Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Writing and Revising workshop, Saturday, Jan 31, 2015, Oakville


“Writing and Revising”
Saturday, January 31, 2015
10:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Oakville Central Library, 
120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario
(Parking is around the back of the library and then up the hill a bit on Water Street, across from the Canoe Club. 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

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, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sandra Bishop joins Canadian literary agency Transatlantic; Jennifer Starkman leaves; several agents at Transatlantic are looking for new authors

Sandra Bishop
Transatlantic Agency
72 Glengowan Road
Toronto, ON M4N 1G4
Canada

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. ~ Brian

Sandra Bishop has joined the Transatlantic Literary Agency as an agent. Earlier in her career she was a vice president at McGregor Literary, where she worked for six years before going out on her own as an independent agent. Sandra works out of Portland, Oregon, and is not currently accepting queries.

Also at Transatlantic, Jennifer Starkman has left the agency for personal reasons.

However, several agents at Transatlantic are actively looking for clients. Your best bets are probably:

Amy Tompkins
Amy Tompkins has worked in publishing since 2002 and has been with the Transatlantic Agency since 2007. She represents both adult and children’s authors and is also the international rights agent for Orca Book Publishers Ltd. and Islandport Press. Amy was previously the contracts manager at Westwood Creative Artists, is a graduate of the Publishing Program at Ryerson University, and has an MA in English Language and Literature.

“I am an omnivorous reader with eclectic tastes,” says Amy. “On the adult side, I am interested in literary fiction, historical fiction, women’s fiction including smart romance, narrative non-fiction, and quirky or original how-to books. On the children’s side, I am interested in early readers, middle-grade, young adult, and new adult. No picture books, please.”

Submissions should include a short biography, past publishing credits, and a 20-page writing sample in Word or PDF format.

Stephanie Sinclair
Stephanie Sinclair has been a lover of all things book related for over 30 years. She’s a graduate of the publishing program at Ryerson University, creative writing program at the Humber School for Writers, and the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. 

For many years, authors, journalists and theatre writers have benefited from Stephanie’s uniquely attuned and effective advice in her work as an award-nominated freelance editor. 

In 2012, Stephanie brought her many skills to the aid of Samantha Haywood, working as her assistant. Shortly thereafter, Stephanie began her training toward becoming an agent and in December 2013, became affiliated with Transatlantic Agency.

Under the mentorship of Samantha Haywood, Stephanie Sinclair currently is building her own client list of authors of literary fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, narrative nonfiction, investigative journalism and true crime.

Query Stephanie at: Stephanie@transatlanticagency.com
Submissions should include a short biography, past publishing credits, and a 20-page writing sample in Word or PDF format.


Fioan Kenshole (right) and author Mary Hoffma (left)
Fiona Kenshole joined Transatlantic just two years ago, but brings a lifetime of passion and experience of children's and YA books. 

After graduating with a Masters in English Literature from Cambridge University, she went on to spend 20 years as a senior publisher, holding key positions in the UK as Publishing Director at Oxford Univeristy Press Children's Books, as Deputy Managing Director of Hodder Children's Books, and as Editorial Director at HarperCollins. 

Her authors have won or been nominated for every major British children's literary award. Several have become million-copy bestsellers.


Fiona moved to the U.S. and spent several years creating a development slate of new projects for an animation studio. Fiona has worked with major directors and screenwriters, acquiring and adapting children's books and original scripts into movies, including the Academy nominated Coraline and Paranorman.


Query Fiona at: 
fiona@transatlanticagency.com  
For novels, submit a query letter with the first three chapters of your book and a full synopsis plus a short biography, pasted into the body of the email NOT as an attachment.

For picture books, submit a query letter and short biography, with your full text pasted into the body of the email NOT as an attachment. If you are illustrator, you may submit one illustration in a small file. Illustrators should also include a link to your portfolio, blog, or website.

“I personally read everything that is sent and consider it carefully,” says Fiona. “So due to the volume of submissions received, replies will be sent only for submissions actively being considered.

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 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: "How to Build Your Story," Saturday, Oct 18, in Peterborough (see here), "Writing With Style," Saturday, Oct 25, in Mississauga (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 an Intensive Creative Writing course on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington and The Next Step in Creative Writing courses on Wednesday evenings in Burlington, Thursday afternoons in Mississauga and Thursday evenings in Georgetown.

