science, sports, music, investigative journalism, feisty memoir, and young business leadership/inspiration. And while he's very selective about the fiction he takes on, strong young literary novelists shouldn't be afraid to reach out!”

To query Adam, please send an email to akorn@defioreandco.com
If your concise pitch letter interests him, he'll request material.

General submission guidelines: http://www.defioreandco.com/submissions.html
Home: http://www.defioreandco.com/
Photo: John Grogan's Marley and Me, one of the most succesful books represented by DeFiore.

Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lake, creative non-fiction contest


Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment
Dept. of Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan
3333 University Way,
Kelowna BC, V1V 1V7, Canada

Lake publishes essays, creative writing and visual arts related to the environment. The word “environment” is used broadly to emphasize natural and biological environments but also our geographical, social, economic, urban and cultural environments as they relate to the natural world. “Arts” includes literature, film, photography, painting, sculpture, performance, and new media. Our focus is on the art that is concerned about the natural world, although we are deeply interested in ecological issues and will from time to time feature ecological investigations that are of literary quality.

We publish work that has not been published before in North America by authors and artists who are from Canada or abroad. The journal is committed to high production values, with quality reproductions of artwork, a contemporary design, and an editorial vision that is in search of exceptional art and thought. The journal is published twice a year. We also publish reviews and poetry on our webpage.

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

one of my roots is the moon
another is a taste of cold weather
“Migrations” by Joanne Arnott

Lake invites submissions of creative non-fiction on the topic of “Migrations.”
Creative non-fiction forms include personal essay, lyric essay, narrative essay, and memoir.
Prize: $250 and publication in Issue #4 of LAKE: A Journal of Arts and Environment
Deadline: January 1, 2010
Length: 2500 words maximum
Entry Fee: $20, includes a one year subscription to LAKE starting with issue #4

General submission guidelines – Non-Fiction:

Lake invites writers to submit brief query letters outlining journalistic pieces, accessible academic articles, interviews, reviews and creative non-fiction. We are looking for narratives, interviews, personal essays, meditations, memoirs, reviews or critical essays of relevant books/ film/ exhibitions/ performances or cultural phenomena, and investigative essays, ranging anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 words. We see interviews as collaborative texts and request that a photograph accompany the interview. We also are looking for writers to review books.

In your query letter, convey clearly how your piece fits the “arts and environment” mandate of Lake and give us a sense of your approach, why the author and/ or subject is suited to our journal. Please include a CV and sample of your writing.

Submission guidelines – Fiction and poetry:

Lake publishes poetry and fiction that is concerned with the human relationship to nature. Unsolicited poetry submissions should consist of five to ten poems, in any style. We also publish long poems, linked poems and sequences. Fiction may range in length from 1200 to 8000 words. Please submit only one story at a time. (In the case of “flash fiction” or postcard stories, it is acceptable to submit up to six very short pieces.)

Submissions by mail only.  For full submission guidelines, including environmentally conscious formatting instructions, see here.

Note: For information about all the annual writing contests in Canada, order The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Details here.
For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Every Second Thursday


Hi, Brian

Did you see that our recently published collection of short stories - Every Second Thursday - received wonderful attention in The Sun Times? (See here.)

Every Second Thursday features work from six local writers (a few of whom have been your students): Jennifer McGuire, Wendi Stewart, who recently won an Alzheimer Society writing contest, Danuta Valleau, Allison Kirk-Montgomery, Elizabeth Warren, and of course me.

It also includes stories from guest authors who have read at The Downtown Bookstore: Allen Smutylo, Sally Cooper, Anthony De Sa, and Joseph Boyden (winner of the 2008 Giller Scotia Bank prize).

We're very proud of this little volume and hope you'll treat yourself to one. It fits nicely into a stocking and is only $10 (plus $2 for shipping if you can’t get to The Downtown Bookstore in person), so think of it for the coming season. It would also make a good book club selection!

A portion of the proceeds will go toward a bursary for a graduating West Hill High School student who has demonstrated excellence in creative writing.

Hazel Lyder
The Downtown Bookstore
945 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound, Ontario
hlmlyder@yahoo.ca

Photo: Joseph Boyden with the Giller Prize he won for Through Black Spruce

Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Welcome to Creative Writing," Feb 2 - March 30, Oakville


~ 9 weeks of growth & discovery ~
Tuesday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
February 2 – March 30
St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church
1541 Oakhill Drive, Oakville
(This class is also offered Thurs evenings in Mississauga.  See here.)

This course will open the door to all kinds of creative writing. We’ll visit short story writing and personal writing, children’s writing, memoir writing, and just for fun writing. You’ll get a shot of inspiration every week and an (optional) assignment to keep you going till the next class. Best of all, this class will provide a zero-pressure, totally safe environment, where your words will flow and flower.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for 25 years.  He teaches at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Sudbury.  But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $114.29 plus gst = $120

Advance registration only. Number of attendees strictly limited.
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Note: For information about all of Brian’s creative writing courses and writing workshops see here.

