Monday, April 30, 2018

Congratulations to Monica, Frank, and Geri on getting published, and to Michelle on making it into a writing contest semi-finals


Hi, Brian.
Just wanted to let you know that I submitted a successful piece to Feminine Collective!
I will know more soon about the publishing date and will be sure to forward the finished piece to you.  It was one that I completed in one of your classes; “Night at the Improv.”
So nice to have something to add to my resumé!
See you soon for more intensive writing,
Monica Catto
You can read Monica’s story on Feminine Collective here, but much better to read it on Quick Brown Fox here. For information on submitting to Feminine Collective see here.
For information on creative writing classes starting soon, see here.

Hi Brian!
I just found out that i made the semi finals again for the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starters contest! I'm on the list twice! For my entry in October, and my entry in February!
I’m excited about it!
Michelle Dinnick


Hi, Brian.
How are you?
Our Plan to Save the World, a short story
collection by CommuterLit editor
Nancy Kay Clark, and Phyliss Humby,
Michael Joll, and Frank T Sikora
It's been a few years since I took your Next Step in Creative Writing course, but I never forgot the invaluable experience. It was during your workshop that I also learned about CommuterLit.
Recently, I submitted my short story "Emma's Dilemma" to them. Nancy Kay Clark loved it, and she posted it on the site.
Sincerely,
Frank Beghin                       
Read “Emma’s Dilemma” here.

Brian,
I wanted to say thank you for the shout out you gave me on Quick Brown Fox. It's very encouraging and makes me want to work harder.  I also got news yesterday that my third short piece will be in CommuterLit this week, “Jane” is the title.
See you in class,
Geri
Read “Jane” here. For links to all three of Geri’s pieces on CommuterLit, see here.

For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here
For information on creative writing classes starting soon, see 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.

Call for entries for CANSCAIP Writing for Children Competition




CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) welcomes entries by unpublished writers for the 21st annual Writing for Children Competition. 
Two winners will be awarded: $750 for a picture book/early reader entry and $750 for a chapter book/middle grade/young adult entry. Eight finalists will also be selected. 
The readers and juries who volunteer to evaluate the entries are all published CANSCAIP Members. All writers will receive feedback from the readers who evaluate the entries. The feedback is generally a few sentences or a short paragraph, and is a unique benefit of entering the Writing for Children Competition
Captain Monty by Jennifer Mook-Sang, now published by
Kids Can Press, was a finalist in the 2014 CANSCAIP contest
CANSCAIP submits the winners and finalists to publishers Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for their consideration. Some Writing for Children Competition winners and finalists have been published.
Submissions: $30 for one entry; $50 for two; $75 for three.
Deadline May 31, 2018. Full guidelines here.

Note: Don’t miss the Writing for Children & Young Adults mini-conference with Kids Can senior editor Yasmin Ucar, children’s author Kira Vermond, and YA author Tanaz Bhathena, Saturday, Sept 22, in Oakville. Details 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.

Writing for Children and for Young Adults mini-conference, Saturday, Sept 22, in Oakville

The Summoning, a YA novel by
Kelley Armstrong, a New York Times #1
bestselling author and one of Brian's students
Writing for Children and for Young Adults
  the world’s hottest market
A mini-conference featuring three guest speakers:
  Kids Can Press senior editor Yasemin Uçar 
   Children’s author Kira Vermond
   and Young Adult author Tanaz Bhathena
Saturday, September 22
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, Auditorium
120 Navy Street Oakville, 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!

Note: Following the formal end of the workshop at about 3:45, Yasemin will stay around to chat with you one-on-one and Brian will stay till 4:45 to help with your opening pages.

Guest speaker Yasemin Uçar is a Senior Editor at Kids Can Press. Yasemin has been a children’s book editor for over two decades. 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, Ashley Spires, Chieri Uegaki and Caroline Adderson.

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 Nationl Post, Chatelaine, MoneySense, CBC, Owl, and others. Kira’s Why We Live Where We Livewon 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 and Half-truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying. She’s currently working on two new books with Owlkids and Annick Press to be released next year. Kira will speak about writing nonfiction for kids.
Visit her website here.

