Tag Archives: youth

OPPORTUNITY FOR LITERARY AND ARTISTIC ANTIGUAN AND BARBUDAN ANGLICAN YOUTH

Poetry writing competition:

You can enter once in each of the categories or you may decide to write a poem for only one category. It is up to you. We would like each of our young people to submit at least one piece. The winning poem will be used on cards printed for distribution in the parish on Mother’s Day and on Father’s Day.

Write a short poem using not more than 10 lines and not less than 4 lines to expresses your feelings for

(a) Fathers

(b) Fathers who have no biological children, but who have cared for many.

(c) Mothers

(d) Mothers who have no biological children, but who have cared for many.

 

Art Competition: Send us a design that can be used to create

(a) A Father’s Day Card

(b) A Mother’s Day Card.

Note: There should be no words on this. It should be pure artwork. It can be drawn by hand – on white Bristol board/cardstock – or created electronically, but must be original work completed by the young person, 18 years or younger. The Winning artwork will be used on cards printed for distribution in the parish on Mother’s Day and on Father’s Day.

All work should be submitted to the Sunday School Supervisor or organization leader or can be brought to The Deanery, St. Johns Street.

Deadline for submission Mothers’ Day: _On or before 27th April, 2014 _

Deadline for submission Fathers’ Day: _On or before 25th May, 2014 _

Other prizes will be presented to our outstanding young writers and artist.

Prizes will be awarded in the following category: Poems and artwork: 6-10Years; 11-15years; 16-18years

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Playwrights and Screenwriters (the Antigua-Barbuda connection)

I wanted to create a separate page for playwrights and screenwriters. You won’t find these in the listing of Antiguan and Barbudan writers or any of the genre listings, unless they’ve written books. This list refers specifically to contributions as writers for screen and stage. It is a work in progress, so please inform me of any ommissions/oversights. T’anks.

PLAYWRIGHTS

 (Playwright)           – Rising from the Ashes. Performed by Popular Theatre Movement. (formed 1988)

Antigua Community Players – This group was inaugurated in 1952. Musical dramas written and performed by the players include Priscilla’s Wedding and Celebration in the Marketplace. The group eventually morphed into a choral group well known for its folk music presentations and musical productions.

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Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams - (play titles?). Performed by Rio Revealers (started 1979).

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Barbara Arrindell – Dreams…Faces…Reality. Performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group. (2001 debut)

Barbara Arrindell speaks with the audience after a performance of the AIDS themed ‘Dreams…Faces…Reality’ performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group

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Edson Buntin - (Play titles?). Scaramouche Theatre. Also plays at the Antigua State College such as Conjugal Bliss.

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Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972). Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.

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Owen Jackson - As writer/director with the National Youth Theatre, Jackson produced several plays including After 9/11 and My Birthright the throughout the 2000s and ongoing.

Owen Jackson taking high school students through a drama warm up exercise.

Youth drama club – tableau in downtown store window …and attracting a small crowd doing it

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George ‘Rick’ James - Various plays including the one man play Oulaudah Equiano and the all-star-cast Our Country in 2007 tracking the life of Antigua from pre-Columbian times to present.

Our Country: an arawak chief Our Country: Slave ship scene

slaves at market

Performed by Theatre Ensemble (which included many prominent persons in Antiguan and Barbudan society). Also an actor in the British theatre

James performing in Sit Quietly on the Baulk

for many years and an award winning costume designer in local mas.

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Colin Jno Finn – playwright and director with the Nazarene Drama Team – On the Block (2008) of a young man’s struggles with the church; Nine to Five (2009) about challenges in the work place; It’s Too Late (2010) of a strained relationship between a father and son; and Power Struggle (2011) of one person’s attempts to boost another from office.

