Friday, September 20, 2019

“Masochistic Jockeys” by Elizabeth Chestney



At the intersection of the Internet and words, the English language is suffering, our thoughts and feelings reduced to a hip shorthand of abbreviated texts, emojis and memes.
To my astonishment, my 80-year-old mother picked up texting with the same curious abandon that a toddler picks up a pre-enjoyed piece of gum from the pavement and pops it in her mouth. Worlds collided when she started her love affair with technology. Suddenly, there was nothing standing between her and her children. Not time, not distance, and certainly not decorum.
A texting bout with Mum is emotionally exhausting. The weather, her utility bill, the traffic – no topic is too trivial, and delivery comes with an onslaught of exclamation marks: “I went to the bank today!! The roads were insane!!! My car died!! I took it to the mechanic, spent $2,000 dollars!!!!”
Then she’ll slip in as a casual afterthought. “How are you?”  If I’m too slow (or too stunned) to reply, she’ll move on to my brother or sister and whip them into a hyperbolic frenzy. Sometimes, she’ll reach out with a random headline or two in her signature staccato format: “Snowing in Hawaii!! Trump’s America is 22 TRILLION IN DEBT!!” The hysteria is perennial; she missed her calling as news ticker writer. 
I sealed my fate when I began to work for a technology company. Even though I work in communications, for Mum, I might as well be 24x7 tech support for anyone in the world who’s having any kind of problem with any kind of system or device (but mostly her). “HELP!!!” she’ll text, “I lost all my emails!!!”  Then she’ll call and ask: “Did you get my text?”
Helping someone with a text when you’re not physically there is like trying to swallow your own head whole.
Mum: Do you know how to get confetti?
Me: Huh?
Mum: Jonnie said to click and then swipe and I would get confetti!!!
Me: Ok.
Mum: I’m trying to wish Martha Happy Birthday!!! How do I get confetti to show up?!! I tried it dozens of times!!!
Me: Did you click and swipe where you text?
(By this time, I’ve stopped what I’m doing and am trying to figure out how to get the effect on my phone, while she’s texting me).
Mum: I tried that!! It’s not working!! Stupid phone!!
Me: I’m working, Mum.
This kind of exchange might go on for about 20 minutes, until I pick up the phone in a fit of frustration and call her.
Mum is constantly at war with her phone. Once she texted me the entire recipe for squash soup, right in the middle of a conversation, pictures and all. “Where did that come from?!!!” she demanded, followed by a denigrating “Stupid phone.”
Spell check is Enemy Number 1. She hates it but won’t turn it off, which makes for a lot of “momisms” sent via text. Her best, by far, is “downbusting.” I’m not even sure this was a typo. It’s her take on “downloading” only with more chutzpah.
Hyperbole is the name of her game. After she accused my brother of being a hacker (he’s a developer), she asked him to “downbust a file” for her. My colleagues love the term and use it liberally. “We better downbust on outta here,” they say, “or we’re going to miss lunch.”
I can’t really fault Mum for trying, at least she is keeping up with the times – and the most current way to communicate. It’s just that the person who used to say (with a self-possessed grandeur), “It’s “stuuupid, Elizabeth, not stoopid” is now sending me images of Pikachu with “Haters Gonna Hate” written across the bottom. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know what a hater is.
Technology has pushed us past the eloquence of bygone communications. A friend of mine recently showed me a letter that her great grandmother wrote to her great grandfather, her boyfriend at the time and a prisoner of war in a German internment camp. 
The letter is so refined and moving, each line laden with careful hope for a future together. The penmanship, pristine and well-practiced. Every long and graceful loop that glides to form its well-spaced words is an exercise in metered restraint. What would compare to it today, I wonder.
A simple text. Or worse, sexting. A picture of her in some white, flimsy lingerie (like the picture that baseball player’s wife tweeted after he won the World Series: “Can’t wait till your [sic] home hon”), her pert breasts curving up to where soft flesh meets fine silk, the gleam of sunlight through the window catching this moment, just so. A private conversation posted publicly for all to see. So pre-coital and immediate, it is almost embarrassing. Instant gratification is in full bloom while anticipation withers on the vine.
When I claim that the English language is languishing, I can’t take the grammatical highroad. I text. I send memes. I contribute to the matrix of typos.
My first job was at a startup in north Toronto. I worked for the Comparelli brothers at Mind the Store as a technical writer. Its kitschy claim to fame was that their salesman, Pat Gowan, was the singer Gowan’s brother. I couldn’t talk to him without, “You’re a Strange Animal” playing on an eternal loop in my head. The company ran out of funding and stopped paying its employees, so we spent most of our days applying to online postings of jobs.
One day, I was unabashedly formatting my resume on company time. I listed out my hobbies (back when it was okay to do so) and included “music (disc jockey)” because I DJ’d at a campus radio station, as well as a nightclub. I thought it might make me appear well-rounded. Once I finished formatting my resume, I spell-checked it. Wanting to head home, I hurriedly accepted all recommended edits before firing off a bunch to potential employers. It was on my hour-long ride home on the subway that I found my typo. Spell-check didn’t like “music (disc” and substituted “masochistic” in its place. In my haste, I had accepted this change and now one of my hobbies was listed as: masochistic jockey.


