I call them partners, the people who’ve volunteered to make Wadadli Pen happen over the years. You can find an accounting of them on our About page. I set out this year to mention specifically the people who do the heavy lifting of reading through the entries and applying their skills to the task of picking the ones who will go on to claim prizes as the best of that year. I’ve judged contests. It’s not an easy task. So I wanted to give them a big up. They are:
is a Communications and Advertising professional who also holds the title of published author! Both her publications Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses and Through the Window can be purchased locally and on Amazon. Floree has been a Wadadli Pen Challenge judge since 2012 and, in 2017, served as chief judge.
Sharifa George, an avid reader and communications professional, spent the first year and a half of her tertiary education studying Creative Arts at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination at the University of the West Indies in Barbados before pursuing a degree in Journalism. She has directed and produced a radio documentary entitled ‘Justice for Jessica’, a story about being transgender in Jamaica. She believes that a story carefully crafted through words has the power to effect social change.
is an Employee of the Best of Books Bookstore, a poet and a Storyteller. He enjoys hiding away somewhere quiet with a good book. Glen, who first served as a judge in 2016 has been running the Best of Books Wadadli Pen Open Mic since 2010.
But while I’m here, let me say thanks to the entire team. For a couple of reasons, I took a team approach to the Challenge this year. I mean, I always reach out to people to assist but this year’s team is largely comprised of the people who responded to my call in 2016 to be part of Wadadli Pen’s advisory and action board. This means that beyond this Challenge cycle, they will work with me in the medium and long term to convert this project in to a legal non-profit, implementing literary development activities. I look forward to the work we have yet to do together.
They are –
Barbara Arrindell – Best of Books manager, human resource training consultant, and author (Antigua My Antigua and The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories), Floree Whyte (already mentioned), and two past Wadadli Pen winners and past volunteers Devra Thomas (winner, 2011; volunteer 2012-2014 & 2017) and Margaret Irish (Lead by Example Teachers’ Prize winner, 2014, Winner take all Flash Prize winner in 2015; volunteer, 2016 – 2017).
Margaret took over the processing of entries, and Devra has been liaising with patrons; Barbara’s main area of responsibility is the awards ceremony – but understand that we support and counsel each other; for example though my main areas were administrative , communication and media, as the person who has done all of the named tasks in any given year, I also had to take lead on seeking patronage, provide guidance and support re the processing, and will be dealing with awards prep as well, plus the post awards activities including making sure the winning stories are uploaded here for your reading pleasure. I’ll have to read and format them first. In a break with previous years, I had no hand in the evaluation of entries this year, at all; which means that I haven’t even read them yet. I wasn’t just slacking off, I had a legit reason that I had to slow down this year which makes all the help a timely blessing.
This year, we also had our first intern in Michaela Harris (who was short listed in 2012 and second placed in the 13 to 17 age category in 2013). I was able to hand off some of the administrative and communication tasks to her and she even got on the other side of the mic when I needed back-up re media promotion. Michaela will be with us through to the May 13th awards presentation during the Wadadli Stories Book Fair. The others and I will get back to work on continuing to build Wadadli Pen.
A lot happens behind the scenes. For too many years, I did a lot of the heavy lifting. I am learning to let go. It’s a struggle but for Wadadli Pen to grow, it’s absolutely necessary. And, you know what, it’s pretty good to have other people to seek counsel from and to share the challenge of pulling this Challenge off. I look forward to seeing how much more Wadadli Pen will do with this team behind it.
And we’re not in the home stretch yet but I did want to say thanks to those who looked past their overstretched schedules and said, yes, I’m in.
As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, and With Grace; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.