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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Knight Agency seeks middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, plus nonfiction

The Deepest of Secrets by Kelley Armstrong
represented by The Knight Agency

The Knight Agency

232 Washington St
Madison, Georgia
U.S.A.  30650

https://knightagency.net/

Don't ever miss what’s happening with Quick Brown Fox. If you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale to:  brianhenry@sympatico.ca   ~Brian

Deidre Knight established The Knight Agency in 1996. Since then it has grown to include nine agents, representing middle grade, young adult and adult fiction – mostly popular fiction, but also literary fiction with commercial possibilities, and a range of nonfiction. Most of their agents are accepting queries, but for new authors, these are your best bets:

Travis Pennington is an Associate Agent and also the agency’s Media and Marketing Director. Travis seeks middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, plus inspirational / Christian nonfiction.

In YA and Middle Grade, he particularly wants high concept fiction with a great voice. He also wants young adult Christian fiction, such as There You’ll find Me by Jenny B. Jones and Waterfall by Lisa T Bergren.

In adult fiction, he’s looking for mysteries and psychological thrillers; plus Chrisitian fiction in any genre, from thrillers to contemporaries, to historical fiction.

In nonfiction, he’s looking for Inspirational Mempoirs such as Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton and Grace, Gold, and Glory by Gabrielle Douglas. He also wants Christian Apologetics and General Christian nonfiction.

Query Travis through his query manager here.

Kristy Hunter is actively building her list and searching for projects that surprise her with their uniqueness. “I often find that it’s the story I least expect that pulls me in and doesn’t let go,” says Kristy. “It all comes down to the voice and a strong hook!” 

She represents middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.

In adult fiction, she’s looking for:

High concept women’s fiction such as ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman and THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty. As well, as stories that are literary but with commercial appeal such as LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng and LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by Steven Rowley. She especially loves projects that capture the complicated nature of family.

Rom-coms set in wonderful urban settings such as THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne and CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

Mainstream titles with hints of magic like THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger and THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.

In Young Adult fiction, she’s looking for:

Fantasy projects that allows her to be transported in a way that feels new and fresh. She’d especially love to find a contemporary fantasy with a wonderful atmospheric setting. She  wouldn’t say no to paranormal…but it would truly have to be something hasn’t seen before.

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Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell
represented by Kristy Hunter

Magical realism

Historical projects that are serious in nature like CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, as well as those that are more playful like THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee. She especially loves historical mysteries and projects set in the Victorian and Regency periods.

Cotemporary YA stories that are fun and unique, and overall present the perfect escape – even if they address larger issues. THINK DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy, TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han and WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord.

Thrillers and mysteries – either contemporary or historical. Her favorites include LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara Thomas and WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.

In Middle Grade fiction, she’s looking for:

 Contemporary projects in the vein of THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK by Celia Pérez, WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW by Cindy Baldwin, and WISH by Barbara O’Connor (I’m a sucker for a pet!)

Quirky mysteries that could be part of a larger series and stories involving shifting friend groups

Light fantasy and magical realism such as THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill and A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd

And of course, like everyone else, she’s looking for OwnVoices projects and projects featuring a diverse cast of characters, across all genres.

Query Kristy through her query manager here.

To read what all agents at The Knight Agency are looking for, see the agency’s submissions page NEW ELLEN TRACY - Eyeshadow Palette - 12 colors.

Lauire with her most recent novel

If you want to grow as a writer don’t miss these upcoming workshops:

Online: How to Build Your Novel, Saturday, May 7, with guest speaker author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. Details here.

Online: Beginning Right: How to Start Your Novel,  Sunday, May 15. Details here.

And these writing retreats:

Summer in Algonquin: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines  Resort, July 8 – July 11, 2022. Join us for a weekend of creativity and fine dining in the midst of the Algonquin wilderness. Details here.

Muskoka Writing Retreat at Sherwood Inn, Friday, Oct 14 – Monday Oct 17, 2022. Details here. Mark your calendars and reserve early before it fills up! 

Weekly courses for the summer will be announced soon.

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. If you're searching for more interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

Monday, April 18, 2022

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How to Build Your Novel

 ~ An editor and an author give you their insights

Saturday, May 7, 2022
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Online and accessible wherever there’s Internet.

In this workshop, we’ll work with you on creating the arc of your novel. Beyond giving you a how-to overview of plotting and story-telling, participants are invited to submit a one-page synopsis of a novel they have in process or have in mind. Your synopsis must be less than 500 words, and if it’s only 50 words – just a concept, not a synopsis – that’s fine. 

Our plan is to share a couple of these with the group and see what suggestions we might make. And if you’ve got nothing, don’t sweat it; we’ll get you started on the spot.

