Category Archives: Wadadli Pen News

Wadadli Pen competition, open mic, workshops (and related) notices

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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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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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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The Other Daughter

Re new fictional publication, The Other Daughter in Adda, an online publication of the Commonwealth Writers organization in the UK. Thought I’d blog the journey to publication of this particular piece as part of my blog’s mission to share the ins and outs of #TheWritingLife *** I’m always writing. The Other Daughter is one of […]

via Adda Mi Seh: Journey to Publication (The Other Daughter) — jhohadli

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Mailbox – National Youth Awards (Results!)

ink-awardCongrats to Spilling Ink, first of all, for winning the literary prize. Spilling Ink, for those who don’t know, is an Antiguan and Barbudan arts collective that in just two years has two self-published books (Ashes: a Broken Inception and Ashes: the Continuum) and a live art project (the Ink Project) blending visual and performance art – among other performances to its credit. The collective is made up of past Wadadli Pen finalist Olsfred James, along with Gloreen Lake and Mikhail Simmonds. We wish them continued experimentation and success.

See the press release from the Department of Youth Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda for full details re all the winners.

On February 5th, 2017, the Department of Youth Affairs held it’s 2016 Antigua and Barbuda National Youth Awards at Casa Palmadita in Fitches Creek at 5:00 pm. The event was held to recognize a number of youth who performed exceptionally in a number of fields in Antigua and Barbuda. Corporate entities with a track record of contributions to the field of youth development were also recognized. In all, 24 awards were handed out with assistance from the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, as well as the Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development, the Honourable Samantha Marshall. The crowd was also entertained by performances from Jamaal Gordon, Daina Barnes, and Heavenly Steps Extravaganza Dance School. The MC’s for the evening were Alajandra Robinson and Jessie Fyah, while the keynote speech was delivered by past youth awardee Michael Joseph.

awardeesThe 2016 awardees included:

Education Award (Top National Assessment Student): Emmanuelle Chiddick

Education Award (Top CSEC Student): Akaani Simon

Education Award (Top CAPE Student): Terrikia Benjamin*
Young Sportswoman Award: Joella Lloyd

Young Sportsman Award: Khalique St. Jean
Young Media Practitioner: Donna-Marie McIntosh
Performing Arts and Culture Award: Ayana Dorsette

Performing Arts and Culture Award: Richard Charles
Young Farmer of the Year: Glenson Goodwin

Youth Literary Art Award: Spilling Ink
Tourism Management Award – Matara Murphy

Tourism Service Award – Kendra Beazer
Young Entrepreneur: Sonali Andrews

Community Service Award: Nolan Hue
Young Professional (Male): Ragi Burton

Young Professional (Female): Nneka Hull James
Barbuda’s Youth Award: Sirriyah Bailey
The Minster’s Award: Regis Burton

The Corporate Awards:

Epicurean Fine Foods

Antigua Yacht Club and Marina Resort

Hadeed Motors

Scotia Bank

The Department of Youth Affairs Special Awards:

The Source Clothing Company*

Troy Watkins (Sugar Apple Catering)

 

*Terrikia Benjamin is also a past Wadadli Pen finalist & the Source is one of our past patrons.

Congrats to all the winners.

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Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Patrons

Wanted to take a minute to bump this up, because we couldn’t do anything we do without the support of our patrons. So we want to say thank you and encourage you to support the individuals and businesses that support the arts. This 2017 cycle that list includes (but is not limited to):
Art. Culture. Antigua
The Best of Booksthank-you

the Cushion Club of Antigua and Barbuda
the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB)
Frank B. Armstrong/Seven Seas
Jane Seagull (artist)
Joanne C. Hillhouse (author)
Juneth Webson
Paperclips
Raw Island Products
Sweet Dreams

More about all named patrons and their relationship to Wadadli Pen after the jump.

And, yes, there’s still time to get on board if you are an individual or business wishing to support the Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Season. Just email us at wadadlipen@gmail.com

Wadadli Pen

UPDATED! to add ECAB

“Did You Know?  With its anthro- root, philanthropy means literally “love of mankind”. Thus, philanthropy is giving money for a purpose or cause benefiting people who you don’t personally know. Individuals have often set up their own permanent philanthropic organizations in the form of foundations. The greatest American philanthropists have included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, but tens of millions of us could be considered philanthropists on a much smaller scale.” – Merriam-Webster
 
This page is our acknowledgment and thanks of our philanthropists right here in Antigua and Barbuda, and its diaspora, who continue to show their love during the season of giving which always precedes the Wadadli Pen Challenge season (which launches in January) by pledging to support our efforts. At Wadadli Pen, when it comes to our annual Challenge, we’ve always operated by the principle that likkle likkle…

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February 9, 2017 · 6:53 pm