I (Joanne C. Hillhouse) am an author, a freelance writer and editor, a writing coach and workshop/course facilitator, and an arts (especially, but not exclusively, literary arts) advocate. This Performance Reviews page (not to be confused with the review pages for my books) serves as a references page re my professional services. Here, you’ll find performance reviews, endorsements, and feedback from current or former clients and course/workshop participants. This is especially useful for anyone seeking the services of a writer and/or editor, or considering participating in one of my workshops or courses. It should give you some insight to how I work and the effectiveness of my approach. If you wish to commission my services or have questions, contact me.
Asked if she had accomplished the goals she set for herself at the start of the four session written communication course offered with Barbara Arrindell & Associates, what goals were not accomplished, what improvements she would recommend, and if she would recommend the course to others, one participation responded: “Not entirely, but I’m now more confident to write than I was before starting classes…I didn’t get to practice writing poems, stories, essays, etc…I wished there were more sessions….Most definitely” – respectively.
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS Articles:
“It’s been a pleasure working with you—I look forward to having your voice in Writer’s Digest.” – editor re article Literature with a Splash of Lime 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.” – editor re article Mirror Mirror in the February 2016 issue.
“A wonderful article. I think you captured the spirit of the enterprise so beautifully and managed to weave in the other issues so naturally that it all fitted together. I loved the story of Andrea planting the feet of her 1 year old in the sands of GBI and contrasting the fact that she was 28 before she ever visited the island – that says so many things!” – Environmental Awareness Group in response to this Caribbean Beat article.
PERFORMANCE REVEWS consulting (combo of writing, editing, project management, or other):
“Joanne came up with an amazing concept…She was very professional when it came to making any amendments to the script, she was great at hitting deadlines; and she was an overall joy to work with!” – Cinque with whom I worked on the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation projects.
“I have recently hired Joanne for a specific assignment which was completed superbly, meeting the brief in an extremely timely manner…she is incredibly easy to work with and professional.” – Antigua Sailing Week committee/Antiguanice.com
Also recommended by linkedin connections for skills like writing, freelance writing, storytelling, literature, books, non fiction, short stories, editing, copy editing, proof reading, press releases, web content, newsletters, brochures, newspapers, magazines, publications, corporate communications, journalism, teaching, and more.
Contact me to discuss your project today.
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS editing service (commercial to creative projects):
“Teachers and nurses have long been my most admired and appreciated professionals. Today I add one more to that list: Editors. More specifically, Joanne C. Hillhouse who has provided extremely helpful feedback on two of my stories-in-progress, and within a surprisingly short turn-around time. Thank you, Joanne!” – IK, writer.
“Your notes are on point, incredibly helpful — beyond just the dialect stuff — and making this a better book. Many, many, many thanks.” – MRK, author. Read more.
“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 wracking. I had no doubt that Joanne was the right person for the job. Although we were already acquainted she handled our relationship professionally. Given Joanne’s wealth of experience she also provided some very valuable advice in regards to publishing which I shall be pursuing. The editing was done in a timely manner, let’s just say that this is the beginning of a new relationship.” – FW, author
“It was definitely good for me…Any business needs marketing and marketing is built on words- words that someone who is not trained may not be able to bring across in the right way; hence the use of your services.” – DBS, for whom I edited promotional and branding material, and client contact letters
“We are quite pleased with the work and will definitely consult you again.” – WICB, for whom edit projects have included manuals, + a booklet, pamphlet, power point, and brochure
“I have always had a positive experience working with Joanne, each time we’ve worked on a project in the last few years. Yes, she is my ‘go to person’ when I need a document professionally edited. (On) Our last project …I wanted to ensure not only the document complied with all the rules of the English language, but more importantly the look and feel was friendly and ‘light’, yet at the same time educational. Joanne helped in achieving that goal, and gave some very useful suggestions to ensure the relevancy of the product. I particularly like the fact that she goes the extra mile.” – MBS, for whom I edited reports, web content, and promotional material
“Joanne edited my novella, she was thorough, questioning and encouraging – she makes your work better and tighter.” – BLB, writer
“…great job with the content editing.” – publishing house executive after submission of book editing assignment
“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.” – KM, writer
“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… The quality of your work and your professionalism deserves recommendation.” – FJ, author of book in progress
“During the editing process Joanne handled my writing with respect not only to personal style but that the voice be authentic. It was always about what is right for me. She was also meticulous with checking historical dates, adding facts to clarify a reference.” – Monica Matthew, author of Journeycakes
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS coaching service:
“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.” – AC, Client
Just Write Writers Retreat (Antigua, 2012, 2014):
“I enjoyed the fact that you made us write…..made me think more about my characters……your sessions stretch the participant without forcing us to write……. The music session made me listen beyond my usual genres….after awhile responded to the feelings being raised” – BLB, founder
“I appreciated that my ‘tutor’ made it clear to me that she had observed the way I did things when we were given certain exercises, and she paid attention to not only what I wrote but how she picked up on how I came about writing it. She observed my process, what I spent too much focus on, and not enough focus on. …the fact that she referenced things she had seen me do or say and not say throughout the workshop 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.”
