Category Archives: A & B WRITINGS

Moments of Joy: a Wadadli Pen Update

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The Wadadli Pen finalists (all but one) have re-submitted their edited pieces and these have gone off to the judges for final review and ranking.

Amidst the back and forth, and the boring behind the scenes stuff, two responses from finalists stand out.

Can I share them?

“Not gonna lie I still cannot believe you actually read my poem. Thank you so much for everything. I am beyond excited.”

&

“Thanks for selecting me! I’m so excited.”

Sometimes I run in to the parents, too; like the mom who shared how her daughter sat working on her poem, sharing bits of her work in progress with her, and who when she critiqued its lack of rhyme told her, “mom, poems don’t have to rhyme.” I loved this tale of a baby-poet claiming her voice.

Every time I begin to question why we do all this – seriously the work behind the scenes can make it seem like a full time job with sucky benefits and no relief from the tedium – the writers who have put their work, with trepidation, in our hands, and have had, for some, their first breakthrough on their writing journey, or find in the process some kind of affirmation, remind us why. Their joy is infectious.

For more on Wadadli Pen see links below:
Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Long List
Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Patrons
Wadadli Pen 2017
About Wadadli Pen

(Image at the top – moments of Joy from Wadadli Pen through the years).

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.

 

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A & B Arts Round-up March 22nd 2017 –>

Saturday 13th May, 2017 – Wadadli Stories Book Fair – 10am to 8pm, St. John’s City. N.B. the results of the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge will be announced at this event and the winners awarded.

April 8th 2017 – Antigua Barbuda Horticultural Society 8th Annual Flower and Garden Show will be held at the Agave Gardens, Friars Hill Road.

March 24th 2017 – TOSTEM ’emancipation stories’ Museum Project fundraiser: BOX HAN TICKET Dishes from Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, e.g. Ndole, Roast Fish,Ayamase, Mbongo Chobi, Jollof Rice, Moinmoin AND MORE….. TICKETS: AT THE MUSEUM Long Street, CAROLYN PERRY Community Development, ALTHEA CARTY, ABIGAIL TEAGUE, CHANTELLE TOMLINSON, MARIA BRADSHAW, JOY LAWRENCE, SEKOU LUKE, OR FROM Edith Oladele  AT THE EXHIBITION AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY 3RD FLOORPRINCE KLAAS EXHIBITION Programme cover. TEL: 771959 OR 7827707 (include image)

 

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Wadadli Pen Challenge 2017 – the Long List

drumroll
The judges have finished the first round of judging and have culled the submissions to a long list of 9 – three per age category. As we do, the stories/poems have been returned to the long listed writers for editing before the final round of judging to determine the top three. We return the top entries to the writers with edit notes from the judges so that said entries go through at least one round of the kind of editing they would go through before publishing, if submitted to a journal, anthology, or imprint for publishing. We do this because Wadadli Pen is developmental in intent. Writers, please do take advantage of the opportunity to improve your entries.

As a reminder, the judges don’t  receive any names or other identifying information; they evaluate the entries blind, strictly on merit. And, of course, the judges’ decisions are final. If you’re not on the list, use the disappointment to fuel your motivation to come even better next year; if you are on the list, CONGRATULATIONS. Now, edit your entries and make them even stronger and get them back in on time to be considered for one of the top prizes. If you see your name on the list and you have not received your entry for editing, email us at wadadipen@gmail.com

FINALLY, this is what you came here for…

From approximately 90 entries! (a single year record), here’s the long list (in alphabetical order):

Schools still in the running for the school prize for most submissions –

Island Academy

St. Andrew’s Primary School

Authors who are winners in their age category and still in the running for the main prize –

Emma Belizaire (St. Andrew’s Primary School, student) – entry ‘Cricket is my Life’

Ashley Francis (St. Andrew’s Primary School, student) – entry untitled

Fayola Jardine – entry ‘Mango Picking Interruption’

Lucia Murray (St. Anthony’s Secondary, student) – entry ‘Mr Duppy’

Ava C. Ralph (Antigua Girls High School, student) – entry ‘Non fiction?’

Kaeiron Saunders (St. Anthony’s Secondary School, lecturer) – entry ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Aunty Gah’

Shadieal Simmons (Baptist Academy, student) – entry ‘Brave Eleven-year-old saved two months Baby’

Devon Wuilliez (Island Academy, student) – entry ‘The Great Big Dumz’

Francis Yankey (Antigua Grammar School, student) – entry ‘And She Sang Fire’

Once again, congrats to the finalists; and good luck!

thank-you-and-Follow-up

Some thanks:

To the teachers, principals, parents, and others who helped students/young writers get their entries in. Processing posed some challenges for us because, frankly, everyone did not follow the submission guidelines (and that’s an understatement) but, though this has delayed final processing, we do appreciate the effort; and will work to make submitting more user-friendly.

