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

The original Opportunities page is here. 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

I can’t find a deadline more specific for this one than before the end of 2015 – this is targeted at book lovers – writers can’t nominate themselves – and specific to books published in 2015 – books in the young adult genre as this is on the site of the Young Adult Library Association. It’s the Michael L. Printz Award and what you’re asked to do if there’s a book in the genre that you liked is to submit it for nomination consideration. It’s a short form, five minutes top. Find it here.

September 2015 – In late September 2015, the International Writing Program will open its fourth creative writing MOOC, How Writers Write Fiction 2015. This MOOC will offer an opportunity for the interactive study and practice of writing fiction. This course has been designed to welcome both beginning and experienced writers; video classes, writing assignments, and discussions will engage and challenge writers at all levels. How Writers Write Fiction 2015 will be taught by Christopher Merrill, IWP Director and University of Iowa Professor of English, and Angela Flournoy, author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Turner House. This MOOC is freely available to everyone in the world; there is no cost to register. – Read more.

September 9th 2015 – Cicada – this one has opportunities for writers and artists – the focus is young adult content – the theme is witches and they seem to like unconventional. And it’s a paying market. I can think right now of some past Wadadli Pen finalist pieces that would qualify. Reach out and grab it; and remember to give us a shout out when you claim it. Details here.

September 14th 2015 (11:59 p.m. EST) – The Hodder Fellowship will be given to writers and non-literary artists of exceptional promise to pursue independent projects at Princeton University during the academic year. Given the strength of the applicant pool, most successful Fellows have published a first book or have similar achievements in their own fields; the Hodder is designed to provide Fellows with the “studious leisure” to undertake significant new work. Details and application process begins here.

September 18th 2015 – 5 p.m. – William H. Johnson Prize valued at US$25,000. See Contests and Awards in Opportunities for more information and links.

Summer submissions list (June, July, August, September) – compiled by Emily Lackey at Shewrites.com

September 24th 2015 – Radcliffe Institute Fellowship – To be considered for a fellowship in fiction or nonfiction, applicants must have one or more published books, contract for the publication of a book-length manuscript, or at least three shorter works (longer than newspaper articles) published. Evidence of publication in print format within the last five years is highly desirable; Web site publications are not acceptable as the only form of previously published work. Applicants should note that reviewers take into account evidence of a distinctive, original voice, richness or dimensionality of text, and coherence in the project plan. Professionals interested in writing about their work experiences should apply in the category of nonfiction. To be considered for a fellowship in poetry, applicants must have had at least 20 poems published in the last five years or a published book of poetry and must be in the process of completing a manuscript. Reviewers examine the submissions for evidence of originality, vision, and maturity. Recommendations from editors and/or agents are not acceptable.
Please note that artists and writers need not have a Ph.D. or an M.F.A. to apply; however, they must meet other specific eligibility requirements. Details here.

September 24th 2015 – The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award – Entry is open to authors from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a previous record of publication in creative writing in the UK and Ireland. Stories must be previously unpublished, or first published after 1 January 2015. All entries must be 6,000 words or under and entirely original. Entry Guidelines here.

September 30th 2015 – Jerry Jazz Musician Awards – The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America.  Our newsletter subscribers include publishers, artists, musicians, and fellow writers.  While your writing should appeal to a reader with these interests and in these creative professions , all story themes are considered. Read more.

October 2015 – submissions open for the BBC World Service International Playwriting Competition. No reason you can’t start writing now. Details here.

October 1st 2015 – Vermont Studio Center – you can apply for one of 50 available fellowships. See Opportunities for Fellowship details or visit http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org/fellowships

October 31st 2015 – I have been both a finalist and a judge of the Burt Award for Teen/Young Adult Caribbean Literature and vouch for this as one of the best paths to publications for writers in this genre. burtThis link takes you to submission information and this one to some tips from the judges room for future winners.

October 31st 2015 – Casa de las Americas – Open to Caribbean literature published between 2012 and 2015, as well as unpublished works. Send two copies with cover letter to House of the Americas (3rd and G, El Vedado, La Habana 10400, Cuba), or any of the embassies of Cuba. No more than 500 pages. No author may send more than one book by genre; nor a work in process of being printed (I think that’s what it’s saying…it may mean that the book should be free and clear of any other publishing agreements) nor which has obtained some national or international award. Works should be signed by the authors who should indicate in which category they wish to contend (categories seem to include novel, poetry, novels for young readers and I’m not sure what else). Prize is 3000 dollars or its equivalent in the currency of the winner (I think) and publication of the work by the Casa de Las Américas. They reserve the right to publish the first edition of the award winning works (this I’m finding a bit confusing since the thing says previously published works are eligible. I’d actually like some clarification on this for anyone reading this who is familiar with the process especially since they make clear anything in breach of the criteria will be ineligible). That’s my muddling of the Spanish; if you’re better versed, please read and translate.

September 1st 2015 to November 1st 2015 – 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Details here.

August 1st 2015 to December 1st 2015 – Fifth Wednesday Journal accepts electronic submissions in the categories of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, and black-and-white photography. All submissions to Fifth Wednesday Journal must be original, unpublished work in English. No pay but there is a literary prize. Details here.

December 1st 2015 –  The Children’s Literature Fellows, a one-year graduate level certificate program sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, is now accepting applications for 2016. The year-long course of instruction—accomplished mostly in distance learning format—was developed by author and Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, MFA in Creative Writing Director Julie Sheehan and YA author/faculty member Patricia McCormick to offer aspiring children’s and young adult authors a more affordable and flexible option than matriculation in a two- or three-year MFA program. During their year, each Fellow completes either one publishable YA or middle grade manuscript, or, for chapter and picture book writers, three to four separate manuscripts. “There are very few programs like this out there for aspiring children’s literature authors,” says Walton Hamilton. “But children’s literature and YA are among the strongest and fastest growing sectors of the publishing industry right now, so this is valuable for writers on a number of levels. And thanks to the program’s distance learning format, aspiring authors from all over the world are able to take advantage of what it offers. We have participants in California, Arizona, Texas, Philadelphia, Florida—even Australia.” Apply.

December 18th 2015 – Do you write children’s fiction? Have a manuscript squirrelled away somewhere? This might be the contest for you. The Times / Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition is now open for entries. The winning writer will receive a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000 (US$15,6000), plus representation from a top children’s literary agent. To enter this competition you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length the organisers suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts do not exceed 80,000 words in length. This is the 2014 winner and here are the entry details (note: there is an entry fee).

December 31st 2015 -The Caribbean Writer is an international, refereed, literary journal published annually by the University of the Virgin Islands. Issues unique to the Caribbean should be central to the work, or the work should reflect a Caribbean heritage, experience, or perspective. Besides the usual poetry, fiction, essays, book reviews and one act plays in the 30th Anniversary edition; Volume 30 will highlight the theme: Journeys and Pathways. TCW invites writers to explore this theme in the context of their unique personal, cultural, national or collective Caribbean memory. Other details here. Also seeking art work.

January 5th 2016 – The Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place. The residency begins July 1 and ends August 15, and includes an award of $1,000 from The Frost Place and an award of $1,000 from Dartmouth College. The recipient will have an opportunity to give a series of public readings across the region, including at Dartmouth College. There are no other specific obligations. The residency offers space and time for significant poetic work. Go here for more.

January 2016 – you have to be resident in the US to access this one but it was too good of an opportunity not to post; plus there are many of us Caribbean writers in the US. Right? It’s the Graywolf Press Non Fiction Prize. Check it out.

July 16th 2016 October 16 to April 15 – 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.

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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