Vote for your Favourite Antiguan and Barbudan Book of the Year

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UPDATE! (December 20th 2017) Best of Books bookstore has decided to sweeten the pot (as if being the readers’ choice for best Antiguan and Barbudan book weren’t sweet enough). We welcome the extra honey.  So, as posted to their facebook page: “BEST OF BOOKS will provide the winning author with a collection of books to be presented by the author to a school of their choice. In addition all authors receiving over twenty votes will receive a small pile of reference books to be presented by them, in their name, to the secondary school of their choice. Share this with all your fans and encourage them to vote.” Awesome right? Thanks, Best of Books! So the winning author is amplified and a school or two benefits (the only thing that could make this better is if another entity would follow suit and maybe step up with a cash prize for the winning author *not that I’m dropping hints or anything*). And all you have to do to make it happen is get those votes in by the end of the year January 15th 2017. Remember, a minimum of 10 votes in the contest overall for a winner to be declared. Scroll down to see the eligible books (and authors and author associates remember you can vote; authors just not for your own book and author associates, declare your bias, and all voters give a reason why the book you are voting for should win).

I read about the Trinidad and Tobago People’s Choice Book of the Year Award and had the ‘smart’ idea to do something similar here on the blog.

Why the question mark over smart? Because clearly this is something that takes a fair amount of planning not something undertaken on a whim (head over to the Bocas page to see how together they are).

Plus I was operating on a false premise.

Anticipating that there weren’t a lot of Antiguan and Barbudan books released in 2017 alone, I thought to do a three year spread and that’s where I fell down a rabbit hole and emerged too many hours later well and truly put in my place. Because, as I should have already been aware as the person who researches and updates the online data base of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, for an 108 square mile island, 170 square mile country combined, we write a helluva lot. Clearly the interest has always been there if not the opportunity and over the last several recent years with the opening up of other paths to publication (the traditional publishing markets PLUS the many independent publishing options), there is inevitably more product. Much more. Twenty fifteen to present, at least 105 (possibly more since some of the self-published books don’t follow the traditional formatting, including listing the copyright and year of publication, and I couldn’t count those that didn’t). A lot more to sort through (some existing exclusively as ebooks, i.e. not available in print formats). And while I list them, the sorting through to determine quality of product, I’ll leave to the reader.

And that’s where this list – limited to 2017 after all – comes in.

YOU, dear reader, are invited to name your favourite 2017 book release by an Antiguan and Barbudan writer before the end of 2017. Okay favourite doesn’t always mean good (in terms of literary merit) but books are about readers, we bake the bread and you eat it, so your review counts for something. Besides, we don’t have a national book award programme here in Antigua and Barbuda, so this is as good as it gets; and really sort of just-for-so. We won’t have a prize for the winning author, unless someone steps up to donate one, but this process does provide an opportunity to shout out a book that maybe more people should be reading. But hear what, you have to tell us why we should be reading it. So go through the list and weigh in in the comments with a reason why you like this book or why you think this is the best book by an Antiguan and Barbudan published in 2017. It’s your opportunity to boost an author whose book you love; as an author myself, I can tell you, they’ll thank you for it.

Oh, speaking “as an author myself”, authors can vote, but not for their book.  If you’ve had a hand in producing any of the contending books (for example, it’s a book that you edited, or helped finance or publish, or for which you wrote an introduction, or for which you provided cover art or illustrations), you can vote but please declare your bias AND give a legit review. Family and friends can vote but must, like all other voters, give some kind of testimony as to why they think the book is great.

You can vote from anywhere, but you can only vote once. It goes without saying that you should have read the book for which you’re voting.

The listing (listed as much as possible by date of publication) does not include anthologies to which an Antiguan and Barbudan may have contributed a single story nor books by non-Antiguans and Barbudans in which the country or nationals are featured. We’re talking here books (including books only available as ebooks and self-published books) where the Antiguans and Barbudans (born, resident, citizen, or with Antiguan and Barbudan ancestry) are the primary or sole author of the stories/text or, in the case of picture books, the imagery and/or the text. If you released a book within those limitations in 2017 that is not listed, the oversight is not intentional; just give a heads up, politely, also in the comments, and it will be added. Genre doesn’t matter.

