Saturday, September 22, 2018

Reviews and Essays wanted!

Perhaps you’d like to see some of your work published.  Perhaps you want to build your writing portfolio, or maybe you’re thinking getting a gig as a travel writer or restaurant reviewer would be sweet and you’re looking for a place to start.  Send me a review of anything, anywhere or anyone, or an essay about reading or writing and I’ll publish it on Quick Brown Fox.

To get a taste of essays about reading and writing previously published on Quick Brown Fox,  see here and scroll down. But don’t feel constrained by what I’ve posted before. If you want to write something different, go for it!

Book reviews are always welcome. I have an essay about writing book reviews here, but don’t pay too much attention to it; you can write a review in your own way. Check out previous reviews published on Quick Brown Fox here (and scroll down).

But you can send me any kind of review. I’ve posted many movie reviews (here, for example); also reviews of gallery showings and art works, restaurants and tea houses, orchestral recitals, architecture, theatre, and much more. I’d love to get some weird reviews, such as of your favourite and least favourite coffee shops or baristas; past lovers or babysitters (no names please), favourite library(s) or librarian(s); your favourite dead ends, flea markets – or whatever. If you’ve got something you want to let Quick Brown Readers  know about (or warn us about), review it!

Send your essays or reviews soon! I’m just waiting for them. ~Brian

Friday, September 21, 2018

How to Write a Bestseller, with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, Oct 27

The Burlington Public Library presents…
How to Write a Bestseller
 With book editor Brian Henry
  & New York Times #1 bestselling author 
   Kelley Armstrong 

Saturday, October 27, 2018
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Burlington Central Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, Ontario (Map here)

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 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, Ontario, to Saint John, New Brunswick. 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 Times bestseller list with both her supernatural thrillers for adults and her urban fantasy for teens. 
Kelley's principal publishers are Random House in Canada, St. Martins and HarperCollins in the U.S. and Doubleday and Little Brown in Britain. To date, she's published more than 32 books, most recently  This Fallen Prey, a thriller for adults, Rituals, a gothic novel for adults and Missinga fantasy novel for teens; and coming in May, Aftermath, a mystery-thriller for young adults.
Bitten, a TV series based on Kelley’s first 13 novels, has been broadcasting since January 2014.

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email:

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Eight markets for your short fiction, poetry, and reviews, mostly paying

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in the "Follow Brian by Email" box to the right under my bio and get each post delivered to your Inbox. 
Also, you can hang out and chat with Quick Brown Foxes (and vixens) on Facebook. Just send a friend request to Brian Henry (and say you familiar with me from Quick Brown Fox. (Facebook page here.) 
Finally, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to ~Brian

is a genre magazine in audio form. “If you’re a writer with a short horror story that you’d like to hear narrated by one of our talented performers, we’d like to see it. We’re looking for dark, weird fiction. We run the spectrum from grim realism or crime drama, to magic-realism, to blatantly supernatural dark fantasy.
“We publish highly literary stories reminiscent of Poe or Lovecraft as well as vulgar shock-value pulp fiction. We don’t split hairs about genre definitions, and we do not observe any taboos about what kind of content can appear in our stories. 
Originality demands that you’re better off avoiding vampires, zombies, and other recognizable horror tropes unless you have put a very unique spin on them. What matters most is that the stories are dark and compelling.”
Pays 6 cents per word for original fiction; $100 flat rate for short story reprints; $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints. 
During the month of September, PseudoPod is looking for submissions to celebrate ARTEMIS RISING, a special month-long event across all four Escape Artists podcasts featuring stories by any author who identifies as a woman, to any degree. Send in your best horror fiction between 500 – 6,000 words.
Deadline for Artemis Rising: September 30, 2018. Guidelines here.
Deadline for general submissions: November 12, 2018. Next open reading period:  Guidelines here. Submissions schedule here.

