Antiguan writer makes her mark

Antiguan Author Joanne C. Hillhouse (Source: ABS TV via youtube.com)

Joanne Hillhouse has without a doubt proven that she is a formative writer but her recent feature, published in US-based Essence Magazine, further cements her place among great regional literary artists.

The riveting read of Mirror Mirror, which is published in the February issue of the magazine, discusses the issue of race in the Caribbean as the world recognises Black History Month.

She told OMG Entertainment that the opportunity had arisen after the feature’s editor requested that she write something during her stint at the Anguilla Literary Festival in 2015.

“Antiguans living abroad who were very excited to see one of their own on the pages of a magazine we have all read all our lives, showered my page with love and that was an amazing thing,” she said describing the public’s response to the feature.

Hillhouse said the opportunity has had a ripple effect and allowed her exposure to people she would not have met otherwise.

She said the piece, which is “very personal” to her, discusses issues of self-identification and affirmation as did her recent book for young adults, Musical Youth.

But the piece ultimately drives home the message of self-acceptance.

“I believe, from some of the responses I’ve seen, that people are relating to that as well. And, if so, that’s cool,” the writer said.

She also met the editor of Writer’s Digest and was successful in her pitch to have her work published in the magazine. The feature was printed in the January issue of the publication.

“I still haven’t heard from the editor of O Magazine, though … lol,” she joked. “… The work continues.”

Hillhouse recently returned from a fiction-editing workshop in Guyana. She was one of nine writers-editors selected by regional body, Cariblit.

The writer, who has several projects on the horizon, said, “I’m excited about continuing to write things I haven’t written before and see how they travel.”