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Edgar O. LakeSome Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (dates unknown)

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Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – ‘He is a Poet, Painter, Writer, Sculptor, Actor, Teacher, Mentor, Author and “continued work in progress”, as he puts it…His “Self-Portrait”, a one-man play performed in his studio, speaks of his life through poetry and prose, concurrent to him painting his self-portrait during the show.’ – from this interview with the artiste which also references his chap books (41 Times and Amerikkkan Exile), his company (Iyabarts), his art series (War, Spirit Drawings), in addition to his plays (Self-Portrait which has grown into unFRAMED, his first full length play), and forthcoming work (novel Sins of My Fathers, chap book 30 Days of Ink, ad the off broadway run of unFRAMED). As his biography shows, he is a native Antiguan who migrated to the U.S. as a boy.  These roots as well as his experiences in America infuse unFRAMED as seen in this excerpt.

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Motion – Canadian of Antiguan descent, Motion’s stage productions include  Aneemah’s Spot/The Base, 4our Woman, and Dancing to a White Boy Song -  featured at several renowned venues such as the International Black Playwrights Festival, Cross Currents Festival,  the Rock.Paper.Sistaz Festival, and the Summerworks Theatre Festival.

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Dorbrene O’Marde –  - synonymous with quality theatre in Antigua and Barbuda in theatre’s heyday (i.e. the 1970s to early 1980s), his Harambee Open Air Theatre is “considered the most important group of recent times” (from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Martin Banham). On stage, O’Marde – also a calypso writer, publisher of Calypso Talk magazine, social and political commentarian and activist, and more - wrote and directed Badplay, Homecoming, For Real: A Caribbean Play in Three Acts (1976), Fly on the Wall (1977), The Minister’s Daughter, We Nativity, Tangled Web, and The World Spin One Way; and directed several others (in addition to his other cultural and artistic work)BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 .

       

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Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre.

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Lester Simon - Obeah Slave. Performed by the Grammarians. 1969.

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Leon Chaku SymisterVoices of Protest, 1976; and Time Bomb, 1977; Tilting Scales, 1980. Third World Theatre.

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Stage One – This youth drama collective led by Kanika Simpson-Davis favours adaptations (which involves some re-scripting) of popular tales like Cinderella , Snow White, and Anansi and Snake. 2004 – present.

Stage One: Anansi and Snake

Stage One: Cinderella Reloaded 2007 Stage One: scene from Cinderella

Stage One: scene from Cinderella

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Women of Antigua – playwrights/actresses/directors Linisa George and Zahra Airall shepherd this femalecentric brand of theatrical activism. The original production When A Woman Moans  (see Review here http://www.365antigua.com/cms/content/arts-live-performance-review-when-woman-moans-29-may-2010) was mostly scripted by them with inputs from Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards (another WOA founding partner), Melissa Elliott, Marcella Andre, and Carel Hodge. It has become an annual production with new writers and new themes each time. The group debuted with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in 2008 and this locally conceived, similarly themed production, which debuted in 2010, is the successor to that. Airall is also founder and director of Zee’s Youth Theatre which produced, among other things, the well-received School Bag.

 

SCREENWRITERS

Zahra Airall – When No One Is Looking (2012, short film, an ABS TV Production in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS) – also co-director. My review/report, here.

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Howard Allen (also producer/director) - (w/Jermilla Kirwan) Diablesse (2005, HAMAfilms); and The Skin (2011, HAMAfilms) – reviewed here.

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Alexis AndrewsVanishing Sail. Not sure if this documentary about the Carriacou sloops and the culture surrounding them is completed and released as yet but here’s the trailer.

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Oteh Thomas Anyandjuh (African born, resident in Antigua) - Love that Bites (2010,  OTA Entertainment and Third Eye Studios) – also director.

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Shashi Balooja (also an actor, director, casting director, and producer on stage and screen) – w/Cecile George and Michael Sandoval, film short Ariana  (2004, ABC Film & Video/Andrisk Inc/Media at Large, USA); w/Roger Sewhcomar, documentary The Altruist (2009, Media at Large/ABC Film & Video, USA); w/Caytha Jentis Exposed (2012, Media at Large, USA) - winner feature film award and genre award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival; w/Stephen Kelleher, film short Promises of Home (2012, Media at Large/Reverse Momentum Films, USA). UPDATE! Balooja plans to extend Ariana into a feature film.

