Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Congratulations to our fellow writers for being short-listed for a major award, and for getting your short stories and flash fiction published!

Congratulations, Kira!
Hi Brian,
Half-Truths and Brazen Lies is a 2017 Silver Birch nominee (for best nonfiction book of the year for kids in grades 3–6)!
All the best,
Kira
Kira Vermond
Note: Kira will be one of our guest speakers in the Writing Kid Lit course this spring. See here.

Hi, Brian.
Fiction on the Web reprinted my flash piece “To Do List.” So for anyone who’s interested but couldn’t find it on the Brilliant Flash Fiction Springtime Contest site (where it was the last, alphabetically by author, of the short-list!) it’s right here.
The editor, Charlie Fish, does a nice job of presenting people’s work. The site welcomes comments if you’re moved to make one - and as always, if you know anyone you think would enjoy this, please feel free to share.
X O,
Mary
Yay, Mary. I enjoyed re-reading this piece even more than when I first heard you read it in the Wednesday afternoon class. ~ Brian

"Sailing through a line squall"
Hello, Brian.
I have two new stories on CommuterLit.
Dave Moores
Two stories – great!
Read Dave’s stories: “Cash is Kinghere and “Line Squall” here.
Find links to all ten stories Dave’s published on CommuterLit here.

Hi Brian,
Just dropping you a line to let you know that I have a science fiction flash piece, “Marital Stasis,” in Whortleberry Press' new anthology, Fifty Flashes.
Thanks!
Diane Dubas
Well done, Diane!
Fifty Flashes is available now from Lulu.com 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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

“People Watching” by James Bryan Simpson


Manhattan offers a lot of activities, especially if you work part-time. My favourite is people watching. I used to people watch at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and in Times Square. A lot of tourists crowd these locations and they’re easy to identify, but I prefer watching native New Yorkers. New Yorkers are more interesting.
     My favourite people-watching targets are not those people waiting impatiently at the ferry terminal or rushing through Times Square. I like observing the people living in the upper floors of towering residences. Especially in the building across the street from my apartment.
     A friend of mine told me about a shop that sells quality optical instruments, like nautical brass spyglasses and the modern equivalent, the floor standing telescope. It’s the perfect tool for people watching.
     Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time observing my neighbours. For the most part, they’re rather boring people. Just when they appear inspired to do something interesting, they’ll draw the curtains across their windows and I’ll have to guess what it is that they’re up to.
     But for one couple across the street, I don’t have to guess. In the past three months that I’ve been people watching them, they’ve never drawn their curtains. Because they live in a corner suite on the thirty-fifth floor, they must assume that no one can see them or what they’re doing. They assume wrong.
     I don’t know who they are. Let me call them Bill and Mary. Two business professionals living busy lives. I’ll bet they’re married, but I’ll also bet they’re not happy. Bill may have an office job somewhere. He travels a lot; suitcase going away, suitcase coming home. Mary works from their condo. Most days I see her sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop.
     When they’re home together, they look and behave like everyone else. In the kitchen, preparing dinner; in the dining room, eating dinner; in the living room, watching TV; in the bedroom, sleeping. Except on Saturday nights. Every Saturday they get dressed up and go out. When they return, they go into their bedroom and make love. Boring, unhappily married love.
     Bill and Mary are young, attractive and healthy. Most mornings they go jogging together. After jogging, Mary has her shower first. After, she sits on the bed and dries her hair while Bill is in the shower. Then Bill gets dressed and leaves. Mary wraps herself in a towel and wanders around their condo, alone, drinking coffee and talking on her cellphone, before getting dressed and opening her laptop.
     Last month, Mary’s routine changed. On Monday mornings, shortly after Bill leaves, a gentleman visits Mary. I’ll call him Derek. Mary takes him into the bedroom and closes the bedroom door. Derek pushes her against the door and kisses her passionately while she tries to loosen his tie and undo the buttons on his shirt. He backs up a step, her towel falls to the floor, he gets undressed and the two of them embrace and fall on the bed. Saturday night sex may be boring, but Monday morning sex is very, very not boring. After, they have a shower. Together. I can’t see inside the shower, so I don’t know what they’re doing, but they seem to spend a lot of time in there.
     I’ve always thought Derek was aware of Bill, but that Bill wasn’t aware of Derek. I was wrong!
     Last Monday, Derek appeared about twenty minutes after Bill had left the condo. Mary led him to the bedroom and closed the door. Things progressed as before, and Mary and Derek were soon on the bed enjoying an extended lovemaking session. I don’t know how much noise they were making, but neither heard Bill when he re-entered the condo.
     Bill parked his suitcase by the door and opened the hall closet. He lifted a small black case off the top shelf and put it on the kitchen table. He unlocked the case and removed a handgun, then removed a silencer from the case and screwed it onto the end of the gun’s barrel. He looked down the hall toward the bedroom and tilted his head a little. He was listening. He sat at the kitchen table. He didn’t move.
     I swung the telescope so I could see Mary and Derek again. Shortly, they got off the bed and headed into the shower. I looked for Bill. He was walking down the hall toward the bedroom. He put his ear to the door and, satisfied with what he heard, slowly opened the door. He stepped into the bedroom and pointed the handgun into the shower. He raised the gun to eye level and fired.
     I looked toward the shower. No one came out. Bill lowered the gun and walked back into the kitchen. What just happened? Did I really want to know? Slowly, I stood up and moved toward the wall. Flat against it, I slithered to the window and closed the curtain. When I sat down again, I was shaking.
     If you’re looking for a floor-standing telescope, there’s a good one for sale on eBay. Like new, only used for three months.  Really, the ferry terminal makes for better people watching.
***
James Bryan Simpson, recently retired from former employment as a pharmacist, a pharmaceutical industry medical scientist and a medical writer, now enjoys the freedom of writing fiction. At times, plots and characters materialize or dilemmas resolve during long walks with his two dogs on the rural property he shares with his wife, Jan. In addition to writing, he also enjoys managing his woodlot, gardening, and spending time with his four granddaughters.

