Monday, August 31, 2009

Words Alive Literary Festival & Contest

Words Alive Festival
Sunday, September 20
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sharon Temple, 18974 Leslie St, Sharon
(near Newmarket)

The Words Alive Literary Festival provides a showcase for local and Canada-wide authors. It includes author readings, public readings, workshops, panel discussions and storytelling including poetry with music and art.

Words Alive is a budget-friendly and family-friendly event. Parking on site is free and a very modest admission of $5 is charged for attendees age 16-years and up.

More here:


Writers are invited to sharpen their pencils and wits quickly, as the deadline of Sept. 10, 2009, for the Short Story contest for children and adults looms. The contest is open to Canadian residents in the following age categories: Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, and Adult (ages 17 and up).

The winners in each category will be announced at The Words Alive Literary Festival, and their stories will be published on the Words Alive website.
For complete details, go to

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Fiddlehead literary journal

The Fiddlehead
Campus House, 11 Garland Court
UNB PO Box 4400
Fredericton NB E3B 5A3

Canada's longest living literary journal, The Fiddlehead is published four times a year at the University of New Brunswick, with the generous assistance of the University of New Brunswick, The Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of New Brunswick.

First published in 1945, The Fiddlehead is known as a WHO'S WHO in Can. Lit. Many - now well-known - writers have found their first home in our pages, and they, as well as some of our editors and assistants, go on to win awards and prizes across the country.

Do not look at this journal as old! It is experienced; wise enough to recognize excellence; always looking for freshness and surprise.

We publish short stories, poems, book reviews, and a small number of personal essays.
Our full-colour covers have become collectors items, and feature the work of New Brunswick artists.

The Fiddlehead sponsors an annual writing contest and awards two prizes of $1,000 each.


The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English from all over the world, looking always for freshness and surprise. Work is read on an ongoing basis; acceptance is around 2% (we are, however, famous for our rejection notes).

Our editors are always happy to see new work. Responses can take from 1 to 6 months. Apart from our annual contest, we have no deadlines for submissions.

Requirements for submissions are pretty much the same as those for other journals:

· Typed, double-spaced, spell-checked, and not over 4,000 words for fiction.
· Pay is approximately $30 per published page, plus a complimentary copy of the journal.
· The Fiddlehead buys first serials rights only; copyright remains with the author.
· Submit by mail only; fax or email submissions are not accepted; please do not send diskettes.


Poetry: $1,000 Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
$500 each for the Two Honourable Mentions

Fiction: $1,000 for Best Story
$500 each for the Two Honourable Mentions

The winning entries will be published in the Spring 2010 issue of The Fiddlehead (No. 243) and on our web site. The winning authors will be paid for publication in addition to their prizes.

Deadline: Postmarked by December 1, 2009

Length: Short fiction up to 25 double-spaced pages. Poetry up to 3 poems with no more than 100 lines per poem. Poetry may be single-spaced.

All entrants receive a copy of The Fiddlehead's spring issue which includes the winning entries. Winners will also be posted on the Fiddlehead website.

Entry Fee: $30 (CAD) for an entry from Canada and $36 (USD) for an entry from the U.S. or overseas. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to The Fiddlehead.

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

“The Damned Devil,” Joyce Rolf von den Baumen

If “the devil is in the details,” then I am that devil. Just consider the devilish bad luck I’ve had, as a detail-oriented person, in trying to attain my reasonably expected outcomes of my well-planned, well researched personal projects.

Here is one of many typical experiences. Once, in a letter to a school principal, I precisely outlined an offer of free educational software. He assured me that it would be gratefully accepted. When I arrived at the school to deliver the software to his upstairs office, his secretary at ground floor lobby level had a question from him. Did I want help carrying it upstairs?

It evolved that he’d thought that I was donating a computer, and he was none too good-natured about his confusion.

Another time, I thought that I would help a friend who was complaining about the high management fees for the mutual funds in her investment portfolio. I took her as my guest to the annual general meeting of the fund company that I favoured. Its niche in the financial world is its extremely low management fees. The merits of this fee structure were expounded in the meeting presentation. However, it turned out that these funds did not interest my friend “because of the high management fees.”

