Saturday, June 30, 2018

Join me at the Windsor International Writers Conference, Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 8

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper,
one of the many authors who will be
speaking at the Conference
The Windsor International Writers Conference presents…
Writing Point of View
Saturday, July 7, 2018
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Ambassador Bridge Holiday Inn, 1855 Huron Church Road, Windsor, Ontario  (Map here.)
A novel (or novella or short story) is not a series of events; it’s not just a character's actions or the working out of a conflict. A novel is somebody’s story; it’s a subjective telling of events; a character’s or a narrator’s take on things, their perspective, delivered through their voice. So point of view is not just a set of rules about being consistent and not head-hopping or committing other horrors; point of view quite simply is your novel, and if you don’t get it right, you don’t have a novel at all. Come to this session to learn how to do it well.
This talk is part of the Windsor International Writers Conference, which runs Friday, July 6, through Sunday, July 8. 
See the conference schedule here and registration here.

The Troop by Nick Cutter,
one of the many authors who be
speaking at the Conference
Writing Query Letters that Get a Yes
Saturday, July 7, 2018
2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Ambassador Bridge Holiday Inn, 1855 Huron Church Road, Windsor, Ontario  (Map here.)
If you want to get the attention of an agent or a publisher, you need to craft a good query letter. Using real life examples, this seminar shows you how to do it. There isn’t just one way to write a successful query, and your query doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to persuade an agent that you’ve got a book that they can successfully pitch to a publisher.
This seminar is part of the Windsor International Writers Conference, which runs Friday, July 6, through Sunday, July 8. 
See the conference schedule here and registration here.

And as a bonus, book a short one-on-one consult with Brian to make your query perfect. Just ask when you book your spot at the conference.

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.

Friday, June 29, 2018

"On cultural appropriation, some answers for worried writers" by Brian Henry

The identities of most of the people in this photo are unknown, but the little girl on the far left was Hanka Lamet.
She perished in the gas chambers at Majdanek 

I meet many writers these days who live in dread of the accusation of “cultural appropriation.” Are they allowed to write about Indigenous characters if they’re not Indigenous; black characters if they’re not black?

As I’ve often said, writers are allowed to do whatever they want; it’s a perk of the job. Indeed, writers are obliged to write what they want, even if it pisses people off; it’s a responsibility of the job.

I do get the indignation over cultural appropriation. Currently, I’m seeing endless memes comparing the Trump administration’s separation of children at the American-Mexican border to the Holocaust. This is an appalling comparison. The Nazis killed 1.5 million Jewish children. American immigration control has murdered none. As Amy Rosenthal points out on Facebook:

Children being separated from their parents at the US border is horrible and disgusting and anyone reasonable would oppose this practice 100%.
So, too, is comparing this solitary act (and everything wrong or immoral) to the Holocaust. Here is a short but by no means exhaustive list of terrible things Jewish children endured in concentration and extermination camps during WWII:
Starvation
Summary execution
Rape
Disease (typhus, dysentery, etc)
Medical experimentation
Severe beatings
Slave labor
Burying dead bodies
Digging *their own grave* before being shot and thrown in
Stop appropriating one of the worst things that ever happened to the Jews to suit you. You people will try and take anything from us, including our tragedies.

I agree with Amy on almost everything here, particularly her disgust at the Holocaust being used to score political points – I agree with everything, except the term “appropriation.”

Novelist Lionel Shriver
For Jews, the Holocaust was a unique and overwhelming catastrophe. But Jews don’t own this catastrophe. The Holocaust was an historical event, not property. So while people regularly trivialize the Holocaust and they make ridiculous comparisons to it so often that it’s become a law of online discussions, people cannot actually appropriate the Holocaust.

Similarly, no one owns any bit of history, whether it’s the residential school system in Canada or the history of slavery, segregation and prejudice in the U.S.

By all means, Indigenous people and black people and all sorts of people should write from their own perspectives. However, this doesn’t mean anyone else should stop writing or should try not to stray outside their own narrow cultures. As Lionel Shriver points out (here), if we follow that logic, we’ll all end up writing autobiography.

