Tuesday, August 30, 2011

At $84 million, James Patterson tops Forbes highest paid authors list for 2010

From the Daily Mail on-line: One of the biggest surprises in this year's Forbes highest paid authors list is not any of the names involved, it's how much they're still earning.

In an age where bookstores are closing and sales are tumbling, it's amazing that winner James Patterson earned $84 million.

Mr Patterson, the creator of Alex Cross, the crime-solving single father, is also a prolific writer of children's stories and writes online film reviews in his spare time.

He currently has a 17-book deal with Hachette, signed two years ago and worth $150 million.

No fewer than 20 of his titles were on last year's bestseller lists and his forthcoming list includes Kill Me If You Can this month, Daniel X next, then Christmas Wedding in October, followed by Kill Alex Cross in November, Witch and Wizard for December and Private #1 Suspect to start the new year.

He sold more than 10 million books last year and Amazon reported his Kindle sales passing one million too ... more

What they earned in 2010:
James Patterson - $84m
Danielle Steel - $35m
Stephen King - $28m
Janet Evanovich $22m
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight teen novels) - $21m
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson juvenile novels) - $21m
Dean Koonz - $19m
John Grisham - $18m
Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid mid-grade novels) - $17m
Nicholas Sparks $16m
Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games juvenile novels) $10m

In 2010, J.K. Rowling earned only $5 million, but that's still pretty good, considering she didn't have any new books out. The things to note from this list are the continuing importance of name authors and the rise of juvenile literarature.

Ten years ago, there would have been only a single children's author on this list: J.K. Rowling, the first of the hugely best-selling children's authors.  

With his team of co-authors, Patterson dominates the murder mystery genre (putting out 20 bestsellers last year), but he's also branched out into Young Adult books. His Maximum Ride and Witch & Wizard franchises each sold more than 1 million copies last year.

On March 3 in Toronto, Brian Henry will lead a "How to Write a Bestseller" workshop with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelly Armstrong as his guest speaker. Details here.

Brian will also lead workshops on "Writing for Children, and for Young Adults" in Gravenhurst in Muskoka on October 1 (see here), and in St. Catharines on January 14, 2012 (see here).

And "How to Get Published" workshops on August 27 in Woodstock, Ontario, (see here), on September 24 in Guelph with guest Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid literary agency (see here), on Sunday, Oct 23, in Sudbury (see here) and on December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

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

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Tom Howard / John H. Reid short prose contest

Thomas Howard is a
respected author and critic
Welcome to the 20th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest sponsored by Tom Howard Books. Any type of original short story, essay or other work of prose is eligible. Prizes totaling $5,550 will be awarded, including a top prize of $3,000. Click here to read winning entries from the past.

Submission Period: Entries accepted July 15, 2011-March 31, 2012 (postmark dates). Early submission is encouraged.

What to Submit: Short stories, essays or other works of prose, up to 5,000 words each. There are no restrictions on style or theme. Each entry should be your own original work. You may submit the same work simultaneously to this contest and to others, and you may submit works that have been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the online publication rights. See our FAQ for additional details.

Prizes and Publication: First prize: $3,000. Second prize: $1,000. Third prize: $400. Fourth prize: $250. There will also be six Most Highly Commended Awards of $150 each. The top 10 entries will be published on the Winning Writers website (over one million page views per year) and announced in Tom Howard Contest News and the Winning Writers Newsletter, a combined audience of over 35,000 readers.

Entry Fee: The reading fee is $15 per entry. This covers your submission of one short story or prose work of up to 5,000 words. Full rules and submission links here.

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Extreme Creative Writing course, Wednesday evenings, January 25 – March 14, Mississauga

Eight weeks of creative growth
Wednesday evenings, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
First set of readings distributed Jan 18.
Classes run January 25 – March 14
Sheridan United Church, 2501 Truscott Drive, Mississauga (Map here.)

This course is for people who are working on their own writing. The format is similar to the "Intermediate" and "Intensive" courses: Over the eight classes, you’ll be asked to bring in four pieces of your writing 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. You bring whatever you want to work on.

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures at the start of each class, addressing 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 Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he's helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $132.74 plus 13% hst = $150
Advance registration only. These courses usually fill up, so enroll early to avoid disappointment.
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca  

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Violated Borders," by Tom Cameron

Preface Many thanks to Ingrid Haring-Mendes for driving home what I should have learned from Stephen Lewis. Thank you too to Fran, for inspiring me as a writer, to lift off the covers and publicly write about things which most people would prefer to keep hidden from the light.

But most of all, thank you to the spirit of Ana and all people like her who, at the end of the day, can cherish the simple act of waking up to life

The collar of my pyjamas stunk from the dun-brown stain of nervous sweat. It was well past midnight, past any time when a respectable man would be sleeping. Yet here I was, once again wide awake.

Now, I’ve known for years reading was not the way to sooth me to sleep. That’s why I’d thrown Ana’s pages to the floor earlier in the night. By tossing them far from my bed, I had hoped I could escape their reach, to slip away into the comparative safety of sleep. But it seemed my dreams had remained as haunted as Ana’s, for I could see my feet were tied in a tangle of twisted linens at the foot of my bed. They were bound by my nightmare every bit as much as Ana was bound by her guilt.

It was then I knew that I was caught up in more than my bed sheets. I was caught up by Ana.

Damn that woman for writing such confidences! Yes, I felt special to read her story. But it was one thing to be pulled into her world, it was quite another to be stuck into her orbit. For despite everything, despite Ana and all her experiences, I needed sleep.

I reached out for my laptop. Idly browsing through photographs was a pleasurable pastime for me, one tried and true way to idle away my time. On nights when my spinning head remained in Drive and refused to slip into Park, I would find the repeatable patterns of nature’s landscapes to be calming. There was a pleasing patina to these yellow sand dunes, the tranquil seasides, those warm sunsets. I knew they could sneak into my thoughts to draw away my attention and gradually lull me into sleep.

