Tag Archives: writing

The Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project: A Space for Young Antiguans and Barbudans to Get Creative

Talked a bit about the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project on Observer Radio ( @Observer Media ) this week. Thanks to Darren Matthew Ward and Amar Spencer.

I’ll add only that I’m here situated in Antigua, a writer and a media person, interested in working with young writers or with young people (and adults, my adult writing workshops, like Ah-nuld, will be back) in general who want to improve their literary skills or just carve a space in their lives to flex/exercise their literary muscles. We are all works in progress and I continue to work on my own as well, participating in writing workshops and retreats when I’m able. You don’t realize how draining life can be on your creativity until you’re in a space, if only for an hour that is just about the creativity.

Darren asked me during our interview about the future of the arts (in Antigua and Barbuda) and (despite the intimations by some that I am effectively in a dying industry and the sense, certainly in our space where it is not prioritized) all I can say is go back to earliest civilization, there has been a creative spark, through all the changes over millennia, there has been a creative spark, on the plantations where oppressors worked overtime to stamp out my ancestors’ humanity, there was a creative spark, there will be as long as there are humans trying to interact with or make sense of their world, as long as there is a living, breathing soul inside of us, a creative spark. We create because we are.

As a freelance writer, in a space with limited (very limited) support for the creative arts, I try to find ways to not only do what I do, share my own work but work with others. When I started Wadadli Pen, best known as an annual arts Challenge it aspired and aspires to be more than a competition. As a voluntary project with zero resources of its own, the Challenge is primarily what I’ve been able to do with it. But one thing the challenge reveals each year is the spark of potential in so many of our young people and young writers, there only to be stoked and encouraged.

Through the Jhohadli Writing Project, my own professional writing services, I hope to play a more developmental role, allowing people to pay where they can and/or businesses and individuals to support someone else in the journey, where they are able and willing. It’s not something I can do for free, but I do want it to be accessible which is one of the reasons that I invite sponsorship so that I can offer spaces to promising writers who don’t have the ability to pay. That’s where I am with this.

Appreciated the opportunity to share more.

And as usual thinking about a million other things I should have said (such as the obvious connection between this arts programme and the kind of programme the kids in #MusicalYouth were involved with). Musical Youth is my latest book and my publisher CaribbeanReads will probably want to ring my ear for not plugging it…or Best of Books which was so gracious for spotlighting the book as its teen summer read. Glad I got to get a word in on the reading challenge put on by my two primary voluntary projects the Cushion Club and Wadadli Pen (supported with book discounts by Best of Books and Cindy’s Bookstore…shout out as well to Map Shop which helped us compile the reading list).

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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Adapting

student writing workshop 2workshop 2workshop 3That’s what I think of when I look at these pictures from my Saturday afternoon session at Anguilla Lit Fest alongside Yona Deshommes of Atria. It was a fun session of letting the imagination run wild, really wild, as we nudged the participants, all very creative young people, in to imagining their own stories. It’s a reminder that when creating, or for that matter just being, you allow yourself to feel free to fly or fail or flounder when you don’t feel like your choices, your actions or inactions, your very words are being scrutinized, and found wanting. Drop other elements into the water and judgment is … inevitable. But in that moment around that table, we tried to make them feel free to imagine, because in that space there was no right or wrong, just the next sentence.

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.

See my other blogs related to the Anguilla Lit Fest here, here, and here.

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Opportunities Too

It was getting a bit busy so I decided to start fresh. However, I recommend visiting the original page for publisher, contest, award, project etc. information and for some tips/advice on submitting/applying. This includes information re protecting your work – links to articles like this one. I won’t repeat it all here but it’s still relevant.

This page will be dedicated to upcoming deadlines and fresh content will be added (and stale content removed) as time goes on. Fair warning, I’ll be going for some of these as well.

ON DEADLINE

February 15th 2016 – Epiphany magazine contest to award $400 & 5 contributor copies to the winner; runners up will be awarded $100 & 5 contributor copies. Work must be previously unpublished, online or print
•Prose: 10k words max
•Poetry: 20 page max, all forms welcome
•Reading Fee: $15
Go here to submit.