To the team – including past winner Devra Thomas who’s helping deal with communication with patrons so that we can properly reward these writers; past finalist and our first ever intern Michaela Harris who has assisted with media and administrative tasks; returning chief judge and author (Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through the Window) Floree Whyte and her team for doing the Difficult; and past winner Margaret Irish who did not know what she was walking in to when she offered to take processing of entries and communicating with entrants off of my hands (but I appreciate it).

You may have noticed, if you’ve followed our pattern over these 13 years of Wadadli Pen, that we are behind schedule-wise. Some of you have already started querying (what gives?). Well, what gives is that we have decided to open up the schedule and announce the winners during the May 13th Wadadli Stories Book Fair; call it circumstance, call it fortune but we think it’s a good blend of brands. Plus another team member Barbara Arrindell is involved with both projects – as is patron the Best of Books – so it just made sense. Though it means a longer wait for the final results. Be patient with us; we will do our best to make it worth your while.

Wadadli Stories logo

For more on the project, check:
About Wadadli Pen
Wadadli Pen 2017
Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Patrons

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.

 

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Antiguan and Barbudan Plays/Screenplays

N.B. This is specific to items written for the stage or screen which have been published in book form. It’s short but I decided to share it anyway. The list of produced plays and films is longer (though still comparatively short). Use the search feature to find it. This list is also cross-posted to the main list of Antiguan and Barbudan writing which I started building in 2005 for the Independence Literary Arts exhibition at the National Museum. Use the search feature to find that. For other genre specific listings , search for fiction, non fiction, poets, children’s literature, songwriters, or whatever else. This list is all books all the time, but you can also search this site for publications by Antiguans and Barbudans in journals, contest wins, and performances. Chances are it’s somewhere here on the site. If you’re looking for Wadadli Pen winners, use the drop down menu on the right or search Wadadli Pen by year, name, story or other feature. Do your own research re the quality of any books posted here (we even have some reviews posted to the site) and if you share, credit. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

PLAYS/SCREENPLAYS

Name: Zahra Airall

Book:

Over the Hill and Through the Wood in She SEX – Prose and Poetry: SEX and the Caribbean Woman. Bamboo Talk Press. Trinidad. 2013.

About the Book:

Sex, Prose and Poetry, SEX and the Caribbean Woman has been described as “an important gathering of women’s voices” (Tiphanie Yanique, author of How to Survive a Leper Colony). Airall’s story, “Over the Hill and Through the Wood” is about an older woman finding sexual gratification for the first time.

About the Author:

Zahra is an educator, photographer, spoken word artist, poet, and stage and TV writer, director, and producer. She is a part of the following teams: Women of Antigua (which brought The Vagina Monologues and When a Woman Moans to the Antiguan stage), August Rush (which produces the Expressions Poetry series), and the team that brought the first TEDx event to Antigua.

***

Name: Edson Buntin

Book:

Anu Bantu: Treasure Island and Haunted Park. Antigua Printing and Publishing. Antigua. 2007.

About the Book:

“The format of this book is that of both a novel and a play rolled into one”–p.324.

About the Author:

Edson Buntin was a dramatist and an instructor in French at the Antigua State College. His contributions to theatre were both onstage and off, as an actor including serving as a cast member in the 1979 production of Dorbrene O’Marde’s Tangled Web and as founder of the Scaramouche Theatre and overseeing several productions at the College, such as Conjugal Bliss. Plays written by Buntin include Con Man Sun Sun, Mr. Valentine, and Wedlock. He has also acted in local films such as Once in an Island.

***

Name: David Edgecombe

Book:

Book-Front-Cover-Lady-of-Parham-300dpi-184x300Lady of Parham. Caribbean Reads Publishing (second edition). St. Kitts. 2014.

About the Book:

Lady of Parham, set in Antigua, introduces the audience to five revelers who have come together to form a Carnival troupe but settle for dramatizing the tale of the Parham ghost. In the telling of the ghost legend, Justin, Tulip, Sauna, Kyle, and Mabel must confront the demons that threaten to derail their lives. Lady of Parham is based on a local Antiguan legend. The play has been staged, including an eight night run at the Little Theatre, University of the Virgin Islands.

About the Author:

Edgecombe’s inclusion on this list is due to the Antigua-specific nature of this play. He hails from neighbouring Montserrat where he was the founder of touring company, the Montserrat Theatre Group. He has written over a dozen plays which have been staged throughout the Caribbean, in Canada, and in Nigeria. He joined the faculty of the University of the Virgin Islands in 1990 to teach English and was artist-in-residence in 1991. He also taught Journalism, Speech Communication, and Theater before becoming Director of the Reichhold Center for the Arts. He went on to become a full-time professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, University of the Virgin Islands. He has published several of his plays with Caribbean Reads Publishing; but, notably, Lady of Parham was shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award.

