Monday, December 31, 2018

Lucinda Karter joins Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, seeks adult, YA, and children's fiction, and nonfiction

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
represented by Jennifer Lyons Agency
Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency
27 West 20th Street
Suite 1003
New York, NY  10011

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the Follow Brian by Email box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. ~Brian

Lucinda Karter has joined the Jennifer Lyons Agency at a full-time literary agent. Lucinda has spent more than 25 years in publishing, working for the George Borchardt Literary Agency, Doubleday, HarperCollins, WW Norton and other publishers. Most recently she served as director of the French Publishers’ Agency, where she agented such works as Irène Némirovsky’s Suite française, and Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation and other bestsellers to world-wide English language publishers.

Lucinda has translated fiction, memoir, and children’s literature from French to English and served as a juror for the anuual Prix Anaïs Nin. In 2002, she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

As an agent, she is looking for a range of fiction – adult, young adult, and children’s.

In nonfiction, she’s seeking history, biography, memoir, popular science, and food. Also finance and economics and novelty books.

Send only your query. If she’s interested, she’ll request sample chapters or your full manuscript or proposal.
Full submission guidelines here.

Author Sylvia McNicoll will be one of the
guest speakers for the Kid Lit course
The best way to grow as a writer is probably with a weekly course. 
There are 5 courses on offer in the new year (Details of all 5 classes here):
Exploring Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 24 – April 5 (no class March 14), in Burlington. Details here.
Writing Kid Lit, Thursday evenings, Jan 24 – March 28 (no class March 14), in Oakville. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 22 – April 2 (no class March 12); first readings emailed Jan 15, in Burlington. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings Jan 23 – April 3 (no class March 13); first readings emailed Jan 16, in Burlington. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Friday mornings Jan 25 – April 5 / 12 (10 or 11 weeks, no class March 13); first readings emailed Jan 16, in Toronto. Details here.
            Details of all 5 classes here.

Author Hannah Mary McKinnon
Also coming soon: How to Build Your Story: Plotting novels & Writing short stories with guest author Hannah Mary McKinnon, Saturday, Jan 19 in Oakville (see here), Writing and Revising, Sat, Jan 26, in Caledon at the Bolton Library (see here), Writing with Style, Saturday, Feb 23, in Waterloo (see here) and Saturday, March 16, in Mississauga (see here), and How to Write a Bestseller with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (see here).

 A weekend writing retreat:
Algonquin Writing Retreat, Friday, May 31 – Monday, June 3, 2019: four days in the luxurious isolation of Arowhon Pines Resort to get down to some real creative growth. Sign up soon to get the 2018 rates! Details here.

Read reviews of Brian’s courses, retreats, and workshops here.


See Brian’s complete current schedule here, including Saturday writing workshops, weekly 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. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Welcome to Creative Writing weekly course, Friday afternoons, April 26 – June 28, in Toronto


Welcome to Creative Writing
Nine weeks of discovering your creative side
Friday afternoons, 1:15 – 3:15
April 26 – June 28 (No class May 31)
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here.)

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 your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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’s has helped many of his students get published. 
Read reviews of Brian's weekly courses, weekend retreats, and Saturday workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian’s complete current schedule here including Saturday writing workshops, weekly 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.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Writing Personal Stories course, April 18 – June 20, in Oakville


Writing Personal Stories
9 weeks of sharing and writing
Thursday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
April 18 – June 20, 2019 (No class May 30)
Oakville Central Library, Auditorium, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, 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: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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’s has helped many of his students get published. 

Read reviews of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian’s complete current schedule here including Saturday writing workshops, weekly 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.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Start the new year right: Seven paying markets for your short stories, novellas, poetry, and essays, and one big contest

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the Follow Brian by Email box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. ~Brian


Shifters United seeks paranormal romance or urban fantasy novellas, 20,000 to 35,000 words. Pays royalties. 
For January 15, 2019 deadline: Shifter Mix-Ups. Both urban fantasy and paranormal romance welcome.
For March 15 deadline: Motorcycle Club Shifters. Give us your shifters who are in a motorcycle club or who want to be. We're looking for big, bad alphas and love a variety of shifter types. Paranormal romance is welcome. The hotter the better.
For May 15 deadline: Cowboy Shifters. Rough and ready, whether on the range or in the city. We want to see your hot cowboys who also just happen to be shifters. Paranormal Romance is welcome. Keep it spicy, mi amigos!
For July 15 deadline: Surf n' Turf. Let's see our shifters on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun. Or perhaps they're ocean creatures who come on shore to find their true mate. We want to see your passionate love affairs between creatures of the ocean and creatures of the land.
Guidelines here.

