Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Dundurn Press seeks literary fiction and nonfiction, including memoir

Ready to Come About by Sue Williams
published by Dundurn Press

Dundurn Press

1382 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario


Dundurn Press was founded in 1972 by Kirk Howard, who named the company after Hamilton’s historic Dundurn Castle, located near where he’d grown up. Now Dundurn Press has more with more than 2,500 books in print and more than 1,800 ebooks available. It publishes books across numerous genres, from literary and genre fiction to lifestyle, memoir and biography, history and public policy, and middle-grade and teen fiction.

Dundurn is currently accepting literary fiction and literary nonfiction such as memoirs.

What the Dog Knows by Sylvia McNicoll
published by Dundurn Press

Dundurn is also seeking nonfiction in the areas of:

·         History, especially Canadian and social history

·         Biography

·         Public policy

·         Politics

·         Business and economics

·         True crime

·         Self-help and Well Being

·         Supernatural

·         Canadiana and local interest

·         Travel

·         Sport

·         Music and Culture

·         City building and architecture

·         Social science

·         Popular science

Query Dundurn at: submissions@dundurn.com

In the subject line, provide the title and genre of your project

For fiction, attach your full manuscript, a synopsis of one to three pages, a literary CV that lists previous publications (if any), and the word count

For nonfiction, attach your full manuscript or proposal, a one to two page description of your book and why it is timely, a literary CV, a table of contents and a chapter by chaper outline – or for memoir and other literary nonfiction a one to three page synopsis may be appropriate – an estimated word count of the completed manuscript, the status of the manuscript and when you expect to complete it. of one to three pages, a literary CV that lists previous publications (if any), and the word count

Full submission guidelines here.

Captain Monty by Jennifer Mook-Sang, who is a  
frequent guest speakers for our weekly Kid Lit courses. 

If you’re interested in publishing your book and in meeting a literary agent, join us for an upcoming How to Get Published workhop. See here.

If you’re particularly interested in writing Kid Lit and meeting an editor from a children's publishing company, don’t miss our upcoming Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop (see here). 

And you might be especially interested in our upcoming weekly Kid Lit class (see here).

Check out upcoming Writing Retreats here {and scroll down}.

See details of all upcoming writing retreats, one-day workshops, and weekly classes here

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. For book publishers in general, see here {and scroll down}. For more children’s and young adult publishers, see here {and scroll down}.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

"Gorgeous" by Kyle Williams Gonsalves

From Hong Kong to Nottingham, England, to Toronto and to celeb culture, natural grey hair has at last become trendy. But Kyle Gonsalves was boosting grey in this piece first published in Quick Brown Fox five years ago. Hey, maybe this is where the trend quietly started ~Brian

When I decided to stop covering my generous burst of grey hair in my mid-40s, I wasn’t following the latest fashion trend and I wasn’t turning into a crunchy granola kind of gal. I just had faith that Mother Nature had a good plan when she started squirting silver in my hair. It turned out, I was right.

Growing up, I believed a woman shouldn’t show grey before 65, that she’d better cover up. I observed my own mother’s hair-dyeing journey. I still remember that strange purple paste on my mom’s head while the acrid ammonia stench tore up my nasal passages. Despite the promise of ash-blonde hair on the box, the end result always looked as if a weird brown helmet were on her head.

When my mom did decide to stop colouring her hair in her late 1950s, an amazing transformation took place. With soft silver hair, she looked younger and prettier, and her skin glowed in a way I’d remembered from old photos. Perhaps Mother Nature knew what she was doing. I began testing my theory and observing other grey-haired women. With every woman I surveyed, their skin and natural hair colour were a melodious partnership, no matter her age.

As an adult in my 20s and 30s, I saw all manner of frenetic grey hair cover-up: dyeing, streaking, highlighting, tinting, bleaching and foiling. I watched with fascination as friends and colleagues made a part-time job of determining what process and colour they were going to try next. Some results were lovely and most were an improvement on my mother’s brown helmet, but still the colouring often looked brash or didn’t complement their skin tone.

I was in my mid-30s when a few shiny threads slid their way through my hair. By the time I was 40, the silver shimmer was somewhat distracting and I had blonde highlights added. One day, I was startled at the sight of the exceedingly blonde lady in the mirror. Who the hell was that? Maybe, I thought, I’d look and feel better if I embraced the grey. Although my children were five and two at the time, I was ready to show my true colour at 45 years old.

