Monday, May 31, 2010

John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award

The Friends of Dutton-Dunwich sponsor this annual short story writing contest in honour of Dunwich’s most famous son, John Kenneth Galbraith. The contest is open to any Canadian author.

The winners are announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony, which also honours the noted economist, statesman and author John Kenneth Galbraith. It’s a grand evening of readings, music, good friends and refreshments. This great time is open to the authors and the public at no charge.

First place: $2,000
Deadline: Saturday, August 1
Word count limited to 3,000 to 3,500 words.
$10 in Canadian funds per entry. Unlimited number of entries.

Details here:

Photo: Galbraith with President Kennedy and Prime Minister Nehru of India.  In 1962, Galbraith was the American ambassador to India and an advisor to the president.  Three years before sending the first American troops to Vietnam, Kennedy acted on Galbraith's advice and attempted to negotiate peace in Vietnam using Nehru as an intermediary (from the Boston Globe). But before all that, before leaving southwestern Ontario for Harvard and international acclaim, Galbraith learned his his licks writing a weekly column for the Dunwich Chronicle.

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.

Lies With Occasional Truth magazine, call for submissions

Since it was first established in 1908, Lies With Occasional Truth has been bringing Canadian fiction to readers across the world four times a year.  The editors say:

LWOT publishes the very best writing by the very best writers in Canada (and sometimes by Americans who pretend in their cover letters to be Canadian). We only publish fiction, though our understanding of the term fiction is pretty loose (and can be summed up, for the most part, by our title). Quite simply, if you're lying, it's fiction.

In many other respects, however, LWOT is quite strict about what we choose to publish.  Here are some things that we're especially excited about publishing:

Stories that have plots.
Stories that are topical.
Humorous essays (of a fictional nature).
Genre stories (yeah, that's right, genre stories).
Chapters of your novel-in-progress.
Stories that feature zombies, werewolves, or zombie-werewolves (preferably besieging a small Maritime town).
Stories that feature former Canadian diplomat Ken Taylor.

Here are some things that we're not as excited about publishing:

Stories about people coming of age on rural Ontario farms in the 1950s.
Tales of woe from the coal mines of Cape Breton.
Memoirs that document the trials of growing up with an alcoholic stepfather in small-town Newfoundland.

We prefer stories that are below 3,000 words. Have you ever tried reading a story longer than 3,000 words on your computer screen? What's that? You can't read this because you've gone blind? Exactly...

All work remains copyright of the author (but, if we ask politely, will you let us keep it in our archive?)  We're easily confused by publication rights, so we're afraid to accept previously published materials.  We do not currently pay for stories, and we probably never will. We're not against paying writers for their work, but unless Google offers to buy us out, the only profit LWOT makes is the feeling of joy paid monthly to our hearts. But that's okay, because you're not doing it for the money, right?

To submit, please attach your story as a Word document to:
Please include the word submission, along with the name of your story, in the subject line of your e-mail. So, if you were Joseph Conrad, and you wanted to submit your story "The Secret Sharer," the subject of your e-mail would be: "Submission: The Secret Sharer."

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ontario Poetry Society's Arborealis Prize For Poetry

All prize-winning entries plus up to 92 additional runners up to be published in a perfect bound anthology Arborealis - An Anthology of Canadian Contemporary Poetry, Volume Two.

First Prize - $200 + 2 free anthologies
Second Prize - $100 + 1 free anthology,
Third Prize - $75 + 1 free anthology
Fourth Prize - $50 + 1 free anthology
Three - Honourable Mention Awards - $25 + 1 free anthology each
Runners Up - 1 free anthology
All runners up whose work is selected for the book will receive one free copy of the anthology.

Entry fee: $15 for up to three poems
Additional entries $ 5 each.  There is no limit to the number of submissions per poet.

This contest is open to Canadian poets only.  Poems wanted in the People's Poetry Tradition. All themes welcome. Poems must be unpublished and not sent elsewhere.Poems not to exceed 36 lines and the stanza breaks count as lines.

Complete rules here:

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"The Privileges" by Jonathan Dee, reviewed by Karen Kachra

New York: Random House, 2010.

What’s it like to make it into the inner circle of Manhattan’s megawealthy? This is the world we readers enter step by step with the Morey family, power couple Adam and Cynthia, and their children April and Jonas.

The book’s first chapter is a tour de force that details Adam and Cynthia’s wedding as self-righteous college graduates. Cynthia is already pregnant on their honeymoon, and the couple is kick-started into family life.

Although Adam lands a high-earning job on Wall Street he decides to augment his growing wealth by starting up a ponzi scheme. As the years go by, money makes more and more possible for the Morey’s. In the end, they own a jet, a palace in the Hamptons, and regularly vacation in Anguilla. And yet the bonds of family become less and less secure.