Rattle poetry magazine seeks poetry of any style, length, or subject, but must have first appeared on Instagram and not yet appeared in print. Pays $100. 
Deadline: January 15, 2019. Guidelines here.

Ruminate magazine publishes stories, poetry and art to teach us to slow down, to listen, and to pay attention, awakening our hearts to ourselves and to one another. Ruminate welcomes submissions that both subtly and overtly engages faith from all the world religions.
  Pays $20/page of poetry (maximum of $80 per poem), $20/page for visual art pieces, and $20/400 words for prose.
Deadline for poetry: January 15, 2019, then will accept submissions for Janet B McCabe Poetry Prize – $20 entry fee, $1,500 prize.
Deadline for nonfiction: May 31, then will accept submissions for VanderMey Nonfiction Prize.
Deadline for visual art: April 14, then will accept submissions for Kalos Visual Art Prize.
“Readers Ruminate, personal notes, 300 words or less, currently open for submissions.
Deadline for William Van Dyke Short Story Prize: Feb 18. Stories 5,500 words or less; $30 entry fee, $1,500 prize. Then will open for general fiction submissions Feb 19 – Aug 14.
The Ruminate blog is open for submissions year-round.
Guidelines here.

Helios Quarterly Magazine publishes science-fiction, fantasy and horror, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art. Pays 3 cents (U.S.) per word for the first 1,500 words and 1 cent/word over that word count for for short stories and 25 cents/line for poetry. 
Reading periods: January 1 – 15 for March issue; April 1 – 15 for June issue; July 1 – 15 for September issue; and October 1 – 15 for December issue. Guidelines here.

Wizards in Spaceis much more than a literary magazine. It’s a community and a support system. It’s a platform for the voiceless to speak out into the void. It’s smart, refreshing, and inspiring. It’s people celebrating each other while creating magic together, bright stars shining in a constellation. Publishes poems, short stories, creative nonfiction essays, and illustrations.” For Issue 4, they “particularly interested in themes of space and place, things that change and things that don’t, the spots we share and the ones we keep to ourselves. Where do you go when you need peace? Where do you go when you need to be loud?”etc. Pays $30. 
Deadline: January 15, 2019. Guidelines here

Outlook Springs is a literary journal devoted to fiction, poetry, and nonfiction tinged with the strange – seeks “weird, wobbly wordwork.” Pays $10 for poems, $25 for prose. 
Deadline: January 15, 2019. Guidelines here.

Prairie Fire is a Canadian literary journal. “In a typical issue you will find a wide range of writing, including excerpts from a work-in-progress, a thoughtful essay or memoir, literary humour, lots of poetry and fiction, and sometimes something more experimental.”
Currently seeks fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and poetry on the topic of work. Pays  10 cents/word for prose; $40 per poem. 
Deadline: January 18, 2019. Guidelines here.


There's less than three weeks left to enter the Disquiet Prize for writing in any genre. Three winners will be published on Granta.com (fiction), NinthLetter.com (nonfiction) or The Common (poetry). One grand prize winner will receive a full scholarship, accommodations, and travel stipend to attend the ninth annual DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon taking place June 23-July 5, 2019. Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will also be considered for financial aid. Additional scholarships available.
Read the contest guidelines or apply at Submittable.
Deadline: January 10, 2019. Reading fee: $15

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, 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, December 27, 2018

“Not Your Usual Christmas Story” by Isolde Ryan


As children grow into young adults, some Christmas traditions become less important than others. For example, every year we have to have turkey with my secret home-made stuffing and nothing else will do – which is work for me – but we can do without the Christmas lights on the eves trough – which is work for them!

Then we became grandparents, and everything changed once more. When my grandson Johnny was about four years old, he asked me if we could put lights on the outside of the house so Santa could find him better. Like any good grandma, I said yes and went out to buy lights the very next day. I installed them with the ladder in the bitter cold with the wind almost blowing me over several times. I did all of this just to see the smile on his face after he got home from kindergarten that day.  Believe me when I say it was so worth it.

