Tuesday, June 30, 2020

How to Get Published, with literary agent Paige Sisley, Saturday, Oct 24, in Guelph

The Innocents by Michael Crummy
represented by CookeMcDermid
How to Get Published
An editor & a literary agent tell all
Saturday, October 24, 2020
10 a.m. – 3:30 / 4:45
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, Ontario (Map here.)

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. 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 3:30 – 3:45, Brian Henry will be staying to help interested attendees, who didn’t have their queries critiqued earlier, write query letters that will get a yes, while literary agent Martha Webb 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.
Guest speaker, Paige Sisley, is a literary agent with the CookeMcDermid agency. 
CookeMcDermid represents  more than 300 writers, among them Man Booker nominees, Giller and Governor General’s award–winning authors, prize-winning journalists, New York Times bestsellers, international authorities in their field, and some of the literary world’s most notable names. 
Clients include Jen Agg, Omar el Akkad, Michael Crummey, Cherie Dimaline, Robyn Doolittle, John Irving, Rupi Kaur, Scaachi Koul, Karen Le Billon, Geddy Lee, Robert Munsch, Maye Musk, Alison Pick, Nino Ricci, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Jeff VanderMeer, and Jesse Wente.
Paige joined CookeMcDermid (then The Cooke Agency) in June 2013 following an internship. Paige has her Master of Arts from Ryerson University's Literatures of Modernity program and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of King's College and Dalhousie.
Paige is currently building her list as a keen and market-focused reader. When it comes to fiction she is looking for smart, well-written commercial novels that both entertain and have something to say (e.g. Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Eliza Kennedy’s I Take You). She’s seeking books that can compete with Netflix for people’s time, but that someone like Reese Witherspoon might in turn be interested in adapting for Netflix.
Paige also represents nonfiction books in the lifestyle and health and wellness space. In both categories, Paige is attracted to books that enhance lives, either through a practical application or by shifting and expanding their reader’s worldview.
When Paige’s head isn’t in a book you can find her baking, at a concert, or simply watching the world go by in her busy downtown Toronto neighborhood. A born and bred Torontonian, Paige loves to travel and has also lived in LA, a sleepy New Zealand surf town, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


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.

Fee: $43.36 + 13% hst = $49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or $46.90 + 13% hst = $53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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.

Monday, June 29, 2020

“All Is Quiet” by Angela Varghese



All Is Quiet
5:30
Up early
Move around
Not a sound
All is quiet

Heads resting
On pillows nesting
Hearts are peaceful
Minds are blissful
All is quiet

Bodies stirring
Eyelids lifting
Bare feet touch the floor
Pitter patter down the stairs
Peering round the door

Mama turning
To noises stirring
Beautiful faces smiling

The day’s begun
Time for fun
All is busy now

Bread is toasted
Friends are hosted
Bicycles ridden
Lunch is given
Mama needs a nap

Noah, Josh, Elijah and Neha
Guitar is amped
Living room cramped
Play Station on
 Computer plays a song

Mama heads to kitchen

Dinner cooked
Tomorrow’s play dates booked
Children are fed
Stories well read

Noah, Josh TV watching
Neha, Elijah giggling and hopping
Mama tired nearly dropping
Heads upstairs to say goodnight
Foreheads kissed
Prayers well said
All are tucked in tight

The day is over
Heads are resting
In pillows nesting
Hearts are peaceful
Minds are blissful
All is quiet

Angela Varghese is a happy but tired mother of four.  She lives in Oakville.  By day she cleans houses allowing her time to think about writing and words.  By mid-afternoon she is home with the kids cooking and interacting with them.  In the evening she spends her time writing.  Angela thanks her mom for being the original storyteller and thanks her children for inspiring her to keep going.

See Brian Henry's schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly online writing classes, and weekend retreats in Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

This July, join me for the first in-person writing workshops since the beginning of March ....


