Monday, October 26, 2020

Post-lockdown schedule for writing workshops and retreats continues to develop

October
Online: How to Write Great CharactersSaturday, Oct 31. Come in costume.  Details here.

November
OnlineHow to Write a Bestsellerwith New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, Nov 7. Details here.
Jackson's Point: Writing Retreat at the Briar's Resort on Lake Simcoe, Friday, Nov 13  Monday, Nov 16. Details here.
Online: How to Get Published with literary agent Stephanie Winter, Saturday, Nov 28. Details here.
2021
January
Online: Writing for Children and for Young Adults with Scholastic Books editor Anne Shone,
 Saturday, January 30. Details here

January ~ Weekly courses
Online: Exploring Creative Writingan introductory, low pressure course to get the creative
  juices flowing Thursday evenings, Jan 21 – Apr 1 {no class Feb 25}. Details here.
Online: Writing Personal Stories, nine weeks of creativity and fellowship. Thursday
  afternoons, Jan 28 – Apr1 {no class Feb 25}. Details here.  
Online: Writing Kid LitPicture Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade books, and Young Adult
  novels, with enormously talented and experienced authors as guest speakers for two of the classes,
 Tuesday evenings, Feb 2 – March 30. Details here.

February
Online: Writing for Children and for Young Adults with Kids Can editor Kathleen Keenan.
  Saturday, February27, Details to come.

For more information or to reserve your spot at any weekly class, weekend retreat or Saturday

 workshop, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Congratulations to Corinne, Christine, Robin, Wayne, and Paula!

If you’ve had a story (or a book!) published, if you’ve won or placed in a writing contest, if you’ve gotten yourself an agent, or if you have any other news, send me an email so I can share your success. And be sure to let know if you're looking for a writers' group or beta readers; a notice in Quick Brown Fox, will help you find them. 

Email me at brianhenry@sympatico.ca

 

Good morning, Brian!

Today my short story "Boy" was published online in STORGY magazine. Please share the link, and let me know what you think of the story!

All the best,

Corinne Clark

For information on submitting to SOTRGY, see here.

And be sure to check out Corinne’s story here!

 


Hi, Brian.

And I’ve been meaning to tell you that Latitude 46 in Sudbury has accepted my novel – pub date spring 2021. So thanks for the input on my query letter. I’m sure it helped.
Best
Christine Langlois

For information on submitting to Latitude 46, see here.

 

Hi, Brian.

My short story “Tongue Twister” was recently published online in Backchannels Journal. Is it science fiction or fantasy? You can decide :-)

Thanks,

Robin

For information about submitting to Backchannels, see here. Check out Robin’s story here.

 

Hi, Brian.

Just thought I'd write in to let you know that, as one of your former students, you have another success story on your hands. I was writing a science fiction novel while attending your classes, and now I have a novel out: The Chimera Code.

Check it out here.

I just wanted to thank you for the classes and the opportunity to meet with other aspiring writers while I was working on this project. It made a difference, and now that book will be coming out into the world in just a few months.

Wayne Santos

P.S. Wayne also has another book coming out in April 2021: The Difficult Loves of Maria Makiling. Check out the details or pre-order your copy here.

 

Hi, Brian.

Just wanted to let you know that my personal essay, “Honey, the ants are back again,” has been published in the Globe & Mail’s First Person column.

It is the story about the ants, the one I submitted to just you during our Writing Personal Stories class this summer (Tuesday nights).

So exciting!

Thank you for everything. I plan to take another of your courses in January, once my busy fall is over.

Hope you are well,

Paula MacDonald

For information about submitting to the Globe and Mail’s First Person column, (and to 21 other places), see here.

Read Paula’s story, “Honey, the ants are back again,” here.


See Brian Henry's schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Online workshop: How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, Oct 31

How to Write Great Characters   
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Come in costume!
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Offered online, so you can jon from wherever there's Internet
Note: This workshop was scheduled to be held at the London Central Library, but they've decided they can't host us this year.

Whatever you're writing ~ fiction or nonfiction ~ readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.

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 their first book published and launch their careers as authors.
Read reviews of Brian's workshops, classes, and writing retreats here (and scroll down).

Fee: $37.17 + hst = $42 paid in advance 
This workshop will be offered on Zoom. Orientation provided, but you will need a computer, tablet or smartphone with a mic and, preferably, a camera {i.e. a webcam}. 
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

 See Brian’s complete current 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.

Friday, October 23, 2020

“The Royal Blue Dance Shoes” by Christina Walton

They’re satin royal blue Latin dance shoes, with a 2¼-inch heel, the perfect and very safe height for my older and aging dance frame.  I’m obsessed with them and ordered them for my daughter’s wedding.  I used to dance and still like my “dancer’s feeling.”  So my daughter’s wedding called for my special dance self, and dance shoes to carry me down the aisle as my husband and I lovingly escorted her to her loving partner.  

My daughter had ordered her own special brand of magical shoes, as she too had been a dancer.  Her magical shoes were purple velvet, her favourite colour and style to show off her beautiful dancer’s tattoo.  A tribute to her love of ballet, her tattoo says, “My heart is at your feet” – it’s a reference to her curtsy at the end of each class to acknowledge the instructor. 

