Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Howland Literary have four agents looking for authors: Middle Grade, YA, and Adult fiction and nonfiction

Howland Literary


Note: Don't ever miss what’s happening with Quick Brown Fox. If you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale to:  brianhenry@sympatico.ca   ~Brian

Howland Literary is a small American agency with four agents, all of them currently looking for authors.

Zoe Aline was recently promoted to Associate Agent, and like all new agents, she needs authors. After working with Howland Literary and Lookout Books while earning her BFA in Creative Writing and Certificate in Publishing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Zoe Howard is now building her own list of adult literary fiction and adult nonfiction.

More than anything, Zoe is drawn to writing that lingers – on language, on character development, on the subtleties of character relationships, on place, on a niche subjects – and makes the details discovered there pop. Zoe would love to read writing that explores boundaries: poets writing prose, region-specific writing about the coastal or “convenience store” south and the western United States, non-traditional narrators, unhinged women in fiction, and so on.   

In adult fiction, Zoe looks for voice-driven stories that subvert reader expectations of their subject matter. She is especially interested in off-putting and unashamed characters, women breaking social expectations, LBGTQ+ characters, grounded magical realism and speculative elements, and insular settings (small towns, amusement parks, summer camps).   

In adult nonfiction, Zoe looks for narrative nonfiction, memoir, and essay collections that blend personal narratives with research. Her niche interests include internet culture, celebrities, pop culture, religion/spirituality, para-social relationships, material culture, and the relationships between people and the places they inhabit.   

Send Zoe your off-kilter, heartfelt, lyrical, and literary work.

Please submit all queries via Zoe's QueryManager link

Victoria Dillman was an assistant and foreign rights associate at Sobel Weber Associates and an intern at Linda Leith Publishing, as well as a reader for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Awards before joining Howland Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from McGill University, and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. She wants people to know her pronouns are she/her. 

Victoria is most interested in adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative and expert-driven nonfiction. Like everyone else, she particularly wants to hear from underrepresented communities including neurodivergent, queer, and BIPOC voices. 

In fiction, she looks for a well-paced plot with a strong, distinctive voice. She is fascinated by complex and nuanced characters with conflicting desires. She especially loves literary fiction with a speculative or magical element. She is also intrigued by hybrids of literary-genre fiction: pieces that work to subvert genre conventions. She will always be captured by family relationships, particularly the complexities of sibling dynamics and intergenerational trauma. As someone who grew up internationally, Victoria is drawn to narratives exploring transitory homes and cultures. 

In nonfiction, she is looking for projects that have a passion for and in-depth knowledge of niche topics. She is drawn to narratives that focus on the individual and offer fresh perspectives on our world. Some of the topics she is interested include social justice, climate change, mental health, cults, true crime, and counterculture. 

Please submit all queries via Victoria'sQuery Manager link

Erin Clyburn was previously an associate agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She was the general manager and director of collection development for Turtleback Books, a distributor of books to the school and library market, and she has over a decade of experience in magazine publishing, having worked for brands including Food & Wine, Cooking Light, People, and Entertainment Weekly. 

Erin received her BA in English Literature from Mississippi State University and her MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her partner, Michael, and four unruly rabbits.

Erin represents middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and adult fiction and nonfiction. In MG and YA, she is looking for horror, mystery, thriller, big-hearted contemporary, and grounded stories with magical or speculative elements.

In adult fiction, she is most interested in upmarket and literary fiction, and she gravitates toward the dark and strange: horror, thriller, mystery, and grounded stories with speculative or magical elements. Send her your weirds. 

In nonfiction, she's interested in intersectional perspectives and is looking for narrative nonfiction, memoir, and deep dives into topics including pop science, nature, food and culinary history, and sports and adventure.

An Alabamian with Louisiana roots, Erin is particularly interested in Southern literary and upmarket fiction from diverse voices in the above genres. A more in-depth wishlist can be found on her website.   

Please submit all queries via Erin'sQuery Manager link   

Carrie Howland founded Howland Literary in 2018, after thirteen years as an agent, most recently at Empire Literary.

Carrie holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Albion College, where she was the Poetry Editor of The Albion Review. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and magazines.

She attends several conferences, both nationally and internationally, throughout the year. Her craft talk from the Adirondack Writers Conference, "Beyond the Query Letter," is available on the Howland Literary website.

In her spare time, Carrie volunteers as a foster for a local dog rescue and is an active member of the Junior League. Her passions include music, pop culture, and the Midwest.  

She has been featured in several publications discussing her work as an agent including Poets & Writers, SCWBI insight, Akashic Books, and Slice Magazine.

Carrie is accepting submissions for: adult literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction as well as memoir, narrative and prescriptive non-fiction.

Please submit your query via Carrie'sQuery Manager link

Full submission guidelines here.

Literary Agent Barbara Berson

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to Get Published workshop Sunday, June 12, with Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller agency. Details here.

Note: I will be offering a one-day kid lit workshop Saturday, July 16, with Patricia Ocampo, senior editor of Kids Can Press. See here.

