Wednesday, November 13, 2019

“The Toggle Switch” by Julie Shaw


“Gentlemen and young lady, start your engines!” the race announcer called out.

This is it, I thought.   What the fuck am I doing?

My stomach turned and my heart was racing. There was no turning back now. All the hype around tonight, all the work the guys had gone through to get me here.
All the work I had done to get here.

I was actually on the track. Lined up with 20 other cars, our front ends facing the track wall.  I looked up at the stands and there they all were, cheering and waving and jumping up and down!  My friends. The gang.

I was on the track instead of in the stands for a change. And boy was I ready to kick up some dirt!

I leaned my right hand down to turn the key.… Oh shit, I forgot, it’s the toggle switch!  I quickly flicked it up. Nothing. Again, up and down. Still nothing. Grrrrrr this stupid bloody…

Vrrrooooom.

Whew, ok there we are. Ahhhhh, I’m really going to do this!

I heard the announcer again, “And can we point out that tonight we have a lovely young lady in car #17.  She’s from Bolton and this is her first time in our Smash-Up Derby. Good luck Miss.”

A couple of months before, just after my 17th birthday, I’d casually mentioned to my sisters’ boyfriend that I wanted to join him the next time he went in a Derby. In retrospect, I never really thought he took me all that seriously. I was his girlfriends’ younger sister. 

But one day he showed up with not one but two cars from the wrecking yard. Mine was $50. Not bad.  Only problem was there were no keys. “But don’t worry, Jules, we’ll come up with something,” Dan said.

He had been in these Wreck ‘em races before and won. He was the typical type of guy we seemed to hang around all our lives. Talking cars, fixing cars, talking to my dad about cars. I felt left out. 

Let’s face it, I was bored to tears with the girls and what they always talked about, which was usually how the guys had done such and such to piss them off. Yawn. I just couldn’t stand it. Thank goodness I wasn’t one of the girlfriends. I didn’t want to be in that box – well, not really.

Problem was, I grew up in a garage. Not literally of course, but our garage holds a large portion of my memories.

I still think about the way it was carefully organized so we could find whatever tool my Dad asked us to get. I think about the smell of engine grease and the warmth of the furnace on a cold winter’s night heating the workshop. Always set to a temperature that welcomed you to stay for a while.

It was bigger than our house. Which wasn’t hard given our house was a three bedroom, 900-square foot bungalow. But the garage could house four vehicles and had a small workshop in one corner as well and an oil burning furnace in the other. It was home. At least a very significant part of our home I would come to realize more and more.

I grew up wanting so badly to make my dad proud of me, to the point of never really worrying what my mother thought. I was definitely not a girly girl. It just wasn’t in the cards. Not when your dad calls you “Ralph” and asks you to help him from the time you could hold a wrench in your tiny hand.

The garage was just a stone’s throw from the house, but at times I’m sure my mother felt it might as well have been 1,000 miles away. It was his mistress in many ways. Not just a hobby. But a long, passionate love affair.

Or maybe she didn’t mind as he was out of her hair and she had the house to herself.
Who knows? It worked for them.

It was part of my foundation. And even if I didn’t realize it at the time, it shaped a large part of the path I would take.

Anyway, that was how I found myself in this smash-up derby, cars all around me revving their engines.

Dan instructions had been simple: “Jules, make sure you don’t hit with your front end so the engine can keep going and you can stay in the race.”

Easy for him to say; he was driving an old station wagon with a good size rear end for just this purpose. My Oldsmobile was going to have to be good enough.

The flag went down. Here we go!

I backed out fast and tried to quickly get out of the path of those who had already made contact. I turned my head around and started reversing, aiming for no one in particular. I’d eventually have to hit someone. I built up speed, a lot of speed. How had not yet touched a single car?  Where did they all go?

And then it came.

That I had been able to go a fair distance meant I was at a good clip by the time I smashed into the car. Wham!  My neck whipped backwards; I could feel it tear in several places from my chin down to my chest. Yikes that was bad. And it’d only just begun.

I put the gear in drive and started to move forward, but someone had spotted me and was reversing at full speed into my front end. Wham again!  He put his car in forward and I switched to reverse. But we weren’t going anywhere. Our tires spun up dirt as we both swayed back and forth – a tug-of-war with tin.

Our bumpers were locked. We were stuck together like glue!  Shit. What now?