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.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy lunar new year!



Happy new year! 
May the year of the rooster bring you great luck.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Three paying markets for short pieces, a wide-open fiction zine, a queer book publisher, and a free contest for crime fiction

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. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale to brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian

The Cincinnati Review seeks prose and poetry. Pays $25 per page for prose; $30 per page for poetry. 
Deadline: March 15, 2017. Guidelines here.

Contrary Magazine wants commentary, fiction and poetry. Pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of number of works or nature of submissions. 
Deadline: March 1 for spring issue, June 1 for summer issue, Sept 1 for fall issue, Dec 1 for winter issue. Guidelines here.

Supposed Crimes Publishers seeks stories that feature lesbian or bisexual heroines across a variety of genres, including thriller, paranormal, mystery, military, western, fantasy, and science fiction. Sexual content is not a requirement, but a compelling emotional connection between women should be a primary focus. Pays royalties.
Acquitted Books – This is our “beyond Supposed Crimes” imprint, currently soliciting novels featuring gay male protagonists. Genre fiction and romances. We will also consider menage. Non-binary and trans characters are always welcome.  Pays royalties.
Guidelines for Supposed Crimes and Acquitted Books here.
Fairy Tales – A speculative Anthology: "We are looking for stories that feature lesbian or bisexual heroines across a variety of genres, including thriller, paranormal, mystery, military, western, fantasy, and science fiction. Sexual content is not a requirement, but a compelling emotional connection between women should be a primary focus." 2,500 – 15,000 words.
Pays $30 per story. Deadline: March 15, 2017. Guidelines here.

Hello, Brian.
 The Mesdames of Mayhem are 16 established crime fiction authors and editors who together support each other’s work and aim to promote Canadian crime fiction. We have released two anthologies of our stories to give readers a chance to get to know us and our writing: Thirteen (2013) and 13 O’clock (2015), both with Carrick Publishing.
Several of the stories have been short-listed for the Arthur Ellis Best Short Story Award and the Derringer. This year we are releasing our third anthology, 13 Claws.  Each of the stories is centred on an animal.  The animal may be real or fantastical and must be pivotal to the plot.
To encourage new writers, we are holding a free contest inviting anyone who has not yet published a crime fiction story to submit it to our editors. The winner or winner(s) will have their story published in 13 Claws, receive a free copy of the book and share in the royalties with the other contributors.
The deadline for submission is March 15, 2016.  Rules for submission may be found on our website at www.mesdamesofmayhem.com
 Many thanks,
M. H. Callway
Founder, Mesdames of Mayhem

