Tag Archives: Books

Books for 1735: This is a Picture Post

But first, the back story. Ayanna Shadrach, a teacher at Clare Hall Secondary, last November collected a couple boxes of books from me as part of her drive to donate books to the Antigua and Barbuda prison (the titular 1735 named above, otherwise known as the place behind the big red gate). In all, with the help of her students, she collected over 500 used books but if you’ve been following the travails of the prison, you know about the contagions (chicken pox etc.) that mitigated against access for a time. Seems the clouds have parted and Ms. Shadrach and her students were finally able to deliver the books to the prison. I thought it would be cool to share them here as an example of young people doing positive things. See below. No, first, read about Ms. Shadrach and her project here, then see below.

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RESOURCES

Over time, Wadadli Pen has added a fair amount of writing and publishing information – from interviews with authors and publishers, to the reading rooms, to the opportunities pages (technically posts not pages). This post-not-page is something slightly different, though there’ll probably be a bit of overlap. Like the reading room and opportunities (which you can use the search box to find), it will be updated from time to time; its purpose is to gather and share information related to publishing that writers need to know – information that too many of us have to learn the hard way. Hope you find it useful on your writing and publishing journey.  Also visit the Writer’s Toolbox. Disclaimer: We don’t take responsibility for the information provided on any of the linked sites. Remember, do your own due diligence and seek the advice of an agent and/or lawyer if you can.

Copyright

Basic Copyright Concepts for Writers

Copyright Information for Writers

The Fuss about Fair Use

Two Easy Steps for Using the DMCA Takedown Notice to Battle Copyright Infringement

10 common—and crucial—copyright questions for communicators

On the Hustle

5 Red Flags to look for in a Contract

31 Ways to Freelance Yourself to Financial Freedom

Case Study: How I Get Paid $100 a Week to Write Rants About Video Games

“Find your minimum…and charge no less than that. If someone comes to you and says ‘…can you go lower?’ just say no… If you’re getting a lot of low paying work, you just need to learn to say ‘no’ more…You are worth a certain rate as a writer and when you go below that you are undervaluing yourself and as a result that paints the wrong picture of you to your clients.” Very good webinar on navigating the freelancing life.

How not to Pitch Editors

How to become a Professional Ghost Writer

How to Market Yourself without selling Your Soul

“If you’re still a little unsure of your abilities, keep telling yourself that you have skills and experience that people are prepared to pay for. You’ve been invited to a meeting for a reason. You’ve won their approval thus far; you now just need to bring home the business by impressing them face-to-face.” – Learning how to sell yourself: how to win over a new client during a pitch by Katy Cowan

“Most freelancers spend about 30 percent of their time completing non-billable work like pitching, researching, interviewing, responding to emails, marketing, networking, and invoicing…That means an eight-hour workday only leaves you with about five billable hours. So when finding your own rate, be realistic with what you can charge and how many hours in the week you can work.” – Rates

Rate Guide for Authors

The Ultimate Guide to Recurring Income for Freelancers

What to do at every stage of a late payment

Why what you write matters more than where you publish

Writing for others – what to charge

Publishing – Books

5 Entrepreneurial Tips for Authors Who Want To Up Their Game

An Author’s Guide to Praise and Endorsement Best Practices

Carly Watters – Literary Agent Blog – I’m sharing this here because I don’t really have an agents’ blog on this site but I find, just perusing her comments section that she’s quite responsive and has some insights about the industry that might be useful, whichever agent you pitch.

Don’t Fall Prey to Publishing Scams: 7 New Writer Mistakes to Avoid

GATE opens a window to the world of e-publishing

Guidelines for formatting your manuscript before submission and more guidelines BUT remember to check the publisher website for any guidelines specific to her.

How to get published

Negotiating an e-book contract

Nine Ways to a Faster Book Deal

The Pros and Cons of Book Awards

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

Publishing 101 with Eugenia O’Neal

Publishing an Ebook

Publishing Contracts 101 (Protect Your Work)

Publishing-related

Ten Principles of Fair Contracts

What to do When Your Book goes Out of Print

Why You need an Author Platform – and How to get One

Why your blog is your best promotional source

Publishing – Journals, Anthologies

Submitting Something Somewhere: Things to Consider

Writing

On Writing Dialogue

Three Plot Structures

Other

How to Hire a Skilled Editor and What You’ll Pay (because some writers really do need to consider what’s involved before pushing back on the rates – negotiating is fine, disrespect and derision is not) – rates and reasons vary but this isn’t a bad guide

On merchandising fictional characters – a legal primer

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

 

 

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Building a Reading Culture and the Link to Improving Exam Performance: a Perspective

Previously published in the Daily Observer. Reprinted here as it seems timely in light of the Cushion Club and Wadadli Pen teaming up for a summer reading challenge.

