@BookPartyChat on Twitter, hosted by UK author Madeline Dyer, hosted me for a live today. Whew, I had no idea how fast those whizzed by. Kept me on my toes, within 280 characters or less.

It was roughly an hour, 2-3 AST on September 2nd 2021. Thought I’d transcribe it here for archiving on my Media page but be sure to head over to #BookPartyChat and @jhohadli on Twitter (follow me while you’re there) and like or comment or share. Thanks, in advance.


Hi Joanne! Thanks so much for joining us today for #BookPartyChat to talk about The Jungle Outside! Firstly, can you introduce yourself?


Hi, I’m a writer in Antigua and Barbuda in the heart of the Caribbean. Happy to be here.


Great to have you! How long have you been writing and what made you want to be a writer? #bookpartychat


All my life. But my first book a coming of age novella The Boy from Willow Bend was first published in 2002. https://jhohadli.wordpress.com/books

I write to breathe. It is how I process life.


“I write to breathe.” — I love that answer. #bookpartychat

What is The Jungle Outside about?


The Jungle Outside is a children’s picture book about the wonder of looking up, stepping outside and wandering; about overcoming fear and in so doing, tasting the fruits of life. It’s also about a boy and his mango tree climbing grandma.


What inspired this book?


Dante was inspired by one of my nephews and his grandmother by my own mother. Of course, fictionalized versions of them. Their dynamic and the way he would shadow her when he was younger. #Bookpartychat Also my love of #mangoes


And The Jungle Outside is your 7th book! @jhohadli can you tell us about your other books, and why with your last three picture books you’ve moved toward a children’s readership? #bookpartychat


I go where the characters take me. I’m actually working on some more adult fare at the moment. But I’ve enjoyed this space from the Caribbean faerie tale (With Grace) to the undersea world (Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure) to The Jungle Outside. I also have a teen/YA novel that @KirkusReviews called one of its top indies of 2020, Musical Youth, and two adult novels Oh Gad! and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight in addition to the first book The Boy from Willow Bend.


The book is very much about the relationship between Dante and his grandmother? Why did you decide to focus the story around this relationship?


The people who inspired it (mom, nephew) but also just an interest in that connection across generations, the interaction of knowledge w/ curiosity, experience w/discovery, the tension between opposites, and the love and familial bond that ties it together.


What was the writing process like? Did the story change much from initial concept to final draft?


Not really. It was always about the bond and about exploration. In revision, I fleshed it out, made the ‘jungle’ more #Caribbean rich but the heart of it was always there.

I will say this, when I wrote it, I didn’t know it was a book. It was just something I wrote just for so…

But it meant that when Harper Collins was looking for stories for their new Caribbean series within the Big Cat series of children’s book, I had something to submit.


Tell us a bit about the publication process. @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


Because of my previous children’s books, and general publishing history, I was actually approached by the publisher. Which is rare. I pitched some ideas and this story (the only finished potential children’s story I had). They liked it. We made a deal. It was very unusual from my usual chasing the bone publishing experience lol. They chose @DBoodooFortune – a Trinidad artist-poet from the illustrators I recommended and we worked through character concept art until we got Tanty and Dante, and the landscape right. The back and forth of working with the editor and one of the things I like, working on some emotional takeaways for the reader. Then holding this beautiful book in my hand. Joy.


And what was the collaboration with illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune like? How much say in the illustrations did you get? What was it like seeing your story brought to life in this way? @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


It was amazing. Danielle was also hired by @CaribReads to illustrate Lost! and in both cases she reached in to my imagination and brought the world to life, not a carbon copy but an imaginative rendering that both affirmed and surprised. Our main back and forth was ‘Tanty’ (the grandmother). It was important to me that she be dark-skinned with full natural hair and looked like someone who would be wandering & playing outdoors with her grandson. After a couple of tries we got it. Communicating mostly through the publisher who would send me images for feedback. So a lot of input. More than some other projects. Also, seeing your story brought to life never gets old. Indescribable. Especially when the images are this striking.


What are you working on now? @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


What am I not working on? lol My pandemic project has been a short story collection. Fingers crossed I’ll wrap it up soon.


What’s your top advice for new writers? @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


The same thing I tell myself everyday #BookPartyChat write, and when you doubt or get knocked down, persevere and write some more. I submit a lot and get rejected a lot but every now and again there is a parting in the clouds. And sometimes, as with The Jungle Outside, opportunities come to you. But when it does, you won’t have anything to show if you haven’t been putting in the work. So, write.


