Monday, January 15, 2018

How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, Jan 27, in Mississauga

How to Write Great Characters   
Saturday, January 27, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Unity Church, Unit 8, 3075 Ridgeway Drive, Mississauga (Map here.)

Whatever you're writing ~ fiction or nonfiction ~ readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.

What past participants say:

Hi, Brian. I just wanted to thank you for the “Writing Great Characters” workshop on Saturday.  I have been stalled in my writing, and I realized at the workshop it was because I didn't have a clear picture of my character's personality and motives.  Your exercises and handouts have inspired me and I'm happy to say I spent the rest of the weekend writing.  Writer's block conquered (for now, ha)!
Looking forward to all the upcoming workshops.
Marina Unger
Stouffville, Ontario

Brian’s workshops always have new information. Even if I take the same one more than once (which I have), I learn and understand things in different ways. For this workshop, in particular, I especially appreciate the way the character development exercises push my creative side. Of course I enjoy the writing exercise, too, and the helpful feedback on our pieces.  Thanks, Brian!
Angela Michalak
Barrie, Ontario

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 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 more reviews of Brian's classes, workshops and writing retreats here (and scroll down).
  
Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53  if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Two reviews of Brian Henry's Writing Personal Stories course


Everyone has a story, but one must find the right teacher
Brian Henry teaches with intelligent gentleness. He draws his students forward, allowing room for discussion while giving concrete lessons in writing each week. It is this balance between interactive class discussion and constructive teaching that makes Brian's Personal Stories course a must. 
Everyone has a story, but one must find the right teacher to inspire, motivate, and give them the foundational tools.  This course offers all of this, and it provides a supportive environment in which to both learn and to write.  Writing Your Life is transformative, engaging, and useful for writers at all stages.
~ Aime Wren

It’s the older, deeper memories that require a little coaching
My vision when I took this workshop was to create a collection of stories for each of my children, the Mom version of how things really happened. The eight weeks spent in the course not only got the ball rolling but inspired so much more than I could have imagined.
Brian's techniques brought out stories that had been locked away for years.  With my memory vault dusted off, I committed to writing every day, story after story pouring out of me.  Some were expressed in only a couple of paragraphs; others took pages to unfold.  Some I didn't want to remember but I honoured them as they surfaced, sorting them out on paper and revising as necessary before I printed them for posterity or returned them to the archives, forgiving them their painful edges.
Through my collection of  stories with underlying themes of  courage, choices, laughter, forgiveness and grace, I began to make  interesting  connections, becoming increasingly aware of how these events I was writing about defined my way of thinking, my response to challenges, and how I communicate, play and love.

I wrote  a story to my daughter about how I was overwhelmed the first time  I saw her beautiful little face  and how scared I was when I discovered she didn't come with an owner’s manual.   I begged her forgiveness for being my practice child. 
I wrote about the day I caught my nine-year-old son standing with the fridge door open, squirting canned whipped cream into his mouth. 
I pushed  him against the door saying, “You want whipped cream buddy, I'll give you whipped cream,” squirting him down with the whole can, both of us sliding in a puddle of slippery cream mixed with tears of laughter on the kitchen floor.   
These younger memories sitting on the surface of my time line were clearer and easier to write about. It's the older, deeper ones that required a little help in bringing them to the surface. 
Guided by Brian to draw a house I lived in when I was seven years old brought up a 55-year-old memory of my dog Boots giving birth in our laundry room to her first litter of five speckled puppies.  The delight and excitement of that experience perhaps was the beginning of my wanting a large family.  
Brian skillfully creates a safe environment as he guides, encourages, suggests and questions and then squiggle-edits your pages with enthusiastic check marks, happy faces and forgotten commas.   It's an amazing opportunity to let your creativity express itself through the triad of memories, ink and paper while having your own personal editor watching your back.    
The highlight for me was listening to all the incredible stories. It's a most intimate exchange to hear an author read their story in person. Both trust and responsibility are involved.  I learned from Brian's example to be generous with my praise and kind with my critique.
I know I'm richer for this experience and would encourage anyone who wishes to put their stories on   paper to let Brian guide you through the process.   You'll have a lot of fun and meet some wonderful people on the way.
~ Sharon De Rose