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Cinque Productions (Chris Hodge and Melissa Gomez, also producer, director) - Deaf Not Dumb (2000, short fiction film), 2 Dolla Picture

Melissa assessing a shot as her camera man looks on.

(2001, animated short), Share and Share Alike (2008, documentary - 2010 winner of Best Documentary Production at the Berlin Black International Cinema Festival), Changing Course (2009, film short), and Silent Music (2012, documentary) silent-music-poster[1] co-writer/producer/editor Jay Prychidny.

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Alvin Glen EdwardsOnce in an Island

on the set of ‘Once in an Island’  Jermilla Kirwan in a scene from Once in an Island

(2009, Wadadli Pictures) – also producer. The film has since been adapted into a book (released 2012).

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Noel Howell – He was the co-writer (with Courtney Boyd), director and producer of Redemption of Paradise (2009, Color Bars Production) – best actress and best Caribbean film at the 2010 Jamaica Reggae Film Festival; as well as a video producer and independent publisher on projects like Once in an Island (co-producer/co-director).

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Roland ‘Mayfield’ Hosier – He didn’t work from a written script but he’s the pioneer behind Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest forays into (largely improvised) film production producing The Fugitive, 1972, and Midtown Robbers, 1978.

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D. Gisele IsaacThe Sweetest Mango (2001, HAMAfilms); and No Seed (2002, HAMAfilms).
Isaac also writes regularly for the stage in the form of the skit included in the annual Programme put on by the Professional Organization of Women in Antigua and Barbuda; usually a political satire.

POWA’s Programme

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Tameka Jarvis-George - Dinner

On the set of Dinner, Tameka with her co-star and husband.

(2010, Cinque Productions w/Chris Hodge directing and Jarvis-George also acting and serving as co-executive producer) – film short versed on her poem of the same name from the collection Thoughts from the Pharcyde. UPDATE Here’s her report on the screening of the film at the Jamaica Film Festival and of her involvement (as a writing contributor) to Shabier Kirchner’s film short, Ugly. ANOTHER UPDATE! The film! courtesy BGR Mag TV:

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Jamaica Kincaid - Life and Debt (a film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.

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Jermilla Kirwan – (w/Howard Allen) Diablesse (2005, Hamafilms) – also actress in this and The Sweetest Mango.

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Dr. James KnightThe Making of the Monarch – independently produced documentary on the Monarch King Short Shirt. 2013.

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Nigel Trellis (born Guyana, resident in Antigua) - Hooked (2009, Tropical Films) Working Girl (2011, Tropical Films)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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The only politics post you’ll ever see on this site

Generally, I wouldn’t post anything here even remotely related to politics. But I’ll make an exception for this bold action by a group of young non partisan Antiguans and Barbudans:

Concerned with the absence of adequate youth representation in our nation’s politics; a group of seven young, non-partisan Antiguans have decided to form an Organizing Committee to host the country’s first ever ‘National Youth Forum.’

This forum will take the form of a town hall meeting where candidates will answer questions asked by youth on the issues most important to them.

The January 9, event will be moderated by Marcella Andre-Georges and will take place at the Precision Centre in Paynters. The executives of both the Antigua Labour Party and the United Progressive Party have given their commitment to send three candidates to represent the party’s position on the issues.

Invitations have been sent to registered youth groups around the island, including both youth arms of the ALP and the UPP, to be present and participate in the forum.

Due to capacity limitations and to ensure that the core demographic – youth – are well represented, the event is by invitation only. The event will be streamed live online and played live on several radio stations. More details on this will follow.

For more information contact the Organizing Committee via social media on twitter.com/nyfanu2014, search for our facebook.com event, or e-mail us at nyfanu2014@gmail.com.

The committee is chaired by Amaya Athill. The other members are Regis Burton, Kyle Christian, Yendi Jackson, Carlon Knight, Aziza Lake, and Jon Whyte.