Dee’s prose is eloquent and powerful and his characters so vivid that my imagination is still haunted by them, one month after I’ve closed the book. He has a pitch perfect ear for dialogue and a satirical wit. He deals with weighty themes such as success, family and wealth with great care.

As literary novelists do, Dee breaks a few rules. The first chapter narrative jumps in and out of the points of view of dozens of characters, most of whom we never encounter again. And can the hook for a novel really be the broad question “what will happen to these people?” It can. I found myself eagerly turning the pages, and crowing to my husband that I’d discovered an author named Jonathan Dee. (Dee has in fact written four other novels and is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine.) In the end, I felt simply privileged to have read The Privileges.

Karen Kachra loves nothing better than reading a good book, except maybe her own family. She lives in Oakville, where she teaches philosophy and writes short stories and novels, completely unconcerned that she is not on pace to megawealth.

Sample her writing at

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

Amy Boggs, new agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency

Donald Maass Literary Agency
Suite 801
121 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001

The Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York City is a well-known literary agency for professional novelists. In addition to being an agent, Donald Mass is the author of "Writing the Breakout Novel" and other books for writers.

The Donald Maass Literary Agency specializes in fiction. "All genres are welcome. We handle many authors of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, horror, romance, historical, literary and mainstream novels. mainly writing commercial fiction."
Do they work with previously unpublished writers? "Yes, all the time."
General submission guidelines here.

Amy Boggs joined the agency in 2009 after a stint at Beth Vesel Literary Agency . She is looking for fantasy and science fiction, especially urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk, YA/children's, and alternate history. Historical fiction, multi-cultural fiction, Westerns, and works that challenge their genre are also welcome.
Query her at
Type "Query" in the subject line. No attachments. Include your query and the first five pages of your manuscript into the body of your e-mail. If she likes the sound of your novel, Amy will request more.  Allow four weeks for a reply.

Note: If you send an email with an attachment, it will be deleted unopened.

Stacia Decker is also a relatively junior agent at the Donald Maass Agency.  She represents mystery, suspense, noir, and crime fiction.  She is looking for a strong voice, dark humor, fast-paced plotting, and unpredictable violence.
Query her at
Paste your query letter and the first 5 pages of your novel into the body of the e-mail.
Note: Brian Henry has a few "How to Get Published" workshops coming up: in Windsor on June 6, in Waterloo on July 24, and in Sarnia on August 22.
For information about all of Brian's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Contributors wanted for The Guy News

The Guy News is a website that will cater funny, informative and interesting articles on a variety of topics for men. From sports, movies, music to gadgets, beer and babes, if you have an interest and a way with words, we would like to publish you!

We are aiming to launch mid to late summer.  However, there is no definite date yet. We are currently in the web development phase (site design, interface, layout etc). We wish to build a roster of solid writers and contributors (both men and women) and put in place a regular ‘call for submissions’ schedule for the week, month etc and then we’ll be ready to go!

We like interesting, informative and funny and we love topics like sports, gadgets, beer, babes, movies, music and whatever else you can think of under the sun that you may find you and your buddies talking about over a pint at the bar. In a tone that resembles just that, we want to bring our readers the best writing on the most interesting and kick-ass topics a guy can possibly think of.

Although this is a volunteer writer/contributor position for the time being, it is important you realize we intend to grow this site into a household name generating a high traffic of readers, advertising partners and then income. Anyone who shows an interest and works with us by contributing any number of articles per month will be highly recognized as an important member of The Guy News team and will without a doubt be compensated as we grow. Although this is a site for guys, I would like to encourage women to contact me who believe they have funny and interesting opinions (or perhaps advice) guys will find useful. After all, what is a website for men without the voice of a woman from time to time!

Those interested please send an inquiry to
Include a brief bio and a sample of your work! We look forward to hearing from you.

Photo: Patrick Dempsey having a beer at a cancer fundraiser, from The Maine News.

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Exploring Creative Writing," Tuesday afternoons, July 6 – August 10

6 weeks of growth and discovery
Tuesday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
July 6 – August 10
Unity Church, Unit 8, 3075 Ridegeway Drive, Mississauga.  (In a business complex, just north off Dundas Street, east of Hwy 403, west of Winston Churchill.  Map here.)

In this course, we’ll explore different forms of creative writing and different techniques. We’ll try short story writing and memoir writing, travel writing, children’s writing and just for fun writing. The course will feature a combination of lecture and discussion, exercises and sharing - all designed to help you stretch yourself as a writer.

Fee: On July 1, the new 13% hst tax replaces the old 5% gst. This means that although my prices aren't going up, after July 1, you’ll need to pay more to the government.
Fee before July 1: $94.69 + gst = $99.42
After July 1: $94.69 + hst = $107
Advance registration only. Number of attendees strictly limited.