So I punched up my usual bookmark. The glowing screen started its flow of images, each one pleasant, each landscape nice to look at but not interesting enough to dwell upon, something like how computer wallpaper becomes a bland background behind the desktop icons scattered across my computer screen.

Autumn trees dressed themselves in their colours, a leafy forest wore its canopy of different greens, and an ocean’s sunset slipped on its soothing tones of yellows and orange. Each of these images flowed before me. The steady beat of the slideshow kept up its pleasing rhythm, photo and fade, photo and fade, a visual metronome for my drooping eyelids.

What the hell? What was that on the screen?

Perhaps if the photo had scrolled off away, I wouldn’t have cared. Perhaps if that one picture had faded into digital oblivion, my emotions wouldn’t have flared up the way they did. Hey, perhaps it was pre-ordained by some higher power, maybe the same power orchestrating everything Ana had gone through. Who knew? I only knew my finger was possessed by some demon, some spirit that had me click down on the cursor key, frantic to command the slideshow to ‘stop’.

There she stood, dead center in the photo, standing out as easily as if she had some bull’s eye pasted onto her head. I can laugh now, rationalizing that it was the contrasts in white and dark that had immediately caught my eye. But to be truthful, it was something deeper than that. Something darker.

You see, that photo was like one of those geography pictures back from my grade school days. You know; the ones about tribal people somewhere over in Africa. This photo had all the hallmarks of those National Geographic picture stories. There were the men of the tribe gathered all around, posing especially for this photo. Some were talking, others laughing, but most of them were just looking self-conscious in front of the camera. And yes, there slightly to the left of center, there was the pre-requisite tribal woman, some black lady wearing nothing but beads to decorate all her skin showing above her waist.

Now, I would hope that a topless African woman would not titillate now me the way she would have done back in Grade 6. That was back in the days when I’d spend indoor recess in the library, thumbing through stacks of National Geographic back issues, deliberately searching for pictures just like this one, hunting for photos of near-naked women and their exposed breasts. I had matured; I was grown up and beyond all that. Wasn’t I?

But as I said, that picture, the one that I had deliberately captured on my screen, that picture was not quite like the way I remembered those 1960’s pictures. And I was certain it was this difference that was capturing my eye. Because no National Geographic article from back then would have shown this.

Right there in the photo, as if caught in the focus of the camera lens, there was the white smiling face of a woman. An obviously young and oriental woman, right in the heart of these Africans, very visible and very much standing out from the crowd. I found myself screaming at this woman as if she was there right beside me in my bed, instead of being some magical apparition my browser screen had conjured up to haunt me. For some reason, I just knew this oriental woman had to be Chinese. And for the same reason, I was positive she was in trouble.

“Yes,” I shouted into the night, “you are young, young and silly, just like Ana at that age. Is that any reason to make such a show of yourself? Why do you have to go around with no shirt on? What makes you so special as to go around topless like that?” for this woman was every bit as topless as the African woman beside her. I shook my pointed index finger at this person, the undressed Chinese girl, and shouted at her again.

“Good for you. So now the whole world can see that your breasts don’t sag, and that your nipples can still stand up, nice and perky. So what does that prove? How stupid you are? I don’t care if it makes you feel all young and sexy. You only prove to me how ignorant you are. Do you think you’re the only one to have ever felt like that? Don’t you know what happened to Ana?"

There it was. That was the real reason why this photo had jerked me out of my good night’s sleep. Ana’s story was still banging about in my head, still grabbing my attention to do more than wake me up from a fitful night’s sleep. And if Ana had taught me anything at all, it was that the very carelessness with which this Chinese woman was flaunting her breasts in front of these people was more than dumb. Her stupidity screamed loud enough in my head for me to be scared for this Chinese woman.

“Who are you, girl?” I shouted into my empty bedroom. “Are you one of those Chinese people who’ve moved now to Africa? Are you one of the colonies of professionals tied up with all the mining and farming projects the Chinese have started up all over the continent?

I bet ch’ya; I bet you I’m right on that. So then, you’re probably from one of those big costal cities, the ones that are so crowded and growing like a weed, maybe Shanghai, maybe Tianjin, some place where all the country people are moving into the city looking for work. I’m sure  that in such a city you’re a nobody, just one of the masses. I even think your mama named you something bland like Li. Yes, I bet you’re just some Mei Li, no different in Shanghai than a Jane Smith would be in Toronto or New York, and just as unremarkable, unnoticeable, and unseen.

So yes, young Miss Li, I can see how you’d be excited to get away from all that, to move away from all the noise, all the traffic and pollution. You probably jumped at the chance to move away from the city, some place you could work and even get ahead in your career. I guess you’re making a small fortune too, out there in the middle of Africa.

How do I know? Come on! Your company’s probably given you a nice room over your head, and from the way you’re looking here, girl, you’re obviously not starving. So you’re paying nothing for your day to day things. I bet you’re even sending most of your salary back home, Li, having your poor mama keep it safe for you until you come home, until you come back with all this craziness gone from your head. But you’re not home yet, Li. You’re still living like some Chinese Empress there off in Africa.

So if you’ve got so much going for you Li, why are you being so stupid? To go around topless beside this African woman???? You’re not in some village built specially for tourists, safely tucked into the middle of the jungle! You’re out on the savannah where it’s wide open and there’s nowhere to run and hide!”

I turned away from the bright computer screen, disgusted, Li’s picture still clear in my mind. Couldn’t this girl see the danger she was in? At least Ana wasn’t that dumb. Ana could feel when danger was coming. I turned back to the photo. Look at Li! She was encircled by a bunch of armed men. Really!!! Ana could teach this stupid girl a thing or two.