Brian has Writing Personal Stories courses on Thursday afternoons starting January 25, 2018, in Burlington (see here)  and on Friday afternoons starting April 13, 2018, in Toronto (see here) and a one-day Writing Your Life workshops on Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Toronto (see here) and Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Burlington (see here).
If you're looking at this posting after these dates, see details of current upcoming Writing Personal Stories courses and one day Writing Your Life workshops here (and scroll down).
Read reviews of other courses, workshops, and writing retreats  here ~ just scroll down.
See Brian’s current complete schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

How to Get Published, Saturday, March 3, in St. Catharines

The Neighbors by guest speaker
Hannah Mary McKinnon, coming from
MIRA books in March 2018
How to Get Published
With guests: 
HarperCollins editor Michelle Meade 
and author Hannah Mary McKinnon
Saturday, March 3, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00
St. Catharines Central Library, Mills Room,  54 Church Street, St. Catharines, Ontario (Map here.)

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!

Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, two copies would be helpful. 

Following the end of the formal workshop at about 3:45, Brian Henry will be staying for at least half an hour and helping interested attendees who didn’t have their queries critiqued earlier write query letters that will get a yes, and you'll also get a chance to approach Michelle Meade on a one-on-one basis.

Guest speaker Michelle Meade is an assistant editor with MIRA Books, a HarperCollins imprint head-quartered in New York and Toronto. MIRA publishes novels for a broad audience. They’re eager to acquire breakout and established commercial fiction with a strong narrative drive and complex characters across a wide spectrum, from multi-layered relationship and family dramas that make for good book club picks to voicy contemporary reads, thrillers and psychological suspense, sweeping historicals, speculative novels and more.
Last year 53 MIRA titles placed on bestseller lists (New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly) for a total of 225 weeks. MIRA publishes approximately 100 books per year in all formats.
Michelle lives for the thrill of discovering new voices in commercial fiction and helping authors produce the best books possible for their readers. She’s most interested in complex, emotional reads, especially those with high-tension, suspenseful plots and engaging, authentic characters. She’s particularly looking for emotional, character-driven novels and speculative fiction and would love to find the next Liane Moriarty and Audrey Niffenegger.
At the workshop, Michelle will speak about what she does as an editor, what catches her eye when an agent pitches a manuscript to her (and what makes her give a manuscript a pass), and will answer all your questions.

Guest speaker Hannah McKinnon is the author of Time After Time (published by HarperCollins in Britain), a novel about love, loss and second chances that’s full of humour. 
Her second and third books have been acquired by MIRA. The first of these, The Neighbors, a novel about the implosion of two families, is scheduled to be published March 13, 2018, and her third book a year later. 
When she’s not writing novels for adults, Hannah’s three boys give her plenty of material for children’s books. You can read a review of Time After Time  here
At the workshop, Hannah will be sharing what she’s learned about being a writer, finding an agent, getting published, and making a career as a novelist.

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. 
See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca
                                                              
See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Quattro Books publishes novellas and books of poetry

Fugue in Green, a novella by Brenda Clews,
published by Quattro Books
Quattro Books
12 Concord Ave
2nd floor
Toronto, Ontario, M6H 2P1

Quattro Books publishes novellas (20,000 – 40,000 words) of literary fiction, and poetry. They accept unsolicited manuscripts only from Canadian citizens living in Canada. Quattro does not publish genre fiction, (sci-fi, historical, romance).

Submission periods:
For fiction, Quattro considers manuscripts January 1 to May 31, 2018 for possible publication in 2019.
For poetry, Quattro considers unsolicited manuscripts January 1 to March 31, 2018 for possible publication in 2019 or 2020.