It took almost a year to grow out the highlights in my bob, but it was worth it. I loved everything about it from the bounce and body of my dye-free locks to the artistic placing of the various hues of grey. I felt like a better version of me, and I loved being different from most women my age. As a bonus, I started getting compliments on my hair. 

One afternoon, I was sitting in the mall drinking my chai when a hip fifty-something man approached me. First, he complimented my hair colour and then told me about the girlfriend he wished would stop dyeing her hair. Next, he sent his girlfriend over to my table to check out my hair. I told her she would look younger, her beautiful brown eyes would pop and the pain of growing it out was minimal – Mother Nature knew what she was doing. This exchange was surreal. When had I become a going-grey consultant? Secretly, I was so thrilled to have my hair noticed and admired, I was walking on air for the rest of the day.

Stranger still, this was not an isolated incident; “grey-hair consultation” began to happen with surprising regularity. There was the older lady at the grocery store that I ran into not once but twice in the produce aisle; I helped her find the courage to cut her long grey hair into a modern style. There was the schoolyard mom distressed about turning grey in her 30s and wanted to know my story. I happily shared and got the sense she felt empowered to try it herself. Last year, I met a fellow soccer mom who admired my hair at the weekly games and wondered if she should go natural. In my usual upbeat way, I encouraged her.

I’m happy to report that the lady in the grocery store did find the courage to cut her straggly long grey hair into a fashionable bob. When I saw the schoolyard mom seven months later, she looked every bit the artist she was with her distinctive grey hair. I saw the soccer mom earlier this month and barely recognized her. Despite being halfway through the process, she was already transformed by the partial head of grey. When I told her how amazing she looked, she reminded me that I’d inspired her.

I never would have guessed that embracing my grey was going to start a mini-career as a grey-hair life coach. But I am deeply grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to empower and inspire others. Women loving themselves at all stages of our lives promotes self-love that will benefit ourselves and future generations.

There is a vigorous movement of change right now, a growing need for human connection by inspiring and supporting one another. I do believe we can make that change, one grey hair at a time.
If you liked this piece, be sure to also read "It's time to say goodbye to my hair dye," by Monica Catto here.

Kyle Williams Gonsalves has had a dream to become a writer for a very long time and this year her journey has begun.  With her love of words and gift of the gab, she hopes to motivate, inspire, and uplift others. She loves life after 50, is devoted to her spiritual path and embracing the wisdom of her years.  Kyle lives in Burlington with her husband Mark and is dedicated to her dream job of mom to their two entertaining, loveable teens. 

This essay was originally published in the Globe &Mail under the title "Gorgeous (and Gray)." For information about submitting a “Facts & Arguments: essay to the Globe & Mail, see here.

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.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Five places that pay for your short fiction and nonfiction

Note: You can hang out and chat with quick brown foxes and vixens on my Facebook page (here). Just send a friend request to Brian Henry.

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


Brick literary journal prides itself on publishing the best literary nonfiction in the world. Like everyone else, Brick especial welcomes submissions from “underrepresented writers—including but not limited to writers who are Black, Indigenous, people of colour, queer, non-binary, Deaf, and/or disabled.”

Brick has published essays of every description: on reading, the writing life, literature, art, ideas, travel, science, photography, the perfect ending, dance, sport, music, city-building, food, bathrooms, history … and they are always looking for new terrain. Brick welcomes humour, depth, the unclassifiable, and playfulness with the nonfiction form.

An average issue of Brick will contain essays, reviews, interviews, belle lettres, memoir, translations, and all manner of incidental ephemera.

Pieces generally run 1,000–5,000 words, though rules like this were made to be broken.

Brick pays $55–$660, depending on the length of accepted work, plus two copies of the issue the work appears in and a one-year subscription to the magazine.

Brick is open for submissions twice a year: from Sept 1 to Oct 31, and from March 1 to April 30.

Full submission guidelines here.


Bleed Error is a semi-annual collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry that runs the gamut of everything from absurdist horror to bizarre science-fiction to unsettling dark fantasy. "We love the uncanny." Pays 1c per word, and $15 per poem (Canadian dollars.) 

Deadline: September 1, 2022. Full guidelines here.


