Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Literary agents Anna Olswanger & Moncia Odom at Liza Dawson Associates seek new authors

Anna Olswanger
Liza Dawson Associates
350 7th Avenue
Suite 2003
New York, NY 10001

Here’s what the Dawson agency has to say about themselves:

“We are a full-service, highly selective literary agency based in New York City. Every day we draw on our expertise as former publishers to ensure that the material we submit stands out. We’re fascinated by how books and ideas spread, and so we’re deeply involved in all aspects of maximizing a book’s life in the marketplace – including the digital, film and licensing worlds.

“We’ve helped journalists and academics discover the nonfiction book they're truly excited to write – and that mainstream publishers are eager to acquire. We’ve re-built careers and we’ve launched first-time novelists. Many of our titles are award winners. We’ve had great success in the international market. Last year, three of our titles were on the New York Times bestseller list, for a total of seventy-two weeks. Our goal is to build long-lasting careers.”

Agent Anna Olswanger joined Liza Dawson Associates in 2005 and represents award-winning children's books authors, but she’s actively looking for new clients.

Anna is herself an author of children’s books. Her Shlemiel Crooks (Junebug/NewSouth) was a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a PJ Library Book. Her book Greenhorn, is being made into an independent.

Anna enjoys discovering new authors and illustrators. She is looking for "voice," the sound and rhythm of an author that could be no one else's, and has a special interest in children's picture books (author-illustrators only), adult nonfiction, Judaica, and animal stories.

Include the first five pages the first five pages of your manuscript into the body of your email. 

The newest member of the team – and the agent most in need of clients – is Associate Agent Monica Odom. She is also the agency's manager of finance and social media. Monica graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Montclair State University, and is now a candidate for her Masters in Publishing from New York University. 

Prior to joining LDA, Monica interned at Joelle Delbourgo Associates, New Jersey Business Magazine, and MTV Networks' Public Affairs department.

Monica is building her client list with a focus on literary fiction, women's fiction and voice-driven memoir, as well as a focus on nonfiction in the areas of pop culture, food and cooking, history, politics, and current affairs.

Monica is looking for writers with big ideas who push the boundaries of storytelling and its traditional forms. She is especially interested in writers with strong social media platforms who have something original to say.

Include the first ten pages of your manuscript as an attachment.

There are also five other agents at Liza Dawson Associates, all looking for new authors. They represent many different kinds of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults. Check out what they’re looking for here.

Literary agent Olga Filina
of The Rights Factory will 
be our guest speaker at the
"How to Get Published"
workshop, Saturday, April 19,
in London. Details here.
Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Publishedworkshop with guest speaker Martha Magor Webb of the Anne McDermid literary agency in Oakville on Feb 22 (see here). He’ll also lead “How to Get Published" workshops in Thessalon in Algoma on March 23 (see here) and in London on April 19 (see here).

Also, Brian will lead a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop in Caledon at the Bolton Library on Jan 18 (see here).

Brian also has a number of weekly courses coming up in January. You can scroll through the details for all of them here

He'll lead a “Writing your life & other true stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington (see here) and a “Welcome to Creative Writing” course on Tuesday evenings in Burlington (here).

Brian will lead Next Step courses on Tuesday mornings in Burlington (see here), Thursday afternoons in Mississauga (here) and Thursday evenings in Georgetown (here); and he'll lead “Intensive” courses for more experienced writers on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington (here) and Wednesday evenings in Mississauga (see here).

To register or for more details of any course or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, reviewed by Sally Wylie

Published by Hamish Hamilton, Canada. Available for sale here.

Many would say that this book is a refreshing retake of 17th century Canadian History, and that the scenes of torture are difficult to read, or that Joseph Boyden is a gifted writer.  They would all be right. But what is important about this book is the Orenda.

If you went to Northern Ontario, stood on the grey granite turned black by rain, smelled the fall leaves, and felt the bark of different trees, you might touch the soul of Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda.  According to natives, the orenda is the spirit/soul of everything.  It is at the heart of the beliefs and way of life of both the Huron (Haudenosaunee) and Iroquois (Wendat). 

The orenda is the inner story of this book and nature is both the backdrop and itself a character.  Nature in its bounty and cruelty define the Huron and the Iroquois.  Both tribes read the waters, listen to the winds and are one with it.  Even though the two tribes are enemies throughout the story, they are part of the same oneness with their land. 

