- Malaika, Carnival Queen Reviews and Pre-sales
- Presentation recap
- Reading for the Love of It
- Anti-Racist Kitchen Sampler
- Grants Received
Letter from the editor
It’s March Break. I had hoped to be basking in the sun of a sunny destination but I had to change my plans. Instead, I’m catching up on tasks, restoring my body, and relaxing at home. This staycation has given me an opportunity to look back. It has been an incredible February– a month in which many Black artists, me included, find themselves busy with events and presentations. I am also happy to say that my agent is currently reading my young adult novel manuscript which has also been read by a number of cultural and sensitivity readers. I look forward to receiving more feedback in order to get my story ready for publication. I am also looking forward to the release of the fourth book in my picture book series, Malaika Carnival Queen, which will be released soon.
As we’ve turned back our clocks, adjusting the time zones, and the days lengthen, I wish you a happy March!
Nadia L. Hohn
My Malaika, Carnival Queen author copies arrived recently and I was so excited to see my personal story in the pages of thus beautiful book. I recorded myself opening the box of books and shared this moment with my social media followers. The joy of holding my brand new books never gets old. You can watch it here.
I was also delighted to see these reviews.
Malaika, Carnival Queen is very close to my heart and is dedicated to my two grandfathers who were migrant workers.
I am so happy to see my story embraced by these esteemed reviewers. The illustrations are gorgeous, rich, and emotive. I can’t wait until MCQ is out in the world.
Remember, you can pre-order this book now before its May 2 release. Pre-sales help with the sales and marketing of books. To order yours, please visit linktr.ee/nadialhohn for details or order from your favourite online retailer.
Stay tuned for the May 6 Book Launch in Toronto.
This February was the busiest February for me. Since I teach in the afternoons and one morning each week, my limited book presentations take place during mornings, evenings, and Saturdays. Other Black History presentations extended March . This accommodation allowed me to deliver more presentations. Here are some of my stats from January 27 to March 7:
- 35+ individual sessions
- 27 institutions (1 conference, 5 libraries, 17 schools, 1 bookstore, 1 hospital, 1 long-term care facility, 1 festival)
- 7 district school boards and 1 independent (TDSB, TCDSB, YRCDSB, YRDSB, HCDSB, DPCDSB, PDSB, and Branksome Hall)
- 6 cities in Toronto and surrounding area (Burlington, Oakville, Brampton, Mississauga, Markham, Toronto)
- 3 library systems (Toronto Public Library, Waterloo Region Libraries, Waterloo Public Library)
- 3 cancellations (1 traffic delayed the commute time, 1 inclement weather, 1 health)
- 2 languages (English and French)
- 2 virtual (Toronto Public Library, Hospital for Sick Kids)
- 1 conference (Reading for the Love of It)
On February 24, 2023, I delivered the breakfast keynote at the #ReadingfortheLoveofIt conference. This is #Canada's largest annual language arts conference.
The name of my talk was #TheMagicintheMirror, leaping off from Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's quote about books 📚 being "windows, mirrors, and sliding doors".
I had attended the annual #RFTLOI conference early on in my career as a teacher. In 2016, I launched my first two books, Music and Media in the Sankofa series, here.
Years before my keynote, I had contacted #RFTLOI and asked if I could deliver a workshop. I was told that clinicians are invited. My invitation came years later to deliver a keynote and workshop sessions (the 2022 conference was cancelled and became 2023).
So it all came full circle.
Being my first time delivering a keynote, I was a little nervous leading up to the day. In addition, I had some small technical challenges. My ipad fell the evening before which caused a splintery crack. This resulted in my ipad acting weird. Meanwhile, on my laptop, some of the images on my slide wouldn't load, even though they worked fine when I checked them that earlier that morning and I had replaced others that wouldn’t.
In spite of all of this, the event was a success.
I appreciate everyone (all 100 or so people) who bought tickets and came out to hear me speak over breakfast. It was great to see familiar faces, meet new people, and have the support of my principal and #GroundwoodBooks editor, #NanFroman.
I signed a lot of books and enjoyed chatting with attendees as I signed their books.
One of the things I miss most is seeing familiar faces and my colleagues-- my editor and publishing team, former and current teacher colleagues and fellow #kidlit creators.
- David, my principal
- Nan Froman, editor at Groundwood Books
- Ruth Ohi, author/illustrator (we're Groundwood Books sisters this season, holding each others' new releases)
- Rachel Cooke, fellow educator
- Ashley Spires, author/illustrator
- Larry Swartz, language arts/drama educator
- Rachel Swartz, fellow educator
Thank you to educator #DeniseCanning for the wonderful introduction.
Thank you also to the conference organizers for the invitation and the enriching experience.
In this video link, I had planned on doing a post about gratitude for two OAC writers recommenders grants that I'd received.
But then, I got more good news today. I got two more grants and something else.
Thank you to God for blessing me. I've learned over the years to rely more on my faith and that 🙏🏾 He will always provide for me even when things seem dire.
Thank you for also to:
- CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS: Explore and Create Grant
- ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL Writers Recommenders Grants that were recommended by:
- Groundwood Books
- Kids Can Press
- Diaspora Dialogues Society
Thank you so much for believing in my young adult novel manuscript. I can't wait to share it with the world.
Thank you also CANADA 🇨🇦 COUNCIL Public Lending Right (PLR).
I haven't yet shared publicly about my past financial challenges and one day I may. However, all of these funds will help me to live, research, write, dream and work on other projects, and do the do.
Like writing and submitting your manuscript, grant writing ✍️ is time consuming and means you’ll get a lot more no’s than yeses, but when you get a yes... it’s worth it.
Thanks again. 💋 😘
Articles and Podcasts
“Ainara’s Bookshelf is Diversifying What We Read One Book at a Time”, ByBlacks February 2023
“Meet Dr. Suzette Mayr: The 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Winner”, ByBlacks January 2023
“Celebrate Black Canadian Authors This Holiday Season with These 36 Books”, ByBlacks December 2022
“If You Love Black Panther, Then You’ll Love These Books”, ByBlacks November 2022
“The Hairy Truth” and “A Deeper Meaning”, Owl Magazine, November 2022
“Three Black Organizations Working to Get Us Reading,” byblacks, October 2022
“Top 10 Summer Reads for Black Canadian Kids,” byblacks,
Travelling Across Canada’s Underground Railroad, Owl magazine (January/February 2022)
“Kojo’s Holiday”, Chickadee magazine (December 2021).
“How Harriet’s Daughter Helped Me Find My Way as a Black Canadian and a Writer for Young People”, Arc Poetry magazine (Arc 96 Islands of Influence Caribbean Canadian edition) (Fall 2021).
“Writer with a Capital W”, University of Waterloo podcast
“Writer Finds Resilience Stories Black Women and Girls”, University of Waterloo magazine (Spring 2021).
Patty Dreams (Owlkids), Spring 2025.
Journey to Grandma's House (Groundwood Books), Fall 2024.
The Antiracist Kitchen: 21 Stories (and Recipes) (Orca Books), Fall 2023.
Malaika, Carnival Queen (Groundwood Books), Spring 2023.
Kwanzaa section in Celebrate with me! Recipes, Crafts, and Holiday Fun from around the world (Magic Cat Publishing/Abrams Kids), 2022
Contributor to 100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays anthology (UWI Press), 2021.