JHOHADLI WRITING PROJECT – what it means – Jhohadli (pen name, alter ego), Writing (my passion, what I do, what I teach), Project (an activity undertaken, with purpose). 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 – which have included creative writing (with an emphasis on fiction and working with educators to bring creativity in to the classroom), communication (with an emphasis on written communication and working with non-writing professionals to improve confidence and competence with written communication in the workplace), media training (with an emphasis on recognizing and not perpetuating fake news, and articulating and defending ideas toward writing your own features), and more. Workshops are independently designed but can also be custom-made for group, company, or organization needs within my areas of services, training, and experience. UPDATE! The latest incarnation of the JWP creative writing workshop series (with an option for people not based in Antigua and Barbuda to participate) has been ongoing since January 2018 and is expected to continue as long as there’s interest; other workshops are offered periodically. Contact me to be put on the mailing list or follow the blog to keep up with updates.
Though I (Joanne C. Hillhouse) have critiqued, coached, and edited other writers, and taught courses and presented workshops for many years prior during my time as a journalist and communicator, and especially since becoming a published author (by request), my workshop offerings under this particular umbrella and brand began with the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project (2013) – a summer writing camp for young people. The experience made me realize that I’d found my sweet spot – small group, interactive, organic creative workshops (as such, even my workshops that aren’t specifically about creative writing aim to replicate this type of energy – while building confidence and providing the tools that can assist with individual growth). Here’s what that first group said about JWP in their own words – Part 1 (why did you apply), Part 2 (what did you gain), Part 3 (what was your favourite part), Part 4 (would you recommend it), Part 5 (a word to the sponsors).
Excerpts from Participant reviews – JSYWP 2013:
“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 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.”
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Drawing on the breadth of my training and experience my WORKSHOPS range from creativity/creative writing, fiction, media and communications, written communication (always leaving room for expansion).
Over the years I have taught – Communications in the Advanced level programmes offered by Cathodale and the Antigua State College, and in the American University of Antigua undergrad programme.
But I have particularly enjoyed the small group, interactive environment of the workshop setting. After many years (and ongoing) as a writer and media practitioner, many years crafting and editing content, many years of volunteering to read to or to talk to young people about story writing,
many years critiquing and editing, evaluating and judging (including servicing as a 2015 judge of the Burt Award for Caribbean teen/young adult fiction), learning and growing (through practice and participation in craft building workshops facilitated by the likes of Olive Senior, Ravi Howard, Maaza Mengiste, Mervyn Morris, CaribLit, Margot Livesy, Jacob Ross, Karen Lord, and Ursula Hegi in whose workshop I was one of two fellows assisting with script evaluation at the Breadloaf Writers Conference), I not only offer workshops/courses independently but on commission. These have included but are not limited to:
Best of Books’ summer camp – session on creative writing
BIM Lit Fest workshop – workshop on memory in fiction, co-facilitated with Bernice McFadden (Hurston Wright nominated writer of Sugar), at the Barbados-based literary festival
Excerpt from Participant Reviews – BIM Lit Fest Workshop (2016):
“I attended a writing workshop conducted by Joanne in Barbados a couple of years ago. I still remember the fresh and innovative way she taught and encouraged participants to approach storytelling. The exercises really caused our creative juices to flow. Joanne is an excellent teacher and facilitator and uses novel approaches.” – Sharma Taylor, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers short story prize, 2018
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CODE (Canadian non-profit which sponsors the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean Fiction) workshop in Antigua – organized and facilitated intensive week-end long workshop involving tips and critiques of works in progress
Department of Youth Affairs (Antigua and Barbuda) Media Training workshop – twice – imparting critical thinking and media communication tools to young/teenage participants
Eddie Nias’ Great Young Minds – creative arts camp with writing among the activities
Independence Literary Arts post competition youth workshop – co-facilitated workshop for the young people who had excelled in the Independence literary arts competition with Brenda Lee Browne (founder of the Just Write Writers Retreat) and Althea Prince (award winning author of Ladies of the Night)
Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project – held since 2013 as long as there’s funding and interest. The model for this workshop, targetted at teens, has been to seek corporate and community sponsorship to offer scholarships so that participation is determined by interest not finances. If you’d like to sponsor future camps, contact me
Jhohadli Writing Project – adult writing sessions which have been held at the National Youth Enlightenment Academy and since 2018 (a year in which the workshops have been and will continue to be offered on an ongoing basis as long as there’s interest) at the Best of Books Bookstore. You don’t have to be in Antigua and Barbuda to participate. If you’d like to be put on the mailing list for future offerings, contact me
Jhohadli Writing Project children’s workshop held at the Best of Books – this has only been a one-off session to date.
Just Write Writers Retreat – co-facilitated interactive writing and editing sessions at Mount Tabor in the Antiguan countryside
Ministry of Education (Antigua and Barbuda), Summer Institute – teacher training re bringing creativity/creative writing in to the classroom
Wadadli Pen writing workshops – targeted at prospective participants in the annual Wadadli Pen Writing Challenge (which I first launched as a not for profit development activity in 2004)
Excerpts from participant reviews:
(Jhohadli Writing Project, 2018)
“I achieved the goal of refining just a little bit more the skill of writing compelling characters…I would recommend the workshop for amateur writers because we many times think we can just write. But the workshop presented different ways to think about writing.”
(Jhohadli Writing Project, pre-2018)
“Informative, interactive, educational and funny.”