Then there was the time that I did the detail work on optional day trips for a cruise that I would be taking with a friend. It would be advantageous to book these ahead of time. Therefore, well in advance, I gave her a print-out with the choices and price chart. Based on her decisions, I pre-booked the outings. Once on the cruise, she blamed me for booking her on a certain outing “that was too expensive”.

Now and then, I take my turn at scoping out the choice of restaurants for friends who want to get together over lunch. Typically, once we sit down, someone looks at the menu and complains that everything is too pricey. So nowadays, when they opt for an upscale eatery with corresponding upscale menu pricing, I follow preventative measures. Once seated – before they can even open the menus – I remind my friends that they knew what they were getting into.

So I’m improving. But poor devil that I am, I’m still no match for the Canada Revenue Agency. I had made a polite telephone enquiry, as a senior, about some fine print in one of their brochures. Not only was our government representative ignorant that such information existed; he huffed that the brochure was intended for seniors only. That was before he hung up on me.

For future encounters, this detail devil will be armed with more than the facts. She plans to grow and use longer, sharper horns!


Joyce Rolf von den Baumen is a grandmother who enjoys walks in her local Bronte area of Oakville. She has found it beneficial to pay attention to details in financial, legal and consumer rights areas. However, these detailed documents are crowding her out of her home office.

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Call for adoption stories

Have you spent years wondering what caused your birth parents to give you up for adoption? Have you watched school children play on your street, wondering if one of them could be the baby you surrendered to social services? Have you wondered about the family history of your adopted child? If you have thought about such issues and are willing to write about your experiences in a personal essay, the editors of a new anthology of adoption stories to be published by TouchWood Editions want to hear from you.

They are looking for personal accounts, clearly and honestly written, ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 words in length, for publication in an anthology reflecting an exchange of ideas and feelings by birth parents, persons once surrendered for adoption, and adoptive parents.

Please submit by October 1st a 300-word proposal that outlines the story you would like to tell, along with a short biography and your contact information. If you've already written a piece that fits the anthology's focus, feel free to submit it.

All essays must be submitted electronically, as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Files (RTFs), to editors Bruce Gillespie and Lynne Van Luven at

All first-draft essays must be received by December 15.

About Touchwood Editions here:

Note: For information about Brian Henry's upcoming writing workshops and course see here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The Lily and the Rose," David More

Hi, Brian.
I am very proud to announce the publication of my second historical novel, The Lily and the Rose, (iUniverse, 2009). Set in colonial North America, this is the sequel to The Eastern Door. These are the first two novels in the rags-to-riches saga of the life and loves of Sir William (Billy) Smithyman, transplanted Irish fur trader, reluctant soldier, lawyer and adopted Mohawk. The Lily in the title refers to the French characters and their First Nation allies and the Rose to the English-speaking colonials and their ever-loyal Mohawk friends, led by Billy's wife Laura Silverbirch and her brother Matthew.
It is difficult to obtain reviews for self-published books but I have received several very positive reviews for The Eastern Door and the editor of the Queen's University Alumni Review recently said, "The Lily and the Rose is an engaging yarn, told beautifully. More is a splendid new voice on the Canadian literary scene.” I am pressing on with the third book in the series, Liberty's Children, and plan to have a fourth completed by 2012, the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812.

Thanks for your helpful workshops, Brian.

Dave More

The Lily and the Rose and The Eastern Door are available in hard cover, paperback or e-version from iUniverse or, or at Novel Idea and Chapters in Kingston, and at Old Fort Niagara and Old Fort Henry bookstores.
And check out Dave's website here:

Note: For information about Brian Henry's upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lila DiPasqua gets an agent & a two-book deal

Congratulations to my student Lila DiPasqua. She’s signed with Caren Johnson Estesen of the Caren Johnson Literary Agency, and has a two-book contract with Berkley (part of the Penguin Group USA).
Lila’s first book, Awakened By a Kiss, is spicy historical romance single-author anthology. It will be out next summer.