Impossible question but I’m going to say #readCaribbean Maybe start with Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid. She’s a writer from Antigua and the discovery of this book made me know that a #gyalfromOttosAntigua could write her world.

Beyond that, I blog books so check Book Chat/Blogger on Books at https://jhohadli.wordpress.com and always keep up with what I’m reading.

Beyond which two of my favourite books on writing are Stephen King’s On Writing and Edwidge Dandicat’s Create Dangerously.


Do you have any writing routines? @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


Not as such. I never leave home without a book to read and something to write in or on. When I’m blocked I walk. I try to make space every day for the creative to happen; I don’t always fill that space but I schedule it like other priorities & stay open. Also music. I need music. No wonder I wrote #MusicalYouthbook


Where can we find you online? @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


I am @jhohadli here, on insta, facebook etc. #Antiguanwriter on YouTube and have two blogs https://jhohadli.wordpress.com

The other is the online platform of a project I started to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua-Barbuda http://wadadlipen.wordpress.com Lots re #Caribarts generally to be found there.


And please share some buy-links for The Jungle Outside! @jhohadli #BookPartyChat


Publisher links etc for all my books can be found here https://jhohadli.wordpress.com/books The Jungle Outside is pub’d by @HarperCollins & is on all online retailers, indiebound to Amazon, and wherever books are sold.

(shared several online retailer links)

I could go on lol It is everywhere and I hope everyone will support and leave a reader review (much appreciated).

(Aside – the above review is by Diaspora Kids Lit which subsequently interviewed me. You can watch that interview below)

And to wrap the party…


Thanks so much for hosting me @BookPartyChat for the #BookPartyChat Kept me on my toes & always fun to talk books. Thx for sharing your platform & encouraging people to #readCaribbean


So great chatting with you! #bookpartychat

JWP Wadadli Pen (Sessions in Progress)

I have been delivering the promised sessions (i.e. the sessions promised) to writers longlisted for the 2021 Wadadli Pen Challenge prize. I’ve been doing it by zoom and we’ve had some bumps but I just pulled a quote from the first of the participant evals and added to my Performance Reviews. Obviously this is just one eval but it’s a good one and helpful for future planning and marketing of Jhohadli Writing Project workshops.

Reason for participating – good to know because when have 100 percent of people showed up for anything? So those that do, it’s good to know why.

“I was a short-listed writer and I wanted to know why my story was not chosen for a higher placement so that I could use the knowledge to be better in the future.”

How you feel about the session + why? – this is where I start to figure out what’s working (more of that please) and what isn’t.

“The session was a bit short but I was happy with the ground we covered…It was a very well structured lesson; sort of like a mini-lecture. Ms Hillhouse really knows what she’s doing and it was fun.”

Particularly glad to hear it was fun (at least for this participant) as that’s always a goal.

Also there are some practical reasons for the length but I am planning a longer session for the larger group.

Fave/Least fave part? – digging in to specific activities.

“I really enjoyed the first activity where we were allowed to gain insight on how Ms. Hillhouse edits her stories. It felt like English B class, which is always a plus lol.”

This actually wasn’t the first part – there was a writing exercise to start – but the sessions have been digging in to the revision process so this is a helpful insight.

Goals achieved/not achieved? – one of the things I usually try to get participants in my workshop to do at the top is set intention (each person’s is different) so that they can reflect at the end to see if there’s been any movement toward their goal. I didn’t do that this time (time constraints) but I asked anyway.

“I wanted to know why I didn’t win/ place higher and now I have a pretty good idea why. I also have new tools with which to improve my writing. However, I did not feel like the time constraints placed upon us were conducive to a brutal, analytical critique of our stories.”

I actually really appreciate that this person, though very young, seems committed to the process – the work – beyond the first draft, which is what I’ve been trying to emphasize; and no I didn’t do deep dives in to individual stories, more of an overview of story issues (with a couple of exceptions).

Also I first did workshops for Wadadli Pen back in 2005 but these were done before the Challenge – to help build the story writing skills of prospective participants, and I would have done much more over the years if I could have; but I’ve long wanted to do some post-Challenge Wadadli Pen workshop activity and someone pledging to support this effort (through my own Jhohadli Writing Project, which began as the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project in 2013) made me try to put it together.