I couldn’t hold it all in. I was blowing up at this crazy woman, shouting again at my computer screen. “I know you, Li. You’d say it’s just horsing around. I guess it must have been fun posing like a native with these people. But what the hell is with you girl? Turn your head around, look at the woman beside you!”

For even in that different culture, the furled eyebrows and stance of the African woman made it clear what she thought. We both knew this oriental girl was nuts. What did Li really know about danger? I continued talking to the screen, this time mumbling maybe to the picture, maybe just to myself.

“Dear god girl, what do you know about life? You think you know danger because you jumped ahead of your poor mother, back when you crossed the Huangpu River in the ferry boat all by yourself. It was great fun, wasn’t it Li, to leave your poor mother stranded on the banks of the Bund? That was before the subway was finished, when the ferry was the only way back home to the other side of the river.

But you weren’t scared then, were you? In fact, you thought it was fun to be rid of your Dragon Mother, to be alone like an adult, a nine year old girl on the other side of the barrier as the ferry motored out into the river. You weren’t beside your mama to hear her screams while she stood there waiting, furious and scared, helpless until the next ferry docked again in the shadows of the Peace Hotel.

You should ask Ana, girl. Go and ask Ana, did her being stranded on the ferry prepare her for real danger? Was there anything she experienced when stuck taking the ferry into Mombasa Town help Ana later when she faced real danger?”

I shifted my eyes over to the men. Couldn’t Li see that these men were armed? Those weren’t pop guns used to shoot rats stealing rice from the cupboard, those were rifles. Semi automatic carbine rifles that may as well have been machine guns.

“Damn it Li!” I was shouting again. “Didn’t you carry the same carbines when you served in the People's Liberation Army? Hell, those guns are probably even made in China! Look at the expression of the guy to your right. Yes him, the one with the cigarette dangling form his mouth, and the rifle cocked high, up by his shoulder. Is he sizing you up as hostage material, Li? Oh, if only Ana could be here to talk to you, to grab you by the shoulders girl, just the way Roopa always gave Ana a good shake every time Ana was about to do something stupid.”

What the hell. I didn’t know this woman the way I knew Ana. Who knew if this Li girl had a Mark in her life, just waiting in the wings, never mind somebody flamboyant like Erek I reached about and jammed a pillow behind me, then thumped myself back into its softness. No, maybe Li didn’t have a Mark to prop her up. More likely there was someone flashy in her life, some rich guy loaded with government money in some privileged position, his charisma drawing her away from her desk job in the company compound, pulling her out into this adventure in the heart of the Serengeti.

Enough!

I snapped shut my laptop screen. Not my problem anymore. I had learned my lessons with Ana.

Yeah, this was Li’s time, just like Ana had her time to do something crazy to share with her rich guy together, something to bond them together with pumped up adrenaline. It’s not hard to see Li’s breaking some rigid Chinese taboo, taking off her top like this, showing herself off in the middle of all these armed strangers. But there had to be more to it than that, something other than the tame taboo of public nudity among people whom a topless local woman was not that odd, only different.

I settled down into the comfort of my pillow, my sheets now pulled up around my shoulders to ward off the dampness of dawn, that five o’clock in the morning feeling of peaceful drowsiness finally taking root to control my mood. After all, this Li was only a girl in a picture, some woman acting like a typical tourist. Why should I loose any sleep over her? She wasn’t real to me, not real the way Ana was. Anyhow, those men with their guns, they probably only laughed about her later. I was just embarrassed for that silly lady. At least she had nice breasts.

I smiled. After all, other nights I had drifted off into sleep with far less pleasant sights to populate my dreams.

Wait! Nice breasts? Who was Li really showing off for? Maybe it wasn’t for the locals, these guys with their guns. If this woman Li was really like Ana, then there must be a man for whom she was doing this, some man perhaps who had captured her heart. A man for whom she knew her passions would run wild, but for whom she knew would hurt her in the long run.

Someone who would be pleased to take Li’s picture. A person who would be skilful enough to not be distracted from the immediate appeal of Li’s naked white breasts. A man with a camera who was experienced enough to know that the expressions on the Africans’ faces were the real theme in this powerful photograph.

Someone who was a professional photographer, someone in Li’s life just like Ana’s Erek ….

I lunged out of bed, groping for Ana’s words. I really wasn’t going to get any sleep that night.


Mei Li has not been seen since posing for this photograph somewhere in the Serengeti, while Ana was last heard to be in London, regretting the loss of her Erek. Ana’s memories are being lovingly transcribed into a new novel by her life-long friend, Ingrid Haring-Mendes, and are to be ready for publishing in 2012.

Although project management includes a lot of writing, Tom Cameron finds his fictional characters give him the most pleasure. They pretend to be people, for they quickly develop a mind of their own, twisting down plot turns far more interesting than the dry paths of daytime technical writing. These pretend people live in fascinating places such as China’s concrete plaza Tiananmen Square, Gaza’s town of Beit Hanoun, and Vietnam’s islands of Ha Long Bay. Tom gave a reading of "Violated Borders" at CJ's Cafe in June.

Our next reaing night at CJ's Cafe in Bronte will beSept 13, starting at 6:30. Everyone invited. More here.

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Michelle Hardy and other agents at Serendipity seek new authors

Serendipity Literary Agency
305 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
http://www.serendipitylit.com/ 

Dawn Michelle Hardy landed in the book business after a friend recommended her for a gig as a personal assistant to New York Times bestselling author Terri Woods  (True to the Game, Dutch trilogy, Alibi).

