Thursday, August 31, 2023

Sheil Land Associates in the UK has three literary agents looking for new authors

An Unsuitable Match by 
Catherine Cookson
represented by Sheil Land Associates

Sheil Land Associates

Rm 9-25, LABS House
London, UK

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Sheil Land Associates is a long-established literary, theatrical and film agency dating back to 1962. It ranks as one of the top five literary agencies in the UK. Their staff includes three agents who are open to submissions: 

Gaia Banks has worked in publishing for over 20 years: in translation rights at John Murray, then joining Sheil Land as an agent in 2004. 

“For 17 years I looked after the translation interests of Sheil Land Associates' extensive list of authors and also acted as a primary agent” says Gaia. “I became a primary agent full-time at the start of 2022. I take on one or two new writers a year, and when doing so look for projects with wide international appeal.” 

Gaia represents writing across the spectrum of fiction and nonfiction.

In fiction, her interests include Children's books, General fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense/thriller, Fantasy/science fiction, and Own voices literature.

In nonfiction, her interests include Biography, History, Mind/body/spirit, Health, Lifestyle, and Science.

“At the moment,” says Gaia, “I'm particularity interested in fiction and memoir which will ignite reading group discussions, and I'll always have a soft spot for a good romance.” 

Submit to Gaia at:

For fiction, include the first three chapters (or around fifty pages), a CV, and a one-page synopsis. For nonfiction, send a brief outline of the subject of your work, where it would fit in the market, and why you are suited to write it. Full submission guidelines here.

Piers Blofeld has a wide range of clients writing fiction and nonfiction, both literary and commercial. He’s also a columnist for Writing Magazine. You can check out his YouTube channel where he talks about “10 easy ways to put agents off in your submission letter,” among other topics here.

In fiction his first love is story. He loves strong commercial genre fiction that understands the expectations of the genre and delivers that in spades. In particular he loves a good noir-ish thriller, spy fiction, gritty crime but also saga, romance and romantic comedy.

“At the less genre, more reading group end of the market, I love stories that take me out of myself and feel like something I have never read before.

In nonfiction he’s looking for strong narrative voices in memoir and history that help connect and root us to the world we live in, as well a big ideas and smart thinking to make us feel less confused about the extraordinary times we live in.

Submit to Piers at:

For fiction, include the first three chapters (or around fifty pages), a CV, and a one-page synopsis. For nonfiction, send a brief outline of the subject of your work, where it would fit in the market, and why you are suited to write it. Full submission guidelines here.

Ian Drury read modern history at New College, Oxford, before going into publishing: editing partworks and magazines before joining HarperCollins in 1994. In 2003, he became Publishing Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

He published the Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers REAL BRAVO TWO ZERO (Michael Asher), BLENHEIM (Charles Spencer) and LAST POST (Max Arthur) as well as the landmark history of France in IndoChina, THE LAST VALLEY (Martin Windrow).

Ian joined Sheil Land Associates in 2007. Of the authors he’s worked with as an agent, Angus Donald was the first to break into the mass market fiction top 20. Robert Fabbri, James Wilde and Mark Lawrence all made the 2011 Top 20 UK hardback debut fiction list.

Ian is best known for Fantasy/SF. But he also loves for historical fiction and action/adventure.

On the nonfiction side he’s looking for history, biography and music.

Submit to Ian at:

For fiction, include the first three chapters (or around fifty pages), a CV, and a one-page synopsis. For nonfiction, send a brief outline of the subject of your work, where it would fit in the market, and why you are suited to write it. Full submission guidelines here.

Literary agent Eve Adler of Red Fox Literary
will be the guest speaker
for our Sept 30 Kid Lit workshop

If you're interested in writing for young people, join us for a one-day Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop with a literary agent or a children's editor as the guest speaker or to find out about weekly classes, where the guest speakers will be published children's authors. See all upcoming kid lit classes and workshops here {and scroll down}.

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, check out upcoming How to Get Published workshop. Details here.

Don't miss out on our writing retreats. See details here {and scroll down – because there's usually more than one).

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

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, August 28, 2023

“Wild Woman” by Denisha Naidoo


The moon is high
full in the sky
my skin tingles
gleaming eye

with laughter and joy
for what comes next
the transformation
is the best.

On my limbs
soft thick fur
a top my head
triangle ears appear

I can sense the world
through my snout
scents that tell me
what’s about

Fierce and strong
running free
when I get to be
authentically me

it’s part of being
who I am
not two-legged woman
but four-legged “man”

I laugh at the stupid
myth they tell
as though a wolf
came straight from hell

they say a werewolf
is a male
a white European
Fake news! Fairy tale!

