IMPORTANT UPDATE! GO here for Guidelines and here for Terms of Use for the Writing contest and here for the art guidelines. See Sponsors Here.

Wadadli Pen 2013 is here with a Challenge for both writers and artists.  A challenge also goes out to schools to encourage promising young writers and artists to enter, with 2013 patron, Hands across the Sea, promising US$500 worth of books to the primary and secondary schools with the most submissions.

Best of Books is once again partnered with Wadadli Pen and Conrad Luke has pledged EC$500 for a second straight year. But, as the Cushion Club contribution of an EC$50 gift certificate proves you don’t have to have big bank to support the programme; every contribution enhances the prize packages.

Most of the awardees of Wadalipen with Joanne Hillhouse

As usual, though, the organizers remind that Wadadli Pen isn’t just about prizes; it’s about encouraging expression, nurturing young talent, and showcasing that talent.

Artists must submit up to three Anansi-themed sketches per specific guidelines, the details of which are available on the Wadadli Pen site ( or from the Best of Books. Writers have the option of submitting up to three entries in any genre and style, and on any topic, provided they are Caribbean in spirit, have not previously been published, and do not exceed the 600 word limit. To enter, you must be Antiguan-Barbudan, and aged 35 or younger.

For more including terms of submission, literary prompts, guidelines for both the literary and visual art components, and more, visit the site. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, email

That’s also the submission address. The submission deadline is February 15th 2013. The winning artist may earn the opportunity to work on a book project, gaining some professional experience; and short listed writers will be taken through an editing and redrafting process designed to assist with their development as writers. Winning stories and images will be posted on the Wadadli Pen site and shared elsewhere as was the case when 2012 junior finalists Akeile Benjamin and Vega Armstrong, both 10, had their stories The Adventures of Mr. Coconut and Legend of the Sea Lords selected for publication in regional digital publication Anansesem.

Wadadli Pen, started in 2004, was also spotlighted in Caribbean Beat in 2012 and continues to attract support not only at home but abroad. Two of the 2013 patrons, donating copies of their acclaimed books, are Jamaican writers – both Commonwealth Short Story prize finalists – Diana McCaulay, author of Dog-Heart and Huracan, and Diane Browne, author of Island Princess in Brooklyn.

The Wadadli Pen is the brainchild of Joanne C. Hillhouse – author of Oh Gad! and other books. Her 2013 partners include the Best of Books manager Barbara ArrindellBarbara Arrindell – who proposed the art challenge as an audition for an illustrator-collaborator for her next book and who is also contributing copies of her previous books to the literary prize package. Also on board again are writers Floree Williams and Brenda Lee Browne – whose contribution includes two spots in her Just Write writers retreat; as well as Devra Thomas who won Wadadli pen in 2011 with her story Sands and Butterflies.

The only question left is what will you be writing about?

*images seen are from the 2012 Wadadli Pen Prize Giving Ceremony.



Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Wadadli Pen 2013, Wadadli Pen News


  1. Latoya

    What is the registration date for the Wadadli Pen Competition 2015?

    • Thanks for the inquiry, Latoya. Normally we would have launched in January but plans for this year are unfortunately still unsettled. My apologies for that. I’m glad to know there’s interest though and will try to use that interest as motivation to overcome the obstacles/odds.

      • Latoya

        There is a lot of interest and just so you know, my students and I are looking forward to giving it a go this year after our break last year. We look forward to this grand literacy event. Believe me, you are making a great feat in the lives of many “soft spoken” children who use writing as an outlet. Can’t wait!!

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