To reserve a spot now, email

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

Detroit Working Writers' 110th anniversary luncheon and readings

Saturday, June 12, 2010
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Grosse Pointe War Memorial
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe, Michigan

Featured Detroit Working Writers Keynote Speakers:
Ruth Ryan Langan, NYT best-selling Romance Writer will speak on “Still Writing After All These Years”
Naomi Long Madgett, Detroit’s Poet Laureate & Founder of Lotus Press will speak on “When Two Careers Are Not Enough”

Spring Readings 2010
Public Reading of First-place Award-winning Entries by DWW Writers:
Pearl Ahnen (Fiction and Journalism)
Judith Goren (Poetry and Creative Non-fiction)

$25 per person
Checks are payable to: Detroit Working Writers
Send to: Vivian DeGain, DWW Treasurer, 1661 Black Maple, Rochester Hills, MI 48309
To reserve your tickets via PayPal, visit
A PayPal “button” is located at DWW’s home page.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Writing workshops – coming soon

"Writing and Revising"
Offered in 3 locations:
Saturday, May 29 in Barrie. Details here.
Sunday, May 30 in Sudbury. Details here.
And Saturday, June 5 in Burlington.  Details here.

If you want to refine your story-writing skills and cut the time you will need to spend editing, this workshop is for you. You'll learn how to step back from a manuscript in order to find – and fix – flaws in your plot, structure, characterization and style. You'll learn how to rethink, rework and rewrite so that your manuscript will live up to your vision.
Special option: Participants are invited to bring a piece of their own writing (though you don’t have to!) If you do bring a piece, bring 3 copies of something short (1,500 words absolute maximum, though 800 words or fewer is better).

"How to Get Published"
Offered in 3 locations:
Sunday, June 6, in Windsor.  Details here.
Saturday, July 24 in Waterloo.  Details here.
And Sunday, August 22 in Sarnia.  Details here.

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!
Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, a couple copies could be helpful.

"Writing Your Life"
Saturday, June 19, in Brampton.  Details here.
Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events.
Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He has helped many of his students get published, including our guest speaker, Ross Pennie.

Dr. Ross Pennie is the author of The Unforgiving Tides, a doctor’s memoir of Papua New Guinea (Manor House Publishing). He has also signed a contract with ECW Press for three medical mystery novels. The first of these, Tainted, came out last April.

Two workshops in Moncton:
"Writng for Children" and "How to Write & Sell a Romance Novel." Details here.
Two workshops in Charlottetown:
"Writng for Children" and "How to Write & Sell a Romance Novel." Details here.

Upcoming: Tuesday afternoons, July 6 to Aug 10, "Exploring Creative Writing," Mississauga.  For details, email

For information about all upcoming writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Room magazine - Call for submissions and Contest

Room magazine publishes short stories, poems, creative non-fiction, and art. Though we publish stories by women, we are not soliciting stories with an agenda.  Room is committed to discovering new talents and we take this responsibility seriously, so if we are the first step on your journey to creating a portfolio with professional credentials, fear not, we're honoured and still interested.

Room's 2010 December issue will examine Women and Spirituality. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines "spiritual" as "...relating to the human spirit or soul; not of physical things." How do you define it? We're looking for writing that transcends the material realm and explores what lies beneath, beyond, and above. Send us your best original, unpublished fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. We are also looking for suitable artwork and illustrations. Submit to the attention of Clélie Rich by June 30, 2010

Fiction/Creative Non-fiction: Please submit 12-pt typed, double-spaced, single-sided pages of unpublished prose of no more than 3500 words. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.

Poetry: Please submit a maximum of five poems at a time. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.

Photos/Art submissions: Direct us to your work online or send a low-resolution digital file (JPG or PDF, 1 MB max size) to  Since our issues differ in theme, tone, and content, we will keep you on file for upcoming issues.

We receive over 600 submissions per year and publish approximately 25 pieces in each quarterly issue. {i.e., they publish one out of sux submissions - that's an excellent ratio! - Brian}  Mail your work to:
PO Box 46160 Station D
Vancouver, BC V6J 5G5 

We are currently accepting submissions by e-mail on a trial basis. Please Attach your submission in Microsoft Word, rich text file (RTF), or text (TXT) format, maximum 500 KB file size. The subject line of your e-mail must adhere to this format: Room / Genre / Submission / Your Name.  For example, Room Poetry Submission Jane Smith)

Send your submission to: Fiction:
Creative Non-fiction:

We pay $50 CDN for 1-5 published pages, $75 for 6+ pages and $100 for cover art. Contributors also receive two copies of the issue in which the work appears and a year's subscription to Room. We purchase First North American Serial Rights only (the work may not have appeared in print in North America prior to publication in Room), and copyright always remains with the author. We may also ask you for non-exclusive electronic rights to publish a portion of your work on our website, but these will be negotiated separately.

