Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sign up early to save: Algonquin Park Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, May 31 – June 3



Algonquin Park Writing Retreat
Friday, May 31 – Monday, June 3, 2019
Arowhon Pines Resort, Arowhon Pines Rd, Little Joe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada
Note: Sign up now and save. Come January 1, 2019, the rates at Arowhon go up. Sign up now and get the 2018 rates.

Give yourself a long weekend of writing time – a weekend of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do and wonderful food at every  meal, as you sit with your feet up and write in the most beautiful wilderness setting in Ontario. This is where the Group of Seven got its inspiration (Tom Thompson is buried just a couple of lakes over); it’s a wonderful place for you to find your inspiration, too.
The retreat will feature both instruction and guided writing exercises, plus one-on-one critiquing and coaching from Brian.  You’ll also have lots of time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your creativity. 
All writing levels welcome. Whether you are just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us. 
The setting: Arowhon Pines is a peaceful, quiet resort nestled in the woods on Little Joe Lake inside Algonquin Park. There are no motorboats on the lake, except for the resort’s own pontoon boat which takes guests on occasional wildlife tours.
The resort is without TV and is far from the roar of traffic. The cry of a loon is the loudest noise you’re likely to hear all day.
Rates include charming accommodation (cabins have a mix of queen beds for one person or couples or twin beds for two people rooming together; rooms also have private bathrooms and each cabin has a lounge with fireplace to share with your fellow writers). 
Three all-you-can-eat gourmet meals per day are provided, featuring an abundance of fresh food prepared by master chefs and an inspired kitchen staff. (Bring your own wine or beer!)
All activities included. When you’re not writing, or for spouses who accompany you, there is plenty to do: canoe or kayak a series of lakes or hike trails to see wildlife (moose, loons, beaver, turtles, fox, deer), swim in the lake, sail, stand up paddleboard, play tennis, relax. For indoor activities there is a games room with table tennis, shuffleboard, books, board games. Your stay also includes access to all Algonquin Park programs and activities including a car pass for you to fully enjoy the park.

Check-in isn’t until 3 p.m., but guests can arrive in the morning to fully take advantage of the facilities (though the meals included in your package don’t begin until after check-in time, so lunch on Friday is extra if you arrive early). Each guest can borrow a day pass for Algonquin Park. The formal retreat will begin late Friday afternoon. On Monday, we'll have our last formal get-together at 11 a.m., ending at 12 noon. Check out time is at 1 p.m.  Most guests have lunch while the bellhops load the car. But once you’ve had lunch, don’t feel you have to rush off!
Participants are welcome to bring spouses, partners or friends, as there will be plenty to do while you’re writing – canoeing, kayaking or sailing, swimming if warm enough, tennis, reading and just plain resting and unwinding, enjoying the wilderness.

Read about a stay at Arowhon Pines 
here.

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 has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.
Read reviews of previous writing retreats at Arowhon Pines here (and scroll down). 
To see more reviews of Brian’s weekly courses and Saturday workshops, see 
here

Seminar fee:
For the full 4-day, 3-night retreat: $185.84 plus hst = $210
If you arrange in advance to stay for one day less, the fee is:  $132.74 plus hst = $150
Book early – space is limited! Full receipts issued.
For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Accommodation fee (including accommodation and food, plus use of all the resort’s facilities) if you sign up before January 1, 2019: 
$ 243 per person per night double-occupancy ($486 per couple)
OR
$ 304 per night single-occupancy.
Plus 15% service charge (in lieu of tipping), then plus 13% hst.

After January 1, 2019:
$ 255 per person per night double occupancy ($510 per couple)
OR
$ 319 per night single occupancy
Plus 15% service charge (in lieu of tipping), then plus 13% hst.

Book early – space is limited! Full receipts issued.

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Who can attend the retreat?
Everyone interested in developing their writing skills is welcome to attend, whether you're aspiring writer or an accomplished author or simply enjoy writing as a hobby. There is no requirement for you to have been previously published or even to have an intention to publish.

I'm a poet / playwright / other writer. Is this retreat for me?
The retreat is open to anyone who enjoys writing. Instruction will focus on narrative writing; i.e., stories, whether fiction or memoir. But if you’re an essayist or poet or whatever, you’re entirely welcome.

Should I bring my work in progress?
Yes, if you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you! If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.

Should I bring my laptop?
Yes, if you prefer to work on your laptop. If you prefer to work on paper bring that.

Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?
Yes, just let the staff at Arowhon Pines know beforehand about your needs.

