Category Archives: A & B Lit News Plus

News of what’s happening literally in Antigua and Barbuda

A & B Arts Round Up – May 17th 2017 —>

Saturday 9th December 2017 – Lypstick Production – annual pre Christmas concert fundraiser event. Contact information: 776-1924/728-6647 Lyp1911@hotmail.com

Skellihoppers Tribute to Julian Marcus Christopher – Skellihopper Opening Parade (full skellihopper costume and participation in Glow opening parade) + Skellihopper Jouvert Fete (choice of full skellihopper outfit or t-shirt and everything you need to enjoy the fete from midnight to 10 a.m.). Music by DeeJay Charlie and Kuttin Edge Band. To register 785-1495 or 775-8103. No registration deadline was given but Carnival in Antigua is late July to early August.skellihoppersThe mas was promoted during the May 13th Wadadli Stories Book Fair.

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Wadadli Pen Challenge 2017 – The Picture Post

Yep, it’s that time again; time for our epic picture post – a time when I actually get to see what happened; because as anyone organizing anything knows, it’s actually kind of a blur (understatement).  The Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge awards were held on May 13th at the tail end of the Wadadli Stories Book Fair (kudos to the organizer of that, btw). This year, we have pictures by Linisa George of Art. Culture. Antigua – which is already one of Wadadli Pen’s patrons so she’s already been more than generous with us; and Jon Whyte, who was there to support his wife, Floree, chief judge of the Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge. Some pictures have also been taken from either the Best of Books Bookstore or the Wadadli Stories page on facebook and from a posting by Marissa Walters of the St. Andrews students. Here they are, in no particular order.

12 and Younger
Images of winners in the 12 and Younger age category – who were, in descending order, Zion Ebony Williams, Emma Belizaire, Shadiael Simmons, Ashley Francis.

13 to 17
Images of winners in the 13 to 17 age category – who were, in descending order, Devon Wuilliez, Ava Ralph (not pictured), Francis Yankey, and Andrecia Lewis.

18 to 35
Images of winners in the 18 to 35 age category – who were, in descending order, Kaeiron Saunders, Lucia Murray, and Fayola Jardine.

School with the Most Submissions
That’s Island Academy with 22 of 90+ submissions.

Tout Monde Sam and Bagai

Some highlights from Wadadli StoriesAt Wadadli Stories 6

Media
Observer (front page standalone) + Caribbean Times (centre spread)

Some post awards pics
Things that happened after the awards for reasons beyond our control included the presentation of prizes to 13 to 17 2nd place Ava Ralph and to our intern Michaela Harris. Thanks to the staff of the Best of Books for these ones.

Ava and MichaelaMichaela and Glenn

Wadadli Pen 2017 Links

Wadadli Pen 2017 Patrons
A Teacher Claims the 2017 Wadadli Pen Prize
Wadadli Pen – Who won what in 2017?
Wadadli Pen Winners Through the Years – Story Links
About Wadadli Pen

 

 

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WADADLI PEN Challenge – Who won what in 2017?

As always, we couldn’t do this without support. In 2017, this has meant partners Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Margaret Irish, Devra Thomas, Floree Whyte – along with intern Michaela Harris and judges Glen Toussaint and Sharifa George – volunteering, working together, and playing our roles. We, especially, couldn’t do it without our patrons; without them, we would have no rewards to offer our deserving writers. So, we pause to say thank you. Thank you for coming through (mostly). Thank you for making it possible for us to encourage and reward the cream of Wadadli Pen Challenge’s 2017 crop as decided by our judging team. Thank you for your tangible contribution to the arts and youth development in our twin island state, Antigua and Barbuda. To anyone reading this, we encourage you to support the businesses (also the individuals and organizations) that support the arts.

