2017 Chicago Writing Workshop June 24, 2017

It’s all go here at Trace Literary Agency. Tomorrow I’ll be in Chicago for the Chicago Writing Workshop after a request from presenter Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest Books and the editor of Guide to Literary Agents.

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel.  It’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give authors the best instruction on how to get their writing and books published. Topics will include publishing opportunities today, how to write queries and pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more.

I’ll be serving on a panel with other literary agents and editors for  “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” this is a chance for an author to get their first page read (anonymously) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.

And I will be listening to author pitches throughout the day.

I’m looking forward to meeting Chuck, as well as the many agents, editors and aspiring writers who will be in attendance.

See you in the Windy City…..

Sheila Forsey signs with UK’s Endeavour Press

Trace Literary is thrilled to announce that Irish author Sheila Forsey has been signed by Endeavour Press. Her debut novel, Mending Lace, will be published later this year.

Compelling, poignant and emotionally gripping, Mending Lace centers around Sive, who finds the comfortable life she leads shattered in the aftermath of her husband, Dan’s, attempt to end his life.  While Dan struggles to recover, Sive uncovers a trail of deceit and financial chaos which has the power to destroy them. Do second chances happen, or are they just for fairy tales? Is love alone enough to pull someone back from the edge of darkness, before they lose themselves forever?

Mending Lace deals with issues that are topical in Ireland and indeed an international audience. It pulls apart the consequences of financial ruin on an individual and the ripple effects on relationships. Fans of international bestselling authors such as – Emma Hannigan, Sheila O’Flanagan, Carmel Harrington, Sinead Moriarty will enjoy this novel.

Mending Lace starts a conversation about a much needed & relevant topic – Mental health awareness.

Sheila Forsey received a certificate in Creative Writing from Maynooth University in 2013, then went on to do a further course in editing and proof-reading.

Sheila has been a freelance writer for the Kilkenny Advertiser and recently accepted an invitation to join the Wexford Literary Festival Committee. She is applying to do her Masters in Creative Writing next year in University College Dublin.

In addition to writing, Sheila is an actress who has won several awards including, Best Actress in the All Ireland Drama Festival.

“Sheila has a fresh, unique voice and is unafraid to tackle the big issues that are relevant in Irish society today. She writes with emotion and beautiful descriptive prose.” – best selling Irish author Carmel Harrington

Sheila is currently working on her second novel, a story about an American woman who travels to Ireland to trace her roots, but in doing so uncovers her family’s dark past that could unravel their lives irrevocably.

Congratulations Sheila!

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

Happy Publication Day to Carmel Harrington on her 5th book, The Woman at 72 Derry Lane.

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.

But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making. Has help been next door without them realising it?

“I both cried and laughed often at the same time.  It is one of the best books I have ever read.  A winner all round.” – Woman’s Way

“Mesmerizing! A compelling and emotional novel that will delight and hurt, in equal measures. Sure to be a summer sensation.” – Bleach House

“Carmel Harrington has done it again! On every page, The Woman at 72 Derry Lane will make you laugh and break your heart, and is sure to be adored by Carmel’s legions of fans.” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times Best Selling Author

“With laugh out loud moments and moments that will play your heartstrings like a harp, this book is both heart-wrenching and uplifting.  The perfect summer read.” – Fionnuala Kearney, Irish Times Best Selling Author

Congratulations Carmel.

I Call Him Mr. President by Ken Raynor and Michael Patrick Shiels


Ken Raynor and Michael Patrick Shiels with President George HW Bush (June 2016 Kennebunkport)

Ken Raynor and Michael Patrick Shiels with President George HW Bush (June 2016 Kennebunkport)

I am pleased to announce some fantastic news for Trace Literary Agency.

Due to the subject of the book, I’ve been holding off sharing. I wanted to be sure we had things just right before making the announcement.

I can now say that I Call Him Mr. President by Ken Raynor and Michael Patrick Shiels  will be published in September by Skyhorse Publishers (NYC).

I am honored to be working with Michael Patrick and Ken on this book filled with poignant stories of friendship, including a foreword from Mrs. Barbara Bush.

In this book, Ken Raynor reflects on the life lessons he gained from a friendship born outdoors that has continued to develop over decades, during golf outings that have ranged from Maine to Augusta National to the White House putting green, international fishing trips, retreats at Camp David, flying in Marine One, and many other unforgettable experiences.  Ken has likely played more rounds with a POTUS than any PGA professional in history.

