Site Update (Ms. Hill…and Some Other Stuff)

Well, my favourite Spike Lee films have been scrubbed from Joanne’s Picks and replaced with my favourite Lauryn Hill rap performances. I argue that Hill is without question part of any legit Top 5 conversation. Check out the rhymes that I picked to make my case.

Remember this page changes so hurry up.

No new Blogger on Books but FYI this week I’ve mainly been reading Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis (with whom I shared the stage back in 2014 when her book and mine were top three for the inaugural Burt Award in Trinidad – she eventually placed third while my manuscript Musical Youth placed second). I’m liking the main character so far and the authentic sounding detail re her life in a Kingston, Jamaica ghetto. I’ve also been reading, plucked from that active reading pile, Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal. I like that these characters have now become so familiar to me that I can pick up their lives without missing a beat notwithstanding how long ago I put it down- but makes sense considering that I’ve already read two other books in the Glamourist series – which is Regency era romance-adventure; three if you count the one I co-edited.

The only other site update, since the last updates post, has been on the reviews page for my other writing – journaled or anthologized poems or fictional stories. Check it out.

That’s it. Oh! My guest post at Women Writers, Women Books, Are Children’s Books Real Books, went live this week.  And photographer Beowulf Sheehan’s book Authors – which has me in it among some true marquee writers – drops this week and the author did an article about the process of photographing authors over at Lit Hub. It’s worth checking out. As for the week that is…some disappointments, some challenges, some fears, but also writing (well, mostly editing) and living and, mostly, working (workshop prep, editing assignments, acceptance, disappointments, follow ups – you know, the jigsaw).

If you’re here for the first time, my name is Joanne C. Hillhouse. I’ve authored some books – I hope you’ll check them out (and if you already have, I encourage you to post a reader review to Amazon or Goodreads, or even here); and I offer freelance services – look me up if you need any of the listed services. Thanks!


Teach, Do

“My name is Joanne C. Hillhouse. I love to write. I write and edit professionally for companies. I believe I can help other professionals become more comfortable with written communication.”

I began a new journey tonight, a course on written communication for non-writers. I asked participants to write who they were, why they were there, what they hoped to accomplish; then, while they wrote, I did, too – the view from the other side.

Where will this go? How well will it go? I don’t know. This freelancing life, this writing life, this publishing journey is rife with uncertainty (books underperform or go out of print, promising pitches languish in limbo or go forward only to burn on the back end). But, as I’ve asked them to do, I’ll be using my written introduction to orient myself – to remind myself that all I’m challenged to do is teach what I know, help them to grow in their confidence with the written word, and try to  infect the process with some of that passion I feel for writing.

We’ve begun; that is all I know for sure.

The first step is the hardest, they say. Well, here’s another cliché, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Will do.



Only days left to register, generous fee

This is an official letter that went out to businesses some weeks ago. It concerns my partnership with Barbara Arrindell & Associates, and aspires to bring my writing knowledge and experience to an adult education platform targeted at professionals and entrepreneurs. I’m posting here as I continue to prepare for my first class, hopeful that, if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda, you will pass it on to any individual or business that might benefit from either the written or oral communication courses.

Dear Sir /Madam:

Over the last few months, Barbara A Arrindell & Associates has conducted a number of evening classes aimed at improving a person’s communication and public speaking skills. In some cases, individuals take the class to facilitate their own personal growth and development but many participants receive full or part scholarships from their place of employment.

Employers understand that in today’s competitive environment that employees who fill key roles need to be able to speak confidently and to make presentations with ease. We are sending you this information as you may wish to register for the course and/or consider encouraging and investing in your associates so that they can be more successful at their job(s).

Full letter here: Letter to businesses

Registration forms:
registration Pubic speaking
registration Written communication

Classes begin April 19th 2016 – so register now!

Very (did I mention very!) generous fee.


Look what came in the mail todaaay!

magazines in

“It’s been a pleasure working with you—I look forward to having your voice in Writer’s Digest.” – Writer’s Digest editor. Look for my article on Caribbean literary festivals in the January 2016 issue.

“Thank you so much for sharing your story in the pages of Essence. You are a pleasure to work with and I hope to collaborate again soon.” – Essence features editor. Look for my article on identity, self-acceptance, colourism, and a childhood doll in their February 2016 issue. Especially thrilled to be featured in an issue that’s all about #blackgirlmagic

Thankful for both these opportunities both as a freelance writer #onthehustle and an author picking my way through #TheWritingLife Thankful to the Anguilla Lit Fest where I made these connections. Plan to keep pushing through creatively and as far as freelancing is concerned. Big up to everyone who’s stopped by my facebook to post and share their best wishes. Feeling the love, loving the feel.