Would you participate in another workshop? – always good to know.


They go on the mailing list.

The remaining questions typically are would they recommend it, and what things would they like to see covered in future workshops – good for future planning.

“I would like for there to be a further discussion on the topic of dialogue alone + guidelines for cutting down a story to fit a word-limit.”

I like the specificity.


What’s On @ AntiguanWriter

Without counting, I feel I’ve uploaded more videos to my youtube channel this year than any year previous. I hope you’ll stop by and help blow up my numbers by viewing, liking, subscribing, and sharing. Here’s a sample of what has been posted this 2020.

This is an excerpt of my story Carnival Hangover, the complete version of which you can now read or listen to in full at intersectantigua.com and soundcloud.
In an effort to engage more with the booktube community, I did the authortube newbie hashtag.
This snippet (just before lockdown in Antigua) from when I won the first Women of Wadadli – Literature award. Implausibly, this was also 2020.
Me ‘reading in bed’ during lockdown. Listen for an excerpt from my story The Night the World Ended.
The Caribbean Writer invited past published writers to read at its virtual event which substituted for the literary festival and journal launch. I read my first TCW published story Rhythms and, keeping with the pan motif in the story, the poem Ode to the Pan Man.
During Independence weekend in Antigua-Barbuda, I participated in my first public book event since lockdown at the Best of Books bookstore. This is a video snippet from that event.
That time I was asked by the St. Lucia tourist board to be a part of their lockdown Caribcation Caribbean (virtual) writers series.
That time I was invited by Intersect Antigua to participate in their instagram live conversations series.

And there’s more, visit AntiguanWriter on YouTube to view. I’ll end with this one though.

My #Catapultartsgrant funded Caribbean Creatives Online video. Which involved me gathering questions via social media and recording my answers. The recording went better than anticipated (even with me having to record a part 2 to cover some material I’d missed) but the compiling and editing took many attempts and one complete do-over over a couple of weeks, plus two days, I did not exaggerate, uploading. So please watch, like, share, subscribe…all that good stuff.

I won a Grant; Now Ask Me Anything

ETA video on November 17th 2020.

I applied for and won a Catapult Caribbean Creative Online grant to produce a video presentation of my work. To put this video together, I need your help. Read to the end to find out how. But first, I want to say thanks to Catapult for both the financial and virtual boost.

From the Catapult website: “The goal of Caribbean Creative Online is to increase artists’ visibility in the online arena, raise their comfort level with performing in the digital space, and support artists financially during the pandemic by allowing them to earn from online activities. The programme also seeks to maintain and enhance artists’ visibility, allowing a global audience to be introduced to, and support new artists during this period. The programme targets individuals exploring the critical key themes of culture, human rights, gender, LGBTQIA+,. and climate justice which are so relevant to the region.”

Here’s where you come in.

Ask me Anything about any short story, poem, book, or other writing of mine – and request a reading of a favourite excerpt. I will read and discuss, answering as many of your questions as the video length allows. I won’t be able to answer all but I’ll answer what I can. I only have 40-60 minutes. So I will have to do some curating, keeping “the critical key themes” in mind. The questions should be related to story, theme, and craft. If this interests you, post your questions in the comments or upload as video and tag me. Optionally, send to jhohadli@gmail.com subject line JCH AMA. Your video MAY be incorporated in to the final presentation and your (online) name may be used in my responses. Send by November 4th 2020. If there’s an excerpt of any of my work you’d like to hear let me know that too. I also plan to take a scary step out on a limb and share a sample from my collection in progress.

To make sure you don’t miss the video, subscribe and hit the notification bell at AntiguanWriter on YouTube where the final video will be posted.

As I work (with your help) to make this video happen, I want to thank Catapult partners
the American Friends of Jamaica,
Kingston Creative,

Fresh Milk Barbados, and whomever selected me, and the other grantees whose videos I look forward to seeing.

Thanks in advance for your questions.

Scenes from Sharjah

ETA: Sharing via the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Post, which is about the week that was and all things books.

