Monday, April 24, 2017

Wanted: Ride to Algonquin, Plus congratulations to Barbara, Dave, Amy and Jane for getting published and to Dianne for a her nomination for an Aurora Award!

Wanted: Ride share to the Algonquin in June Writing Retreat
I want to go to the writing retreat, but don’t drive. If anyone’s going from somewhere in the London area, I’d love to go with you. I’ll split the gas money, of course, and provide good company on the way up and back.
You haven’t heard about the retreat? Check out the details here.
If you can help, please contact me at:
I’d really appreciate it.
Patricia (Pat) Brown

Hi, Brian.
I just received a confirmation letter from Prairie Fire for my short story that will be published in their spring anthology. And they pay! Cool! And I submitted my first picture book manuscript to Owlkids Books and have one more close to completion to submit.
Barbara Baker
For information on submitting to Prairie Fire, see here.
For information on submitting to Owlkids Books, see here.

Hello, Brian.
Watch out for my story “Elevator Games” on CommuterLit.
You can read “Elevator Games” here. Find links to all of Dave’s stories on CommuterLit here.  
For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.

Good morning, Brian.
The Harvesters has been nominated for an Aurora award – a truly wonderful honour from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. (You can check out the nominations here.)
The eureka moment for this sci-fi novel occurred while attending one of your seminars for help with another book, for which I will always be grateful.
See you at your next seminar!
Dianne Waye
(writing as J. D. Waye)
You can buy The Harvesters and Dianne’s other books at MuseItUp Publishing here.

Hello, Brian.
I have been meaning to write you for a couple of reasons. The first, is to thank you for Quick Brown Fox and to let you know that I achieved one of my goals this year through your site. I learned of Alanna Rusnak's new Blank Spaces Magazine and was able to get my first piece (ever!) of flash fiction published!
I wanted to thank you for the work you do helping people like me find their footing in what can be a challenging industry to navigate. As a beginner writer, I find the links and resources on your website very useful.
Thanks very much. Have a great day!
Amy Holodinsky
For information about submitting to Blank Spaces, see here.

Hi, Brian.
Just wanted you to know that one of my stories was accepted by the Globe & Mail “Facts & Arguments.” You can “Uh-oh. Did I kill my son’s hamster?” here.
And thanks for your help with my query letter for my book. I've just had an agent ask for the full manuscript.
See you soon,
Jane Bedard
For information about submitting a “Facts & Arguments: essay to the Globe & Mail, see here.

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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

One Canadian and ten UK publishers seeking kid lit – Picture Books to Young Adult – that don't require an agent, including at least one that wants narrative verse

Kids Can Press
25 Dockside Drive
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5A 0B5
Kids Can Press seeks picture books and nonfiction manuscripts for children, as well as chapter books for ages 7–10. They do not accept young adult fiction or fantasy novels.
Yasemin Uçar is a Senior Editor at Kids Can Press. Yasemin has been a children’s book editor for close to twenty years. She worked at Scholastic Canada before moving to London, UK, in 2001, where she worked as a Senior Editor at Piccadilly Press. In 2006, she moved back to Toronto and worked as a freelance editor for a number of years before joining Kids Can Press in 2012.
Yasemin has worked with many popular and award-winning authors and illustrators, including internationally bestselling author Louise Rennison author of Angus Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging and other Georgia Nicolson books), Ashley Spires, Barbara Coloroso and Caroline Adderson.
Full submission guidelines here. Illustrator guidelines here.

Note: Yasemin Uçar  will be one of the guest speaker at the “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop on Saturday, May 13, in Caledon (see here). “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshops are also offered Saturday, May 27, in St. Catharines, with Anne Shone, senior editor, Scholastic Books (see here) and Saturday, July 29, in Collingwood, with literary agent Monica Pacheco (see here).

Andersen Press is a specialist children's publisher. They publish picture books (500–1000 words), juvenile fiction (3,000–5,000 words), and older fiction up to 75,000 words. 
Submit a synopsis and the first three chapters by mail.
Full submission guidelines here.

Buster Books is the children’s imprint of independent publisher Michael O’Mara Books.
“Our list includes sumptuous colouring books – from the pocket-sized I Heart Colouring series, to The Book of Beasts, a stunning, fully-foiled hardback with information about mythical monsters as well as images to colour.
“We always seek to bring a new twist to established genres – check out The Colossal Creature Count, an epic creature-counting challenge, or Colourtronic, a colour-by-numbers activity book that produces unexpectedly striking results. There’s Dress Up Taylor Swift, which offers stylish stickers and Painty Prints which needs inky fingerprints to complete charming pictures. Kids are even encouraged to Destroy This Book in the Name of Science, a book full of fun, interactive science projects.”
~ Philippa Wingate, Publishing Director, Buster Books
Submissions of fiction and nonfiction ideas are welcome from authors, compilers and illustrators. No picture book or poetry submissions.
Submit a synopsis and sample text by email to:
Full submission guidelines here.

