Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome to Creative Writing course, Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – March 31, in Oakville

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

Thursday afternoons, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m. 
Jan 28  March 31, 2016
St Cuthbert's Anglican Church, 1541 Oakhill Drive, Oakville (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 flow and flower. 

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 published. Read two reviews of Brian Henry's introductory creative writing courses here. More reviews here

Fee: 158.41 plus 13% hst = 179
To reserve a spot now, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca 

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

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Three literary agents at Ayesha Pande agency seek new authors

Ayesha Pande Literary
128 West 132 Street
New York, NY  10027

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


Ayesha Pande Literary describes itself as “a New York based boutique literary agency with a small and eclectic roster of clients” and prides itself as “especially passionate about discovering and nurturing talented new voices”

Anjali Singh is the newest member of the team, and like all new agents, she needs authors. Anjali was previously editorial director at Other Press, and an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin and Vintage. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers.

Anjali is seeking character-driven fiction or nonfiction that reflect an engagement with the world around us. She wants literary thrillers, memoirs, YA literartue and graphic novels.

Query Anjali through the agency’s on-line form here.

The agency also has two other agents, both looking for clients:

Ayesha Pande is the agency’s founder and lead agent. She has worked in the publishing industry for over 20 years. Before becoming an agent, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farra Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers.

She is seeking both literary and popular fiction, particularly, young adult, women’s African-American and international fiction, and graphic novels. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, economics, popular culture, cultural commentary, and memoir.

Query Ayesha through the agency’s on-line form here.

Sergei Tsimberov has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Univeristy of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law. He has been a literary agent since 2013 and joined Ayesha Pande Literary in 2014.

Sergie represents both literary fiction and non-fiction and is looking for imaginative and polished voice-driven writing. He is particularly interested in narratives with historical, political, and international themes.

Query Sergei through the agency’s on-line form here.

See more about the agents and agency here and see their submissions page here.

Note: The Fog Lit free literary festival runs in Saint John, New Brunswick, Sept 30 – Oct 4 (see here).  Brian Henry will be at the festival to lead a How to Get Published seminar and a Query Letter Clinic  on Saturday, Oct 3 (see here).

Brian will also lead a How to Get Published workshop in Hamilton on Saturday, Oct 17, with Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency (see here). 

Brian will lead a Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshop on Saturday, March 5, in Burlington, with Monica Pacheco, literary agent with The McDermid Agency (see here).

Other upcoming workshops, include , and How to Make Yourself Write, Saturday, Oct 24, in Guelph (see here) and Saturday, Nov 28, in Mississauga (see here), You can write great dialogue, Saturday, Nov 7, in Oakville (see here) and Saturday, Nov 21, in Ingersoll (see here), and Writing Your Life, Saturday, Dec 5, in Burlington (details here).   

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. This fall, there is still space in one class:
Literary agent Rachel Letofsky,
guest speaker at How to Get Published
Saturday, Oct 17, in Hamilton

(see here).
Writing Personal stories, Thurs mornings, Oct 8 - Nov 26, in Oakville (see here)

Starting in the new year, Brian will be offering a full range of courses for both beginning writers and more experienced writers:
Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday afternoons, Feb 2 – March 29, (no class March 15) in Burlington
Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 9, in Burlington
The Next Step in Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, Jan 20 – March 30 (no class March 16), in Burlington
Writing Personal Stories, Thurs afternoons, Jan 28 – March 31, (no class March 17), in Oakville
The Next Step in Creative Writing, Thurs evenings, Jan 21 – March 31, (no class March 16), in Georgetown

For more information or to register for any of these classes, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Love letters - where your fellow writers are getting published and winning contests, plus a talk on taxes for writers

Yay, Gord!
Congratulations to all the semi-finalists in the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. This short story contest pays a grand prize of $2,000, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of you, but most especially for the half-dozen semi-finalists who have taken part in my classes or workshops: Gord Miller, Judy Millar, Aldona Kaulis-Barry, Alan Buchanan, Kevin Montgomery, Heather Rath, Beverly Burgess Bell, and Bruce Madole. Best of luck! ~ Brian
For information about submitting to this annual contest, see here.

