Author Archives: quillsandqueries

About quillsandqueries

My editing experience includes a wide variety of books, articles, and commentary in both fiction and non-fiction. I work with authors of novels and short stories, students preparing for their dissertations, and corporate clients who publish in the financial and education sectors.

True Literature or Not True Literature, That is the Wrong Question

Human beings enjoy a good story. Most people like some variety in the types of stories they engage with, and some people will read or watch pretty much anything. You would think that publishers would recognize this, but in book publishing, there is a long-standing and seemingly impenetrable divide between literary fiction and so-called genre (“popular”) fiction in general, and speculative fiction in particular. But is this distinction useful? Continue reading

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Pitch Fever

The Canadian Literature Pitch on Twitter (i.e., #CanLitPit) is back and it’s happening on July 12, 2017. If you have a manuscript that’s been scrubbed and polished until it’s ready for its close-up, this is a great chance to get the attention of a number of established Canadian literary agents and publishers all at once FOR FREE. Continue reading

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Hiring Your (Near) Perfect Editor

So you’ve written a book (awesome!) and you’ve given it at least one critical read to catch plot holes, poor characterization, unclear writing, and so on (fantastic!). You’re reasonably confident that your writing is publishable, but you’re not sure what … Continue reading

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Rules, Shmules?

People like to talk about rules. Rules are supposed to make things clear and easy, and knowing the rules makes you look smart. But are there really rules of writing? Continue reading

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Agents and Publishers and Twitter, Oh My

Calling all Canadian authors: on Wednesday February 8, 2017, there will be another #CanLitPit Twitter event matching authors with publishers and literary agents who handle a wide range of genres. The fine folks from ECW Press, Turnstone Press, Blue Moon Publishers, and Transatlantic Agency will be among those on the lookout for the next bestseller. Continue reading

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Stratford Writers Festival

The Stratford Writers Festival will have author readings, discussion panels, and writing workshops, as well as musical and theatrical performances. Continue reading

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Rely On Spelling and Grammar Checking Programs

So, I was helping a client with her dissertation this morning and before I sent her chapter back, I ran a quick spell check as a prudent last step. Well, wouldn’t you know it, THIS is the “correction” that Word … Continue reading

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Forget the Fit, Pitch Your Book!

Well, August is getting busy fast, and it hasn’t even started. On August 10, 2016, Canadian Literature Pitch, or #CanLitPit, will provide an opportunity for Canadian authors to reach out to editors and agents through Twitter.

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Don’t Look Down

In many disciplines, if you follow a specific set of instructions, then you should get the intended outcome, whatever that may be. But following rules does not significantly improve art, except incidentally. Art is not art merely because it has technical merit. In fact, some of the best art busts all the rules and gets away with it. If Tom Thompson or Vincent van Gogh had decided to do what a good painter is “supposed” to do, we might never have known their names. Continue reading

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The Art of Appreciation

I’ve been thinking a lot about why people make art and what they hope to achieve by doing so. That of course leads me to wonder how people judge art, how it affects them, and why it has the impact it does. I haven’t come up with any specific answers, but it boils down to one question: what makes good art? Continue reading

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