What exactly is a masochistic jockey, I mused as the subway clackety-clacked its way downtown. I imagined a jockey in full dress, crouching inches off the saddle, eyes rolled back in ecstasy, committing self-flagellation with a riding crop as opposed to urging on his horse. Winning the race was no longer the point. Clearly, it was the journey that mattered.
I didn’t get any interviews. Not even one, out of curiosity.
     Technology is making us lazy. Soon, we won’t even have to think; computers will do it all for us. Predictive text has been around for decades and Google is using AI to suggest pre-canned replies to emails. (I can hear my mother arguing with her inbox, insisting “That’s not what I want to say!” but refusing resolutely to deactivate the feature. It’s fodder for another text-plaint to her kids, after all).

     The dumbening is coming (it might already be here) George Saunders predicted it back in 2007 with social media sites serving as platforms for the braindead megaphone. There’s no need to mention the usual suspects – human or tech – they’re so obvious today. Technology affirms that language is a social construct; the medium has become the message. In that (cyber)space where words and technology intersect, a well-known NRA slogan comes to mind: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The same can be said for the English language: Technology doesn’t kill syntax, people kill syntax. But (like guns), technology doesn’t help.
Sry g2g Cya. BFN.

Elizabeth Hanson is a recovering careerist who’s recently returned to her passion for writing. Humour in the human experience interests her, possibly because she laughs too loud at the wrong times. She lives in Elmira, Ontario, with her husband, daughter, their two dogs, and a cat {no horses; no riding crops}. She is an unapologetic over-user of the semicolon.

“Masochistic Jockeys” was previously published on The Penman Review. See here.
For information about submitting to The Penman Review and 21 other markets for your short essays, poetry, and fiction, see 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.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Creative Writing Courses: Introductory, Personal Stories, The Next Step, and Intensive,


Welcome to Creative Writing
9 weeks of discovering your creative side
Thursday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
September 26 – November 28, 2019 (No class Oct 31)
Oakville Central Library, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, 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

Writing Personal Stories
9 weeks of sharing and writing
Offered in two locales:
Thursday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
September 26 – November 28, 2019 (No class Oct 31)
St. Elizabeth's Anglican Church, 5324 Bromley Rd, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)
And
Friday afternoons, 1:15 – 3:15 p.m.
September 27 – November 29, 2019 (no class Nov 1)
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave,  Toronto, 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

Next Step in Creative Writing
10 weeks of growth as a writer
Note: Now waiting list only for the fall course, but this will be offered again on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington starting in December. Email me now to reserve your spot at brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Tuesday afternoons, 12:30 – 2:45
September 24 – Dec 10. (no class Oct 8 or Nov 5)
First readings emailed Sept 17
St. Elizabeth's Anglican Church, 5324 Bromley Rd, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)
The Next Step in Creative Writing is for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a course or two before and are working on their own projects. Over the ten weeks of classes, you’ll be asked to bring in five pieces of your writing for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on. 
Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.
Fee: $184.96 + 13% hst = $209
To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Intensive Creative Writing
12 intense weeks of writing & critiquing

Note: Now waiting list only for the fall Intensive courses, but they'll be offered again on Wednesday evenings in Burlington and Friday mornings in Toronto starting in December. Email me now to reserve your spot at brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Offered in two locations:
Wednesday evenings, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
September 18 – December 11 (no class Oct 9)
First reading emailed Sept 11
St. Alban's Church, 537 Main Street, Georgetown, Ontario (in the village of Glen Williams (Map here.)
And
Friday mornings, 10:15 – 12:30
September 20 – December 13 (no class Nov 1)
First reading emailed Sept 13
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here.)
Intensive Creative Writing isn't for beginners; it's for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a course or two before and are working on their own projects. Over the twelve weeks of classes, you’ll be asked to bring in five pieces of your writing for detailed feedback – including three longer pieces. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on. 
Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.
Fee: $229.20 + 13% hst = $259
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. Brian is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published. 
Read a review of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Cambridge, 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.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

You're invited to a book launch for Happy Haiku by Elizabeth Crocket

You're invited to a book launch for
Happy Haiku, a children's picture book
by Elizabeth Crocket.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
1:00 – 2 - 2:30 p.m.
A Different Drummer Books
513 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario (Map here)
Refreshments, door prizes – and of course Liz will give a reading.
Everyone welcome!