David Fickling Books: For nearly twelve years DFB was run as an imprint – first as part of Scholastic, then of Random House. Now they are an independent business, DFB Storyhouse. They publish 12–20 titles a year. But while they are always open to submissions from agents, they are open to submissions directly from authors only occasionally.
Full submission guidelines here.

Floris Books is an independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They publish books in two main areas: nonfiction works for adults that draw on the work of Rudolf Steiner or that would be of interest to the Steiner-Waldorf community, and Scottish themed books for children ages 2–15, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young teens.
Full submission guidelines here.

Quatro Kids is part of Quartro Books, which publishes a wide assortment of nonfiction books. The Kids division publishes picture books, multicultural books, picture books and information books.
Full submission guidelines here.

Hogs Back Books is a small publishing house that publishes picture books for kids up to 10 years old, both fiction and nonfiction. Hogs Back welcomes texts directly from authors and from literary agents. They are also always on the lookout for illustrators who can produce original ideas and beautifully executed work to bring their stories to life.
Submit a complete manuscript by mail. Guidelines here.

Little Tiger Group is a small publisher that has has been publishing children’s books for over 25 years. At this time only its Stripes Publishing imprint is accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Stripes publishes fiction for children aged 6–12 years and for teenagers. 
Submit a covering letter, one page synopsis and 1,000-word extract to:
Full submission guidelines here.
All three Little Tiger imprints (Little Tiger, Stripes, and Caterpillar) are looking for illustrators. Full guidelines here.

Mantra Lingua specializes in dual language resources for bilingual children and parents 
and for the multi-lingual classroom
. They make books and other resources in 66 languages. They are always looking for translators, illustrators, writers and creators.
Full guidelines here.

Maverick Children’s Books is a new children’s book publisher, established in 2009, that’s growing rapidly, with 36 books scheduled to be published in 2017. It accepts unsolicited submissions.
Picture Books: maximum 650 words, stories in either rhyme or prose (but no poetry) and they prefer quirky. Full guidelines here.
Junior Books for ages 7 – 10 years, 6,000 – 18,000 words. Again, they are looking for something a little quirky (“Sweet stories about fluffy kittens and lost puppies are just not our thing – sorry”), and something with series potential is a bonus. Full guidelines here.
They are also looking for illustrators. Guidelines here.

Mogzilla is currently looking for  historical stories for readers aged 6–15.
Query Mogzilla at: and provide details of your proposal 
Full submission guidelines here.

Brian Henry offers a full range of classes from beginner to advanced. Mostly, the spring session classes have already started, but there are still openings in one course:
Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, April 27 – June 15, Burlington Details here.
Details of all classes offered this spring here.

And don't miss the June in Algonquin Writing Retreat,  Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4 or Monday, June 5, at Arowhon Pines Resort. Details here.
Other upcoming workshops include: “You can write great dialogue,” Saturday, June 10 in Guelph, with author Hannah McKinnon, (see here) and Saturday, July 22, in London (see here) and “How to Write Great Characters,” Saturday, June 17 in Burlington (see here).

For more information or to reserve a spot in any Saturday workshop or weekly course, email:

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

June in Algonquin Writing Retreat

June in Algonquin Writing Retreat
Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4, 2017
Or add an extra day and extend your retreat to Monday, June 5
Arowhon Pines Resort, Arowhon Pines Rd, Little Joe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada

Give yourself a weekend of writing time  a weekend of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do and wonderful food at every  meal, as you sit with your feet up and write in the most beautiful wilderness setting in Ontario. This is where the Group of Seven got its inspiration (Tom Thompson is buried just a couple of lakes over); it’s a wonderful place for you to find your inspiration, too.

The retreat will feature both instruction and guided writing exercises, plus one-on-one critiquing and coaching from Brian.  You’ll also have lots of time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your creativity. 

All writing levels welcome. Whether you are just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us. 

The setting: Arowhon Pines is a peaceful, quiet resort nestled in the woods on Little Joe Lake inside Algonquin Park. There are no motorboats on the lake, except for the resort’s own pontoon boat which takes guests on occasional wildlife tours.

The resort is without TV and is far from the roar of traffic. The cry of a loon is the loudest noise you’re likely to hear all day.

