Wadadli Pen Note

In line at the ATM here in Antigua recently, a young lady asked me if I was me and I said yes, not sure where it was going. When she seemed satisfied to leave it there, I asked her where we knew each other from and she said she had entered (and I believe won a prize in) Wadadli Pen back when she was in school. I asked her if she was still writing and she did something between a scoff and a laugh and an are you kidding that I found funny when she said, no.

I recently did a pitch which if successful will give me the opportunity to present on the impact of Wadadli Pen. Is it weird that I think this young lady as much a part of the story as the past finalist who is now a copy editor in New York – yeah, just saw that one on linkedin.

The Wadadli Pen narrative has never been about just making writers but about giving young people an avenue for creative expression, even if years later the very idea of them becoming a writer gives us both a laugh in line at the ATM.

Prizes is also not the point of Wadadli Pen, just a little brawta, but photo calls like this from the 2012 awards are good time markers as these young people go on to live full lives and do amazing things, through or outside of Wadadli Pen. I say through because in this picture I see a future Wadadli Pen intern and about three future winners, but in every face and every smile I see so much still to be tapped potential.

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, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, 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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