Hi, Brian.
A short story I wrote from a prompt during your “How to write a bestseller” workshop with Kelley Armstrong was selected as a Fringe Contest winner and I was invited to read that short story at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival. The story, “Dearly Beloved,” was also published in a chapbook. And as if that wasn't exciting enough, I also got to hobnob a bit with some of Canada's elite authors at a private dinner party the night before.
Yay, Catherine!
The second short story I wrote, “Alba's Tree,” which I read at the CJ's Cafe farewell night has been published to CommuterLit. You can see it here.
I know I've said it before, but thanks for everything you do.
Catherine
For information about the Eden Mills Festival and its annual short story contest, see here.

Hi, Brian.
I hope all is well with you. I am pleased to announce that my short story "Unclaimed" will be featured in CommuterLit. Thank you for all that you do! This should be the link to my story here.
Cheers,
Tres Vassel
For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.   

Hi, Brian.
I miss your classes and I want to thank you for all your wisdom and support for my writing. Quick Brown Fox is a constant source of information. I followed up on one of the leads for publishing and this week, an autobiographical piece of mine “Bang Up Wedding” was published in the magazine “One Thousand Trees”. Please feel free to share the link with other writers:  www.onethousandtrees.com to check it out.
Susan McCrae

Hey, there!
I want to share some exciting news: Today I am a published author! Yayy!  
Chocolate & Diamonds for the Woman's Soul is a book anthology featuring 104 women from all over the world, who decided to raise their voice.
My story, "Remembering Me and Breaking Free" speaks to the knowing that something more was possible and the courage I mustered to break free from my marriage.  It's really short (less than 1,500 words), so there's a lot that this story doesn't tell or go into (I haven't yet figured out how to put 23 years into 1,500 words, but maybe for my memoirs).  
My hope is that other women (and men) reading this story will have the courage, and LOVE, to be free to be themselves, no matter what, or that they'll be inspired by other beautiful heart-felt stories in the anthology.  
So, get your copy, download it, sit in your favorite spot (for me, that's curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace) and get reading.  Or, share it with someone you love.  Getting your copy of this diamond is easy - just visit my page and order your Kindle version through Amazon.com for only US$1 (or on Amazon.ca for CDN$1.32 here) – and you don't need a Kindle to get it, just the Kindle app downloaded to you device.    
If you'd rather have a paper copy, it's coming - Oct 4th :)
Happy reading!  
Linda J. Spencer

Writer to Writer
Doug Griswold color illustration for annual tax guide for 1999
from Vancouver Sun
Hi, Brian.
If it's too late for your next “printing” of Quick Brown Fox, would you mind including this:
When she's not writing, Anitha Robinson works as a Chartered Accountant. She's giving two Tax Talks for Writers, Illustrators, and Artists:
Wednesday, September 30
 6:30 pm
Hamilton Public Library, Sherwood Branch, 467 Upper Ottawa St., Hamilton, Ontario
To sign up, call 905 546-3249.
And
Wednesday, October 28
6:30 pm
County of Brant Public Library, Paris Branch, 12 William Street, Paris, Ontario
To sign up, call 519 442-2433.
Come armed with questions!
Thanks and I hope to see you soon. Maybe at Jennifer's launch party for Speechless!
Anitha

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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Moira River” by Heather Conrad


I have a cottage on the Moira River. It is perfect for me. The river is long, but not very wide and great for exploring in my kayak. The Moira supports an abundance of life; fish, frogs, birds, water snakes, beaver and me.
When I go to the river I shed the cares and chaos of the city and am immediately calmed. I can hear the wind in the trees. I hear the squawk of the blue jays and I can hear my own random thoughts.
In the evening the water becomes smooth as glass, reflecting the trees and grasses at the shore as well as the moon above. Skimming along on the water I can see the dart of a speckled fish scooting under the kayak.
The river is always reinventing itself. Every year it is different. One year the winter storms uprooted some trees, exposing their earth-packed roots to the sun, while their long branches swept across the water. Now the turtles used this new platform to sun themselves. This year the river has planted a little cluster of mauve iris on my water front. They may not be there next year but I remain hopeful.
As I write I sit on the porch watching the blue jays come for the peanuts I’ve placed along the railing for them. They are so beautiful. The young ones have a hard time trying to open the shells while the more experienced birds can pick up two at a time and fly off with their treasure. I never get to see how they open them.
Sometimes a blue jay will take a peanut and hide it under the leaves of the ground cover. I’ve never seen if they remember to retrieve it later. The mourning doves scour the ground beneath the feeder, too sedate to vie with the other birds for a perch. Other ground feeders today are a little brown wren and, of course, a chipmunk.
The kingfisher screeches across the river, scoops up a fish and sits on a branch to eat its breakfast. One summer a loon came to the river. It stayed for twenty-four hours in front of the cottage and then disappeared. I was happy for the visit.
This summer the grackles have taken over the feeder. They are so aggressive and loud that it can sound like a battlefield outside the cottage. The blue jays compete with them to see who can be loudest. The red breasted grosbeak, Downey woodpecker and nuthatch all patiently wait their turn. Even the goldfinch come.
But I miss the chickadees. They have not come to the feeder since the grackles are there. The chickadees always have been my faithful friends since I got the cottage. Usually there are six or seven flitting about, singing their distinctive song. Because I miss them I have taken down the regular feeder and put up one for small birds only. There are no grackles now. I am still waiting for the chickadees.
One day two palliated woodpeckers came. They were so large, so colourful I thought I had been transported to the tropics. Across the river a heron stands stock still. It would be easy to miss if you didn’t know where to look. In the evening it flies down the river towards home, croaking like an animal twice its size.
The river has given me so many gifts. It is my respite from the world. Its complexity and richness reinforce for me that there is an integrity in the natural world, if not in the one created by humankind. At the river I can find that integrity reflected in myself. I am grounded in a way I find hard to maintain in the city.
Some gifts are even more tangible. I have a collection of feathers left for me by my avian friends. They are the beautiful reminders of my gratitude and wonder.
           