And accuse him
of eating human flesh
when herbivores
like rabbits are best

And what else
did they get wrong?
If I start
I’ll go on and on…

As though being a wolf
were a tragedy
like a curse
in need of a remedy

what they don’t know
it is to be
a wild woman
running strong and free!


Denisha Naidoo is a South African born Canadian poet, writer and Wild Woman living in Guelph, Ontario, with her dog Maverick. Her work has been accepted by Braided Way Magazine, Outpost Magazine, Ladies Briefs: A Short Anthology and Tree Talk. Her documentaries have aired on CBC radio and she published a podcast of her novella, The Amazing Adventures of Wig Girl {see here}.

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


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Come read your work to an audience, Saturday, Oct 21, in Toronto at the Salon of the Refused

Hi, Brian.

I am organizing a literary event in Toronto and, at this point, I'm trying to recruit writers who might be interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to read their work. I've posted the details below. If you would have any way to connect Toronto writers with this opportunity, I'd be very grateful.


Salon of the Refused

You are invited to participate in a literary event that takes its inspiration from the 1863 Salon des Refus├ęs. It is a celebration of writing that was initially rejected. It is also a celebration of marginalized communities who often feel rejected by mainstream society. 

If you have a poem or a work of micro-fiction whose value went unrecognized when you first submitted it to either a literary journal or competition, regardless whether it was eventually published or not, we invite you to give your work redemption in front of a live audience.

Saturday, October 21
 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Trinity-St Paul's, Memorial Room
427 Bloor St W, Toronto (Map here)

Time limit for each author: 10 minutes maximum

Word limit: Either a short work of under 1,500 words or an excerpt of similar length from a longer piece

If you are interested in contributing your writing to this event, please send email to the event organizer (Wayne Johnston) at

In your email, please include the following:

  • Your name
  • Your preferred method of contact (email or text)
  • Title of the piece(s) you will read
  • Brief bio statement
  • How many supporters (friends and family) will be with you? (to ensure we don't exceed the space limitations)
  • Would you like to sell and/or disseminate your work at the event?

Also, please attach to the email whatever it is you intend to read.

If you have any questions, please email me at


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

Thursday, August 24, 2023

“Four Pups Plus Mom” by Susan Wollison

Gemma {Note: Click on photos for enlargement}

Brian loved dogs. He had a dog lunchbox, a dog backpack, and a lucky dog t-shirt.

What he didn’t have was an actual dog.

Until one day….

He stumbled upon four pups and their mom, hungry and cold in the lot down the street.

This is perfect! thought Brian. We have lots of food, blankets, and a big backyard.  I’ll just bring them home with me.  

Brian carried the four pups home. The mom – Gemma – walked along beside them. She was really glad to have someone to help with these pups!

Brian gave them each a bath in the guest tub, fed them the roast beef in the fridge for that night’s dinner, and made them beds out of his mom's finest pillows and blankets. 

But when Brian’s mother and then his father arrived home from work they were not as pleased.

“Aren’t they adorable?” Brian asked, showing them off one by one. “I’m calling this one Marcus and this one PawPaw.  This is Bruno and this is one is Auggie. The mom’s name is Gemma. We’re perfect for each other!”

His parents disagreed.

“Five dogs!!” they gasped. “Too many, too messy, too expensive, and where will we put them?”

Brian was crestfallen. 

“But I’ll take care of them, I promise.  You won’t even know they’re here.”

But they did know.

PawPaw wanted to be a lapdog, but he was not lapdog size. He jumped on anyone and everyone he could – often not at the best time. His attempts to show his love were often not appreciated.  

Auggie who had endless energy constantly wanted to play.  He liked to get an early start and often woke everyone at the crack of dawn.

And Marcus enjoyed being silly and hiding things.  Like dad’s good work shoes, moms’ purse, and Brian's homework. 

The last straw was when Bruno “accidentally” ate the plate of steaks that had just been barbequed for Dad’s work party.  Of all of the puppies, Bruno had always been the best behaved. 

“I’m sorry son,” said Brian's dad, “but we just can’t keep them.  We’re going to have to come up with another plan.”

Brian couldn’t imagine parting with any of them. He’d have to come up with something quick.

Too messy?  Brian set about training and designating each pup to keep things tidy.  Gemma, their mom, oversaw making sure each pup did his assigned chores.

Too expensive?  Brian looked to each pup’s strengths and found them all jobs so they could help with expenses.  Bruno quickly picked up work as a cover model.  Paw Paw set up his own business as an emotional support pup. And Auggie took a job at the local daycare where he was responsible for tiring out the children.  Marcus joined the forensics team at the local police department and cracked a big case they had been working on.  