Just as it’s nonsense to talk about some people owning a bit of history, it’s just as nonsensical to talk of people owning any aspect of a culture. If Koreans own Korean food, who should I apply to for permission to try my hand at making kimchi? Can I just ask a friend or is there a ministry of the North Korean government which handles this sort of thing, and if I make kimchi without permission should they throw me into a labour camp?

The simple fact is that humans imitate each other. The impulse is older than humanity (animals do it, too), and it’s the reason we’re not all standing around in caves naked and grunting at each other. Can you imagine how much appropriation of each other’s utterances it took to get the whole language thing going?

Indeed, without appropriation, we’d each be in a solitary cave, all alone, because this imitation thing is at one with our social nature. It’s not merely that as social animals we imitate each other, but also it’s mutual imitation that binds us together.

Alan Kurdi, child of Syrian refugees, drowned 4 Sept 2015 
Imitation is also adoption; we feel our kinship to one another through our shared cultures. We gather in cafés to shout at the TV because that’s “our” team playing in the World Cup – and it’s “my” team even if I’m cheering for Iceland that day. And when we see a photo of a Syrian toddler washed up dead on the shore of the Mediterranean, we weep, because that child also is ours.

So to be clear: making cultural appropriation a crime is a way of criminalizing our shared humanity.

Yet sometimes when people complain of cultural appropriation they have a legitimate complaint; they’ve just misnamed it. So, for example, it’s wrong to make spurious comparison to the Holocaust because this falsifies history, dishonors the dead, and may cause needless grief to survivors and their descendants.

Speaking more to the point for writers, it’s wrong to write characters who perpetuate negative stereotypes or to write a novel that gets someone’s culture wrong. Not because of “appropriation” but because it’s disrespectful or may even be racist, and it makes for a bad book – or at least a book that’s not as good as it should be.

When writers are dipping into any area they’re not intimately familiar with, they’re always well advised to have a beta reader who is. You’re writing a YA novel? Having a teen reader look over your manuscript is a good idea. You have an Indigenous character? Having an Indigenous beta reader would be a good idea. Even better if your reader comes from the same First Nation or perhaps the same milieu. (If your Indigenous character grew up in Toronto, that urban environment might be more relevant than the specific First Nation your character belongs to.)

Novelist Angie Abdou
That said, writers do need to keep in mind that it’s their novel. “Sensitivity readers” as they’re called can’t become censors. I think the story of Angie Abdou (best known as the author of The Bone Cage) serves as an excellent example of how not to do things.

For her most recent novel, In Case I Go, Abdou hired an Indigenous consultant and rewrote her novel according to his advice, changing it from a ghost story to a story about her character’s relationship with a flesh and blood Indigenous character. 

Then she consulted with the cultural liaison for the First Nation people she was writing about, and following the liaison’s advice, rewrote her novel again, bringing in residential schools. Then Abdou asked the elder council for their okay for her representation of their Nation. Finally, after all this, once her book came out, she was still attacked. 

Jonathan Kay tells the whole sorry tale here.

What lessons might a writer learn from this story? First, perhaps it’s better to use a fictional name for the specific First Nation you’re writing about – just in case. Second, there’s a danger in being overly sensitive. A writer’s job is not to act as some group’s P.R. agent. It’s not your job to write the novel someone else wants to see written. You’ve got to remember it’s your book.

More generally, don’t pay attention to people with an axe to grind. The cry of “cultural appropriation” is a political attack, rooted in a peculiar ideology. Cultural appropriation is a made-up crime and simply has nothing to do with the art of writing.

Brian Henry is an editor, writer, creative writing instructor and the publisher of the Quick Brown Fox blog.

See Brian’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.

A free contest, a home for your reviews. plus 5 paying markets for your short fiction, poetry, essays, and kid lit



Polar Expressions Publishing has four free contests each year, seeking material for their annual anthologies. Right now they’re seeking short stories and poetry. There is no entry fee. The short story prizes are $500, $250 and $100; for poetry: $200, $100 and $50, plus a free copy of the anthology, which will include all the top entries.
Deadline July 31, 2018. Guidelines here.
In the fall, Polar Expressions runs a separate contest for students, kindergarten through grade 12.