The lights had no on-and-off switch; they had to be plugged into an outlet in the garage. This meant I had to unplug them before going to bed, which I forgot to do almost every night. My husband complained about the lights, telling me they would just increase our Hydro bill. Nevertheless, I kept them on for my grandson, and for Santa of course.

About a week before Christmas I was woken up by loud banging on our front door. The clock read 4 a.m. I went to the front window and looked out and saw a young man beating on my door.

I raced downstairs and opened the door. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

He looked at me and replied, “I am so cold!”

I told him to come in and sat him down.  I got him a blanket, and that’s when I noticed he was drunk, so I offered him some water too. He had vomit all along the side of his pants, and he wasn't wearing a coat. His face was frozen and he looked blue. He had been out in minus-20 weather in a thin dress shirt. He was shaking from the cold and crying, telling me he was lost.

We live on a rural road, surrounded by forest.  When I asked him how he got to my house, he said he followed the lights, “Yours were the only lights I could see.”

I asked him again how he got here, and he told me he was at a party in town and went outside to pee. In his state, he walked the wrong way, got turned around and got lost. The town is eight kilometers away! He must be mistaken, I told him, but he stuck to his story.

I asked him if I could call someone for him and he gave me a number, but no one answered. He then suggested I call his brother, and he gave me another number, where I left a message. He said his name was Jeff, and his family had moved from Woodbridge to Tottenham only a month before. He kept telling me how thankful he was that we had our lights on, as he couldn't see anything walking around outside in the dark.

My husband John heard the commotion and finally got up to see what was going on. I kept calling Jeff’s brother, and finally a girl answered. She said his brother was out looking for him. It was now 4:30. We told her where we lived and that Jeff was okay now. A little shaken up, but okay.

We sat at the table with Jeff, who finally started to get normal colour back in his face. He had stopped shaking, but was still talking about our lights. He kept thanking us for having them on.

His brother arrived about 30 minutes later in a pick-up truck. My husband helped the intoxicated Jeff out of the house and into the truck.

When John came back inside, he told me there was vomit all over the passenger seat and door. He said his brother must have thrown him out of his truck after he got sick in it, and left him outside, in the cold, without even a jacket. That theory made more sense to me then the story Jeff had given us.

The next day, I mentioned all of this to a friend, who called me crazy for “letting some strange young guy in to my home at four in the morning!”

 “What if it had been your son?” I said.

I told my grandson the next day that the lights he wished for weren't only going to help Santa find his way, but they had also saved a young man from freezing to death outside. Johnny was very happy about asking for the lights.

My husband never mentioned the Hydro bill again.

The following week I had card in my mail box from Jeff's mother. It read: “Thank you for saving my son!” and was accompanied by a gift certificate.

I often think how Jeff's story could have ended differently if I had remembered to turn the lights off.

Isolde Ryan has been a visual artist and writer all her life. She is a contributing author in both The Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada (2017), and We are the Wordsmiths, (2017). Through the South Simcoe Arts Council, Isolde won First Place in the Battle of the Brushes in 2017 and 2015; and in 2010, won the Peoples’ Choice Award. 

Though Isolde put her creative side on hold to raise her family and breed prize-winning Dobermans, she has produced many original pieces for art lovers around the world. She frequently writes short stories, and is now working on her first novel. This story was previously published on CommuterLit. You can find all five of her her short stories published on CommuterLit here, follow her on Twitter @isoldesryan, and visit her blog here.

 See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding Saturday writing workshops, weekly 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, December 26, 2018

Gifts to help make the world a better place




My son thought getting a goat for Hanukkah  would be the coolest thing. He’d just casually mention it to his friends, and they’d be like, “Really?” 

Yes, he’d eventually confess that, no, we don’t have a goat in the backyard – it was a gift, given through Plan International, to some family in the developing world – but still, way cool and goats are cute, too.

We actually opted for a bunch of baby blankets instead, a gift strongly backed by my daughter, who wanted whatever would do the most good, and for every baby blanket we bought, a government or foundation matched it with five more blankets. So good deal.

Check out all the available gifts here and matched gifts (that give the most bang for your buck) here. And you can do your Boxing Day shopping from home and avoid those crowded malls ;-)

All the best of the season ~Brian

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!



For those who celebrate and those who don't, 
here's wishing you all great joy. ~Brian 

Monday, December 24, 2018

“I Listen for the Bells” by Noel Robb



It was always the best night of the year. I waited, as kids do, with wide-eyed anticipation and wonder. I knew that Santa would come late while  all of us were fast asleep, but it was the evening that lay ahead, a special gathering of family steeped in tradition, that I waited for the most.