Elizabeth Crocket is a poet and author. As a poet, she specializes in Japanese short form poetry. She’s had two chapbooks published with Red Moon Press. One of them, Not Like Fred and Ginger, a collection of haibun poetry chronicling her cancer journey, was shortlisted for the prestigious American Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. She also loves writing photo-haiga, which is a photograph paired with a haiku (like this), and won the Jane Reichhold 2nd annual photo-haiga contest. Elizabeth is also a women's fiction author who has written three books, all with t a strong romantic element. In all, she has about 150 publishing credits. 
Visit her website here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Cambridge, 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.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Raising the Stakes – How to tighten the tension in your story, Saturday, Jan 25, in Toronto


Raising the Stakes
How to increase your story's tension 
Saturday, January 25
1o:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Glenview Church, Parlour, 1 Glenview Ave,  Toronto, 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 raise the tension in each scene they write.

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, 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.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Who is Tansky? by Bev Katz Rosenbaum – Readings & Signings Sept 22 & 28

Who is Tansky? (Orca Books)
Thirteen-year-old Tanya Kofsky is invisible. She hates that no one listens to her, at home or at her new school. So as student elections get underway, Tanya starts secretly painting controversial images on the walls of the school. Soon everyone is talking about this amazing artist with a lot to say.
The election results turn out to be a catalyst for more rebellion. And not just from students. Teachers, tired of the principal's authoritarian leadership, start promoting self-expression. Even the lunch ladies join in, ignoring the strictly controlled menu and serving more nutritious and culturally diverse fare.
But can this revolution affect real change? Or will speaking up lead to complete disaster?

Reviews
“A great read with the potential to light that spark in the leaders and activists of tomorrow.” ~CM Magazine

Bev Katz Rosenabaum is an award-winning publishing veteran who's worked as an in-house editor of both commercial fiction (at Harlequin Books) and literary fiction (at McGraw-Hill Ryerson, where she acquired and edited short fiction for teens by such luminaries as Teresa Toten and Patrick DeWitt). She’s also a multi-published author – of two romance novels, two young adult novels, and now a middle grade novel. She might have picture book news to announce soon, and she’s also working on a new novel for young adults that's very dear to her heart. 

Upcoming appearances:
Word on the Street Festival, Toronto, Harbourfront Centre, TD Kidstreet tent
Reading from and signing copies of Who is Tanksy? on Sunday, September 22nd at 4:00 p.m.
Orca author panel and signing, Chapters Scarborough on Saturday, September 28th at 11:00 a.m.

And if you can’t get out to see Bev in person, you can buy a copy of Who is Tansky? at any bookstore or online here.

For information about submitting to Orca Books, see here.

For information about Brian Henry’s next Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop, see here.

See my Brian's full 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, September 15, 2019

Congratulations to Kelley Arrmstrong and Tanaz Bhathena




Congratulations to all the authors who are finalists for a Canadian Children’s Book Centre award this year, and a special shout out to Kelley Armstrong and Tanaz Bhathena who are both finalists for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award – one of Canada’s major prizes for Children’s lit. I hope one of you wins it this year. ~Brian

Aftermath
Written by Kelley Armstrong (Aylmer, ON)
Penguin Teen Canada
for ages 12 and up
“A suspenseful mystery with plenty of sharp twists, this novel provides an insightful examination of the different ways people respond to trauma and grief, school bullying… Aftermath paints a picture of a girl trying to pick up the pieces of a life that has been torn apart by a school shooting — a school shooting committed by her brother.  Smart and engaging, this is a book about finding your way back to yourself.”
Available at bookstores everywhere and online here.

A Girl Like That
Written by Tanaz Bhathena (Mississauga, ON)
Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers
for ages 14 and up
“Intricately woven and breathtakingly beautiful, Bhathena’s A Girl Like That is inspirational, compelling and enriching. With writing that makes the setting feel like its own character, this book introduces a place that may be unfamiliar to some but whose characters are instantly relatable to anyone living under the weight of other’s expectations…Painful and honest, this story will stay with readers long after the book is finished.”
Available at bookstores everywhere and online here.
See the shortlists for all the CCBC awards here.

