Monday, February 3, 2014

Great workshops this month: Writing Your Life with Ross Pennie, How to Write a Bestseller with bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, and How to Get Published with literary agent Martha Magor Webb

The Georgetown Wordsmiths present…
“Writing your life & other true stories”
Saturday, February 8
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
St. Alban's Church, 537 Main Street, 
Georgetown, Ontario (Map 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. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don't miss this workshop.

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, Dr. Ross Pennie...

Ross Pennie is the author of The Unforgiving Tides, a doctor’s memoir of Papua New Guinea (Manor House Publishing). Ross also writes medical mystery novels, published by ECW Press. The first of these, Tainted, came out in 2010 and won Arts Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction.  Ross’s second mystery, Tampered, came out in 2011, and the third Up in Smoke came out October 16. (Ross's mysteries are available for sale here). At the workshop, Ross will speak on how to turn ordinary life into dramatic material and will answer questions about how he wrote his memoir and got it published.

Fee:  $44 paid in advance by mail or $48 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email:

“How to Write a Bestseller”
With book editor Brian Henry & New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong 
Saturday, February 15, 2014
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario (Map 

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….

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, Dutton and HarperCollins in the U.S. and Doubleday in Britain. To date, she's published more than two dozen books, most recently Omens, a supernatural thriller for adults, The Rising for teens, and Loki’s Wolves for Middle Grade readers. 

Bitten, A TV series based on Kelley’s Woman of the Otherworld series is currently filming and will be broadcast in 2014. 

Fee:  $44 paid in advance by mail or $48 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email

Literary agent Martha Magor Webb
of Anne McDermid and Assosiates
The Burlington Public Library presents…
“How to Get Published”
~ An editor & an agent tell all ~
Saturday February 22, 2014
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Burlington Public Library, 2331 New Street, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

Note: Brian will also lead “How to Get Published" workshops in Thessalon in Algoma on March 23 (see here), in Guelph on April 12 with literary agent Sam Hiyate (see here), in London on April 19 with literary agent Olga Filina (see here), and in Stouffville on May 24 with literary agent Carly Watters (see 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!

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, 3 copies could be helpful.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Guest speaker, Martha Magor Webb, is a literary agent, director and full partner at Anne McDermid and Associates. The McDermid agency represents literary novelists and commercial novelists of high quality and writers of nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, literary travel, popular science, investigative journalism and true crime. The agency also represents a certain number of children's and YA writers and writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.

The McDermid agency's clients include distinguished literary novelists such as David Adams Richards (Winner of the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award for both fiction and nonfiction), Nino Ricci, Andrew Pyper, Michael Winter, Michael Crummey, and Alison Pick.

The agency also represents nonfiction authors, such as Charles Montgomery, Andrew Westoll, and James MacKinnon, all three of whom won the prestigious Charles Taylor prize for literary nonfiction in their years of publication.

The agency also represents upmarket commercial fiction writers, such as Leah McLaren from the
 Globe and Mail, Andrew Pyper, Robert Wiersema, and Peter Darbyshire. (More on the McDermid Agency here.)

Martha represents a growing list of writers, focusing on literary fiction, narrative nonfiction (including memoir and true crime) and ideas-driven nonfiction. 

Her clients include Pasha Malla (long-listed for the Giller, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, winner of the Danuta Gleed and the Trillium awards), Damian Tarnopolsky (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the award), Russell Smith, Jessica Grant, (winner of the First Novel and the Winterset awards), Grace O'Connell, Matt Lennox, Andrew Westoll, and Karen Le Billon, whose first book French Kids Eat Everythingsold into thirteen countries and translated into ten languages.

More about the McDermid agency here.

Fee:  $44 paid in advance by mail or $48 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email

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.

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