I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is it possible to do that?
If you want to arrive early and stay longer, that is fine. Just arrange it with the resort. There is plenty to see and do in the park, and Arowhon Pines is a lovely place to base from.  Arowhon will keep the same rate throughout your stay.

Is there cell phone reception and WIFI?
Arowhon Pines is an island of luxury, but in the midst of wilderness, so no cell phone reception and no WIFI, though there are landlines and there’s access to the resort’s Internet connection. (Contact the resort for details.) But be sure to have your writing projects on your laptop when you come, not stored in the Cloud.

How about alcohol?
Arowhon doesn’t serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own wine, beer or whatever to have with meals or back at your cabin or wherever. (Though do note that Hemingway’s advice to write drunk, mostly produces drivel.)

Can I bring my spouse (or partner or friend)?
Certainly. Just let them know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day), and make sure they enjoy superb food, beautiful wilderness, and relaxing on the deck or the dock or out on a canoe as they glide past a moose munching on water lilies….

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca 
To book your accommodation at Arowhon Pines, phone toll free: 1-866-633-5661
Or you can book on-line here~ But be sure to also phone and tell them you're with the writing retreat!

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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Two senior literary agents at JABberwocky seek new authors – sf/fantasy, mystery/thrillers, literary fiction, adult, YA and middle grade


JABberwocky Literary Agency
49 West 45th Street
12th Floor North
New York, NY  10036

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the Follow Brian by Email box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox, and if you’re not yet on my newsletter list, send me an email, including your locale to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian


Joshua Bilmes is the president of JABberwocky, which he founded in 1994. He has been an agent for more than 30 years, having made his professional debut at the Scott Meredith Agency in 1986. Joshua is open to query letters.

Joshua wants to see fiction in sf/fantasy and mystery/thrillers, and will reject submissions in other categories.  He shies away from the more literary part of the sf/fantasy spectrum. If your project looks intriguing, but not in line with his personal tastes, he may share it with another agent in the office.

In nonfiction, he’s looking more broadly.
See his blog for more information.
Query Joshua at: queryjoshua@awfulagent.com
Send only a query letter; no manuscript pages until he asks, though a 1–3-page synopsis may be pasted in below the query but isn’t mandatory. No attachments.

Eddie Schneider is the Vice President of JABberwocky.
Eddie is looking for literary fiction,  particularly plot-driven fiction with a strong emotional core that goes beyond and outside middle-class concerns  endemic to literary fiction; for example A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and Round House by Louise Erdrich.
He also wants science fiction, especially if it’s set in the near future and includes social or cultural commentary, and fantasy that’s set outside the northern European milieu in which the genre originated.
Eddie is also seeking Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. His favourite YA novels “end to be both character- and concept-driven while embracing the intensity of emotion that characterizes the best YA fiction.” In Middle Grade, Eddie wants both contemporary realistic fiction and sci-fi and fantasy.
In nonfiction, Eddie is interested in science, history, and narrative nonfiction, particularly memoirs that take on issues that extend beyond the author’s own life, travel narratives that are socially engaged and possess an individual stamp, and in “nonfiction novels.”
Eddie is also looking for Graphic Novels and Comic. He’s only interested in author/artists or established author-artist teams. In graphic novels, he’s looking for both fiction and nonfiction, realistic or speculative and for adults, young adults or middle grade. For comics, he’s especially looking for submissions that are both humorous and incisive.
For more details of what Eddie is looking for, see here. Follow him on Twitter here.
Query Eddie at: queryeddie@awfulagent.com
Paste the first five pages of your manuscript into your email. A 1–3-page synopsis may be pasted in below this but isn’t mandatory. No attachments.

Children's author Kira Vermond will be one of the guest
speakers at the weekly Writing Kid Lit course
If you’re interested in getting published, soon or somewhere down the road, don’t miss the upcoming How to Get Published workshop Saturday, Nov 17, in Mississauga with literary agent Stephanie Sinclair (see here). 
For updated listing of How to Get Published workshops see here (and scroll down).

If you’re interested in writing for children or for young adults, Brian will lead a Writing Kid Lit weekly course on Thursday evenings, Jan 24 – March 28, at the Oakville Central Library (see here). 
For updated listings of Writing for Children & for Young adult workshops and for weekly Kid lit classes, see here (and scroll down). 

Also coming soon: How to Build Your Story: Plotting novels & Writing short stories, Saturday, Nov 24 in Alliston (see here) and Saturday, Jan 19 in Oakville (see here) and Secrets of Writing a Page-Turner, Saturday, Dec 1 in London (see here), and Saturday, Dec 8, in Guelph (see here).
 