Fiction on the Web is a labour of love,” says editor/publisher Charlie Fish. “Every single story on here is hand-picked and carefully edited by me. I don’t have a staff, and I don’t make any money. I do this because I want to give authors a chance to get their work out there, and I love sharing great stories with the world.”
FICTION on the WEB is accepting short story submissions in the following genres:
·                 funny stories - for when you need a laugh
·                 creepy stories - to make your hair stand on end
·                 fantastic stories - orcs, swords, magic and fantasy
·                 futuristic stories - many worlds of science fiction
·                 criminal stories - crooks and detectives
·                 real life stories - everyday life and relationships
Full submission guidelines 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, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Intermediate Creative Writing class, in Georgetown, April to June

Intermediate Creative Writing
Ten weeks toward mastering your craft
Thursday evenings, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
April 13 – June 15, 2017
St. Alban's Church, 537 Main Street, Georgetown, Ontario (in the village of Glen Williams (Map here.)

See details of the Wednesday evening course in Burlington here. And see details of all classes offered this spring, from beginner's to advanced here.

This course isn't for beginners; it's for people who have been writing for a while or who have done a class or two before and are working on their own projects. Over the length of the course, 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 supportive group and a rewarding class.
Read reviews of Brian’s intermediate courses here, and see other reviews here.

Fee: $184.96 plus hst = 209.  
Number of attendees strictly limited.
To reserve your spot now, 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's helped many of his students get published.
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, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Six agents at Prospect Literary seek new authors –

Emily Sylvan Kim, president of Prospect,
is accepting new clients
Prospect Agency
551 Valley Road, PMB 377 
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
http://www.prospectagency.com/

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. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale to brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~Brian

Prospect Agency represents both adult and children’s books (picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle grade and young adult), both writers and illustrators. All six agents are seeking new clients, but three are of special interest to new authors:  

Kirsten Carleton is the newest member of the team, and like all new agents, she needs authors. Before joining Prospect Agency in 2015, Kirsten learned the agenting ropes at Sobel Weber Associates and the Waxman Leavell Agency. 
She fell in love with working on writers while getting her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and cemented her fascination with publishing with a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course and internships at Charlesbridge and Liza Dawson Associates.

As an agent, she loves sharing an author's vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent. Follow her on Twitter: @kirstencarleton

Kirsten is currently seeking upmarket YA and adult fiction with strong characters and storytelling, across speculative, thriller, and literary genres. She's drawn to books that capture her attention early on with a dynamic plot, and innovative storytelling that blends or crosses genres.

In particular, she's interested in novels that bend and blur genres; literary takes on high concept world-building; diverse characters in stories that are not just about diversity; antiheroes she find herself rooting for; characters with drive and passion; girls and women in STEM fields; settings outside the US/Europe; well-researched historical settings; YA noir/thriller/mystery; stories that introduces her to a new subculture and makes her feel like a native.

Query Kirsten through Prospect’s submissions page.

Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015 after nearly a decade in publishing. After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin before happily settling into children's marketing at Random House. 
She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Unofficially, Linda loves chocolate, travel, and far too much TV. Follow Linda on Twitter: @LindaRandom

In terms of submissions, she's pretty omnivorous. Linda is currently seeking: Adult, middle grade, and young adult fiction across all genres (romance, horror, fantasy, realistic, light sci-fi, and graphic novels). Select literary fiction (preferably with commercial bent) and picture books (both writers and illustrators welcome).

Linda is also looking for select narrative nonfiction and memoir. Diversity of all types (ethnicity, disability, sexuality, etc.).

The best way to get an idea of Linda’s taste is by checking out her Top Reads.

Children's Top Reads:
    • The Dark by Lemony Snicket; illus. Jon Klassen
    • If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano; illus. Erin E. Stead
    • The Arrival by Shaun Tan
    • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
    • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
    • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
    • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
    • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
    • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
    • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
    • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
    • The Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson

Adult Top Reads:
    • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
    • The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn
    • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    • The Sookie Stackhouse series (aka "True Blood") by Charlaine Harris
    • Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
    • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    • It by Stephen King
    • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
    • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    • The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
    • Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

Query Linda through Prospect’s  submissions page.

Carrie Pestritto is an experienced agent, having joined Prospect in 2011 after working as an assistant at Writers House. With a B.A. in English from Amherst College, she has experienced all sides of the publishing industry, having worked as a ghostwriter, freelance writer, and as an intern in the editorial acquisitions department of the Greenwood Publishing Group.
As an agent, she loves the thrill of finding new authors with strong, unique voices and working closely with her clients to develop their ideas and manuscripts.