The next thing I knew there were hits on me from every angle. I felt it on my right side, then my rear end. You were never supposed to go for a driver side door – those were the rules – but I was now engulfed in a huge cloud of smoke. A driver couldn’t see where my door was or which side they were hitting. Dammit. Someone’s engine was overheated – wait it was mine!

I reached over with my right hand to feel the fire extinguisher and make sure it was there. Regulations were to have one strapped to the floor at arms-length from the driver. That along with no other seats, the door welded shut, and no glass – we had kicked out the windshields and windows.

I flick the toggle switch to stop my engine.  It broke off in my hand!

I could hear cars still whizzing by me, the crunch of metal on metal. But I couln’t see a thing, barely even my gloved hands gripping the steering wheel while I hope the madness will be over soon.

Finally it ended. They announced the winner. I think it was Dan, again. Ha, of course.

The smoke finally subsided enough and I knew the drivers were climbing out of their cars, so I clumsily followed. I could see the guy who had connected bumpers with me heading over at a rapid pace. He was pissed. I would’ve been too. His engine was fine to keep going but I couldn’t get out of the reverse gear in order for him to at least drag me with him.

I quickly reached for my helmet and yanked it off. He stopped dead in his tracks. I could see it on his face. Shit. I was the girl! He stood there looking at me. I stood there looking at him. I think he wanted to punch me – in fact I’m sure of it.

Maybe that was the one good thing about being the only girl on the dirt. He really couldn’t do a damn thing.

I had no idea that during all this, my sister was yelling and crying in the stands to stop the race, as she couldn’t see me through the smoke. Apparently, it was upsetting to see your younger sister getting smashed by two-ton vehicles over and over and over again.  

She didn’t even care that her boyfriend Dan had won, just that I was okay.

Later that night, after the cars had all been towed off the track and people were packing up, I leaned against my truck and stared up at the sky. It was filled with stars.

I had done something fun.

I had done something unexpected.

I had done something I will never do again.

My neck was already stiff and sore, backwards whiplash the doctor called it a few days later. Nonetheless, I had done it. I wished my Dad was there to watch me, but he’d refused.

“Come on, Jules,” dan said. “Hurry up. We’re all heading back to Johnny B’s.”

I snapped out of my thoughts and started to pull off the blue mechanics coveralls. Something fell to the ground. Reaching down I grabbed it quickly and looked. It was the toggle switch.

Now, it’s almost thirty years later and I don’t have a single picture or video from that night. Nothing captured I was even there, that it actually happened. There were no smart phones back then – back when we lived to just live. In the moment. Just for the night.

But I did keep that toggle switch. It did happen.

Julie Shaw has taken time away from her career in media and advertising to adopt and raise her son. She’s also taken this time to reignite her creative side.  Julie’s love of writing began at a young age, alongside her passion for restoring classic cars. Julie’s adventures in life have kept her busy writing personal essays she hopes to one day share in a memoir. She lives in Oakville with her husband, son, and their beloved dog, Maggie.

See Brian Henry’s 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 12, 2019

Writing Personal Stories course, Thursday afternoons, Jan 23 – March 19, in Oakville


Writing Personal Stories
9 weeks of sharing and writing
Thursday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
January 23 – March 19, 2020
St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church, 15 Oakhill Dr, 
Oakville, Ontario (Map here.)
Note: Exploring Creative WritingNext Step in Creative Writing, and Intensive Creative Writing classes also start in January. Details of all courses here.


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.

Fee: $167.26 plus 13% hst = $189
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 a review of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian’s complete current 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.

Monday, November 11, 2019

“Remembering Uncle Fritz: War And The Price We Pay” by Isolde Ryan


His heart was beating fast but his mind was sharp and alert as he lay in some brush with his face so close to the ground he could smell the earth. He was responsible for ensuring that his regiment wasn’t walking into an ambush.

Fritz was 21 years old and called to duty only eight months prior. He now found himself marching on Russia alongside his comrades. He was a scout; but first and foremost, he was a son, a brother, a friend, and a fiancé.

Back home, he had promised his girlfriend that he would come back no matter what.

Wedding plans had been in the works when the war broke out.

He had been laying in the bushes for quite some time and was sure that there were no Russian soldiers awaiting them. He stood up to give the signal to move forward when suddenly the sound of a shot traveled true the air. Fritz was hit; the bullet traveling through his heart. His friend, who had witnessed it, later told the family that he was dead before his body even hit the ground.

