So here goes...
2010-2019 DESIGN OF A DECADE: MY WRITER LIFE!
- I took my first writing course (Writing for Children 1 at George Brown College Continuing Education then took part 2)
- I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer
- I got engaged
- I completed my first year teaching Grade 1 at the Africentric Alternative School
- I had my total thyroidectomy (thyroid gland removal), radiation, and hormone therapy adjustments
- I started sharing about my cancer and transition to veganism is journey on a blog called Blue Butterlfy. Check it out here.
- I travelled to Newfoundland to take part in a Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) Survivor retreat
- I returned to teaching part-time
- I applied to MFA Creative Writing program at UBC (I did not get in)
- I meet publisher Sheila Barry (then at Kids Can Press) at panel about How to Get Published in Children’s Books at A Different Booklist bookstore
- start attending CANSCAIP meetings
- teaching kindergarten at Africentric then leave to focus on health
- Became a vegan, then switched to vegetarian (added back in cheese, desserts I like) by the next year
- I took Writing Non-Fiction for Children 1 at George Brown College
- I got married in Jamaica
- thyroid cancer follow-up clear
- return to teach full time
- I go to my first Packaging Your Imagination (PYI) CANSCAIP Conference
- became volunteer editor of the Thyroid Cancer Canada newsletter
- I cut off my waist-length dreadlocks
- I enter my manuscript Malaika’s Costume to a writing award it loses
- I decide the manuscript was ready to query. I sent it to two publishers— one is a contact through a writer I know and the other is Sheila Barry, then at Groundwood Books
- Dec 2019 (same week) I apply to two PhD programs, I don’t get in, Sheila Barry likes my manuscript and wants to publish it, I get an e-mail asking if I can write books for the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection series. I say yes.
- I visit VCFA and fall in love with the campus. I apply to the MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program but don’t get in.
- car accident, no more car
- started African-Canadian Writers for Children and Young Adults (ACWCYA), later became on an online group renamed Sankofa’s Pen
- I wrote two books— #1 Music and #2 Media.
- I visited Ghana— my first international solo trip— to study Orff music education and connect with my roots.
- Took Orff music level 2
- articles published in the Orff Canada journal and Canadian Children’s Book News magazine
- moved again
- Took courses
- my grandfather (last surviving grandparent) passed away
- visited Bahamas
- #1 Music and #2 Media are published (finally)
- health stuff
- attended writing non-fiction for children and SCBWI NYC conferences in New York City and SCBWI Canada in Montreal, PYI in Toronto
- completed Humber College School of Writers program with author Richard Scrimger
- attended Highlights Foundation in Pennsylvania
- launch of my writing website and blog
- started Brazilian Portuguese class
- research trip to Quebec City from Ontario Arts Council grant
- new car (well technically used new car)
- took part in NaNoWriMo and finished draft of middle grade novel that I worked on through Humber College School of Writers
- won the Isabel Sissons Children’s Book Award through PACE for my manuscript of Malaika’s Costume
- #3 Malaika’s Costume is published
- Book launch and tour to Toronto and Greater Toronto area (GTA), Boston, NYC, Atlanta, Detroit, UK
- attended SCBWI and Kweli conferences both in NYC and VONA Workshop for Writers of Color in Miami, PYI in Toronto, SCBWI Canada in Ottawa
- went to Essence Fest in New Orleans
- moved to teach in Abu Dhabi
- health stuff
- returned to Toronto for Word on the Street and Kingston Writersfest
- visit Germany, France, Italy, England
- joined writing community in Abu Dhabi
- more Brazilian Portuguese class
- juror for the TD Children’s Book Award (Norma Fleck Award for Non-Fiction)
- Wrongfully ”let go” from teaching job in Abu Dhabi
- got new teaching job to finish school year, move to Dubai
- visited Sri Lanka, Egypt, Trinidad, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados, Portugal, Spain, Kuwait
- Accepted teaching job in Vietnam for new school year
- brother passed away suddenly, I decided to stay in Canada
- Groundwood Books publisher Sheila Barry passed away
- joined writing community in Dubai, participate in UAE literary events including the Emirates Air Literary Festival
- Malaika’s Winter Carnival is published and launched
- attended Highlights Foundation workshop in Pennsylvania
- I presented in Trinidad, Philadelphia, and GTA
- I go to Washington DC to accept the Americas award nomination for Malaika’s Costume at the Library of Congress
- took a Writing Science Fiction course at George Brown College
- presented in Toronto public libraries
- looked for and found publisher (Owlkids) for A LIKKLE LABRISH (which became A LIKKLE MISS LOU: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice)
- Took Brazilian Portuguese class
- visited Brazil to research and study with American teachers
- Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter is published on the last day of 2018
- attended Kweli in NYC and SCBWI in LA, SCBWI Canada in Ottawa
- Book tour to NYC, Boston
- Attended Highlights Foundation workshop in Pennsylvania and present at the Eric Carle Museum in Massachusetts
- presented in Toronto, Kingston, and local public libraries, schools in Ontario and Word on the Street
- received Canada Council grant
- participated on #kidlit and #yalit panel in Ottawa
- facilitated panel
- ran NaNoWriMo club with students and teachers at the school I teach. Finish first draft novel manuscript and now editing it.
- do Humber School of Writers again but this time with author Cherie Dimaline
- my Abu Dhabi friend Angela passed away
- juror for the Children’s L
- Join the FOLD Kids team to organize the first ever book fest focused on diverse books for young people in Canada
- On faculty at SCBWI Canada Montreal
- attend PYI in Toronto, KWELI in NYC
- attend Highlights illustration workshop
- I presented at Frye Festival in New Brunswick, Telling Tales in Hamilton (ON), various schools
- Writer in residence at the Historical Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, BC
- presented in Jamaica (at mom’s school and another school), Toronto, NYC, Baltimore, Vancouver, Victoria
- I was part of 50-person delegation to the unveiling of Miss Lou Square and statue in Jamaica.
- took 4-day train trip across Canada, visited Whistler, Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland
- A LIKKLE MISS LOU featured on the front page of entertainment section of the Toronto Star and on CBC (Weekend Edition)
- I was presenting author for TD Children’s Book Week, toured schools and libraries in southern Alberta. My tour coordinator, contact, and chauffeur Richard Chase passed away.
- featured author at NCTE in Baltimore, signings, etc.
- A LIKKLE MISS LOU published by Owlkids
- I start presenting in the school board in which I teach
- signed Malaika’s Surprise with Groundwood Books (2021)
- took 4 month leave from full-time teaching in the fall
- organize and host the Diversity in #kidlit panel at the CANSCAIP AGM in Toronto
- offered the opportunity to teach Writing for Children (introduction) course at the University of Toronto School for Continuing Studies in spring 2020.
- record Owlkids Behind the Book for A LIKKLE MISS LOU
- participated in Inktober. For my participation, check out my Instagram page at @nadialhohn_author
- for more details, check out my 2019 Highlight Reel here
I am so blessed to be alive! Each day is a chance to live my best life.