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Literary Artistes and Other Young Achievers Shine at the 2013 National Youth Awards

The Youth Awards is one of those programmes I wholeheartedly support for several reasons:

  • It rewards positive youth accomplishment
  • By so doing, it has the potential to encourage positive youth accomplishment
  • It debunks notions of youth being wholly lost as the stories that make the front page would have us believe
  • Because it reminds us that there are young people striving, achieving, doing all around us – and that’s something to be celebrated
  • And that spirit of celebration makes for a feel good evening

That without fail has me wishing that there was a way to share these young people’s stories with the wider community in a way that transmits those positive vibes to Antigua and Barbuda as a whole. I remember leaving last year’s Youth Awards and firing off proposals to businesses and agencies I thought would be keen to get behind sponsoring video profiles of these young achievers. Yeah, the night fills you with that kind of optimism; and then reality bites. Still, it’s nice to feel those good vibes, to celebrate these young people if only for one night.

I didn’t make it this year but I’ve seen the pictures and it looks like it was as usual a thrilling evening; kudos to Youth Director Cleon Athill and her team for pulling this off year after year with what I know must be limited resources but a whole lot of let’s-do-this.

2013 Awardees include two of the Wadadli Pen family (I count them as such), literary prize winners Linisa George and Glen Toussaint.

This is Glen with our 2012 Wadadli Pen winner Rosalie at the  Best of Books, a project partner and his employer. Rosalie is holding the challenge plaque sponsored by the Best of Books and other gifts.

This is Glen with our 2012 Wadadli Pen winner Rosalie at the Best of Books, a project partner and his employer. Rosalie is holding the challenge plaque sponsored by the Best of Books and other gifts.

Linisa George is a past Youth Award winner (3x winner if I’m not mistaken, once with August Rush for their work in the literary arts, once as a part of Women of Antigua for their activism, once as Linisa for her work in the literary arts).

Flashback: Linisa George accepting her 2012 National Youth Award for contribution to the Literary Arts.  (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Flashback: Linisa George accepting her 2012 National Youth Award for contribution to the Literary Arts. (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Her 2013 win, I believe is all hers, in a year where she published two poems in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing (edited by Althea Prince); published a poem that had been selected as the entry from Antigua and Barbuda for the Poetry Parnassus at the 2012 Olympics in The World Record: International Voices from Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus; and also launched the online magazine Black Girl in the Ring http://www.blackgirlinthering.com Linisa is founder of the Young Poets Society of Antigua and Barbuda, co-producer of the Expressions Open Mic held every second and fourth Tuesday at Heavenly Java, and co-producer/co-writer/c0-director/co-performer in When a Woman Moans and the local production of the Vagina Monlogues – the former two August Rush projects, the latter two Women of Antigua projects. As of 2012, she’s also a Wadadli Pen partner as part of our team of judges.

Glen Toussaint also has two poems published in Layout 1So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing (edited by Althea Prince). He works at the Best of Books where his love of stories, story making, and story telling shines through – for instance in the in-store story time and the readings he does on Observer Radio’s Our House with Auntie Debbie and on school visits. Glen is a popular  Open Mic regular, both at Expressions and at the Wadadli Pen Open Mic - which he runs at the store, the second Saturday of every month.  That he encourages young people to read and get excited about reading will go a long way toward nurturing another generation of readers and writers.

There is often an activist element in George’s writing, particularly as relates to gender, race, and social justice; Glen, meanwhile, favours speculative fiction and poetry that’s alternatively provocative and earthy. And for all their accolades, the most inspiring thing about them may well be that they’ve really only just begun.

Congratulations to them both. In fact, congratulations to all the winners, listed in full below, and to the Youth Department for another successful instalment of a very valuable and inspiring programme:

Achievers in Education
Khira Christopher-Education
Michael Zouetr -Education
Thea Davis-Education
Amaya Athill-Outstanding Scholarship

Media Achievers
Kyle Christian* -Media practitioner
Martina Johnson-Young Journalist
Radio Observer -Youth Friendly Media House

Achievers in Agriculture
Jamaul Phillip-Young Farmer
PMS Agrcultural Science Programme-Honourble Mention

Achievers in Sports
Tamiko Butler (cyclist)- Young Sports woman
Jyme Bridges (cyclist)- Young sports man

