Sunday, June 24, 2018

Two new literary agents, Nicki Richesin and Kelli Martin at Wendy Sherman Associates, seek authors

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker,
represented by Wendy Sherman Associates

Wendy Sherman Associates
138 W. 25th St.
Suite 1018
New York, NY 10001



Wendy Sherman Associates is a full service agency which partners with major film and television agents in Los Angeles. They have a proven track record of discovering first time authors as well as managing  the work of those with established careers. They pride themselves on cultivating long-term relationships with clients as well as with publishers throughout the world. There are four agents at Wendy Sherman Associates, all accepting new authors, but your best bets are probably the two new members of the team:

Nicki Richesin began her career at Bloomsbury in London during the exciting days when J.K. Rowling was first discovered by the publisher. She has worked as a freelance editor for over fifteen years with many talented writers, as well as publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Seal Press, and Little, Brown.
She edited four literary anthologies (The May Queen, Because I Love Her, What I Would Tell Her, and Crush) featuring essays by bestselling authors including Jennifer Weiner, Lauren Oliver, David Levithan, Karen Joy Fowler, Chris Bohjalian, Amy Greene, and Kaui Hart Hemmings.
Nicki is especially interested in representing literary and upmarket fiction, young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. She is eager to discover authors writing about somewhat unconventional protagonists with an imaginative slant on storytelling.
In young adult fiction, Nicki has a particular fondness for coming-of-age stories that take a cue from classic literature.
Nicki is drawn to memoir with a genuine voice that instantly connects with readers and takes them on a journey. She will always champion a story that investigates the true meaning of life, love, and identity.
After many years of collaborating with hard-working authors, she enjoys nothing more than helping them realize their vision and telling everyone all about it.

Kelli Martin was previously a founding editor of Montlake Romance at Amazon Publishing and an executive editor at Lake Union. She was previously a senior editor with Harlequin and also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Disney-Hyperion.
Kelli is looking for romance, women's commercial fiction and book club fiction.
Kelli (occasionally) tweets here.

Query Nicki, Kelli, or any other agent at Wendy Sherman Assoicates at: submissions@wsherman.com
Include your last name, title and the name of the agent you’re querying in the subject line. For fiction, paste the first ten pages of your manuscript into the email. For nonfiction, include both your query and an author bio. No attachments unless requested.
Full guidelines here.

Author Kira Vermond
If you’re interested in getting published, soon or somewhere down the road, don’t miss upcoming How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Aug 18, in Collingwood with literary agent Paige Sisley (see here) and Saturday, Nov 17, in Mississauga with literary agent Stephanie Sinclair (see here). 
For updated listing of How to Get Published workshops, see here (and scroll down).

And if you’re interested in Writing for Children & for Young Adults, Brian Henry will lead a mini-conference with Yasemin U├žar, senior editor at Kids Can Press, children’s author Kira Vermond, and YA author Tanaz Bhathena, Saturday, Sept 22, in Oakville (see here), a Writing Kid Lit weekly course on Friday afternoons, Oct 5 – Nov 30 in Toronto, and a Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshop Saturday, October 12, in Sudbury (see here).
For updated listings of Writing for Children & for Young adult workshops and for weekly Kid lit classes, see here (and scroll down).

And this summer, don't miss: the Windsor International Writers Conference, Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 8, where Brian will be giving talks on Writing Point of View and Writing Query Letters that Get a Yes (see here), You can write great dialogue, Saturday, July 14, in Caledon (see here), and How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, Aug 18, in Guelph (see  here).

This summer, there’s still space in Brian’s introductory weekly class:
Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday, afternoons, July 4 – Aug 22, in Burlington. See here.

Come September, there will be a full roster of courses, Introductory to Intense (Details of all six courses here):
Welcome to Creative Writing, Thursday, afternoons, Sept 27 - Nov 9, in Oakville. See here.
Writing Personal Stories, Thursday evenings, Oct 4 – Nov 29, in Burlington. Sees here.
Writing Kid Lit, Friday afternoons, Oct 5 – Nov 30, in Toronto. See here.
And Intensive Creative Writing, offered in three locales:
Tuesday afternoons, Sept 25 – Nov 27 (first readings emailed Sept 18), in Burlington. See here.
Wednesday evenings Sept 26 – Dec 5 (first readings emailed Sept 19), in Georgetown. See here.
Friday mornings Sept 28 – Nov 30 (first readings emailed Sept 21), in Toronto. See here.
See details of all six courses here.

To reserve a spot in any workshop, retreat, or weekly course, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

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.

Navigation tips: Always check out the labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. Also, if you're searching for a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

How to Get Published with literary agent Stephanie Sinclair, Saturday, Nov 17, in Mississauga

The Boat People by Sharon Bala,
represented by guest speaker Stephanie Sinclair

How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, November 17, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00
Unity Church, Unit 8, 3075 Ridgeway Drive, Mississauga (Don’t look for a steeple. Unity Church is a unit in a business mall and looks nothing like a church. Map here.)
If it's past Nov 17, you can see details of upcoming "How to Get Published" workshops here (and scroll down).