Here’s how the prizes break down – in addition to certificates for each winner from Wadadli Pen, sponsored by the Best of Books:

School with the Most Submissions Island Academy International School (22 out of 93 eligible submissions)

  • Writing workshop with facilitator fee and miscellaneous expenses to be covered by a patron who wishes to remain anonymous
  • EC$500 gift certificate toward the purchase of books, sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank
  • CAPE and CSEC books across several subject areas, contributed by Harper Collins logo
12 and younger

12 and Younger category winners (from left Ashley, Zion, Shadiael, and Emma) at the May 13th award ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

12 and Younger

Finalists in the 12 and Younger category receive gifts sponsored by US-based Antiguan and Barbudan Juneth Webson and books contributed by Harper Collins logoplus:

Honourable MentionAshley Francis (11, student at St. Andrew’s School; author of ‘Our Caribbean’)

3rdShadiael Simmons (11, student at Baptist Academy; author of ‘Brave Eleven-year-old saved Two Months Baby’)

  • EC$75 contributed byArt_Culture_Antigua-logo
  • With Grace, a book by Joanne C. Hillhouse, contributed by publisher Little Bell Caribbean

2ndEmma Belizaire (11, student at St. Andrew’s school; author of ‘Cricket is My Life’)

1stZion Ebony Williams (11, student at Baptist Academy; author of ‘Those who don’t hear, will feel’)

  • EC$125 contributed byArt_Culture_Antigua-logo
  • With Grace, a book by Joanne C. Hillhouse, contributed by publisher Little Bell Caribbean
  • EC$50 gift certificate for books, contributed by the Cushion Club
13 to 17

13 to 17 category winners (from left Francis, Devon, and Andrecia) at the May 13th award ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

13 to 17

3rd (tie) – Andrecia Lewis (17, student at Antigua State College; author of ‘Strange’)

3rd (tie) – Francis Yankey (16, student at Antigua Grammar School; author of ‘And She sang Fire’)

2ndAva C. Ralph (16, student at Antigua Girls’ High School; author of ‘Non Fiction?’)

1stDevon Wuilliez (16, student at Island Academy International School; author of ‘The Great Big Dumz’)

18 to 35

18 to 35 winners (from left Lucia, Kaeiron, and Fayola) with the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial Plaque at the May 13th awards ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

18 to 35

3rdFayola Jardine (author of ‘Shakiyah and the Mango Hater’)

  • EC$100 contributed by Caribbean Reads Publishing
  • Books on writing – 3 A M Epiphany by Brian Kitely and This Year You write Your Novel by Walter Mosely, and Just Write Writers’ retreat scholarship, contributed by Brenda Lee Browne
  • Books contributed by Harper Collins logo

2ndLucia Murray (student, St. Anthony’s Secondary School; author of ‘Mr. Duppy’)

1stKaeiron Saunders (teacher, St. Anthony’s Secondary School; author of ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Auntie Gah’)

  • EC$300 contributed by Juneth Webson
  • Gift basket/bag of products contributed by Raw Island
  • Book on writing – Unleash the Poem by Wendy Nyemaster, contributed by Brenda Lee Browne
  • Books contributed by Harper Collins logo
Winner K S

At the awards: Kaeiron Saunders, overall winner, with the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque which bears the names of all the winners since Wadadli Pen started in 2004. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

Top Three Overall

3rd – Zion Ebony Williams Zion

2nd – Devon Wuilliez Devon W for posting

Winner! Winner! Winner! – Kaeiron Saunders Saunders cropped

Featured image and some of the included images by Linisa George/Art_Culture_Antigua-logo Thanks to them. Thanks as well to the media who helped us get the word out including Antigua Nice, where Wadadli Pen has a year-round presence as their contribution to our project; and media who shared our notices and releases, or who hosted us for interviews (primarily ABS and Observer media). Thanks all; any oversights are not intentional.

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NOT ANOTHER ISLAND STORY; AS TOLD BY AUNTIE GAH by Kaeiron Saunders

Saunders cropped

Saunders, a 23-year-old Biology teacher and lab technician in the Advanced Level Department of St. Anthony’s Secondary School, says, “(I’m) fascinated by interesting people, new places and written things. Creative at heart, student of science in mind.”

Judges’ Verdict: “Great piece!”

They adjudged it 1st in the 18 to 35 age category, and 1st overall in the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge.

***

“Not another island story, Auntie
I’ve heard it all before”
But every year, around this time
Auntie Gah would add more.

Gabriella was her Christian name
Affectionately called “Gah-Gah” for short
Telling stories, her favourite pastime
Making me listen, her sport

I suspected she was really my mother
She must have witnessed my birth
The details she knew about me
Were things that could not be learnt

Every story began the same way
With a throwback to the past
A tale about the good ole days
And how it saddened her that they didn’t last

We used to sleep with our doors open
And the village raised the child
Boys were taught to be chivalrous
Girls were taught to be mild

Now everyone does their own thing
Selfish as can be
Parents have kids without a ring
The teenage world revolves around “me”.