“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 who’s work I respect, It was very helpful to have both strong points of my pieces and my issues hi lighted and be given suggestions on how to make my work better.”
“During my one-on-one session with Joanne she said something in her nonchalant way that, for me, was like a big sister shaking sense into the younger. She said ‘you are a writer, you may not be aware of it yet, but you are a writer!‘. Then she proceeded to share her thoughts on my sample pieces and project idea as if her lightning jolt was nothing more than a flashlight being turned on. 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.”
PERFORMANCE VIEWS script evaluation service:
“Each page was given a proper critique, with attached notes, letting me know that it was not skimmed through, but taken on and respected. 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.” – TJG, writer
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS workshop facilitation and writing courses:
Barbara Arrindell & Associates –
Writing is Your Business – a written communication course for non-writing professionals (2017):
“I’m now more confident to write than I was before starting classes.”
“My general motivation for taking this class was to improve my writing skills on a personal and professional level. My specific goal was to be able to communicate more effectively through writing. My goal was accomplished; I am a more confident writer. ..I think another half an hour would help, since time seems to fly by quickly. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to work on their writing skills. I would like to say thanks to the facilitator. I have been pushed from my comfort zone and it feels great!”
“I would recommend this course because it was fun and interesting. Of course I learnt stuff, that was the point, but the manner of the learning was most important. The conversational aspect, and the classes had an organic feel pulling from not only our experiences but from what was happening in during the class.”
“I would recommend this course to someone else because it is educational and our tutor is very knowledgeable and likes to be challenged.”
“The instructor did a Fantabulous job in making sure that questions asked were handled in eloquent and excellent fashion.”
co-facilitating in-company training on written communication for a BA&A multi-national client (2016):
From participant evaluations –
“Very knowledgeable on the subject matter, willing to stop and explain if you did not understand. Firm but fair.”
“Very interactive; allowed me to realize different aspects of the power of writing.”
“The interaction with the participants was encouraged; made the subject easy to understand.”
“An excellent facilitator. The topics were clear. Presentation was excellent.”
“Pleasant and approachable in the way the instructions were given.”
“Ms. Hillhouse is an excellent tone person; she went through the details to explain the easy way to write letters, look out for jargon etc.”
“She was very dramatic and interactive. I enjoyed the practical approach.”
“Very knowledgeable in English language. Good editor as she was able to edit our projects by listening then being read twice. She was able to offer suggestions to improve our writing.”
Writing is Your Business – a written communication course for non-writing professionals (2016):
“I think I have improved. I now look at my weak areas when writing.”
“I accomplished my goal of learning proper grammar usage and some proper sentence construction.”
“The overall training was good and I’ve learned how to structure my ideas.”
“Overall it was a productive course; I have learned a lot.”
“I am feeling excited about writing now. I am also more aware of common mistakes…writing is fun and I could see it as a hobby in future.”
“English is one of the most difficult languages. Everyone makes mistakes in writing; the aim is to be diligent in revision. I love Ms. Hillhouse’s approach to the lessons” Read more reviews of Writing is Your Business (Level 1).