In 2004, Dawn formed a PR and consulting agency and has planned public relations campaigns for fiction authors signed to Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Kensington/Dafina, as well as nonfiction self-published titles on career, health and empowerment.

She also contributes to Called Magazine, as the Books & Products editor for this lifestyle publication for women in ministry. In between coordinating book releases, attending professional sporting events, and getting her passport stamped, Dawn Michelle is writing her first book, a helpful guide for writers considering the self-publishing route.

Most recently, Dawn joined Serendipity as an associate agent.  She's actively seeking to represent a broad range of projects. She's looking to acquire nonfiction self-help, motivational and empowerment titles,  relationship, pop culture, leadership and non-denominational spiritual books and women's fcition. Feel free to contact her in reference to any nonfiction subject.

Linda Duggins of Hachete Books, author Felicia Pride,
Karen Thomas & literary publicist Gilda Squire
Karen Thomas has also recently joined Serendipity as a senior agent.  Karen began her career as an Editorial Assistant at Berkley Publishing in 1992. She is the Founding Editor of Dafina Books, an African American, award-winning imprint of Kensington Publishing, and a former Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing.

Karen has acquired and edited numerous fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers, including: Teri Woods, Pam Grier, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Sherri Shepherd, Faith Evans, Karrine Steffans, Mary HoneyB Morrison, Tyrese Gibson, Carl Weber, Queen Latifah and Wahida Clark. She has been profiled in prominent publications including spreads in Black Enterprise magazine, Publishers Weekly and Today's Black Woman.

Karen is seeking narrative nonfiction, celebrity, pop culture, memoir, general fiction, women's fiction, romance, mystery, self-help, inspirational, Christian-based fiction and nonfiction including Evangelical.

Foladé Bell is an Associate Agent. She is focused on unearthing the raw potential of new authors ready to enter the collaborative process as well as on assisting existing authors advance their careers.

Foladé is actively seeking to represent a broad range of projects. She is particularly drawn to literary and commercial women’s fiction with a strong sense of story, voice and character; funny and relatable fiction; daring YA books that showcase a fresh, unique perspective; literary mysteries/thrillers that aren’t formulaic or market saturated, contemporary historical fiction, African-American issues, gay/lesbian, Christian fiction, humor and books that deeply explore other cultures. No subject is out-of-bounds. She loves non-fiction that reads like fiction. Feel free to approach her with ideas adapted from blogs or websites with new views on pop culture

Ful submission information and submission form here.
Brian Henry has a "Writing for Children and for Young Adults" workshop coming up on  in Gravenhurst in Muskoka on October 1 (see here), and in St. Catharines on January 14, 2012 (see here).

Also, Brian will be leading "How to Get Published" workshops on August 27 in Woodstock, (see here), on September 24 in Guelph with guest Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid Agency (see here), on Sunday, Oct 23, in Sudbury (see here) and on December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Second Story Press

Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401
Toronto, ON, M5V 2M5, Canada
http://secondstorypress.ca/

Second Story Press is a Canadian feminist press publishing books of special interest to women. Our list is a mix of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. We look for manuscripts dealing with the many diverse and varied aspects of the lives of girls and women. We try to focus on Canadian authors. Note we do not publish poetry, rhyming picture books, or books with anthropomorphized animals.

Submission guidelines here.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Write a Bestseller workshop, Saturday, March 3, World's Biggest Bookstore, Toronto

With book editor Brian Henry & New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong
Saturday, March 3, 2012
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
World's Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward St, Toronto (A block north of Dundas, just west off Yonge St. Map here.)

This workshop will give you the inside scoop on what gives a novel best-selling potential. You’ll learn how to get readers emotionally involved in your story, how to raise tension, control your pacing and keep your readers turning the pages. But you won't just hear about some of the best secrets of the trade; you'll learn how to apply them to give your own writing a sharp new edge.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He has helped many of his students get published, including guest speaker Kelley Armstrong...

The Calling, Kelley's next YA novel
is due out April 2012
Kelley Armstrong lives in Aylmer, south of London, Ontario, with her husband and three children. She used to program computers and attend Brian Henry workshops. Now she writes international bestsellers. Kelley has hit the New York Time’s bestseller list with both her supernatural thrillers for adults and her urban fantasy for teens.

Kelley's principal publishers are Random House Canada, Bantam U.S., and Warner in Britain. To date, she's published more than two dozen books, most recently Spellbound, a supernatural thriller for adults, and The Gathering, for teens. She's also writing a series of illustrated novellas with Subterranean Press.

Check out Kelley's website here.

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

The James McIntrye Poetry contest

The Town of Ingersoll, Ontario, and the Ingersoll Times sponsor this free contest for poets everywhere, of all ages, with prizes awarded in numerous divisions ranging from kindergarten-age poets to adults.

Categories of poetry for the contest:
Rhyming verse, Limerick, Haiku, Free verse

Special awards:
Your poem(s) may be about any topic at all, but in addition to the many awards for the different categories of poems and for the different age groups, there will be a number of special awards:
- The Cheese Poet Laureate for best cheese poem or dairy ode.
- The best poems about Ingersoll Schools
- The J.C. Herbert award for best long poem about Ingersoll, past or present
- The Bonnie Mott award for best poem about famous local people

Contest judges: Brian Henry for the school age division, and Stephanie Gunter for the adult division. Winning poems will be published in the Ingersoll Times. Entries due by mail by hand delivery to the Town of Ingersoll offices or the Ingersoll Library by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 14. (Earlier entries greatly appreciated!) Rules and entry form here. About James McIntyre and more on the contest here.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

“Getting Comfortable” by Brian Henry

Dedicated to my daughter

You lie in my arm,
Just the one arm,
Cradled against my heart,
Bundled in a blankie
The ends tucked tight
To keep you snug
And remind you of the womb.