In November 2019, I travelled to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates as an invited author to the Sharjah International Book Fair (which, btw, now has the Guinness record for largest simultaneous book signing – an activity so crowded I had to squeeze through it to get to my second panel). The SIBF is huge by the way – more than 170 programmed/guest authors, from almost 70 Arab and non-Arab countries over 11 days (only some of which I was there for). Though it’s impossible to capture everything I tasted, heard, saw etc., I shared a lot of the journey on social media (my instagram and facebook) in real time; plus there was some media there and here at home (see my media page for some of it) – and a lot of re-shares and likes and such (all deeply, deeply, deeply appreciated). But I still have to do something for the blog (because, obviously); #sorrynotsorry (lol) to anyone who’s over it already. I am a #gyalfromOttosAntigua and this is the farthest I’ve been from home; it is an example of the writing journey taking me somewhere I never expected to land (there’ve been a few such times) at imperfect times in my life. This time was no exception. I embrace all of it.

What got me there

Well, Emirates Air (lol)

and this book (New Daughters of Africa)

I was invited to be a part of the panel centering the 2019 publication New Daughters of Africa. The publication includes over 200 women writers from the motherland and the diaspora. I feel blessed to be a part of it and, because of it (shout out Myriad publishers) to have had the opportunity to be a part of this.

This is a gallery of some of my Sharjah tripping.

School visits

Gulf Model School in Dubai.

500 6 and 7 year olds… but thankfully some teachers there to help.

I introduced the students to one of my picture books, Lost!  A Caribbean Sea Adventure.

Look forward to being on their Book-o-Gram one day and to a review of my books being hung among other student reviews in the school library.

While I’ve read Anansi stories at schools in Antigua (my go-to before I’d written my own children’s picture books), this school visit was my first attempt – EVER – at telling an Anansi story.

A gift from the principal (Dr. S. Reshma) who is herself an author.


I had two.

The first panel (with Noura Al Noman, “the first celebrated Emirati science fiction writer”) with its focus on reading patterns among young people, and also use of national versus universal language in storytelling, among other things, was picked up on several news platforms. Shout out to moderator of the panel above Dr. Lamya Tawfik and moderator of the panel below Mr. Abdul Karim – thanks to them both for steering the conversation in interesting directions.

The second panel (with NDOA editor Margaret Busby and contributor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey). Clearly we had a good time.

Book signing

This woman told me she is an aspiring writer while I signed copies of Lost!, Musical Youth, and NDOA.

Social interactions

Grabbing some dinner at the Sheraton, after my first panel with New Daughters editor Margaret Busby,  contributor Yvonne Bailey Smith (Zadie Smith’s mom), and her friend.

I had several escorts to make sure I was where I needed to be; this young lady, Roaa, is originally from Syria and she came along with me for my school visit. Shout out as well to my escorts at the Fair location (Zayna, Mamu, and others); and to the help desk and others at the hotel who tried to keep me pointed in the right direction.

With African-American author (w/Barbadian roots) Bernice McFadden in the desert. We first met (and clicked) in 2016 in Barbados where we were both guests of the BIM Lit Fest and co-facilitators of a workshop – so I guess technically we first met via email when I wrote, so how do you want to do this? We ran in to each other again in 2018 at the Miami Book Fair where we both had sessions. I’ve blogged a couple of her books (Sugar, Glorious) btw if you want to check her out – I know I’m eager to read more (Book of Harlan and Praisesong for the Butterflies especially).

Some Sharjah scenes

-on the road-

took these while driving, walking, or simply sitting; that last one is the hotel I stayed at.

-at a museum-

Illustrating what pre-historic people in that part of the world knew about animal/horse anatomy.

Pottery. Always an area of interest for me given my family history (see Oh Gad!).

Spotted these signs in most buildings including the Museum.

-in the desert-
One of our social outings was to Mleiha. In fact some of the museum images above are actually the Mleiha Archeological Centre which we visited before taking a safari in to the desert for sunset, stargazing, and a barbeque dinner. I saw camels, sand, so much sand…and Jupiter.

at sunset.

Twas fun

Strike a pose.

Plus, keepsakes


Festivals or other platforms at which I’ve been invited to and had the opportunity to represent myself and Antigua and Barbuda literary arts have to date included Wadadli Stories, the National Literacy Festival, Independence (including one-time the A&B Independence celebrations in Canada), and the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival (among other community organized literary activities right here at home), the United States Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair, the Bocas Literary Festival (in Trinidad and Tobago), the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars conference (in Suriname), the opening of Greenlands Books and Things (in St. Kitts & Nevis), the St. Martin Book Fair (in Sint Maarten and Saint Martin), the Anguilla Lit Fest, the PEN World Voices Festival Literary Safari (in New York), the Miami Book Fair, the Caribbean Congress of Writers (in Guadeloupe), the Friends of Antigua Public Library Author in Residence series (in New York), the Nature Island Literary Festival (in Dominica), the BIM Literary Festival and Book Fair and the BIM Arts for the 21st Century Writers Symposium (in Barbados), the Brooklyn Book Fair, Aye Write! Festival (in Scotland) – plus readings that came out of workshops I participated in in Rhode Island, Barbados, Vermont, and Guyana. To this list I now add Sharjah. This writing life has been and remains bumpy but there are interesting stops on the journey; and I am grateful.