For Carrie, extraordinary fiction and nonfiction share the ability to transport readers to new and exciting places. As a history and mythology buff, she is intrigued by books that introduce her to another culture or time period. She is looking for description and detail that will make her feel like she is inside the story and interest her in a subject she never thought she would want to read about—or, conversely, introduce her to startling facts about something or someone she believed she already knew everything about.

Carrie is currently seeking:
  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Biography and memoir
  • Commercial fiction with a literary twist
  • Fresh chick lit
  • Contemporary romance
  • Upmarket women's fiction
  • Near-historical fiction (from about the Gilded Age on)
  • Mystery/thrillers for a female audience
  • High-concept YA fantasy
  • Diverse YA and upper MG
  • MG with a quirky voice
  • Biographical, educational, or cultural picture books

For nonfiction projects, Carrie looks for authors who have a strong platform, such as a popular blog, published articles, or related professional experience. She loves memoirs that bring her into a very atypical life situation, such as Suzanne McMinn's Chickens in the Road, and nonfiction that reveals little-known aspects of history. Cutting edge relationship or dieting books, pop psychology, and pop science also interest her.

In the fiction arena, Carrie is drawn in by relatable characters, fantastic voices, strong heroines, unusual premises, or re-imaginings of classical books. She loves feeling connected with characters and immersed in the world she is reading about, whether that be 19th century Holland or a land ruled by elemental magic.

Query Carrie through Prospect’s  submissions page.

Full submission guidelines here.

Stacey Donaghy, literary agent
Brian Henry will be leading How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Jan 28, in Toronto with Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy agency (see here) and on Saturday, April 22, in Midland, again with Stacey Donaghy (see here).
Note:
 If you're viewing this posting after March 11, 2017, see current How to Get Published workshops here (and scroll down).

Also, Brian will lead a free Writing Query Letters that Get a Yes seminar Monday, January 30, in Kitchener, (see here), How to Build Your Story Saturday, Feb 4, in Mississauga (see here) and Saturday, Feb 11, in Caledon at the Bolton library (see here), Writing and Revising, Saturday, Feb 25, in Burlington (see here), Saturday, March 4, in London (see here), and Saturday, March 25, in Toronto (see here).

Also, he'll lead How to Write a Bestseller on Saturday, Feb 18, in Guelph, with New York Times #1 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (see here).

Author Kira Vermond will
be one of the guest speakers
at the Kid Lit course
And Brian will  be leading Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops on Saturday, April 1, in Windsor (see here), on Saturday, May 13, in Caledon at the Bolton Library with Yasemin U├žar, senior Editor at Kids Can Press (details to come) and on Saturday, May 27, in St. Catharines with Anne Shone, senior editor at Scholastic Books (see here). Brian will also be leading a weekly Kid Lit class, Monday afternoons, April 10 – June 19, in Mississauga (here).

Note: For updated listings of Writing for Children & for Young adult workshops and for weekly Kid lit classes, see here (and scroll down).

For more information or to reserve a spot in any Saturday workshop or weekly course, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

To move closer to publication, your best bet may be a weekly course. Some winter classes still have space available:
Exploring Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 26 – March 30, Burlington Details here.
Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday mornings, Feb 9 – March 30, Oakville. Details here.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 31 – March 28, Burlington. Details here.
See details of all three of these courses here.

In the spring, Brian will be offering a full range of classes from beginner to advanced:
Welcome to Creative Writing, Monday evenings,  April 10 – June 19, Burlington Details to come.
Writing Personal Stories, Thursday afternoons, April 27 – June 15, Burlington Details to come.
Writing Kid Lit, Monday afternoons, April 10 – June 19, Mississauga. Details here.
Intermediate Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings April 12 – June 14, starts by email April 5, Burlington. Details to come..
Intermediate Creative Writing, Thursday evenings, April 13 – June 15, starts by email April 6, Georgetown. Details to come.
Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, April 11 – June 13, starts by email April 4, Burlington. Details to come.
Extreme Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, April 5 – June 21, starts by email March 29, Burlington. Details to come.
For more information or to register for any of the above, 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 tip: For many more literary agents seeking authors, click on the Literary Agents button at the top of the page, just below the banner. To see only Canadian agents, click on the button in the right-hand column under More Content. To see only agents representing kid’s lit, click on the Children’s/YA agents button in the list of Labels below.