Your lips purse
In a heart shape
With a tiny O at the centre.
Your breath a sigh
But softer.
You’re as comfortable
As if I knew what I was doing.

I try to feel comfy too.
Sitting in an old easy chair
With big arms,
So neither of us will fall out,
And I have a book.
Because that’s what I do:
I read and I write.
Now we’ll read together.

“Listen to this,” I say.
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree…”

Your eyelids flutter.
Your cheeks pinken with indrawn breath.
Your perfect heart-shaped lips.


Brian Henry is a book editor, creative writing instructor, and the publisher of Quick Brown Fox. As a writer, he usually writes opinion pieces on some of the great issues of the day, but you can read a piece about Brian and his daughter Leah, here, and a piece about Brian and his son William, here. Brian gave a reading of "Getting Comfortable" at CJ's Cafe in June. Our next reading night at CJ's will be Tuesday, Sept 13, from 6:30 to 9:00. (More here.) Hope to see you there.

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

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We're reading out loud at CJ's Cafe in Bronte, Sept 13 ~ everyone invited

Tuesday, September 13
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
CJ’s Cafe, 2416 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville
(On the south side of Lakeshore, just east of Bronte Road, next to Lick’s. Map here.)

Come and hear some of the best emerging writers in the GTA read their work. The line-up includes: Elizabeth Barnes, Fran Peacock, Donna Kirk, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Jennine Ehlers, Joyce Wayne, Karin Weber, Cecilia Popescu, Sherry Isaac, Tom Cameron, and Wayne Tedder.

Don't miss it!

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Association of Italian Canadian Writers flash fiction contest – deadline September 30

Theme: "I'm just a stranger here myself" – finding one's bearings in a strange time, place or condition.

Maximum length: 500 words
1st prize - $500, 2nd prize - $250
Fee: $20 per entry ($10 for AICW members)
Deadline: September 30th, 2011

This contest is open internationally to writers of any cultural affiliation. Entries accepted in English, French, and Italian. Multiple entries welcome. Unpublished work only - no simultaneous submissions.

Full contest rules here. AICW home page here.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weronika Janczuk joins Lynn Franklin Associates, seeks YA, romance, upmarket women's fiction, and crime fiction

Lynn C. Franklin Associates
1350 Broadway
Suite 2015
New York, NY 10018
Publishers Marketplace page for Weronika Janczuk here.
Publishers Marketplace page for Lynn Franklin here.

Weronika Janczuk is a literary agent with Lynn Franklin Associates. Previously she worked with the D4EO Literary Agency and the Bent Agency. She represents a wide range of fiction and non-fiction for young adults and adults alike.

Weronika is actively building her list of authors and is especially looking for young adult fiction, romance, upmarket women's fiction, and crime fiction (ranging from espionage to literary suspense), as well as any experts with a platform on topics of technology, social media, education, or the environment.

Here’s what Weronika has to say for herself:

“As of June '11, I am a literary agent with Lynn Franklin Associates, working closely with president Lynn Franklin. The agency represents a range of high-quality non-fiction writers - including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, ex-executive at Disney Lee Cockerell, ex-president of Ireland Mary Robinson, and more - as well as a selective list of novelists, most particularly Jim Kokoris. Our focus is very international, with annual appearances at all major book fairs in Bologna, London, and Frankfurt.

“I represent primarily fiction at the moment, but am interested in working with writers of all types, be they novelists, memoirists, or real-world experts. I love high-concept works in all genres, but I'm actively looking for any fiction from writers with distinct, fresh voices and superb writing. Many of my novelists' works share the same genre-bending/breaking quality. With non-fiction, I'm interested in proposals for projects that will be read by a wide audience (must have that excellent balance of platform, concept and writing) or smaller books that are groundbreaking in specific/niche ways.

“Though I consider all material, I would currently love to sign more writers of YA, romance, upmarket women's fiction, and crime fiction (ranging from espionage to literary suspense), as well as any experts with a platform on topics of technology, social media, education, or the environment.

“In addition to agenting, I write.”

Query Weronika at: weronika@franklinandsiegal.com 

Include a concise one-page query letter. For fiction and memoir submissions, also include the first five pages of your manuscript. For non-fiction submissions (other than memoir), include a full resume and/or list of relevant qualifications.

Please make sure that you put QUERY in the subject line, you don't attach anything and your manuscript fits within one of the genres that Weronika represents, as listed on her website here: http://www.weronikajanczuk.com/Query

Do not query via snail mail!

Brian Henry has a "Writing for Children and Young Adults" workshop coming up on on August 20 in Oakville (see here), in Gravenhurst in Muskoka on October 1 (see here), and in St. Catharines on January 14, 2012 (see here).

Also, Brian will be leading "How to Get Published" workshops on August 27 in Woodstock, (see here), on September 24 in Guelph with guest Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid Agency (see here), on Sunday, Oct 23, in Sudbury (see here) and on December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kasma on-line magazine pays for science fiction stories


Based in Ottawa, Canada, Kasma SF is a completely free online magazine featuring quality science fiction from some of the genre's brightest new (and sometimes more established) voices. We publish roughly one or two short stories per month.

We are looking for short science fiction between 500 and 4000 words long. Ideally, stories sent to us should be intelligent, with well thought out plots and characters. Beyond this, exactly what happens in your world with your characters is up to you. We enjoy a broad range and don't want to stifle author creativity by having elaborate expectations. Often enough, the best stories come as a surprise.

Though Kasma is a science fiction publication, we have been known to (rarely) make an exception and wander into other genres (e.g. fantasy). We do not accept poetry at this time.

Payment: We pay a flat rate of twenty-five dollars per story that we accept. Payments are made via Paypal only.

