Saturday, May 31, 2014

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are getting published

Literary agent Martha Magor Webb
of Anne McDermid and Assosiates
Hi, Brian.
Just have to share that I received a request for the manuscript of my novel Coyote Wedding from Martha Magor Webb of the Anne McDermid Agency. All credit goes to your fine suggestions for my query letter. Will keep you posted and a million thanks,
Sohan Koonar
Note: I helped Sohan with his query at a “How to Get Published” workshop. These workshops always include a query letter clinic, and I’ve got two of them coming up: in Ottawa on June 22 with literary agent Maria Vicente (see here), and in Oakville on Sept 27 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here). – Brian

Dear Brian,
Just yesterday I submitted my new novel to my agent in Toronto. Let's hope he likes it!
It's always such a waiting game. It is an entirely different novel from my last one (no satire, nothing futuristic) and takes place between Ottawa and Israel, but mostly in Israel of the early 1990s. 
Best wishes,
Gila Green
Read a review of Gila’s first novel, King of the Class, here.

Hi, Brian.
The second novel in my Max Dexter Mystery series, A Deadly Venture, will be published this Fall by Seraphim Editions.
I do appreciate your ongoing support, Brian.
Cheers,
Chris Laing
For information on submitting to Seraphim Editions, see here. For a review of Chris’s first novel, A Private Man, see here.

Hi, Brian.
Got some great news today, after class. My short story “Waiting” has been accepted for publication in CommuterLit’s second print anthology – wowzers – how exciting!
See you next week in class,
Hannah

Hi, Brian.
I've sure had a good run lately. I received an email from Commuterlit yesterday. They informed me that my story “Serena's Journey Home” was accepted for the second CommuterLit anthology. So happy to be in both their books. Wonderful.
Cheers,
Phyllis Humby

Author Diane Simpson
Hi, Brian.
I am thrilled to tell you, and anyone else I come across, that my short story, "Listing Larry" has been accepted by commuterlit!  It will be up next week along with a bio and picture, two very intimidating things to post. If you have the space please mention my story. 
I also wanted to mention that I recently attended the seminar on query letters.  It opened my third eye!  It increased my understanding and gave me the confidence to pitch with personality. 
 You rock.
Diane Simpson, officially published.
Note: You can read Diane's story, Listing Larry, here. 
For information about submitting to CommuterLit, see here, and to read about their new contest, see here.

Hi, Brian.
Thanks for your latest newsletter, always filled with lots of good stuff for writers.
The second in my Loyalist trilogy, The Loyalist’s Luck, is due out in the fall. Meanwhile I am excited and pleased to announce that I have been awarded a Pay it Forward Award from the Writers Community of Durham Region, of which I am a member.
Living my dream has brought me wonderful success as a speaker. The historical and Loyalist aspects of my books are attractive to many groups and I’m enjoying a kind and friendly reception. To date I’ve done over thirty presentations. So much fun.
Thanks for your part in getting me started in that extreme editing course in Oakville.
All the best,
Elaine Cougler 

Author Sandra Ziemniak
Hi, Brian.
I just wanted to let you know that my story, “When There's a Puzzle in the Checkers Box,” was short-listed for The Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition!  They’re submitting the story on my behalf to three magazines for possible publication. I have my fingers crossed.
Thanks for all your help in the past,
Sandra Ziemniak
You'll have to wait to read Sandra's winning short story, but you can check out her review of Erin Morgenstern's Night Circus here.
For information about the Writers' Union of Canada's short prose competition, see here.

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


Friday, May 30, 2014

New book: Sunrise from an Icy Heart by Claudette Alexander

Hi, Brian.
I have done a few of your courses and now my debut self-published book Sunrise From An Icy Heart: A Memoir is available at here.
Thanks,
Claudette  Alexander

In Sunrise from an Icy Heart, Alexander chronicles her journey into womanhood from age 22 to 59. Her first love left her alone and pregnant. She searched for love but encountered stormy weather until her heart grew as frigid as the North American winters. It would take a special man to crack through her icy heart...

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writing With Style workshop, Saturday, Oct 25, in Mississauga

“Writing with Style” 
Saturday, October 25, 2014
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Cawthra Park United Church, 1465 Leda Ave, Mississauga (Map here.)

