Friday, October 24, 2014

You’re invited to a book launch for Riverdale: east of the Don by Elizabeth (Liz) Gillan Muir

A new history of Riverdale from the Don River to Greenwood Avenue, including Playter Estates published by Dundurn Press

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
6:30-8:30 pm
at Dora Keogh pub, 141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
(just east of Broadview Subway Station)

Also, Liz will be giving a book signing
Saturday November 8
2:00 – 4:00 pm
at Book City
348 Danforth Avenue
(just west of Chester subway station)

“Muir’s new and excellent book…is interesting and informative…”
George Rust-D’Eye, author, Cabbagetown Remembered

Bring your friends!

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in BBarrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free writing contest with $10,000 prize, plus much more

Hi,
For twelve years now, FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting has sponsored the Dalton Camp Award, an essay competition honouring the memory of a great Canadian journalist and political actor who, among his many achievements, was one of FRIENDS' founders in 1985. 
Last year we increased this Award to $10,000 in order to encourage more Canadians to think and write about the link between media and democracy.
Please take a moment to consider persons you know who might be interested in this Award – and pass this opportunity along to them.
The deadline this year is November 15, 2014.
The official rules, past winning essays, a video biography on Dalton Camp, and other details about the Award are available from the Dalton Camp Award website here.
Best regards, and thanks for your help in communicating this opportunity within your circle of friends!
Ian Morrison
Spokesperson
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting

The Rag is an electronic magazine that targets the e-readers markets, exclusively (i.e Kindle/Nook/ePub). The Rag is looking for short fiction (1,500 – 10,000 words) and flash fiction (under 1,500 words) for its seventh issue. The Rag pays a minimum of 5 cents per word. But it costs a $3 U.S. service fee to submit or $5 including an issue of The Rag.
The Rag is also seeking entries for its semi-annual short fiction contest. Fee: $15 U.S. Prize: $500.
“As always, we're looking for contemporary material with a grittier edge. Rather than the typical, drab literature all too common to the world of lit mags, we want your literary guts and steel--engaging material that grabs hold and doesn't let go.”
Deadline: November 11, 2014. Guidelines and submissions page here.

Very Important Things (Toronto, Canada) is a new lifestyle blog with a feminist spin. Looking for writers to “share, support, and celebrate the positive change women of all ages around us are making with their various weapons of choice” on the topics of art, fashion, feminism, food, humour, love, and political activism. Publishes personal anecdotes, short stories and essays.
Deadline: Ongoing.

Hi, Brian.
It would be great if you could add PRISM international's contest listing to your site. Details are as follows:
PRISM has a total of three contests: the Creative Non-FictionShort Fiction, and Poetry contests are open to all. In addition, the Earle Birney Prize for Poetry is presented to one outstanding poet published in the magazine.
All contests: Each entry includes a one-year subscription or subscription extension forPRISM international, beginning with the contest issue (Spring 2015 for Non-Fiction and Summer 2015 for Fiction/Poetry).
All 1st prize winners will be published in PRISM, and runners-up will be published at the discretion of the editors. All other entries will be considered for publication as regular submissions (for the possibility of publication in other issues of PRISM).

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Prize: $1,500 grand prize, $300 runner-up, $200 2nd runner-up
Entry fee: $35 Canadian entries; $40 US entries; $45 Int’l entries (includes a one-year subscription or extension)

Additional entry: $5 each piece
Max. word count: 6,000

Deadline: November 21st, 2014. Full guidelines for all contests here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Welcome to Creative Writing weekly class, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 31, in Burlington

Welcome to Creative Writing
10 weeks of exploring your creative side
Winter session

Tuesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 31, 2015
12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

This is your chance to take up writing in a warm, supportive environment. This course will open the door to all kinds of creative writing. We’ll visit short story writing and children’s writing, writing in first person and in third person, and writing just for fun. 

You’ll get a shot of inspiration every week and an assignment to keep you going till the next class. Best of all, this class will provide a zero-pressure, totally safe setting, where your words will grow and flower.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led writing workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he's helped many of his students get published.

Fee: 149.56 plus 13% hst = 169
Number of attendees strictly limited.

To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca


See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Three agents at Writers House looking for new authors

Writers House 
21 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
U.S.A.
http://writershouse.com/content/home.asp

Writers House was founded by Al Zuckerman in 1973.  It has since grown to be one of the world's largest literary agencies.

Writers House represents fiction and nonfiction, for both adult and juvenile books. Their agents work with literary and commercial fiction, women's fiction, science fiction/fantasy, narrative nonfiction, history, memoirs, biographies, books on psychology, science, parenting, cookbooks, how-to, self-help, business, finance, young adult and juvenile fiction and nonfiction, and picture books. 

Writers House has three junior agents actively building their lists: 

Alec Shane majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency, where he worked under Jodi Reamer and Amy Berkower on a large number of YA and Adult titles. Twitter handle: @alecdshane

Alec is now aggressively building his own list. On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports.

In fiction, Alec is looking for mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and books geared toward young male readers (both YA and MG).

He doesn’t want Romance, straight sci-fi, high fantasy, picture books, self-help, women’s fiction, food, or travel memoir.