To date, details have been posted only for the Next Step in Creative Writing course on Wednesday evenings in Burlington (see here), but for more 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, 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, September 28, 2014

“Failure’s Challenge” by Charlene Jones


I’m writing the book. I have been writing the book for thirty years or longer, perhaps since the seismic shift in my teen years. But I really am writing the book, and in fact have the latest attempt fully complete.

It’s just that it’s not enough. The structure isn’t right. The words flow, the chronology rights itself, the chapters although fuzzy begin to emerge but the structure is not right.

I am told structure in memoir is tricky. I have been told this since last year but I assumed, in that pocket that doesn’t really listen to anyone, that the advice was for others.

Now I get it. It’s true. I have to start again.

I can’t start again. Is this a whine? Ouch. I’d rather it were a rant. But it isn’t. It’s a whine.
Another part of me I do not like, to which I rarely cop. See what happens when you blend jargon with grammar?

Margaret Mitchell
Failure. It’s already a failure. No fear needed. It isn’t what it needs to be.  I might describe it metaphorically as polio-crippled limbs or as horrific birth defects, but that feels cheap. It already feels cheap. It doesn’t have the right structure and I have to return to it but can’t.

Can’t because there is no fear of failure, it has already collapsed in the middle, the cake that did not rise. Going back in, tearing it up seems about as useful as slicing that heavy cake, scooping out the tougher stuff and gluing the layers back together.

Won’t work. Need a new recipe. Need a new structure. Don’t have one.

Search the internet and I’m sure, I’m confident I’ll be able to learn about the structure of memoir. I’m just not sure I’ll be able to apply it to the failure which sits inside my computer now, lurching toward me with its open arms needing a hug.

Don’t hug me. Go away. You are a failure. I am a failure. You remind me of the failure I am.

Change. I like change. I like change when it’s on my terms. Fairly healthy, to want change on one’s own terms, but change seldom arrives in a package with the bow on top.

According to the media, others have that experience – the bow and the package all delivered. But the struggle’s left out – what it took to leave your family, friends, security, and go to Hollywood then sit in that damp and ugly run-down hotel for the call that finally came.

How it felt being rejected.

Gone with the Wind rejected for ten years. I assume Ms. Mitchell simply shrugged, clutched her multiple pages to her chest, straightened those Southern shoulders and breathed deeply before folding new brown paper around her manuscript, new brown paper and a new address, smeared with tears perhaps. Hugged toward her heaving chest likely. It takes that.

I’ll take it up, again, tomorrow.

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.

Chalene’s first novel, The Stain was released in September.  You can attend a book launch for The Stain on Wednesday, December 3, 7:00 pm at Snow Lion Meditation, 708 Pape Ave, Toronto (map here) or Sunday, December 7, 1:00 to 4:00 pm at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St W, Uxbridge  (map here).  Order your copy here or by emailing Charlene at: charlenej@rogers.com.  

See Brian Henry’s 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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Next Step in Creative Writing course, Jan 21 – March 25, 2015, in Burlington

The Next Step in Creative Writing
10 weeks of creative growth
Winter session

Wednesday evenings, Jan 21 – March 25, 2015
6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
First readings emailed Jan 14
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

Note: This winter, "The Next Step in Creative Writing" will also be offered Thursday afternoons in Mississauga and Thursday evenings in Georgetown. A similar course, "Intensive Creative Writing," is offered Wednesday afternoons in Burlington. “Welcome to Creative Writing” will be offered Tuesday afternoons in Burlington, and “Writing Your Life & Other True Stories” is tentatively planned for Tuesday mornings in Oakville.  
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 ten weeks of classes, you’ll be asked to bring in four 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.

Check out two reviews of the Next Step course here.

Fee: 176.11 + 13% hst = 199.  Payment in advance by mail or Interac.
Note: Enrollment is strictly limited, and 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, 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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's Rosh Hashannah ~ Happy New Year


It's Rosh Hashannah, the world's birthday, 5,775 years since the day of creation (according the the traditional count).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Two new self-published books: Eleanor by Suzanne Sloane and The Sailor, The Giant and The Madman by James T Sterling

Hello, Brian.
This is to inform you I have just self-published a novel, Eleanor, as an e book on Amazon.  It's available here.
You may also be interested to know the novel you reviewed for me, now named Corky, about the rescue dog, is coming out next spring through Brucedale Press.
My memoirs will be out in hard cover within a month.  I will send you a copy. It has a photo of Apple Villa, Burlington, in it from my era of knowing the family home.
Keep on inspiring all us oldsters.  It is fun to launch a new career at 81.
Sincerely,
Suzanne Sloan

