Performance Reviews

I (Joanne C. Hillhouse) am an author, a freelance writer (features, content creation, corporate communications etc.)  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.  These clients are from the Caribbean, the US, Africa, etc. This is especially useful for anyone from anywhere seeking the services of a writer and/or editor, or considering participating in one of my workshops or courses (or seeking to hire me for one). 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 (re services, author appearances, or other paying opportunity), contact me.

QUICK LINKS – Performance reviews re Articles; consulting (combo of writing, editing, project management, or other activity) ; editing service (creative projects) ; editing service (non-creative projects); coaching service ; script evaluation service ; workshop facilitation and writing courses

NEW!!!

“I was able to get more insight into the importance of stories. Also see that stories are a part of our every day lives. Take away: The feeling of relief after realizing that today’s activities were going to be interactive. The activities which I can use in my own classroom” – participant, Ministry of Education Summer Institute

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.

“… delightful essay on the perils of Caribbean rain, What an enjoyable read!” + “I.Love.This.POST!! And how you write!” –reader comment, re How to Predict Rain in the Caribbean, blogged at Women Who Live on Rocks

“Good op ed by Joanne Hillhouse, a fellow Antiguan writer, on the climate change crisis and Barbuda’s uncertain future a year after hurricane Irma.” – Natasha Lightfoot on twitter re Barbuda’s Hurricane Irma Story is about Devastation and Resilience on Huffington Post

“Excellent review, Joanne. My grad students recently read Home Home. I will share your review with them as a model of how to write a review. ” – a fellow writer and professor on social media in response to a posted book review from my Blogger on Books series

“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
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PERFORMANCE REVEWS consulting (combo of writing, editing, project management, or other):

“I relish the work you have done and have been verbally pushing your services to my associates. ” – client re content creation services for social media

“I am very, very happy with the outcome. EXCELLENT work!” – project consultant, manual

“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 Productions with whom I worked on a mx of audio-visual projects for the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation
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PERFORMANCE REVIEWS editing service (creative projects):

“Your edit was incredibly helpful.  The detail identified inconsistencies, minor mistakes and more serious plot details, and generally improved style and delivery.” – KE, author, book edit

“I thought you worked very well to help her strengthen the character development and it was certainly a much stronger novel when you were through… I will happily recommend you to anyone who comes to me looking for an editor.” – publisher who  contracted my book editing services

“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, story edits

“Your notes are on point, incredibly helpful — beyond just the dialect stuff — and making this a better book. Many, many, many thanks.” – MRK, author, book edit.

“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, book edit

“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, story edit

“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, book edit of book in progress
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PERFORMANCE REVIEWS editing service (non-creative projects):

“As I begin to review and apply your edits, I want to compliment and thank you for the fine job you have done with my text. As someone who reads a lot, I now understand why many authors are so effusive in thanking their editors in the acknowledgements. I found your suggestions to be thoughtful, and accurate. Your rearrangement of the sentences in my [redacted] segment is a good example. You significantly improved the impact of my own words by skillfully, as a writer, applying your objective, yet appreciative grasp what I was trying to express.” – JN, client for whom I edited a longform essay

“Quite pleased.” – client, report edit, 2018

“Thanks. Your recommendations were helpful.” – client, edit, academic document

“I would like to express our gratitude to you on the excellent job done. Your suggestions, attention to detail and patience with us have not gone unnoticed.” – NY, WICB

“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

“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.” – MM, author, book edit
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PERFORMANCE REVIEWS coaching service:

“The feedback [Joanne C. Hillhouse gave me] was useful because it helped me to be aware of not being wordy but writing with a purpose leading to the climax. Moreover, it helped me to realize that I have to constantly think about the reader and ask myself if what I have written was clear enough to the targeted reader.” – FM, finalist, The 2017 CODE Burt Award for Tanzanian Young Adult Literature

“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, gender and social development worker

“I really appreciate your comments. I must confess that I am learning a lot.” – assigned mentee
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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
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PERFORMANCE REVIEWS workshop facilitation and writing courses:

Jhohadli Writing Project –

JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series – Back to Basics (2018):

