Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Strategies for Getting Published seminar, Saturday, November 29, at Ryerson University in Toronto

Juliet Was a Surprise by Bill Gaston
published by Hamish Hamilton
and nominated for the Giller Prize,
“From the Horse’s Mouth: Strategies for Getting Published”

Saturday, November 29
1 – 4 p.m.
Victoria Building, Room 106
Ryerson University, 285 Victoria Street, Toronto (Map here.)

A round table discussion with celebrated agents, publicists, and agents, moderated by writing instructor and editor Brian Henry, this afternoon seminar draws together senior figures from the publishing industry. 

Following the presenters' introductory remarks, discussion will be opened up to the floor to address the concerns and questions of those aspiring writers present (of both fiction and nonfiction) interested in improving their chances of getting published. 

Questions addressed will include: What are the editors looking for?

For the first time, in addition to a literary agent and an editor from a publishing company, one our panelists, Stephen Myers, will provide expertise in publicity and marketing. 

Stephen Myers is the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Canada’s boutique literary fiction imprint. Hamish publishes some of Canada’s best known writers, including Joseph Boyden, Zsuzsi Gartner, Bill Gaston, Damian Tarnopolsky, and Jeffrey Moore.

Stephen Myers also handles promotions for hockey books and a selection of distribution clients, including W.W. Norton. Outside of title management, he oversees the department's internship program.

Rachel Letofsky of The Cooke Agency will be the second guest on our panel. The Cooke Agency represents literary and commercial fiction (including science fiction, fantasy and crime), narrative-driven nonfiction in the areas of popular culture, science, history, natural history, politics, personal reference and children’s books.

The Cooke Agency represents many national and international award-winning authors of quality fiction and nonfiction, including John Irving, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Catherine Gildiner, Mary Novik, Nancy Richler, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Joyce Wayne. The Cooke Agency’s clients are routinely long-listed, short-listed and awarded prizes for the high quality of their work.

Rachel is the newest agent on the team. She is a graduate of both the University of Toronto, where she specialized in English Literature, and The Humber Creative Book Publishing Program. She joined The Cooke Agency in 2010 following an internship, and is currently growing her own list of clients. Rachel is particularly drawn to debut authors with whom she can work in a hands-on, collaborative fashion.

Her recent signings include multiple award-winning poet and novelist Méira Cook – whose new novel is forthcoming from HarperCollinsCanada in 2015; Kim Gaal, a fresh voice in urban fantasy from Australia, and Erin Frances Fisher, whose short story “Girl” won this year’s RBC Bronwen Wallace award and is currently available for free download from iTunes (you should read it!).

Her personal tastes are eclectic and in fiction she is looking for everything from literary fiction, voice-oriented young adult and new adult fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs and anything with a high level of quirkiness.

Anne Shone, Senior Editor at Scholastic Canada, will be the third member of our panel. She has worked in book publishing for close to twenty years, concentrating on children’s books for the last fifteen. In that time, she has worked with many of Canada’s top children’s book authors and illustrators. 

Recent highlights include picture books: Fox and Squirrel and Shh! My Brother's Napping by Ruth Ohi, Goodnight Canada by Andrea Beck, and Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms;  novels: The Opposite of Geek by Ria Voros and Love is a Four Letter Word by Vikki Van Sickle, and myriad nonfiction titles at Maple Tree Press and Scholastic Canada, with Helaine Becker, Elin Kelsey, Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky, to name just a few. 

Fee: $110.21
Register online at Ryerson here.
But don’t pay any attention to what it says in the catalogue listing because it’s mostly wrong. For starters, contrary to what it says in the Ryerson Calendar, you can register in person on November 29, but please let me know in advance that you’re coming. 

See my full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, 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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