The Bureau Dispatch is an ode to the writer’s bureau; an ongoing collection of stories accompanied by photographs of writers at their places of work. Check out Volume 3 here. Seeks short stories between 500 to 1,500 words. 

Seeks short stories between 500 to 1,500 words. 

Pays $59 U.S. 

Deadline: September 16, 2022. Full guidelines here.


Griffith Review is a literary and current affairs quarterly that offers fresh takes on big ideas. Each edition responds to a loose theme and features essays, short fiction, conversations, poetry and visual art by emerging and established creatives from Australia and overseas.

 Currently looking for fiction (on any theme) and nonfiction the on theme: Counterfeit Culture: “This edition of Griffith Review lifts the curtain on fakes, frauds and forgeries. Counterfeit Culture treads the tightrope between art and lies, exploring the appeal of stories, objects, bodies or experiences that offer the false promise of authenticity. How do we define what's real and what's not in a time of influencers and identity scams, counterfeits and cosmetic surgeries, disinformation and threats to democracy?" 

Pays. Fee negotiated. 

Deadline: September 30, 2022. Full guidelines here.


Rhonda Parrish is seeking stories for an anthology: Women and the Sea.

“Deep, mysterious, beautiful, dangerous… women and the sea have a lot in common and have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Stories of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

“This anthology of stories about women and the sea will be filled with beautiful, atmospheric stories. I’m not looking for fantastical creatures but rather setting, mood.” 

Pays: $50 CAD flat fee and a paperback copy of the anthology. 

Deadline: September 30, 2022. Full guidelines here.


Quick Brown Fox Quick Brown Fox welcomes your book reviews and your short stories, poems, and essays about reading, writing, favourite books, and libraries. Read a few essays on the blog to get a taste of what other writers have done (see here and scroll down).

Quick Brown Fox also welcomes reviews of any kind and of anything, anywhere or anybody. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. See examples of book reviews here (and scroll down); other reviews here (and scroll down).

Submit to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Include a short bio at the end of your piece and attach a photo of yourself if you have one that’s okay.

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

Thursday, August 25, 2022

“The Letter” by Sheila Eastman


One moment Sarah was calmly sitting on the edge of the bed, talking on the phone with a sobbing friend, and in the next moment her own world was in danger. She had purposefully sought out this quiet room for an extended solitary time for a solitary conversation, closing the door behind her, in what she thought was a clear message to her husband.

The door burst open, and Alan charged across the room to her desk and began ruffling through piles of papers. At first, she was simply irritated with the invasion, but then she realized with sudden alarm that she’d forgotten to put the letter away. On the other end of the phone Susie was wailing.

Sarah covered the receiver with her hand. “What are you doing?” she hissed at Alan.

He was indignant. “Where are those damned forms for the vehicle emissions test? I asked you to find them days ago.”

“Just wait a minute!” she hissed again. Her heart was pounding.

 Susie interrupted herself with sobs and nose blowing. “It’s not just that I still love him. Of course I do. Even though we’re not together anymore. But if he dies, what will happen to me? I’ll be cut off from benefits, from his pension.”

“Oh Susie I am so sorry! No wonder you’re so upset.” She looked pointedly over at her husband. “She’s upset, Alan!”

Alan ignored her and continued searching, turning piles upside down, shifting pages uselessly from one spot to another.

“Alan, please! I’ll look in a few minutes.” She was feeling sick. She had no idea where the emissions test papers were, that wasn’t the problem. She couldn’t remember where she’d put the letter.

Susie was saying, “Remember we didn’t get the divorce so I could still get the health benefits. My medication is so expensive I can’t possibly pay for –”

“Alan why do you have to have it just this second?” She hadn’t expected this. He was always respectful of her things, of her privacy. He never went through anything at her desk. Now, even worse, he was opening drawers and flipping through the contents, and now he’d moved on and was going through the pile beside the computer monitor.

He frowned over at her, “Sarah, I want to get this done today, I told you I need it.”

The letter. She had written it a hundred times in her head, going over the content, rehearsing the tone she wanted. What did she want to say? Certainly not that he was haunting her after so many years of peace, his image appearing next to her crystal collection, or suddenly at the window. No, the letter was just an exploration, just to say “Hello, how are you? Who are you?”