Helios Quarterly Magazine publishes fiction (100–1,500 words), poetry (up to 100 lines), essays, narratives and articles that deal with science fiction, fantasy or horror (1,500–5,000 words), reviews of adult science fiction, fantasy or horror – books, TV or films (1,500 words max),  and “art that illuminates the darkness.” Pays 3¢ per word (U.S.) for the first 1,500 words then 1¢/word for short stories, 25¢ a line for poetry, $15 for reviews, and $35 for other nonfiction.
Reading period: July 1–15, 2018. Next reading period: Oct 1–15. Guidelines here.

Sowing Creek Press seeks personal essays, 1,200–2,000 words for an anthology titled Nature’s Healing Spirit: Real Life Stories to Nurture the Soul.
Nature can be defined in terms of the great outdoors or observations in your own backyard. City dwellers experience the natural world in a park or on a patio and can find those connections meaningful. While readers enjoy immersing themselves deep in the forest, high on an isolated mountaintop, or in the vast wilderness of a desert, nature finds its way into urban settings, too. And no matter where you find it, Nature’s Healing Spirit can help.”
Pays $50 for essays (U.S.); $25 for poems. Deadline: July 15, 2018.
Sowing Creek also publishes books that fit its “intent to plant literary light – to inform, help, and uplift. Nonfiction works may tackle tough topics to help the hurting or take the form of emotionally driven work that’s presented via lighter subject matter. Fiction is soon to come.”
Submission guidelines here.

LADYBUG magazine seeks stories and poems for children ages 3–6 . Theme: Our Diverse World. “We want stories about real or imaginary people with interesting hobbies, jobs, traditions, or inventions. We would like to see Black, Latinx, First Nations, East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern children from first, second, or third generation families. 
Tell us quirky, funny, heartfelt, and lesser-known stories where race, ethnicity, class, culture, and ability might intersect.. Our readers like simple yet strong plots, memorable characters, and humor. We prefer short work for young children (stories may be up to 800 words, poetry up to 20 lines).” 
Pays up to 25¢ per word (Canadian) for stories and articles; up to $3.00 per line for poems; $25.00 minimum. 
Deadline: July 15, 2018. Guidelines here.
CRICKET magazine seeks middle grade (ages 9–14) fiction, nonfiction, poetry, recipes, and activities on theme of Make a Splash. 
Pays up to 10¢ per word for fiction; up to 25¢ per word for nonfiction; up to $3.00 per line for poems; $25.00 minimum. 
Deadline: August 15, 2018. Guidelines here.
See full range of submission guidelines for 11 magazines for children aged 6 months to 14 years published by Cricket Media here.

Enchanted Conversation magazine seeks fairy tales, folktales and myths – either retellings of established stories or with original characters set within fairy tale, folktale or mythic templates. Wants stories 700–2,000 words and comics 1 to 5 pages in length. For other issues also accepts poetry, but not for the August.
Pays $20 per story or comic
Deadline: July 20, 2018, for the August issue, but publishes bi-monthly. Guidelines here.


Quick Brown Fox welcomes short essays about your favourite book(s) and about reading and writing, plus your reviews of books and movies or whatever else catches your eye.  More hereRead how to write a book review (or any kind of review) here.

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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Starting soon: An introductory creative writing course, Wednesday afternoons, July 4 – Aug 22, in Burlington


Exploring Creative Writing
Eight weeks of discovering your creative side
Wednesday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45
July 4 – August 22, 2018
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

This is your chance to take up writing in a warm, supportive environment. We’ll explore writing short stories and writing true stories, writing in first person and in third person, writing technique and getting creative, getting down your very best writing and just for fun writing.
The class has the same format as "Welcome to Creative Writing," but we look at different aspects of writing. With either course, you 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.

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 helped many of his students get published.
Read reviews of Brian's introductory creative writing course here, and see other reviews here(and scroll down.)