My husband bought new shoes too, so he could embrace this special shoe conversation too.

My heart leapt every time the mail arrived or a package was delivered.  “is it the shoes?!” I’d ask.  Nope, not today.   Each day I’d run to the door … Nope not today.   I tracked my order and to my dismay realized they’d been ordered from England!  I saw the tracking order on my computer and saw that they had in fact been shipped.  The tracking order showed an airplane as the mode of transportation.  Oh my gosh, would they make it across the ocean to my doorstep to be on my feet for October 11th? 

Well, dance shoes had never let me down before in my dancing life, and surely they were magical and knew I needed them for this special day in our family’s life! 

My middle daughter, the practical and organized one, secretly ordered me a backup pair of shoes, just in case mine did not arrive.  The shoes she ordered for me were the perfect shade to match my navy dress, with sparkly adornments.  The heel was stylish and low, and the sheen just poked out from under the long hem.  They were really nice, I had to admit.  And I really did appreciate her thoughtfulness of looking out for me. I respectfully delegated these to the role of understudy in case the royals didn’t arrive on time.

This obsession with wedding shoes was honestly a lovely relief and distraction that helped us to forget stress of the pandemic looming above and around and ahead of us.  Our family were in a beautiful wedding bubble, preparing details like blue shoes and blue dresses, blue bow ties and blue masks to match our elegant blue outfits. 

We printed schedules of the wedding day and for that day – unlike the rest of our pandemic lives – knew exactly what we were looking forward to.  It was a wonderful space to be in.

My shoes arrived on the Thursday before the wedding, quietly in a non-descript envelope, carefully folded together like dance partners. I tried them on: they beautiful and comfortable and looked stunning on  my feet 


But Miss Middle daughter asked me to put on one shoe from each pair, together, with my dress – side by side, she said, to really get a good long look, like an audition. 

Well, the understudy won the wedding job. They really did look better. But the royals go with all of my work clothes, because now I work from home and can wear my dancer’s feeling on my feet, all day long, any time I need to or want to!

***

Christina Walton lives in Hamilton, where she grew up and danced for    many years.  She works as a family therapist, and she and her husband Stephen, are the parents of three adult children. They recently celebrated the wedding of their eldest daughter.  This is Christina’s first short memoir writing piece.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Online workshop: How to Get Published, Saturday, Nov 28, with Stephanie Winter of P.S. Literary agency

My Summer of Love & Misfortune
by Lindsay Wong
represented by P.S. Literary

How to Get Published

An editor & a literary agent tell all

Saturday, November 28, 2020

12:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Online and accessible wherever there's Internet

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring all your questions! Come and get ready to be published!

Special Option: Participants  are invited to prepare a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don't need to prepare anything, but if you like, email me a draft of your query prior to our workshop. We want to do some peer critiquing for everyone, and Paige and I will critique several queries, perhaps half a dozen, so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t and how to improve your query. Do remember that agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.

Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. She first joined the agency as an intern before becoming the agency’s relations assistant. Stephanie holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London. 

Stephanie is looking for diverse, inclusive voices in fiction and graphic novels for adults and young readers. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes and genders, and works that champion the LGBTQ+ community, mental health, and women in STE(A)M.

Read more about P.S. Literary 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: $39.82 + hst = $45 paid in advance

To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

“I miss her” by Lisa Reynolds


Every day she is on my mind. I miss her but I deal with my emotions in private.
Yet now the very words I’m thinking are plastered in white paint on a brick wall.
What do I do? Pretend I don’t see them?
I MISS HER.
Freedom of speech is important but this is not something I want to read. Not here. Not now.
Why did the author choose this wall?
What was his intent?
To spark questions about what makes him miss her?
Was it her smile?
The way she’d laugh at his not so funny jokes?
The way she’d beat him at cards but still claimed she was no good?
Maybe it was the way her hands would stroke their dog, her long fingers sliding through its fur.
I miss her. I miss her. I miss her!
My therapist says it’s healthy to express feelings. I wonder if this is what he means.

When I think of my daughter, I miss her.
I feel the loss even though her memory is strong.
The way she’d say “up” when she wanted to cuddle.
The way she’d run through our house, her arms straight back like Superwoman in flight.
I wish I could shake a can, pop the lid, press the nozzle, and have a stream of glitter wrap itself around her waist so I could pull her back to me.
I MISS HER.
Now that I’ve shared these words, what do I do to ease the pain they bring?

Lisa Reynolds is a Canadian writer of poetry and short stories. Her creative works focus on love, loss, and survival. She is published internationally in print and online publications. She lives in a waterfront community east of Toronto, Ontario.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Online Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – April 1

Writing Personal Stories

9 weeks of sharing and writing

Thursday afternoons, 1 – 3 p.m.

January 28 – April 1, 2021 {no class Feb 25}

Offered online and accessible wherever there's Internet

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.

We’ll also have a guest speaker for this class – to be confirmed later.

Note: This class will be held live via Zoom. To participate, you'll need Internet access and a microphone and a camera {i.e., a webcam} on your computer, tablet or smart phone.

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 various courses and workshops here (and scroll down). 

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.