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Recently, during an interview with a regional publication about the Wadadli Pen writing programme, I was asked about things people could do to support the literary arts. I spoke, of course, about the need for arts funding to run ongoing writing programmes and the like. But then the interviewer asked me a follow up that narrowed the scope of the question, and at the same time expanded it. What can the individual do? And what came immediately to mind was the simple act of encouraging a child to read, reading with and to a child; it can be your child, or it can be the child of someone else. It’s a simple act but that’s where it starts.

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Quite recently, I read an article, during the period of hand wringing that usually follows the release of the results of the standardized tests as we try to figure out why our kids are failing English or Math or Social Sciences. It seems we do this dance every year. And certainly it’s a dance not unique to us here in Antigua and Barbuda. Within the rhythm and sway of it, one of the things that jumped out was the aforementioned article in which the Education Minister explained that “There has been a decline as teachers become acclimatized to this new English syllabus.” It gave me pause and I wondered what was in this new syllabus that was so challenging, so I read on; and what I read seemed to suggest that while the structure had changed what was expected was the same, the ability to comprehend.

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I felt it at the tip of my tongue, like an overplayed song that everyone’s tired of hearing; we need to make reading a part of their everyday lifestyle. I really believe that the literary arts (imagining, reading, writing) is foundational to doing well not only in English but in the various subject areas, foundational to deciphering the puzzles that present themselves, foundational to thinking critically and creatively.

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It helps perhaps that I’ve always found reading fun so I didn’t have to be bribed or bullied into doing it, and so maybe it’s easy for me to say this, but I believe that reading is the key to us beginning to figure out how to create, imagine, comprehend, and articulate ideas. It begins with that book you first read upside down and the stories you invented because the pictures made sense even though the words didn’t yet, and the stories you made up to fill in the blanks when the tale left you hanging, all the while building your vocabulary, your competence and confidence with respect to the use of language, and your brain’s ability to unknot things and create new patterns.

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I was heartened, therefore, when I read a little further on in the story a comment attributed to an anonymous teacher who I really wished had acquiesced to having her/his name used because they made the point that links with what I’m saying here; that the real problem is that “children are not reading.”

Chadd Cumberbatch visits the Cushion Club2 Chief Librarian Dorothea Nelson 3

At this point, you’re thinking of all the parents working too many hours to make ends meet to have time to read to or with their kids, or too busy putting food on the table to put books on the shelves. And I feel you on that because I come from a world of scant resources myself and still live in a world where people are struggling to do too much with too little. But this is where we’ve got to get creative. I remember a parent once saying to me that because she’s at work all day she has no way of making sure that her son reads, no way of making sure that he doesn’t spend all the summer-long day watching TV, which, let’s face it, he probably did. I suggested to her that one way around that is to set the expectation. And no I’m not just talking about my mother’s trick of checking the TV for heat to make sure that we hadn’t been watching the Soaps after school, which we totally did (hey, I said I liked books, doesn’t mean I didn’t like TV too). But how about asking them to summarize what they’ve read that day, they don’t even have to write it down; it could just be a conversation, which is good for getting them to begin articulating how they feel about things. Kara Stevens, speaking about a Read Aloud programme she did at Villa School earlier this year, spoke about the step in the programme where the children were encouraged to react to the material, a process that could potentially build their speaking and writing skills, and get them thinking about broader social issues. So, encourage that conversation over dishes or dinner or while they’re helping you hang clothes on the line, whatever window your busy day allows; and if they didn’t read the book after all, well talk about the TV show you know they spent the time watching…after all TV shows (and no I’m not counting (Un)Reality shows here) are story-driven too.

library reading

So that’s what I said in that interview about Wadadli Pen that writing begins with imagining and reading, and that one of the ways we can support the literary arts – and, I suspect, begin to put an end to the annual wringing of hands about our performance in not just language arts but other subject areas – is by creating a culture in which children are encouraged to read in the homes, in the community (why not start a Cushion Club in your village?), in the classroom (a la the drop-everything-and-read activity in some schools). It seems a frivolous thing to some, a weird thing even, an indulgence in a practical world, but it can be skill building and even fun, and not, as I say all the time about Wadadli Pen, only if you’re interested in becoming a writer.