And in the fall, I'll again be offering a weekly kid lit class. Once this course is posted, you’ll find it here and just scroll down for all upcoming Kid Lit courses or one-day workshops. ~Brian

Beyond that, my schedule continues to take shape….


Online: How to Write Great Dialogue,  Sunday, June 26. Details here.

Weekly classes {See all summer classes here}:

Online: Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday mornings, 10 a.m. – 12 noon; July 6 – August 24. Details here.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., July 7 – Aug 25. Details here

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.; July 6 – August 24. Details here.

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Thursday mornings, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., July 7 – Aug 25. Details here.

Writing retreats:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, June 3 – June 6, 2022. Details here. (Wait list only.) 

Summer in Algonquin: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines  Resort, July 8 – July 11, 2022. Details here(Wait list only.) 

Sherwoon Inn

Muskoka Writing Retreat at Sherwood Inn, Friday, Oct 14 – Monday Oct 17, 2022. Details hereReserve early before it fills up! 

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, May 30, 2022

Muskoka Writing Retreat, Friday, Oct 14 – Monday, Oct 17


October in Muskoka Writing Retreat

Friday, October 14 – Monday, October 17, 2022
Sherwood Inn on Lake Joseph
1090 Sherwood Road, Port Carling, Ontario, Canada (Map here)

Give yourself four days of writing time – a long weekend of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do, delicious food at every meal, and with the leisure you need to sit with your feet up and write.

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’re just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us. 

The setting: Sherwood is an elegant resort started some eighty years ago by Harry Draper, a Toronto lawyer who fell in love with the Muskoka’s. He envisioned Sherwood as a charming estate rather than as a sprawling hotel and wanted guests to feel as if they were staying at a friend’s cottage.  Sherwood Inn, especially the Inn building itself, still maintains that warm, old-Muskoka charm.  

Thomas B. Costain, author of numerous best-selling historical novels, including The Chalice and The Black Rose, was a regular guest, so the Inn has a track record as a good spot for writing. Lawren Harris and George Thomson (brother of Tom Thomson) both painted here, though the century-old pines surrounding the Inn would have been a bit younger then.

Rates include accommodation. Rooms are located in the main Inn. Each room includes a queen bed, an en-suite three-piece bathroom, and a desk (for writing).

For double occupancy, there are a limited number of rooms available in the Maplewood building, with two double beds.

All meals – Friday dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday breakfast and lunch – are provided, as are coffee & snack breaks on Saturday and Sunday. Alcoholic beverages are extra, as are golf and Spa treatments.

Activities included: We’re between seasons – too late for swimming, too early for cross-country skiing – but if we have a warm fall so that the water is not yet too cold, canoes and kayaks will still be available. There are also hiking trails, fat bikes, tennis courts and shuffleboard, and a regular bonfire. Unlike our Algonquin retreats, there is also Internet (alas), so if you must know what’s going on in the world, you can keep up.  We recommend, though, that you relax in one of the many strategically placed Muskoka chairs throughout the property, enjoy the soothing wilderness sounds and let your creative juices flow.

Additional activities: The Inn also features a comfortable licensed lounge and a spa. “True North MVMNT is dedicated to getting you moving towards your happiest and healthiest self! We provide professional Massage Therapy and Esthetic services for all ages and backgrounds. Spa treatments are not included in the package, but if you're interested, you should certainly book an appointment (here).  

There are various attractions in the area, including the Muskoka Lakes (Cranberry) Farm and Winery, just 8 minutes down the road, cruises out of Port Carling, weather permitting, plus one outstanding golf course that will still be open, depending on the weather. (Something of a theme here.)  

Check-in on Friday is 4 p.m. Our first writing get-together will be at 5 p.m. Check-out on Monday is at 11 a.m. Followed by lunch. Feel free to arrive early – your room may well be ready – and in any case, before 4 p.m. on Friday and after lunch on Monday, you're welcome to use the resort's facilities. 

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 about previous retreats here {and scroll down}.

Fees for single occupancy: 

Including both the writing retreat and accommodation, meals, coffee & snack service, and all resort amenities: $1,296.46, plus 13% hst for the three nights.

Not included: alcoholic drinks, spa services, golf, or other extras.

Double occupancy: If you’re coming with a friend, partner, or spouse and you’re both participating in the retreat, there are a limited number of rooms in the Maplewood building which include two double beds. Fee per person, including both the writing retreat and accommodation, meals, coffee & snack service, and all resort amenities: $1,141.59, plus 13% hst for the three nights.

Bring a (non-participating) significant other along for the weekend to share your Inn room for an additional $135.40 plus hst per night  (includes accommodation, meals and all resort amenities, but not the writing part of the retreat or our coffee breaks). If you and your significant other want to upgrade to a Maplewood room – either a king bed or 2 doubles – add $190 plus hst for the three nights.

Book early – space is limited! 

Note: Participants must be double-vaccinated (unless of course you're unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. Also, who knows, by October, you may be need to be triple-vaccinated). Full receipts issued.