You don’t know who’s the teacher
And it’s not their age that’s the uncertain thing
You don’t know who’s the preacher
And it’s not just the congregation who sins

Now this part of the story
Was the part I hated most
Where everything turned ugly
Metaphorical gargoyles, goblins, ghosts

I wanted to interrupt her
Ask if this time we could change
Give the story a happy ending
Throw a hero into the game

So what’s the moral Auntie?
Don’t all stories have a good end?
A happily ever after?
An enemy who becomes a friend?

Hush and listen to my story
The point is not to criticize
But to show that the good within a society
Is relative to each new generation’s eyes

For a time will come, my little prodigy
When this story will be yours
You’ll look back in time happily
And face the future with remorse

You cannot see it now
Cause to the young, the present is bliss
But change is always hard to accept
So in a few years, you too will reminisce

The comforts you see as normal now
Will one day exist no more
And the comfort of your children
Their appeal to you will be a quart short of poor

The point, my dear child,
That I am trying to make
Is that this island’s story
Depends on the choices you make

Through its dreams a generation comes true
So while God holds the future
the future holds you
Responsible; be careful what you do

Don’t take it lightly
For when I glance into the past
I do it to remind you
That the present too shall pass

We’re busy making money
As though money maketh man
But our island dies slowly
Cause of death? Failure to plan

To plan a proper course of action
A map of the old which charts the new
Instead of building on the old foundation
We try to lay one anew

Listen to Auntie Gah’s story
My child, we must all receive
This island’s past lessons of wisdom
If we endeavour to all achieve

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$500
EC$300 (contributed by Juneth Webson)
Pen (contributed by Paperclips) + Personalized journal (Jane Seagull)
External hard drive (Cushion Club)
Painting (contributed by the artist Jennifer Meranto)
Books – Perfect Life by Eileen Pollack, New York Actually by Sarah Morgan, The Things I Should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington, Ex Factor, Summertime Dreams, The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson (contributed by Harper Collins)
Gifts (courtesy Raw Island Products)
Book – Unleash the Poem by Wendy Nyemaster (contributed by Brenda Lee Browne)
Two novels (contributed by the author Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis)
Inspirational card (from a line created and contributed by Monique S. Simon’s Caribbean Folklore Project)
Certificate x2 + Winner’s Name on the Challenge plaque (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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THOSE WHO WON’T HEAR, WILL FEEL! by Zion Ebony Williams

Zion

Zion Ebony Williams

About the author: 11 year old Zion Williams is Grade 6 “A” student at the Baptist Academy.  She  loves liturgical dancing, singing and watching her favorite TV shows. Although relatively shy, lately she has become bolder, due mainly to her church’s quest to have young children doing public speaking at as early an age as possible. Zion has steadily progressed up the ranks since she started submitting to Wadadli Pen, earning honourable mention in the 12 and Younger category for The Night I went to Cricket in 2014 and 2nd runner up in the same category for A Dinner to Remember in 2016.

About the story: In an effort  to  prepare  Zion for the Grade 6 National Assessment this year,  her mom gave her several topics from which to choose and write a story, so she could get some practice in creative story writing. This is the story she wrote on the topic “Those Who Won’t Hear Will Feel.”  The story is about a nightmare she had, in which she suffered the consequences of being disobedient to her mother.

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Zion’s story 1st in the 12 and younger age category and 3rd overall.

***

Weeeoooeee, weeeoooee!  the wailing of the siren  and  the flashing lights seemed so  distant, but I knew the ambulance was here, for I heard my mother  saying, “be careful , l think her foot is broken .”  “Ahhhhhhhh!” I screamed as they lifted me into the ambulance. The pain was so excruciating, I felt I would  surely die. The talking grew fainter, and then… nothing….blackness . I had passed out.