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All pictures in this post are Cushion Club related except for the last two – one of which is me, reading from The Boy from Willow Bend and Musical Youth at the public library in Anguilla and at Hillside school in St. Martin. It goes without saying that (especially as these are pictures of children) you can link the post but not copy and past the pictures without permission…but I’m saying it anyway.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,  Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. And using any creative work without crediting the creator will open you up to legal action. Respect copyright.

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A Little Perspective

The long list of the OCM Bocas Prize was announced this weekend and an Antiguan and Barbudan writer/book/subject is on the list! 2136dd3c-42db-4ee4-841a-70fa52ac3d4cThe writer, Dorbrene O’Marde; the book, Nobody Go Run Me; the subject, Short Shirt . Maybe it will get some press here at home – whether you believe as I do that Short Shirt is the epitome of Antiguan and Barbudan calypso artistry, he is one of our cultural and calypso icons after all – whatever he does is news (right?), and Dorbrene is a well-established arts and media personality in his own right – from his days as Head of Harambee, widely acclaimed as the best of Antiguan theatre, to his current role as head and mouthpiece of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission (his profile certainly makes him news, right?). Plus Nobody Go Run Me was part of the news story that was the year-long anniversary celebration of Short Shirt’s 50 years in Calypso – something I, as a freelance journalist, covered for local publication Daily Observer, regional publication Zing, and, with specific reference to the book, am in the process of writing about for the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books which has ties, through its editor Dr. Paget Henry, to Brown University in the USA. All of that to say, this news of O’Marde and Nobody Go Run Me making the long list of a major Caribbean prize is news and probably won’t get lost in the shuffle. Probably. But, just in case, I want to bring a little perspective.

When Antigua and Barbuda’s name is hollered for major literary prizes – PEN/Faulkner, the Guggenheim, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Book Award to name a few, it’s usually followed by Jamaica Kincaid. You won’t find her face on any of our many, many roadside billboards but she is a literary celebrity by any stretch of the imagination and, though her nom de plume references a larger island in the northern Caribbean, she is from the Ovals community right here in the 268. She has been and continues to be an inspiration for writers like me and others – from places like Ottos, Antigua and places far removed from it, where young girls dream of daring to write unconventionally, compellingly…uncomfortably, truthfully.

For many, Antiguan and Barbudan literature in as much as it even exists – and for many it doesn’t – begins and ends with Jamaica.

Because of this oversight, every pebble that ripples the water, reminding the larger Caribbean and international community that we are here (arwe yah!) matters.

When Brenda Lee Browne, in 2013, made the long list of the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize – a prize which allows an emerging Caribbean writer time and resources to advance a work in progress – to date the only Antiguan and Barbudan of 22 long listed writers between 2013 and 2014, it mattered.

When an Antiguan and Barbudan book, in 2014, made the short list and went on to place second for the first ever Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean fiction, it mattered.

There weren’t headlines here at home for either of these breakthroughs, both administered by the team behind the BOCAS literary festival in Trinidad, and presented during the awards ceremony there, but as far as creating ripples in the water, they mattered.

Well, the OCM Bocas Prize is the biggest award presented at that festival. For Caribbean writers, with the Commonwealth Book and First Book awards now just a memory and the other major literary awards of the world not impossible to reach – as 2015 Frost medalist Kamau Brathwaite’s accomplishment recently reminded us – but a stretch (and, don’t get me wrong, stretching is good), the OCM Bocas Prize is one of the few opportunities remaining. It is specific to us, demands the best of us, rewards the best among us. Since its launch in 2011, it has been won by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (White Egrets); Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie) – who also took the Grand Prize from the Caribbean Congress of Writers for the same book; Monique Roffey (Archipelago) – previously shortlisted for the Orange Prize for another book, White Woman on the Green Bicycle; and former Guggenheim fellowRobert Antoni (As Flies to Whatless Boys). Its long list has been a who’s who of Caribbean literati – Edwidge Dandicat, Kendel Hippolyte, Lorna Goodison, Kei Miller… and no Antiguans and Barbudans, until now 2015 with O’Marde’s book, Nobody Go Run Me. The book is in formidable company as there are no also-rans in this line up – Miller’s the Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion is already the winner of the prestigious Forward Prize in the UK, Marlon James (did you catch him this past week on Late Night with Seth Myers on NBC?) landed on several year-end best of lists in 2014 (TIME, New York Times, Amazon etc) and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US thanks to his Brief History of Seven Killings, Roffey’s House of Ashes was a finalist for the Costa Award, Tiphanie Yanique’s Land of Love and Drowning has already won the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, Elizabeth Nunez’s Not for Everyday Use has been dubbed by Oprah.com as one of the Best Memoirs of the past year, the author of Dying to Better Themselves, Olive Senior, is a previous winner of the aforementioned (and no longer) Commonwealth Writers Prize, and Tanya Shirley’s The Merchant of Feathers and Vladimir Lucien’s Sounding Ground have been receiving all kinds of critical acclaim. Nobody Go Run Me (described in the Bocas release as “…a carefully researched biography of Antigua’s most celebrated calypsonian and a history of Antiguan society and culture in the crucial decades after independence.”) deservedly claims its place among these great works. I hope that isn’t overlooked, as things of this nature tend to be, here at home.