As for where to put them, Brian cleaned his room for the first time ever and set them up on and under his bunkbed … until he could finish the dog condo he was building in the once empty lot where he’d found them all.

Brian loved dogs. And now he had five. When the condo was finished, he figured he could house fifty.


Note: This story is fiction, but Gemma and her pups are real. Gemma was found starving and searching for food in a dump and led her rescuers back to where she’d dug a den for herself and her eight pups under an abandoned home. 

At this point Gemma is up to 50 pounds, within a few pounds of her proper weight, and four of her pups have been adopted. But Gemma and her remaining four pups are still looking for their forever homes.

Gemma is a young husky mix. Mix of what? Probably German Shepherd. How young? Under two years is our guess. She loves playing chase and wrestling with her pups, but when not going crazy with her boys, she’s the calmest dog I’ve ever met, gentle and loving. A total sweetheart.

Gemma’s adoption info here.

Auggie is small for a husky mix, though at three months old, he’s about 25 pounds. Auggie always has a grin on his face. He’s super bright and super attentive. He was the first to learn his name and the only one to ever figure a way to get out of their backyard pen

Auggie’s baby picture and adoption info here.

PawPaw is a big baby. At three months he weighs 27 pounds, and loves nothing more than having his belly rubbed. He has the softest, silkiest fur of any puppy ever, plus the biggest, softest-looking eyes and the cutest face, so he gets almost as many pats as he’d like.

PawPaw’s adoption info here.

Bruno has inherited his mom’s temperament. He’s extraordinarily calm (well, as calm as a puppy can be). He’s gentle, almost delicate, and he has movie star good looks. He’s not just cute, he’s beautiful. Bruno is going to be a big boy. At three months, he weighs 32 pounds, and he’s tall, with a long body and long legs – he has a couple inches even on PawPaw.

How big will Bruno get? Bigger than his 50-pound mom for sure. But male huskies typically top out at not much more than 60 pounds. Bruno does have other breed(s) in him, though, and shepherds can be bigger. I’m going to make a wild guess at 80+ pounds.  

Bruno’s adoption info here.

Marcus is everything a puppy should be: cute and playful, loving and sweet, always up for pats or playing. He looks to have had a different dad from his siblings – some smaller black dog with woolly fur. His brothers are all out-growing him, even Auggie who started as the runt of the litter. In temperament, he’s most like Auggie – really bright, but with maybe a bit less energy.  

Marcus’s baby picture and adoption info here.


Susan Wollison is employed in healthcare.  She lives in Beamsville with her husband and identical twin daughters. When she isn't writing or doing the mom thing, she enjoys exploring and finding unusual sights all over Ontario.


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


Monday, August 21, 2023

Longlist for CANSCAIP's 2023 Writing for Children Competition

Each year the Canadian Society for Children's Authors Illustrator and Performers {CANSCAIP} offers a competition for would-be authors of picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels. This is a great opportunity, and thanks to the wonderful efforts of numerous volunteers, the hundreds of entries, not only get read, they get comments. CANSCAIP has just announced the longlist of potential winners for the 2023 competition.

Congratulations to everyone, but special kudos to those of you from my weekly classes. In the Middle Grade division: Beth Elliott, Catherin McKenzie, Christine Michaud, Jane Parker, Penny Thompson, and Sally Wylie; in Young Adult: Justine Howard; and in the Picture Book division: Ann-Marie Duwyn Zylstra, Beth Elliott, and Pawan Kaur Singh.

Of course, I recognize many more names from one-day workshops – congratulations to you all!

(And if you've been in my weekly classes and I've managed to leave you off my list of congrats, please forgive me! I remember stories better than names.) ~Brian

P.S. Join us for Writing for Children & for Young Adults, a workshop, with literary agent Eve Adler, Saturday, Sept 30 (see here). Plus, there’s still space for this September in Writing Kid Lit – The Next Level (see here), Writing Personal Stories and Other Nonfiction classes {see here}, and in the Tuesday evening Intensive Creative Writing class {see here}, or the Thursday afternoon Extreme Creative Writing class (see here), though the Wednesday, and Friday Intensive classes class are now waiting list only.

