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!

 

Advertisements

JWP #CantStop #WontStop

Riding the momentum of the fourth Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series since the start of 2018, we will be moving in to Series 5 later this month. Yes, we will be overlapping with Carnival when life as we know it typically pauses in Antigua and Barbuda BUT a pause is not a full stop. That said, if you’re a Carnival lover like me, you know I won’t be doing anything to interrupt the Carnival. I’ve checked the schedule and we can do this. We will do this. Onward.Promo July August 2018

Read more JWP and other workshops here.
Read about other services here.
Read Performance reviews here.

Read CREATIVE SPACE – an opportunity for Antiguan and Barbudan businesses and businesses operating in Antigua and Barbuda to boost their brand while boosting local art and culture.

Read about my books.
Read reviews of my books.

Lots more to discover on this site; like I said, can’t stop, won’t stop.

 

 

Site Updates

This is an update re site updates.

Jhohadli

In the pages section there are two new reads in the CREATIVE SPACE series.

“The National Tennis Centre was abuzz with activity on Labour Day weekend 2018 –  the squeak-squeak of sneakers, the chatter of onlookers, the smell of barbeque (there must always be food right?), the exclamation of a player who has managed to one up another, the thwack of ball hitting court in the back and forth of a match engaged. Amidst the rituals of the game, the fist pumps and the tears, because there must be winners and losers and where passions run high there may be tears, I couldn’t help but reflect for a moment on the impressive transformation of the courts located at the area known as Campsite. It was my first time attending an event there since the 2016 opening. What a transformation!” – from CREATIVE SPACE #4 of 2018 (uploaded May 12th 2018) – It’s Game, Set, and…Win for Tennis Antigua-Barbuda

“The vibe at open mics varies – the venue and the host have something to do with this. Heads up, Barbara, the host of the Tannins open mic, dubbed Rhythm and Rhyme is big on audience participation. So amidst the planned readings by special guest London Rocks author Brenda Lee Browne and another scheduled performance – more on that in a minute – Barbara was prompting people hanging out to participate. A couple of jokes from one, impromptu speaking by another, a group chain writing exercise – by which I mean random strangers stringing a story together just because.  The story went something like this. Carnival, a churchy but rebellious teen, the revelry and excitement, an angry dad, and just when things were about to come to a head – or, literally, blows – Carnival worked its magic…and the gathered laughed their belly full. That is to say there was a fairly loose, near weekend, after work vibe about the whole affair.” – from CREATIVE SPACE #5 of 2018 (uploaded May 12th 2018) Opening the Mic

As a reminder to local businesses, the CREATIVE SPACE series which is also syndicated on Antigua Nice – one of Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest and biggest online platforms – for wider reach, features sponsored posts; an opportunity to boost your brand while boosting local arts and culture.

I also did some tweaking to the Blogger on Books pages – I hadn’t realized that all weren’t open for comments, which discourages engagement; that’s been fixed so feel free to engage at Blogger on Books lV, Blogger on Books V, and Blogger on Books Vl.

Blogger on Books Vl has a new book review. Yes, I’ve finished Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (whew!). Here’s an excerpt:

“The immersive nature of the novel – plus the fact that it jumps around in time, between its multitude upon multitude of characters, vivid action to quiet contemplation, shocking violence to quiet beauty, straight up reportage to dreamlike effect… forever keeping the reader off guard – can have a disorienting effect. When it was intense it was powerfully so, but, if I’m being honest, there are times when I felt like I was slogging through seaweed. But it is overall an impressive literary feat and I completely understand how it copped the Man Booker prize and many other major literary prizes.” And go here to read the whole thing.

Finally, a reminder about the Barbara Arrindell & Associates new workshops starting next week. I’ll be doing the written communication sessions. Still time to register.

Workshops: a Reflection

My workshops are pretty organic and interactive. That’s one reason I like to keep it small, so that we can keep it engaged and flexible; so that though it is carefully planned, it adapts.

It’s why my favourite moment in the most recent session in my creative writing workshop series – the last of the second series of four week sessions since the start of 2018 – was when, when I pointed out an edit in response to a writing exercise, a participant said, before I could even venture a detailed explanation, “Oh…Oh I see now.” As facilitator, you live for those moments when a participant has an “Oh…I see” moment. Because, presumably, that’s their brain threading together what you’ve tried to impart week to week – through your presentations and discussions, reading and analysis of the works of others, active writing and listening, reviewing and critiquing – and seeing how it applies to their writing. It’s nice to get a positive review on reflection, but that unfiltered, in the moment exclamation says it more powerfully.

At least for me.

I hope to have more of those moments as I press on with the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop series. The purpose is to jump start writing, enhance understanding of craft, get projects started, move projects forward, expand awareness of creative writing, yours and others, and to just write. I’ve tried to keep the price reasonable with several payment options, focused themes so that it doesn’t feel rushed and scattered, and avenues to participation for people resident in Antigua and Barbuda and elsewhere.

I’m hoping to keep it going as long as there’s interest. So, if you’re interested, contact me and request your name be added to the mailing list for future announcements. New sessions to begin later this month.

April 2018

Read more on the Jhohadli Writing Project.
Read more Performance reviews.
Read more on Joanne’s books.
Read more on Joanne’s services.

 

Jhohadli Writing Project – updated!

Jhohadli Writing Project – what it means – Jhohadli (this refers to my pen name/alter ego), Writing (this refers to what I do and what I teach), Project (a piece of work or an activity towards a specific purpose; a study of a particular subject). Beginning with my first Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project (in 2013), the Jhohadli Writing Project has evolved in to the umbrella under which I offer my writing workshops and courses. Read more.