Raising the Stakes
How to increase your story's tension 
Saturday, July 18, 2020
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Anglican Church, 5324 Bromley Rd, Burlington, Ontario (Map here)
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 raise the tension in each scene they write.
Note: To allow physical distancing, we will of necessity be a small group and enjoy ample opportunity for interaction. Participants are asked to wear a mask, and I'll bring the hand sanitizer.
Fee: $40.71+ hst = $46 paid in advance 
or $44.25 + hst = $50 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Come join me this July in a lovely beach town on Lake Huron for a pair of writing workshops:
How to Build Your Story
Plotting novels and Writing short stories
Saturday, July 25, 2020
1:00–4:30 p.m.
Southampton Arts Centre, 3 – 201 High Street, Southampton, 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: $50
Register through Southampton Arts here.

How to Write Great Characters
Sunday, July 26, 2020
1:00–4:30 p.m.
Southampton Arts Centre, 3 – 201 High Street  Southampton, Ontario (Map here)
Whatever you're writing ~ fiction or nonfiction ~ readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.
Fee: $50
Register through Southampton Arts here.

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.

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding 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.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

“Canoeing the Mackenzie with my son” by Joanne McAuley


The sound of silence. Something rare and precious in our busy lives. It was a privilege to be on this river, in our canoe watching the sun kiss the horizon and then gently, slowly rise. We welcomed another day in the Arctic, paddling down the Mackenzie River.

I love Canada’s North. The scenery inspires me to return again and again. Our Indigenous neighbours share many gifts of Mother Nature, of thriving in our North.

Inuit life, culture, music and art has established the Northwest Territories as a unique corner of the world. 

I’ve invited my son, Tavis, to join me on a two-week canoe trip paddling from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk some 210 kilometers down the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean.

I knew this trip would be an adventure that would require careful planning. I’m also grateful to Kelly, Tavis’s wife, for staying home with their two daughters so he could share this journey with me.

My son was in charge of navigation and ordered detailed maps, and a small solar charger for the GPS that used Russian satellites, which allowed our loved ones to follow our progress. I was in charge of arranging all the equipment and packing delicious meals in the bear barrel. I included a case of Sleeman’s beer to cool in the bottom of the canoe along with a few bottles of wine.

Getting to Inuvik was an adventure of it’s own. I drove 7,500 kms alone, camping in my Aliner. Northern British Columbia was breathtaking. Then there’s the Dempster Highway, 735 kms of gravel, mosquitos and mud!

Our first day of paddling started with perfect weather and a calm river. Within hours dark clouds moved in. We headed for shore and quickly set up one tent, before the violent storm arrived . The Mackenzie can be frightening, changing conditions in minutes. 

Our outfitter, Kylik, at Tundra North Tours, had warned us of the wind, the storms, the mud that was like quick sand and the grizzlies. The mud  scared me the most, because my boots were too big and every canoe exit ended with me on all fours in the river, sinking into the mud. Poor Tavis figured out the best way to get me to shore was to literally pull me through the mud. “Faster Mommerdog….you can do this.” I felt useless unloading the canoe, but I could set up my tent and cook delicious meals – the secret is in the spices.



The wind forced us to sleep all day and paddle all night. In July the sun never sets. We’d find a lovely spot to camp, enjoying the wilderness, and a fancy dinner before convincing our bodies it was time to sleep. Paddling from midnight till 6am felt ‘normal.’ The soft light was magical.

Every Inuit fisherman stopped to chat making sure we were safe in their Territory. It was reassuring to know if we capsized we would be rescued.

The sandbar in the middle of the river was totally unexpected! We thought Tavis would have to push us to the Arctic Ocean. We laugh now, but at the time is was a really bad day.

Another morning we were visited by a curious grizzly bear. I prayed Tavis would remember the instructions on staying calm, getting the bear spray out, and not firing until the bear was only two meters away. That bear took one look at my tall son and ran. We shoved everything into the canoe and ran too! 

The weather changed as we paddled towards the delta.