Great news: Quick Brown Fox has advanced to the final round of voting for the best literary blog in Canada. Please vote for QBF. Go here. Find Quick Brown Fox on the ballot. Click on the tab and rank QBF 1st. Click “vote” at the bottom of the screen, and click to confirm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick Brown Fox is in the running for best Literary blog in Canada


The Canadian Blog Awards are now open. It only takes a few seconds to vote for your favourite blogs. If you enjoy reading Quick Brown Fox, I’d love it if you’d nominate it in the “Culture and Literature" category. Just paste the Quick Brown Fox URL – http://quick-brown-fox-canada.blogspot.com/ – into the nomination form. Fill in the other boxes, click, and you’re done. Thanks very much!

After you’re done nominating Quick Brown Fox, you might want to nominate blogs in other categories, too. Judith Millar’s MillarLite is in the running for Humour, and I’ve nominated Jennifer Bushman’s Eat Planet, Discover the World” for the “Crafts, Cooking, & Other Activities” category. But to win, a blog needs many nominations – so get out and vote!

Judith Millar wins the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award


Congratualtions to Judith Millar for winning the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award with her short story, "The Insomniac." I confess to being one of the contest judges, but the judging is blind and I had no idea that Judith - and several other people I know - were among the finalists.  I was as delighted and surprised as anyone when Judith won - more suprised actually, because I think of Judith as a great comic writer and "The Insomniac" is a serious story. 

Judith used to live in Kitchener and often attended my workshops there and in London, Ontario, before she moved out to Nanaimo, B.C. in 2007.  Besides writing short stories, Judith also writes essays, poems and song lyrics. She is widely published, has won numerous awards for her creative writing, and is a frequent presenter at spoken-word events on Vancouver Island. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories.

For a taste of Judith's sense of humour, check out her wonderful blog, MillarLite.

But first, read her winning story, "The Insomniac" here
 
You might also want to consider entering one of your own short stories for the 2010 John Kenneth Galbraith Award.  The prize is $2,000.  Check out the rules here.
 
To keep up with all the annual writing contests in Canada, order The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Details here.
 
For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Sun Magazine


The Sun
107 N. Roberson St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

"We publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we're also looking for thoughtful, well-written essays on political, cultural, and philosophical themes. Please, no journalistic features, academic works, or opinion pieces. Other than that, we're open to just about anything. Surprise us; we often don't know what we'll like until we read it.

"We pay from $300 to $3,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $2,000 for fiction, and $100 to $500 for poetry, the amount being determined by length and quality. We may pay less for very short works. We also give contributors a complimentary one-year subscription to The Sun."

Submissions by mail only to the Editorial Department.  (No email submissions.)

Submission guidelines: http://www.thesunmagazine.org/about/submission_guidelines/writing
 
Home: http://www.thesunmagazine.org/

Note: For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Westwood Creative Artists

94 Harbord Street
Toronto ON M5S 1G6
416-964-3302

Westwood Creative Artists is the largest agency in Canada, representing more than 420 writers. Clients include Yann Martel, Conrad Black, Barbara Gowdy, Rohinton Mistry, Joseph Boyden, M. G. Vassanji, and Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk. (For the scoop on Gina and Janice’s latest book, see here.)

Westwood specializes in literary fiction and general non-fiction. It also handles some young adult fiction but does not handle other children’s fiction, hard science non-fiction, poetry or genre fiction.

"I'm passionate about finding new writers," says Bruce Westwood the agency’s founder. However, "Coming in cold and saying, 'I have just written a novel,' with no previous history is very, very difficult." Send stories to magazines, write articles – get your name out there before you approach an agent.

You can query by email: wca_office@wcaltd.com
But for this agency, I suggest querying the old-fashioned way by mail. Include an outline of your work and two sample chapters. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and expect to wait two months for a reply.

Seven literary agents work at Westwood: Jackie Kaiser, Michael A. Levine, Linda McKnight, Hilary McMahon, John Pearce, Ashton Westwood, and Bruce Westwood.  To get an idea of who represents what you write, browse their 2009 Hotlist here.

Overall, the Westwood website is a candidate for the world’s worst, which just goes to show, you can still be the biggest agency in Canada, with no web savvy at all.  Check it out here: http://www.wcaltd.com/

Photo (by Ashley Hutcheson for National Post): Bruce Westwood, Agua, the office dog, Natasha Daneman (foreign rights), Michael A. Levine, Jackie Kaiser, Ashton Westwood and Hilary McMahon

Note: On Nov 14, Brian Henry will be moderating the seminar, Strategies for Getting Published, at Ryerson University in Toronto. This is your chance to get your questions answered by the most knowledgeable people in the publishing industry. Our three panelists will be literary agent Marie Campbell of Transatlantic Literary, Beverley Daurio, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Mercury Press, and Jack David, co-publisher, ECW. Full details here.

