Tag Archives: Oh Gad! by Joanne C. Hillhouse

WHO WON IN 2013?

THE WADADLI PEN CHALLENGE 2013 FINALISTS ARE…

ANTIGUA GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL
ASHA GRAHAM
AVECIA JAMES
CHAMMAIAH AMBROSE
DARYL GEORGE
DENNIKA BASCOM
GARVIN JEFFREY BENJAMIN
JAMIKA NEDD
JAMILA H. K. SALANKEY
MICHAELA HARRIS
ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY
VEGA ARMSTRONG
ZURI HOLDER

*see all shortlisted writers here.

*re prize split – please note that each shortlisted writer receives a Certificate of Achievement as well as discount cards from the Best of Books; and the overall winner’s name has been emblazoned alongside the name of past winners onto the Challenge plaque – sponsored by the Best of Books.

 

SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST SUBMISSIONS

Primary School – St. John’s Catholic Primary – US$500 worth of books sponsored by Hands Across the Sea

Secondary School – Antigua Girls High School – US$500 worth of books sponsored by Hands Across the Seatop

ASHA GRAHAM

Author of Revelations Tonight and Remembrance
Overall Winner (Revelations Tonight), Winner in the 13 to 17 age category (Revelations Tonight) and Third placed in the 13 to 17 age category (Remembrance)

Total prizes:

Cash

$500 sponsored by Conrad Luke of R. K. Luke and Sons and the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Committee

Literary Opportunities

Sponsored spot – Just Write writers retreat courtesy Brenda Lee Browne

Books

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Oh Gad coverOh Gad! by Joanne C. Hillhouse

LiTTscapes: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Kris Rampersad

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and other gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Send out you handSend out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

The Caribbean Writer Volume 26 & the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books – women’s edition contributed by Joanne C. Hillhouse

Huracan by Diana McCaulay

Island Princess in Brooklyn by Diane Browne

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell

And more

Original one of a kind journal created by Jane Seagull

Pen sponsored by Pam Arthurton of Carib World Travel and the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Two tickets on board Barbuda Express

Gift bag from Raw Island Products

Gift courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse  top

DARYL GEORGE

Author of Ceramic Blues and Julie Drops
Second placed Overall (Ceramic Blues), Winner (Ceramic Blues) and Second Placed (Julie Drops) in the 18 to 35 age category

Total prizes:

Cash

$200 (patron prefers to remain anonymous)

Literary Opportunities

Sponsored spot – Just Write writers retreat courtesy Brenda Lee Browne

Books

Unburnable by Marie Elena JohnunburnableHIRESresized

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Dog-Heart by Diana McCaulay

Althea Prince’s In the Black: New African Canadian Literature (contributed by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

Send out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

Tides that Bind and the Road to Wadi Halfa by Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

Sweet Lady by Elaine Spires

Book gift courtesy Silver Lining supermarket

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And more

2 tickets on board Barbuda Express

Lunch for two at Keyonna Beach

Lunch for two – Bayhouse Restaurant @ Tradewinds Hotel

Gifts courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse  top

ZURI HOLDER

Author of The Big Event
Third placed overall and first placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total prizes:

Books

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And more

$200 Gift certificate – Stephen B. Shoul

2 tickets on board Barbuda Express

Gift courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse top

JAMILA H. K. SALANKEY

Author of Her Blackest Sin
Third placed in the 18 to 35 age category

Total prizes:

Books

Send out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing

Tides that Bind and the Road to Wadi Halfa by Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

And More

Gift certificate for Latte, Capuccino or Coffee – Heavenly Java 2 Go.top

MICHAELA HARRIS

Author of Secret of de Mango Tree
Second placed in the 13 to 17 age category

Total prizes:

Books

Island Princess in Brooklyn by Diane Browne

Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses by Floree WilliamsFloree Williams bookcover

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And More

$50 book gift certificate – Cushion Club top

VEGA ARMSTRONG

Author of Hide and Seek
Second placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total Prizes:

Books

Caribbean Adventure Series – three pack by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books top

CHAMMAIAH AMBROSE

Author of How Tigers Got Stripes
Third placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total prizes:

Books

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other stories by Barbara Arrindell

Caribbean Adventure Series – three pack by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books top