Rates include charming accommodation (cabins have a mix of queen beds for one person or couples or twin beds for two people rooming together; rooms also have private bathrooms and each cabin has a lounge with fireplace to share with your fellow writers). 

Three all-you-can-eat gourmet meals per day are provided, featuring an abundance of fresh food prepared by master chefs and an inspired kitchen staff. (Bring your own wine or beer!)

All activities included. When you’re not writing, or for spouses who accompany you, there is plenty to do: canoe or kayak a series of lakes or hike trails to see wildlife (moose, loons, beaver, turtles, fox, deer), swim in the lake, sail, stand up paddleboard, play tennis, relax. For indoor activities there is a games room with table tennis, shuffleboard, books, board games. Your stay also includes access to all Algonquin Park programs and activities including a car pass for you to fully enjoy the park.

Check-in isn’t until 3 p.m., but guests can arrive in the morning to fully take advantage of the facilities (though the meals included in your package don’t begin until after check-in time, so lunch on Friday is extra if you arrive early). Each guest can borrow a day pass for Algonquin Park. The formal retreat will begin late Friday afternoon. On the final day of your retreat (whether Sunday or Monday) we'll have our last formal get-together at 11 a.m., ending at 12 noon. Check out time is at 1 p.m.  Most guests have lunch while the bellhops load the car. But once you’ve had lunch, don’t feel you have to rush off!

If you extend your retreat to Monday, you'll have an extra day of writing, instruction, and sharing your work, plus an additional one-one-one session with Brian to have your work critiqued, to brainstorm ideas for a work in progress or to discuss your path forward as a writer. These one-on-one sessions are your chance to pick the instructor’s brain, as you please. Many find this one of the most worthwhile aspects of the retreat.

Participants are welcome to bring spouses, partners or friends, as there will be plenty to do while you’re writing – canoeing, kayaking or sailing, swimming if warm enough, tennis, reading and just plain resting and unwinding, enjoying the wilderness.

Read about a stay at Arowhon Pines here.

Instructor 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 Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Read reviews of previous writing retreats at Arowhon Pines here (and scroll down). 
To see more reviews of Brian’s weekly courses and Saturday workshops, see

Accommodation fee (including both accommodation and food, plus use of all the resort’s facilities): $220 per person per night, either single- or double- occupancy for the two nights. (Arowhon has kept their 2016 rates just for us – about 5% off the new rate, and there is no single supplement!) Plus 15% service charge (in lieu of tipping, no extra tipping allowed), then 13% hst added to these rates.

Seminar fee123.89 plus hst = 140
If you’re extending your retreat an extra day, add $61.95 plus hst = 70, for a total of 210
Full receipts issued. Space is very limited, especially for the extra day.

For more information or to register, email:

Who can attend the retreat?
Everyone interested in developing their writing skills is welcome to attend, whether you're aspiring writer or an accomplished author or simply enjoy writing as a hobby. There is no requirement for you to have been previously published or even to have an intention to publish.

I'm a poet / playwright / other writer. Is this retreat for me?
The retreat is open to anyone who enjoys writing. Instruction will focus on narrative writing; i.e., stories, whether fiction or memoir. But if you’re an essayist or poet or whatever, you’re entirely welcome.

Should I bring my work in progress?
Yes, if you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you! If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.

Should I bring my laptop?
Yes, if you prefer to work on your laptop. If you prefer to work on paper bring that.

Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?
Yes, just let the staff at Arowhon Pines know beforehand about your needs.

I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is it possible to do that?
If you want to arrive early and stay longer, that is fine. Just arrange it with the resort. There is plenty to see and do in the park, and Arowhon Pines is a lovely place to base from.  Arowhon will keep the same rate throughout your stay.

Is there cell phone reception and WIFI?
Arowhon Pines is an island of luxury, but in the midst of wilderness, so no cell phone reception and no WIFI, though there are landlines and there’s access to the resort’s Internet connection. (Contact the resort for details.) But be sure to have your writing projects on your laptop when you come, not stored in the Cloud.

How about alcohol?
Arowhon doesn’t serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own wine, beer or whatever to have with meals or back at your cabin or wherever. (Though do note that Hemingway’s advice to write drunk, mostly produces drivel.)

Can I bring my spouse (or partner or friend)?
Certainly. Just let them know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day), and make sure they enjoy superb food, beautiful wilderness, and relaxing on the deck or the dock or out on a canoe as they glide past a moose munching on water lilies….

For more information or to register, email: 
To book your accommodation at Arowhon Pines, phone toll free: 1-866-633-5661
Or you can book on-line here. ~ But be sure to also phone and tell them you're with the writing retreat!

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