Full submission guidelines here:


Deadline: Entries must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2010.
Entry Fee: $27 per entry (includes a complimentary one-year subscription to Room). Payment by cheque or money order made out to Room.  Non-Canadian entries: $39 Canadian dollars

Prizes: 1st prize in each category – $500, 2nd prize – $250. Winners will be published in a 2011 issue of Room. Other manuscripts may also be published.

Send entries to:
Room Contest 2010
P.O. Box 46160, Station D
Vancouver, BC V6J 5G5

Poetry: max. 3 poems or 150 lines.  Fiction: max. 3,500 words

There will be blind judging, therefore, do not put your name or address on entry submission, but enclose a cover sheet with your name, address, phone number and title(s) of entry. Entries must be typed on 8.5 X 11 white paper. Prose must be double-spaced. Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted or accepted elsewhere for publication and not entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition.

Complete contest rules 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.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Sudbury Writers' Guild

The goal of the Sudbury Writers Guild is to assist writers in all stages of their careers through networking, critiquing each others work, and enlisting guest speakers to help us learn about all aspects of the writing experience.

We offer emotional support to members and newcomers alike, promote northern Ontario writers, and host writing workshops. such as Brian Henry’s “How to Make Your Stories Dramatic” workshop on Saturday, March 22, 2014. (Details here.)

Our monthly newsletter Sharpen Your Quill delivers information on contests and book reviews, as well as regular contributions about writing by our members and the newsletter editor.

The Guild meets the last Thursday of every month from September to May, with a Christmas party in December and a picnic in June. Meetings are held from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the Parkside Centre at the YMCA located at 140 Durham Street, Sudbury, Ontario. Doors open at 6:00 to allow for socializing and networking. Modest membership fees pay for the room rental and the Guild website at 

In 2002 the Guild partnered with the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) to bring Northern Ink, the CAA National Writing Conference, to Sudbury. In recent years members have been active in numerous other events, as well, including:

• The 10th Annual Manitoulin Writers' Retreat where members both hosted and participated in writing workshops.
• The Northern Lights Festival Boreal where Guild members talked to the public about writing events around the region and what the guild has to offer (see photo).
• The Arts, Berries, and Jazz Festival in Espanola where 7 Sudbury Writers' Guild members partnered with 7 members of the La Cloche Artists group for a FUSION project.

See Brian Henry's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener, Guelph, Woodstock, London, Orangeville, Kingston, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Curtis Brown Ltd.

Ten Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
Founded in 1914, Curtis Brown is one of the world's foremost literary agencies.  The agency currently employs 32 people in its New York and San Francisco offices. It represents adult and children’s authors of all genres, including illustrators. Since its inception, the agency has handled more than 50,000 contracts.

Sarah LaPollah is the newest member of the Curtis Brown team.  She's looking for literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction, literary horror, and young adult fiction. She loves complex characters, coming-of-age stories, and strong narrators.

Query her at:
For fiction, include a synopsis, a sample chapter and brief writing history. Will respond within 8 weeks.
General submission guidelines:

Note: Brian Henry has a few "How to Get Published" workshops coming up: in Windsor on June 6, in Waterloo on July 24, and in Sarnia on August 22.

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

"How to Get Published," Sunday, August 22, Sarnia

10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lawrence House, 127 Christina Street South, Sarnia (At the corner of Wellington. Map here.)

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Windsor to Moncton. But his proudest boast is that he’s helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, a couple copies could be helpful.

Fee: $38.05 + 13% hst = $43 if you payin advance
Or $40.71 + 13% hst = $46 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

“The Reckoning” and "Tales of the Otherworld" by Kelley Armstrong

Teens all over the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are lining up to buy The Reckoning, the third book in Kelley’s hugely successful Darkest Powers series. Which is not to say Kelley’s fans are limited to the Anglosphere.  But it takes  a little longer for translations to come out, so when Kelley visited Britain in March, she had impatient fans lining up to buy her books from as far away as Germany.

Kelley also has a new book out for her adult readers, a short fiction collection, called Tales of the Otherworld that showcases critical moments in the lives of many of Kelley's best-known characters.

Kelley Armstrong's readers have proven themselves a dedicated fan-base: her previous hardcover collection of short stories, Men of the Otherworld, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and Canadian lists too - despite three of the stories having been available, unedited and for free, for years on Armstrong's website.

With a similar format - a handful of reedited stories and one wholly original novella - Tales of the Otherworld explores the lives of some of Armstrong's most popular characters, giving readers glimpses into how Clay and Elena met, how Eve and Kristof first hooked up (a brand new novella), and how Lucas and Paige got married.

Once Kelley’s publishers give her a break from promoting her books hither and yon across the globe, we’ll have her again as a guest speaker at a workshop somewhere here in Ontario. In the meanwhile, you can check out the video trailer for The Reckoning here.

You'll also find the trailers for the two earlier books in this series, The Summoning and The Awakening, on the same page. And visit Kelley’s very cool website here.

