Site Updates (Home Home, New Daughters, JWP)

ETA: Linking this one up with The Sunday Post meme and adding that if you want to know what I thought about Quincy, Nappily Ever After, Leave No Trace, and  the season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead, check this post from earlier in the week. Also, since finishing Home Home (review linked below), I have started another one from the pile of Burt Award winning teen/young adult Caribbean books, Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith Dennis. So far, so good. Oh I also finished Faye Kellerman’s Straight into Darkness this past week but due to work commitments didn’t do a full review, though you can read my quick take in the listing at the main Blogger on Books Vl page.

I finished Lisa Allen-Agostini’s Home Home. Review excerpt:

Lisa Allen-Agostini’s  Burt award winning book Home Home is a wrenching read, and yet a hopeful one. It’s tough at first as it drops you right in to 14-year old protagonist and narrator Kayla’s post-suicide-attempt-recovery. She’s in Edmonton, Canada to heal in a way she cannot  Home Home in Trinidad where the empathy toward mental illness and suicide and otherness generally (the aunt she lives with in Canada is a lesbian in exile) is comparably low. When we meet her she’s having a panic attack over bus routes. You may get exasperated with her, I’m looking at you my Caribbean people (because, yes, you might find her mopey and self-indulgent), but hang in there. Hanging in her headspace will, if you are open to it, give you valuable insight to what living with chronic mental illness – in this particular case anxiety and depression – is like. For a teen/young adult reader with these issues it can also be a much-needed reminder that, they are not alone.

Read the full review.


I’ve also updated my Books page on account of my new story Evening Ritual in New Daughters of Africa, a follow up to the seminal Daughters of Africa – which pulls stories from all over the continent and its diaspora. I am thrilled to be repping Antigua and Barbuda.


Finally, still time to register for my October sessions, Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series.

October 2018ETA 2: On Friday, I spoke with a niece of Eileen Hall who contacted me to share more insights on the local writer I had only recently-ish discovered and done some digging about, resulting in this post. It was an interesting (and fun) discussion about a woman who in many ways sounds like she was ahead of her time, and about ancestry and related things. I’ve been promised more information which I’ll be happy to share when I get it.


August 8th 2018JSYWP promotional flyer 2

Antiguan and Barbudan author Joanne C. Hillhouse has announced a week of creative writing workshops for teens and pre-teens. This is the latest installment of her Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project – first held in 2013.

The workshop will be held in the afternoons August 20th to 24th at the Antigua Public Library, 1 – 4:30 Monday to Thursday, 1 – 2:30 on Friday. In the past, participation in the JSYWP has been sponsored but this time around there is a fee; however, participants registering by August 13th 2018 will receive a discount.

This workshop is about stoking creativity and building writing skills in a fun and interactive environment, with a facilitator who is a published author of books for all ages and seasoned deliverer of workshop activities for all age groups. Hillhouse has also run the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize since 2004.

Just a couple of participant reviews:

“It gave me the opportunity to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a writer”

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

The JSYWP is demand-driven; so if there is sufficient interest (minimum registration 5 people), Hillhouse is committed to proceeding. She noted that she enjoys the opportunity this and other workshop activities she organizes provides to share what she loves which is writing, but also to help anyone find confidence in and willingness to use their voice to express themselves. As we shake off the summer haze, Hillhouse also sees this as an ideal back to school activity, stimulating the brain but in a fun, interactive, explorative, and creative environment.

For registration details email <—Submit the registration form (this: JSYWP 2018 Registration Form version 2) to this email address. business-card

Jhohadli Writing Project – Time to Commit

Happy Almost New Year.

Just a reminder that the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Series – my first creative writing workshop in more than a year – starts on January 13th 2018. To participate, you need to register by January 5th 2018. Contact me at jhohadli at gmail dot com for registration details.

A few firsts.

For the first time I’m opening up one of my workshops to remote participants – this means you don’t have to be based in Antigua, where I live, to participate.

For the first time I’m focusing in each series on one area of craft/ing fiction. The focus this time around is SETTING.

Over time, since I offered my first writing workshop (to prospective Wadadli Youth Pen Prize participants) back in 2005, I have had the opportunity to grow as a writer, as an editor, and as a writing coach; to improve my craft through reading/studying, workshop participation, and simply working; to publish several more stories, books, and other types of writing; to teach (not only writing but also media and communications) in classroom and workshop settings; to design and offer my own courses and workshops. I offer these workshops in part to monetize what I do (sure) but also, as I grow, to share what I know, to continue doing what I love and pass it on. Anyone who knows me knows that my commitment to the literary arts runs through both my personal and professional life.

I started offering workshops under Jhohadli Writing Project with the 2013 Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project. I hope to continue building this brand, which is itself built on writing and writing-related services, on creativity and professionalism.

Whether a new or established writer, or even a student, these workshops are an opportunity to flex and strengthen your writing muscles, your ability to creatively and critically engage with not only your own writing but the literary arts, and your efforts to advance a work in progress (as I have myself been able to do through workshop experiences).

I’m happy to be starting this as a new year begins as what better time to commit to personal and professional growth than at the start of a new year? Contact me if you’re ready to commit.