Please send us your short story by pasting it within the body of an email. No fancy fonts or formatting please. Send all work to: editors@kasmamagazine.com

Full guidelines here. Home here. Stories here.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"A Man’s Man," a short story by Joan Gardner

She was a prissy thing, born and raised in Toronto, and used to all the amenities a city offered. She dated regularly, but dully, and hadn’t been excited with her choice in men since Jason left. Left with her friend. Ex-friend. Eight months gone.

He still called, though, saying he’d dumped the girl and could they not try again. She’d stopped answering two months ago, letting it go straight to voicemail. She only listened to his messages if she’d had a martini too many. Which happened more often than it should, truth be known.

Her condo was, as she was, immaculate, precise and perhaps a bit sterile. That could actually be literal as she had just passed her 39th birthday and well, she wasn’t stupid; she’d read the reports. Time was marching on.

Her girlfriends were all of a kind. Hard working, hard drinking, well-dressed career women with condos on the lake and Coach purses and two-hundred-dollar hair appointments; streaked and bleached and layered just so.

The girlfriends that had moved on had done just that, moved on, and out, and up, and off. Houses in the north of the city, designer babies, no ups or downs just constant tedium, granite this and granite that, and cookie-cutter husbands manscaped to a hair, so as not to ruin the look of the pristine necklines of their cashmere sweaters under their thousand-dollar suits as they dutifully commuted back and forth.

Somewhat like Jason had been, although his back and forth was between two women. His ups and downs as well come to think of it. Literally. Bastard.

That lifestyle was not on her agenda now. She was done with all that. She would have something different, even though, admittedly, she was leaving it a bit late.

Tomorrow’s client meeting certainly held promise. A large fishing camp in Northern Ontario was looking for a new marketing plan to attract Americans and, having looked through their existing website to get an idea of what their current plan was, the picture of the partner that was coming to tomorrow’s meeting was of extreme interest.

This was no cosmopolitan city boy; this was what you’d call a man’s man. (In Toronto, the only man’s men she came across were like Travis and Jerry, the couple in 2410 and that was something entirely different.) This guy was hard. Not in the “his hard manhood stood aloft” kind of way, but in an “I’ll save you!” kind of way.

Ah, imagination (and a big glass of white wine that was now half-empty) was a great way to take a virtual trip. Wouldn’t her friends just die to see her with a man like this on her arm! Maybe she’d move north to wherever his godforsaken camp was.

She knew absolutely nothing about fishing or boats or even where Northern Ontario was precisely, but suspected it was a good deal farther north than the 401. Someplace she didn’t generally go willingly. Ah, but she would surprise everyone by being not only smart and assertive, but also plucky and adventurous. How hard could it be?

In the conference room the next morning, she glanced at herself in the mirror over the credenza, smoothing her tight skirt over her hips. Perfect. This was going to be a cake-walk. Lunch was arranged for noon at Northside, where the calamari fritti was the best in the city.

Duncan McDonald was ushered in and he definitely was a sight. Pretty well filled up the entire room as well. The red plaid jacket he was wearing matched his ruddy cheeks and he practically oozed health and vitality. Made her partners on the ad team look pallid and weak as they smiled uncomfortably in his large presence.

Introductions were made and hands were grasped and shaken by a mitt the size of a dinner plate. Rough as her emery board, which, she noticed, was not a grooming tool he was familiar with. Was that dirt under his nails as well? And that smell? What in God’s name was he wearing? It was like he’d stored up the very last case of Drakkar from the 80’s and dumped half of it on himself for the “meetin’ with the city folk.”

Whatever. There was money to be made and reckless and adventurous plans afoot; surely she shouldn’t judge somebody on one boorish mistake?

Lunch was a disaster. His voice boomed across the room and he laughed far too easily. He didn’t even know what calamari was and laughed, loudly, when told he was eating squid. He actually picked it up and sniffed it! The expensive, crisp sauvignon that she had ordered was pushed aside and he actually ordered a beer. A beer! Which he drank from the bottle.

He ordered the rainbow trout and wondered aloud, to the waiter, where in the hell the head had gone! He sniffed suspiciously at the perfectly presented and deboned fillet and added a generous shaking of salt without so much as tasting it. Oh. My. God. Kill me now. He shoved aside the artfully piled jicama salad with his knife and said it looked too ‘artsy fartsy” for his tastes.

On his third beer, he suggested that she come and visit the fishing lodge to get a better idea of how they could promote it, and that he was sure she would be taken with its beauty. He then lifted the white linen cloth, high enough that the waiter looked their way for God’s sake, and gave a nod and a wink at her feet and suggested that she might need to buy some boots instead of “those high-heeled struttin’ things.” With the goddamn laugh added, just to piss her off, she was sure.

She felt like sticking the heel of those “struttin’ things” right up his ass but realized that this would not further her so-called plucky plan. She told him that if she was going to consider his offer she could shop for what she needed when she got up there (wherever “there” was), and he told her that the closest store was “Buckeye’s Bait Shop” about 50 km away that sold bait, beer, cigarettes and stale chocolate bars.

To get to “real” shopping would require an eight-hour drive. He then picked up the bottle of beer, sucked backed the dregs and actually burped! She signaled for the waiter, paid the bill, left a generous tip and they got up to leave.

His napkin tumbled to the floor and he bent to pick it up, then held it like a matador’s cape, brandishing it at her as if she was a crazed bull (which was quickly becoming a possibility.). Then he flipped it up on his head, grasped the ends under his chin and starting doing an imitation of a babushka. Oh dear God.

She hurried him out the door and they made their way back to the office, with her having to take two quick strides and strange little hop to his one, making her look like one of those stupid little dogs that people put coats on and yank around on Saturdays mornings while sipping their lattes.