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,Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Fish Outta Water, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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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Mailbox – Advice to a Younger Writer

As I write this, the judges are reviewing the submissions to this year’s Wadadli Pen Challenge. This post is inspired by two emails from would-be Wadadli Pen contenders seeking to get better. Time does not allow me to give the desired response to every single message, but I did give some time to these two out of a desire to encourage their efforts to put in the work and improve.

The second emailer wanted to know how she could make her stories shorter. This is a struggle for her, she said, because she likes to include a lot of detail. This is a complaint I’ve heard before with the Wadadli Pen 600 word limit. I do wish that even those who think 600 words is too little would challenge themselves to try it anyway, and that’s the main reason I want to share my response (edited for length, flow, and to excise personal information).

Length does not necessarily translate to more detail. Often, there is a lot of unnecessary detail, or a bloated and meandering plot.

After writing, let it sit for a minute (an hour, a day, a week, a month…however long you need to come at it with fresh eyes). Then, ask yourself, what is the story? Re-read with an eye toward focusing on that – do we need all that backstory? do we need all those asides? what is the pivotal action? does this character really add anything to the telling?

With the short story, you don’t have a big canvas – you’re not telling the story of all the lives of all the people or even your central character’s entire life; just this one chapter in the much more expansive story of their life. You need to narrow (read: sharpen) your focus a bit more in the short story format but doing so is actually good practice for novel writing. Even with the bigger canvas that you have with a novel, you still have to tie off the loose plot threads, and hone in on the details that matter: details that help to reveal character, establish setting or context, enhance mood, or move the plot forward. Moving the plot forward should always be your goal.

In editing, you can see where your plot is stuck in quick sand and where there’s a limb you can use to dig yourself out.

If none of that makes any sense, remember this –

  • read a lot; read a lot of different types of stories, different lengths and genres and styles;
  • write a lot (some of it will not be fit for public consumption but that’s okay, you’re doing it to build your writing muscles);
  • allow yourself the freedom during the writing phase to write badly, to write unrestrictedly, to just write;
  • then learn to be honest with yourself so that you can be clear-eyed during the editing phase (get outside feedback if you can).

In time and with practice you will get better.

Write the stories only you can tell (the stories only you can imagine) – don’t be imitative. And don’t think (at this point) of writing a novel (etc.), think what are the stories I have dammed up in me that need to be told that only I can tell…tell those stories and zero in on why it is so essential that you tell them. That will help guide you.

reading and sharing by Kurne

Scene from my 2013 Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project.

 

Okay, I did that in under 600 words, so I still have time to add that if you want to be notified of future writing workshops, mine or, potentially, WadPen’s, say so in Comments with your email.

As with all content (words, images, other) 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,  Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, and forthcoming With Grace). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Wadadli Stories – Teaser

Wadadli Stories logo

Mark your calendar – Saturday 13th May, 2017 from 10am to 8pm, St. John’s City.

Ways you can participate…

Volunteer to assist
Buy-in to help cover costs
Help spread the word
Come out to support

p.s. We know you’re waiting for the results of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2017 Challenge. Well, like we said at the top, mark your calendar…

For more on the Wadadli Stories book fair or to contact the organizers, visit
the Wadadli Stories facebook page

 

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Illusion

Transcribed by ear; all errors or omissions are mine. I’d love to continue building this data base of Antiguan and Barbudan song lyrics; anyone who wants to help with this (teachers? students? can anyone say research project?) welcome to do so.

Song: Illusion
The artist: King Short Shirt

You told the youths that they were free
And slavery has lost its sting
But they’re not foolish they can see
You’re lying deep within
Slavery has not left our doors not yet I’m sure
We have got to fight the battle some more
The time has come for every man in the Caribbean
To forge one common destiny
Designed to make our people free
We have got to stand up for the rights to lead the lives we choose
To change, enhance, or to refuse

Cho.
If you think the battle is done
My brethren you are riding
an illusion, an illusion
You talk of progress, love and justice, peace and unity
all illusion
We have no hold on these our native islands
Our hands are tied, we don’t control our actions
Come le we forward together in a social endeavor
our goal: social control
We slave no more
We’ll slave no more
only then we’ll slave no more
We’ll beg no more
We’ll stoop no more
Only then, we’ll be no …(?)

 

We cannot live forever more
Subjected from shore to shore
Reflecting cowardice and shame
Against our ancestral name
Are there no warriors left among us to rise and shine
No heroes left to rise up on to the shrine
No martyrs in our history for the youths to know
Scallas (?) died to make us free
Cuffy died to make us free
Garvey died to make us free
Must all these warriors die in vain
While we go back to slavery once again

Cho.

The struggle has only just begun
We’ve got to carry on
Uniting these West Indian lands
May take us generations
But independent in this region don’t mean one damn
If we can’t be independent as one
The economical policies are disheartening
The people voices are ringing
We are tired of living
A life of total subjection
Told what to spend
And what to keep
God knows sometimes we ain’t even have enough to eat

Cho.

This is transcribed by me (blogger and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator) Joanne C. Hillhouse for educational purposes; no profit is being made.

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