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

paperplates literary quarterly

19 Kenwood Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6C 2R8

Paperplates is a literary quarterly, publishing essays, poetry, ficton and reviews. To download the current issue, click on the cover photo here.

Paperplates makes no distinction between veterans and beginners. Some contributors have published several books; some have never before published a single line.

What does paperplates publish?

Like most magazines, paperplates has a front, a middle, and a back section.

In the front section ("homeplate") we put short personal essays, memoirs, and travel accounts. The tone expected is that of an informal letter, although the subject itself need not be light. The average length is 2,500 words.

n the middle section we put short stories, one-act plays, musical scores, poems short and long, extended travel pieces, formal essays, interviews, and reminiscences. (These categories are not exclusive.) The maximum length for the prose works is 7,500 words, for the poems 1,500 words (give or take a few couplets).

In the back section we put reviews of theatre, films, and books. The average length is 2,500 words. We have some fine regular reviewers, but no one holds tenure here. We welcome opinionated writing.

We also welcome photos and drawings for display throughout the magazine. We would like to publish one or two cartoons in each issue.

For prefence, submit on paper or, if you must, by e-mail to
Do not send fiction as an e-mail attachment. Copy the first 300 words or so into the body of your message. If we like what we read, we'll ask for the rest. If you prefer not to send a fragment, you have the option of using surface mail. Please send no more than five poems or one prose piece per submission.

Full submission guidelines here:

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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Another over-elaborate way of saying something" by Brody McVittie

There was something you said
without saying anything at all, really;

something said that stayed
long after you did;

something said, and sadly
with your eyes and the wild in them
and without your lips and the words between them;

something that sounded
and in passing,
something like

"I believe in you"

when no one else would or could or, I guess
even should;

so I just want you to know
that every word I ever wrote
and every word I ever will

is really just my round-about way of saying
something like
Brody McVittie is a struggling writer out of London, Ontario. He’s authored two full-length novels, Lion & Lamb and Writing In and Of Color, both of which are currently in the revision process.
“Please stop by my blog at Any and all feedback is appreciated.” - Brody

For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and classes see here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ats Hamilton presents the Hamilton literary awards

If you’re a Hamilton author and you published a story, article, poem or book in 2008 or 2009, why not nominate it for a Hamilton literary award?  There are 8 awards to be won. But get the lead out! The submission deadline is Monday, May 31, at 5:00 p.m.

Categories for books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Young Adult, Children.
Categories for short pieces: Fiction (short story), Non-fiction (article, essay), Individual Poem.
No entry fee. Prizes to be announced.
You can find complete rules and an entry form here.

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

Prana Coffee presents Prose & Poetry in the Beaches, Wednesday, May 19

Dear Brian

Brandon Pitt's Coffee Bar, Prana Coffee, is now open in it's new location 2130A Queen Street East at Hammersmith in The Beaches.

There's a prose and poetry reading night on Wednesday, May 19th, starting at 7:00 p.m. But come early, order coffee, schmooze and take part of the growing writing community.

The line up of readers includes: Irving Ellman, Uda Hodder Gerginis, Patricia Howard, Peter Jailall, Dianne Korchynski, Fran MacKenzie, Daniel Robinson and Sue Shipley!

For more information visit or

See you there,

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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New agent at D4EO wants romance, other commercial fiction & non-fiction

D4EO Literary Agency
Principal agent: Robert (Bob) Deforio
7 Indian Valley Road, Weston, CT 06883

Joyce Holland (sorry, can't find a photo) recently became an associate agent with D4EO Literary Agency. Her interests include romance, science fiction, mystery, horror, YA, and nonfiction of all kinds.

Joyce was a newspaper columnist for several years and is a published author of three books and over two dozen short stories, so she knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the pitching table.

Because she is new to the agenting world, she’s open to just about anything. Joyce was a reader for Futures Magazine for two years, so it doesn’t take her long to recognize talent when she sees it. Of the hundreds of manuscripts she has read since joining D4EO she has found only one that took her breath away. She’s hungry for that jewel in the slush pile.

Joyce is past president and current conference coordinator for Emerald Coast Writers in Florida. She and her husband, Tony, live on a small barrier island, but spend much of their time traveling the rivers of America on their trawler, Code One.

“Romance and thrillers are always popular,” says Joyce. “People are escapists in the best of times, but when things are tough in the world, as they are right now, they make an incredible leap and choose material as far removed from reality as they can get. Witness the popularity of books on vampires, werewolves, and such, not to mention movies like Avatar. But even in Twilight and Avatar, the love theme prevailed. Romance in any setting, sells.

“Romantic thrillers with a twist are my favorite and I love mild sci-fi and paranormals. Give me a mad scientist with an experiment gone wrong or an extraordinary child with powers of good or evil. Throw in a romantic element and you have my attention. I’m up to my eyebrows in vampires, witches and werewolves and don’t want to see another one right now.