Way to go, Lila!

Check out her blog here:

For information on the Caren Johnson agency see here.

Note: I’ll be leading a workshop about writing romance novels on Sept 26 in Brampton. (Details here).

For information about all my upcoming writing workshops and classes see here.

Caren Johnson Literary Agency

Caren Johnson Literary Agency
132 East 43rd Street
No. 216
New York, NY 10017

CJLA is a full-service literary agency based in New York City, founded by Caren Johnson in early 2007. We represent all types of books, but specialize in high quality children’s & young adult fiction, romance & women’s fiction, and non-fiction. We believe in working very closely with our authors during every stage of publication and beyond.

To submit to CJLA, send us a query letter describing your book and yourself. Make sure all query letters are in the body of the email. You may include 3-5 sample pages from your manuscript or your overview/idea pages from your proposal directly in the body of your email following your query letter. Attachments will not be opened unless specifically requested.

Caren Johnson Estesen is looking for romance (all genres so she's now open to paranormal and romantic suspense in addition to contemporary and historical), erotica, up-market women's fiction, thrillers and YA. In nonfiction she's looking for social sciences, narrative science, women's studies, and history (particularly World War II and the Cold War). She is not considering commercial fiction, literary fiction or mysteries at this time.
To submit to Caren, email

Elana Roth is focusing her list on children's and young adult books, and is primarily looking for high concept middle grade and YA fiction. She will consider picture books from author/illustrators only. She'll also consider a select number of adult projects in the areas of narrative nonfiction, pop culture and pop science. No vampires.

Elana says:
“I'm a sucker for a big hook. If you look at my clients' books, you'll see that I can't get away from it. (Prime example and shameless plug: Pam Bachorz has her debut novel, Candor coming out this fall, and it's about a planned community where everyone is brainwashed to be perfect, but one boy knows the truth and works the system to his advantage. You can't get much bigger hook than brainwashing, and the book sucked me in from the first page.) I'm always looking for a new, great hook. I love alternate visions of the world we live in, or some strange "what if?" premise. I'm mostly really big on plot. Which doesn't mean I don't think voice is crucial. But on their own, really introspective, quiet books that are all voice and no story don't do it for me. And I have a lot of YA right now, so I'd like more middle grade, but I'm not picky about genre when it comes to falling in love.”

To submit to Elana, email

Note: I have two seminars coming up on How to Get Published. On Sept 12 in Ingersoll (details here) and on Oct 4 in Toronto (details here).

For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and classes see here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two new literary agents

FinePrint Literary Management
240 West 35th Street
Suite 500
New York, NY 10001

FinePrint Literary Management has hired Laura Wood and Ward Calhoun as agents.

Laura Wood was most recently associate publisher of Council Oak Books, the latest step in a 20-year career in publishing. She's looking for general commercial fiction, women's commercial fiction and science fiction. She will also specialize in serious nonfiction, specifically science and nature, business, history, religion.

Ward Calhoun has been a senior editor at Hylas Publishing, and will focus on sports, humor, and pop culture books.

Submission guidelines (non-fiction):

Note: I have two seminars coming up on How to Get Published. On Sept 12 in Ingersoll (details here) and on Oct 4 in Toronto (details here).

For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and classes see here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We’re reading out loud at CJ’s Café

Reading Night
Wednesday, Sept 16
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

CJ's Café, 2416 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville
(On the south side of Lakeshore, just east of Bronte Rd, next to Lick’s ice cream)

We’ll have a line-up of the most amazing emerging writers west of Toronto, and they’ll be reading some of the best work you’ll hear this year. Don’t miss it!