February 15th 2016 – deadline for submission of a personal essay to the Long Island Lit Fest. The winner gets to present at the Festival. There is an entry; details here.

February 17th 2016 – Go here for entry information, writing tips and more re the 2016 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge

March 1st 2016 – Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria (June 9th to 13th 2016) – Details here.

March 6th 2016 – Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing – first prize £7,500 to be awarded during the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival at the Old Bank Hotel in April 2016  – quite competitive, attracting over 450 entries – Fiction or fact – Food and Drink has to be at the heart of the tale. Submissions accepted from anywhere in the world – authors can be published or unpublished but the entry must be previously unpublished – the story should be up to 2, 500 words and must be written in English – Entries should be submitted by email as a Word document to shortstoryprize@mogford.co.uk by March 6th 2016, midnight GMT (one submission per person). Entrants should also supply their home address, email and telephone number. The shortlist of four will be selected by March 17th with the winner decided on by March 29th 2016.

March 11th 2016 – the BBC National Short Story Award with Book Trust. Read more.

March 13th 2016 – The Kerouac Project provides four residencies a year to writers of any stripe or age, living anywhere in the world. Each residency consists of approximately a three month stay in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums. Utilities and a food stipend of $1,000 are included. All you are required to do is work on your writing project and participate in two events while a resident—a welcome potluck dinner, and a reading of your work at the Kerouac House. Should you desire them, the Kerouac Project can also offer opportunities for you to participate in other readings, lead workshops, and interact in other ways with the vibrant Central Florida literary community. Read more.

November 1st 2015 – March 15th 2016 – You can apply, during this period for the Breadloaf in Sicily workshop. There’s a US$30 application fee and you’ll need to submit up to 6,000 words of fiction or non-fiction and up to eight pages of poetry with your application.  Apply early, they say, space is limited; a US$300 deposit will be required on acceptance. I believe the total fee comes in at just under US$3,000. The things the fee covers includes the conference program, transfer to and from Palermo Airport, six nights of lodging, three meals daily (except for Wednesday), wine reception at the readings, and an excursion to the ancient ruins of Segesta. Accommodations are single rooms with private bath. Breakfast and lunch are served at the hotel and dinner is available at select restaurants in Erice (an ancient, hilltop town on the western coast of Sicily). An auditor option without a manuscript is also available for a slightly lesser fee.  Other details here.

April 2016 – submissions open for a debut children’s fiction contest, inspired by the life and legacy of Mildred D. Taylor, author of Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, to find talented, ethnically diverse authors writing for readers ages 8-14. Keep checking here for details.

July 16th 2016 October 16 2015 to April 15 2016 – TriQuarterly welcomes submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, short drama, video essays, and hybrid work from established as well as emerging writers. They also welcome short-short prose pieces. They ask that poets submit no more than six poems between per cycle, and that prose authors limit their total submission to fewer than 3,500 words. They are especially interested in work that embraces the world and continues, however subtly, the ongoing global conversation about culture and society that TriQuarterly pursued from its beginning in 1964. TriQuarterly pays honoraria for creative work and publishes two issues a year. Read more.

April 15th 2016 – The New Zealand Government is offering scholarships for students starting full-time postgraduate degree programmes in 2016. Scholarships are available for national of African Commonwealth countries, Africa – non-Commonwealth countries, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean Commonnwealth countries and Caribbean non-Commonnwealth countries. Read more.

April 30th 2016 – Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Noemi Press are given annually for one book-length poetry collection and one book-length work of fiction. The editors will judge. POETRY: Poets at any stage in their career may submit a manuscript of no more than 90 pages with a $25 entry fee by April 30. FICTION: Fiction writers at any stage in their career may submit a manuscript (no page limit) with a $25 entry fee by April 30. All manuscripts are read blind. Strip your manuscript of all identifying material, including title pages, dedications, and acknowledgements; otherwise, the manuscript will not be considered. Contest winners will be announced in summer 2016. Here’s where you go to submit.

May 1st – June 30th 2016 (and every year) -The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2016 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. It’s open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution. Digital-only publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement. The award is open to writers in English, whether or not they are citizens of the United States. Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 typed pages. Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic) makes it ineligible. Stories or novellas previously published in magazines or journals or in book form as part of an anthology are eligible. Other details here.

