Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two reviews of Brian Henry's Welcome to Creative Writing course, by Paul Dias and Vera Ninos

Brian Henry leading a writing class with Barbara Fairhead and Beverley Cunningham (and someone in yellow obscured behind Barbara)

Brian Henry’s Welcome to Creative Writing Class, 
reviewed by Paul Dias

Every Tuesday for nine weeks, fifteen or more aspiring writers gather at the feet of Brian Henry, with the hope of becoming more proficient in writing stories. To this end, Le Chef D’Orchestre – a man with tremendous experience in the science and the art of skillfully delivering a compelling story in a captivating manner, holds court.

There is an abundance of raw talent in the group. To unleash their creativity, Brian has deliberately maintained a playful yet informative atmosphere. This has disarmed the participants and put them at ease. With their inhibitions suppressed, the participants allow themselves  to write stories from the depths of their souls. It is a thing of beauty and truly magical to behold.

Over the weeks of class, common errors and practices that ruin a good story are discussed. Various technical aspects of styles of writing and the dos and don’ts of creating a good story are also showcased. Brian’s natural aptitude for teaching and motivating his pupils quickly results in their writing skills improving dramatically. His protégés begin to regularly deliver praiseworthy pieces.       

Paul Dias
This gathering of minds and their cumulative wealth of experience soon reveals the presence of several good writers. More importantly, the classes have served to help each participant discover their own unique ability  to write a good story.

Paul Dias is a Jamaican by birth, who now calls Canada home. He dabbles in painting, and is a natural story-teller who dreams of writing his first best-seller.  After living and working in the British Virgin Islands for eighteen years, he moved to Burlington with his wife four years ago.
photo on file


Welcome to Creative Writing class, reviewed by Vera Ninos

The first time I came across Brian Henry's name I was at a writing workshop sponsored by the Hamilton Public Library.  Two women were discussing an upcoming one day workshop of his which they would be attending.  I wrote down his name and promptly tucked it in a drawer with my writing journal where it was forgotten.

Months later, still dabbling and skirting the edges of my desire, I attended another library workshop, where I was again intrigued by conversation about this Brian Henry.  Who was he and why was he so popular?

Though I googled him when I returned home and my level of intrigue spiked I still did nothing until weeks later when I sat at my computer registering my kids for fall activities. What the heck, I decided, and while I registered myself for an activity, too, one of Brian’s weekly course: Welcome to Creative Writing.

That's how I came to find myself spending two hours every Tuesday morning in a sunny room in a Burlington Church with other aspiring writers.

Each week, while humorously dispensing his vast knowledge of writing and writing culture, Brian is encouraging, inspiring and supportive.

Class begins with a harmonizing review of everyone's weekly writing challenges and accomplishments, then proceeds with three students presenting a show and share piece.  As in the primary years of school, a tangible article is shown. Unlike kindergarten, the article is accompanied by a short written piece.

In the safety of this warm and intimate setting, the writers often delve deep within their psyche to share personal stories of sorrow and victory, which are often both revealing and deeply moving.

From there, a weekly lesson or focus is introduced such as Showing and Telling what your characters are thinking, First Person Narratives and how to write a book review – or other kinds of reviews (hence this piece).

As class continues, students are given an opportunity to apply the lesson by beginning a written piece in class which they then share with a small group of other students.

Each week, a handful of writers bring in longer written pieces, and Brian critiques them and gives helpful suggestions.

It’s a lively class, and in addition, sounds from the daycare which is likewise housed in the church tend to filter in through the thin walls. But the murmur of children more often adds to the ambiance rather than detracting from the experience.

As each week rolls into the next, I find my body of writing expanding, my ability to access the writer in me easing, and my desire to share what I have written increasing.

Vera Ninos
I would highly recommend this class to anyone interested in tapping into their creative potential or anyone wondering if they have a creative potential.

Watch for my review of Brian's other courses as I continue on my writing journey and subject my work to his more in-depth critiques at both the intermediate and advanced levels.

Vera Ninos is Hamilton based mother of four.  You can read more of her writing at http://prosetoliveby.blogspot.ca/ 

Brian Henry’s next "Welcome to Creative Writing" class starts in January. See details of all classes starting in the new year here.