Guest speaker Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and their four children. Under the name L.E. Flynn, she is the author of three young adult novels: Firsts (Macmillan), Last Girl Lied To  (Macmillan), and All Eyes On Her (Macmillan Imprint label).

Her adult fiction debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here,  was released by Simon and Schuster in the US and Canada in March 2021. In Canada, it went straight to the bestsellers list, and stayed there for two months. The Girls Are All So Nice has sold in 11 territories worldwide and been optioned for television by AMC. It’s available from Chapters (hereor from your favourite independent bookstore here.

When she’s not writing, you can likely find Laurie hiking in the woods, perusing thrift stores for vintage dresses, or bingeing on reality TV.

At the workshop, Laurie will talk about her process for plotting her novels and creating character arcs.

Visit Laurie’s website here.

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’s has helped many of his students get published. 

Read a review of Brian's various courses and workshops here (and scroll down).

Fee: $39.82 + hst = $45 advance payment only

To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

“Easter with the Ukrainians” by Joan MacIntosh

 


When Chris and I
were young girls
we spent several weekends
in the home of my father’s friend
Mr. Barij.

We slept in a stuffy,
dormer-windowed room.
We ate remarkable 
tiered pastry and
strange, wonderful
cabbage rolls.

We breathed a 
fragrant, foreign world.
We took pleasure in the
sounds of language
because we could not
understand it.
We painted eggs all day.

***

Joan MacIntosh lives in St. John’s, NL, but grew up in the Toronto area. Her father worked at Stelco and was befriended by Ukrainian immigrants, and her family was enriched by that friendship. Joan has written prose and poetry most of her adult life and is enjoying taking Brian’s writing courses.

“Easter with the Ukrainians” was previously published in TickleAce.

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Now available: The 2022 Canadian Writers Contest Calendar ~ Just what every writer needs

Whether you're a beginner or an advanced writer, if you’re looking for places to send your work, you should put contests on your list. 

The Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar is a book that gives a full listing of annual writing contests in Canada arranged by deadline date. It lists contests for short stories, poetry, children’s writing, novels, and nonfiction – contests for just about everyone. 

The 2022 edition has just arrived. Get your order in, and we'll send your calendar straight out.

The Calendar costs just $28.13 by mail within Canada, all taxes & shipping included, or just $23 if you buy it at an in-person writing workshop, class or retreat.

To order, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

P.S. Check out 7 great gifts for writers here; and 77 more  here, the best Canadian books for Jewish kids here and here, more great books for everyone, kids and adults, hereand gifts to make the world a better place here.) 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Happy Passover!

 


Chag Pesach Sameach!     !חַג פֵּסַח שַׂמֵחַ 


Thursday, April 14, 2022

“A Bizarre Story: Virginia Woolf’s 'Solid Objects' as a Lesson in Language Arts and Human Empathy” by E.R. Zarevich

Virginia Woolf

It is such a bizarre story. Not bizarre in the typical modernist fashion. There’s no James Joyce circus monkey dance trying to distract the reader with baffling made-up language and clever mythological references. Structurally, Virginia Woolf’s “Solid Objects” does make sense. It has a beginning and an end. 

What makes it so strange is that it doesn’t seem to decide whether it’s a dark comedy or tragedy. Woolf is usually crystal clear on that point. Mrs. Dalloway is a tragedy. To the Lighthouse is also a tragedy. Orlando is a bittersweet reflection of the passage of time. 

“Solid Objects” has no distinguishable flavor. It’s so unlike Woolf and so subversive of the standard public prejudices against her work that I concluded it was the perfect piece of writing of hers to teach my students. This is something they haven’t seen or heard of before. This is Woolf undissected. Unobstructed. Unfractured. Solid.

“Solid Objects” is an obscure, lesser-known short story by Woolf, first published in The Athenaeum in 1920. I read it in a second-hand copy of The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf. It tells the story of John, an eccentric—naturally—English diplomat who, disillusioned with his life and work, becomes fascinated with collecting odd but beautiful objects he finds on the ground. Fascination soon evolves to obsession, and John’s hobby quickly takes over his life, sabotaging not only his career prospects and social life but also his relationship with his best friend Charles. This is the predominant relationship of John’s life, as he has no wife or children.

Unlike her other works, Woolf strays from hinting at a homoerotic attraction or attachment between the two men. Nor does she utilize stream of consciousness to explain John’s thought process when his attention is wholly seized by some new object of desire, which is never a person, but always a thing. In fact, she barely brushes the surface of John’s mindset. It’s only hinted at that there may be some childhood emotional disorder at play here:

His eyes lost their intensity, or rather the background of thought and experience which gives an inscrutable depth to the eyes of grown people disappeared, leaving only the clear transparent surface, expressing nothing but wonder, which the eyes of young children display. No doubt the act of burrowing in the sand had something to do with it.