For information about all of Brian’s writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

“Intermediate Creative Writing,” Jan 13 – April 7, Burlington

12 great weeks of creativity, inspiration & growth

Wednesday afternoons, 12:45 - 3:00 p.m.
Jan 13 – April 7
(Note: We begin by email Jan 13, but the first class is Jan 20)
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington (Map here.)

This course is for people who are working on their own writing. During, the 12 weeks of the class, you’ll bring in 6 pieces for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. They might be 6 different pieces or you might bring in some pieces twice.

Besides critiquing pieces, I'll also be giving short lectures at the start of each class. I’ll focus on teaching how to critique a piece of writing, and I’ll address other topics on request and according to the needs of the group.

In addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write.

This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led writing workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Sudbury. But his proudest boast is that he’s helped many of his students begin their careers as accomplished authors.

Fee: $171.43 (plus 5% gst) = $180

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

Note: The old, 8-week version of this course was called “Extreme Creative Writing,” but that name seems excessive.

For information about all of Brian's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

You're invited to a book launch!


for Canadian Voices
Tuesday, November 10
6:30 p.m.
The Supermarket Art Bar, 268 Augusta Ave, Toronto

Dear Brian;

This has been a great year! In July my story, “The Forgetting,” placed first in The Alice Munro Short Story Contest. I also learned that an excerpt from my novel, Homecoming, was accepted for publication in Canadian Voices, an anthology of emerging Canadian Writers published by Bookland Press. The cover is fabulous, reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour.

The launch is on November 10 at The Supermarket Art Bar in Kensington Market. Details on the Events Page on my website which I launched last month. Not only do I have an ISBN number, I'm also a dot com! I invite your readers to pay me a visit at www.sherryisaac.com

I wish to extend my gratitude both to you and to the many writing peers, now friends, that I've met through your classes and workshops. And a special nod to SUDS {my writing buddies}. I couldn’t have come this far without your encouragement, support and vigilance!

Sherry Isaac

Don’t miss the book launch!
RSVP by email to mekm@rogers.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Delacorte Young Adult Novel Contest





Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
is proud to announce the Twenty-eighth Annual
Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel

The prize of a book contract (on the publisher’s standard form) covering world rights for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties, will be awarded annually to encourage the writing of contemporary young adult fiction. The award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties.

The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian writers who have not previously published a young adult novel. Manuscripts submitted to a previous Delacorte Press contest are not eligible.
Submissions should consist of a book-length manuscript with a contemporary setting that will be suitable for readers ages 12 to 18. Manuscripts should be no shorter than 100 typewritten pages and no longer than 224 typewritten pages. Include a brief plot summary with your covering letter.

Manuscripts sent to Delacorte Press may not be submitted to other publishers or literary agents while under consideration for the award.

Manuscripts must be postmarked after October 1 but no later than December 31.

Entries will be judged by the editors of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers. The award will be awarded on the basis of originality, style, and creativity. The judges reserve the right not to award an award.

Delacorte is a division of Random House. Other than in a contest like this, Random House doesn’t accept manuscript submissions or queries, except from literary agents.

Full contest details here: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/writingcontests/
(Scroll down past the contest rules for the Middle Grade Contest (which is in the spring) to get to the rules for the YA contest.)

Note: To keep up with all the annual writing contests in Canada, order The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Details here.
For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"You Can Do Cartoon Voices Too!" by Sunday Muse

The Sunday Learning Series presents…
You Can Do Cartoon Voices Too!
a book and CD by cartoon voice professional Sunday Muse

Sunday Muse is my 7-year-old’s voice-acting instructor. She’s good. Of course, William is incredibly talented and that’s why he landed the role as Tiny Pig in the new Wibbly Pig cartoon series (shown every day on TVO and just recently picked up in France). But to give you an idea of how good Sunday is, I should tell you that many of the other kids in Wibbly – and the kids acting in practically every cartoon produced in Canada – have all passed through Sunday’s workshops. And now she’s explained her method and put her knowledge in a new book with an accompanying CD: You Can Do Cartoon Voices Too!

This book gives kids a chance to practice reading scripts and preparing for auditions and will teach them to connect their reading to their body and voice. This makes reading a lot more fun, and may improve reading skills and comprehension. Sunday teaches voice acting workshops for children and teens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, New York and LA. Besides teaching, Sunday is voice actor herself. She’s been heard on popular cartoon series such as Rolie Polie Olie, Angela Anaconda, Jo-Jo’s Circus, and as Cheer Bear in Nelvana’s Care Bear movies.

For more about Sunday Muse and to purchase a book, please visit Sunday online at: www.sundaymuse.com

For information about Brian Henry’s writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.