Monday, March 28, 2016

Writing for Children & for Young Adults, with literary agent Rachel Letofsky on April 2, with Yasemin Uçar, senior editor, Kids Can Press on April 30, and with author Alan Cumyn on May 29

The Calling a YA novel by Kelley Armstrong,
New York Times #1 bestselling author
and one of Brian's students
Writing for Children & for Young Adults ~ the world’s hottest market
Offered in three locations:
Saturday, April 2, 2016
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grace United Church, 350 Grove Street East, Barrie, Ontario (Map here.)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, Ontario (Map here.)
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Nepean Sportsplex, Hall E, 1701 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa, Ontario (Map here)

If you want to write the next best-selling children’s books or just want to create stories for your own kids, this workshop is for you. Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love and find out what you need to know to sell your book.

Special option: You may, but don't have to, bring 3 copies of the opening couple pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or 1,000 words if that will get you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter.) If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started on the spot!

Workshop leader 
Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown FoxCanada’s most popular blog for writers and is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing Inc). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published.

Rachel Letofsky
In Barrie, on April 2, our guest speaker will be Rachel Letofsky a literary agent with the Cooke Agency. The Cooke Agency represents literary and commercial fiction (including science fiction, fantasy and crime), narrative-driven non-fiction in the areas of popular culture, science, history, natural history, politics, and personal reference, plus middle grad and young adult books.
The Cooke Agency represents many national and international award-winning authors of quality fiction and nonfiction, including John Irving, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Catherine Gildiner, Mary Novik, Nancy Richler, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Joyce Wayne. The Cooke Agency’s clients are routinely long-listed, short-listed and awarded prizes for the high quality of their work.
Rachel is actively seeking ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and young adult titles in all genres. She is drawn to works with a whimsical nature or a grounded, gritty edge in equal measure, though in either instance, unforgettable characters and original concepts are a must.
She also has a natural soft-spot for exquisite literary fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs and anything quirky and life affirming. Rachel is particularly committed to working with previously unpublished authors in a focused, collaborative and hands-on manner.
Rachel's clients include middle grade authors Nikki Vogel and Deirdre Baker, author of the beloved book, Becca at Sea, published by Groundwood, and the young adult author Janice Lynn Mather, author of Learning to Breathe, which was nominated for the HaperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize. She also represents multiple award-winning poet and novelist Méira Cook – whose new novel Night Watching was published by HarperCollins Canada in 2015; Kim Gaal, a fresh voice in urban fantasy from Australia, and Erin Frances Fisher, whose short story “Girl” won this year’s RBC Bronwen Wallace award and is currently available for free download from iTunes (you should read it!).
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance or 43.36 + 13% hst = 49  at the door
To reserve a spot now, email

In Guelph, on April 30, we will have three guest speakers: Yasemin Uçar, senior editor at Kids Can Press, Jennifer Mook-Sang, author of the acclaimed middle grade novel Speechless, and Kira Vermond, author of four nonfiction books for young readers.
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
by Louise Rennison, one of the best-selling
authors Yasemin Ucar has worked with.
Yasemin Uçar is a Senior Editor at Kids Can Press. Altogether, she’s been a children’s and young adult book editor for seventeen years. She worked at Scholastic Canada before moving to the UK in 2001, where she worked as a Senior Editor at Piccadilly Press in London, managing a list of about 25 titles a year. 
She moved back to Toronto in 2006 and worked as a freelance editor for six years for several publishers, including Scholastic, Second Story Press, Madison Press Books, and HarperCollins. She joined Kids Can Press in 2012.
Yasemin has worked with many popular and award-winning authors and illustrators, including international bestselling author Louise Rennison, Barbara Coloroso, Anne Villeneuve, Pierre Pratt, Caroline Adderson, and Ashley Spires.
Jennifer Mook-Sang is as amazed as anyone to find she’s a published author. Her humorous middle grade novel Speechless was started in one of Brian Henry’s classes and was released by Scholastic in September. Speechless is already a hit. The CBC has named it one of the 75 best books published in 2015, and it’s a finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award. 
Also, Jennifer's first picture book will be arriving in September 2017. Captain Monty (working title) was a finalist in the 2014 CANSCAIP/TWUC Writing for Children Competition and will be published by Kids Can Press. (For information on this year’s CANSCAIP–Writers’ Union contest, see here.) At the workshop, Jennifer will speak about how she got her first book published. 
Kira Vermond, a Guelph-based freelance writer and children’s non-fiction author who has penned over 1,500 articles and columns for the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Chatelaine, MoneySense, CBC, Owl and others. Kira’s Why We Live Where We Liverecently won the prestigious 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction.
Kira is also the author of Growing Up, Inside and Out and The Secret Life of Money: A kids’ guide to cash. Her fourth book for young readers, Half-truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, will hit shelves in April 2016.  Kira will speak about writing nonfiction for kids.
Fees: 45.13+ 13% hst = 51 paid in advance or 48.67 + 13% hst = 55 at the door
To reserve a spot now, email

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
from Simon & Shuster in stores now
In Ottawa, on May 29, our guest speaker will be Alan Cumyn. Alan is the author of twelve wide-ranging and often wildly different literary novels, including the beloved Owen Skye series for kids (The Secret Life of Owen Skye, After Sylvia, and Dear Sylvia) which between them have won or been shortlisted for a dozen national awards. 
His most recent novel for young adults, Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend, will be released in Canada, the United States and Great Britain in March 2016.
His work for adults includes the human rights novels Burridge Unbound and Man of Bone, which both won the Ottawa Book Award and were shortlisted for, respectively, the Giller Prize and the Trillium Award. Since 2008, Alan has taught in the prestigious MFA program in writing for children and young adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he is currently faculty chair.
A past chair of The Writers' Union of Canada, he has also been writer-in-the residence at the University of Ottawa, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, and at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon. Alan was born and raised in Ottawa, where he still lives, but he has also lived and worked in China and Indonesia, and spent most of the 1990s writing on human rights issues for the Immigration and Refugee Board. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, where he studied under Alistair MacLeod.
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance or 43.36 + 13% hst = 49  at the door
To reserve a spot now, email

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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