Hello, Brian.
I am pleased to announce that I have launched my book, The Sailor, The Giant and The Madman, through Amazon as a self-published piece.
The book is available in either hard copy or e-book format here
I may also be found on Twitter or face book @Jameststerling   
Please note that I have mentioned you, and my helpful classmates, on the acknowledgement page on both versions.
Thanks again, say hello to everyone for me.
Jim Sterling

See my 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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Strategies for Getting Published seminar, Saturday, November 29, at Ryerson University in Toronto

Juliet Was a Surprise by Bill Gaston
published by Hamish Hamilton
and nominated for the Giller Prize,
“From the Horse’s Mouth: Strategies for Getting Published”

Saturday, November 29
1 – 4 p.m.
Victoria Building, Room 106
Ryerson University, 285 Victoria Street, Toronto (Map here.)

A round table discussion with celebrated agents, publicists, and agents, moderated by writing instructor and editor Brian Henry, this afternoon seminar draws together senior figures from the publishing industry. 

Following the presenters' introductory remarks, discussion will be opened up to the floor to address the concerns and questions of those aspiring writers present (of both fiction and nonfiction) interested in improving their chances of getting published. 

Questions addressed will include: What are the editors looking for?

For the first time, in addition to a literary agent and an editor from a publishing company, one our panelists, Stephen Myers, will provide expertise in publicity and marketing. 

Stephen Myers is the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Canada’s boutique literary fiction imprint. Hamish publishes some of Canada’s best known writers, including Joseph Boyden, Zsuzsi Gartner, Bill Gaston, Damian Tarnopolsky, and Jeffrey Moore.

Stephen Myers also handles promotions for hockey books and a selection of distribution clients, including W.W. Norton. Outside of title management, he oversees the department's internship program.


Rachel Letofsky of The Cooke Agency will be the second guest on our panel. The Cooke Agency represents literary and commercial fiction (including science fiction, fantasy and crime), narrative-driven nonfiction in the areas of popular culture, science, history, natural history, politics, personal reference and children’s books.

The Cooke Agency represents many national and international award-winning authors of quality fiction and nonfiction, including John Irving, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Catherine Gildiner, Mary Novik, Nancy Richler, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Joyce Wayne. The Cooke Agency’s clients are routinely long-listed, short-listed and awarded prizes for the high quality of their work.

Rachel is the newest agent on the team. She is a graduate of both the University of Toronto, where she specialized in English Literature, and The Humber Creative Book Publishing Program. She joined The Cooke Agency in 2010 following an internship, and is currently growing her own list of clients. Rachel is particularly drawn to debut authors with whom she can work in a hands-on, collaborative fashion.

Her recent signings include multiple award-winning poet and novelist Méira Cook – whose new novel is forthcoming from HarperCollinsCanada in 2015; Kim Gaal, a fresh voice in urban fantasy from Australia, and Erin Frances Fisher, whose short story “Girl” won this year’s RBC Bronwen Wallace award and is currently available for free download from iTunes (you should read it!).

Her personal tastes are eclectic and in fiction she is looking for everything from literary fiction, voice-oriented young adult and new adult fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs and anything with a high level of quirkiness.

Anne Shone, Senior Editor at Scholastic Canada, will be the third member of our panel. She has worked in book publishing for close to twenty years, concentrating on children’s books for the last fifteen. In that time, she has worked with many of Canada’s top children’s book authors and illustrators. 

Recent highlights include picture books: Fox and Squirrel and Shh! My Brother's Napping by Ruth Ohi, Goodnight Canada by Andrea Beck, and Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms;  novels: The Opposite of Geek by Ria Voros and Love is a Four Letter Word by Vikki Van Sickle, and myriad nonfiction titles at Maple Tree Press and Scholastic Canada, with Helaine Becker, Elin Kelsey, Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky, to name just a few. 

Fee: $110.21
Register online at Ryerson here.
But don’t pay any attention to what it says in the catalogue listing because it’s mostly wrong. For starters, contrary to what it says in the Ryerson Calendar, you can register in person on November 29, but please let me know in advance that you’re coming. 
 Brian


See my 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.