If you do any kind of creative writing, fiction or nonfiction, this workshop is for you. We’ll tackle the nitty-gritty of putting words on paper in a way that will grip the reader’s imagination. 
You'll learn how to avoid common errors that drain the life from your prose. And you'll discover how to make your writing more vivid, more elegant and more powerful.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Fee: 34.51 + 13% hst = 39 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 37017 + 13% hst = 
42 if you wait to pay at the door

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

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


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Deux Voiliers Publishing ~ a writers collective looking to publish new Canadian novelists

Deux Voiliers Publishing {DVP} is an initiative of Ian Thomas Shaw, who writes under the nom de plume Con Cรบ (owl in Vietnamese). Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

Organized as an informal writers-plus collective, Deux Voiliers is a new generation publisher. We seek to match and surpass traditional publishers in producing high quality works of fiction accessible to readers everywhere. The art of creating new works of fiction is our driving force. 

DVP loves public libraries. They are fabulous institutions for nurturing the imagination and creativity of future generations. So if you see a great book in our collection, don't just buy it for yourself but recommend it to your local public library for the benefit of other readers.

Deux Voiliers is named after a painting by Quebec artist, Sacha Barrette. The painting depicts two sailboats (deux voiliers in French) crossing turbulent water. The first sailboat cuts through the rough waters to ease the path of the second. The painting reflects how in life, one person often clears the obstacles for another and underscores the collective spirit of our micropress.

DVP is looking to publish a few very good first-time Canadian novelists in 2014. Before submitting a manuscript, please bear in mind that DVP is more of a writers-plus collective than a traditional small press. While all profits on book sales are passed back to the authors, the authors are expected to volunteer their time to evaluate new submissions, copy-edit, proofread and promote the work of other DVP authors.

Non-author associates are also welcome to join on a volunteer basis, i.e. copy editors, proofreaders, graphic artists, book reviewers (we have two associated book review web sites), search-engine optimizers, web designers, social media specialists, etc. We seek to optimize creative fun for everyone!

Please note that although we are a very small general fiction publisher, our editorial selection process is quite tough. We will evaluate each submission for its quality, the potential of the author and how it fits with other DVP titles.

When new writers show promise but still require significant editorial assistance, we will work with these writers not only to enable them to up their game but also to gain the exposure needed for their subsequent works to be picked up by larger trade publishers. In this way, we hope to make lasting contributions to the success of the authors' careers.

Deux Voiliers Publishing is also committed to promoting other emerging Canadian authors by organizing innovative collective book readings, reviewing their novels, and advertising events in Canada's literary community.  If you would like to benefit from any of these activities, feel free to contact us.

We do not publish poetry, vampire-werewolf-zombie fiction or commercial erotica.

Submissions: Email a copy of the full manuscript to deuxvoiliers@gmail.com
“If you wish to write a synopsis, that is fine. However, we will commit to reading at least the first two chapters of any submission.”

P.S. Be sure to check out their website; it's beautifully designed: http://www.deuxvoilierspublishing.com/  

Carly Watters
Brian Henry will lead “How to Get Published" workshops in Ottawa on June 22 with literary agent Maria Vicente (see here), and in Oakville on Sept 27 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here).

And Brian will lead a "Writing for Children & for Young Adults" workshop on May 31 in Burlington (see here).

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. You can check out all three courses Brian will be offering this summer here

He'll be offering 
“Writing your life & other personal stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Mississauga (see here), “Next Step in Creative Writing” on Wednesday evenings (see here) and “Intensive Creative Writing” on Wednesday afternoons (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, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Three literary agents at Foreword Literary seek new authors

Michelle Richter
Foreword Literary

Foreword Literary is a full-service literary agency based in California’s Silicon Valley with offices throughout the country. “We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship.

Michelle Richter has a degree in Economics with a minor in Russian from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and left a career in finance and banking for publishing. She joined St. Martin’s Press’ editorial department in 2006 after obtaining a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. While at St. Martin’s, Michelle edited Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart, among others, and worked on a variety of fiction and nonfiction.