It all started one bright day during the summer holidays. It was a normal day, until my mom said she had to go to a meeting, so I would be home alone with my big sister. Mom  left giving the usual command to study and do my homework,  with the reminder,  “Heights of great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight …..”  and I finished it for her, because I had heard it so many times before.  This was still normal,  until the neighbor’s  two girls called me out to play.  I knew my mom didn’t want me playing with them. She had often said “you’re in the same school, but you’re not in the same class. ” She meant their standards and values were different from ours.  You know those mothers who always have  a saying for everything ? Well, my  mom is one of those.
With all thoughts of the consequences for disobedience out of my head, I went out to play. We went directly to the forbidden dumbs tree, that  I was  told,  as a girl,  I was  never to climb. We competed to see who could climb to the highest part of the tree  and get the half snatty dumbs .  I really wanted to win, so although the limb did not seem sturdy, I still climbed on it. First, there was  a soft  “crack”, as I placed one foot,  and then a loud “CRACK”,  as I placed my other foot on the limb. The next thing I knew , I  fell  through the cassi  branches and  to the ground  with a loud THUD!

When I regained consciousness,  I was in the hospital  with a  cast on one foot,  a bandaged head, and heard one of the girls saying,

“It’s all her fault, we told her not to go up in the tree.”

“What!  They never told me that! ” I screamed to myself. I kept my eyes closed, because I didn’t want to see my mom’s disappointed look, but  I could not help hearing her say, “pickney who nah hear wa mumma say, drink peppa warta, lime, and sarl.”   When I was finally brave enough to look timidly  at mom,  she said lovingly, “a disobedient child is worthy of death, but thank God you didn’t die”.

“I’m sorry, mommy” I said sheepishly.
After  being  outfitted with a pair of crutches  and pain killers, I was sent home.  Mom  gave me my favourite ice cream, and then  said,  “ you know you’re going to get lashes for disobeying?”  as she went for the pot stick. “Whaaaaaa…whaaaaa!” I wailed loudly,  before I had even gotten a blow. I could not believe she was still going to punish me with my injuries….how CRUEL, I thought !

Mom was not moved. “What you crying for, you get something to cry for?….. Stop the noise or I’ll give you something to cry for! ….Open your hand!  Those who won’t hear,  will feel ! ”  I screamed , as she raised her hand,  and then felt some one shaking me.

“Wake up Zion!”  I was drenched in sweat.  “Phew!”  It was a DREAM….No,  a NIGHTMARE!

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$100 gift certificate (contributed by the Cushion Club)
EC$200 (contributed by Frank B. Armstrong)
EC$125 cash/gift certificate (sponsored by Art. Culture. Antigua)
Painting (contributed by the artist Jennifer Meranto)
cake/cake voucher (contributed by Danz’s Sweet Dreams)
Books – Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane by P L Travers, Mary Poppins in the Park by P L Travers, Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P L Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back by P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins by P L Travers, Spell Like a Champion (sponsored by Harper Collins)
Gifts (sponsored by Juneth Webson)
With Grace by Joanne C. Hillhouse (contributed by Little Bell Caribbean)
Inspirational card (from a line created and contributed by Monique S. Simon’s Caribbean Folklore Project )
Certificate x2 (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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“AND SHE SANG FIRE.” by Francis Yankey

13 to 17

Yankey, left, at the Wadadli Pen awards with other winners in his category. Photo courtesy Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

Francis Yankey, a 16-year-old fifth form student at the Antigua Grammar School, says, “Writing my poems and a story for the Wadadli Pen were not easy, but worth it. I was inspired by a past Grammarian, who used to enter this competition & due to my love for reading and wanting to hone my writing skills. I am grateful for the Wadadli Pen for doing a wonderful initiative.”

Judges’ verdict: “Lovely and imaginative.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, Yankey’s story tied for 3rd in the 13 to 17 age category.

***

“Isabette, Isabette, Isabette,” wanders the mind of Sonny Joe. Twenty years now, he still remembers her sweet musical sounds. Isabette, that black girl on fire.

When he was a young man, he would always walk down on the street in his village to Faroe’s Beach in the night.  In the village, there were no lamp posts neither street lights; however, he continued to walk in the darkness. As he entered the beach, he took off his clothes and hat. When his feet touched the cold waters from the sea, he breathed in the cool, misty breeze.

He jumped into the sea and swam in far distances for his relaxation. Suddenly, he heard someone singing, he was not alone. As he looks up, his mouth opened wide and the first word was Isabette, but that was not her true name. He saw her orange-red locks, her glowing red eyes and her lips glitter as gold. He also saw her elegant dress which was the same color of her locks. Isabette was the name of his mother who died when he was young. She was no ordinary black girl that he has ever seen before. His body was benumbed in the ocean, listening to the tunes and seeing fire blaste out from her mouth as she sang her heart out. She sang,”oh la la, tra la la. Love is so sweet, love is so merry, and love is so cherry.” Furthermore, he beheld geometric shapes in fire blasted from her mouth mid-air.