“I enjoy non-fiction, and I’m particularly fascinated by books on the subject of death and the afterlife, if they’re not preachy. I read romance, true crime, horror and mystery, you name it, all genre fiction. I’m the wrong agent for high literary, young adult or memoirs.”

To submit: “Please send me a one or two sentence ‘pitch’ that will excite me. Put it at the top of the query letter. Open your manuscript with the inciting incident. Make something dramatic happen, or make me absolutely love your protagonist. Don’t tell me you’re building up to it with background material. Your premise doesn’t have to be high concept, but it does have to demonstrate passion. Other than that, send a one to three page synopsis and the whole manuscript. Email or snail-mail. Believe it or not, I’m dying to find the jewel in the slush pile. I dream about it. So, you brilliant, talented author, send it to me.”


Mandy Hubbard also recently joined D4EO, where she is now building her list, focusing on Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction. Mandy is interested in a broad range of YA/MG, whether they be contemporary or historical, fantasy/paranormal or realistic. She loves books with a heavy focus on romance, as well as “issue books” with a strong voice. If your book has a high concept or a big hook, she wants to see it.

If your story includes portals to fantasy worlds, wizards or dragons, it’s probably not for her. Please, no chapter books, pictures books, poetry, non-fiction, or books for the adult market.

Before joining D4EO, Mandy interned at The Bent Agency, but she began her career in publishing on the other side of the desk: as an author. Her debut novel, Prada and Prejudice (Razorbill/Penguin) is a teen novel. Released in June of 2009 it’s now in its fifth printing. She has four other books under contract, divided among Harlequin, Llewellyn Flux, and Razorbill/Penguin.

Check out Mandy's Blog here:

To submit: Send your query letter, along with the first five pages of your manuscript (both pasted into the body of an e-mail) to

Note: Brian Henry has a few"How to Get Published" workshops coming up soon: in Hamilton on May 15, in Windsor on June 6 and in Waterloo on July 24.

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"A Neat Round Hole," a true story by David Chesterton

"I don’t like this,” Bob said, staring apprehensively at the three bullets in John’s hand.

“Oh don’t be a sissy!” He held one of them under Bob’s nose. “Look at it. It’s only a .22 from Dad’s target rifle. It’ll go off like a damp squib.”

“No it won’t! It will explode in the fire!”

That shows how much you know. It’ll heat up and expand, and when it ignites the whole thing will be melting.”

I stared at the hot embers in the fire grate. I didn’t say anything. John would only bully me too. But I figured that I’d stand well back and to one side when he threw the bullets into the fire.

“It’s not right for you to steal things from Dad’s den,” Bob protested, trying another tack.

“These were under the Chesterfield with lots of dust and stuff,” John sneered. “Dad didn’t even

know they were there.”

But Mom will hear the explosions,” I said. I wasn’t actually supporting Bob. I just didn’t want her to be frightened. At the same time I could see the fire place was wide enough to spread the bullets over a large area of the room.

“Look out there,” John said, pointing to the window. “She’s talking to Uncle Ted, over the fence, right down at the bottom of the garden.

I opened my mouth, but before I could say anything he yelled, “I’ve heard enough of your scaredy-cat whining,” and he threw the bullets into the centre of the red-hot coals But he then stepped to one side, right up against the fire-place chimney wall.

Bob dived down behind Dad’s armchair and I moved over to the stair well, as far back as I could go.

The first one went off with a loud bang, but the second one was a muffled echo of the first.

“See,” John said. “There’s nothing to it.” He put his head down a bit to look into the fire. “We could be standing right .....”

The third one interrupted him, exploding with a frightening crack, and we heard a similar, but sharper sound from the glass front of the book shelf. John tripped over the fire curb, as he sprang back, landing in a sprawled heap.

I stood quietly waiting, not sure if that was it. But when I looked around at the others, Bob was on his knees in front of the glass pane. “What will you tell Dad about that?” He was pointing with a trembling finger at a neat little hole in the glass.

I went over and couldn’t believe what I saw. “Why didn’t it shatter the glass? That would have been easier to explain.”

John, now sure his brave experiment was complete, looked down at us and argued, “It’s right at the bottom. He won’t see it.”

I pointed to Volume 5, of the World Geography books, which had an equally neat round hole in it’s spine. “He’ll see that the next time he wants to tell us something about Africa.”

John looked a bit scared and said, “I have to tell Colin about this,” and ran out.

‘He’s eleven.’ I thought. ‘If I were the oldest, I’d stay. He always runs away when his stupid ideas go wrong.’ But I grabbed Bob’s arm and said, “Let’s get out of here before Mom comes back in. She’ll see it for sure.”
David Chesteron has written stories since childhood and also enjoys watercolour painting and brush and ink illustration. He sold his first watercolour painting at a fair in Ilkeston, England, when he was nine years old and had his first story published in his grammar school magazine.  He's been painting and writing ever since.

