Joanne Hillhouse – Pen Pal

Joanne C. Hillhouse, Antiguan author of three novels including Oh Gad! as well as a freelance writer, editor and producer. She is co-founder of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and participates in various initiatives to promote literary arts in the Caribbean region.

Author Joanne C. Hillhouse

Author Joanne C. Hillhouse

She juggles her work as a freelance writer, editor, journalist, and producer with her creative writing pursuits. She’s the author of “The Boy from Willow Bend” and “Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,” and “Oh Gad” all initially published by Macmillan. The former was hailed by Caribbean critics as “well crafted lively and absolutely believable” and “a story of the triumph of spirit over situation”. Now part of the schools’ reading list in Antigua and Barbuda, it was reissued by Hansib in 2009. In addition to publishing new material, the author has plans to re-issue “Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,” which the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books described as “sensitive, sensuous, and well nuanced” and the Caribbean Writer dubbed “lyrical, sensual, and gentle”.

Hillhouse’s creative writing, poetry, and fiction have also been published in CalabashThe Caribbean WriterTongues of the OceanSea BreezeMa ComèreMythium, and elsewhere. She’s participated in various literary forums including the prestigious Breadloaf Writers Conference as an international fellow.

Her ‘day job’ involves writing for various publications and consulting with nonprofit and corporate clients on projects ranging from scripting documentaries and public service announcements to editing magazines and web content; also fellow authors for whom she’s provided book editing services.

Hillhouse’s pet projects, meanwhile, include the Cushion Club with which she’s volunteered for several years and the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize which she co-founded in 2004. She currently leads an online writers group at the Caribbean Literary Salon. She has been honored by UNESCO for her contributions to literacy and the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

Taken from:

Visit Joanne’s personal page ( To keep up with her activities, you can also ’like’ her Facebook author page.

I Confess: I love Mondays

*Fends off the evil stares*

Writing does not have a conventional 9-5 schedule, and that’s why we love it.  I can sleep in late or wake up early; set my schedule around a four hour afternoon nap, anything I want! But sometimes I do lament not being able to relate to those “TGIF” posts. tgif

I despise the weekend! There are so many distractions, too much noise – I will have a separate post to describe my hatred of lawnmowers. I find it hard to focus, and to balance the need to get work finished and to hang out with friends/support events. Productivity is at an all-time low on weekends!  It is not relaxing for me because I get frustrated when I can’t get things done. Sue me for liking my work.

I love the feel of Mondays. Monday symbolises the smell of fresh projects, new ideas, replies to my emails, progress on assignments and…sweet silence as sour-faced islanders trudge off to offices.

So I just re-read the first two sentences. If I can do anything I want, then why is it so hard to set an off day? Decide to write Monday to Friday, and take weekends off? Yes, I’ve read the numerous articles and tips on how to be an effective writer, and they all recommend that off day.

shut_my_brain_off_by_digiq8-d3itbzlMaybe someone can tell me how I shut my brain off? I am not so talented yet that I can programme inspiration to come between Monday and Friday because an expert said that I should have one day to relax. I relax when I want to, write when I want to, spend the time lamenting about my lack of progress when I want to. Maybe I need more training? If only my body would cooperate.

You’re supposed to find out the most effective time to write for you, and plan your schedule around that. A couple years ago, waking up around 5am and writing until I could no longer ignore hunger pangs used to work for me. Then I changed time zones, and my effective writing period changed to midnight until about 3am. Life changed, and I found that I could no longer stay awake, and so I wrote from about 4pm to 8pm. You get my drift? Now, I just move with the tide.

I can’t even say, “Look out for new posts on Mondays and Fridays”. Suppose I have something to say that is only relevant on Wednesday? Suppose nothing interesting happens to me at all, and I have to post a pic of my cat in a compromising position?

The highlight of my week was nothing writing related. My friend sent me a vid of my godson, Zach. Not many things can bring you as much joy as a child’s laugh. See for yourself.

So…this starting off as a post about me loving Mondays, and ventured into all different directions. Who cares?

At a recent writing workshop, a fellow writer told me I have a great talent for ‘circular writing’. I smiled and accepted the compliment. She didn’t have to know that – like this post- I started with one topic/issue in mind, got lost, asked for directions, stopped to observe the scenery, and then continued along the original path. I always get there in the end.

See? I have my own problems.

But ‘Monday blues’ isn’t one of them . 🙂

PS. Here is the pic of my cat.


Hmm…will have to look for a new back-up post.



Marc Gibson – Pen Pal

Marc has always had a way with words. This curious affinity has led him down a meandering path  that includes being educated at the Barbados Community College  in Mass Communications, stints as a copy-writer, print journalist, freelance writer and more recently a screenwriter.

Also very passionate about film and television, he pursued the Motion Picture Arts programme at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.