Here’s the full longlist for the CANSCAIP competition:

Lana Button is one of the children's authors
who heroically lent her time to reading entries

Picture Book Longlist

For the Love of Chouquettes – Jennifer Bartoli

Underground Symphony – Rita Bates

A Chipmunk Rescue – Rita Bates

Analene Belanger – Ninang's Here

Can We Be Friends? – Donna Chastko

Rosso! – Melina Ciaccia

Fox on The Farm – Susanne Connolly

Hide-and-Go-Sheep – Susanne Connolly

Little Dragon Wants to Read – Laurie Crookell

Bowie's Lost Temper – Kimberly Dunne-Robbins

Sticks – Ann-Marie Duwyn-Zylstra

Strike a Pose, Hognose – Ann-Marie Duwyn-Zylstra

Not a Book – Tanya Elchuk

The King's Court – Beth Elliott

Don't Mind if I Do – Cynthia Ford

Too Fast – Rachel Greening

The Flowers in the Outfield – Christine Henderson

Finding Footprints – Jody Jones

Carols for Mansi – Pawan Kaur Singh

I Remember for Her – Sarah Ker-Hornell

When Agny Went to School – Ken Kilback

Stay Away from This Book – Eva Klassen

Fox in a Box – Eva Klassen

Rrr-ip! – Dianne Koebel-Pede

Oriane – Denise Landry

A Beary Merry Music Lesson – Charmaine Langlois

The Journey Home – Christine J. Lee

From Seed to Dream – Jennifer Li

Planting a Dream – Jennifer Li

The Mango Princess – Kalinda Link

Squirrel Survives Autumn – Janna MacLean

Let's Blow This Popsicle Stand! – Janna MacLean

Christmas Tree Day – Craig Macnaughton

Find Lulah! – Jennifer McAfee

Nadia and Lili: The Brilliant Boulangers – Heather McLennan

One-Night Bike – Kamilla Milligan

Together Tea – Kamilla Milligan 

You're the Best, Uncle – Sambriddhi Nepal

Orange Truck, Blue Truck – Sheryl Niebergall

Green Garbage Truck – Andrew Osborne

I Wish Mommy Would Come Home – Latoya Patterson

Just One Rabbit – Lizabeth Pirstl

Wildflower Waltz – Laura Polasek

The Little Fish Who Lost Its Rock – J.W. Price

Tameeka's Race – Michale Raske

Moose Moves to the City – Lisa Robson

Wolf Moon – Soozi Schlanger

Kimone's Music – Sashoya Simpson

The Instrument Maker – Sashoya Simpson

Author Jennifer Mook-Sang
heroically lent her time to reading entries

Lester Paints the Sky – James Steeves

Be Careful – Ann Thorsen

Hockey Nana – Tanya Trafford

Grandpa's Garage – Savannah Tries

Kyla Vieweger – Hello Garden

Charlie's Nose Knows – Natasha Wells

A Day at Ms. Carla's Hair Studio – Charmaine Wright

The Sad Dog – Gwen Yoshiki

Middle Grade Longlist

On the Same Boat – Christine Chang-Gardecki

Professional Pirate – Beth Elliott

The Time Eater – Andy Haynes

Aliens, and Other Teenage Troubles – Margaret Lafreniere

Kiko and the Dream Eater – Shawne Yukimi MacIntyre

A Drop in the Ocean – Catherine McKenzie

The Secrets of Spondulick Manor – Christine Michaud

Divinely Human – Christine Michaud

Death Wears a Ponytail – Jane Parker

Riches – Penny Thompson

The Mission – Sally Wylie

Sharon McKay was another member
of the heroic army or authors who lent
their time to reading contest entries 

Young Adult Longlist

The Olympians – Miriam Benarroch-Altman

Consumed – Elena Bentley

My Accidental Life – Simone Garneau

North on Bay – Justine Howard

Hydra – Dallas Nicholls

Last and Only Chance – Rina Nichols

Dirt Magic – D.M. Wagner

The Deepers – Carmen Wittmeier


Our deepest appreciation to the CANSCAIP Members volunteered as readers for the competition: 

Evangelene Alaraj, Karen Autio, Jen Bailey, Lea Beddia, Dorothy Bentley, Louise Bradford, Lana Button, Jodi Carmichael, Tziporah Cohen, Peggy Collins, Anne Dublin, Heather Gale, Loretta Garbutt, Joyce Grant, Stella Partheniou Grasso, Jennifer Harris, Theo Heras, Etta Kaner, Shachi Kaushik, Tanya Kyi, Ilima Loomis, Carol MacKay, Jennifer Maruno, Patricia McCowan, Jennifer McGrath, Sharon McKay, Gina McMurchy-Barber, Jean Mills, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Melanie Mosher, Monica Nawrocki, Heather O'Connor, Deborah Patz, Jeff Pinkney, Karen Rankin, Aimee Reid, Anne Renaud, Gillian Richardson, Raquel Rivera, Judy-Ann Sadler, Lana Shupe, Karen Spafford-Fitz, Kevin Sylvester, Linda Trinh, Chieri Uegaki, Jane Warren, Christine Welldon, Susan White. 

Volunteers Joanne Levy and Jean E. Pendziwol manage the logistics of tracking and allocating entries to readers.

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