They arrived at the office, her, flushed and puffing and a few perfect hairs out of place. She wasn’t sure whether she actually had a few beads of, oh my god, sweat, on her upper lip? He was, of course, simply himself. A man’s man in a plaid jacket.

She called in her assistant, Martha, whose eyes lit up as soon as she saw him, and advised Martha that she should ready herself for a trip to Mr. MacDonald’s fishing camp in the next couple of weeks. Assuring him of her assistant’s expertise in getting the necessary background work done, he signed all the necessary papers and was escorted out, more than willingly, by Martha.

She kicked off her heels as soon as she got in the front door of her condo. Ah, nothing like wearing four inch stilettos to make one appreciate bare feet, once you got over the initial groan of shortened muscles being stretched, no, ripped into position. Vanity hurt, but as long as you were grimacing in style you were on the right track.

She dumped her briefcase and purse on one of the bar stools and quickly helped herself to a tall glass of wonderfully cold Prosecco. The bubbles soothed on their way down. What a freaking nightmare of a day.

Her cell phone, which she’d placed on the counter when she got her wine, quietly buzzed with a message. Jason’s number flashed across the screen. Ah. Again. This time she retrieved the voice mail. He wanted to know if she wanted to keep the subscription to Bon Appetit or if he could change the address on it and take it over himself. He’d always done most of the cooking and he was actually very good at it; all of a sudden she was starving!

He laughed dryly, in that way that he had, and told her he’d picked up an amazing sauté pan at Holt Renfrew and he was dying to try a few new recipes. She imagined his beautifully buffed nails on the handle of the pan, and smiled. She remembered his light, and wonderfully expensive, cologne.

Ah.

Granite this and granite that couldn’t be that bad, could it?

She picked up the phone and pushed redial.
*
Joan Gardner is a country girl turned city girl turned country girl again and lives on a farm with her husband and various animals. One of which is a teenage daughter. Joan is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as her youngest finishes up high school and two older daughters have already flown the coop, so to speak. Time for me, me, me is becoming available and she is starting to pursue interests, like writing, that were put aside long ago to feed the animals.

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

Extreme Creative Writing course, Wednesday afternoons, Jan 25 – March 14

Eight weeks of creative growth
Wednesday afternoons, 12:30 – 2:45 p.m.
First set of readings distributed Jan 18.
Classes run January 25 – March 14
St Cuthbert's Anglican Church
1541 Oakhill Drive, Oakville. (Map here.)

This course is for people who are working on their own writing. The format is similar to the "Intermediate" and "Intensive" courses: Over the eight classes, you’ll be asked to bring in 4 pieces of your writing 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. You bring whatever you want to work on.

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures at the start of each class, addressing 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 Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he's helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $132.74 plus 13% hst = $150

Advance registration only. These courses usually fill up, so enroll early to avoid disappointment.
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca  

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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bibliospace ~ new website for authors in the west GTA to promote their books

"But Tonight," CJ Martin's poetry collection is
one of the books promoted on Bibliospace.
Hello, Brian.
I’ve developed a new website to help local, independent, and self-published authors promote their books.

It is called bibliospace and, as an Oakville writer, I'm focusing initially on writers on the west side of Toronto. The site will grow with demand, but for now I would like to work with authors in my part of the GTA.

The site includes a detailed listing for each author’s book, consisting of a book summary of up to 250 words, an author bio of up to 150 words, a link to each author’s website, and any additional author contact information (blog, Twitter, Facebook).

In addition to the book listing, there is an alphabetical list of authors and a speakers’ bureau that lists authors by community. The latter page is intended to help book clubs, community groups, libraries, and schools get in touch with authors in their own community for readings and speaking engagements.

I have also added an amazon bookstore with direct links to each author’s books (if they’re on Amazon). There is no charge to submit a book, but I will retain any referral fees from the amazon bookstore. Royalties from all sales go to the author, of course.

I am a marketing writer and self-published author, so I know something of the effort required to market a book. I am hoping that bibliospace will make it easy for people to find and recommend authors from their own community.

Anyone interested in submitting a book, should just go to the website and check it out.

Sincerely,
Crystal Smith
www.bibliospace.ca

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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

You're invited to a book launch for Storyteller by Sherry Isaac


Dear Brian,
After a long journey full of defeat, victory and fun, it's finally here: Storyteller, my collection of short stories, bound and ready for the world. The hopeful seed of publication found sunlight and rain, not to mention a ton of fertilizer, in your workshops, classes and critique sessions. A garden of gratitude to you, and to all of your students that walked this path with me. A writer has blossomed.

Note to all Quick Brown Fox readers: When a publisher calls to say they like your short stories, then asks if you have a collection, the answer is always, "YES!"

Best,
Sherry Isaac

Book launch for Storyteller by Sherry Isaac

"Tales of life, love and forgiveness that transcend all things, including the grave"
Monday, August 29
7 – 9 p.m.
Prana Cafe, 2130 Queen St E, Toronto
Everyone invited!

If you miss the launch, Storyteller is available on-line here.

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

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ronsdale Press

The Way Lies North, by Jean Rae Baxter
published by Ronsdale Press
Ronsdale Press
3350 West 21st Avenue
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6S 1G7
http://ronsdalepress.com/

Children’s Acquisition Editor: Veronica Hatch
General Acquisition Editor: Ronald B. Hatch

Ronsdale Press was established in 1988 as a literary publishing house in order to publish fiction, poetry, biography, regional history, children’s literature, books of ideas, and the occasional scholarly book. Ronsdale has published a wide range of both beginning and established authors.

Authors with manuscripts looking for homes are welcome to send them to the Press. Before you do so, remember that Ronsdale is a literary publisher, which means that it scouts for thoughtful work that extends the way we perceive the world. We also look for writing that shows the author has read widely in contemporary and earlier literature.

