Donna W. Hill: novelist, journalist & recording artist
Donna W. Hill is a writer, speaker and avid knitter from Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains. A songwriter with three albums, she provided educational and motivational programs in the Greater Philadelphia area for fifteen years before moving to the country:
Donna, who was born legally blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, was the first blind child mainstreamed in her local school district. She received no Braille or mobility training. This deficit, along with constant bullying, has made her a strong advocate for Braille literacy, accessible course material and initiatives to bridge the social gap between blind students and their peers.
After graduating from East Stroudsburg University with a BA in English Literature, she received her first guide dog and learned Braille. Her work has been published by the Braille Monitor (NFB's monthly magazine) and Slate & Style (the quarterly journal of NFB's Writers' Division). Her memoir, "Special Class: a journey in mainstreaming" was selected for Behind Our Eyes: a second look, an anthology of stories, poetry and memoirs by writers with disabilities:
From 2009 through 2013, Hill was an online journalist for numerous publications, covering topics ranging from nature, health care and blindness issues to music, knitting and chocolate. Her Braille Literacy series for American Chronicle, which has been republished by numerous online magazines, remains the most in depth series on this subject written for general audiences. Hill has served as a volunteer publicist for NFB's Performing Arts & Writers' Divisions, as well as the NFB of Pennsylvania.
Hill's essay, "Satori Green" appears in Richard Singer's Now, Embracing the Present Moment (2010, O-Books), and her breast-cancer-survivor story is in Dawn Colclasure’s On the Wings of Pink Angels (2012). Hill is an experienced talk show guest and guest blogger. She presents workshops about her novel, creative writing and blindness-related issues for school, university, community and business groups:
“Fiction is a safe and highly personal way of introducing people to the struggles and capabilities of blind people and those with other differences,” Hill says about her novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill (2013), “My goal was to write an engaging story that appeals to a broad range of interests, in which some characters have visual impairments and other differences.”
The Heart of Applebutter Hill by Donna W. Hill - a novel on a mission
Imagine you're 14 and in a strange country with your camera, your best friend and her guide dog. You uncover a secret and are instantly in danger. Join Baggy, Abigail and Curly Connor as they sneak around Bar Gundoom Castle, soar over Applebutter Hill in the Cloud Scooper and row across an underground lake.
The powerful Heartstone of Arden-Goth is hidden nearby, and corporate giants place a spy in their new school to seize it. Compelled to unmask the spy, they can't trust anyone.
At school, their troubled friend Christopher is viciously bullied and an armed stranger terrorizes Abigail and Baggy. The friends disagree about the spy's identity, but both think it's a teacher. When a desperate Christopher shows up one night with the school cat, the truth is revealed. Soon, police are involved.
The Heart of Applebutter Hill has received recommendations from professionals in the fields of education, rehabilitation & the arts as a classroom resource for diversity-inclusivity & anti-bullying initiatives:
Find The Heart of Applebutter Hill in print, eBook & accessible versionsAmazon (print)