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pop Montreal & Matrix Magazine present the Litpop writing contest

Can’t decide whether to be a pop star or a famous writer? Be both! Enter the 2010 Matrix/Pop Montreal Litpop Awards!

The Pop Montreal International Music Festival and Matrix Magazine have once again teamed up to bring you Canada’s most innovative and exciting literary competition. We are looking for the most unique and original voices in literary voices in North America. So if you’re an emerging poet or short story writer, it’s time to prove it! If you have what it takes, you will get your work published in Matrix, and get free travel to Pop 2010 for a night in your honour.

Deadline: June 19, 2010

Both poetry and prose winners will receive a round-trip ticket to Pop Montreal from Sept.29th through October 3rd, 2010, a VIP pass to the Pop Montreal Festival, free accommodation at a bed and breakfast, fall publication in Matrix Magazine with full honorarium, and presentation at a special Matrix Litpop event during the festival.

Poets are asked to send no more than 5 poems; fiction writers should send stories of no more than 5000 words. Each entry is $25.   Entries can be emailed to:
Or mailed to: Matrix Publications, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., LB 658, Montreal QC, H3G 1M8.

Full contest rules and regulations 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, May 10, 2010

Bread 'n Molasses magazine

When I was in Moncton at the end of April to lead a workshop at the Frye Festival, I came across a great regional magazine: Bread 'n Molasses.  So for those of you who might have something to say that's of interest to an audience in Atlantic Canada, I thought I'd share their guidelines.
- Brian

General Guidelines

Bread ‘n Molasses celebrates Atlantic Canadian culture, applauds our successes, encourages independent thinking, promotes personal growth, instills pride, teaches cooperation and unites our Community. We strive to publish varied content of interest to Atlantic Canadians regardless of age, sex, whether living in the region or away. We only consider submissions in tune with this objective.

Bread ‘n Molasses is a regional magazine. Positivity is the key ingredient. If you have nothing nice or helpful to share, this probably isn’t the best place to submit your work.

Submissions can be in any style. Non-fiction or fiction, prose or poetry, artwork or graphic design, photograph or film, spoken word or music recording – we’re open to anything as long as it has a positive slant and is of interest to our readers.

We are committed to having most of our content contributed by Atlantic Canadians. However, we may accept outside work if we find it’s of value and interest to the community.

We accept previously published work. Tell us where the work was published so we can give credit.

Not sure if your content is on topic… or looking for ideas? Visit Topic Ideas here. 

Contributors are not paid.

Submissions should be no longer than 1500 words. Please do not submit poems greater than 165 lines.  Subject matter should be suitable for family viewing. No horror, violence, romantic scenes or curse words.  Submit no more than one short story or up to three poems per email.

Bread ‘n Molasses is published 6 times per year on January 1st, March 1st, May 1st, July 1st, September 1st, and November 1st.  Editorial submissions are due 2 months prior to the publication date.

Submit to:
Full submission guidelines:

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

Friday, May 7, 2010

Writing Dialogue - the writer’s most important tool, Sat, Aug 21, Woodstock

"Dialogue - the writer's most important tool"
Saturday, August 21
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Royal Canadian Legion
576 Brant Street, Woodstock (Map here.)

Accessible to beginners and meaty enough for experienced writers, this workshop will show you how to use dialogue to make your stories more dynamic and dramatic.

Whether you’re writing fiction or memoir, you need to be able to write great dialogue and need to know how to mix your dialogue and narrative so that your characters come alive.

Come to this workshop and learn both the basics and the best tricks of the trade so that you'll never write a lifeless scene again.

Fee: $38.94 + 13% hst = $44 paid in advance
Or $42.48 + 13% hst = $48 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email

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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Suzie Townsend promoted to agent at Fine Print Literary Management

Fine Print Literary Management
240 West 35th Street
Suite 500
New York, NY 10001

FinePrint Literary Management launched in September 2007 as the merger of the Peter Rubie Literary Agency and the Imprint Agency.

With 11 agents on their roster, Fine Print represents works in many categories, including non-fiction and a wide range of fiction, both literary and commercial, including thrillers, mysteries, fantasy, women’s, romance, chick lit, YA and middle grade readers. They don't represent poetry, plays, screenplays, or children’s picture books.

Suzie Townsend it the newest member of the team.  She joined Fine Print as an intern (after 6 years as a high school English teacher) and is now an agent and an assistant to Fine Print CEO Peter Rubie.

She is seeking: everything from children’s books (chapter books to YA, both fiction and nonfiction) to adult fiction (speculative, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, and romance, especially paranormal). She gravitates toward strong female protagonists, complex plot lines with underlying political, moral, or philosophical issues, and stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genre, like Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series.

She likes select narrative nonfiction (with special interest in food, memoir, pets, pop culture, and teaching). She's not interested in screenplays, poetry, or picture books.

