Wednesday, May 12, 2021

In-person(!) Intensive Creative Writing class offered this summer, Wednesdays, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington

Intensive Creative Writing

Wednesday evenings, July 7 – Aug 25, 2021
1 – 3 p.m.
St. Elizabeth’s Church, 5324 Bromley Rd, Burlington, Ontario (Map here)

See details of all upcoming weekly classes, one-day workshops, and weekend writing retreats {online and in-person} here.

Note: Holding an in-person class depends on where we are in the pandemic. It’s possible this course might have to switch to online

Intensive Creative Writing isn't for beginners; it's for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a course or two before and are working on their own projects. You’ll be asked to bring in four pieces of your writing for detailed feedback, including two long pieces. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on. 

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.

Fee: $211.50 + hst = $239

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 reviews of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, 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.

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Eight Literary Agents at Frances Goldin seek new authors, including two new Associate Agents

Times Convert by Deborah Harkness
represented by Frances Goldin Agency

Frances Goldin Literary Agency

214 West 29th Street
Suite 1006
New York, NY 10001

https://goldinlit.com/

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. If you’re not yet on my newsletter list, send me an email, including your locale to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian

Frances Goldin agency has eight agents, all accepting queries, including two associate agents, Jade Wong-Baxter and Sulamita Garbuz, who just joined the agency in 2021. Like all new agents, they need authors:

Jade Wong-Baxter previously worked for three years at Massie & McQuilkin Literary as a junior agent and foreign rights associate. A graduate of Vassar College, Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W.W. Norton, and Folio Literary. 

Jade is looking for adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction. Like everyone else, she’s particularly interested in narratives by and about people of colour and the perspectives of marginalized identities. Her other areas of interest include magical realism, memoir, cultural criticism, and Asian-American history.

Query Jade at: jwb@goldinlit.com

Sulamita Garbuz worked at Trident Media for four years before joining Frances Goldin agency. A graduate of Swathmore College, she worked in the white collar crimes division of the US Attorney’s Office and for several labour unions before entering publishing.

Sulamita gravitates primarily toward nonfiction, with an emphasis on books with a social justice bent. Her areas of specializaty include narrative nonfiction, memoir, psychology, science, and journalism.

She is also looking for character-driven literary fiction and is especially excited by novels that use speculative or dreamlike elements to explore current social dynamics, stories of obsession and women misbehaving, and narratives about immigration and 2nd generation experience.

Query Sulamita at: sg@goldinli.com

Literary agent Gordon Warnock

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to Get Published Saturday, Aug 14, with literary agent Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary (see here).

If you’re especially interested in writing for children, don’t miss Writing Little Kid Lit course, offered online Thursday afternoons, July 8 – Aug 26 (see hereand Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshops online Sunday, July 11, with literary agent Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary (see here).

Beyond that, Brian Henry’s schedule continues to take shape...

Online: Beginning Right – How to open your novel, Saturday, May 15. Details here.

Online: Finding Your Voice, Sunday, May 30. Details here.

Online: Writing Conflict, Saturday, June 26. Details here.

Writing retreat:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, an island of luxury in the middle of a wilderness. Friday, June 11 – Monday, June 14.  Details here.

Summer classes:

In-person: Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.

Literary agent Maria Vicente
Online: Writing Little Kid Lit Thursday afternoons, July 8 – Aug 26. Details here.

In-person: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.  

Details of all summer classes here.

 

For more details or to register for any workshop, retreat or weekly class, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule here,  including online and in-person 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, 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.

 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 interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

Monday, May 10, 2021

How to Get Published ~ online ~ Saturday, Aug 14, with guest Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary

Loss Lake by Amber Cowie
represented by Fuse Literary

How to Get Published

An editor & a literary agent tell all

Saturday, August 14, 2021
1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Toronto time
Online and accessible wherever there's Internet

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll focus on the process of submitting to an agent or publisher, and show you exactly how to write a query letter that will get a “yes!” Bring all your questions! Come and get ready to be published!

Special Option: Participants are invited to prepare a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don't need to prepare anything, but if you like, email me a draft of your query prior to our workshop. We want to do some peer critiquing for everyone, and Gordon and I will critique several queries, perhaps half a dozen, so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t and how to improve your query. Do remember that agents come to these events wanting to hear what you’ve got and hoping to find authors they want to represent.

Guest speaker Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Fuse Literary, a full-service literary agency based in the Silicon Valley, with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Dallas, and Vancouver. Fuse has ten agents, most of whom are accepting queries. 

Gordon is based in Vancouver and brings years of experience as a senior agent, marketing director, editor for independent publishers, publishing consultant, and author coach. 

He's interested in both fiction and nonfiction, both for adults and young adults.  He’s looking for fresh concepts that excite him before he even starts reading and tension-filled prose that won’t let him stop. Specifically, Specifically, he’s looking for high-concept suspense, book club women’s fiction, literary fiction for adults through young adults, and graphic novels for adults through middle grade. He’s interested in a variety of nonfiction and wants projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page.

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 Windsor 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 = $49paid in advance by mail or Interac

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

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. ~ Brian

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person 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, 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, May 9, 2021

“Sisters from another Mister” by Jill Malleck

 

Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.

