Monday, June 30, 2014

Literary agents Rachel Brooks and Leon Husock at L. Perkins agency seek new authors

Rachel Brooks
L. Perkins Agency
5800 Arlington Avenue 
Riverdale, NY 10471 

The L. Perkins Agency was founded in 1987 by Lori Perkins. Currently, the agency has about 200 clients and five agents, including two new agents who are actively looking for authors:

Rachel Brooks has joined L. Perkins Agency as a junior agent. Rachel previously worked as an apprentice agent to Louise Fury. Louise is actively building her client list. She’s looking for all genres of young adult and new adult fiction and adult romance. She is especially interested in romantic suspense. She’s also on the lookout for fun picture books.
She’s a fan of dual point of views and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Query Rachel at: Rachel@lperkinsagency.com
Include the first five pages of y0ur manuscript pasted into the email. No attachments.

Leon Husock was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management before joining L. Perkins Agengy. Leon is actively building his client list and has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle grade novels. But he keeps an open mind for anything that catches his fancy.

He is also seeking historical fiction set in the 20th Century, particularly the 1980s or earlier. He is not seeking nonfiction.

Include the first five pages of y0ur manuscript pasted into the email. No attachments.

Full submission guidelines here.

Carly Watters
Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Published" workshop in Oakville on Sept 27 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here).

Brian also has some great workshops coming up this summer: “Writing with Style,” Saturday, July 12, in Collingwood (details here) and “You Can Write Great Characters,”  Saturday, July 19, in Caledon East (details here) and Saturday, August 16, in Hamilton (details here).

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. You can check out all three courses Brian will be offering this summer – and also the fall line-up  here
To register or for more details of any course or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian's full 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, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

How I Became My Kid's Bitch by AMotherWriter

It was my son’s sixth birthday recently. I picked him up after school and asked him, “Did you have a good day?”

“No.”

“But it's your birthday! What happened?”

“Nobody brought me cupcakes.”

And by that he meant me.

His older sisters chimed in, supporting their brother in a rare moment of cooperation. "Everyone gets cupcakes except us!"

I don’t know which punk-ass mom started this trend, but according to my kids, they are the only children in their school of 400+ students whose mom doesn’t bake or buy them birthday cupcakes to bring to class. I don't mean the cake or cupcakes they get at their birthday party. This is a whole extra batch of cupcakes.

"That can't be right," I said, trying to employ logic where logic didn't matter. I did some quick mental calculations--40 weeks in the school year and about 25 to 30 kids in a class. 

"Your teachers would be dealing with kids strung out on cupcakes every two weeks. At least."

Stink eye. Stony silence.

I've been a parent for a decade, and know how easy it is to become your kid's bitch. We drive them everywhere, ensure they are supervised every waking moment, feed them organic grapes and free range chicken, obsess over food intolerances and sensitivities, even organize their play dates for them.

By the time my eldest daughter's birthday rolled around, I had learned my lesson. I bought the stuff to bake cupcakes.

While lugging it home, I started to think my way out of actually doing anything: That’s a lot of gluten to feed those kids. And about a kilo of refined sugar. Surely the teacher won't appreciate it. It’s got to be wrong.

Then I ran into some moms I know. They were out for their power walk but stopped to chat.

"Oooh, what are you baking?” one of them asked when she saw my grocery bags bursting with flour, butter and cheetah print muffin-tin liners.

“I got roped into birthday cupcakes. For the whole class.”

“Oh yeah," said the other mom, waving away my complaint. "That is a nice way to give back when you don’t invite all the kids to the party. My daughter and I always make them together.”

"I guess I thought I might get off easy this time. You know, just by organizing a party and giving a few gifts."

I went home and set about making the recipe. But halfway through I had a stark realization.

There were 25 students in my daughter’s class, and I had two muffin trays, which meant I could only make 24 cupcakes.

This was a household crisis of the highest order. You know, the kind where the task is so menial and the solution so obvious that it shuts down your frontal lobe? 

Thankfully I could still use my thumbs to text my sister-in-law: “Should I reserve some batter and make an extra cupcake? Should I make a cake instead? Why can't I figure this out?”

Her orders came down like a gavel. “Bake the 24. There’s always someone who doesn’t want one.”

I knew I had to do as she said, but it was really walking the tightrope. What if all the kids did want one?

Then it dawned on me. What's more reliable than an absent kid? A kid with a food intolerance.

And I was making wheat flour cupcakes with buttercream icing. Dairy, sugar, gluten. I had my bases covered. 

I baked the 24 cupcakes. I was really living on the edge. I didn’t even know which kid would be intolerant. Didn’t want to know. Didn't need to.

The little vanilla cakes, iced with blobs of buttercream, went to school with my daughter the next day. 

After school, she couldn’t wait to tell me. 

“Mom, everyone wanted one! They were so good,” she crowed. “My friends were all asking for the recipe!”