The war continued, his comrades didn’t even get a chance to bury him.

Fritz couldn’t keep his promise; he never made it home alive; he never made it home at all. His family was left with nothing more than knowing that he hadn’t suffered.

Fritz was my uncle. My dad didn’t talk about him much, as it was too painful for him.

Fritz was yet another young man dead, fighting someone else war. It wasn’t his war; he didn’t want to be there; he was ordered to fight.

I was born 20 years after his death, and I never knew much about him except that he was funny and a very good carpenter. My dad passed away 11 years ago, and now there is nobody alive that knew Fritz. On Remembrance Day, I like to include my uncle Fritz, even though he was marching for Germany.

I like to remember him not so much as a soldier, but like the 21-year-old carpenter whose only goal was to go home from a war he didn’t ever want to be part of.

November 11 is a sad time a year for me. My heart goes out to all of the men and women who lost their lives or lost their loved ones.

We should think about them, and their scarifies, and do what we can to prevent it from ever happening again.

As for me I will Remember my Uncle Fritz and all the other soldiers who were robbed of the lives they could have had.

Isolde Ryan has been a visual artist and writer all her life. She is a contributing author in both The Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada (2017), and We are the Wordsmiths, (2017). Through the South Simcoe Arts Council, Isolde won First Place in the Battle of the Brushes in 2017 and 2015; and in 2010, won the Peoples’ Choice Award. 
Though Isolde put her creative side on hold to raise her family and breed prize-winning Dobermans, she has produced many original pieces for art lovers around the world. She frequently writes short stories, and is now working on her first novel. This story was previously published in Focus 50+. Follow Isolde on Twitter @isoldesryan, and visit her blog here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including 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.

“The Somme” by Brenda Short


France, July 1st, 1916.
Soon after conscription, Allan and Bert were shipped to France and had been there now for about two weeks. Their training was brief, not much more than how to handle the rifle and how to attach the bayonet, because it was unlikely that they would get close enough to the enemy to need hand to hand combat training. However, Alan could handle himself in a scuffle and Bert had trained as a boxer in public school, so they felt they could take on anyone in a fist fight, but these rifles were another thing. How could you just kill a man?
 
The heavy artillery bombardment had continued non-stop for eight days, deafening some and driving others almost crazy with the constant noise of the cannon blasts and impact explosions, but it ceased abruptly over the German lines at 7:30 a.m.  Now that the barrage had stopped, the senses became more acute. The smell of manure and rotting horse flesh was even more overpowering than the stench of the latrines and what seemed like millions of flies were more noticeable, buzzing around everyone’s face, landing on eyelids and mouths.

Fly infestations were possibly the most disgusting thing about this war so far for Allan, the flies thriving on all this death and filth; that and the trench foot, which was a killer when it turned gangrenous.  Many a soldier lost his life, simply because he didn’t have dry socks to wear. Allan had been warned when he first arrived and so took simple precautions against this, changing his socks whenever possible if they became wet and being careful to walk on the duckboards when he had to move around.

It was the strangest feeling when the bombing stopped. There was a deathly quiet. Not even the birds sang. No coughing, no conversations, everyone was surprised and silent, waiting for the next move. Suddenly a horse whinnied, breaking the tension.

Horses were commonplace behind the lines. Magnificent, beautiful animals that were used to transport supplies, move equipment and pull the body carts to and from the hospital tents, but unfortunately, horses were considered expendable and at times were used as a food source. 

Most horses died from exhaustion or starvation. In many cases, they weren’t given enough water and so they found their own, drinking from contaminated puddles and dying in agony from heavy metal poisoning. The lucky ones were shot by snipers as they worked, so visible as they moved back and forth in the daylight hours.

Now that the artillery bombardment had ceased the commands rang out, echoing along the front-line trenches, “Attack…attack!”

Allan and Bert received the order they had been dreading and dutifully climbed out of the mud-filled trench that had been their home for the last eight days. They were greeted by the distant sounds of the enemy guns, as they walked side by side with their rifles held out in front of them, hoping that they would be able to use them when the time came.