Ken Raynor, head professional at Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, Maine was befriended by George HW Bush. Raynor, who has come to know the worldly yet cordial 41st President as “a man of values and virtues with a real love for people’”, considers it an honor to call the former President a “second dad”.

Raynor’s personal relationship with Bush, led him to experience everything from fishing trips in the wilds of Newfoundland to nights in the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom.

Michael Patrick Shiels served as an advance volunteer for two Presidential campaigns and serves on the committee for the George HW Bush Celebrity Golf Fundraiser in Kennebunkport.

He authored Golf’s Short Game For Dummies, and his biography of Hall of Fame Radio Host J.P. McCarthy was a regional bestseller and sports dust jacket endorsements from Frank Sinatra Jr., Elmore Leonard and others.

His most recent book, Invite Yourself to the Party, featured a cover endorsement from CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, a note from President George HW Bush, and supportive words from many celebrities.  His book Secrets of the Great Golf Course Architects was published by Skyhorse Publishing (2008/2015).

Shiels has written magazine articles for Celebrated Living, Travel + Leisure, Northwest Airlines World Traveler, Delta Vacations, AAA Michigan Living, PGA Tour.com, LA Times, Bermuda Royal Gazette, and various other international publications. He pens a Sunday print edition syndicated newspaper column read in various publications and hosts an award winning syndicated morning radio and television show in Michigan.
His morning show airs on 14 radio stations and one Fox TV affiliate.

He has been named “Network Personality of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters six times.

Details, podcasts, plus the affiliate list can be found at www.MiBigShow.com

And what a fitting time to make this announcement – just one day after the President’s 93rd birthday.  Happy Belated Birthday Mr. President.

Nicola Cassidy is Runner Up in the June Fest Literary Event

And the news just keeps coming in for Nicola Cassidy.

Nicola entered the June Fest Short Story Competition held on June 7 at Town Hall, Newbridge, Ireland.

This short story competition is part of the annual Newbridge June Fest Literary Event, a celebration of the Arts in the town and beyond.

The Judge for this year’s competition was Orla McAlinden,
winner of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards Short Story of the Year 2016.

Here is the shortlist:

An Encounter with Black Tom Tyrant  by Mae Leonard
Carriage Clock by Nicola Cassidy
Daffodil Girl by Susan Knight
Hot White Wash by Rose Malone
Kicking the Habit  by Clare O’Reilly
Peace and Quiet by Patrick Dunne
Prediction  by Helen O’ Leary
Snail Male by Marcus Quinlan
The Problem with Julia  by Emma Smith
The Soldier by Maura Connolly.
Tipping Point by Pat J Mullan.

It was announced last week that Nicola was the runner up!


Nicola Cassidy Lands Publishing Deal with Bombshell Books

We are thrilled to announce that Nicola Cassidy has just signed a publishing deal with Bombshell Books, a new imprint for the successful crime publishers Bloodhound Books.

Her historical fiction,  December Girl, will be published this October and was inspired by true events.

What would you do if your child was stolen?   What if you never got them back? December Girl tells the story of Molly Thomas, a young Irish girl who is evicted from her home in 1894 over a land dispute.  After fleeing to London, Molly finds herself pregnant and her baby is later abducted by a childless woman.

December Girl, a novel in four parts, weaves a story of poverty and destitution, of longing and loss, and ultimately of fate. Do we all have a path to follow?  Does our upbringing affect who we are or do we always turn out who we were meant to be?

Nicola Cassidy graduated with a BA in journalism from Dublin City University in 2005. She worked for a short time in journalism before turning to a career in political PR and later, marketing. While working in Dublin, Nicola undertook a number of advanced writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre, and later started a lifestyle, parenting and literary blog  LadyNicci.com

Since 2015 Nicola has been longlisted in the Fish Publishing Short Memoir and the Irish Times Amateur Travel Writer Competitions, shortlisted in the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction and the Celtic Imbas Short Story Competition, and selected and published in the Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize 2015 and OrginialWriting.ie’s 2015 Anthology. Her writing has been featured on widely read websites such as RTE Lifestyle, The Journal.ie, The Irish Times, Irish Central.com and HerFamily.ie .

Nicola’s blog LadyNicci.com was shortlisted in the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 and 2016.

Most recently Nicola has been selected as one of the four finalist for the one act play competition at the Wexford Literary Festival. Her play ‘Chop’ was performed live at the festival last month and she came runner up in JuneFest 2017 short story competition.

Book launches are planned for both Dublin and Drogheda.

Congratulations Nicci!!