Promo Flyer corrected

JHOHADLI Writing Project – New Sessions (Register Now from Antigua-Barbuda or Abroad)

I have been offering courses and workshops in Antigua and Barbuda for some time. In 2018, I open up my sessions to participants from other places. While you won’t be in session benefiting from the interactive nature of my workshops, you will receive course notes and individual written feedback – a service not afforded to live-in-session participants. In this way, you can be a part of the workshop experience while benefiting from individual coaching. This series will be ongoing with fresh content designed by me drawing on my own expertise honed over more than a decade and six books of being a published writer, and the expertise of others. I remain an avid student of the craft and continue to pull lessons from multiple sources. You will benefit from this.

Each series will focus on a different aspect of the craft of writing; so that while past sessions have been more general, this series will allow you to hone in on areas in need of strengthening and build your writing muscles.

Each series is only four weeks and you work on your own time. This allows you to set realistic goals and better manage your schedule, while being committed to series goals, getting out of it what you put in.

First series focus – Setting.

Contact me for registration details.

Promo Flyer corrected

Antiguans and Barbudans, this, of course, remains open to you as well. You will benefit from weekly sessions to be held, beginning January 13th 2018, at the Best of Books.

Contact me for registration details.

the table 3ABOUT THE AUTHOR 





“Joanne is a great editor. She is thorough and delivers in a timely manner. Her notes are valuable, which helps flesh out the story one is working on. I can’t recommend her enough.” (fiction editing client)

“Joanne’s coaching has been practical, resourceful and supportive.  The feedback she gives is amazing in the way that she makes strong suggestions while allowing me to maintain my voice. As a writing newbie, working with Joanne has been a great boost to my confidence and she challenges me to explore styles and perspective that I would never have tackled on my own.  She is also very flexible with my schedule to keep me on track.” (writing coaching client)

“I would recommend this course to someone else because it is educational and our tutor is very knowledgeable and likes to be challenged.” (participant, written communication course, offered in partnership with Barbara Arrindell & Associates)

“I learned something new each day.” (participant, creative writing workshop for teachers at the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Education Summer Institute)

“I gained insight into different techniques and styles of writing, and an appreciation for the technical ability required, as well as guidance in replicating these styles. I was also able to gain constructive criticism on several original pieces and works in progress.” (participant, Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project 2015)

“The workshop was excellent!! I have been to workshops before but Joanne and Bernice used unconventional ways to access creativity. The exercises were very novel and generated a lot of new ideas. Great learning experience for me and I will use the techniques going forward to get story ideas.” (participant, creative writing workshop at BIM Lit Fest, jointly facilitated with Bernice McFadden)

“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.” (participant, Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project 2013)

“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.” (participant, Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project 2013)

“The activities we did were very helpful in developing writing, reading , observational skills, and more.” (participant, Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project 2013)

“Informative, interactive, educational and funny……learnt some tips re: review: rewriting and editing – sharing painful, funny editing sagas and sharing story ideas…” (workshop participant, Jhohadli Writing Project)

“Being my first writers’ circle it was just a breath for fresh air, generally. Enabling, me to look at writing for a new aspect, and just keep writing…as a young writer it is realized that I’ve a lot to learn.” – (participant, my first Express Yourself! writers workshop, subsequently rebranded as the Jhohadli Writing Project)

“The information I got from the workshop was priceless…I thrived in the environment you created.” (participant, CODE-sponsored writing workshop)

“(I learned) how to construct and edit and how to ‘back up my chat’.” (participant, Department of Youth Affairs media training workshop)

“The one on one was very good I was able to get a candid opinion on my work from a writer …(whose) work I respect, It was very helpful to have both strong points of my pieces and my issues highlighted and be given suggestions on how to make my work better.” (participant in one-on-one tutorial during Just Write Writers Retreat)

New sessions of the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Series begin on January 13th 2018.

Contact me for registration details.

What’s New, As the Year Winds Down

Promo Flyer correctedI launch a new creative writing workshop series in the new year and for the first time you can participate from anywhere. Contact me to find out how. For background on my past workshop experience, go here, and for performance reviews re workshop and other writing services, go here.

I’ve launched my newest book, children’s picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, a launch highlight being this past week’s book signing at the Best of Books.

As you can see, it wasn’t just about Lost! – people left with signed copies of With Grace, Lost!, and Musical Youth. These are essentially the children’s and teen/young adult portion of my …of the books I’ve written. Thanks to everyone who came out. For more images, check the gallery.

We’re now in to the busiest part of the holiday weekend. I hope the year has been kind to you and the new year is even kinder. As a working writer, I hope for more opportunities to continue doing what I do. You can support the journey by, of course, buying the books, writing a reader review, sharing book news, and, in my case, news of my workshops. The thing writers need most is time (including a time out now and again) and a boost – at times a promotional boost, at times a motivational boost, at times a financial boost; because hard as we work, as much passion as we have for what we do, it doesn’t always balance out. So, boost a writer if you can.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

November Sale

UPDATE! New deadline to register, October 28th 2016.november-sale

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. More on Jhohadli Writing Project here, then come back here and register for one of these new series of workshops.