Best of Books summer camp (2016):
“Kid …in your session went home and told her people it was ‘amazing’ and detailed how it will make what she writes better.”
“The participants gained much useful information and skills and the objectives were achieved.” – Ministry official
From participant evaluations:
“The workshop was excellent.”
“I gained a wealth of knowledge about different books and ways I go about teaching my class how to write a story.”
“Good how she managed to cater to all our needs – the primary school and secondary school.”
“Different activities that can be used in the classroom.” (re what did you gain)
“A variety of strategies that can be used to encourage reading and writing.”(re what did you gain)
“How to get students to be excited about language arts.” (re what did you gain)
“To help students to develop creative minds. Don’t shut them down.” (re what did you gain)
“I enjoyed writing poems and working actively in groups. Awesome experience.”
“All of them. I learned something new each day.” (re favourite activities)
“All the practical exercises is what I enjoyed best.” (re favourite activities)
“The excitement generated by the activities; the high level of student participation.” (re favourite activities)
“Usually I am a shy person. Through teachers’ interaction I was able to read what I would have written.”
“A wonderfully informative and interactive presentation.”
“I wanted to learn new tips in assisting my students. I did.”
“The workshop was rather unique. It helped me to acquire new knowledge.”
BIM lit fest workshop (with Bernice McFadden) on Memory and Fiction (2016):
“Just had to send you a quick email of appreciation. The Bim Lit Fest workshop we did in May was such a boost of inspiration to me. I entered (the national) Literary Arts competition for the first time this year and just got news this week that my (entries won prizes). Thanks so much for organizing this and please pass on my thanks to Bernice and Joanne for taking the time to impart so much into the writing lives of others, infusing it with creativity!”
“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.
I gave the $(amount redacted) to Joanne at the end. It[‘s] worth was sooooo very much more!!!” – shared via email with the Festival coordinators
Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project participant evaluation (2013, 2015):
When 2013 participants were asked to say what they’d gained, they said:
“Better writing skills”
“You can make a story out of everything”
“An understanding of the different ways to write and that your dialogue should match your character”
“(how) to make it more realistic”
“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 think that all the advice you gave me really helped me to write better stories”
“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.”
For more camp reviews, go here.
Jhohadli Writing Project (ongoing):
“Informative, interactive, educational and funny……learnt some tips re: review: rewriting and editing – sharing painful, funny editing sagas and sharing story ideas…” – posted to facebook after session participation
“Writing on track – a few things to think about – the voice of the narrator and less can be so much more – thanks Joanne C. Hillhouse a very rewarding two hours.” – posted to facebook after session participation
“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.” – from exit survey completed by participant in my first Express Yourself! writers workshop (now re-branded as the Jhohadli Writing Project)
CODE workshop (2014):
“Currently, I am writing my first YA novel and am totally immersed in it…just attended a workshop with Joanne Hillhouse and am so fired up.” – posted to Caribbean Reads site by a participant in a CODE workshop I organized and facilitated in 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.”
“I am fired up from the workshop! keeping my writing muscles from going to flab!”
“The information I got from the workshop was priceless…I thrived in the environment you created.”
Department of Youth Affairs’ Youth Media Workshop (2014):
“After being reluctant to come, I actually learned a lot. My writing skills have improved. I also learned about myself.”
“(I learned) how to construct and edit and how to ‘back up my chat’.”
“(I learned) how to write an article: balancing my thoughts with facts; how to approach issues that I find interesting; the different techniques in writing.”
“(I most enjoyed) Meeting Ms. Hillhouse – because she is a funny teacher – and going on the field trip to Betty’s Hope.”
“I learned how to describe things through this experience. Morning discussions – I was able to open-up and state my views and [be] heard. Movie review – learning to write critically.”
“(I liked) when we discussed and debated certain topics. The trips that we made outside the classroom were also my favourite parts. They were all very entertaining and productive.”
“This two weeks was more than just writing but about social issues that affect us and the country; therefore, it was highly informative. P.S. Ms. Hillhouse, I love your approach to criticism. You never just state what needs improvement but what was great already, thereby making you approachable.”
Contact me to discuss your project today.