Achievers in Business
LCP Industries- Young Entreprenwur ( D. Chastanet, W. Laville& Phillip)
Kevin Williams-Young Professional
Jeremy Abraham-Tourism-Management
Stephen Georges- Tourism – Service

Artistic Achievers
Quincy Etinoff (music)-Cultural and Performing Arts
Rameez Mascall-Young Artisan
Linisa George (literary arts)
Glen Toussaint (literary arts)

Barbuda’s Best
Dr. Jeremy Deazle

Community
Jon Whyte*–Young pioneer

Sasha Gay Middleton Community Service- Individual
Red Cross Youth Group-Community Service -Group

Corporate Awards
Philanthropy
Mill Reef Club
ACB
Digicel

Youth Development Partner
Medical benefits Scheme
Curtain Bluff Hotel

Lifetime Service Award
Ingid O’Marde- Youth and Ecumenism
Gordon George- Literacy
Felicity Aymer- Reproductive and Sexual Health of teens and Youth
Pat Whyte-Sports
Sheila Roseau- Gender advocacy-empowerment of girls/young women

Special Awards–support of work of the Department of Youth Affairs
Photogenesis
Jeannette charles

The featured speaker for the evening was Carlon Knight*.

*FYI, talk about young people doing things, a National Youth Forum has been announced for January 9th 2014; its purpose to bring representatives of the country’s major political parties together to address the issues of concern and interest to young people. It is invite only and will be hosted by Marcella Andre-Georges and streamed online and carried live on several local stations. For more information contact the Organizing Committee (which includes NYA 2013 winners Kyle Christian, Jon Whyte, and speaker Carlon Knight) via social media on twitter.com/nyfanu2014, search for our facebook.com event, or e-mail us at nyfanu2014@gmail.com.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!… and former NYA literary arts honourable mention and special award recipient for support of the work of the DYA). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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When JSYWP Meets Wadadli Pen

Was nice to see some familiar faces from past Wadadli Pens at my first ever Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project (August 12th t 16th 2013); loving their commitment to improving their craft.

Wadadli Pen 2012 Second runner up 12 and younger Chammaiah Ambrose, author of How  Tigers Got Stripes, is the youngest of the JSYWP group but she’s always willing to try; like her spirit.

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2013 finalists Asha Graham and Michaela Harris were also there, always willing to share and give feedback – admire their maturity.

Asha and Michaela by Joanne C Hillhouse

Asha won the whole Wadadli Pen kit-n-caboodle with Revelations Tonight and snagged a runner up prize with Remembrance.

Michaela by Kurne

Michaela meanwhile was a runner up in the 13 to 17 age category with Secret of de Mango Tree.

OriqueFinally, there’s Orique Gordon, he’s 2011 winner of the 12 and younger category and an overall finalist with The Lost Coin. He still has quite the imagination.

Was happy to see them all again, to be able to encourage and guide them and to provide feedback on their new writing.

For highlights of our week together as well as their assessment of the work we did together, go here for the last of five entries – click the links at the bottom of that page for the other four. Also, check this out:

*with photos by Kurne Williams for Silston Library

*Tuition sponsors of the JSYWP were: Anonymous, Brenda Lee Browne, Caribbean Water Treatment, Dr. Jillia Bird, Paperclips, Sanhall Trademarks Ltd., Shirley Heights Lookout, and Townhouse Mega Store.

*The following also provided patronage and/or assistance: The Best of Books, Koren Norton, Silston Library, St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union, Carol Mitchell, Marie Elena John, friends and family.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Youth Opportunity

UNESCO has put out a call for projects let by young people. It’s open to all young women and men who are members of a youth-led or youth-focused organization, project leaders or young entrepreneurs active in an established NGO. These young people are invited to submit their proposals for an innovative action project in their community, country or region, by filling in the submission form by 12 August 2013, the International Youth Day, midnight, Paris time. – See more here.