May 31st – the One Story submission cycle is actually September 1st to May 31st; so if you don’t have anything for this cycle, you can start working on the next. They’re seeking literary fiction between 3,000 and 8,000 words – any style, any subject; but make it good because you only get one shot. They pay US$500 and 25 contributor copies for first serial North American rights, with all other rights reverting to the author on publication. Stories must be previously unpublished – this includes online publication, though stories published in print outside of the US will be considered. Other details here.

June 30th 2016 – Autumn House Press non-fiction contest; the winner will receive publication of a full length manuscript and US$2,500. Read more.

September 23rd 2016 – the Manchester Fiction Prize – £10,000 prize for the best short story of up to 2,500 words. Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 or over (no upper age limit). Read more.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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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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Writer’s Toolbox

I’ll be putting stuff here that covers both the craft and the business of writing.

The Business of ‘Selling International Rights’ by Moira Allen is a must-read for any freelance writer.

A Craft post – Gayle Gonsalves on Character.

Also check the workshop links on the site and the business links.

Re the Business and the Craft of writing, don’t forget to use the search feature to the right, to look up some ‘opportunities’.

I have a lot of links about my craft and my experience in the business. And here’s a link to my business of freelancing.

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It pays to Experiment, It’s essential to dream

“That’s when the hand fell out. Goldine stared. It was just a hand—innocent looking, really, brown with black hairs, manicured nails, bruised knuckles, and a Rolex.” – from The Cat has Claws by Joanne C. Hillhouse

I just came across this noir piece I wrote and can’t remember if I’d shared it here. It’s an example that proves the headline of this blog posting (It pays to experiment…). I’d read but never written noir before. I decided to try my hand at it (because, why not) and what I wrote was picked for publication in Akashic’s Mondays are Murder Series.

More recently, there’s the fairytale With Grace, which I wrote when I was trying to work through some very negative feelings which I decided to channel into this very positive medium, sort of a way of turning that frown upside down I guess. Fairytales, of course, we know sometimes have dark origins and deal with some what could be the stuff of nightmares but, in the fairytale world, they all lived happily ever after, and with that certainty we can get through the bad stuff. The world doesn’t work like it does in children’s stories, of course, but good things can come out of challenges. And out of the challenge that led me to write With Grace came a story I love very much, I really do, because the fairytale form was an interesting and stimulating challenge for me and I also enjoyed colouring outside of the lines a little bit.  I was encouraged when I shared it with the participants near the end of my Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project last summer and they gave it the same treatment we’d been giving, with my guidance, every story they themselves had shared. They critiqued it.

What they thought worked… “very descriptive …the song was good …effective use or irony…good manipulation of the stereotype(s)…good  (haunting) ending…”

What they thought needed work… “(character’s name withheld) interesting but the introduction was abrupt …need more description of (character name withheld), her back story and what she looks like … some explanation of (plot point withheld)…”

Sidenote: one of my nieces was in that workshop and, though I thought she knew, I think it finally hit her that this is what I do, write stories, because she came up to me afterwards and said with a kind of curious wonder in her voice, “Auntie Joanne, you wrote that…?”

Anyway, I listened to the feedback and the story evolved. More happy news, the story was an honourable mention in the Desi Writers Lounge 2014 short story contest and they’ve contacted me about including it in a forthcoming publication.

“This story came ever so close to making it to the top three. With Grace combines feelings of love, hate, greed and generosity to weave a powerful narrative that is magical in spirit and human in character. Hillhouse is an accomplished writer and her elegant prose shines through in this story.” – DWL on their website, re With Grace

This is in addition to my still very early hope of turning it into a children’s picture book. Yeah, looks like the bug has well and truly bit after Fish Outta Water. UPDATE! In 2015, I signed a contract with a children’s book publisher for Grace!