Ronsdale, like other literary presses, is not interested in mass-market material. Mystery stories or fiction that is entirely plot-driven should be sent to the publishers who specialize in these forms.

Ronsdale Press can at present accept manuscripts only from Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

Poetry manuscripts: Ronsdale looks for poetry manuscripts which show that the writer reads and is familiar with the work of some of the major contemporary poets. It is also essential that you have published some poems in literary magazines.

Plays: We publish only a limited number of plays.

Children’s and YA books: We publish a number of books for children and young adults in the age 8 to 15 range. We are especially interested in YA historical novels. We regret that we can no longer publish picture books.

Submit by mail only - no electronic submissions. If you're not sure your manuscript it a good fit with Ronsdale, send a query letter with the first three chapters of your manuscript (or first few stories of your collection, or whatever).

If you are persuaded that Ronsdale is the press for you, then you can choose to send the entire manuscript.

For poetry and short stories, put your best work first. If you begin with the weakest and work up, our readers may never reach your masterpieces. Include also a brief bio (half a page will do), and list your previous publications, if you have any.

Full submission guidelines here.

Brian Henry has workshops on "Writing for Children, and for Young Adults" coming up on on August 20 in Oakville (see here), in Gravenhurst in Muskoka on October 1 (see here), and in St. Catharines on January 14, 2012 (see here).

Brian is leading "How to Get Published" workshops on August 27 in Woodstock, Ontario, (see here), on September 24 in Guelph with guest Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid literary agency (see here), on Sunday, Oct 23, in Sudbury (see here) and on December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New literary agent Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency seeks authors

The Seymour Agency
475 Miner Street Road
Canton, New York 13617
http://www.theseymouragency.com/

After a lifetime of battling an addiction to books, Nicole Resciniti admitted she had a problem. Various jobs (SAT tutoring, high school Marine Biology teacher) couldn’t offset the obsession. Mary Sue Seymour offered an answer: become a literary agent.
 
A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives, American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience.

Nicole is seeking romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels; also science fiction/fantasy novels and action/adventure.

Query Nicole by email only at nicole@theseymouragency.com
Send a one-page query pasted in the body of an e-mail. No attachments. Paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your e-mail.

Mary Sue Seymour (left) and author Beth Wiseman
Senior agent Mary Sue Seymour accepts queries in the following genres: Christian, Inspirational, Romance (including category), and Non-Fiction.

In your query, be sure to mention:
- Genre/Target Audience
- Word Count
- Contact Information
- References (conference, recommendation, etc)

Query Mary Sue Seymour by email at marysue@twcny.rr.com
For email queries, a one-page letter will suffice. No attachments please. For snail mail, include the first three chapters, a synopsis, and a SASE for our response. Be sure to include the appropriate postage if you want your materials returned. Otherwise, our policy is to recycle manuscripts.

Brian Henry will be leading "How to Get Published" workshops on August 27 in Woodstock, (see here), on September 24 in Guelph with guest Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid Agency (see here), on Sunday, Oct 23, in Sudbury (see here) and on December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

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

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From “Abandoned by the Muse” by Bieke Stengos-Cammaert

While I search in vain
For winter’s blanket
To cover up my pain
The sun persists
In its seduction
Of birds and unsuspecting buds
Clouds trail airy wisps
Over comfortable cows
Chewing the cud
Amongst tender shoots

O joy of spring
My heart exclaims
Have you returned to us
So soon


Bieke Stengos-Cammaert started writing poetry as a teen and graduated to prose writing over the years.  She has published some poetry and short stories and is now working hard to complete a novel that has been at the periphery of her existence for as long as she can remember.  Tonight, though, she will read some poems from a collection called "Abandoned by the Muse."  This collection was written as an attempt to lure back the muse that had deserted her when the demands of daily life took over and the creative impulse seemed to have died.

On June 23, Bieke gave a reading of her poetry at CJ's Cafe in Bronte. The next reading night at CJ's will be Sept 13, 6:30 - 9:00. All welcome.

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

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Great writing workshops and creative writing courses ~ starting soon!

"How to Write Great Characters"
Saturday, August 13
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The Community Room in Zehrs
472 Bayfield Street, Barrie (Map here)
Whatever you're writing – fiction or nonfiction – to make readers care about your story, you need to make them care about your people. This workshop shows how it's done.  More here.
To register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca  

"Writing for Children
& for Young Adults ~ the world's hottest market"
Saturday, August 20, 2011
10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Oakville Central Library Auditorium (on middle floor)
120 Navy Street, Oakville. (Map here)
Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love, and find out what you need to know to sell your book, and if you have a manuscript in progress, bring along the first couple of pages. More here.
To register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca 

"How to Get Published"
Saturday, August 27, 2011
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Royal Canadian Legion, 576 Brant Street, Woodstock (Map here.)
If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from writing your opening to getting an agent, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. If you like, bring the draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book and/or bring the opening couple pages of your manuscript. More here
To register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca  

Weekly Writing Courses
I have five courses starting in September, but only two of them still have room:

"Exploring Creative Writing"
~ Nine weeks of fun and discovery ~
Monday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
September 26 – December 5
St Cuthbert's Anglican Church, 1541 Oakhill Drive, Oakville. (Map here.)
In this course you'll get a shot of inspiration every week and an 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.
To register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

"Intermediate Creative Writing"
~ 12 weeks of creative growth ~
Classes run Tuesday afternoons, 12:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Sept 27 to Dec 13, with the first set of readings distributed Sept 20.
Unity Church, 3075 Ridegeway Drive, Unit 8, Mississauga (Map here.)
This course is for people who have writing projects they want to work on. (E.g., short stories, memoirs, a novel, or whatever writing you have on the go). More here.
To register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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