Fee:  $167.26 plus 13% hst = 189
To reserve your spot, 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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

“Beige” by Lee Currie



I sat in my windowless office, feeling all of the beige close in on me. Beige ceiling tiles, beige wallpapered walls, beige phone with an extra long beige cord, beige keyboard and monitor, beige carpet, beige coffee mug containing burnt coffee with creamer – so much beige. I was sure I could smell beige, and it got caught at the back of my throat. It was going to suffocate me.
The beige was in striking contrast to my job which was filled with the exciting energy of negotiations and deadlines, travel and decisions, product procurement, packaging and profits.
Until recently I hadn’t noticed all of the beige surrounding me. For the most part, I enjoyed coming to work. For the other part there was Mark “the Troll,” my boss. His behaviour since passing me up for promotion had been mean-spirited and personal. His wiry black hair went wildly in all directions, round black framed glasses constantly slid down his oily nose, stubby fingers pointed up at me manically as he spat his rage over how no one in the history of our company would beat him as the youngest-ever Vice President, which he hit at age thirty, two years earlier. Most especially I wasn’t going to beat his record.
The job I loved had become claustrophobic and highly political. It was both physically and mentally draining. I was exhausted.
At my desk, I pushed the palms of my hands into my eye sockets and took in a deep breath. As I leaned back in my chair covered in nubby beige polyester (the only relief a thin thread of light blue ran throughout in a plaid pattern), I heard a click from the ceiling where, and above me, a whoosh of frigid air escaped from a vented metal square.
May was here. The oversized blue wool cardigan I didn’t wear all winter was on a hook behind the door; time to put it on. Air-conditioning season had arrived.
To better focus on my thoughts, I quietly closed the door against the steady hum of machines: fax, copiers, dot matrix printers and the telex combined with the chatter of staff from one cubicle to the next. I settled back behind my desk, my thoughts anxious and relentless. My phone rang. I checked my watch; it must be the lab calling with my weekly product test results review.
“Hello?”
“Lee,” followed by a pause, “this is your father speaking,” he said, as though that voice could be anyone else. His resonant bass, the voice that invited no contradiction or rebuke, was unmistakable.
“Dad? What’s wrong?” my voice rose in alarm. All previous thoughts flew from my mind and I gripped the handset a little tighter. The great man himself never called without his secretary announcing that he was on the line. This had to be bad news. Surely someone had died.
“When are you getting married? I want to know when I will be a grandfather,” he demanded in a tone I had not heard before.
Where the hell was this coming from? I was relieved and somewhat amused.
“What? This is completely out of the blue, Dad.” I wasn’t even dating anyone. “What’s going on?”
“Well, Barb* and I were talking over the weekend and we have a few concerns.”
“Oh, really. What concerns do you and your new wife have that pertain to me?” I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice, and failed.
“Now, don’t be like that. Barb* has only your best interest at heart. She loves all of you girls. I think her concerns are valid or I wouldn’t call you about them.”
“This is just so unexpected. In my twenty-six years on earth you have never mentioned any interest in being a grandfather, or offered any opinions on my love life, ever. I just find it weird.” And unsettling, but I didn’t say that part out loud.
“We’ve decided it’s time for you to seriously think about growing up. You’re not getting any younger and it’s time for you to settle down,” he said, imposing the royal we again. “Have I made myself clear?”
As I hung up the phone, I felt like I had been given a directive from god himself. Our conversations never took more than two minutes, tops. This one just happened to have more life-altering demands than the others.
I was rattled. Grow up? Was he kidding? I was personally responsible for the development and maintenance of over 500 private label products earning millions of dollars in profit for the US operations every year. That was pretty grown up if you asked me.
One thing I knew for sure, his demands would not be satisfied if I remained in this job or even in this town. There was only one thing to do: make a plan.
I dialled Mary, the secretary I shared with Mark, who sat outside his office. “Bring me a legal pad and two pencils, and hold my calls for the rest of the day. I’m working on a project and can’t be disturbed.”
“What do I say to Mark?”
“Whatever you want.”
I was not normally curt with Mary, but since her recent defection to Team Troll, aka job security, I was not in the mood to deal with her concerns.
Squaring up the pad, I carefully considered my situation, and within minutes the yellow lined legal pad was filled with words, pencil marks in all directions, plenty of pink eraser dust, and, at the bottom, a rough plan, one that would deal with both my Mark problem and my Dad problem.
Six months later, there was another click from the ceiling where, from a vented metal square, came a whoosh of hot air. But by then I was long gone to a new job and a new country.