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Closed for Carnival

..not us but as a visiting writer from the US anxious to get involved in the local literary scene recently discovered, everything kind of stops for summer and Carnival in Antigua and Barbuda. Notably Expressions is on hold (not sure of the return date but sometime in September no doubt); and the Best of Books Wadadli Pen Open Mic is on hold until September 14th. Even the Cushion Club is on break. As I told our literary traveler, the next summer spark that I’m aware of literarily is the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project. That’s my baby. My second baby after Wadadli Pen (don’t get jealous, Wadadli Pen). Jhohadli is me (that’s a pen name of mine bestowed on me by a Trini-block-mate during my UWI days and happily claimed by me as my literary alter ego (so no stealing); Summer is when it is (specifically August 12th to 16th); Youth is who it’s targeting (I can confirm 10 successful applicants between the ages of 8 and19; with  four others still to be confirmed); Writing (that’s what it’s about; we’ll be reading and writing and exploring to feed the writing because it’s a hungry beast); Project (I call it a project because that’s what it became when I decided to take it from the idea phase. And the idea grew out of this urge to do more than an annual challenge but needing to find a way to make it self sustaining and targeted at those who need and want it whether they have the money to access it or not).

As I wrote in another post APUA does not accept thank yous and as a working writer I had to find a way to cover my time and material costs, so I asked several businesses to sponsor tuition for participants. Those who agreed to do so are:

Anonymous
Brenda Lee Browne
Sanhall
Paperclips
Townhouse Mega Store
Caribbean Water Treatment
Dr. Jillia Bird (couldn’t find a link to her business so this is a link to her major activist cause)
Shirley Heights Lookout

with the Best of Books, Koren Norton, Silston’s Library, and St. John Cooperative Credit Union kicking in support as well.

I am happy with the response though I have more participants than sponsors. I had some rough patches, some misunderstandings, some bad feelings, some I don’t need this @#$&! moments but I also enjoyed receiving the application letters and preparing the programme of activities. So I’m doing this, and hoping for the best and encouraged by the enthusiasm of the applicants…

Snippets from some JSYWP application letters, pulled at random

“I’ve always desired to be tutored and mentored by a published author and the fact that you are an local author makes it much more appealing.”

“When I write I write from my heart. I express the way I feel, think and my emotion spills over into my writing.”

“My other hobbies are drawing, writing stories and I am now working on a comic …hoping it would become a cartoon one day.”

“I want to learn more about the art of writing so that my compositions can improve.”

“This opportunity will give me the chance to take my writing to another level and put to paper the many thoughts that constantly invade my imagination.”

“In my spare time, I enjoy reading books by Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Lemony Snicket. I enjoy reading books in general.”

“I am a thirteen year old Antiguan poet.  I have been writing poetry for a year and a half… In my spare time I like to read mystery books.”

“I have never attended a workshop like this and I am not sure what to expect.  One of my favorite things to do to pass time is read.”

“When I first began to write, my poems were scribbles at the back of all my school exercise books.”

“I am extremely interested in taking part in the jhohadli summer youth writing project, as I am very passionate about creative writing…”

“The thrill that I get when a new idea pops into my head coupled with my vigorous imagination are key factors that I believe that such a programme like this could benefit me tremendously.”

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Awaken to the Night by Kennella Charles

[2005 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Honourable Mention]

The calypsos of the birds outside were muffled by the curtains of the Edward twins’ bedroom, as Rupert Edward pushed aside his bedcovers and ascended towards his brother’s bed mischievously. He was up to no good as usual, attempting to scare his brother out of bed, and by blurting out a single name, succeeded in his boisterous plan.

“Wha happen, Robert, wha mek you so jumpy?” he asked, snickering devilishly.

“You have plenty nerves!” Roger said out of breath, trying to conceal his tears. “You well know that me ‘fraid a de bogyman!”

“Me! Is not me mek him come here a night time,” Rupert reveled.

“Mama Estha!” Robert cried out, tears flowing. In no time their grandmother entered their bedroom door to be greeted by a tearful Robert.

“Wha eh be this time, Rupert, wha trouble-making you up to?” she said as she held Robert, trying to calm him.