(Written communication in-company training with Barbara Arrindell & Associates, 2017)
“Very knowledgeable on the subject matter, willing to stop and explain if you did not understand. Firm but fair.”
(Teachers Summer Institute, 2016)
“I wanted to learn new tips in assisting my students. I did.”
(Writing is Your Business, 2016)
“The overall training was good and I’ve learned how to structure my ideas.”
(Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project, 2015)
“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.”
(CODE workshop, 2014)
“The writer’s workshop sponsored by CODE and facilitated by Joanne C Hillhouse was refreshing, inspiring and I am so proud of what we have in the form of writers in Antigua. I’m looking forward to reading the final works.”
(Youth Media Workshop, 2014)
“After being reluctant to come, I actually learned a lot. My writing skills have improved.”
(Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project, 2013)
The program gave her (my niece) confidence. She is usually quiet and withdrawn. But just being involved in the program she has now pushed herself to try new things like playing pan, trying out for netball because she realizes that there’s nothing wrong with trying something new.”
(Just Write Writers Retreat, 2012)
“The one on one was very good. I was able to get a candid opinion on my work from a writer who works in non fiction writing, and 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.”
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Writing is Your Business w/Barbara Arrindell & Associates – a course on written communication for professionals (first offered in 2016) that looked primarily at:
Understanding factors contributing to and inhibiting communication
Common Grammatical and Punctuation Errors
Elements of effective business writing (including audience, tone, and more)
Formulating topic/main idea and linking to subsidiary ideas + writing outlines
Sequencing and transitioning
Evaluating and editing (peer-evaluation and self-evaluation)
Through this association with B A & A, I have also offered in-office training and am available to do so for any company seeking to build human resource capacity in the area of written communication. contact me so that I can design a programme to fit your company’s needs.
COACHING, EDITING ETC. – I have also, over the years, provided coaching, mentoring, critiquing, and editing services to other writer or to anyone, including professionals and students (of any discipline), seeking to improve in the area of writing. As I continue to learn, I continue to teach.
(Above, I’m pictured at my first fiction writing workshop in 1995 and, to the right, in 2016, with the facilitator of that workshop, Olive Senior. In the second picture we were invited authors at a literary festival at which she was leading a master class and I was facilitating a workshop)
Excerpts from participant reviews:
(independent authors re critiquing and/or editing services on books)
“Having your manuscript edited is a very scary event. The thought of someone reading an early draft of your work and giving feedback is nerve racking. Joanne handled our relationship professionally and also provided some very valuable advice in regards to publishing. The editing was done in a timely manner.”
“I will always appreciate her honesty, and the timely manner (in which) she got back to me, allowing me to not lose momentum with my project.”
“Joanne edited my novella, she was thorough, questioning and encouraging – she makes your work better and tighter.”
“Joanne is a great editor. She is thorough and delivers in a timely manner. Her notes are valuable.”
“I am pleased with the work you did on the manuscript. I have made good progress with my review…I appreciate your suggestions, ideas, and advice.”
“During the editing process Joanne handled my writing with respect not only to personal style but that the voice be authentic.”
(writers who benefited from one-on-one coaching)
“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 observed my process, what I spent too much focus on, and not enough focus on. She made me feel like I was a speaking to a person who, not only knew her craft, but genuinely cared or was interested about mine.”
“She said many things in that brief meeting that resonated with me, but the most significant was the simple acknowledgement that I AM a writer.”
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WHO AM I TARGETING – You don’t have to have your sights set on being a professional writer to benefit from my workshops and/or courses. I target various age groups, and have found success with participants who have different levels of competency and interest. The workshops/courses have different purposes. As you can see, sometimes I partner with others and sometimes I fly solo; sometimes I work one-on-one, sometimes in group, sometimes a combination of both.
I will continue to build and offer courses and workshops in Antigua and Barbuda, and abroad. I also offer one-on-one coaching and have worked with people trying to ease in to writing to people trying to finish a writing project or two. This is all part of what the Jhohadli Writing Project is about.
I am also available to come in to institutions – schools (creative writing), businesses (written communication) – and to partner with public, private, and non-profit agencies to bring media, business, and/or creative writing training to target groups in Antigua and Barbuda and beyond.
TO ACCESS MY SERVICES – A fee is attached. Fees vary according to the programme being offered. Fees are negotiable, within reason, but once agreed are non-refundable and non-transferable.
If you’re reading this and you’re interested in providing scholarships for an individual, group, project, or even so I can bring writing workshops in to schools, much like the patrons who sponsored someone for the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project, contact me.
Group sizes are managed (to optimally benefit individual participants) which is why you need to register early when a workshop or course is advertised to secure your spot; and to come prepared to work, lest you lose that spot.
My ideas and, by extension, my programmes are evolving. If you’re seeking a course or workshop that’s not mentioned here, ask. If interested in any of the sessions, email me your questions or expression of interest. You can also be added to my mailing list for when I’m advertising future programmes.
If you’re not resident in Antigua and Barbuda, still email me ; you can participate in some workshop activities or access my coaching services, and my manuscript evaluation and/or editing services.
I want to say, finally, that I, too, am a student of writing, we’re all learning from each other. I’m doing this as a professional pursuit but also because I love writing, I love the literary arts, and I find fulfillment in seeing others blossom as well.
I look forward to hearing from you. — Joanne C. Hillhouse