All of us had new clothes to wear. For me it was a dress with a full swirly skirt and a big bow at the back. The fabrics spoke “party”  rich velvets and shiny taffetas. My brothers had white button-down shirts with bow ties. They always hated feeling “choked” by anything around the neck, but for this, they didn’t make a fuss. The adults too, were finely dressed. Mom was stunning in her high heels and beautiful dress, along with a strand of creamy pearls. Dad was always distinguished in a dark well cut suit. I thought we made a fine looking family.

The drive to my grandparents’ home downtown in the city seemed to take forever as we stopped to let last-minute shoppers hurry by. My grandparents' home was modest and somewhat nondescript in its north end neighbourhood. But on Christmas Eve, it just sparked with coloured lights around the porch and red bottle-brush wreathes hanging in the front window.

Inside, the party would have started. The dining room table was stretched out to its maximum set with heavy linen tablecloths, the good china, and the crystal that my grandmother lovingly carried from her homeland.  My grandfather was literally in the Christmas spirit, or spirits, I should say, as he poured shot of cherry brandy or whiskey for my parents.

“Drink, drink, don’t be scared!” he’d say. My grandmother was in the kitchen, flushed with heat from the oven. Her apron was always immaculate, white, crisply ironed and proudly protecting her Christmas dress. This was her night to shine as she prepared a feast rich in the traditions of her childhood.

The meal never varied, never changed. It began with holy bread, broken dipped in honey and shared around the table. “May we always have plenty,”we’d say. Next came the soups, a rich white bean, followed by a savoury sauerkraut and wild mushroom. That was my favourite!

Everyone waited for the bobalki, tiny light balls of bread tossed in either a poppy seed and honey sauce, or the savoury onion and cabbage version. There was pickerel and salad, but never meat on this holy event. 

There was never room in my tummy for dessert, but who could resist red and green jello topped with homemade whipped cream and a tray full of my grandmother’s finest cookies…not to mention chocolates – Black Magic or Pot of Gold.

The stomping on the front porch silenced everyone and my heart would surge. The door would open and the sound of jingle bells came from the vestibule then finally the deep “Ho, ho, ho” as Santa Claus appeared at our dining room table! 

You see, he was a good friend of my grandfather, and always began his long night of delivering gifts to children around the world with some of my grandmother’s cookies, and a few shots with my grandfather. 

“Were we good children? “ Santa asked. “Oh yes,” we nodded solemnly, “so good”. And with his famous wink and a nod, he would be gone.

After the gifts were opened and the yawing began we’d settle in the back seat of the car for the ride home.  This was the best part of the whole evening. Dad put 900 CHML on the radio because he wanted to hear the news and it was always interrupted by a special report. 

Something mysterious had been reported at the radar station in the north. It looked like reindeer in the sky, pulling a red sleigh. We giggled with glee. Santa was on his way! 

As we passed the Eaton’s store on James Street, the pen that had been housing Santa’s reindeer for the month of December for children to feed and pet was empty! Further evidence, though I didn’t need it, that Santa soon would be here. 

No arguments about bedtime on Christmas Eve. We couldn’t wait to start dreaming.

Its been many years since I’ve worn a twirly taffeta skirt with a velvet bow. The Eaton store is long gone, and sadly, so have my beloved grandparents and my beautiful mother. Our family has added spouses and in-laws, children and now lots of great grandchildren. I have taken my turn at the stove, flushed in the preparations, wearing my grandmother’s immaculate apron. And while some things have changed, our traditions have not. 

There is always holy bread dipped in honey so we’ll always have enough. We drink shots to toast and honour our grandparents and lovingly try to replicate the bobalki so imprinted in our hearts. Santa doesn’t pay us a visit – I guess the world is bigger and he just can’t make the stop. But the little ones know he is coming and the excitement of the evening, of being together to share this special meal is really all that matters.

No arguments about bedtime. That still remains. But before I crawl into bed, I search the skies. I listen for the bells. I know he is up there. He knows I’ve been good all year and I fall asleep dreaming sweetly. Merry Christmas everyone.

Noel Robb is more of a reader than a writer. She has a Masters in Social Work and a keen interest in people and their stories. This is her first published piece. 

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, 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.