MUSICAL YOUTH, PREVIEW READING, CODE WORKSHOPS – IT’S HAPPENING!

Where to start?

I’ve been lobbying CODE, the Canada based non profit behind the Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Fiction, to locate one of their workshops in Antigua and Barbuda since I first learned about them so, I’m thrilled to report that it’s happening. This November. And I’ve been asked to assist with putting it together and to facilitate. I’m hoping teen writers and adult writers alike will take advantage of the opportunity. And when they do I hope it proves to be a growth opportunity for all of us.

Here are the details re the teen workshop:

The workshop is offered as part of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, which aims to provide Caribbean youth with access to books they will enjoy and want to read. Through the Award’s book purchase and distribution program, a minimum of 1,200 copies of each winning title is donated every year to Caribbean youth through schools, libraries and community organizations. Workshop participants will have the option of adding their school to the distribution list for free copies of the 2014 winners.

DETAILS OF TEEN WORKSHOP: Caribbean workshops_Nov2014_teens

Here are the details of the workshop targeted at adults…interested in writing teen content:

Offered as part of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature — which aims to provide Caribbean youth with access to books they will enjoy and want to read — the workshops are intended to help emerging or established writers of books for teens or young adults develop their skills, deepen their understanding of writing strategies appropriate for this age group, and encourage them to submit their work for consideration for the Award.

DETAILS OF ADULT WORKSHOP: Caribbean workshops_Nov2014_adults

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to facilitate. In more personal news, the path has not been without its potholes but my book Musical Youth, which placed second for the Burt Award earlier this year is… (almost) here! How close is it? Well, here’s the cover, featuring the art of Antigua and Barbuda’s Glenroy Aaron:

MUSICAL_YOUTH_Nov1

Don’t get jealous but I have a copy of the original painting in my home. Thanks, Glenroy.

I’ll be reading an excerpt from the book during a preview event the Friday evening before the workshops at the Best of Books. Meantime, here’s a blurb courtesy of publisher Caribbean Reads:

Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime?

Zahara is a loner. She’s brilliant on the guitar but in everyday life she doesn’t really fit in. Then she meets Shaka, himself a musical genius and the first boy who really gets her. They discover that they share a special bond, their passion for music, and Zahara finds herself a part, not just of Shaka’s life, but also that of his boys, the Lion Crew.

When they all get roles in a summer musical, Zahara, Shaka, and the rest of the Lion Crew use the opportunity to work on a secret project. But the Crew gets much more than they bargained for when they uncover a dark secret linking Shaka and Zahara’s families and they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about class, colour, and relationships on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

1final_caribbean_logoMusical Youth placed second in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature sponsored by CODE.

Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes.”—CODE, Sponsors of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

If you’re as excited as I am, or even a fraction of it, please, please, please spread the word; I dream of Caribbean teens consuming this book like good food. Ain’t nothing wrong with dreaming but let’s put some pro-action behind it.

Thanks for always having my back. I appreciate it from my foot-bottom to my head-top.

The Jhohadli Writing Project Set to Begin

I’m in the process of preparing for the first session of the Jhohadli Writing Project, successor to last year’s Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project. Unlike last year’s programme, which was a one week camp free to teen and tween participants thanks to generous donors recruited by me, the JWP is a week to week, one session per week, pay as you go creative writing programme for writers at various stages and levels or for people who simply need to boost their writing skills for some other purpose. My expectation is that it will continue beyond the summer as  long as there is interest. That it is not sponsored/free probably accounts for the comparatively low registration. But I plan to press on with this project and anticipate that it will grow as time goes on.

It begins the first Thursday in July, continuing weekly thereafter, with the ‘teen stream  – creative’ programme (as that is where the confirmed registrants have come from). As explained on my Jhohadli site,

“This is for anyone in the teen bracket; into being creative, interested in learning more about craft and open to receiving constructive feedback on works-in-progress. As we work together, participants will hopefully become stronger artistes, and more aware of the great art in and beyond their world.”

As the synopsis suggests, we’ll be looking to other works, Caribbean and non-Caribbean,  classic and modern literature and art for instruction and inspiration, and participants will be encouraged to read, observe, discover and write, and will engage in discussion and receive feedback and guidance.

If you or any young person you know could benefit from this kind of programme, you can contact me at any time at jhohadli@gmail.com for more information or to register.

Feedback from last year’s camp:

“It was truly a help to me and this experience inspired / encouraged me to continue writing as well as share my writing with others.”

“You helped me on my path to being a writer. Thank you so much and I’d like to return next year. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“I’ve been slacking off on my writing and this got me on track.”

“I gained a lot of tips in writing to make it more realistic.”

“I also got a lot of healthy criticism to better my writing skills.”

“I learned a lot from this camp. I can honestly say that my writing has improved from this experience and because of it I’m sure I will get better. Highlight of my summer.”

“I definitely gained more confidence in my writing and extra knowledge on writing stories, books, etc.”

“I gained courage to share my work with others, I learned to look beyond/deeper than what’s on the surface and to show the readers rather than telling them, which makes the piece much more interesting. I also learned that detail is very important.”

“The activities we did were very helpful in developing writing, reading , observational skills and more.”

The Jhohadli Writing Project is a writing instruction and mentoring project spearheaded by Joanne C. Hillhouse, author of several books including The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad! Joanne is also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach, and workshop facilitator who operates out of Antigua and Barbuda but is not limited to Antigua and Barbuda in her interactions with clients or her literary ambitions for herself and others with talent, potential and a strong work ethic. Joanne is passionate about the literary arts and hopes to stir similar excitement and confidence when it comes to literary expression in programme participants.