Michelle is primarily seeking fiction, specifically book club reads, literary fiction, and well-crafted women’s commercial fiction, thrillers and mysteries (amateur sleuth, police procedurals and smart cozies). Her favorite authors include Laura Lippman, Harlan Coben, Richard Russo, Tom Perrotta, Chelsea Cain, and Gillian Flynn.

For nonfiction, she’s interested in fashion, film, television, science, medicine, sociology/social trends, and economics for trade audiences.

She has a soft spot for fiction and nonfiction in and about Boston/Massachusetts, Ireland, and Russia.

Include a 1-2 page plot synopsis and the first twenty pages of your manuscript (presumably pasted into the body of your email).

Emily S. Keyes
Emily S. Keyes joined Foreword Literary in 2013 after working as an agent at the L. Perkins Agency for two years. Before entering the world of agenting, she worked in the contracts department of Simon & Schuster and graduated from New York University’s Center for Publishing. She uses her knowledge of contracts, copyright and the publishing business to benefit her clients and the Foreword team.

Emily is a particular lover of all types of young adult and middle grade books. She wants to represent the kind of stories that will resonate with kids for the rest of their lives. She loves strong voices and unique characters, not knock-offs or trend chasers. Some of her favorite authors include Deb Caletti, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gary D. Schmidt, and Megan Whalen Turner. She thinks books are best when they make you laugh and cry.

Emily is also looking for a select list of commercial fiction which includes fantasy & science fiction, women’s fiction, new adult fiction, along with pop culture and humor titles. She is not looking for poetry, short stories, picture books or anything that is publishable but not amazing.

If your manuscript is amazing, query Emily at: queryemily@forewordliterary.com
Include the first ten pages pasted into the body of the email. No attachments.

Connor Goldsmith
Connor Goldsmith is an Associate Agent at Foreword Literary. He began his career in publishing in the fall of 2012 at Lowenstein Associates, where he was promoted to Associate Agent in March 2013. 

Prior to transitioning into the world of books, he spent a year as a full-time intern and relief assistant in the commercial film and television department at Abrams Artists Agency.

Born and raised in New York, Connor lived for a brief stint in the Midwest studying English and the Classics at Oberlin College in Ohio. He is passionate about narrative fiction across all media as a vehicle for social progress, and will receive his Master’s Degree in Media Studies from The New School for Public Engagement in May 2014.

In Fiction, Connor is seeking Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror, Thrillers, Upmarket Commercial Fiction, and Literary Fiction with a unique and memorable hook. He is especially interested in books by and about people from marginalized perspectives, such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities. Connor does not represent Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Children’s manuscripts at this time.

In Non-fiction, Connor is only seeking authors who are recognized experts with established platforms. Fields of interest include history (particularly of the ancient world), theater, cinema, music, television, mass media, popular culture, feminism and gender studies, LGBT issues, race relations, and the sex industry. He is not interested in unsolicited memoir submissions.

Include a 1-2 page plot synopsis, and the first ten pages of your manuscript. Please paste all content into the body of the email; attachments will not be opened.

Maria Vicente
Brian Henry will lead “How to Get Published” workshops in Ottawa on June 22 with literary agent Maria Vicente (see here), and in Oakville on Sept 27 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here).

Also, Brian will lead a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop on May 31 in Burlington (see here).


But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. You can check out all three courses Brian will be offering this summer here

He'll be offering 
“Writing your life & other personal stories” on Tuesday afternoons in Mississauga (see here), “Next Step in Creative Writing” on Wednesday evenings (see here) and “Intensive Creative Writing” on Wednesday afternoons (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, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

“It’s Murder,” a short story by Jim Speare


A beautiful blonde in a low cut dress walked into a police station.  From behind his desk, Constable Stylo had followed her progress across the foyer with great interest.

"My husband is going to murder me tonight," she said. 

Cops love it when people talk dirty like that.  They can't help it.  It's genetic.  His day had just gone from zero to sixty in four seconds.  "How do you figure?" he said.

"He's a writer.  He wrote a story about it."  She held up a sheaf of papers.

"That wasn't very smart of him."