-by Joanne C. Hillhouse. If you haven’t checked any of my books as yet, I hope you do. If you have read my books, please consider posting a review here, at online retailers, or on book review sites like (but not exclusive to) Goodreads.  Thanks! Also, as needed, be sure to check out my writing and editing services.

Blogger on Books #BookChat

ETA: to add Animal Farm and change Evolution link

I like talking about books (and, when I can, boosting the books that I like) which is why in addition to writing my own Books I have a book review/discussion series in this space (and why I’ve shopped and still have plans to develop a #bookchat multimedia series). If you’re a regular, you know this. But for the rest of you, I’ve been blogging books since My Space. When I set up a Wadadli Pen wordpress blog – for the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize project which I launched in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda – the Blogger on Book series migrated there, and when I set up this blog (a hybrid personal, author, professional services blog), the series moved here after a time.  This is a round up of the books I’ve blogged with reviews after the link (including throwback reviews from the My Space days) since the series moved here in late 2016, broken down by genre (sort of) – previous reviews can still be read on the Wadadli Pen blog.


Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories (edited by Jacob Ross)

Children’s Literature

Caribella by Phillis Gershator

Emerald Isle of Adventure by Rachel Collis

The Masquerade Dance by Carol Ottley-Mitchell (w/illustrator Daniel J. O’Brien)

Tata and the Big Bad Bull by Juleus Ghunta (w/illustrator Ann-Catherine Loo)

Zomo the Rabbit: a Trickster Tale from West Africa by Gerald McDermott


Giant Size X-Men – Deadly Genesis!, the Uncanny X-Men – Second Genesis! plus bonus features by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum w/Glynis Wein and John Costanza

Rogue & Gambit: the Ring of Fire series by Kelly Thompson (writer) with Pere Perez (artist) and Frank D’Armata (colourist)

Storm: Prelude to the Wedding of the Century by Eric Jerome Dickey, penciled by David Yardin, inked by Jay Leisten, coloured by Matt Milla

X-Men Women

Contemporary Dramatic Fiction

After by Marita Golden

Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey

In Time of Need: A Collection of Short Stories by Shakirah Bourne

Ladies of the Night by Althea Prince

The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly

Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

Till the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma

Tuvalu by Andrew O’Connor

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

Culinary + Touristic Books

Gilly Gobinet’s Cool Caribbean Series

On this Island The Natives… by Dale Butler (w/illustrator Lindsey George)

Historical Fiction (including Classics and Contemporary Fiction set in the distant past)

Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden

Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandya

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

With Silent Tread by Freida Cassin


Go de Raas to Sleep by Adam Mansbach (w/illustrator Ricardo Cortes and translators Kwame Dawes and Kelly Magnus)

Literary and/or Academic Journals

(read my story Zombie Island from Interviewing the Caribbean)

The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books Volume 10 Number 1 – Summer 2017

The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books Volume ll Number 1 – Summer 2018

BIM Arts for the 21st Century 1, 2

BIM Arts for the 21st Century Volume 8

Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters Volume 4 No. 2

Interviewing the Caribbean Vol. 2, No.1::Winter 2016

Women Writers: Serving the Spirits – Women and Voodoo in Popular Culture


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

The Black Rose by Tananarive Due

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Mystery/Crime Fiction

Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosely

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Saint Lucian Literature and Theatre: an Anthology of Reviews compiled and edited by John Robert Lee & Kendel Hippolyte

Take Time for Paradise by A. Bartlett Giamatti

Photography Books

(this is not the picture of me in Beowulf’s book but I am in the book, that is me playing with the green balloons, and this event – 2014 PEN World Voices Festival – was when he took my picture; that’s him reflected in the window)

Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan by Beowulf Sheehan 

Hidden Secrets of St. Croix by Clarice C. Clarke


Evolution: Weaving in and out of Consciousness while the Truth is Somewhere in the Middle by Felene M. Cayetano