Atlantean Publishing seeks stories and poems for new anthologies:
Great War poetry and fiction inspired by World War I (particularly the events of 1918). Prose should be under 4000 words and ideally under 2000 words. Poems any length. Deadline Sept 30.
Horror Poems for Hallowe’n These can be dark, scary or comic horror. (They don’t have to reference Hallowe’en.) Any length. Deadline Sept 30.
Lunar Module Poetry inspired by the 1969 moon landings, the space race and moonlandings in general. Any length. Deadline Sept 30. 
Christmas Chillers Festive horror fiction. Ideally between 1000 and 3000 words with an upper limit of 5000 words. Deadline Sept 30.
And, while it’s open on a rolling basis, I would love to receive some more Dark Tower poems (any length) so that I can release another volume. Deadline Sept 30.
In addition, submissions for entries in The BardsXothic Sathlattae and Yellow Leaves solo-poet broadside series are sought. Deadline Sept 30.
Full details on these and of other open themes can be found here.
British Folklore: “The stories may be short or long, even as long as a novelette. The stories or poems can be of horror, humour or psychological. But, I don’t want any twee stories.Deadline: October 31, 2018. Reprints accepted. Guidelines here.
Children of Clark Ashton Smith: “Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) is my favourite fantasy author. I’ve had the pleasure of publishing several stories in the vein of CAS’s works. I’m very  interested in publishing an anthology of stories, poems and prose poems in CAS’s vein. Whether the stories are based in Averoigne, Hyperboria, Poseidonis, Zothique or anywhere else, as long as it fits CAS’s mode of storytelling, I’ll be more than interested.”  Deadline: October 31, 2018. Reprints accepted. Guidelines here.
 Pays One penny Sterling per word, with a minimum payment of £10 Sterling for poems and very, very short stories. For illustrations, £30 for ‘header’ illustrations to a story, £100 for full page illustrations and £200 for the cover illustration. 
Deadline: October 31, 2018. Reprints accepted. Guidelines here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul seeks short true stories for two anthologies: Life Lessons from my Dog and Life Lessons from my Cat. Stories can be serious or humorous ... or both. Pays $200. Deadline: October 31, 2018.
Chicken Soup also wants:
Grandparent stories – deadline Sept 30, 2018
Mom Knows Best stories – deadline Sept 30, 2018
Running for Good stories – deadline Dec 15, 2018
The Golden Years or Second Wind stories  – deadline Dec 30, 2018
Angel stories – deadline Dec 31, 2018
Miracles stories – deadline Dec 31, 2018
Guidelines for all anthologies here seeks horror stories with technology front and centre for an anthology title Kill SwitchLength: 2,000–7,000 words. Pays $10 + digital contributor copy. 
Deadline: October 31, 2018. Guidelines here

Robbed of Sleep publishes twice each year, in summer and the early winter months of the year. Seeks stories “of the strangely dark, the darkly humorous, the starkly beautiful, and the hauntingly deranged.” Wants flash fiction 100–1,000 words; larger pieces 2,000–4,000 words, and will consider 1,000–2,000 words “especially if it’s great.” Pays $10 short story, $5 flash fiction. 
Deadline: October 31, 2018. Guidelines here

Wolfpack Press Seeks short stories. "We crave the wild, weird, wonderful, and witty." Length: Fiction, up to 6000 words, nonfiction up to 5,000 words, also accepts poetry (up to 3 poems per submission). Pays $15. 
Deadline: October 31, 2018, for December 2018 debut edition. Next reading period: Jan 5 – May 18, 2019. Guidelines here.

Write Naked seeks blog posts about writing; 450–650 words. Pays $75. 
Reading period: October 1–31, 2018. Guidelines here.

Quick Brown Fox always welcomes your book reviews – or any kind of review. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. You can read an essay about how to write a book review here and see guidelines about submitting reviews of any kind to Quick Brown Fox here
QBF also welcomes essays about a favourite book or about your experience of reading or writing. Read a few essays on the blog to get a taste of what other writers have done (see here and scroll down), write your own, and submit it to me at ~Brian

See Brian’s schedule here, including Saturday writing workshopsweekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, New Tecumseth, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Yom Kippur 5779

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, began at sundown yesterday and goes till sundown tonight. This object is a shofar, a ram's horn, which is blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to call people to repentance. 

Here's my synagogue, the Junction Schul, more formally known as Beth Knesset....

It's latest claim to fame is as a setting for the movie IT, based on the Stephen King novel. Here's a tip ... there's a sequel coming.