Heather Conrad spent 40 years as a nurse, collecting thousands of stories from the people she has met. Now she’s using her retirement to hone her writing skills. She feels there is a book about community nursing somewhere in her wanting to get out. Her experience with Brian Henry’s classes is one of the first steps taken to fulfill this ambition. Heather lives in Toronto. 

Photos of the Moira River by Heather.

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

It’s easy to start a writers' group or arrange a meeting with your fellow writers


If you want to get together with other writers on an in-formal basis to critique one anothers' work, network, or just hang out, Quick Brown Fox maintains MeetUp pages to help you organize things.

Just sign-up with the relevant MeetUp group (see below). Then click on
 +Schedule a New MeetUp (right under where it says Welcome writers!) and post the proposed time and place for your get-together and the purpose; e.g. to drink too much coffee or just enough beer and critique each other’s work, or whatever.

You can be as specific as you want, though if you get too specific, it might be hard to find people. So, for example, perhaps you want to start a critique group with other writers of Chapter Books, Middle Grade books or YA. Just say so. There are lots of you out there. 

Or perhaps you'd just like to get together with other writers to talk about writing or to sit and write in one-anothers' company. Go for it.

If you like, send me an email, too, to bring your proposed writers' group or get-together to my attention at brianhenry@sympatico.ca
I’ll publicize it on the Quick Brown Fox blog and in the newsletter, too. (That will work best if you give me at least three weeks lead time.)

Quick Brown Fox maintains MeetUp Pages for Halton and Peel here, for Guelph, Georgetown and Brampton here, and for Toronto and points north (including York Region and Simcoe) here.  ~ Brian

See my schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister by Lindy Mechefske

Commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, Sir John's Table is a refreshing look at Canada's first prime minister. Sir John's Table traverses the colourful life of Macdonald, from his passage as a young Scottish boy in the steerage compartment aboard the Earl of Buckinghamshire to his new home in Kingston, Upper Canada. It traces his boyhood years of stealing fish and scarfing down fairy cakes into his adult life as a lawyer, husband, father, and eventual leader of the newly founded dominion of Canada.

It was a journey that began with hardtack and suspicious-looking, watered-down stew amidst appallingly unsanitary conditions and culminated in grand dinners held in Macdonald's honour.

In a breezy and engaging style, author Lindy Mechefske traces Macdonald's life through some of the common foods of the day, from mutton, quince, and gooseberries to hare, cow heel, and ox cheek. Along the way, she reveals how to concoct the fried oysters served at the Charlottetown Conference and how a roast duck dinner saved the dominion.

Sir John’s Table is published by Goose Lane Editions. For information on submitting to Goose Lane, see here.

Lindy will be promoting Sir John’s Table extensively. Here's a list of her speaking engagements (and they’re also on her website here):


Saturday September 26, 2015, 1-3pm – Master writing class in Writing Creative Cuisine – learn about how the literary greats from Shakespeare to Steinbeck used food as a literary tool and so much more. Tickets at Kingston WritersFest

Sunday September 27, 2015 – 12:30 – Lunch at Sir John’s Public House (the actual site of Sir John A. Macdonald’s Kingston law office). We’ll be dining on favourites from Canada’s culinary history interspersed with readings from Sir John’s Table. Tickets at Kingston WritersFest.