“I am really confident about writing now. I have been doing so well since I started it has grabbed the attention of my employers and colleagues… This workshop was really intriguing. I learnt a lot of things that (of which) I had no knowledge. Joanne is also a fantastic teacher. ” – participant evaluation

JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series 4 – WIPs (2018):

“I registered for this to see what I could learn from being in a workshop as this is my first ever workshop experience. My favourite workshop experience was the discussions and the impromptu writing sessions. I learnt how to put my thoughts/ goals on paper (journal) and just write. I would recommend this workshop of course because it taught me how to write more effectively.” – participant evaluation

JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series 3 – Character (2018):

“I learnt about how to develop a character more effectively.” – participant evaluation

“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.” – participant evaluation

JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series 1 – Setting (2018):

“My favourite workshop activity was reading the assignments and the discussions which assisted with writing my own settings.” – participant evaluation

JWP (pre-2018):

“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 … 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.” –  participant evaluation, Express Yourself! writers workshop (since re-branded as the Jhohadli Writing Project)

JWP Summer Youth Writing Project – participant evaluation (2015, 2013):

“When she (my daughter) got in the Jhohadli Writing Project, I was more thrilled than she was. But, you know what? At the end of it all … she couldn’t stop talking about it. You have also helped her to realize the field she should be in as an artist and I am really happy for that. That’s all I need…and I love the work she produced while she was in the program. As for my niece, the program gave her 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. …I hope new and existing sponsors continue to support your Jhohadli Writing Project because of the emerging talent that will be realized by our Antiguan youth.” – parent feedback, via social media

First questionThird question

 dsc_0310When 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.

Barbara Arrindell & Associates –

Writing is Your Business – a written communication course for non-writing professionals (2017, 2016):

“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.”

“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).

co-facilitating in-company training on written communication for a BA&A multi-national client (2016):

session-breakFrom 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.”

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.”

Ministry of Education – 

Ministry of Education Summer Institute – STORY workshop (2019) – 

“I’ve learned some new ideas to make my class more enticing”

“What do I expect to get from this session? +to learn how to implement ‘story telling’ to teach lessons + to learn how to implement ‘story telling’ to spark children’s interest in lessons and their creativity. Did I learn anything today? Yes. The objectives I set out to gain were accomplished”

“I got the chance to colour, role play and I enjoyed the first exercise we did. I’m gonna use that as an exercise at school”

“I learn(ed) that storytelling can describe the social and cultural activity of sharing different life stories and more”

“I got (that) teaching can be fun using different storytelling forms…One specific takeaway storytelling in every subject area”

“I got a whole lot and I wish we had you from the beginning”

“One specific take away is this will encourage me to write more because I enjoy writing drama, and storytelling”

“We got the elements of storytelling; how to help stds tell their story. We got the basics – not just what we should do, but what not to do in helping stds tell their stories. One specific take away for me is the various types of stories”

“I was able to get more insight into the importance of stories. Also see that stories are a part of our every day lives. Take away: The feeling of relief after realizing that today’s activities were going to be interactive. The activities which I can use in my own classroom”

“I enjoyed interacting with and bringing the text alive through role play from different points of view. One specific take away – being immersed in storytelling makes me feel excited and I know children will enjoy the same. I realize I need to research more interactive techniques”

“I learnt that stories could be told in many different ways”

“At the end of this lesson I’m able to write short story on my own.”

Ministry of Education Summer Institute – creative writing workshop (2016) –

“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) –

“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

“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!”- shared via email with the Festival coordinators

“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

 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) –

youth-media-workshop-3“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.”

 Just Write Writers Retreat (Antigua, 2014, 2012) –

“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.”
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Also recommended by linkedin connections for creative writing, press releases, editing, newsletters, blogging, publishing, books, writing, web content, publications, journalism, newspapers, magazines, feature articles, storytelling, copy editing, freelance writing, literature, corporate communications, social media marketing, short story, teaching, published author newspaper, film, proofreading, editorial, new media, digital media, brochures, television production, stories, broadcast, non-fiction.

Contact me to discuss your project today.

Back to Joanne’s Editing, Writing, and Coaching Services.

3 thoughts on “Performance Reviews

  1. Pingback: JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series – Back to Basics | Wadadli Pen

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