Esther Edward was the only living person who could distinguish between her identical grandsons. Mama Estha, as her grandsons called her, was a round woman and a strong believer in God. She had been helping their ever-so-busy father, Ron Edward to raise them ever since their mother, Victoria, died, shortly after giving birth to her mirror twins. Mama Estha loved and treated her only grandchildren as though she had birthed them. Their father was always too busy to raise them himself and usually traveled abroad on business trips. Esther could tell them apart anywhere; back, front, even before they spoke. She truly knew her boys well, even when one had been sad or the other naughty.

“Me ain’t do the fraidy cat nothing, Mama Estha.”

“He lie!” yelled Robert.

“All right, enought a that from de two a you! Rupert, go in me room and read de whole a chapta six in Ephesians.”\

“Mama Estha.”

“Me don talk!” she ordered, still comforting Robert as the other brother stormed to his grandmother’s room.

Radiance of a few rays from the sun seeped trough the bedroom windows and danced on the walls. The abundance of sunlight had been occluded by the abundance of lofty trees, which shielded the barely seen house in the vast countryside.

“He call out de bogyman name when me still a sleep and me wake up,” Robert said, still sobbing. “Last night me hear eh by de window.”

“Hush with you nonsense now; ain’t no such thing as de bogyman. I don’t know wha mek you always mek you brother get the best of you.”

“But Mama Estha me hear eh mek noise outside by de window.”

“You listen to me, see. Maybe a de branches pan de tree by you window when de wind a blow or de fruit bats a fly a night,” she suggested and smiled at him.

“Bats!” he shivered with open eyes. “ That a wha Rupert say de bogyman tun into a night.”

“Nothing tall go so. De fruit bats harmless; de only thing them bite a fruit, not arwe,” she said, assuring him.

He agreed with a nod, but, in his mind, his brother’s exaggerated tales were still lurking.

Since school was closed for the summer, the twins spent the course of their days on their own activities. Rupert being bolder, both far more mischievous and more adventuresome, usually went about his day as a nuisance, while Robert, the more responsible one for an eight year old, helped his grandmother do most of the tasks in and around the house.

As the summer sounds droned on that day, Robert assisted his grandmother in tending to her garden along with a few other chores. Rupert’s schedule consisted of torturing a neighbor’s cat, dismembering a bird’s nest and other terrible duties.

Later in the night, when the boys finished praying and retired to bed, their grandmother slightly opened the window’s shutters to allow some of the night’s cool atmosphere into the room. The nocturnal creatures blossomed to the quartered moon that shined through the windows, investing every thing in the rooms with a calm unnatural luminosity. A pair of short, broad wings extended to take flight, as a grayish-brown figure fluttered along with squeaks of navigation towards an array of fruit trees.

Unaware of a stalking owl, the solitary bat almost became prey to the clutching claws of the night bird. Instead it got injured and found sanctuary by a nearby window ledge at the twins’ bedroom. There was a soft thud on the floor, with an alarming squeak, which startled and woke both boys. Rupert jumped out of bed, then turned on the light without hesitation, and found, to their surprise, a wounded bat, active on their bedroom floor.

Fear came after both boys like a shadow, as they bellowed for their grandmother. To her amazement, when she hastily entered their room both boys were crying and nestled on one bed, pointing to where the uproar began. She then glanced in the direction of the wide-eyed bat.

“All a this racket over a little bat?” she asked, soothingly, as she approached her grandsons with opened arms. “It ain’t no jumby or de bogyman, and it more scared a you than you is a it.”

“No, it a come from eating…somebody, that a way…de blood from!” Rupert stammered.

“No, baby, it look like it hurt.”

“Is not the bogyman?” Robert asked with some relief.

“No, is not no fable a de bogyman. Maybe a this same bat da a you window de otha night.”

Rupert reflected on how ridiculously he had reacted and apologized for teasing his brother about always being scared easily. They both learned a valuable lesson that night and shared an inseparable bond from then on.

THE END

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Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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ABILF Youth Writing Workshop

When was this? 2008, I think. The instructor pictured is Brenda Lee Browne, former coordinator of the Independence Literary Arts competition, and facilitator of many youth writing workshops both independently and with the Culture Department making her a beloved mentor to many young writers in Antigua and Barbuda. Here she is with one young scribe at a writing workshop sponsored by the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.

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