Author, Teacher, Web Designer
hat happens when you combine a word junkie with a computer enthusiast? You get Adrian Hoad-Reddick, a man whose passion for the written word has merged with his expertise in computer technology on the information highway. This Elora resident is an English teacher, an author of prose and poetry, the owner of his own Internet consulting company, and the recent creator of several interactive websites that promote reading and writing. Permeating all of his creative work is a witty sense of humour.
Adrian received a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto (computer applications in education) and has had over 15 years of teaching experience in four independent schools. He moved to Elora in 1996 from Hamilton, where he worked as the acting principal and an English teacher at the Mississauga campus of the Toronto French School. He was attracted to Elora because of its beautiful environment and enjoys kayaking and spending time outdoors. He has two children: Kate is 13 and Matthew is 11. His wife Susan teaches Grade 1 at Arthur Public School. Currently, Adrian is head of the English department at St. John’s-Kilmarnock School near Breslau, but this is only one of many things that keep this industrious creator busy.
Adrian loves to write and to inspire other young writers. He enjoys writing form poetry; e.e.cumings is one of his favourites. “I sit down to write prose and poetry comes out. “Poem Repair Shop” is the name of his novel in progress. It is set in Elora and chronicles the humorous story of a bookstore and its three unlikely and diverse owners who struggle to keep the store afloat. “Poem Repair Shop” is also the online headquarters for the Writers’ Craft course at SJK, developed and maintained by Adrian. Here, at this password-protected site, students use online portfolios to post their writing. Students receive feedback from their instructor and comments from their colleagues. Adrian is committed to promoting creativity and literacy and this is one of the ways that he encourages young people to engage in the act of writing.
Adrian also loves to read. He is the creator of BookHooks.com. This website is “a unique on-line forum that puts kids in charge of creating their own Internet book reports.” The colourful, engaging site is ad-free and user friendly. It is supported by the Canadian publishers Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books and strives to promote Canadian authors and books. “It is a free book report tool kit that gives students from K-12 the opportunity to publish their own literary commentary.” The site has received over 260 illustrated book reviews from children all over the world, including Australia, Israel, thirty U.S. States and all across Canada. Adrian publishes his own book reviews under the pseudonym Paige Turner.
In addition to the book reports section, BookHooks contains games and literary resources for students such as “Write Away,” a series of writing exercises for middle school students designed by Guelph teacher and author Jean Mills. There is even a section to help children overcome writer’s block.
When asked what happens if students try to download someone else’s report and hand it in as their own, Adrian replied, “There is a mechanism in place to aid teachers to check for stolen reports. When Adrian receives a new entry, he gives it a brief run-through, to check its legitimacy, and then posts it. Children can log onto this website to find out more information about a book they would like to read, to publish their own thoughts and to offer comments on other kid’s opinions.
If you love to play with words, just type in hoadworks.com to find educational, challenging and fun puzzles. Avocabo is a series of fun games designed to enhance high school students’ vocabulary. Wordly-Wise is a listserver that has been delivering word games since February 1995. By simply entering your email address in the subscribe section, you will receive a word puzzle a day. Everything from challenging crossword puzzles, to word manipulation games to vocabulary-building quizzes will entertain and educate you. When asked when he finds time to author all of these word games, Adrian just shrugs and smiles. “I love to play with words!”
Permeating all of his creative work is a witty sense of humour.
Adrian is enthusiastic about syndication and publication of his crosswords and puzzles in the future. As well, the completion of his much anticipated novel is a priority. Promoting the arts in Centre Wellington is high on his list of interests. He would like to see the Elora Writers’ Festival develop an audience size that is proportional to the richness of this artistic community. He knows Elora is an inspirational place for writers and wonders if there is a place in the community for a writer’s group.
by Patricia Reimer, Autumn 2002
UPDATE – 2005
There are dangers inherent in long summer holidays. For the chronically creative, the summer is a breeding ground for new ventures… Adrian Hoad-Reddick has been busy, getting more and more involved in the Guelph-based Canada’s Fiction Magazine for Teens, “What If?” Adrian has helped to redesign the magazine. He contributes word games, edits the book review section and produces the cover art.
As an offshoot to “What If?”, Adrian is producing a weekly radio show, “The Poem Repair Shop”, on CFRU radio, 93.3 in Guelph. The radio show (which is set in a fictitious book store within the Mill Street Mews) includes readings, interviews, great music and an events calendar. The show will soon move to an hour-long Live! Timeslot on Thursday nights, 9-10 p.m.
Adrian has also started a writing school for aspiring writers, ages 12-19. The Elora School for Young Writers has started its first session of courses, and welcomes new students