Other allied soldiers began to climb out of the trenches and form lines. The British and French had been instructed to keep walking in columns towards the German lines, but the Germans were well bunkered and had good defensive positions on higher ground. The bombing offensive had had little effect on them. They also had machine guns. This gave them a huge advantage and they mowed down the British and French troops mercilessly as they advanced towards them, like lambs to the slaughter.

Allan could see in the distance that men were dropping to the ground and others were just stepping over them. Men were screaming and cursing the likes of which he had never heard before and as they continued to walk across the field, the noise of the machine guns became louder until it was almost as deafening as the bombs had been.


“I can’t see any of them,” yelled one soldier. “Where are they.”

Allan was suddenly aware of strange whistling sounds that seemed to pass by on either side of him. What was tha… Allan thought, before the realization hit him that he was now within the reach of German bullets

“They’re hidden behind those mounds,” someone answered.

“Can’t you see the lights when they fire?  Just like fireflies. There, did you see that?” shouted Bert over his shoulder.

Allan raised his rifle and fired several bursts at the little dots of light. The man in front of him fell to his knees and just for a second, he balanced there before falling on his face in the mud. Men continued to fall, some of them just lying there screaming, dying of atrocious injuries, writhing on the ground with no one to help them. Allan couldn’t believe the carnage that he was witnessing all around him and as his eyes closed on the horror, his mind began to wander…

“You have to have lots of patience to stand all of the dominoes on end,” Allan had told his son one rainy, Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it takes an hour or two, but then there’s the fun of watching them fall down, though it happens really fast. If you space them just right, each one will knock the next one down as they fall.”

And true to his word, when the dominoes fell it was all over quickly, just as this battle would be, the soldiers knocking each other down as they fell, just like the dominoes. He smiled at the past memory, unable to stay focused on this systematic slaughter, knowing that his death was imminent.

“I play that game with young John every Sunday after chapel,” he said distractedly to everybody and nobody in particular, a smile forming at the corners of his mouth.

Suddenly, Allan was splattered with blood. The soldier beside him had been shot in the head, his brain exploding all over Allan, but he just instinctively wiped his face with his sleeve and kept walking and thinking about his son.

Pain brought Allan back to the present – terrible pain in his chest. His knees buckled and he fell on top of another soldier. 

Bert looked around, but before he could turn to help Allan, bullets ripped through his gut. He fell just in front of Allan and they looked at each other incredulously, Allan shot through the chest and Bert through the abdomen. Both lay there for a few moments, the noise of the battle going on around them and then fading … into … oblivion. 

It was so calm here on the ground, thought Allan. The war seemed ethereal, almost unreal. All he could hear was his heartbeat and the gurgling sound in his lungs.  It was all over now, the last few days of hellish conditions and fly infested food, the knee deep mud that sucked at your legs, making it so difficult to move around, the noise – the terrible noise of the bombs, the diarrhea from the lack of sanitation and tainted water, the nauseating stench of the latrines and the paralyzing fear of death.

Somehow knowing that you were going to die and not being able to do anything about it was more frightening than death itself. Now, lying here on top of a dead man, Allan was relieved that the waiting was over and all he had to do now was to die too. It wasn’t so bad if he didn’t breathe deeply. This dying part was easier than living in the trenches, or worrying about when and how you would die. The war seemed irrelevant now. What was it they were fighting for anyway?

“Will ye have tae kill anyone?” Allan remembered his wife asking him before he left. Now, as he drifted in and out of consciousness, he was having trouble concentrating. Had he firee his gun?  He couldn’t remember if he’d killed anyone. Belle wouldn’t like it if he’dd killed anyone.

Everything was hazy. Oh, dear God, why couldn’t he remember?  Where was Bert? He’d remember.

Allan was confused for a moment. Why was he lying on the ground, and on top of another fellow?  Nobody was moving. Why didn’t the other man complain?  What was wrong?  And then, although still half unconscious, he realized where he was. He looked around to find Bert, but in an instant he was wide awake, his eyes were drawn to Bert’s belly. Allan heaved in reaction to what he saw, and felt an incredible pain in his lung. Bert’s insides were hanging out.

Hes almost cut in half, thought Allan. Dear God! How could he just lie there without screaming?  Ddn’t he feel any pain?

Just looking at Bert’s innards made Allan want to scream. The pain in his chest made him want to scream even more, but he had enough trouble breathing.