Tanaz Bhathena was born in Mumbai and raised in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Toronto. She is the author of A Girl Like That (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2018) and The Beauty of the Moment, (forthcoming with FSG and Penguin Canada, Feb 2019).
Tanaz is also the winner of the 2009 MARTY for Emerging Literary Arts, a semi-finalist for the 2013 Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge and the Readers’ Choice pick for the 2015 U of T Magazine Short Story Contest. Her short stories have appeared in various journals, including BlackbirdWitness and Room Magazine.
Visit her website here.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor, author, and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’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. 

Read reviews of Brian’s classes and workshops here.

Fee: $49.56 + 13% hst = $55 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or $53.10 + 13% hst = $60 at the door
To reserve a spot now, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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

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.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Two events at the Oakville Library: An evening with authors Hannah Mary McKinnon & Karma Brown and Writing & Revising

Hannah with her page-turner,
The Neighbors at Chapters in Mississauga

The Oakville Public Library presents…
An evening with authors Hannah Mary McKinnon & Karma Brown
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, Auditorium, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario (Parking round the back, off Water St. Map here.)

Hannah Mary McKinnon (who many Quick Brown Fox readers will know from Brian Henry’s courses and workshops) is the author of The Neighbors, a dark, suspenseful  woman’s fiction novel published in March 2018 by MIRA (HarperCollins USA) and Time After Time, published in June 2016 by AVON (HarperCollins UK), a novel about love, loss and second chances that’s full of humour. Hannah’s third book, Her Secret Son, was also acquired by MIRA and launches next spring.
When she’s not writing novels for adults, Hannah’s three boys give her plenty of material for children’s books. 
Also, Hannah will be the guest speaker at the How to Build Your Story workshop, Saturday, Oct 20, in Waterloo. See here. And visit Hannah’s website here.

Karma Brown
Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and author of several bestselling novels. In addition to her novels, Karma’s writing has appeared in several magazines. 
Her most recent novel is The Life Lucy Knew. After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she’s known and loved for years – the man she recently married – is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven’t even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she’s been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is. 
Join us just three weeks before the publication date to get a preview of this intriguing story of dark secrets and the pull of the past.
Visit Karma’s website here.

Fee: $15. Tickets available at Oakville Library branches starting April 25.

From one of my favourite illustrators,
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Also at the Oakville Public Library
Writing and Revising
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, Auditorium, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario (Map hereParking on Water Street, behind the library)
If you want to refine your story-telling skills and cut the time you will need to spend editing, this workshop is for you. You'll learn how to step back from a manuscript in order to find – and fix – flaws in your plot, structure, characterization and style. You'll learn how to rethink, rework and rewrite so that your manuscript will live up to your vision.
Special Option: You’re invited to bring the first 500 – 1,000 words of one of your pieces of writing. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, three copies could be helpful.
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 Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published. 
You can 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.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Writing Conflict workshop, Saturday, Sept 15, in Toronto


Writing Conflict: Fight scenes, Dialogue scenes & Love scenes
Saturday, September 15, 2018
10:15 – 2:30
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here)

This workshop is geared to both beginners and more experienced writers.  We look at the most important part of all stories whether fictional or true: the fully dramatized scene. You’ll learn how to write great dialogue and how to mix it with your narrative so that the interaction between your characters comes alive. 

We’ll especially look at how to create the most difficult scenes of all: the fight scene, the dialogue scene and the love scene. Best yet, you'll learn some of the successful tricks of the trade so that you'll never write a lifeless scene again.

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 + hst = 42 paid in advance or 39.82 + 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, 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, April 26, 2018

”Colour Blind” by Rana El-ali



I am sitting in the passenger seat of his car, pretending to be interested in everything I see flashing by the window. I am aware of all the flashy signs standing out in the darkness of the night trying to lure me into trying some exotic cuisine at a random restaurant. Yet I am ignoring them. I am fixated on my reflection in the glass window. I can see the lipstick dried up in the corner of my mouth. Aliyah suggest I go for red tonight.

“Be bold. You want to stand out”

She was wrong. I don’t want to stand out. I I want to blend in perfectly with someone. I want to be a flawless full shade of red, and meet someone who is a familiar shade of blue. When we come together I want to create the perfect tone of purple, the warm comforting purple of a field of lavender. The lavender of essential oils that iron out headaches.