2019 Ken Klonsky Novella Prize Contest
Each year, Quattro runs the Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. Submissions opens on June 1 and close July 31. Quattro Books will publish the best novella as part of their following year’s publishing list. The contest is open to Canadian writers who reside in Canada. You do not have to have any publication history. The novella manuscript should be completed, and not less than 20,000 words or more than 40,000 words. There is a $15 reader’s fee for entering.
See full submission guidelines and contest details here.

Best New Poets in Canada free Contest
Vice Versa, a book of poetry by
Renée von Paschen & Robert Paquin,
published by Quattro Books
If you have a chapbook-to-manuscript-length collection of 48–60 pages of poetry, submit five poems from your manuscript, to a maximum of ten pages for the chance to be part of Quattro’s newest national poetry anthology series! Deadline: January 31, 2018.
Ten finalists will be shortlisted and invited to submit their full manuscripts. Three winners will be selected and published in the premier edition of Quattro’s annual Best New Canadian Poets anthology series launching in the Fall of 2018!
Only poets who have yet to publish a full book of poetry are eligible. Previous publication of single poems in journals, magazines, anthologies or online is acceptable. No fee required
Mail submissions to:
Quattro Books
Best New Poet in Canada Contest
180 Pickering Street
Toronto, ON  M4E 3J8
Full submission guidelines here.

Note: For a posting that lists 18 places to send your novella or novelette (some may be out of date), see here.


See Brian Henry’s schedule here,  including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Writing Personal Stories course this spring on Friday afternoons, April 13 – June 8, in Toronto

Writing Personal Stories
8 weeks of sharing and writing
Friday afternoons, 1:15 – 3:15 p.m.
April 13 – June 8, 2018 (No class June 1)
Glenview Church, Bethlehem Room, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, Ontario (Map here)

If you've ever considered writing your personal stories, this course is for you. We’ll look at memoirs, travel writing, personal essays, family history ~ personal stories of all kinds. Plus, of course, we’ll work on creativity and writing technique and have fun doing it. 
Whether you want to write a book or just get your thoughts down on paper, this weekly course will get you going. We'll reveal the tricks and conventions of telling true stories, and we’ll show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Weekly writing exercises and friendly feedback from the instructor will help you move forward on this writing adventure. Whether you want to write for your family and friends or for a wider public, don't miss this course.

Fee:  $159.29 plus 13% hst = $180
To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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 reviews of the Writing Personal Stories course here. Read more reviews of Brian’s weekly courses, Saturday workshops, and writing retreats here (and scroll down).


See Brian’s complete current schedule here,  including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three literary agents at David Black Agency seek commercial, upmarket and literary fiction, thrillers, middle grade and YA, plus nonfiction

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson,
represented by David Black Agency
David Black Agency
335 Adams Street
Suite 2707
Brooklyn, NY  11201

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox, and if you’r enot yet on my newsletter list, send me an email, including your locale to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca  ~Brian


The David Black Agency is a respectable mid-sized New York agency, with three agents looking for new authors, including brand new agent Deborah Hofmann:


Deborah Hofmann joined the David Black Literary Agency in December 2017 after a long career at The New York Times, where she served principally as the Editor of The New York Times Best Seller Lists. Years spent in this unique journalistic capacity have given her a panoramic perspective on the book industry in all its commercial aspects as well as familiarity with the strengths of virtually every publisher, retailer and platform.
In addition to her stewardship of the Best Seller Lists, Deborah wrote regularly for The Times on lifestyle, fashion, antiques and collectables, as well as profiles of creative personalities, entrepreneurs and leaders. Deborah’s recent essay, “Heavy Mettle,” was featured in an anthology edited by Elizabeth Benedict, “Me, My Hair and I,” (Algonquin Books, 2015).
Deborah welcomes first-time book authors with open arms, vision and verve. Areas of interest include commercial and literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, autobiography and memoirs, culture and the arts, humor, practical how-to skills and artisanal arts and crafts.
She is passionate about music and musicians, nature and travel, forensics, knitting and needlepoint. Deborah, a graduate of Barnard College, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Eric Asimov. 
Query Deborah at: dhofmann@dblackagency.com
Please summarize your book idea and include in the body of your email your proposal and, if appropriate, the first 50 pages (no attachments, please): 