Cold wet days and nights had us looking forward to the whaling/fishing Camp that Kylik promised would accommodate us, and transport us to Tuk.

We were greeted by Gayle and Steve, who recommended we warm up in the comfortable tent with cots covered in caribou skins. The small stove heated the space and we felt like we were in heaven. Their two adorable kids asked a million questions about us. We reciprocated with a million questions about them.

“Fishing and hunting, fishing and hunting”. Even their school year revolves around hunting seasons, as it requires all hands securing and preserving food for the year.  

The small community of Tuktoyaktuk is known as the Land of the Pingos, famous ancient Arctic landforms created by permafrost and pressurized water.  

Joanne at Mile One
Tuk is also Mile One of the Trans Canada Trail. 

Flying back to Inuvik over the Mackenzie I knew the memories we created would last a lifetime.

Joanne McAuley does her best to experience any adventure. Her happy place is paddling in the wilderness, skiing Whistler, exploring quiet country roads on her Ebike, or ´Čüddling French Canadian tunes, especially with other musicians. She retired 8 years ago and is living her dreams every moment of every day.


See Brian Henry's schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly online writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Online course for adults: Writing Kid Lit – Picture Books to Young Adult Novels, Sept 24 – Nov 19

The Calling a YA novel by Kelley Armstrong
a New York Times #1 bestselling author
and one of Brian's students
Writing Kid Lit
Picture Books to Young Adult Novels
Thursday evenings, 7 – 9 p.m.
September 24 – November 26, 2020 {no class Nov 12}
Offered online and accessible from anywhere there's internet 
Note: “Welcome to Creative Writing” is also on offer this fall. See here.

 This course is for adults {or teens} interested in writing picture books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade books, or Young Adult novels. This course is accessible for beginners and meaty enough for advanced writers. Through lectures, in-class assignments, homework, and feedback on your writing, we’ll give you ins and outs of writing for younger readers and set you on course toward writing your own books.
We’ll have two published children’s authors as guest speakers:


Guest speaker Jennifer Mook-Sang grew up in Guyana and moved to Canada when she was fourteen. While reading bedtime stories to her two sons, she fell in love with picture books and decided to write one of her own. In one of Brian Henry's classes she found the beginnings of a story. That story grew into the humorous middle-grade novel Speechless, published by Scholastic Canada.
Speechless won the Surrey Schools Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for many others, and was recommended by the Ontario Library Association, the Canadian Childrens’ Book Centre, the CBC, and the TD Summer Reading Club. 
Since then, Jennifer has also published a picture book, Captain Monty Takes the Plunge, with Kids Can Press. Captain Monty is the boldest, stinkiest pirate to sail the six or seven seas; in fact, he’s never had a bath. Naturally, the Junior Library Guild immediately selected him for its fall list of recommended books; it was short-listed for the Rainforest of Reading Award; and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre put it on its best books of the year list.
Jennifer has discovered another facet of being a children's author: she's traveled across Canada speaking to hordes of kids about her writing journey; encouraging them to read, write, and revise. Who knew that Brian's nudging to read aloud to the class would come in so handy someday?
Jennifer lives in Burlington, Ontario. You can find out more about her here. 
Speechless is available online here. And Captain Monty Takes the Plunge is available here. And of course they’re both available in book stores everywhere.
  
Kira Vermond is an award-winning writer with over 2,000 articles to her name. She has been a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, CBC and Today's Parent.
Kira is the author of six nonfiction books for young readers: Trending: How and Why Stuff Gets Popular (more here)  Why Don’t Cars Run on Apple Juice (more here); Half-Truths and Brazen Lies, (more here); Why We Live Where We Live (more hereGrowing Up: Inside and Out (nominated for on Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Award); and The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash (which was my son’s and daughter’s favourite book  the year it came out, although my kids are four years apart).
Plus, coming in 2021, Why Does My Shadow Follow Me?


Fee:  $176.11 plus 13% hst = $199
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.  Brian is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published. 
Read reviews of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian's complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly online writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.