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

Note: Bookings for accommodations for this retreat must be done through Brian (unlike our retreats in Algonquin, where you book your accommodations through the resort). Participants may tack on additional nights at the resort before or after the retreat; these are offered at a special discounted rate. Additional nights need to be booked directly with the resort, after booking your space in the workshop.

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.

Should I bring my work in progress?

Yes! If you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you. Bring more than you expect to get to; you'll have lots of time for writing. Besides, you may want to switch projects or share a project that’s just started or one that’s all done, except for reading it to a small, appreciative audience. If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.

Should I bring my laptop?

Yes! Unless you only work on paper. Or bring both – your laptop and your writing pad. No sense being short of essential supplies.

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.

Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?

Yes. But please let me know ASAP. The resort would like those sorts of details a month in advance. 

I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is that possible?

If you want to arrive early or stay longer, that’s fine. You’ll book the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night with Brian, and arrange any additional nights with the resort; just make sure they know you’re with Brian Henry’s writing group – they’ve got a good rate for you.

Is there cell phone reception and WIFI?


How about alcohol?

The resort serves alcohol with meals and has a licensed lounge. Guests are also welcome to bring their own wine, beer or whatever for consumption in their room. (Though do note that Hemingway’s advice to write drunk, mostly produces drivel.)

Can I use the spa at the resort or play a round of golf?

Yes, you can certainly book a spa treatment, though that’s extra, and you book these directly with the resort {not through Brian}. I'll get back to you on whether golf courses in the area will still be open. It may depend on the weather.  

Can I bring my spouse (or partner or friend)?

If you want to share your room with a partner, they’re very welcome. Inn rooms each have one queen bed. If you want a king bed or two beds, upgrade to a room in the Maplewood. Just let your partner know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day).

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

 See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Two(!) new kids' books from Erin Silver: Sitting Shiva and Rush Hour

Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver

A little girl grieves the loss of her mother, but she can’t grieve alone.

When her friends and family arrive at her house to sit shiva, laden with cakes and stories, she refuses to come downstairs. But the laughter and memories gradually bring her into the fold, where she is comforted by her community. By the end of the book, she feels stronger and more nourished, and she understands the beautiful tradition. Then, when sees her father sitting alone, she is able to comfort him in his time of need. 

Sitting Shiva is a beautiful, heartfelt story about grief and loss, but also about comfort and community. It shows that no matter what religion you practice, we are all more similar than we are different.

A note from the author explains the ritual of sitting shiva, a seven-day period of mourning for the death of a family member observed in Jewish homes.

Shows great empathy for a child’s feelings when coping with loss. That Silver does this task in a unique and emotional way that manages to convey the traditions associated with the practice of sitting Shiva is admirable. Highly Recommended.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“With its lovely, warm illustrations and perfectly pitched storyline, provides an accessible introduction to shiva for readers of all ages…A sensitive, powerful treatment of a child’s grief.” – Kirkus Reviews

“This poignant story about mourning and finding comfort in community is universally relatable.” – Booklist

“Having first seen Sitting Shiva in an early draft, I am totally tickled to see this great picture book finally in print – yay Erin!!! – Brian

Sitting Shiva is available from Orca Books here.

For information about submitting to Orca Books, see here.

Rush Hour: Navigating Our Global Traffic Jam by Erin Silver

Traffic. It's not only frustrating, it's hurting the planet.

Emissions from cars, buses, trucks and planes are one of the leading causes of pollution in North America. Today there are more cars clogging the roads than ever before. In Rush Hour, learn how traffic got so bad and some of the innovative ways it's being managed around the world. Discover what technological advances like talking cars and electric buses will mean for the future of traffic. 

Even though they can't drive yet, kids need to take control of the wheel. From walking to school, to carpooling with friends or petitioning the government, the next generation of drivers has to think differently about traffic and understand what they can do now to help protect the environment. And it starts with changing our habits, one less car ride at a time.

Rush Hour is available from Orca Books here.

For information about submitting to Orca Books, see here.

Erin Silver is a children’s author and freelance writer with nearly 20 years of professional industry experience. 

Erin’s work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Today's Parent, Chatelaine, and The Washington Post, among others.

Besides Sitting Shiva, Erin has three other children’s books out now: Just Watch Me (Common Deer Press), a middle grade novel about the perils of the online age; What Kids Did: Stories of Kindness and Invention in the Time of COVID-19 (Second Story Press), a nonfiction picture book about the amazing ways kids around the world helped during the pandemic; and Proud to Play (Lorimor), featuring outstanding Canadian LGBTQ+ athletes and allies who have made a difference. More books are on the way.

Erin has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from King's College in Halifax, a postgraduate journalism degree from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She's a member of IBBY, The Writers Union of Canada, CANSCAIP and SCBWI, and she’s a frequent guest speaker at Brian Henry’s one-day Kid Lit wo9rkshops and weekly classes. Visit Erin at erinsilver.ca

If you’re interested in writing Kid Lit, don’t miss the Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop with Patricia Ocampo, senior editor at Kids Can Press, on Saturday, July 16, in Mississauga – see here. You can always find upcoming Kid Lit workshops and classes here {and scroll down).

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.