Cheryl, she’s the brave one. She pulls up to the stop in her orange Corolla like she owns the place. She looks chill, not in a bitchy way some women have, but in that laid-back, it’s-all-good way that regular pot-smokers have. Cheryl and I each grew up around pot. We’re like sisters in that way too.

“What ya got today?” Cheryl asks as I shove the big Walmart bag into the back seat.  We never say “hello, how are you?” Real friends, we pick right up and cut to the chase.

“Dad’s toothpaste and beige sweater,” I say. “And a seat cushion off my balcony chair. I just can’t stand sitting in those crappy visitor chairs all afternoon. What are you bringing?”

“Nothing but what the cat dragged in.”

She laughs over Country 105.3 and spins the wheel into traffic. Cheryl’s quoting her dad there – she thinks it’s hilarious to talk like the old man, now that he can’t.

The first time I saw Cheryl she was lounging in a dirty plastic chair outside of Room 2B at Freeport Health Centre. I had stepped out of 2C to take a short break while my step-dad napped. Cheryl looked up like she was expecting me, but also like she was totally fine if I wanted to ignore her. Her chill. There was something about her that seemed familiar. Did we go to the same high school? You never knew who you’d run into at Freeport, it was the only place most families could afford.

“You get kicked out here too.” She laughed. “He hates if I stay and watch when the nurse comes. Hates when they ask him questions he can’t answer. Wiggles those squirrelly brows at me: Get the hell out.

It’s easy to find common ground in the hall at Freeport.  Like how we both made Saturdays our usual day (Cheryl goes up on Wednesdays too, but I can’t stand the thought of two trips a week). And how neither one of us really gave two-shits about the old men in those beds.

By the time the frazzled nurse rushed to the next patient, Cheryl was offering to drive me home and stop for a Timmy’s on the way. So, that’s our Saturday routine – pick up, visit the dads, go for coffee and compare notes, drop off. I have to say that I’m glad. I don’t really like to talk about my personal life at work.

Today was a bigger surprise than discovering our shared plight had been. All the stories Cheryl’s been telling me dropped from my head to my gut. I don’t feel embarrassed about it, I mean I didn’t have a clue until we were sitting in Tim Horton’s.

“How’s your step-dad doing?”

Cheryl always asks me that first, as we slide into the booth furthest from the busy counter.

“Same old, same old. How about Eddie?”

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be coming next Saturday,” she said gravely. “I might not even have to come on Wednesday.”

My face felt frozen. Should I have known?

“Oh, sorry, I mean if you need a ride I can bring you anyway….but I figured you’d go back to taking the bus?”

“Yeah, course, I don’t care about that. What’s up with Ed?”

We know a few days can make a huge difference at Freeport. And with Ed more than my dad, since he’s had two strokes already.

“Nothing I can really put my finger on. He just seems, I don’t know, weaker. I couldn’t even make out what he was trying to say. I think he’s giving up…about time I’d say.”

Yeah, Cheryl can sound harsh sometimes when she talks about Ed. It’s shocking when you first hear it, but anyone listening who’s been chained to a patient, especially an ass like Ed, ignores the tone. Respects it, even.

Cheryl wasn’t just a talker. She was a good listener too. The second time we went to Tim’s I got up the nerve to ask why she called her dad Ed. I know it’s cool now for kids to be like friends with their parents, but no one I grew up with did. I’d have got smacked if I’d tried.

“Well that’s his name, and that’s all he’s getting from me. Drank like a fish, worked mom into her grave. Never beat the shit out of us but took a few swipes. Dumbass was too drunk to be really dangerous. I wouldn’t come at all, but I wanna make sure what he’s got is coming to me…” She’d rolled up the rim on her cup as she spilled.

“Heh, look, a free donut! Don’t let me throw this out.”

She took a sip right on top of the mushed lip. “He hates when I call him Ed. Can’t say a damn thing about it though.”

The cheating heart thing came up a few weeks ago. We’d taken to picking up magazines on our way through the gift shop. I’d get People and she’d get Us, and then we’d switch in the hall during our break. Both covers were splashed full of a famous actor who’d been caught red-handed with a butt-ugly prostitute.

“See? His wife’s a freaking supermodel! It doesn’t matter how beautiful or successful you are. You’re still going to get cheated on.” That was Cheryl’s take.

“Did Ed cheat?”

“Oh, yeah. He’d be trying to fuck the nurses here if he could move his ass. Heh , maybe that’s what he’s moaning about! How about you, your step-dad ever do anything like that?”

I hesitated. “Depends how you look at it. Him and my mom worked together. Then Dad got offered a transfer to Calgary, and Mom said we weren’t going. So sis and me stayed with her. Couple years later, he’s our new dad.”

“But he was okay, right? Or why’d you be here every week.”

“Adequate. Paid for my college. Didn’t bother with us kids…or not much. I think he liked Connie more than me. When Mom died she asked us to look out for him.”

“Hey, where’s your sister? She come on Sundays? Love to meet her.”

“Cons doesn’t come. She hates him. Hated that dad left us. Typical step-kid stuff.”