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, three copies could be helpful.
And be sure to bring your elevator pitch! Following the end of the formal workshop at about 3:45, Brian Henry will be staying for at least half an hour and helping interested attendees, who didn’t have their queries critiqued earlier, write query letters that will get a yes, while literary agent Stephanie Sinclair will be listening to your pitches. Agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.

Guest speaker Stephanie Sinclair is a senior agent with the Transatlantic Literary agency. Transatlantic is a full-service literary agency with its head office in Toronto, with 13 agents located across North America, from Toronto and New York to Vancouver and Portland. Transatlantic represents clients who write for all ages and across varied platforms, covering the spectrum of commercial to literary fiction and nonfiction of all types. 
Stephanie is developing her own authors and also manages international rights for Samantha Haywood's clients and international sales for Page Two Books, a separate company owned and operated by Transatlantic agents Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White.
In fiction, Stephanie represents literary fiction, upmarket women’s and commercial fiction and will consider literary thriller and suspense and YA crossover. 
In nonfiction, Stephanie represents narrative nonfiction, memoir, investigative journalism and true crime.
Read more about Transatlantic here and here. 


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. 

See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.


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: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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, June 21, 2018

Secrets of Writing a Page-Turner, Saturday, Dec 1, in London


Secrets of Writing a Page-turner
Techniques for making any story more compelling
Saturday, December 1, 2018
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
London Public Library, Stevenson & Hunt Room B, 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario (Map here)

Ever stayed up all night reading a book? In this workshop, you’ll learn you how to build that kind of tension.  And we'll help you put into practice the techniques professionals use – on every page and in every kind of story – to create drama and tension.

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. 
See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

Fee: 37.17 + 13% hst = 42 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 39.82 + 13% hst = 45 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats 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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

This summer, join us in cottage country for: How to Get Published with literary agent Paige Sisley of the CookeMcDermid agency

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline,
represented by CookeMcDermid
The Collingwood Public Library presents....
How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, August 18, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00
Collingwood Public Library, 55 Ste Marie St, Collingwood, Ontario (Map here)
If it's past Aug 18, you can see details of upcoming "How to Get Published" workshops here (and scroll down).

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, three copies could be helpful.

And be sure to bring your elevator pitch! Following the end of the formal workshop at about 3:45, Brian Henry will be staying for at least half an hour and helping interested attendees, who didn’t have their queries critiqued earlier, write query letters that will get a yes, while literary agent Paige Sisley will be listening to your pitches. Agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.

Guest speaker, Paige Sisley, is a literary agent with the  CookeMcDermid agency, a new company formed through the amalgamation of The Cooke Agency and The McDermid Agency.
CookeMcDermid represents more than 300 writers, among them Man Booker nominees, Giller and Governor General’s award–winning authors, prize-winning journalists, New York Times bestsellers and some of the literary world’s most notable names, including: Jen Agg, Omar el Akkad, Deborah Campbell, Michael Crummey, Robyn Doolittle, John Irving, Rupi Kaur, Scaachi Koul, Karen Le Billon, Geddy Lee, Robert Munsch, Jordan B. Peterson, Alison Pick, Andrew Pyper, Bob Rae, Nino Ricci, David Adams Richards, Amy Stuart, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Jeff VanderMeer, Sarah Waters, and Jesse Wente.
Paige joined CookeMcDermid (then The Cooke Agency) in June 2013 following an internship. Paige has her Master of Arts from Ryerson University's Literatures of Modernity program and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of King's College and Dalhousie.
American War by Omar el Akkad,
represented by CookeMcDermid
Paige is currently building her list as a keen and market-focused reader. When it comes to fiction she is looking for smart, well-written commercial novels that both entertain and have something to say (e.g. Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Eliza Kennedy’s I Take You). She’s seeking books that can compete with Netflix for people’s time, but that someone like Reese Witherspoon might in turn be interested in adapting for Netflix.
Paige also represents nonfiction books in the lifestyle and health and wellness space. In both categories, Paige is attracted to books that enhance lives, either through a practical application or by shifting and expanding their reader’s worldview.
When Paige’s head isn’t in a book you can find her baking, at a concert, or simply watching the world go by in her busy downtown Toronto neighborhood. A born and bred Torontonian, Paige loves to travel and has also lived in LA, a sleepy New Zealand surf town, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. She's on Twitter here.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishesQuick 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. 
See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.
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: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats 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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

“The Gift” by Michelle Eaket



“Hello,” I said into the phone, picking it up on the third ring.

“Hello. Is this Michelle Deschamps,” said the voice on the other end.

“Yes,” I said reluctantly, but thinking, Great, a telemarketer. Definitely not what I was in the mood for after a long day of work.
 
“I found your name in the phone book,” he said. “My name is Donat Villeneuve and I think we might be related.”

Now I was feeling more concerned than annoyed. Who was this man who’d looked me up and called me at home?

“Are you related to Bruno and Louise Deschamps?” he continued.

“Yes, they’re my grandparents.”

“I’m Bruno’s second cousin,” he explained. “Perhaps you remember me from my last visit to Saskatchewan, ten years ago.”