It matters.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,  Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad! and Burt Award finalist Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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What’s Happening

Heather Doram's Moonlight on Butterflies, currently featured in the October 2014 issue of Tongues of the Ocean - the Antigua and Barbuda edition.

Heather Doram’s Moonlight on Butterflies, currently featured in the October 2014 issue of Tongues of the Ocean – the Antigua and Barbuda edition.

ART AT THE RIDGE is hosting an art exhibition preview evening on Friday 28 November 2014 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at Sugar Club (Sugar Ridge). An exciting collection of new paintings by a select group of artists, including: Heather Doram Jane Seagull Nicholas Hadeed Sarah Sabin Debbie Bruschi Glenroy Aaron

Glenroy Aaron created the cover art for my book Musical Youth.

Glenroy Aaron created the cover art for my book Musical Youth.

Gordon Webster Tel: 728 1558 Email : ArtAtTheRidge@hotmail.com Address : Sugar Ridge Village, PO Box 84 Jolly Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda Web page: www.facebook.com/ArtAtTheRidge

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UPDATED!!!!!! FROM THE ANTIGUA DANCE ACADEMY FACEBOOK PAGE: POSTPONED due to the gardens being too wet….sorry folks we will set a new date as soon as the grounds are dried out enough.

Meanwhile the Antigua Dance Academy has announced plans for Bring Yuh Drum and Come: ADA ***                                                ********                       *******                                                  ***

Also just in time for Christmas, two new books from Caribbean Reads Publishing – my young adult, a 2014 finalist for the Burt Award, Musical Youth and new collection of Caribbean Christmas stories, poems, and more, Round My Christmas Tree which includes my story Breaking with Tradition and writing by another Antiguan and Barbudan Carel Hodge. Christmas

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CODE SPONSORED TEEN AND ADULT WORKSHOPS SET FOR ANTIGUA IN NOVEMBER

Get on it quick. Registration deadline is November 11th 2014.

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’ve been lobbying CODE to locate one of these workshops in Antigua and Barbuda since I first learned about them so, yay, for this. And looking forward to the opportunity to facilitate. In other me and CODE news, my book – you know the one that placed second for the Burt Award – Musical Youth – yeah, that one, it’s dropping soon. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m planning a reading event with CODE for the Friday before the workshops so you’ll be able to get a teaser of the book. Looking forward to all of it. Here’s the cover,  with art work by Antigua and Barbuda’s own Glenroy Aaron. Sweet, right?

MUSICAL_YOUTH_Nov1

 

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2014 Review of Book to be Launched Thursday at the UC (Antigua)

The University of the West Indies, Open Campus Antigua and Barbuda, and The Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association

 

Present

A Colloquium on

 

RELIGION IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

 

AT

 

UWI OPEN CAMPUS ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

 

AUGUST 21-22, 2014

 

 

 

PROGRAMME:

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21ST (7:00 – 9:00 PM)

 

Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Address

 

Opening Blessing: Rev. Reid Simon

 

Opening Speakers: Ian Benn (UWI), Paget Henry (ABSA)

 

Keynote Speaker and Performer: Dr. George Roberts: “Changing the Music of Our Churches”

 

Formal Introduction of Dr. Hazra Medica

 

Short Address: Dr. Hazra Medica

 

Launch of The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books 

 

Friday afternoon will consist of panels on the church and society.

 

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