“Well if I had a sister, I’d be telling her to get her ass down here and do her duty.”

Cheryl picked at a cold sore at the edge of her mouth. “You’re a trooper.”

I’m pretty sure that’s an Eddie expression, though I can’t tell you how he’d sound saying it. He wasn’t talking the only time I saw him, just drooling phlegm from the side of his limp mouth. Cheryl invited me in after I’d introduced her to my step-dad. Ed’s bulbous nose and heavy jowls made me think of W.C. Fields. Funny, but he hated kids too.

So now here we are, Ed on his last legs and Cheryl letting me know we won’t be sharing coffee at Tim’s anymore. I don’t know what to say. We’ve never talked outside of Saturdays. I don’t think I know her last name.

“You’ll have a funeral, right?”  Even I can hear Ed saying you’re grasping at straws.

“Nope, I’m not throwing good money after bad. The city will take care of that. Once he’s gone, I’m outta here.”

I nodded. Who could blame her? I didn’t buy for a minute that he’d only swiped at her. Nobody hated somebody that much without good reason.

Wednesday passed, and before Saturday came I got a call from Freeport. Some listeria virus was on the move, and no visitors were allowed. I’d go see Connie then. Take a Greyhound to Orangeville and spend the night with her and Rick.

Rick’s pickup was at the station. I didn’t expect Cons to come out. She’s had that fibromyalgia thing for years. Puts her in constant pain, makes it hard to climb into the truck. I smelled the skunky-weed smell coming up from the basement as soon as I walked in.

“Self-medicating,” she grinned with a hug.

“Yeah, sure, since you were fifteen!”

We caught up at the kitchen table while Rick fixed us Hamburger Helper sloppy joes. He added chopped onions like Mom used to and it made me salivate. They take good care of me, these two.

“Aren’t you going to ask about him?”

“Okay, but only because of you. Just tell me about how stressed the nurses are and whether the food is getting any better.”

“I met a woman whose dad is in the next room. It’s great to have someone to chat with. She’s got a sad story though – her dad was abusive to her mom and her.”

Connie shrugs. She’s fiddling with a pencil – up to her mouth, down again to tap the table. Poor Cons. I know she’s wanting another joint and is waiting till I go to the bathroom, so she can sneak downstairs.

“Living with him was no picnic either.”

“Yah, but come on…”

I stop when Rick turns from the stove to look at us. Connie rolls the pencil on the table.

“You don’t have to go. Rick and I don’t care if you stop.”

“We promised Mom, Cons. You and me. She said to us, take care of him, girls. You nodded too…”

“Well sure, but that was then. What did she know?”

I grab her hand and get my foot out of my mouth.

“I’m not saying I think you should travel down to Kitchener. I know how much it hurts in the truck.”

Rick has stopped stirring. Connie looks up at him. She’s chewing on the eraser. He shakes his head no.

“Anyways,” she says, “Mom’s in heaven now. And when you get to heaven you know everything, see everything that ever happened. She’d say you don’t have to go see him anymore.”

I don’t know what to say. I think of the pain Connie is in. I think how much she missed our dad when he left us. We both miss our mom, but I’m not all seized up about it.

“Thanks, Cons. But I’ll keep going for now. Make sure what he’s got is coming to us, eh?”

By the following Saturday, the outbreak is over, and I catch the bus up to Freeport. I almost wave the bus away, hoping Cheryl’s Corolla’s going to pull up.

No country music on the bus. She’d said we were like sisters from another mister, both of us products of a cheating heart. I thought I heard owners of a lonely heart and the echo of that ‘80s song attached itself to Cheryl forever in my mind. Either one is accurate.

When I get to 2C my cushion has a note taped on it.

“I hope you don’t mind I used this. Take care of your dad. C.”

I wander into the hall, expecting to see her there. A janitor is sweeping out of room 2B. I peer past his shoulder and see a woman curled up like a featherless bird in a nest. She sees me and opens her mouth wordlessly.

When the nurse comes in at four with Dad’s pills, I ask what happened to the guy next door.

“Just stopped breathing – last Wednesday I think it was. Lucky his daughter was here to sign him out and take his stuff. There’s a long waiting list. Bed didn’t even get cold.”

I miss Cheryl’s matter-of-factness.

Dad’s asleep, it’s getting dark and I’m thinking about Connie. And the coffee I’m not going to have on the way home. Have to make instant, I guess. It’s when I grab my coat off the back of the chair that I see the white stain on my cushion. Smack dab in the middle. Must’ve been under the note. I use my fingernail to pick at it, and a small piece flakes off. Looks like dried salt. Weird.

I re-tape Cheryl’s note over it, tuck it under my arm. I’ll take it home and throw in the wash. Then I can think about if I need it in this room.

Jill Malleck’s home is in southwestern Ontario, landlocked so she escapes to Lake Huron in the summer. Most of her life has been spent reading and speaking others’ words. Her writing was confined to business projects, family correspondence and blogging about leadership. Today she’s telling stories.  

“Sisters from Another Mister was previously published in literally stories. For information on submitting to literally stories, see here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule here,  including online and in-person 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, 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.