Arowhon Pines Resort
 A weekend writing retreat:
Algonquin Writing Retreat, Friday, May 31 – Monday, June 3, 2019: four days in the luxurious isolation of Arowhon Pines Resort to get down to some real creative growth. Sign up soon to get the 2017 rates! Details here.

Winter courses (Details of all 5 classes here):
Exploring Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 24 – April 5 (no class March 14), in Burlington. Details here.
Writing Kid Lit, Thursday evenings, Jan 24 – March 28 (no class March 14), in Oakville. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 22 – April 2 (no class March 12); first readings emailed Jan 15, in Burlington. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings Jan 23 – April 3 (no class March 13); first readings emailed Jan 16, in Burlington. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Friday mornings Jan 25 – April 5 / 12 (10 or 11 weeks, no class March 13); first readings emailed Jan 16, in Toronto. Details here.
            Details of all 5 classes here.

Read reviews of Brian’s courses, retreats, 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.

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. If you're searching for more interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner workshop offered Dec 1 in London and Dec 8 in Guelph

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner
Techniques for making any story more compelling
Saturday, December 1, 2018
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
London Public Library, Stevenson & Hunt Room B, 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario (Map here)
Fee: $37.17 + 13% hst = $42  in advance or $39.82 + 13% hst = $45  at the door
And
Saturday, December 8, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Avenue, Guelph, Ontario (Map here
Fee: $43.36 + 13% hst = $49 in advance or $46.90 + 13% hst = $53 at the door

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 tension.

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.

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

“Lest He Remembered,” by Wendy Simpson

Personnel of the First Special Service Force also known as the Devil's Brigade

Today I bought a digital poppy. I dedicated it to my father. As I typed his name I wondered if he would approve, understand or even care. He had fought in the Second World War. But he seldom spoke of those years and I possess very little knowledge of his time as a soldier. He was part of the Devil’s Brigade, officially The First Special Service Force. 
     The history of this elite unit is now easy to find, and some of the soldiers have worked hard to be acknowledged and remembered. But my father did not. His story is lost. He was a veteran but a reticent one. He didn’t join the Legion, ever wear any of his medals or even apply for a pension. Every Remembrance Day he went to work at the skate factory, pausing his machine for only two minutes at 11:00 while I enjoyed a full day off from school, the irony lost on me. I don’t recall him ever wearing a poppy.
     Did I just say my father was reticent, imply that he was reserved? He wasn’t. He loved life and approached it with a raw enthusiasm few could match. He was intense, sometimes reckless, defiant and flamboyant.
     I try to picture him enlisting, escaping a large, very poor family, not quite a man yet, but choosing to join an army that would send him to Halifax for basic training. He did tell me once, while we were on vacation in Nova Scotia, that he had stood on that pier years before while waiting, impatiently to be shipped off to Europe, yearning for action. The call came in the form of a request, the American Army was looking for volunteers to join a parachute battalion. My father was probably the first in line.
Member of Devil's Brigade in training
     It’s all a bit complicated but the unit became a joint Canadian/American special fighting brigade. The training, postings and missions are well documented so I can imagine my father as he became one of the almost seven hundred Canadian soldiers, officers and enlisted men, who were transported from Canada to Helena, Montana, for training in parachuting, cold weather endurance, skiing, and rock climbing.
     My father did it all, going first to Africa and then Italy or maybe it was France according to the history books. But I’m sure I remember him telling me that he jumped from a plane, landed in the Alps, clamped on his skis and schussed his way into Italy. He made it sound like fun, an adventure. But I wonder? How does a man feel falling from the sky with skis, poles, food, gun and ammunition, landing on a snowy mountain and then skiing into a war zone?
     The unit was disbanded in 1944 and at some point my father went to the front line, but I don’t know if this was special mission or a Canadian Army posting.  I know nothing about the time he spent there or even where he was, but movies and books have forced me to imagine these two years with horror and sadness. My grandfather passed away during this period. My father once said he didn’t know for nearly a year.
     My father was on his way to fight the Japanese, another volunteer opportunity,   when they surrendered and his time at war was over. He was returned to Canada where he declined a medical exam prior to discharge. He was impatient, impetuous and always restless.
     His life unfolded quickly then, normal, common place events; a job as a factory worker, marriage, a house and two baby girls. Photos show a happy man but that wasn’t the whole truth. He was damaged. He angered quickly, fits of rage and then regret. He loved to party, drinking wildly with his family and friends. This led to a darkness, never diagnosed but I guess depression.
     He was a good father, kind, generous with his time and his love. He worked hard and provided well but before he was forty he had a heart attack. My mother blamed the war.  Five heart attacks, massive damage and then risky open heart surgery. Against all odds he lived four more years.
Personnel of the Devil's Brigade on patrol
     My father left us few mementos of the war, only a heavy iron padlock which I always imagined secured his foot locker and a large knife which ended up in his fishing tackle box. It’s lost now, but I found a photo online and was shocked to learn it was a fighting knife, made especially for the Force, for killing.
     There are not many photos of my father in uniform, some head shots and a few more formal ones. They all seem to be from before he left home, before the fighting.  He kept his medals in a blue Birks jewellery box high on the shelf in his closet. I never saw him take them out. We had them mounted for his first grandson. I have only a browned and tattered document from the City of Kitchener acknowledging his service, welcoming him home. I rescued this from the crawl space of my parent’s home.
     I realize now that my dad went to great efforts to obliterate this war. No artifacts, no stories, no glory, no old army buddies. When I studied the War in high school I asked him nothing. I had never been told but I knew it was off limits, silently forbidden. Always the romantic, I believed he was protecting us. But he was fighting for himself. He had to bury the soldier, the battles and the casualties. When they threatened to return he pushed them deeper, with rage or alcohol. But he was scarred, damaged both physically and mentally. That he lived so well astounds me.
     So my digital poppy is online now, engraved with his name, a sergeant few will remember. It will disappear with Remembrance Day but it has served me well, affording me the chance to think about my dad. I have so much to remember. My father just wanted to forget.