Many Quick Brown Fox readers will have met Tanaz Bhathena at one of my workshops. At the moment, she’s not a scheduled speaker for any of my upcoming workshops, but Kelley Armstrong will be my guest at How to Write a Bestseller on Saturday, Oct 26, in Waterloo. Details here.
See my complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Cambridge, 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.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Great workshops soon: How to Get Published with literary agent Meg Wheeler, Writing for Children & for Young Adults with senior editor Yasemin Uçar & author Jennifer Mook-Sang, and How to Write Great Dialoge


A Measure of Light by Beth Powning
represented by WCA
How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, Sept 21, 2019
1:00 – 4:00 / 4:30 p.m.
Holly Community Centre, 171 Mapleton Ave, Barrie, Ontario (Map here)
Note: "How to Get Published" is also offered Saturday, November 23, in Niagara on the Lake. See here.
If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. Book editor Brian Henry and literary agent Meg Wheeler will explain how to approach an agent or publisher to give your book the best possible chance. We will go deep into how to write a query letter that will get you a yes. 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 4:00, Brian Henry will be staying for at least half an hour and helping interested attendees, rewrite their query letters, while literary agent Meg Wheeler 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.
Meg Wheeler is an Associate Agent and International Rights Director with Westwood Creative Artists, one of Canada’s largest literary agencies. It’s also one of the oldest and most respected. Clients of the agency include Mark Sakamoto, Justin Trudeau, Yann Martel, Thomas King, Rohinton Mistry, Alan Doyle, Rosemary Sullivan, and Kyo Maclear.  There are seven agents on the team:  Chris Casuccio, Jackie Kaiser, Michael A. Levine, Hilary McMahon, John Pearce, Bruce Westwood, and Meg Wheeler.
Meg’s inbox is open to submissions of all kinds, but she has a particular soft spot for literary fiction, women’s commercial fiction, and the gamut of nonfiction. She’s also interested in young adult and middle grade fiction.
Fee: $38.82 + 13% hst = $45 paid in advance or $43.36 + 13% hst = $49 at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

The Summoning a YA novel by
Kelley Armstrong a New York Times #1
bestselling author & one of Brian's students
Writing for Children and for Young Adults
  ~ The world’s hottest market
With Kids Can Press senior editor Yasemin Uçar 
and children’s author Jennifer Mook-Sang
Saturday, October 5, 2019
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Centennial Hall, Burlington Central Library, 2331 New Street, Burlington, 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. We'll be quite a small group, so be sure to bring all your questions – we'll have lots of time for interaction.
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 up to 750 words if that gets 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.
Guest speaker Jennifer Mook-Sang grew up in Guyana and moved to Canada when she was fourteen. While reading bedtime stories to her two sons, she fell in love with picture books and decided to write one of her own. In one of Brian Henry's classes she found the beginnings of a story. That story grew into the humorous middle-grade novel Speechless, published by Scholastic Canada.
Speechless won the Surrey Schools Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for many others, and was recommended by the Ontario Library Association, the Canadian Childrens’ Book Centre, the CBC, and the TD Summer Reading Club. 
Since then, Jennifer has also published a picture book, Captain Monty Takes the Plunge, with Kids Can Press. Captain Monty is the boldest, stinkiest pirate to sail the six or seven seas; in fact, he’s never had a bath. Naturally, the Junior Library Guild immediately selected him for its fall list of recommended books; it was short-listed for the Rainforest of Reading Award; and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre put it on its best books of the year list.
Jennifer has discovered another facet of being a children's author: she's traveled across Canada speaking to hordes of kids about her writing journey; encouraging them to read, write, and revise. Who knew that Brian's nudging to read aloud to the class would come in so handy someday?
Jennifer lives in Burlington, Ontario. You can find out more about her here. 
Speechless is available online here. And Captain Monty Takes the Plunge is availablehere. And of course they’re both available in book stores everywhere.
Fee: $43.36 + 13% hst = $49 paid in advance or $46.90 + 13% hst = $53  at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

How to Write Great Dialogue
Sunday, October 20, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
College Boreal, Room TBA, Sudbury, Ontario (Map here)
Accessible to beginners and meaty enough for experienced writers, this workshop will show you how to use dialogue to make your stories more dynamic and dramatic.
Whether you’re writing fiction or memoir, you need to be able to write great dialogue that both sounds natural and packs dramatic punch, and you need to know how to mix your dialogue and narrative so that your characters come alive. 
Come to this workshop and learn both the basics and the best tricks of the trade. 
Fee: $43.36 + 13% hst = $49 paid in advance or $46.90 + 13% hst = $53  at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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, he's led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown, and he's the author of a children's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 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.

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.