Right now, I’m reviewing edit notes for my forthcoming young adult novel, Musical Youth. By now, you’ve probably heard the story of my 11th hour decision to go for the Burt Award and the story that evolved from that. I’d written stories that have been marketed to the Young Adult market before – The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight were originally part of Macmillan’s schooner series for the teen and young adult market, but they weren’t written, I’ve said time and again for that market; they were just written. With Musical Youth, I was keenly aware of audience during the writing, which is unusual for me, because for me its story first, audience second. But somehow during the writing these blended in my mind, I was writing about teens, I was writing for teens. And I was taking a leap. Look how it turned out:

“Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes. The characters’ gradual exploration and growing knowledge of each other is reminiscent of the way a novice would learn how to play a new musical instrument and slowly get better at it with practice. The use of musical images and the regular musical rhythm that reverberates throughout the text will delight young adult readers.” – from the website of CODE, sponsor of the BURT award

second prize for the Burt Award and (once I get past this editing hump) hopefully in short order a book that will become a favourite among young adult readers from the Caribbean…and maybe beyond. A girl can dream. UPDATE! The book’s out and readers are responding.

A recent dreaming spot during the Emerge wellness retreat (https://www.facebook.com/ECaribbeanWomen) ...because I need a picture for this post and why not this one.

A recent dreaming spot during the Emerge wellness retreat (https://www.facebook.com/ECaribbeanWomen) …because I need a picture for this post and why not this one.

The moral of the story , I think, is try new things, in life and in writing; you never know…

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Better Late than…

WSj13_Cover_Med-1I’m just now realizing I never posted the press release announcing the release of Womanspeak Volume 7, the 2014 edition. Huge apologies to Lynn Sweeting, the Bahamian editor of this distinctive Caribbean collection. My only explanation is my seemingly endless computer woes, including lose all of my information for a while, thankfully recovered, and having to send a brand new computer back to manufacturer…but that’ no excuse. Good thing books neither age, mould, nor go out of fashion. Here it is:

WomanSpeak. A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, Publishes New Issue

WomanSpeak Books of The Bahamas has announced the publication of the new issue of WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, Vol.7/2014, edited by Lynn Sweeting.

The new issue, especially themed, “Voices of Dissent: Women Writing and Painting to Transform the Culture,” showcases new short fiction, poetry, fairy tales, essays and art by thirty contemporary women writers and painters in a beautiful, perfect bound, full colour, paperback edition featuring the painting “The Butterfly Effect: The Duchess” by Bahamas painter Claudette Dean on the cover.

Creative work by established authors, prize-winners, rising stars and new voices from fifteen countries around the world make up this long awaited new collection. Contributors include Opal Palmer Adisa, Lelawattee Manoo Rahming, Vahni Capildeo, Althea Romeo-Mark, Marion Bethel, Carla Campbell, Danielle Boodoo-Fortune, Sonia Farmer, Angelique Nixon and more.

Founded in The Bahamas in the 1990s, revived in 2011, WomanSpeak began as a personal labour of love for Sweeting and a few local writer friends in Nasssau, a forum where they could publish their own creative work. After a long hiatus the journal returned four years ago, publishing vol.5/2011 and vol.6/2012. With the release of vol. 7/2014 WomanSpeak is poised to become a noted international literary journal and a valuable forum for contemporary women writers and painters everywhere.

Sweeting says WomansSpeak Vol. 7/2014 “is a must read for women writers and painters everywhere, as well as students of women’s studies and Caribbean literature and art and those who love women’s writing and art.”

The long awaited new issue of WomanSpeak is now available for purchase at Lulu

Watch for announcements about the select bookstores where limited print editions will soon be available. Now available at your local bookstore.

 

Back cover blurb

WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, Vol.7, 2014, brings together 30 contemporary women writers and painters of the Caribbean in a new collection especially themed, “Voices of Dissent: Writing and Art to Transform the Culture.” The writers and painters are known and not-yet-known. Some are avowed feminists writing and painting to challenge the unjust status quo. Some are writing stories that are straight out of the headlines as well as stories that never make it to the headlines but should. Some are challenging history’s account of the story of the Caribbean woman. Some are writing new creation myths in which Goddesses do all the work and get all the credit. Some are telling the truth about their lives for personal and political transformation. All are voices of dissent in the patriarchal Caribbean simply because they are women, and women alone, gathering together to share their creative expressions, without the company of men.

Imagine: A feminist literary movement out of the Caribbean. Every WomanSpeak journal is created out of this dream. This issue is not a movement but it is proof one could happen.

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