My heart swelled, but my stomach sank.
“Isn't there a dairy-free kid in your class?”

“Yeah, he couldn’t have one.”

"Yesss!" I said under my breath, and made a quiet little victory fist.
*
AMotherWriter (the anonymous author of this posting) is a Toronto-based writer and journalist who sincerely hopes you have some time to waste on her Relaxed Parenting blog here

See Brian Henry’ schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, 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, June 28, 2014

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain by Marc Lewis, reviewed by Charlene Jones

Doubleday Canada, 320 pages, hardcover $20.65, paperback $15.16, Kindle $13.99, available from Amazon here.

Drug Addict! The words still evoke images of dark alleys, blood stains, creatures living rat-like lives under cover of night, pale, sick...

William Burroughs' kaleidoscope coverage of his years in Morocco as a heroin addict pour from the pages of his book Junkie with relentless honesty. In that work, we look through the eyes of the addict. That Burroughs himself emerged as a poet, performer (with Lori Anderson to name one) and a very straight edge, very senior member of the US of A testifies to the saying it isn’t the junk, it’s the lifestyle that kills.

In his much touted book, Memoirs of an Addicted Brain Canadian author Marc Lewis steers clear of painting hallucinatory images of the experiences he obviously endured. Instead the author wisely takes a middle road. Using details from journals he kept during his years of addiction to different drugs, Lewis culls stories that make sense, from the point of view of himself as an addict.

 These vignettes reveal his out of control behavior and single-minded focus on attaining and using his drug of choice. He does so without dragging the reader through either pity or scorn, a tough writing assignment in a subject so easily prone to both.

Instead Lewis describes, without flinching, his addiction’s control over his life. No love life, no professional life, no friends are the results. At the end of each chapter, Lewis then describes in terms of Neuroscience, but in easily understood language, what his brain experienced while drugging, while coming down, and perhaps most importantly for future research into this topic, while anticipating the next hit.

Lewis managed to earn his PhD, part of the time while he was using. His account of being busted at a University where he stole drugs from the lab where he was doing research lacks sentimentality of any sort. He was busted and had to make choices. He chose to go clean, stay clean and continue his education.

Since the book refuses any indication of emotional pain that may have led to his addiction, since Lewis eschews any account of himself or his family life that peeps into sordid corners, he relies on interest. He does write in a way that does interest. The topic does interest. However, and perhaps this is part of his skill as a writer, by leaving out any frame of emotions, any description of the emotional pain that drove him to drug in the first place, we are left without seeing him as a hero. Just a scientist who lived life as his own research subject. It’s a good read.

Charlene Jones’ poetry has most recently appeared on Commuterlit. She also writes for her radio program Off the Top with Whistle Radio, 102.7 fm, aired every second Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Note: Whistle Radio and CommuterLit have recently teamed up to run a monthly contest. Details here.) You can see Charlene perform her poetry and prose at Linda Stitt's inimitable monthly salon at Portobello Restaurant and Bar the first Saturday every month in Toronto.Charlene blogs at www.Charlenediane.com


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, 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.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Intensive Creative Writing weekly course, Wed afternoons, Sept 17 – Dec 10, in Burlington

Intensive Creative Writing
An adventure in creative growth
Fall session

Wednesday afternoons, Sept 17 – Dec 10, 2014
12:15 to 2:45 p.m.
First set of readings emailed Sept 10
Appleby United Church
4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

Note: A similar course, "The Next Step in Creative Writing," is offered Wednesday evenings in Burlington (see here) Thursday afternoons in Mississauga (see here) and Thursday evenings in Georgetown (see here). “Welcome to Creative Writing” is offered Tuesday mornings in Burlington (see here) and “Writing Your Life & Other True Stories” is offered Tuesday afternoons in Burlington.  
For more information or to register, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Intensive Creative Writing isn't for beginners; it's for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a course or two before and are working on their own projects. Over the twelve classes, you’ll be asked to bring in six pieces of your writing for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on.

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures at the start of class addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.

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: 184.96 + 13% hst = 209.  Payment in advance by mail or e-transfer.
Note: These courses fill up, so enroll early to avoid disappointment. 
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, 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, June 26, 2014

The Ontario Arts Council gives money to writers (and literary festivals, journals, publishers…)


Ontario Arts Council Literature programs encourage the development, publication and presentation of new works of literary significance in the province. The Literature Office funds writers, storytellers and spoken-word artists in all forms (except drama, which is funded under Theatre Programs).

The production of Gordon Miller’s brilliant
book of art and poetry, Kokum's Gift:
Teachings from Ojibway and Cree
Spirituality, Culture and Traditions, 
was funded largely through OAC grants.
For more about Kokum's Gft, see here
Publishing programs support book publishers that develop, print, promote and distribute new literary work; the programs also support arts and literary magazines that showcase Canadian writers and provide critical commentary on arts and culture. The Literature Office also funds festivals and reading series that present the work of Ontario’s literary writers and publishers.