"I said he was a writer. I didn't say he was smart."  She gazed at Constable Stylo through misty blue eyes and touched him lightly on the wrist. The contact was electric. "Can you help me, officer?"

She seemed forlorn and sexy all at the same time. Constable Stylo felt his protective instincts begin to rise.  He squirmed in his seat a little in an attempt to straighten it out.

He selected a form and began to write.  To be helpful and to ensure that he got everything he needed, she leaned in towards him.  The shift in weight caused her top to open even more, revealing the fullness of her breasts. The constable took careful note.  He had always fancied himself detective material and now, unexpectedly, he had a chance to practice. 

Is that bra made of black satin?  he mused, imagining how it must feel.  And what do you suppose that little bow is for?   He wrote clean off the side of the page.

"So can you come," she asked drawing one perfectly manicured and polished fingernail across the manly hardness of his name tag, "Constable Stylo?" 

Sensing he might have have missed something, Stylo, still firmly in charge said, "Um, what?"

"Can you come, silly?  Tonight.  To protect me."

That evening she stood beside the large open window in her husband's office as he entered.  On his desk was a wooden box. 

"What's this?" he said.

"It's a present. I think we should act out that scene in your book.  It might make it seem more realistic, and finally get something going.  Fiction has to make sense, you know."

He nodded sagely.  "Tom Clancy’s words of advice?"

"Yes.  It shouldn't take this long to write a best seller," she said.   "Do you know that I can read one in two or three weeks?  We can barely pay the rent and I haven't been on a vacation all year.  Soon we'll have to cash in your life insurance!"

He opened the box.  "It's a gun!" He was after all a little bit smart.

"Yes.  Now pretend you're going to murder me.  Let's see if we can get something started." 

Her husband picked up the gun and pointed it menacingly.  He muttered threatening words.

Constable Stylo was busy detecting just outside the window.  When Ash lifted the gun, he sprang up from the azaleas like a Labrador on point.   He raised his weapon, prepared to defend the peace.  He lowered it briefly to switch off the safety and raised it again, armed and dangerous. 

"Stop!" he cried.  "Don't do it!"

At that very instant there was a tremendous bang as a precariously balanced chair crashed to the floor, assisted by the foot of Mrs. Ash.  She let loose a bloodcurdling scream and fell, clutching her chest.

As she did, Stylo's weapon took on a life of its own.  It exploded like a thing possessed, sending bullets blazing directly through the window and Mr. Ash fell to the ground dead.

                                                            *          *          *
Shortly after arrival in Tahiti, the ex Mrs. Andrew Ash found a good spot on the beach and basked in the sunshine.  She was enjoying the colourful frosty concoctions known as hummingbirds, made by the obliging young man with the rippling mahogany muscles who delivered them whenever she beckoned. 

She stretched luxuriously on her lounger with such feline grace that she inspired more than a few spilled drinks and glances of vastly differing sorts amongst the male and female occupants of the beach. 

She had felt she should get far, far away from her troubles.  So far in fact that neither she nor her lawyer could find mention of an extradition treaty.   Also so far that it now seemed her large supply of recently acquired dollars might not last as long as she wished.

A cloud passed over her.  She frowned and moved her floppy hat aside.  She looked up through her designer sunglasses at Constable Stylo. 

"Fresh drink dear?" he asked boyishly.  His skin was pasty white,  his shirt a little too flamboyant.

                                                            *          *          *

A well tanned officer watched as the beautiful blonde walked into his police station in Tahiti.

"My boyfriend is planning to murder me," she said to him, tears spilling from her deep, blue eyes.

"And how do you know that, Miss?"

"He's a writer," she said sniffling.  "He wrote a story about it."

"That wasn't very astute of him," he said, gazing at the enchanting creature before him. 

"I said he was a writer.  I didn't say he was astute."  As she made her appeal she leaned forward in her deliciously full bikini. 

The constable became moved, and had to adjust his seating position

"You're the only one who can help me," she purred, touching him lightly on the arm.  "Have you ever felt the urge to travel?"


Jim Speare lives in a quiet wooded neighbourhood overlooking Lake Simcoe.  Recently he has resumed creative writing by attending Brian Henry seminars and critique groups when time permits.  He is currently wrestling with his first novel.



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