Meanwhile, be sure to check out all the other great stuff going on at CJ’s, home of the best lattes in North America :

Photo: Jennifer Bushman reading "Hans Wedding," an extract from her novel The Ming Bowl, at our reading night in June. Read this fabulous piece here.
Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and classes see here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brenda Bowen, new agent for children's lit

Brenda Bowen
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
55 Fifth Ave.New York
NY 10003

Prior to becoming an agent, Brenda Bowen was one of the most experienced editors for children's books in the business. She was editorial director of Henry Holt & Company, Disney/Hyperion, Scholastic Press, and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Note: Do remember that new agents need authors.

Areas of interest: Bowen represents authors and illustrators of children’s books for all ages (preschool to teen) as well as, in her words, "graphic novelists, animators and maybe a surprise element or two."

How to contact:

"If you plan to query via e-mail, please submit a query letter in the body of the e-mail, and the following as Word attachments: the first three chapters of the manuscript (for fiction), a book proposal (for nonfiction), a synopsis of the work, and a brief bio or résumé.

"If you plan to send a hard copy query, please submit a query letter, the first three chapters of the manuscript (for fiction), a book proposal (for nonfiction), a synopsis of the work, a brief bio or résumé, and a stamped self-addressed envelope for reply. Original artwork is not accepted (send copies only). Enclose a stamped, self-addressed mailer if you wish to have your materials returned to you. We generally reply to queries within 6-8 weeks."

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Know, Science magazine for kids 6 - 9

Piper Publishing
501-3960 Quadra Street
Victoria, B.C. V8X 4A3

Know is a science magazine for children ages 6 to 9. We strive to engage our readers in a fun, informative, and interactive way, keeping in mind that children this age have a range of reading abilities and limited science background.
Every issue of KNOW contains short news items, regular departments, a lengthy section related to our theme, short fiction, activities, hands-on projects, interviews and more.

Fiction & Poetry: We are interested in receiving short fiction or poetry (theme-related. If you are submitting your fiction, please keep the following in mind:
- Fiction must be related, even loosely, to the theme.
- It is desirable, but not imperative, that there be a science “tie-in”. (In other words, don’t force the science connection.)
- We are looking for lively, engaging, excellent writing.
- Fiction submissions should be up to 500 words.
- No queries; completed stories and poems only.
- A bibliography is required for all retold folklore/mythology

Non-fiction: At this time we are not accepting queries or unsolicited non-fiction articles. If, however, you have experience writing about science for 6-to-9-year old children you are invited to contact the editor and you may also forward some samples of your published work.

Other: KNOW will include puzzles, games, brainteasers, math and word activities. We will consider any original ideas.

Editorial Themes for 2010:
Issue 25 – Jan/Feb 2010: Winter Olympics. Submissions due Sept 15, 2009
Issue 26 – Mar/Apr 2010: Sticky Science (glue, slime, etc.) . Submissions due Nov 15, 2009
Issue 27 – May/June 2010: Backyard Birds. Submissions due Jan 15, 2010
Issue 28 – July/Aug 2010: Deserts. Submissions due March 15, 2010
Issue 29 – Sept/Oct 2010: Shapes and Pattern. Submissions due May15, 2010
Issue 30 – Nov/Dec 2010: Moons (not just Earth’s Moon). Submissions due July 15, 2010
Pays about 40 to 50 cents per word (Canadian)

Email submissions to:

Complete guidelines for Know here:

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Yes, the science magazine for kids 9 - 14

Yes Mag
Peter Piper Publishing
501 - 3960 Quadra St.
Victoria, BC V8X 4A3

Yes is a science magazines for children aged 9 to 14. We focus on Canadian content throughout YES Mag, with Canadian science and scientists highlighted. Due to the requirements of a Canadian government grant, at this time we are only accepting queries from Canadian writers.

The articles in YES Mag tend to be short. With only 32 pages six times per year, we try to pack as much information as we can into each issue. Sci and Tech Watch pieces generally run to 250 words while features run at most 800 words.

Every issue of YES Mag contains feature articles, regular departmental pieces, and a theme section. The theme is developed over several pages. Hands-on projects give readers a chance to experiment with concepts introduced by the theme. With the exception of the projects and the feature scientist article, the theme section articles also tend to be short (from 100 to 350 words in length).