Query Alec at: ashane@writershouse.com
Your subject line should read: “Query for Alec Shane: TITLE.” Include the first 10 pages of your manuscript. No attachments.

Beth Miller has worked with Robin Rue at Writers House since 2007.  As Robin’s assistant, she has the pleasure of working with many talented and bestselling authors in a variety of genres.  As a Junior Agent, she is building her list, working primarily with authors of romance, women’s fiction, and young adult.

Beth has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Literature.  In her other life, she was a DNA sequencing technician at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island.  She much prefers books to E. coli, and enjoys scuba diving and road trips in her spare time.  She also has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts).

Query Beth at: bmiller@writershouse.com

Stacy Testa joined Writers House in 2011 as an assistant to senior agent Susan Ginsburg and has been actively building her own client list since 2013. Previously, she interned at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Whimsy Literary. Stacy graduated cum laude with a BA in English from Princeton University. Follow her on Twitter:@stacy_testa

Stacy is looking for literary fiction and upmarket commercial women’s fiction, particularly character-driven stories with an international setting, historical bent, or focus on a unique subculture. She also represents realistic young adult (no dystopian or paranormal, please!).

For nonfiction, Stacy is particularly interested in young “millennial” voices with a great sense of humor and a strong platform, startling and unique memoirs, and voice-driven narratives about little-known historical moments.

Query Stacy at: stesta@writershouse.com
Include the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email (no attachments)

Literary agent Rachel Letofsky
Brian Henry will lead "From the Horse’s Mouth: Strategies for Getting Published" at Ryerson University in Toronto on Saturday, Nov 29, with literary agent Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency, senior editor Anne Shone of Scholastic Books, and Marketing and Publicity Manager Stephen Myers of Penguin Books (see here).

Brian will lead a "How to Get Published" workshop in Niagara on the Lake on Sunday, March 1, with literary agent Olga Filina (see here).

And Brian has a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults" workshop on Saturday, Nov 8, in Guelph (see here).

Other upcoming workshops, include: "Writing With Style," Saturday, Oct 25, in Mississauga (see here), How to Write Great Dialogue, Saturday, Nov 1, in Ottawa (see here), and “How to Write a Bestseller" with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, Nov 22, in Burlington (see here) and Saturday, Dec 6, in London (see here). 

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. Come January, Brian will be offering courses for beginners through experienced writers. See details for all six classes here.

For details of “Writing Your Life & Other Personal Stories” on Tuesday mornings in Oakville see here,  “Welcome to Creative Writing” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington here, “Intensive Creative Writing” on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington here, and “The Next Step in Creative Writing” on Wednesday evenings in Burlington here, on Thursday afternoons in Mississauga here, and on Thursday evenings in Georgetown here.

For details of any course or workshop or to register, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner workshop, Saturday, Jan 17, 2015, in Toronto

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner
Saturday, January 17, 2015
10:15 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Glenview Presbyterian Church, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, 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 tension.

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.

Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 
49 if you wait to pay at the door

