Sunday, July 13, 2014

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers ate getting published & getting grants

Yay, Jennifer!
Hi, Brian.
I just wanted to let you know that my picture book Captain Monty was a finalist in the Writing for Children Competition, sponsored by The Writers' Union of Canada and CANSCAIP. The best part of this is that all of us – the winner (Heather Camlot) and nine finalists – will have our manuscripts submitted to three publishers for consideration.
Thank you for all your writing wisdom and encouragement.
Jennifer Mook-Sang

I know you appreciate notes of thanks from writers you've supported through your workshops. So here is mine.
 I not only learned a great deal, but received an injection of inspiration from the workshops I attended in 2009/2010 (before leaving Ontario). Since then I have won the 2013 Ken Klonsky novella competition and my novella, Jazz, will be published by Quattro Books this fall. (I'll send info on the launch date in October!)
I also recently won the 2014 Writer's Federation of New Brunswick prize for my Y.A. novel, Traeh Gnul - Miranda's Journey from the Great Forest. 
Yay, Elizabeth!
All good things,
Elizabeth Copeland
Artistic Director / KPH Productions
Note: An excerpt from a very early version of Jazz while it was still a work in progress was posted on Quick Brown Fox back in 2010. So glad to hear Elizabeth has reworked, rewritten and gotten this piece published.
See more about Quattro Books here. But note that this year, entries are open for the annual Ken Klonsky novella contest until July 31, and then Quattro will be open to unsolicited submissions of novellas starting January 1 to May 31.

Yay, Suzanne!
Morning, Brian.  
My Captain Cap story, “Them There Days Are All Gone” was accepted to be on commuter lit. I always know it has been your guidance that has made this dream possible .
 Suzanne Burchell
Read Suzanne’s Captain Cap story here. See her bio and links to all of Suzanne’s stories on CommuterLit here.  

Yay, Michelle!
 Another short story Bear is posted on CommuterLit!  The editor there is quite fast in her response times.  Now to find homes for my more grittier pieces!
Again, thanks for keeping an impatient author calm, or at least sane!!!
 Michelle Boomer
Read Michelle’s story, “Bear” here. See her bio and links to both her stories on CommuterLit here.

For information about submitting to CommuterLit, see here, and to read about their new contest, see here.

A still from Olvia McGilchrist's
River Mumma from the National Gallery of Jamaica
Hi, Brian.
 I wanted to tell you that I am the proud recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Writers’ Works in Progress grant for my historical fiction book, River Muma, and also wanted to thank you for your help in achieving this benchmark in my writing journey.
 When I first came to Canada eleven years ago, I knew nothing about the world of publishing. All I knew was that I wanted to write. Not too long after I started investigating what it would take to get published, someone suggested I take one of your workshops. Not only did you give solid information about the writing process and what publishers were looking for, I also bought one of the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendars, which contained such a wealth of information I was amazed.
Yay, Ann!
Flash forward to 2013. At that point I’d had a number of romance novels published under my pen name Anya Richards, but I’d felt the pull of my old writing dreams. I love writing romances, and anyone who says they’re all fluff and nonsense has never read a good one, but I had this partially written story, set in Post-Emancipation Jamaica (my homeland) that kept popping up and insisting I finish it.
Yet it’s very difficult to put everything aside for a very different type of story, in a genre where you’re untried and unsure. Without producing new books my income would fall off. With two jobs (three really, with my writing) where could I squeeze in time to work on this book?
Then I remembered that calendar, where I’d read about grants offered to writers. If it was a worthwhile project in the eyes of the Ontario Arts Council jury, I would not only have financial help to keep going while I finished the book, but I’d have the knowledge that others felt it was good enough for me to persevere with the writing of it.
I sent off the application and, to help bolster my spirits and get encouragement, promptly took another of your seminars! I came away once more full of enthusiasm for writing, having received the shot in the arm I needed just then.
Last week, when that envelope came, with the letter saying I’d been awarded that grant, I thought, “Better thank Brian. Without all he taught me over the years, I wouldn’t be holding this cheque!” Thank you. You’re wonderful.
Ann Richards
For information about grants to writers from the Ontario Arts Council, see here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.  

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