However, when Christophe and the other Jesuits come with their sincere desire to covert the heathen, both the Iroquois and the Huron know their uneasy balance is upset.  Both tribes know they must lure the missionaries with their iron weapons to their side. Both know that each will befriend the crows if they see the advantage, or torture the Jesuits if it pleases them.

The story begins with Bird, a Huron who has killed the family of Snow Falls, a young Iroquois girl. Snow Falls is taken captive, along with Christophe, the Jesuit priest.  The crow, as Christophe is called because of his black cloak and squawking tongue that neither tribe understands, has been and will be tortured. 

Joseph Boyden
Both captives fear their fate with Bird and the Hurons, yet from those opening pages, the three main characters are bound together in a triad of hate, suspicion, redemption and hope.  It is through Bird, Snow Falls and Christophe that we see how their beliefs sustain them, how their hopes rise and fall with snow, drought and constant threat of the Iroquois.

We begin to know Bird and his love for his dead family expressed every day and during their ceremonies which revere the dead.  Snow Falls grows up, hating and loving Bird, seeing him as a father figure; she changes in spite of herself, and finds love with her own family. Christophe eventually inherits two other missionaries:  Isaac and Gabriel.  He begins to see that despite his sufferings, he is establishing Catholicism in the heathen world.

One of my favourite characters is Fox, the steadfast and amusing friend of Bird.  Winter finds their tribe starving.   Bird and Fox find the tracks of a large deer. What ensues is an epic battle between the buck and the two Huron ending its life with bare hands and a knife. 

From these pages we see their life as a brutal reality, requiring daily valour, but Fox affirms with pride the normalcy of their life saying, “the story of how we got it will be a good one to tell”.  Other characters such as Sleeps Long, Carries an Axe, Hot Cinder, and Gosling play secondary roles, but they give understanding to the complexities of the main characters and the Huron way of life.

The orenda/spiritual belief weaves throughout the story.  Christophe, Bird and Snow Falls struggle with their gods or spirits asking why they have been forsaken, denied while they look for ways to appease, make amends and finding meaning.  On one italicized page, Boyden, through Aataentsic, the Huron’s ancient sky woman, says:

...the question she (Aataentsic) begs is the one each of us needs to ask.  How do you keep going when all that you love has been lost? ......For those with grander ambitions, perhaps it’s this:  If success is measured in one way, then how should we measure defeat?”

Her questions are universal. They ask fundamental questions of us all, which is why this multilayered story resonates with readers; it takes them beyond a revision of history or a story of old tortures long gone from the native peoples, but not from this world.

Sally Wylie has recently retired from her career in Early Childhood Education.  In 2012, she co-authored her 4th edition of the text titled Observing Young Children: Transforming early learning through reflective practice with Nelson Publishing.  She has published numerous articles in Canadian Journals on subjects relating to early childhood.  She is happy to finally be writing fiction and be part of a writing circle!

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Three new books: Blooma and the Portal by C.M. Hunter, Fire & Ice by Michel Barrow-Belisle, and Aggie's Voice by Donna Mann

Hi, Brian.
I first met you when I took a course with you at George Brown College.  Then again at one of your Creative Writing seminars, and a “How to get published” seminar … all of which helped me in one way or another to becoming a published author of my first children’s middle grade novel:  Blooma and the Portal, published by Sun Dragon Press.
Thank you very much!
Christine
C.M. Hunter

Blooma and the Portal  (for tweens, ages 8 to 12)
Blooma May Buckles is the new girl in town.  She’s adjusting fairly well to life in Japan despite the fact that she misses her best friend back home in Canada, she has no job and her father works too much.  To make matters worse, she falls through a portal into a different dimension and must wait one full week before she can return home.  

 Turns out, the place she ends up in isn’t that bad, filled with adventure, a pie-room, other children who have fallen through portals from different places in the world and soccer playing robots, Blooma’s favourite sport.  Will she ever get back through the portal, back home to her parents?  And why does everyone call her Blooma when that’s not her real name?

Blooma and the Portal is available for sale here.
For information on submitting to Sun Dragon Press, see here.


Hi, Brian.
I want to let you know that my new book, Fire & Ice in my Faerie Song trilogy, has been released with Astraea Press. It’s available from Amazon here on Kobo here and from Barnes & Noble here.
Thanks so much again for your help!
Best wishes,
Michele Barrow-Belisle

See the submission guidelines for Astaea Press here.


Hi, Brian.
I'm very excited about The Brucedale Press announcing that Aggie's Voice will be included in their 2013 publications. 
The press release states: On Agnes Macphail's birthdate, March 24, we announced the fall publication of Aggie's Voice by Donna Mann. This third book recreates 1908-1910 when Agnes attended Stratford Collegiate then Stratford Normal School for her teacher training. It ends when she begins her career at USS #7 Saugeen and Arran. 