Remember to share – I’m setting a minimum bar of at least 10 votes in the competition overall for a winner to be declared. And vote by the end of 2017. Don’t make me have wasted time down this rabbit hole for no good reason!

So, which of these was your favourite Antiguan and Barbudan read of 2017? Vote in the comments and give a reason for your vote.

mottleyA 2nd Anthology of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives by Marcus Mottley. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.

Rilzy1The Gift (Falling Like A Johnson Book 1) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services.

RoxyGreer’s Alphas: a Paranormal Menage by Roxy Wilson. Amazon Digital Services.

Roxy 3Be With You: a Valentine’s Romance by Roxy Wilson. Amazon Digital Services.

Life as Josephine Life as Josephine by Claytine Nisbett. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

kimI do…NOT by Kimolisa Mings. Amazon Digital Services.

Shoe If The Shoe Fits by Kimolisa Mings. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.

HolHol de Line and Other Stories by Mary Geo Quinn. Caribbean Education Publishers.

Rilzy 2Will you be Mine? (Falling like a Johnson Book 2) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services.

Roxy2My Guardian Vampire: a BBW Paranormal Romance by Roxy Wilson. Amazon Digital Services.

friend indeed A Friend Indeed by Kimolisa Mings. Amazon Digital Services.

writeJust Write Antigua Journal by Brenda Lee Browne.

Yohan bookThe Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte. Moondancer Books.

Lost Cover Front 4Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure by Joanne C. Hillhouse with illustrator Danielle Boodoo Fortune. Caribbean Reads Publishing.

London RocksLondon Rocks by Brenda Lee Browne. Hansib.

Bothism coverBothism by Tanya Evanson. Ekstasis.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.


Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Literary Gallery

6 responses to “Vote for your Favourite Antiguan and Barbudan Book of the Year

  1. Theo

    The gift! Was an amazing read! Couldn’t put the book down. Felt even prouder to know that the author is hails from Antigua too. I’m happy that the world will know we are small but talented.

  2. Renee

    Will you be mine? by Rilzy Adams.

    I like that part of the story took place in Antigua.

  3. mu§e

    ‘Will you be mine’ was definitely my favourite! It was such a sweet and heart warming story. But had a huge (rather dark) twist that I didn’t expect and I just loved it! An all around great story and I can’t wait to see more from Rilzy!

  4. Apart from my book (Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure), I’ve only read two other books on this list (so far) and those two (London Rocks and The Wonderful World of Yohan) because (declaring my bias) I was involved in editing them both. I like them both (which is not always the case when you’re editing) and I think in both cases, part of what makes them special is the point of view – young men (or one a boy, one a young man) out of step with the stereotypes society imposes on boys, and, though the stakes are strikingly different, coming in to conflict with their world because of it as they try to find their way. One is a soundboy with a dream, one a boy who dreams ‘too much’. The former is Dante and the latter is Yohan, and you should definitely check out both books. But while I actually want to vote for them both, I’ll vote for The Wonderful World of Yohan, because he is a boy with a Walter Mitty-esque way of seeing the world which we really should encourage more – dream, dare, be your unique quirky self. Our boys need to know there’s not just one way to be or just one way to be a boy.

  5. Marissa Walter

    Voting for The Wonderful World of Yohan

  6. Reblogged this on Wadadli Pen and commented:

    I want to thank the four + me (total: 5) people who voted for their favourite Antiguan and Barbudan release of 2017. I really thought this would be a fun exercise and an opportunity to boost a local author, local book when it got going. But it never got going despite being heavily shared by me and others and also promoted in the local media. Someone suggested to me that the reason is people have not had a chance to read the books – and indeed a couple others have made that comment. So, perhaps it was ill-conceived. I do find it hard to believe that 10 people haven’t read at least one of the books on this list – authors could vote, as could authors’ family and friends, in addition to readers/fans. I do want to thank the Best of Books for contacting me to contribute a prize of a book donation to the school library of the winning author. Alas, that is shelved as no winner will be declared. Perhaps we can have them re-purpose the donation to the Wadadli Pen 2018 prize package. Thanks for reading, do check out the books and support the authors.

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