See Brian's full schedule hereincluding 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, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 



Friday, November 21, 2014

Journal pays $50 for poems, $100 for prose; anthology pays $5 for speculative fiction; plus calls for submissions & contests

Redwing, an e-book anthology, is looking for speculative fiction between 1,500 and 6,000 words, particularly urban fantasy and space opera. Payment: $5 CAD per story, payable by PayPal.
Deadline: December 1, 2014.Guidelines here.

The Humber Literary Review is seeking submissions of prose, poetry, artwork, and comics for their third issue, scheduled for release in Spring 2015. Pays $60 per poem, and $100 each for essays, fiction, and reviews. Also pay our feature and comics artists. Contributors also receive two copies. Deadline: December 8, 2014. Guidelines.

Digital short fiction magazine Nonlocal Science Fiction seeks work for its debut issue (2015). Pays via profitsharing.The pub date for the first issue hasn’t been set yet, but get your work in fast! (And if you’re slow, don’t worry; they plan to come out quarterly.)

The Fiddlehead
Campus House, 11 Garland Court
UNB PO Box 4400
Fredericton NB E3B 5A3
http://www.thefiddlehead.ca/
Canada's longest living literary journal, The Fiddlehead is published four times a year at the University of New Brunswick. First published in 1945, The Fiddlehead is known as a WHO'S WHO in Can. Lit.
The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English from all over the world, looking always for freshness and surprise. “Our editors are always happy to see new unsolicited works in fiction and poetry.”
Work is read on an ongoing basis; apart from the annual contest, there are no deadlines for submissions.
Submissions by mail only. Full submission guidelines here.
The Fiddlehead invites entries to its 24th annual poetry and short story contest. Short stories should be a maximum of 6,000 words. A poetry submission may be up to 3 poems, a maximum of 100 lines.
Entry fee: $30 for Canadians; $36 from elsewhere in the world. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription.
Winning entries will be published in the spring 2015 issue of The Fiddlehead (no. 263) 
and on the magazine’s website. The winning authors will be paid for publication in addition to their prizes!
Prizes: $2,000 Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions

$2,000 for Best Story
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions
Deadline: December 1, 2014. Full guidelines here.

The Capilano Review 
2055 Purcell Way
North Vancouver, BC  V7J 3H5
https://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/
The Capilano Review publishes venturesome experimental writing and art. Submissions by mail only; no email submissions. For poetry submissions, send up to 8 pages; for fiction, a maximum of 5,000 words. The Capilano Review buys First North American Serial Rights and limited, non-exclusive digital rights. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. Contributors are paid $50 per published page to a maximum of $200.
Full submission guidelines here.
The Capilano Review invites entries for the 4th annual Robin Blaser Poetry Award to be judged by renowned poet, dramatist, and novelist Daphne Marlatt. Daphne Marlatt is the recipient of the international Uchimura Naoya Prize (2008), the Dorothy Livesay Award (2009), and the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).
Award: 1st prize – $750 + publication in the Winter issue, TCR 3.24.
             2nd prize – $250
Fee: $35 for Canadian entries and $45 (USD) for non-Canadian.
Maximum 8 pages per entry.
Each entry includes a one-year subscription to The Capilano Review. If you already have a subscription, your subscription will be extended or you can sign up a friend.

Deadline: December 15, 2014. Full guidelines here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding 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, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Writing and Revising workshop, Sunday, April 12, in Ottawa


Writing and Revising
Sunday, April 12, 2015
10:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Nepean Sportsplex, Hall E, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario (Map here.)

If you want to refine your story-telling skills and cut the time you will need to spend editing, this workshop is for you. You'll learn how to step back from a manuscript in order to find – and fix – flaws in your plot, structure, characterization and style. You'll learn how to rethink, rework and rewrite so that your manuscript will live up to your vision.

Special option: Participants are invited to bring a piece of their own writing (though you don’t have to!) If you do bring a piece, bring 3 copies of something short (1,000 words absolute maximum, though 750 words works better).

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He 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.

Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance by mail or Interac
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 hereincluding 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, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Three literary agents at Jane Rotrosen Agency seek new authors

Rebecca Scherer
Jane Rotrosen Agency 
318 East 51st Street 
New York, NY 10022 

The Jane Rotrosen Agency specializes in commercial fiction: thrillers, mystery, suspense, woman’s fiction, romance, historical novels, mainstream fiction, and young adult fiction. The agency also represents authors of memoirs, narrative nonfiction, and prescriptive nonfiction.

The newest member of the team is Rebecca Scherer. Rebecca started at Jane Rotrosen Agency as a part-time intern and is now full time and actively seeking authors. Rebecca is looking for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, romance, and upmarket fiction at the cross between commercial and literary.

Query Rebecca at: rscherer@janerotrosen.com
Put “Query: [Title]” in the subject line. Send a query letter, brief synopsis (1-2) pages, and the first three chapters. Please paste the letter and synopsis in the body of the email, though the chapters can either be pasted or attached.

The Jane Rotrosen agency also has two other newish agents, actively looking for authors:

Amy Tannenbaum started her publishing career at Harlequin and was more recently an editor at Atria Books, a Simon and Schuster imprint. At Atria, her areas of interest were memoir, self-help, celebrity, popular culture, quality commercial women's fiction, romance, and erotica. 

Amy’s authors included Jamie McGuire, Lorna Byrne, Barbara Reich, Laurie Davis, Gavin Edwards, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, Tina Reber, and Cyndi Lauper.

Amy is looking for contemporary romance, new adult fiction (i.e., fiction for 18 to 20-somethings), and women's fiction that falls into that sweet spot between commercial and literary fiction.

Include a brief synopsis and up to three chapters of your novel. Your query letter should include a concise description of your work, relevant biographical information, and any publishing history.

Agent Christina Hogrebe is also accepting new authors as clients. Christina grew up on a diet of Anne of Green Gables and Sweet Valley Twins books. Inspired by her favourite chick lit heroes, she left her native Pennsylvania and in 2003 signed on with the Rotrosen agency as an assistant. She was soon promoted to agent. She continues to pursue “three hanky” reads and “read with the lights on” books.

Query Christina at chogrebe@janerotrosen.com
Include a brief synopsis and up to three chapters of your novel. Your query letter should include a concise description of your work, relevant biographical information, and any publishing history.

Complete agency bios here. Full submission guidelines here.

On Saturday, Nov 29, Brian Henry will host "From the Horse’s Mouth: Strategies for Getting Published" at Ryerson University in Toronto, 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).

Kelley Armstrong, a New York Times
#1 bestselling author and one of
Brian's former students
And 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).

Other upcoming workshops, include: “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), Secrets of Writing a Page-turner, Saturday, Jan 17, 2015, in Toronto (see here), and "How to Write Great Dialogue," Saturday, Jan 24, in Georgetown (see here).

Weekly courses: Whether you're looking for an introduction to creative writing or you're getting your manuscript ready to submit to an agent, your best bet is a weekly course. Starting in the new year, Brian will be offering classes for beginners through advanced writers. See details for all six courses here.

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


Monday, November 17, 2014

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are finding an agent and getting published

Rachel Letofsky
Hi, Brian.
I wanted to say thanks for giving me an opportunity to connect with Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency at your How to Get Published workshop. She asked me to submit a full manuscript. As a result of that, I also pitched to two other agents (Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory and Rachel Letofsky at the Cooke Agency) and both asked for full manuscripts, as well.
It is an exciting time for me, and I would not have had these opportunities without your classes. 
I'll keep you up to date on what happens,
Jeanette
Note: Literary agent Rachel Letofsky will be one of my three speakers at the From the Horse’s Mouth seminar at Ryerson University on Saturday, November 29 (see here). Then on Saturday, March 7, I’ll have Olga Filina from the Rights Factory at my How to Get Published seminar (see here). – Brian

Hi, Brian.
I had a new story published on CommuterLit today, “Vigilante.” It's my first published story since last fall. I'll see you at you "How to Build Your Story," workshop in Peterborough to help get those creative juices flowing some more. See you then.
Nancy Boyce
Read Nancy’s story here.  
For information about submitting to CommuterLit, see here, and to read about their new contest, see here.

Note: See my 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.