DENNIKA BASCOM

Winner in the junior section of 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Seascapes by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gift courtesy Jane Seagull

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

 

AVECIA JAMES

Second placed in the junior section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

 

JAMIKA NEDD

Third placed in the junior section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

GARVIN JEFFREY BENJAMIN

MissWinner in the young adult section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gift courtesy Art at the Ridge

Cash gift courtesy Koren Norton and anonymous donor

That he may have the opportunity to collaborate with writer Barbara Arrindell on her next children’s picture book is something we can all look forward to top

Special thanks as well to all the 2013 partners: Barbara Arrindell and the Best of Books, Floree Williams, Devra Thomas, Linisa George, and Brenda Lee Browne. Thanks as well to our media partners who help get the word out, especially Antigua Nice and 365 Antigua who for several years and ongoing have hosted pages for Wadadli Pen on their very busy hubs.

joanne26I am Joanne C. Hillhouse. I am first and foremost a writer (author of The Boy from Willlow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad! and contributor to other anthologies and journals) who could’ve benefited from this kind of encouragement back in the day. That’s why I do this. Congratulations to all the winners, and remember this is not just a contest; this is our attempt to nurture and showcase Antiguan and Barbudan literary talent. We’ve taken the time over the years to provide feedback to the winning writers, conduct writing workshops including online workshops right here on this site, visit schools, and other activities (such as this site) designed to help young writers hone their skills. As we showcase your best efforts here on https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com we encourage you to keep writing and to remain open to the opportunities to become a better writer.

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Latest Oh Gad! news

Over at my site, I’ve made some additions to the Oh Gad! review page…if you don’t see yours, it’s because you haven’t posted it yet. *Hint*Hint*

“In her novel Oh Gad, Joanne Hillhouse braves the challenge of writing about the complexity of dual identity by showing how one person reconciles those pieces of themselves through fight , family, and forgiveness….I loved your character Nikki. I really identified with her identity struggles and how she came to terms with her past and present.”

I like this quote by my interviewer over at Fabulous ‘N Frugal in great part because she seems to get Nikki, easily the most polarizing character in my novel Oh Gad! Readers tell me they have wanted to smack her and hug her; sometimes the same person in the space of a simple ill-thought-out action. Me, I wanted to hug her. How about you?

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Positive Buzz

Early response to In the Black, the Althea Prince collection of writings by African Canadian writers (and me) in which you can find my story The Man of Her Dreams has been positive.

“This cadent collection of poetry and prose from some of Canada’s most gifted black writers is moving, and sometimes disturbing, for readers of any colour,” begins the Herald Arts and Life review by Philip K. Thompson, who goes on to say of my story: “Joanne C. Hillhouse included her fascinating story The Man of Her Dreams. It describes a politician’s assistant falling in love with him, almost unknowingly, without realizing it until the day he marries one of her best friends. The scene where she blurts everything out at the wedding microphone is quite funny. A great lesson in not hiding true feelings, especially from yourself.”

Be sure to check out his commentary on the other stories in the series.

One reader posting to goodreads, meanwhile, singled out a handful of the stories in the collection including mine, saying, “This is a collection of several African Canadian artists and in different styles. They are all diverse and I think it was a good selection…Among the short stories there were a few that stood out for me. The Man of Her Dreams by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Push by Althea Prince were especially great in bringing out emotions and used the language greatly to get one to picture it all.” Push is one of my favourites too by the way, as I posted here.

You know, I was commenting to a friend today that right now in my life, it is, to reference one of my favourite writers, the best of times and the worst of times. I won’t get into the worst (TMI) but as for the best, everytime I get an email from someone (a generous reference letter from a former professor, an enthusiastic reader review by private email – both just this week), I feel encouraged. In every other way, it seems, life has been a struggle lately, but for this I am grateful, that I write…and readers respond. Thank you to all who’ve taken the time to do so whether privately or publicly…publicly though helps generate much needed buzz for my latest book Oh Gad! So, you know, help a writer out. With your buzzing maybe more and more book sellers will carry it, more and more readers discover it, maybe more blessings will flow. Writing a book may be a solitary thing, but selling a book is a community affair; thank you all for being part of my community.

Check out reader reviews, for Oh Gad! The Boy from Willow Bend Dancing Nude in the Moonlight and other Writings and maybe add your own.  Thanks!