I have used this quote to open a class discussion. I have asked my students, should collecting objects be strictly a childhood activity? Should an adult like John who collects objects be considered childlike? Is he stunted? Is he immature? Did he never properly grow up?

Opinions from my students vary. Some do believe collecting is something you’re meant to enjoy only as a child. It’s something you’re meant to grow out of, when the things you collect no longer have a use, if they ever had one at all. There are countless examples. Pokémon cards, Funko POP figurines, Legos, toy race cars. Seashells, buttons, feathers, shiny rocks. Bookshelf and shoebox things. Or, in John’s case, mantlepiece decorations or potential paperweights. 

The second half of my students speculate that John’s collecting would have been a perfectly harmless pastime, if it hadn’t started interfering with his adult responsibilities.

Both sides are fair. It’s a fictional story, after all. John is a character meant to represent human abnormality, and everything about him is open to interpretation. But what everyone, including myself, seems to agree on is that John is not well. Collectively, we recognize his lonely soul, seeking happiness and relief in objects that stay put and won’t ever leave him. Together, we can peer into his mostly likely future, which is that of a hoarder with no friends or family to support him, and a home overflowing with the story’s title.

This recognition is reassuring. I find the younger generation is capable to attuning to mental health issues in a way that outshines every generation before them. Beyond just awareness, there is empathy. And in my classroom, there is empathy for John. But was this Virginia Woolf’s intention? Were we the readers meant to relate to John, or just feel pity for him from a safe, disconnected distance? If only we could ask her ourselves.

Nowadays John couldn’t hold a candle to what is considered an unusual and pitiful human being. The standards are higher, and it’s harder to shock and revolt. What were once quiet, private hobbies are now the basis of popular influencers’ blogs and Instagram posts and tweets. Celebrities like Marie Kondo can build a career around advising people how to organize their household objects.

John would be nothing, in the positive sense of the word. His collection of oddities pilfered from the beach and city streets would raise no eyebrows. People would probably even be impressed by the contraption he puts together to snatch up objects languishing in hard-to-reach corners. A real DIY project, they would call it now. But back then? John was an outcast.

The homework question I like to assign my students after we read this story is a straightforward one: “Have you ever been attached to an object?” My students will sometimes take me back to their childhoods for show-and-tell. Sometimes they’ll confess to loving an object now. Some electronic, or some relic of happier times. But everyone has something. I imagine when Woolf lifted her pen and regarded this story, complete and concrete, she knew by instinct she’d just written something painfully universal.

***

Emily R. Zarevich is an English teacher and writer from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. She has been published previously in Understorey Magazine, Living Education Journal, Wild Roof Journal, Dreamers Creative Writing, Prepare for Canada, Women in Higher Education, and Shrapnel Magazine.  

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Evolving schedule of writing classes, workshops, and retreats

2022

Workshops:

Online: How to Build Your Novel,  Saturday, May 7, with guest speaker author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. Details here.

Online: Beginning Right: How to Start Your Novel,  Sunday, May 15. Details here.

***

Weekly classes: (Details of all spring classes here):

Online: Writing Little Kid Lit: Board books, picture books, chapter books, and middle grade, Monday afternoons 1 – 3 p.m. April 11 – June 20 {no class May 23 or June 6}. Details here.

Online: Welcome to Creative Writing, Monday evenings, 7 – 9 p.m. April 11 – June 20 {no class May 23 or June 6}. Details here.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday afternoons, 1 – 3 p.m. April 12 – June 21 {no class June 7}. Details here.

In-person: Welcome to Creative Writing, in Burlington, Thursday evenings, 7 – 9 p.m. April 14 – June 23 (no class May 5 or June 2). Details here. ~ Still space in this class.

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. First readings emailed April 5. Classes April 12 – June 21 {no class June 7}  Details here.

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. April 6 – June 22Details here.

Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Friday mornings, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. April 8 – June 24 {no class June 3}Details here.

In-person: Extreme Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. April 7 – June 23Details here.

 ~ Details of all spring classes here.

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

Writing Retreats:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Fossil Teal Polka Dot Midi Dress  Resort, June 3 – June 6, 2022. Join us for a weekend of creativity and fine dining in the midst of the Algonquin wilderness. Details here. (The Arowhon retreat is probably full.)

New: Summer in Algonquin: Writing Retreat at ELLEN TRACY Make Up Bag BNWT  Resort, July 8 – July 11, 2022. Join us for a weekend of creativity and fine dining in the midst of the Algonquin wilderness. Details here.

Muskoka Writing Retreat at Sherwood Inn, Friday, Oct 14 – Monday Oct 17, 2022. Details here. Mark your calendars and reserve early before it fills up! 

To reserve a spot or for more details about any course, workshop or retreat, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

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