Writers' Reserve offers project grants to professional writers of fiction, poetry, literary criticism, commentary on the arts, graphic literature, history, biography, political or social issues, science or travel. Writers apply to book and magazine publishers, who then make recommendations to OAC for funding.

Writers' Works in Progress offers project grants to professional writers in Ontario working on new book-length works of literary merit, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young adult and graphic literature.

Works in Progress - Northern Competition is a special deadline to increase applications and success rates for professional writers in Northern Ontario. The Northern deadline is restricted to those writers living in Ontario’s Northern regions.

For more information about OAC funding for literary endeavors, including money for Book Publishers, Literary Festivals and Writers’ Groups, Literary Journals, Story-tellers, performance poets and other oral literary artists and groups, see here.

And check out the OAC’s handy guide to making a grant application here.

See Brian Henry’ schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, 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, June 25, 2014

Intermediate Creative Writing course, Wednesday evenings, Sept 17 – Dec 1, in Burlington

Intermediate Creative Writing
12 weeks of creative growth
Fall session (for summer classes, see here)

Wednesday evenings, Sept 17 – Dec 10, 2014
6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
First readings emailed Sept 10
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

Note: This fall, "The Next Step in Creative Writing" is also offered Thursday afternoons in Mississauga (see here) and Thursday evenings in Georgetown (see here). A similar course, "Intensive Creative Writing," is offered Wednesday afternoons in Burlington. “Welcome to Creative Writing” is offered Tuesday mornings in Burlington (see here) and “Writing Your Life & Other True Stories” is offered Tuesday afternoons in Burlington.  
For more information or to register, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

The Next Step in Creative Writing will challenge you to take a step up in your writing.  The format will be similar to the "Intensive" courses, but with less reading between classes each week, leaving you with more writing time.

Over the twelve weeks of classes, you’ll be asked to bring in five pieces of your writing for detailed feedback. All your pieces may be from the same work, such as a novel in progress, or they may be stand alone pieces. You bring whatever you want to work on.

Besides critiquing pieces, the instructor will give short lectures at the start of class, addressing the needs of the group, and in addition to learning how to critique your own work and receiving constructive suggestions about your writing, you’ll discover that the greatest benefits come from seeing how your classmates approach and critique a piece of writing and how they write and re-write. This is a challenging course, but extremely rewarding.

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: 184.96 + 13% hst = 209.  Payment in advance by mail or e-transfer.
Note: These courses fill up, so enroll early to avoid disappointment. 

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, 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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Established literary agent Andrea Hurst looking for new authors; also, agent Katie Reed seeks YA and fantasy

Andrea Hurst & Associates

Andrea Hurst President of Andrea Hurst Literary Management, has announced that she is again open to submissions and will be accepting queries from June 1 through September 1. Andrea’s client list includes emerging new voices and New York Times best-selling authors. Her clients and their books have appeared on the Oprah Show, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, National Geographic network and in the New York Times.

Andrea says: “I am looking for upmarket, book club women’s fiction, commercial women’s fiction/romance (contemporary or historical), young adult fiction, and most areas of nonfiction (authors with a substantial platform who have already developed a solid, highly polished proposal – this includes memoirs, health/wellness, business, self-help/personal growth, memoir, cookbooks, pet books, spirituality). As of 2014, we are now accepting middle grade contemporary fiction as well.”

Query Andrea at: queryandrea@andreahurst.com  
Submit by Sept. 1, 2014. No attachments. Absolutely no phone calls or regular mail contact, please.

At Andrea Hurst, literary agent Katie Reed is also looking for authors. Katie represents all areas of young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction, with a special interest in YA and fantasy. Katie’s Wishlist:

All areas of YA fiction, particularly:
Commercial, with a compelling hook and a protagonist who battles real life teen issues
Science fiction (soft)
Fantasy

Commercial and Literary Adult Fiction in the following genres:
Book Club Women’s Fiction
Science Fiction (soft)
Fantasy
Suspense/Thriller
Contemporary Romance

Nonfiction in the following genres:
  • Memoir/Biography with a strong platform
  • Self-help
  • Crafts/How-to
  • Inspirational
  • True Crime (I would prefer to avoid this unless it is high profile and current)
  • Parenting
Query Katie at: katie@andreahurst.com
No attachments. Do not send proposals, sample chapters or manuscripts unless specifically requested by an agent. Please indicate if you are simultaneously submitting to other agents. Expect Katie to take some time to respond—in busy periods this may take several weeks.

Full submission guidelines here.

Carly Watters
Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Published" workshop in Oakville on Sept 27 with literary agent Carly Watters (see here).

Brian also has some great workshops coming up this summer on developing characters: Saturday, July 19, in Caledon East (details here) and Saturday, August 16, in Hamilton (details here).

But the best way to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly course. You can check out all three courses Brian will be offering this summer – and also the fall line-up here
To register or for more details of any course or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian's full 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, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.