We pay $100 per sci/tech and $145 per assigned page for a feature or theme section story. (A two-page feature - max 800 words -- will net you $290. A one page feature, $145. We rarely assign three pages, although a feature can run three pages if we have lots of photos.)

We are looking for imaginative, fun, well-researched pieces. Queries are highly recommended.

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Three for Horror Writers

My former student Elizabeth Crocket has discovered the trick of getting published.

Step one: Write.
Step two: Submit.

Elizabeth writes short fiction, poetry and haiku. She has been published in Spotlight on Recovery magazine, Ascent Aspirations, RKVRY online journal, Every Day Fiction, Roadrunner online journal, Shamrock online journal, Word Riot, Every Day Poetry, Midnight Times, Flashshot, The Mastodon Dentist, First Thought poetry and more. Her first published piece was in Quick Brown Fox!

Lately, she’s been writing dark fiction for on-line horror magazines.

You can read Liz’s story, “Little Gretchen” in MicroHorror here.
Read “The Choice” in Horror Bound here.
And you can read two of Liz’s poems (not horrific) in Quick Brown Fox here.

For anyone looking for markets for their horror fiction, here’s the skinny on three on-line markets:

Horror Bound Magazine
Horror Bound Magazine is an on-line literary magazine primarily for horror fiction, however, we also feature dark fantasy, noir, thriller and speculative fiction.
We feature short stories (up to 7,000 words maximum), poetry, art, book reviews and interviews with the top talent in the field today and more!
Submission guidelines here:
(Liz reports that the editior was pleased to have a submission from Canada.)

Flashes In The Dark
Flashes In The Dark is looking for well-written short, horror fiction under 1,000 words. However, we are looking for real stories…not vignettes, jokes, or horrific descriptions. All stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Just because they’re short, short stories, doesn’t mean that all the regular elements of a story shouldn’t be present: characterization, setting, conflict theme and a plot. That’s the joy - and the agony - of flash fiction, cramming all those elements into 1,000 words or less.
We love strong characters, morbid humor, unexpected plot twists, nail-biting suspense and stories that give you genuine chills after you read them. Any or all of the above will almost guarantee an acceptance letter in your inbox.
We also love the classics of the genre. Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies…bring ‘em on! But, put your own spin on it. Make it original. Even if it’s familiar plot, the story should have your own original twist on it. A writer’s strongest gift is his or her unique voice. Don’t be afraid to use yours!
As of now, is a non-paying market. As the website grows in popularity, we hope this will change.
To Submit, just E-mail
Full guidelines here:

The mission of is to be the Web’s premier free repository for horror microfiction. We went live on May 7, 2006. Come and enjoy the stories, and if you’re a writer, we invite you to contribute.
The general goal of a microfiction author is to tell a story, set a mood or depict a scene in as few words as possible. There is no official limit on how long a story can be before it no longer qualifies, but on, you will find no stories longer than 666 words.
There are three main rules for submissions: Stories need to be in the horror genre, they need to be under 666 words, and most importantly, they need to be written by you.
To submit, just e-mail me (Nathan Rosen) at
Full submission guidelines here:

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Henry Holt Children’s Books

Books for Young Readers
Henry Holt and Company
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(In the Flat Iron Building)

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers is known for publishing quality picture books, chapter books, and novels for preschoolers through young adults. Our list includes the classic picture books Tikki Tikki Tembo and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Our award winning authors and illustrators include Melvin Burgess, Eric Carle, Bryan Collier, Denise Fleming, Nikki Giovanni, Kimberly Willis Holt, Laurie Keller, Betsy Lewin, Bill Martin Jr., and Peter McCarty.

Submission Guidelines:

Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers is pleased to read and consider unsolicited manuscripts but we will not respond to or return your submission unless we are interested in publishing it. Please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope. You will not hear from us regarding the status of your submission unless we are interested in acquiring it for publication, in which case we will contact you within 4 to 6 months of receiving your submission.

Details on how to submit here.

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.