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

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

“So Near and So Far Away,” a travel story by Laurie Nguyen


My search for the perfect travel buddy has been filled with even more heartaches than my search for the perfect mate.  One might think that in fulfilling the latter, the former would be satisfied – a BOGO deal of sorts, but this was not the case for me.  I love adventure travelling.  Cliff diving, scuba diving, and sky diving are all activities that get me going.  But the only diving my husband is interested in is at a resort’s buffet table.   
            I readily admit that I am a difficult catch.  I'm a teacher and summers are my only windows of opportunity for long travel, and understandably this does not jive for everyone.  When I turned to friends, my oldest friend Monica, whom bunked with on a school trip to Ottawa, said that she detested travelling in the summer. 
            "I hate the crowds," she complained.  "And why pay more for hotel and plane tickets when I can go during low season?" 
            Feeling rejected I turned to my friend Dawn, an ER doctor, whose travel budget far exceeds my own. She suggested that I try travelling solo.
            "You'll meet so many people when you travel.  It won't feel like you're alone at all," she promised.
            And so I tried this on a trip to Banff, Alberta, figuring that a place as beautiful as the Rockies would be filled with other travellers to meet along the way. 
            "How long do you think this ride will be?" I asked the people with whom I shared my mountain gondola ascent.  Their response however was less than friendly. 
            "You're from Toronto aren't you?  Always worried about time," they scoffed. 
            And they say Torontonians are unfriendly!
            I decided to just appreciate my alone time.  At Lake Louise my gaze on its clear turquoise waters, lasted all of ten minutes.  Frustrated, I attempted some canoeing, hoping that an activity would bring me some pleasure.  I let the cold glacial water run down my arm with every paddle stroke and even took some selfies to show everyone at home that I was having fun.  And although, I sighed at the breath-taking view of the nature around me, I longed to look over my shoulder and have someone with whom to share the experience. 
            Time passed and a part of me had given up.  So when my jet-setting Aussie cousin, who came over to visit and explore North America casually asked me to go on a trip with her, I initially thought nothing of it.  She was family after all, and past family vacations had taught me that these types of travels weren't necessarily fun. 
            Flashbacks of my worst family vacation arose likes waves of nausea.  Imagine, twelve family members, crammed into an 8-passenger van, driving 18 hours to Orlando, Florida, to visit Disney World, which by the way we didn't end up reaching.  The vacation highlight for me: Biting into a cold Vietnamese submarine sandwich in the dark of the moving van to find a hot pepper hidden between the pickled carrots.  The family van stop stopped only for emergencies and because we had plenty of pop in the van, regardless of my cries of pain, we did not stop. 
            One should note, that my parents were Vietnamese boat people, who clearly recall being two of 49 people crammed into a small fishing boat to escape their lives in a post-war torn Vietnam.  They sailed for four days and four nights and dined on cans of spicy tomato flavoured mackerel in hopes of reaching the land where all their wishes could come true.  Who ever said that history doesn't repeat itself?
            In fear of having to relive these painful memories, I convinced my brother to come along for the ride.  The three of us eventually decided Costa Rica would be our choice destination and after booking our tickets and eco-adventure tour, departure date for July 12, I started to bloom with excitement, recognizing that my travel buddy checklist was actually being fulfilled. 
            But almost simultaneously fears of inadequacy washed over me as well.  I hadn't adventure travelled in years and couldn't escape the sensation that I was getting old.  Would my body be able to take all this activity at once?  I shivered at the thought of my last trip to lazy Bahamas where I ambitiously tried to swing on the trapeze at the resort at which my husband and I were staying.  During my first big swing upside down, my back gave out, and a bunch of secretly snickering hotel workers had to carry me down and back to the comfort of my hotel bed. 
            But to my delight, ten days in Costa Rica turned out to be a dream.  We laughed and shrieked with delight as we pummelled the waves down a roaring river on an inflatable raft, and I relished in every splash of water.  We hiked around an active volcano and didn't let the fact that it was still spewing dangerous fumes of sulphur and chlorine stop us.  We zoomed across the clouds and over the rainforest tree-tops and we let ourselves be surrounded by eels, manta rays and schools of fish in the deep ocean waters.  The high was fantastic.
            But what surprised me even more were the down times with my two travel buddies.   When our restless bodies were stuck on the long tour bus rides for hours and hours, we turned to each other.  My cousin, Cathy and I would find ourselves gossiping about past loves, complaining about our parents and sharing our dreams for the future
            I learned that my brother Scott was more than just a brother.  As the older sister, four years his senior, I’d always felt a need to take the lead and protect him, whether from the neighbourhood bully or the conniving girlfriend.  During this trip, I learned that he was very much a leader of his own, a bright, knowledgeable guy whom every one flocked to for help because of his generous spirit.
            Always the professional photographer, Scott took amazing pictures which captured our time together.  And yet I didn’t notice that this trip to Costa Rica had become a moment of such emotional weight until almost the last day of our adventure.
            We had rented a scooter and ATV to explore the South-eastern coastline and after using both vehicles to find two beautiful waterfalls, it was time to return them.  We decided to leave Cathy at a quiet beach called Playa Carrillo so that my brother and I could fill up the gas tank and return the ATV before late charges incurred. 
            "Just stay on the road and we'll be back to get you in no time." I told Cathy as we carelessly raced off.  But no time turned into an hour and a half (my brother and I stopped to book a Turtle egg-laying tour for the evening before the office closed) and when we returned for her, she was nowhere to be found.  I was filled with panic.  We had lost her.  What kind of companions were we to leave a poor (we didn't think to give her any money), and defenceless (she spoke no Spanish) girl alone in the streets of Costa Rica? 
            To our relief, after what seemed like a frantic never-ending search, we found her back at the hotel (some kind strangers had given her cab money), and she explained that she had walked into town to try and find us. 
            "Wait until you see the turtles tonight!  Did you know they can each lay up to one hundred eggs at a time?" my brother chimed, in trying to cover our mistake.  Her lack of eye contact told me that at this moment, she didn't care about the turtles.  I was saddened that our great trip was ending on such a low, and that I had not given it the care it needed. 
            That night, we ended up seeing five turtles lay their eggs in the black sand, and on our long drive back to the hotel, in awe of what we had seen, Cathy surprisingly turned to us both and proposed that in celebration of Scott's graduation from university in two years, that we plan another trip together. 
            "We can meet in the middle somewhere," she suggested, knowing she would be returning back to Australia in a few weeks.
            "You mean you still want to travel with us even after we abandoned you in Costa Rica?" I half jokingly, half-guiltily responded.
            "Well..." she paused.  "You left me with no money, no food, and no back-up plan and I survived.  It can only get better from here."
            How I stumbled upon finding two travel buddies, one from so far away and one right underneath my nose, I'll never know.  But I hope that we keep our promise of meeting two years from now, at another adventure destination so that we can keep up our friendship and share in even more journeys of love.

Laurie Nguyen lives a mild mannered life as a teacher at a French High School and can often be found reading or writing in the early morning light.  When school’s out, she can be found travelling to see the various corners of the earth or simply adventure camping in Ontario’s Provincial Parks with her husband and two children. 


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.