I don’t want to have to wear colour. I want to feel it, and maybe that is too much to ask.

“So did you like the bar? It’s pretty cool right?”

His voice startled me. For a moment I forgot where I was. I was too busy thinking about where I wanted to be.

“Yeah, it was nice.”

I sense he’s waiting for me to say something else. I have nothing to say to him. I’m too distracted by what has happening around me.

I fall into another daze. I am trying to read the signs we are passing so that I don’t have to worry about small talk. I’m having a hard time making out the words on the signs. I can read the letters individually but I don’t understand what they say. 

I realize that the car has stopped moving. I am unsure where I am. I look at the dashboard and I see a time on the clock I am unfamiliar with. What is happening? I’m trying to remember my name. I know the letters but I don't know how they sound together. S-t-e-l-l-a.

Everything is spacing out. I’m trying to rearrange the letters to spell out something that may sound familiar. Allset? Tellas? I don’t know.

I feel a heavy hand on my arm. I look down and the hand looks like a painting. Nothing seems real. The hand tightens its grip. I turn my head and everything feels like it’s moving in slow motion. The hand is attached to the person in the driver’s seat. His face is really close to mine. 

There is a scent in the air and it is the only thing familiar to me; the Stella on his breath. He smells like my father. He named me after his favourite beer.

My brain is trying to piece together the night. I remember the conversation was dull. I remember coming back to the bar from the washroom and realizing that my glass wasn't on the coaster anymore; rather it was beside it. Mom always made sure I used a coaster. You could say I was conditioned to do so. Something happened to my drink when I was gone and I think I’m starting to know what it was.

I close my eyes out of fear, and it isn’t until the next morning that they re-open. I am in the lawn chair in my backyard. I don’t know how I got here. I remember nothing, but my body is trying to tell me something.

I spend the rest of the day in bed with my phone turned off. In the evening I grab the wooden box filled with Mom’s hand-written poetry. My favourite one of hers sit’s on top. I read it out loud because I haven't  heard any human voice today:

Peel me like an orange peel; trying to devour my core.
The sweetness that satisfies your hunger. 

But I am out of season and my soil is fed chemicals to preserve my existence.
I am that refreshing orange soda that you crave during an Indian summer.
You crave me but the more you have me you will begin to rot.
Yet you keep coming back until your logic yells at you to put me down. 

The pills they made me swallow every day for two years were orange.
Miracle medicine for madness. 

I am exactly what you want.
What your mom wants you to have.
What your body and mind need.

But you hate the colour orange.

I put the letter down and I look to the frame on my desk that holds my favourite picture of her. I wish she was still here. I know she would understand. All I wanted was to be red, to feel purple and love blue. All Mom wanted was for someone to love orange as much as she did. I don’t think I can trust the colour wheel anymore. Or maybe I’m just colour blind and I’m only know realizing it.

Rana El-ali is a 24- year-old female residing in Mississauga. Writing has been her go-to outlet from a young age. With a stack of journals filled front to back that she has accumulated over the years she is now starting to explore the world of writing from a professional/career standpoint. 

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.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

How to Build Your Story workshop, Saturday, Oct 20, in Waterloo


How to Build Your Story
Plotting novels & Writing short stories
Saturday, October 20, 2018
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Waterloo Regional Police Station, Community Room, 45 Columbia St E, Waterloo, Ontario (Map here)

This workshop will show you how writers plot a novel and will give you the best tips on writing short stories. We’ll also look at where to get your stories published and how to win contests. Best yet, you’ll see how to apply the story-building techniques you’ve learned to your own writing.

Guest speaker Hannah Mary McKinnon is the author of The Neighbors, a dark, suspenseful  woman’s fiction novel published in March 2018 by MIRA (HarperCollins USA) and Time After Time, published in June 2016 by AVON (HarperCollins UK), a novel about love, loss and second chances that’s full of humour. Hannah’s third book, Her Secret Son, was also acquired by MIRA and launches next spring.
When she’s not writing novels for adults, Hannah’s three boys give her plenty of material for children’s books. 
At the workshop, Hannah will be speaking about the different trial and error approaches she’s used to plot her novels and short stories. She’ll also be sharing her story of her writing career so far.
Visit Hannah’s website 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.