She would not say, “We would have celebrated 40 years of marriage this month. Did you remember? Do you ever think of those few years with me? Do you remember that little Triumph convertible we had and how we’d drive around with the top down, with the wind blowing in our hair, the dog on my lap. And every night we went down the Kitsilano Hill the few blocks to the ocean to race the dog in and out of the waves, and watch the sun go down.

Do you remember the time you drove that car right up on the sidewalk to the steps so I wouldn’t get wet in the rain? That’s what won me back to you for a while. Did I ever tell you that?”

And Susie went on, “That hussy! He’s living with that hussy who is sleeping with another woman’s husband! And he bought her a big new house.”

Sarah keeping only one ear on the conversation and was puzzled. “She’s sleeping with another woman’s husband?”

“Mine!” said Susie, even more indignant. And the tears started again.

“How do you know he bought her a house?”

“Well, it’s in Southampton. Everyone knows where they’re living. It’s so humiliating!”

Sarah made sympathetic noises as she watched Alan warily.

She knew if Alan found the envelope, he would never open it, but the name and address would be enough. He would be devastated. And he would never understand. Or maybe he would understand, and that would be worse.

She and Alan didn’t talk very much. He was the steady and stalwart type. He’d been predictable, reliable and faithful, the perfect antidote to the craziness of her last marriage. She’d settled into it, like putting her feet on bedrock after floundering in quicksand. They never talked about their previous marriages. It was as if they had been completely different people those years ago, not even them at all.

Alan had told her more about his cat than about his first wife, and even that wasn’t very much. His cat had a habit of jumping up to the chess board and knocking over one pawn every night. Just one. That was the extent of what she had learned about his domestic life. She learned nothing at all about how or why the marriage broke down.

And her own first marriage?

She’d been so young, so in love. Harry was a wild person, full of life, full of daring and sassiness, rudeness and laughter. He was gregarious, a man’s man, a ladies’ man, and in the end, not her man. He fooled around.

Memories wove through her life. The distinctive odour of his hair! When they were young his hair was short and bristly, but already receding. She wondered if his scalp smelled differently now. The smell was raw and earthy, perhaps with a touch of locker room, even after a fresh shampoo. Locker room – yes, the rank smell of his hockey bag – she recalled those dark late nights when she went to cold arenas to watch him play.

There was so much she wanted to ask him, “What’s your life like? I know you have sons. How do you get along? What do you look like now? Did you lose all your hair? Are you still wild and fun? Did you betray all your wives after me?” 

And in her heart she hoped he had.

It was easy to blame him for it all, to be the poor betrayed victim. Taking that position felt comfortable for years, but lately she was remembering her own chafing within the marriage.

She could hear a counselor’s words in her ear, “And what was your part in that?”

Had she been too busy at school, studying every night? Were their interests just too different?

She’d been so hurt that he wasn’t dedicated to her, puzzled by his distant behaviour. that she really hadn’t known him at all. She’d expected the rite of marriage to somehow make them a new unit like when cells join. Magic. But it seemed they were less of a couple than before making the vows. He railed against the constraints, pushed against her.

And then her own restlessness set in. She had not been settled. She began to wonder how much of that spilled over and affected their closeness.

She had written to him many times in her head, driving to work, putting on her makeup, zipping up her boots, trying to sleep. He dogged her, an image or a sound or an odour appearing when least expected, least welcome. She wanted to put that to rest.

When she finally sat down to write the letter, she’d had to measure every word. “Hello, how are you, tell me about your family.” Most of all she wanted to apologize. She’d blamed him all these years. Only him. Finally, she’d realized she’d had a part in it too.

Stillness settled into the room. Alan had stopped searching and turned to look at her, holding the envelope in his hand. Steady Alan, quiet, conservative, dogmatic, silent Alan. Her rock.

She saw the look in his eyes.

Oh, God. What had she done? What had she done to him? Her heart sank.

“Susie, can I call you back?”

Susie spluttered objections.

Sarah placed the receiver down and turned to face her husband.


Sheila Eastman is a busy grandma of four, often babysitting (playing) since three of the babes arrived 20 months ago. She’s been a part of Brian’s classes for a long time, has learned so much, and treasures the deadlines that help with completion. With Covid, her in person activities switched to Zoom, including writing class, piano lessons, and leading a group in meditation and exercise every morning. She has a short attention span and writes short stories.

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