A good fast to everyone who's fasting, and for everyone, g’mar chatima tova, may you cinch a good page in the book of life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Fall Creative Writing Courses, Introductory to Intensive, plus Writing Personal Stories and Writing Kid Lit

Welcome to Creative Writing
Ten weeks of discovering your creative side
Thursday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45
September 27 – November 29, 2018
Woodside Branch of the Oakville Public Library, 1274 Rebecca St, Oakville, Ontario
 This is your chance to take up writing in a warm, supportive environment. This course will open the door to writing short stories and writing dialogue, writing in first person and writing in third person, writing just for fun and writing all kinds of things. 
You’ll get a shot of inspiration every week and an assignment to keep you going till the next class. Best of all, this class will provide a zero-pressure, totally safe setting, where your words will grow and flower.
Fee:  $176.11 plus 13% hst = $199
To reserve a spot now, email:

Writing Personal Stories
8 weeks of sharing and writing
Thursday evenings, 7 – 9 p.m.
October 4 – November 29, 2018
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)
If you've ever considered writing your personal stories, this course is for you. We’ll look at memoirs, travel writing, personal essays, family history ~ personal stories of all kinds. Plus, of course, we’ll work on creativity and writing technique and have fun doing it. 
Whether you want to write a book or just get your thoughts down on paper, this weekly course will get you going. We'll reveal the tricks and conventions of telling true stories, and we’ll show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Weekly writing exercises and friendly feedback from the instructor will help you move forward on this writing adventure. Whether you want to write for your family and friends or for a wider public, don't miss this course.
Fee:  $167.26 plus 13% hst = $189      
To reserve your spot, email:

Author Jennifer Mook-Sang, signing bookmarks
Writing Kid Lit
 ~ Picture Books to Young Adult
Friday afternoons, October 5 – December 7, 2018 (No class Nov 2)
1:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here.)
From picture books to young adult novels, this weekly course is accessible for beginners and meaty enough for advanced writers. Through lectures, in-class assignments, homework, and feedback on your writing, we’ll give you ins and outs of writing for younger readers and set you on course toward writing your own books.
We’ll have two published children’s authors as guest speakers:
Jennifer Mook-Sang grew up in Guyana and moved to Canada when she was fourteen. While reading bedtime stories to her two sons, she fell in love with picture books and decided to write one of her own. In one of Brian Henry's classes she found the beginnings of a story. That story grew into the humorous middle-grade novel Speechless, published by Scholastic in 2015. 
Speechless won the Surrey Schools Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for many others, and was recommended by the Ontario Library Association, the Canadian Childrens’ Book Centre, the CBC, and the TD Summer Reading Club. 
Then in October 2017, Jennifer published her first picture book Captain Monty Takes the Plunge with Kids Can Press. Captain Monty is the boldest, stinkiest pirate to sail the six or seven seas; in fact, he’s never had a bath. Naturally, the Junior Library Guild immediately selected him for its fall list of recommended books. Captain Monty has also been nominated for the Rainforest of Reading Award and Jennifer will be travelling to St. Lucia for that Festival in March.
Jennifer lives in Burlington, Ontario. You can find out more about her here. 
Speechless is available online here. And Captain Monty Takes the Plunge is available here.
Author Kira Vermond
Kira Vermond is an award-winning writer with over 1,500 articles to her name. She has been a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, CBC and Today's Parent.
Kira is the author of four nonfiction books for young readers: Half-Truths and Brazen Lies, (read more about Half-Truths here); Why We Live Where We Live (more here);   Growing Up: Inside and Out, (nominated for on Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Award) and The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash (which was my son’s and daughter’s favourite book  the year it came out, although my kids are four years apart).
Kira lives in Guelph, Ontario. 
Course fee:  $176.11 plus 13% hst = 199
To reserve your spot, email:

Intensive Creative Writing
Ten weeks towards becoming a better writer
Offered in three locations:
Tuesday afternoons, 12:30 – 2:45 p.m.
September 25 – November 27
first reading emailed Sept 18
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)
Wednesday evenings, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
September 26 – December 5 (no class Oct 31)
first reading emailed Sept 19
St. Alban's Church, 537 Main Street, Georgetown, Ontario (in the village of Glen Williams – Map here.)
Friday mornings, 10:15 – 12:30, September 28 – December 6 (No class Nov 2)
first reading emailed Sept 21
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room
1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here.)
Intensive Creative Writing isn't for beginners; it's for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a course or two before and are working on their own projects. Over the ten weeks of classes, you’ll be asked to bring in five pieces of your writing for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on. 
Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.
Fee: $176.11 + 13% hst = $199
To reserve your spot, email:

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. Brian is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published. 
Read a review of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

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