Sunday, December 10, 2017

How to Make Yourself Write ~ A Creativity Workout, Saturday, June 9, in London

How to Make Yourself Write
A Creativity Workout
Saturday, June 9, 2018
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
London Public Library, Tonda Room, 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario (Map here)

Let's get motivated! This workshop is designed to help you find the time and the inspiration to write. No more staring at a blank screen. Come to this workshop and give yourself a kick-start, and then learn how to keep going. This creativity workout will get your words flowing and help you make the breakthrough into the next level of writing.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University, and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors. 
See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Seventy-three Great Gifts for Writers (I've added a few)

Fingerless gloves for writing: they come
in Alice's Adventure in Wonderland,
Hamlet, The Raven, Jane Eyre...
For the seven very best gifts for writers, see here

Stocking Stuffers
A gift bag of coffee or tea and snack foods, because writers have long thought that caffeine and sugar are their best friends.
Healthy snacks, because it’s not true that sugar is your bff.
A Christmas classic: A Christmas Carol by Dickens, Christmas at Thomspon Hall by Trollope, The Night Before Christmas by Gogol, The Nutcracker by Hoffman … here
Hanukkah books for kids … herehere or here
A gift certificate to Tim Horton’s, because a comfortable cafĂ© is often the best place to write.
Fingerless gloves (type and have warm fingers). You can also get a Pride and Prejudice scarf, a Sense and Sensibility pillow cover, a Black Beauty baby blanket ... here

Reading is Sexy button … here
Timer for writing sprints
AquaNotes waterproof notepads (for shower ideas—yes, these really work!)
Pens 
A stamp with a happy face for critiquing your fellow writers 

Board Games & Creativity Helpers
Apples to Apples is a great creative game; you need to match a noun card in your hand to a given adjective card and convince the dealer that your (absurd) choice really is the best. We had a hoot playing this at the end of the day at the Algonguin Writing Retreat last June. ~Brian
Dixit may be the most popular writing board game out there. Players have to convince other players that their story card is the best way to tell the story.
With 540 cards, the Storymatic feeds the imagination. Just pull out cards from each category (such as “Obstacle” and “Whatchoowant”) and let the storytelling begin. Great for writers experiencing writer’s block and collaborative writing groups.  
Writer Emergency Pack. It includes 52 cards with fantastic illustrations and loads of ideas. Whenever you’re struggling with a story, you can pull out a card and get inspiration! (Or at least a giggle.)
The Game of Things  makes everyone write. You’re given a category like “Things that Jiggle” and everybody has to write down a funny or crazy answer. Then the leader of the round reads them anonymously and you have to guess who wrote what. If you play with the right people, it’s fun and funny.
In The Writer’s Toolbox, there are 60 games to play to inspire writers to create — be the first to create a story based on “First Sentences, Non Sequiturs, and Last Straws.” Also, use one of two spinners to generate a random detail that you have to include in your story. 
In Once Upon a Time, the leader plays cards to start a story, trying to guide the story toward his end card. Other players try to jump in and play their cards. First one to use all their cards up wins! Great fun for creative writers.
Bananagrams anagram game … here
Scrabble Magnetic Refrigerator Tiles … here
The Writer's Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the 'Write' Side of Your Brain ...here

For Writers Who Outline
Index cards
Notebooks
Corkboard &  pushpins
Whiteboard with dry erase markers and eraser

Technology Helpers
Programs like Scrivener (Windows and Mac) for organizing and word processing
Dragon Naturally Speaking (options at Amazon) for voice recognition-driven writing 
 Typing program (learn to type faster!)
Wireless/ergonomic keyboard or mouse
Virtual keyboard for mobile use

Big Ticket Items
New computer
Bigger computer monitor
eReader or eTablet (Kindle/Kindle Fire, iPad, Android tablet, etc.)
Ergonomic desk chair
Cover design or editing costs for self-published authors


Writing Craft and Publishing-Related Books
The Art of Fiction, John Gardner
The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell
The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron
Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life,  by Anne Lamott.
Conflict, Action and Suspense, William Noble
The Elements of Style, William Strunk and E.B. White
The Fiction Editor, Thomas McCormak
How Stories Work, James Woods
On Writing: a memoir of the craft, Stephen King
Spunk and Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold Contemporary Style, Arthur Plotnik
Writing Down the Bones, Natlie Goldberg
The Thesaurus books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (The Emotion ThesaurusThe Positive Trait Thesaurus, and The Negative Trait Thesaurus)
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley

Miscellaneous Suggestions
Comfort clothes (robe and fuzzy slippers, sweat pants, but be careful; you may never change out of them. See here!)
Gift basket full of writing-related ideas (pens, notebooks, special beverage and glass, inspirational items or quotes, etc.)
Gift cards for books
Gift cards for office supply stores
Subscription to music source (PandoraSpotifyGrooveshark, etc.)
Lithographs: Shirts and totes printed with images and the text of your favourite novels. Tattoos available, too … here.