Jenny Herrera joined the David Black Agency in 2015 after working at Fletcher & Company and Europa Editions, where she was an early advocate of Elena Ferrante. She went to college in Ohio, where she studied Philosophy, French, and Russian, and has master’s degrees in Philosophy and Social Sciences. 
She loves reading nonfiction books about big ideas and fiction that is thoughtful, unselfconscious, and authentic.
Jenny is actively looking for submissions in upmarket fiction, serious nonfiction, young adult, middle grade, and thrillers, as well as any book that breaks the mold. 
Recent books she loves include: An Ember in the Ashes, Sweet Bitter, The Hate U Give, My Life on the Road, Strange the Dreamer, Far From the Tree, and If We Were Villains. She perhaps consumes excessive amounts of coffee.
Jenny is temporarily closed to queries, but will begin accepting them after January 15th.  (It’s not unusual for agents to be closed for queries in December and early January. See “It’s not a good time to query an agent”). After Jan 15, check out Jenny’s bio page for how to query her here.

Sarah Smith joined David Black Agency in 2012 after beginning her career in book publishing at Trident Media Group. She grew up in Georgia and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with highest honors in English and Creative Writing.  After college, she spent some time working and living in Argentina. 
Her interests, personal and professional, include cooking and eating great food, listening to and playing music, running across bridges, attempting to grow plants on her fire escape and reading good books by great writers. For three years, Sarah curated the weekly True Story: Nonfiction at KGB reading series at KGB Bar in the East Village.
Her nonfiction tastes lean toward memoir, biography, food and music writing, narrative history, and social studies, while her fiction tastes lean toward the literary. She lives in Brooklyn.
Query Sarah at: ssmith@dblackagency.com
Include the first three chapters of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email.

Full submission guidelines here.

Literary agent Martha Webb
If you’re interested in and finding an agent or publisher (someday soon or down the road), don’t miss the How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Feb 24, in Oakville with literary agent Martha Webb (see here) and on Saturday, March 3, in St. Catharines with HarperCollins editor Michelle Meade and author Hannah Mary McKinnon (see here).

If you’re interested in Kid Lit, be sure to register for the Writing for Children and for Young Adults mini-conference on Saturday, April 21, in Waterloo with literary agent Barbara Berson, Simon & Schuster editor Patricia Ocampo, and Young Adult author Tanaz Bhathena (see here) and Writing Kid Lit weekly class, Thursday evenings, April 18 – June 13, in Burlington. For details or to reserve a spot, email: brianhenr@sympatico.ca

And don’t miss Writing Great Characters on Saturday, Jan 27, in Mississauga (see here),  Writing and Revising on Saturday, Feb 10, in Guelph (see here), How to Write Great Dialogue, Sunday, Feb 11, in Windsor (see here), and How to Write a Bestseller with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong on Saturday, March 24, in Caledon at the Bolton Library (see here).

Also, starting soon, Brian is offering a full range of weekly writing classes, from introductory to intensive:
Exploring Creative Writing, offered at two times:
Thursday mornings, 9:45 – 11:45 a.m. Jan 25 – March 29, in Oakville (see here)
and Friday afternoons, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Feb 2 – March 23, in Toronto (see here).
Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m . Jan 25 – March 15, in Burlington (see here).
Intensive Creative Writing, offered at four times/locales:
Tuesday afternoons, 12:30 – 2:45 p.m. Jan 16 – March 20, at Appleby United Church, in Burlington (see here)
Thursday evenings, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m., Jan 18 – March 22, at Appleby United Church in Burlington (see here)
Friday mornings, 10:15 – 12:45, Jan 19 – March 23, Glenview Presbyterian Church in Toronto (see here)
And Wednesday afternoons, 12:30 – 12:45, Jan 31 – March 28, in Burlington (see here)
See details of all seven classes offered this winter here.

For more details or to reserve a spot in any workshop, retreat, or weekly course, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca
Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule here,  including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Navigation tips: Always check out the labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. Also, if you're searching for a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.