Bert slowly reached into his breast pocket, his hand shaking as his fingers struggled with the single button, his strength fading fast, his lifeblood almost gone, and then he held his hand out to Allan. In that hand was his prized silver cigarette case, the one he had been awarded by the bank last year to commemorate his promotion to manager.

The sunlight filtered bleakly through the mist of the battlefield, but it was enough to glint off the silver and give Bert a moment’s pleasure. “Smoke?” he said, smiling at Allan, his grey eyes twinkling as he flipped the case open with his thumb.

“No thanks my friend. You know I don’t!” whispered Allan, smiling back as best he could, touching Bert’s hand in camaraderie with his own trembling fingers, then suddenly coughing violently, blood framing his teeth and lips, his eyes fixed on Bert, marveling at his ability to die with such dignity and grace. He was a true gentleman to his last breath. What were they all doing here?  What time was it?  He should know the time when he and his friend were to die.

Bert took forever to light his cigarette, slowly savouring the tapping of each end on his silver cigarette case to compact the loose tobacco strands. He wiped his lips with the back of his hand, to make sure the delicate wrapping paper didn’t stick to the blood that had seemed to appear from nowhere and then, holding the cigarette gently between his index and middle finger, he struck the lucifer, cupping it in his hands to protect it from the wind that wasn’t there.

He was immediately comforted by the familiar aroma of sulphur, and knowing that this cigarette would be his last, he inhaled deeply and smiled with satisfaction, his eyes clouding over almost instantly.

The smoke drifted slowly out of his mouth as his last breath escaped. It rose from his body, intertwining with his soul and disappeared into the heavens. The prized cigarette case slipped from his fingers and became lodged in the mud.

Allan closed his eyes, but he couldn’t close out the images of his dead friend. His last thoughts, however, were of Belle and of his children.

 “I’m so sorry, my love,” he whispered as he lost consciousness again.So sorry.

Brenda Short joined the Wordsmiths in 2017 and has been writing as a hobby for twenty years. She is working on several novels, has written many short stories and dabbled in poetry. Her stories have been published in Focus 50+, on Commuter Lit and in Briar Crier. Brenda works for New Tecumseth library and is the liaison with Wordsmiths. She has attended Brian's workshops there. She prefers to write murder mysteries and has completed several novels, but has recorded her family history in a fictional biography, beginning at the turn of the twentieth century and ending at the outbreak of WW2.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Workshops soon: Plotting Novels & Writing Short Stories and How to Get Published with literary agent Stephanie Winter

How to Build Your Story
 ~ Plotting novels & Writing short stories
Saturday, November 16, 2019
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, Ontario (Map here.)
This workshop will show you how writers plot a novel and will give you the best tips on writing short stories. We’ll also look at where to get your stories published and how to win contests. Best yet, you’ll see how to apply the story-building techniques you’ve learned to your own writing.
Fee: $37.17 + hst = $42 paid in advance
 or $39.82 + hst = $45  at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca


We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop
represented by P.S. Literary
How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, November 23, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 3:45 / 4:30 p.m.
(Open at 9:30 a.m. for registration & coffee)
Niagara on the Lake Public Library, 10 Anderson Lane, NOTL, Ontario (Map
 here.) 
If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. Book editor Brian Henry and literary agent Stephanie Winter will explain how to approach an agent or publisher to give your book the best possible chance. We will go deep into how to write a query letter that will get you a yes. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!
Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, three copies could be helpful.
And be sure to bring your elevator pitch! Following the end of the formal workshop at about 3:45, Brian Henry will be staying to help interested attendees, rewrite their query letters, while literary agent Stephanie Winter will be listening to your pitches. 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. Established in 2005, P.S. is a growing Canadian agency with seven agents, representing fiction and nonfiction by debut and established authors. Stephanie first joined the agency as an intern before becoming P.S.'s Agency Relations Assistant. Stephanie holds a BA in English Lit from the University of Toronto and an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London. 
Stephanie is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. She particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders and more. Within fiction, she’s actively seeking Upmarket, Commercial, Historical, and Women’s Fiction, and also urban and magical fantasies, cozy mysteries, dramatic comedies, light romances, and genre-bending narratives. Within nonfiction, she’s interested in Humour, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Memoir, cultural or event-base History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and essay collections.
Fee$49.56 + 13% hst = $55  in advance or $53.10 + 13% hst = $60 at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca


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, he's led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown, and he's the author of a children's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 
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.


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.