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, 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 and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Cover report

Thanks to the FOAPL-NY for featuring my launch on the cover of their latest newsletter. Check out the entire issue here, and if you live in the NY area, take note that they’ll be discussing the book, Oh Gad! at their next book club meeting October 23rd 6:30 p.m. at Antigua and Barbuda House at 12 W. 122nd Street in NYC.

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Tour Stops Revised

As you may or may not know, my book Oh Gad! launched midnight on April 17th at the Best of Books in Antigua (see video highlights and my thanks). Also for up to date news on my writing career check http://jhohadli.wordpress.com and/or http://www.facebook.com/JoanneCHillhouse. In terms of interactive networks, you can also find me at the Caribbean Literary Salon, Red Room, Simon & SchusterLinkedin, BlogHer, Good Reads, Creative Caribbean Network, Poets and WritersShe Writes, and Commonwealth Writers.   Oh Gad! excerpts can be found on Good Reads, Signifying Guyana, and of course on Amazon where you can Search Inside.

I’m not sure where/why the original Tour Stops Real and Virtual evaporated (WordPress ghost) but below is my attempt to reconstitute it.

Virtual stops include past and current guest posts and interviews online. Here’s the highlight reel:

July 2012 – Video clips from the NY launch have been posted on my facebook page and my Amazon page.

June 14th 2012 – @ But What Are They Eating? – Guest Post: “E Bang Good”

May 2012 – @ Unheard Words – interview

May 31st 2012 – @ She Writes – Featured Blog: “Not the Same Old Carnival”

May 25th 2012 – @ BlogHer (not technically a featured/guest blog but…) – Girl Talk

May 7th – 2012 – @ She Writes – Featured Blog: Postings from Paramaribo series (One, Two, Three and Three and a half, Four, Five)

May 2012 – @ Your Style interview: ‘Joanne C. Hillhouse frees her mind’ (Page 17)

April 26th 2012 – @ Colorimetry – Guest Post

April 24th 2012 – on the Colin Sampson Show, Carib Arena TV

April 17th 2012 – Commonwealth Writers Talks to Joanne C. Hillhouse

April 15th 2012 – @ Novel Spaces – Guest Post: Love and Literature

April 12th 2012 – @ She Writes – Featured Blog: No Free Launches 

April 12th 2012 – @ She Writes – Featured Blog: It Pays to Give Back 

April 11th 2012 – @ Caribbean Book Blog – interview

April 3rd 2012 – @ Caribbean Literary Salon – interview

January 6th 2012 – @ Mindy Hardwick’s Blog – interview 

December 31st 2011 – @ Novel Spaces – “Got a Reading? Don’t Sweat it”

Real stops are upcoming physical stops in physical spaces:

The Nature Island Literary Festival – August 10th to 12th – UWI Open Campus, Roseau, Dominica

*interested in hosting Joanne C Hillhouse for an event – contact me

Reviews:

By Brenda Lee Browne – published at her Handbags and Chocolate blog – July 2012

“Joanne’s confidence in telling our story in a  contemporary setting with some history and mythology thrown in without making you feel  like you got to go to university to understand that our navel string is tied to the ‘muddy’ and sucks up our ancestors……bravo Joanne…bravo…..can’t wait to see this on the ‘Book Club”list across the diaspora and beyond.”

By Barbara Arrindell – published in The Sugar Mill, Volume 2, Issue 2, May – August 2012, Page 4

“it was a great read. A really well written book.”

By David B. DaCosta – published at the Caribbean Literary Salon – April 23rd 2012

Customer Reviews:

@ Amazon

@ http://www.facebook.com/JoanneCHillhouse

Other:

Thanks to all the web sites who’ve blessed Oh Gad! with a mention: Tastes like Home, 365 Antigua, Geoffrey Philp’s blog, CaribbeanEMagazineRepeating Islands, Jay Blessed, Trip Antigua, Cutlass and Cane, Bajan Sun Online Artist Corner, Antigua Press Releases, Carib Arena, The Dominican, Munyori, Caribbean Book Blog, Signifying Guyana, Carib Daily, and probably others I’ve missed. I hope you too will help me spread the word.