Out of Print Tee’s: T-shirts, tote bags, iphone cases – all sorts of things, decorated with your favourite book covers (here).
Premium level of online service (Dropbox for automatic backups, Amazon Prime for free shipping/lending library, etc.)
Entry fee for a writing contest
Massage gift certificates, a back or foot massager
A head scratcher!
Writing time (anything from babysitting to a writers’ retreat to a housecleaning service)

But for the very best gifts for writers, see here.

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

See my 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.

Friday, December 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University, and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors. 
See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

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

Writing Your Life and Other True Stories, Saturday, May 5, in Burlington

Writing your life and other true stories
With guest author Ross Pennie
Saturday, May 5, 2018
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Burlington Central Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, Ontario (Map here)

Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don't miss this workshop.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published, including our guest speaker, Ross Pennie….

Ross on a recent trip back to
Papua New Guinea
Ross Pennie is the author of The Unforgiving Tides, a doctor’s memoir of Papua New Guinea (Manor House Publishing). Ross also writes medical mystery novels, published by ECW Press. The first of these, Tainted, came out in 2010 and won Arts Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction. He’s followed up with three more medical mysteries: Tampered, Up in Smoke, and Beneath the Wake(For more about Ross's mysteries or to buy one, see here). 
At the workshop, Ross will speak on how to turn ordinary life into dramatic material and will answer questions about how he wrote his memoir and got it published.

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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

Congratulations to Sally and Patricia on winning contests and to Sally, Glen, Ted, Ann, Ruth, and Barbara on getting published!

Congratulations to two regulars from the Wednesday afternoon class in Burlington, Sally Wylie and Patricia Kitteringham, who recently won prizes from Canadian Stories, A literary folk magazine. Sally won the Daryn Tsuji/Sharron Arksey Prize for her nonfiction story, "Never Forget – Make it Fly" and Patricia won the Jeannie Parsons Prize for her short story “Blueberry Picking. 
Sally also recently had a story titled “The Tornado” published in The Stand: A New Collection of Canadian Short Stories  by Polar Expressions Publishing, British Columbia, edited by Rachelle McCallum, and another Wednesday afternoon class regular, Glen Benison, also had his short story, “Waiting on the Cape” published in this collection. 
The Stand is available from Polar Expressions Publishing here.
For information about submitting to Canadian Stories, see here.
And for information about ordering the 2018 Canadian Writers Contest Calendar, see here

Hi,
I thought you'd like to read "The Nightmare" which is posted on Commuterlit.com.
See you at the Thursday evening class.
Regards,
Ted
Read Ted’s story here, and see his author page on CommuterLit, including a link to another of his stories, here.
For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.

Hi Brian,
Just wanted to share with you that I've had another story published recently. My story, "A Manger, Some Straw, and a Toddler" is the first in the latest Hot Apple Cider book, Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. The book is out now and available in stores, on amazon, and through the authors.
Thanks so much for providing a place to share this news!
Ann Brent
Note: Christmas with Hot Apple Cider is available here.

Hi, Brian:
 My short story, "Orchids for Beth" has just been published on Story Quilt E-Magazine.
 Ruth Zavitz
Note: Read "Orchids for Beth" here

Hi, Brian.
After a frustrating morning of editing yesterday, two emails, requesting permission to publish, popped up in my inbox.
THAT never happens in my life!
Our Canada/Reader's Digest Feb 2018 Issue will publish "Namesake in a Legend" and the Globe and Mail will publish "Life Support" as a Facts and Arguments essay.
Needless to say I had a swollen head most of the evening and no wine induced it.
Barbara Baker
Read Barbara’s Facts & Arguments essay, “Life Support” in the Globe and Mail here,
For information about submitting a Facts & Arguments essay to the Globe and Mail see here.
For information about submitting to Our Canada, see here.

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