More details here.
Thank you, Brian, for your ongoing workshops where as participants, we gain valuable insight and encouragement.
Donna Mann
http://www.donnamann.org
http://meadowlane.homestead.com (Children's audio/pdf/e-books)


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas & a boffo Boxing Day



Talented cats sing "Silent Night"



Ol' Blue Eyes sings "Let it Snow"


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Christmas with Cats," by Cecilia-Anca Popescu


My crazy cats
A blond and a brown
Are chasing around
My train on tracks
Under the tree
As I sing aloud
“Thank God it’s Christmas!”
With Freddy Mercury.

Holyday’s Spirit got
In these creatures again,
I’d better save the train
And take them to my spot
Beside the fireplace,
While I have eggnog
We’ll sing along a song,
Softly purr Amazing Grace.


Cecilia-Anca Popescu left Romania in 1993, shortly after the Revolution. Today she is managing a chemical lab in her country of adoption. Burdened with the nostalgia of every Romanian immigrant, Cecilia-Anca Popescu writes about the drama of the expat, about her life experiences, and sometimes about her cats.

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Literary agent Rebecca Friedman seeks suspense, women’s fiction, romance, YA, journalistic nonfiction and memoir

Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency
Greater Los Angeles area,
California

Rebecca Friedman (formerly of Sterling Lord Literistic and Sanford Greenburger) has started her own agency. Rebecca Friedman Literary is a full service agency, representing a wide-ranging list of fiction and non-fiction authors.

Rebecca is interested in commercial and literary fiction with a focus on literary novels of suspense, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and young adult, as well as journalistic nonfiction and memoir. “Most of all," she says, "we are looking for great stories told in strong voices.”

Authors are requested to submit a query letter and first chapter (no more than fifteen pages double-spaced) to: Abby@rfliterary.com
Rebecca’s email is: rebecca@rfliterary.com


Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Published" workshop with guest speaker Martha Magor Webb of the Anne McDermid literary agency in Oakville on Feb 22 (see here). He’ll also lead “How to Get Published" workshops in Thessalon in Algoma on March 23 (see here) and in London on April 19 (see here).

Karen Le Billon, author of
French Kids Eat Everything, is
represented by Martha Magor Webb

of the McDermid Agency.
Also, Brian will lead a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop in Caledon at the Bolton Library on Jan 18 (see here).

Brian also has a number of weekly courses coming up in January. You can scroll through the details for all of them here

He'll lead a “Writing your life & other true stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington (see here) and a “Welcome to Creative Writing” course on Tuesday evenings in Burlington (here).

Brian will lead Next Step courses on Tuesday mornings in Burlington (see here), Thursday afternoons in Mississauga (here) and Thursday evenings in Georgetown (here); and he'll lead “Intensive” courses for more experienced writers on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington (here) and Wednesday evenings in Mississauga (see here).

To register or for more details of any course or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ice storm



We've got our power back! Spent yesterday with the family. Took eldest child shopping and actually found a store that was open. They only had emergency lighting and no escalators, but they were carrying on, nonetheless! Hope everyone else is doing okay, too.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Two poems by Kim McDonald

“Shining Couple,” by Georgeta Blanaru
Ancient Melody

Our bodies dance together
To an ancient melody
Each tender touch of skin on skin
In perfect harmony

Each note strikes a chord
A tug on my heartstrings
Everlasting music
Your soul to my soul brings

Your sensual touch, your Lover’s kiss
Like none I’ve ever known
As passion builds, my body sings
Your song that calls me home



I Wish
"Wish to Fly," Sandi Gayle Stefkovich
I wish that I could be with you
Drawn into your embrace
To tilt my chin and see your eyes
Your hands cradling my face

I wish that I could be with you
And feel your lips brush mine
Your kiss, first soft, grows passion filled
Your touch is so divine

I wish that I could be with you
To linger in your smile
To lay my head upon your chest
And stay quiet for a while

I wish that I could be with you
More than just now and then
To calm my restless breathless soul
And at last come home again

*
Kim McDonald lives in Brampton, Ontario, with her husband, two children and loveable but stubborn Boxer Lab. Inspired as a child by the poems of Shel Silverstein, she is rediscovering her love of poetry and the lighter side of life.  You can read more  poems by Kim McDonald here and here.


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Algoma, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.