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Publishing may be a numbers game, but writing isn’t

I have never checked Text Stats nor do I want to, but this article (The Secret Lives of Novellas by Daniel Torday) caught my interest for several reasons. One, because it referenced a couple of my favourite books, Annie John and The Great Gatsby: books which may not have met the standard for novel length but which are fulfilling and complete reads nonetheless, never mind what early critics and Fitzgerald himself may have thought of Gatsby in particular.

Two, because I find there’s a bit of an obsession over word length by authors-in-progress – i.e. I did x number of words today or how many words blah blah blah…. I never know the answers to these questions because I’m not in the business of numbers, the tool of my art is words and words count for me in so much as they matter to the story. So how many words are in the book, as much (or as little) as it takes to tell the story completely.

Three, because I’ve had to contemplate the novel/novella classification in marketing my newest book Oh Gad! It is my third book of fiction and based on the distinction drawn along numerical lines, my first full length novel. I don’t consider it my first fully told story however and know of at least one friend and colleague who is critical of what she sees as the dismissal of my earlier work by referring to Oh Gad! as my first novel. But, to be clear, I do not reject either The Boy from Willow Bend or Dancing Nude in the Moonlight – and if you haven’t read them already, I hope you will after reading this. Because for me they are stories fully told as much as Oh Gad! is. But the writing of Oh Gad! did feel like a marathon in a way that they didn’t for many reasons. The length of it is one, sure. But it’s more than that. The sheer number of characters, comparatively speaking; the wandering into, for me, unfamiliar territory; the struggle to understand the characters, something that was not as much a struggle with my earlier work; the number of parallel plots, again comparatively speaking. It was just a lot more to keep track of and realize, and the realizing of it is a significant milestone for me as a writer. So it is third, but it is also a first for me, again not just because of the number of words (which I don’t know) or the weight of it (which I also don’t know). Though I have to admit the size disparity between it and Dancing struck me the night of the launch as they sat side by side ready to be signed. The next story may take a different form and represent another first in my growth as a writer – because I consider myself ever to be a student of this craft. But suffice it to say that on the subject of novel/novella, this is a case of size does not matter for me, but what’s contained in the package and I hope that readers will find in each of these books something of value.

So, the point of all this; when writing, tell the story, I’d say…numbers and classifications and all that is less about the art and craft of writing than the business of publishing. In order to fully immerse myself in the world of my characters and tell their story authentically, I have to keep these two things separate. I think the writer of the referenced piece kind of found that to be the case as well.

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, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Oh Gad! Launched

It was a delightful night! See for yourself. (Photos posted by event host the Best of Books).

Two of the first to buy my book. Thanks, ladies.

My friend Charmaine came straight from work to be there. I appreciate her for always being there.

Oh and she brought a friend too.

Yvie, thanks for coming out.

And Linisa from August Rush for helping me to pull it off. Thanks.

Signing.

Grinning like a fool.

Soaking it in.

With Marcus Christopher, a legendary calypso lyricist. So cool that he came out to support.

With Gulliver and Janie Conley-Johnson who are also celebrating their own recent success with the win for Tablemanners: A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda (First (1st) Prize in the category of Best Publisher and Best Design for 2011 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards organization).

Ask for the book at your local bookstore or buy online.

POST NOTE: This event actually happened on a Monday midnight… but as it’s been the highlight of my week, I’m sharing it at At Home With Books Saturday Meme as I continue to share news of a very happy event… and of course continue to introduce potential readers to my new book Oh Gad!

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…are you comfortable encouraging young people from the region to aspire to a writing career?

That’s a question put to me in a recent interview. As I continue to get the word out about my new book, I thought I’d share that interview on Caribbean Book Blog; and an earlier one on Caribbean Literary Salon. As I share these, I have to admit that a part of me does so reluctantly… this process of self promotion doesn’t come easily to me. But I want the book to find readers and do well so I’m doing my best to step out of my comfort zone and hope I don’t put my foot in my mouth.

Perhaps you’ll find the interviews of interest, sufficiently so to share them in your network. More than that I hope you purchase and read the book; I hope you post reviews on Amazon and such places when you do (especially if they’re good reviews). The book is Oh Gad! It’ll be available for sale as of April 17th 2012.

And because my mom raised me right, please and thank you.

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PEEP THE COVER!

Oh Gad! cover now posted at the publisher’s website. Check it out.

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