I hate to hear the constant string of negative comments made about our nation’s youth. In contrast I have a high level of respect for people who identify things around us that can be improved and simply do something, anything positive, to make a difference.
The Best of Books was pleased to be able to offer prizes for the first ever Wadadli Pen Challenge, almost ten years ago. Ten years later we are still here; For us we have never had any reason to consider not being involved. The primary organizers have always known “how to work with what they have” and for me that is simply practical. Wadadli pen is not just a competition, it is an opportunity for young writers to flex their writing muscles. They are given the great gift of knowing first hand that Antigua’s write. They know this because they can look in the mirror and see an Antiguan writer. They are then challenged through Wadadli Pen to become better writers, more creative, to become true artists.
The question is not “what can’t you do?”. The question is “what can you do?”. This question is left on the table for all the young writers, all the teachers and parents who can encourage the young writers and all those who have a little something to give to the project to reward those who this year rise to the challenge.
This post is written by the Best of Books manager BARBARA ARRINDELL. Relations between the bookstore and me, the bookstore and Wadadli Pen has been so good over time some have wondered if it is an exclusive relationship or if I work there (no and no). But as this post illustrates, we have a mutual passion for supporting youth development and the literary arts, as well as action over talk (and some of the best book discussions ever…Barbara and her staff are bonafide bookworms). Plus they host sister project the Wadadli Pen Open Mic. And so we continue to collaborate. Much respect to the Best of Books and all the partners and patrons. Couldn’t do it without them. – JCH