The Fountain and The Bough by Eileen Hall

Like the Singing Coming off the Drums by Sonia Sanchez

The Nakedness of New by Althea Romeo-Mark

Passions of the Soul by Elaine Olaoye

Turn Thanks by Lorna Goodison

What Yellow Sounds Like by Linda Susan Jackson

Speculative Fiction (fables to fantasy to horror to magical realism etc.)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Awakening: A Vampire Huntress Legend by L. A. Banks

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Joseph – a Reggae Rasta Fable by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

Vegas Bites: a Werewolf Romance Anthology by L.A. Banks, J.M. Jeffries, Seressie Glass, Natalie Dunbar

Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Teen/Young Adult Fiction

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini

Inner City Girl by Colleeen Smith-Dennis


Linking this post with Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer because that handle describes me perfectly. This week’s question: “do you continue with a book even though you aren’t liking it?” – less and less. I used to feel I had to finish a book once I started it but I started trying to let that go in recent years and, in the period covered by this listing of books, I actually have a handful of DNFs (Did Not Finish) – and only some guilt about it. I must be getting older (aging in to that DNGAF period of life). Pardon my French – I need coffee.

my books -by Joanne C. Hillhouse. If you haven’t checked any of my books as yet, I hope you do (and I hope you do finish them). If you have read my books, please consider posting a review to Amazon or Goodreads if you haven’t already done so. Thanks! Also, as needed, be sure to check out my writing and editing services.


Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series (2018) – the Reading List

The Jhohadli Writing Project CWWS ran all through 2018. I’ve not yet decided what will happen with this programme in 2019 (though I’m leaning toward once a month critique sessions plus written critiques for people with works in progress, what do you think?) but I thought I’d share the 2018 reading list. Meaning the published creative writing we discussed in our sessions and from which we hoped to learn (we discussed unpublished writing as well but those will not be included on this list). My reading lists change and evolve, so while some of these may cycle back in, if when I continue the series, I don’t think it’s telling tales out of ‘school’ to share them here for your reading enjoyment. So, without specifics re how we used them or what we learned by using them, here was my 2018 JWP CWWS reading list.

The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi
Black Stones by Amy Bonnaffons
By Way of a Life Plot by Kelechi Njoku
The Cat has Claws by Joanne C. Hillhouse in Akashic Books’ Mondays are Murder series
City of Specters – A Short Story Smuggled Out of North Korea From Bandi’s (aka ‘Firefly’) Translated Collection of Fiction – (Trans. Deborah Smith)
Corn Curls and the Red Bicycle by Shakirah Bourne
Eel by Stefanie Seddon
Game Changer by Joanne C. Hillhouse in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters
Greetings from a Violent Homeland by Ritu Monjori Kalita Deka
Last Chapter on Hotel Stationery: A Short Story By Ursula Villarreal-Moura
Light by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Little Prissy Palmer by Joanne C. Hillhouse in The Machinery
Ngoma: a Zimbabwean Origin Story Retold by Gerald Hausman and Seth Cohen
Mary When You Follow Her By Carmen Maria Machado, Illustrations by Sergio García Sánchez
The Other Daughter by Joanne C. Hillhouse
The Reformatory by Tananarive Due
“Run, Lola, Run” by Jeton Neziraj and translator Alexandra Channer
The Second Waltz By Madeleine Thien
Something from nothing by Barbara Jenkins
Stickfighting Days by Olufemi Terry
The Price of Happiness An Excerpt from Chechen Writer Zalpa Bersanova’s Novella ‘The Price of Happiness’
The Ways by Colin Barrett
We Always Smile for Photos by Shakirah Bourne
What will happen to the Sharma Family by Samrat Upadhyay
Who Will Greet You at Home By Lesley Nneka Arimah

Musical Youth

Books (excerpted):
Ayiti By  Roxane Gay
Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse
Oh Gad! by Joanne C. Hillhouse
The Price of Happiness by Zalpa Bersanova

*The particular excerpts of my book are not available online but you can read the first pages for Oh Gad! and Musical Youth. Please note that while some of my books (and stories) are referenced, it was in great part due to familiarity with the material (and the intention); participants were not obliged to buy my books – the relevant section was often excerpted in the Kit (or text) I created for each theme (Plot, Characters, Openings, Pacing, Tension, Setting etc.) covered during the course of the year.