His eyes talked with her dazzling, red eyes. The only possible language between them was the language of love. The sad thing is that he didn’t bring his guitar to harmonize with her amazing voice. This happened in a few seconds where she disappears. The next night, he returned to the beach hoping to see her again. Then fire magically comes out of the sand and there she was. He couldn’t resist her charms and her unbelievable voice. While she sang so lustfully, he played his guitar with its sweet rhythm. They finished performing after midnight, and she vanished once again.

This strange incident continued to happen for the year. In all his mysterious nights with her, she didn’t seem to come from this planet. When he asked her questions pertaining to who she was, she just sang higher acting if she was deaf. Who was this black beautiful stranger?

When he returned as always to the Faroe’s Beach, he waited patiently for her arrival to meet him. As he waited, he remembered her melodic lyrics and the fire that would always come out of her mouth. Notwithstanding, she will never come back again to meet her lover, but he didn’t know. So he waited for a long time and she still has not arrived yet, therefore he sadly left.

Night after night, he came but without any luck. The only thing was fond memories of this stranger. He wanted to tell the village, but they would consider him a lunatic. So he kept it to himself as his treasured secret. Years passed by rapidly, yet he clearly remembered Isabette. His secret was the love between them and she would always be his black girl on fire.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$75 (contributed by the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda)
Books – The Sisters and Manco’s Stories by Jan Carew + Cirque du Freak: Lord of the Shadows by Darren Shan (contributed by the Best of Books)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

 

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BRAVE ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD SAVED TWO MONTHS BABY by Shadiael Simmons

Shadiael

The author, an 11-year old student at Baptist Academy, says: “I love playing football and I am a part of the Villa Lions Football Club.”

Judges’ verdict: “This story has potential.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Simmons’ story 3rd in the 12 and Younger age category.

***

“Good Morning mommy!” I said in the kitchen of my home. For some reason, I started playing football; she turned and exclaimed sharply: “BWOI! how much time I have to tell yuh nuh play football in the kitchen, especially when me in yah a cook!”

I immediately stopped.

“Go bathe yuh ‘kin and get ready fu football and then come eat,” she instructed, going back to work on the fried dumplings.

Later that Saturday afternoon my mother told me that she was going to get her hair done. After she left, I played football at the front yard on the grass. Fifteen minutes into the game, while I was cheering myself on and sweating all over, I heard a cry.

I stopped and listened. I was about to continue when I heard it again, this time louder and more frightened. I ran to where the crying was coming from and ended up in my neighbour’s front yard. I ran into the house and saw the pot on fire with no way to out it.

“What can I do?”

I  ran to the baby’s room, quickly grabbed her up but by that time, the fire was eating away at the Living room. I looked and looked and looked for an escape. Then, I saw a window in the masters bedroom. I got a stool from the baby’s room and then I started to cough. I placed the stool at the bottom of the window and awkwardly lifted myself and the baby out the window, accidentally cutting my right shin against the window pane.

When I got out the house, ABS  and the Daily Observer questioned me. I didn’t Know how to answer those questions because I was so badly hurt and I was coughing non- stop. As the house exploded I heard a wailing scream coming from the baby’s mother, Yvonne, who was running towards the house. She saw me with the baby in my hands and came over, crying “OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD!”

She took baby girl from me and started crying all over again as she sobbed “Thank you!”
Two minutes later the ambulance arrived with the fire fighters and it was all loud and exciting from there, however I was still struggling to breathe.

When I woke up I was in the hospital. They said I had second degree burns on my hands, feet and face. The doctors placed me on oxygen because I had inhaled a lot of smoke. Baby girl’s parents visited me and thanked me again for what I had done. I was in the newspapers and on the television… I was to be the next national hero.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$75 cash/gift certificate (contributed by Art. Culture. Antigua)
Books –  The Person Controller by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, AniMalcolm by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, Sword in the Stone by T H White, Spell like a Champion (contributed by Harper Collins)
Gifts (contributed by Juneth Webson)
With Grace by Joanne C. Hillhouse (contributed by Little Bell Caribbean)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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