As soon as he mentioned that, I remembered who this guy was – Uncle Donat. He’d visited my dad’s family when I was 13. My cousins and I had spent the day outside at my aunt and uncle’s farm, the adults sitting nearby on lawn chairs, visiting. It was only after the sun went down that we moved inside, gathering in the quonset.

“I’m here to surprise your grandparent’s for their 50th anniversary,” said Uncle Donat. “I came in on the train earlier today, after spending three days traveling from Cornwall, Ontario.”

My heart sank a little. Grandpa and Grandma had had a big celebration three months earlier. Donat hadn’t been invited. Now here he was in Saskatoon to surprise them for their anniversary, which was this weekend.

I spent every Sunday at my grandparents’ house for dinner, and had gotten the sense Grandma didn’t really care for Donat. If his name ever came up, she would wrinkle her nose a little in distaste. What would she think when she found out he’d traveled all this way without even letting her know he was coming? I wasn’t going to tell him they’d already celebrated their anniversary, so I simply said I looked forward to seeing him on the weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, I arrived at my grandparents’ suite like always, and like always, Grandpa was waiting in his doorway for me to get off the elevator and round the corner. He gave me a gentle hug, brushing his whiskery cheek against my own.

Inside the apartment, Donat was sitting in my grandma’s chair. Grandma was in the kitchen, taking appetizers out of the oven; bacon wrapped water chestnuts, my favourite. Donat looked the same as I remembered, smiling broadly. I knew he didn’t have much family, and he seemed happy in our company.

“You know, I didn’t take my shoes off the entire three day train ride,” he told me over dinner. “My feet are swollen and sore, but I didn’t think it was gentleman-like to remove my shoes, even while trying to sleep in my seat.”

“Oh no,” I said. “Be sure to take them off on the return trip.”

“I will,” he replied. “I learned my lesson the hard way on that one. Anyway, I have two weeks for my feet to heal before I get back on the train.”

“I didn’t realize you were staying in town that long,” I said.

“No point in coming all this way and not staying for a while.”

I wondered what Grandma thought of that, but if it bothered her that Donat had arrived unannounced and would be visiting with them for two weeks, she never let it show. That was one of the things I loved most about her: when you were in her presence, she always made you feel special. She loved entertaining and being around people.

While at a friend’s wedding in the early 90s, my mom told me I reminded her of Grandma, the way I bounced around the room from person to person. It was likely the cheap, red wine I was drinking that had turned me into a social butterfly, but I took it as the highest compliment.

Even now, I do my best to emulate my grandma. She was doing yoga decades before it was fashionable, and trying out new recipes every chance she got, which was generally during the Sunday dinners I spent with them. Grandpa’s idea of a meal was meat and potatoes, so Grandma loved to experiment on me.  

She also enjoyed traveling and made a trek to the Holy Land when she was 70. I was with her when she booked that trip. Her excitement that day was energizing. When she returned, she swore she would never leave Grandpa for that long again, but I know she was glad to have had that opportunity. She was deeply religious, so getting to experience the places she’d read about in her Bible was a dream come true for her.

On my last real visit with Grandma, one when I had a couple of hours alone with her to chat, she told me she wanted me to have her Bible when she passed away. Knowing it was her most prized possession, I was honoured.

She always had her Bible with her. In it, she wrote down the dates of every religious retreat she attended, including one in Edmonton in 1978. I was in kindergarten then. We were living in Leduc, just outside of Edmonton. Only a few months earlier, we’d been living in Swift Current, mere blocks away from all four of my grandparents. I remember missing them so much that I would stand by the window and imagine them pulling up in front of our new home.

My grandma did come for a visit when she attended that retreat in Edmonton. We moved back to Swift Current shortly after. Perhaps seeing her reminded us all how much we missed it.

After Grandma told me she wanted me to have her Bible, she showed me how she’d marked an “M” beside several verses from Psalms. The “M” stood for Michelle. She’d marked one next to every verse she’d read in a daily book of readings I’d given her one Christmas. What she hadn’t pointed out that day, was that she’d also written hundreds of notes in the margins of her Bible. It’s filled with the insights she had as she studied it over the years.

I can see a shift in her writing in those notes, following her stroke. She spent months learning to write again, using her left hand, instead of her right. There’s a history of her life captured in those pages; the struggles she faced, the questions that haunted her, the comfort she sought when Grandpa passed away. She didn’t merely give me her Bible, she gave me a glimpse into her soul.

One day I’ll sit down and read every word she wrote in the margins of that Bible. For now, I simply pull it out when I want to feel close to her again. Opening up a page at random takes me on a journey into her heart. Perhaps she knew I would draw comfort from those pages, in the same way she did. I always thought we’d have been the best of friends if we’d grown up together as peers, instead of as grandmother and grandchild. Seeing the tremendous gift she gave me, I think she must have thought that too.

Michelle Eaket is currently taking time off from full-time work to spend more time with her 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. She's loved writing for as long as she can remember, composing poems in her head as a child when she was supposed to be sleeping. Michelle’s grade 11 English teacher told her to “never stop writing,” words she continues to hold dear to her heart.


See Brian Henry’s 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.