*"Barb's" name changed to protect my butt!

Lee Currie spent part of her adult life in the grocery industry and another part raising her four children. Now she’s trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life! She’s a trained life coach, a Desire Map facilitator, recently passed the Ontario real estate exams, certified oracle guide, trained astrologist, talented natural light photographer and devoted maker of memory books where her photos are married with stories. Storytelling is the constant through all of her life and she enthusiastically attends many of Brian’s workshops, courses and events in the hope that writing becomes a much bigger part of her life. Much to her surprise and that of her children, she happily remains in sleepy, suburban Oakville with her two lively Australian Labradoodles, Tuck and Finn.
Visit Lee at www.leecurrie.com

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.


Monday, June 25, 2018

The Udupi Madras Café, reviewed by Anu



Udupi Madras Café, 265 Enfield Place, Mississauga, Ontario Map here.

Every now and then, my husband and I drop whatever we are doing to make a quick dash to our favourite restaurant The Udupi Madras Café. It is conveniently located in downtown Mississauga, close to a number of apartment buildings and right in the middle of an office complex. Udupi, as the restaurant is fondly called, is a homey, no-nonsense place where the focus is primarily on food.

That’s not to say the place lacks ambience. It is neat and tidy and well-decorated. A terracotta statuette of Ganesh, the Indian God with an elephant head, greets you at the entrance. Miniatures by Indian artists festoon the wall. Lilting notes of Indian film music floating through the air, add a touch of authenticity.

And the food is oh so delicious! The entire fare is vegetarian, but satisfying enough to wow the most diehard among carnivores. The dishes reflect the flavor and taste of the cuisine from Udupi, a small town tucked away in Southern India in the state of Karnataka. (The name “Udupi” has now become synonymous with restaurants which serve typical South Indian fast food).

The specialities of the Udupi Madras Café include dosas, idlis and vadas. Dosas come in various forms and can be customised to suit your palate. They are thin crisp crepes made with a fermented batter of rice and lentils with options for stuffings. Idlis are soft, fluffy, white steamed cakes prepared from a similar batter. As for vadas, they are golden brown savoury doughnuts made by frying a spicy, thick batter of lentils.

These items are served with sambar (a traditional South Indian spicy lentil and vegetable curry) and coconut chutney. The menu also includes a South Indian thali which is a platter consisting of various assorted curries and vegetables accompanied by Indian bread, basmati rice and pappadams.

The weekend brunch, up for grabs on Saturdays and Sundays is an attraction that draws the most crowds. This includes a sumptuous spread of 15–20 mouth-watering items for a nominal charge. Diners are advised to have a light breakfast and arrive early for the brunch. The restaurant also has a lunch menu on weekdays priced very reasonably which is a godsend for the numerous office-goers in the vicinity.

The servers are courteous and the owner drops in every now and then to check on the customers. Service is quick most of the time (except on weekend evenings when the staff  is tired from preparing and serving the elaborate brunch).You can’t make a reservation, but wait times are minimal.

Last but not least, there is an underground parking garage , with plenty of parking space close to the restaurant and parking is free for Udupi clients.

Offering a refreshingly different culinary experience, the Udup” is a must try for all you foodies out there.

Anuradha “Anu” Varier worked at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi as a Senior Scientist for 16 years before relocating to Canada in 2002. In Canada, she  taught part-time at Wilfrid Laurier, Ottawa and Carleton universities. Anu has been aspiring to step into the foray of non-scientific writing and as a first step, took Brian Henry’s introductory creative writing course. She really enjoyed writing short stories and pieces during Brian's classes.

Brian’s next introductory creative writing class is on Wednesday afternoons and starts July 4, 2018. 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.

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 Associates 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 Uçar, 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.