He enjoys reading fiction in general (Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is a favourite) and comics in particular, in addition to the cinematic works of Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams and Alfred Hitchcock.

Marc can often be found entertaining himself for several seconds at a time with several computer games such as action RPGs like Dragon Age: Origins, the Mass Effect franchise as well as action RTS favourites such as DoTA2 and League of Legends.

Bridgeland is his debut graphic novel that he hopes paves the way for many more.

Jackie Jones – Pen Pal


I’m Jackie Jones, ruler of the dream world, consumer of oatmeal and owner of a yellow stuffed monkey. I started this blog to support my hobbies of capturing souls and hunting overly happy furries.

In my other life, I’m a fiction writer and a journalist. I’m passionate about the craft that allows ideas formed as pictures and thoughts in my head, or vividly haunting dreams, to come alive on page.

This page has evolved from me writing all about my literary progress, to now being a home for the host of topics that interest me on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy your stay, and look forward to hearing from you :) .

Oh and, I don’t need your soul (the guy’s behind you maybe ^^).

Look out for new posts every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday :D .

Sandra Sealy – Pen Pal

Sandra Sealy aka “Seawoman” is the Creator of Seawoman’s Caribbean Writing Opps.

Click HERE to watch her recent interview on Youtube.  

**Compliments Russell Watson of R-Studio  and Ayesha Gibson-Gill, Literary Arts Cultural Officer of the National Cultural Foundation

Sandra Sealy – Profile

Click HERE to read about her upcoming VLOG “Writing In Sand”. 

Fondly referred to in his “Bird Rising” (Words Need Love Too-House of Nehesi Publishers) by Kamau Brathwaite as “Princess of Chichén Itzá”, Sandra Sealy is aperformance poet, business communications consultant, blogger and multi-award-winning writer of poetry, short stories, children’s stories, plays. She possesses a wealth of experience in cultural administration and freelance writing/editing. She describes herself as “a Canadian-Barbadian raised writer clutching an English birth certificate”.

Her background in public relations and marketing combined with her strong creative writing skills have ably prepared her as a freelance writer/ editor. Sandra covers a number of niches like copy for brochures and websites, advertorials, restaurant and book reviews, press releases, feature and cover stories, pictorial text and more.Sandra’s work has been widely anthologised internationally. Some of her writing credits include: CALABASH: A Journal of Caribbean Arts & Letters (USA) ; Arts Etc (Barbados); Her Circle Ezine.comCaribbean Writing Today (ezine); POUI: The Cave Hill Literary Annual of the University of the West Indies (Barbados); Wedding Guide Barbados; SHE Caribbean Magazine (St. Lucia); Urban Entertainment (USA); In Paradise Magazine:Barbados (Writer/Editor) and the Nation Newspaper (Barbados).

“Aunty Sandra’s” work with children lead to her being the first Poetry Editor (Adults and Kids) with the online Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesemcreated by Summer Edward.

Among her publishing credits are the travel writing/exclusive coverage of the concert of Grammy-winning soul artist Lauren Hill in Trinidad for the Nation Newspaper; exclusive coverage (and public relations co-ordination) of theglamorous society wedding of Barbados business magnate Ralph “Bizzy” Williams and his bride Shelly.

Her dèbut spoken-word CD single “Beauty Of The Bald Head: The Jazzy Spoken-Word Single” (Butterfly Creative Productions/ Kolaiah Studios 2003) which was favourably reviewed in, became an award-winning music video directed by Dr. Gladstone Yearwood.

NEW: You can listen to Sandra’s 2-track music set produced by Kolaiah Studios byCLICKING HERE! The  second track “See Jazz” (click the link to LISTEN!), will be also on her upcoming album.

She actively maintains Seawoman’s Caribbean Writing Opps (award-winning website dedicated to assisting international writers); Seawoman’s Caribbean Blogspot (writing blog); and the popular Facebook group Caribbean Writers.

Read her candid interview with Caribbean Literary Salon.

Please feel free to contact Sandra or see her Writing Credits here or at for more details. Follow her on Linked In.


**Caribbean Writers on Facebook (Creator)

**VOICES: Barbados Writers’ Collective (Member/2nd Co-ordinator)

**Good READS (Member)

**The International Travel Writers Alliance (Member)

**Barbados Copyright Agency (B-COPY) – (former Director/Board Secretary) – bcopy246[at]

**Freelance Writing Organization International


**SheWrites Member


**Visit Caribbean Literary Salon

Nailah Imoja – Pen Pal

Nailah Folami Imoja is a Barbadian/British writer. A teacher by day, she has been published in numerous anthologies and is the author of 13 novellas. These include titles from her Romance Series — Caribbean Passion. One of these short novels, Pick of the Crop, was published by Heinemann Publishing (Oxford) in 2004.

Her greatest opus thus far is her daughter, Adanna.

Check out her profile and books at here.