"With queries," says Suzie, "I’m actually most interested in short and sweet. I want to know as quickly and concisely as possible what the book is about. I’m also a big fan of sarcasm so I like reading queries with sarcastic and witty tone – but of course that only works if it also reflects the tone of the book.

"What’s actually most important to me is the first chapter of the work. FinePrint requests that authors paste the first chapter or the first 5-10 pages of the manuscript in the bottom of the email. I’ve read a few queries that weren’t all that strong, but then something about the first chapter – usually the description and/or the voice – has really grabbed me, and I’ve gone ahead and requested the manuscript."

For fiction and memoir, query
Include the word count and your full contact information in the query, and paste the first 5 - 10 pages of your manuscript into your query (no attachments). 
For non-fiction, query only.

Full submission guidelines for fiction here.   Full guidelines for non-fiction here.

Note: Brian Henry has a few "How to Get Published" workshops coming up soon: in Uxbridge on May 8, in Hamilton on May 15, in Windsor on June 6, and in Waterloo on July 24.
For information about all of Brian's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville, reviewed by Annette Walker

This story takes place in a very small Australian town of Karakarook, New South Wales, population 1,374. The characters are developed subtley and masterfully by the author as little by little, their quirkiness and uniqueness emerges. You feel as if you know them from the inside out.

For example, Douglas Cheeseman, the engineer, arrives in town to inspect the state of a highway bridge. He is tall, thin and gawky with crooked teeth and prominent ears. His ex-wife told him not to talk about concrete as it bores people, but he thinks of concrete as a thing of beauty, its properties quite underestimated and understated by people.

The main female character is a rather large-proportioned unusual woman called Harley, who is coming to terms with her husband’s suicide and thinks that somehow she is a dangerous woman.

There is a parallel between the bent bridge that Douglas is sent to demolish and replace but which is actually strong and the characters of Douglas and Harley, who look far from perfect yet ultimately prove perfect for each other. The author quotes Leonardo da Vinci, who described an arch as "two weaknesses which together make a strength.”

This imperfect characters of the central romance are contrasted with the character of Felicity, who thinks kisses are “probably wrinkle-forming” and thinks, “pottery had seemed promising, but the clay ruined your hands.”

To maintain her perfect skin, Felicity relies on her face cream called “Crème Jeunesse,” not smiling too much, and obsessively keeping out of the sun.

The Idea of Perfection is a contemporary comedy of manners – quirky and spirited, a remarkable novel from a truly amazing writer.
Annette Walker lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her husband, three grown sons sometimes away at University and an elderly grey and white cat called ‘Savvy’. She grew up in England and Canberra, Australia and just returned from a trip to see relatives, travelling through small country towns like Karakarook, the background of Kate Grenville’s book.

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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Canada Magazine

Our Canada is a national magazine with a million readers.  It's a great place to get your first piece published because it's different from other national magazines; it’s written by readers – regular people who want to share the Canada they know with the rest of the country.

Our Canada is full of true stories and photos sent in by readers across the country for other Canadians to enjoy. Any appropriate photo or story is welcome at any time. Our Canada doesn’t pay, but you get the glory of seeing your name and print and you get a free one-year subscription to the magazine.

Send your stories about:
My hometown
My favourite vacation at home or abroad
Crafty Canadians
Brush with Fame
What Is It?
The Way it Was

Share your funny stories, favourite recipes, photos of your garden or kids and grandkids at play. Have an idea you don’t see here, send it along, we can’t wait to read it and maybe share it with the rest of Canada. Our editorial style is relaxed and conversational, so please write your submission the way you'd relate it to a friend. Our features don't often run more than 500 words (and many submissions run much shorter than that), so don't send lengthy submissions.

Home website:
Full submission guidelines here.

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

Monday, May 3, 2010

King Tut's Tomb Robbers, by Miguel Carbonell

Hi Brian,
King Tut's Tomb Robbers, my time travel adventure novel for young readers 9-13, is finally out. I wrote the first few pages of this story two years ago in your “Writing for Children” seminar, which helped me avoid some serious mistakes. Thank you for your informative sessions.
Miguel Carbonell

About the Book

In the year 2025, time travel is all the rage. Nathan and his sister, Lindsey, are looking forward to visiting ancient Alexandria, but something goes wrong during the transfer back in time. Nathan lands alone near the palace of Tutankhamun in Thebes. Unless he can convince Nakhtmin, the captain of the guards, that he is not a tomb robber, a painful death awaits him.

An adventure story for children nine and over, this book contains a wealth of historical details. We now know that Tut suffered from physical abnormalities (e.g. a clubfoot) and carried DNA of the malaria parasite. In spite of his disabilities, the boy-king strives courageously to assert himself as the leader of his country.

For information about ordering King Tut’s Tomb Robbers visit Miguel’s website here. 

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