Wendy Simpson lives and sells real estate in Oakville. Although her university days are long behind her she’s never lost her love of reading. She is the mother of three adult children and three (soon to be four!) grandchildren. She travels as much as possible and loves to spend several weeks each year in Victoria and the Cayman Islands.       

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, 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, November 10, 2018

Congratulations to everyone who made it to the second round or was a finalist in the CANSCAIP contest and to Richard and Paula for getting stories published; plus beta readers and a critique partner wanted



Note: If you’ve had a story (or a book!) published or you’ve placed in a writing contest or have any other news, send me an email so I can share your success and we can all encourage each other. And be sure to let know if you have something for "Writer to Writer" (you're looking for a writers' group or beta readers, for examples). Email me at: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Hi, Brian:
Captain Monty by Jennifer Mook-Sang, now published by
Kids Can Press, was a finalist in the 2014 CANSCAIP contest
I was thrilled to learn that I made it to the second stage of the CANSCAIP contest!
See you in class on Friday.
Karyn
Congratualations, Karyn! And congratulations to everyone who submitted a story, congratulations to those who made it to the second stage of the contest, and congratulations to Karon Young, whose entry was a finalist!
Note: The CANSCAIP writing contests is for authors of kid lit – picture books through young adults. One of the nice features of the contest is that you receive feedback on your entry. In addition, the two winners and eight finalists all have their work submitted to three Canadian children's publishers. Entries for 2019 open in March.
More about the CANSCAIP contest here.

Hi, Brian.
I had another short piece published today in the Literary Yard's e-journal. You can find the story here. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to have flash fiction published.
I'm looking forward to seeing you at upcoming workshops.
Kind Regards,
Richard Tattoni

Hi again, Brian.
I am writing slowly. The Polar Expressions contest accepted a story of mine for their anthology. And I am almost ready to submit another story to the CBC Short Story Contest.
Thank you for all your guidance!
Paula MacDonald

Writer to Writer
Call for your stories, comments, interaction
A bit of the Inca Trail
I'm looking for (1) a fellow writer who has (2) walked the Inca Trail and (3) would be willing to read the first 30,000 words of my novel, THE FIASCO, to (4) tell me if I've got the hike right.
If you are interested then please contact me at shaunaclinning@gmail.com
It goes without saying that I will return the huge favour!
Thanks,
Shauna Clinning

Hello, Brian:
Really enjoyed workshop. Wish I was closer so I could attend a weekly intensive writing class.
I’m looking for a critique partner. I am writing a novel. The story is pretty intense. The main characters are twins. The story is about their lives; one will suffer and live a lonely life yet survive as a beautifully evolved heroine; the other will be blessed in every way yet fail to survive or self-actualize. Christ is also a character in the story, though it is not a “Christian” book at this point. Thank you
Shelley Sukhdeo
If you’d like to be a critique partner with me, email me at: shelleysukhdeo@gmail.com

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.