October 15, 2015 – 11am · Macaulay Heritage Park – Picton, Ontario
Reading and discussion.


October 22, 2015 – 7pm – Millbrook and Cavan Historical Society in conjunction with the Cavan Monaghan Libraries - Reading and discussion in the Fireside Lounge of Centennial Place, 2 Centennial Lane, Millbrook, ON.


November 17, 2015 – Lennox and Addington County Museum & Archives
Reading and discussion at the Tuesday night at the Museum series.


January 9-10 – Hamilton, Ontario – John A. Macdonald Society
John A. Macdonald Society Annual Dinner and wreath-laying ceremony in Gore Park.


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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are getting published ~ And graphic artist wants to do your book covers

Hi, Brian.
I just found out my piece about Mount Kinabalu has been accepted as a blog post by Asia Literary Review.  It is longer and more opinionated that the piece you saw which I had written for Globe and Mail (and never heard from).  I am so pleased not simply to get published, but to have others learn about this mountain and what it means to locals. 
This piece is titled "More than a Mountain," whereas the one to Globe and Mail was called "I climbed Mount Kinabalu with my clothes on" – a title that resulted from my husband's advice to give a catchy title for newspaper heading given his publishing experience with his school newspaper.
So thank you all for your support in getting this piece out the door so quickly.  I will point you to the link when it gets out.
Wishing you all the best.
Cheers,
Adrienne
Note: For information on sbmitting to the Asia Literary Review, see here.

Hi, Brian.
How are you? I hope you're doing well. As usual, the summer went by way too fast!
I wanted to let you know that one of my short stories has been selected to appear in Chicken Soup For the Soul! The edition is called Think Possible and the short story is called "The Red Chair." It'll be on shelves October 6th.
Brian, your guidance has been invaluable to me over the past few years. This is an exciting time and I could not let it go by without thanking you.
Sincerely, 
Ariffa
Note: The Chicken Soup people are continually coming out with new collections so they’re always looking for contributors, and they pay, too. See here.

Hi, Brian.
A huge thank you for your feedback and inspiration for my story "Swamp Surfing" which was accepted for publication by CommuterLit and should be appearing next week.  You suggested I create an underwater scene and also ways to amp up the conflict with a character.  Story-wise advice, thank you and grand merci!
Thanks so much!
Joyce
Read Joyce’s piece here. For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.   

Hi, Brian!
I am thrilled to announce that I’ve self-published my debut novel, Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice. It’s now available in the FriesenPress bookstore (here), Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.
It has been an exciting few weeks as I learn the ropes of marketing and self-promotion, but so rewarding to finally hold the fruit of years of hard work in my hands. It has had some good reviews already. Jordan Dane, Critically Acclaimed and Bestselling Author says, "Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice is a charming fantasy read with endearing characters, the well told creation of Julie Whitley, a new author to watch.”    
Valentina D’Alesio, freelance editor, says: "Working on this book with Julie was a pleasure from the first page. With the first book in the The Secrets of the Home Wood series, she’s constructed a Chronicles of Narnia–like fantasy world with talking beasts, epic battles, and danger looming at every turn. Young readers will find themselves side-by-side with boy hero Jonathon James as he embarks on the quest of his lifetime: to find his parents. A rich and imaginative new series, The Secrets of the Home Wood: The Sacrifice is a thrilling family saga at heart. Leave the Home Wood behind and step through the portal to join an adventure for the ages.”  
Thanks, Brian, for helping me to reach my dream.
Sincerely,
Julie Whitley

Writer to Writer
Hi, Brian!
My name is Kate Cowan, and I'm a Canadian graphic designer and long-time follower of your blog. I know that many indie and self-published authors are followers of yours, and I wanted to let them and all of the other writers following you that I am currently looking for new clients. I would be honored to work with any one of them. I've designed covers for every genre, including multiple bestsellers, and as such my portfolio is very wide. As well as book covers I also design websites, logos, promotion advice... and loads of other things! I hope to hear from some of your subscribers soon!
Sincerely,
Kate Cowan
Please find my website here: http://katecowan.com
My facebook page here: facebook.com./kcbookcoverdesigns
And you can contact me here: kate.cowan.author@hotmail.com

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