I found it serendipitous, this flag-down, because, as I told her, I had done mailings to the schools about Wadadli Pen and just the day before I realized that hers was one of the promo emails to bounce. Now here she was flagging me down, asking questions about Wadadli Pen 2023, and giving me her new email address so that we I could re-send the information and maybe schedule a visit at her new school – where she is now a principal by the way.
When I met her years ago, she invited me to her school. I forget which is the chicken or the egg in this relationship, the Cushion Club or Wadadli Pen – both would have relationships with her school (readings, story writing workshops, humanities prize, prize for most submissions, student in the finals).
& here she is again reminding me that teachers like her who are always embracing extra curricular opportunities like this for their students are the real Wadadli Pen MVPs.
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, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and To be a Cheetah – the latter scheduled for July 2023 release and available for pre-order wherever you buy books at this writing). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.
The 2020 Wadadli Pen Challenge is an opportunity for budding literary and visual artists in Antigua and Barbuda, 35 years and younger, to test themselves and push their craft forward. This was the point emphasized by Wadadli Pen volunteer and a former winner Margaret Irish during a recent appearance on ABS TV’s morning programme Antigua Today.
“What the judges are looking for, apart from the fact that it should be Caribbean oriented, they’re looking for that creativity, that spark, that we bring a slice of (the) Caribbean to life,” Irish said. The teacher, winner of the one-time Teachers’ Prize offered in 2014, the 10 year anniversary of the Wadadli Pen Project, added, “we want an unusual approach in writing techniques; not just duplicating what we’ve read in school but bring your own writing style to the piece that you’re going to be presenting. So, very imaginative, extremely creative, very Caribbean centric and you should do very well.”
Of course, Irish, who also took the prize in 2015, when the Challenge was opened up to all ages, said doing well is not just about winning prizes – rather it’s about pushing your writing forward.
“It’s an excellent way,” she said, “of helping you to assess your own skills and then helping you to decide ‘okay, this is what I need to develop’ and that’s what Wadadli Pen did for me; it said to me ‘okay you can write a thing or two and people can read it’.”
The other big advantage of Wadadli Pen which has as its stated mission nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, Irish said, is “giving you that opportunity to expose your work.”
There are prizes, of course. Patrons on board so far this year include Caribbean Reads, sponsor of the prize for the school with the most submissions, Juneth Webson, Adventure Antigua, Brenda Lee Browne, Photogenesis, D. Gisele Isaac, the Best of Books bookstore and manager Barbara Arrindell, a project partner, as well as Joanne C. Hillhouse, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and Floree Williams Whyte, chief judge and judging coordinator. Irish is one of two past winners, the other being 2011 winner Devra Thomas who make up the core Wadadli Pen team. Other volunteers and patrons to contribute prizes have and still are being recruited.
“Because of what Wadadli Pen has done for me and other people we’re now very committed to encouraging people to write,” Irish said during her ABS TV outing. The full interview can be seen here on Hillhouse’s AntiguanWriter youtube channel.
The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize is open to all themes but is offering a special climate change themed prize ‘Imagine a Future’, the Wa’omani Prize for Barbudans, and for artists an opportunity to tell a story in a three-panel comic strip. For more visit https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com/wadadli-pen-2020
As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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.
***DISCLAIMER: By definition, you’ll be linking to third party sites from these Links-We-Love pages. Linked sites are not, however, reviewed or controlled by Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize nor coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse); and Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse) disclaims any responsibility or liability relating to any linked sites and does not assume any responsibility for their contents. In other words, enter at your own risk.
Updating these links, it hits me how impermanent the web is (though we like to say the internet is forever): so many sites have gone altogether or gone stagnant since Wadadli Pen started and since I started keeping this list. We’re still here though; let’s have a party! But first, check out the links.
Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association – this is the organization behind the Antigua Conference and the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books, two initiatives that have fueled inquiry into and documentation of the Antigua and Barbuda literary culture and a range of socio-economic and historical issues and personalities; while connecting the deep and vast network of scholars from Antigua and Barbuda.
http://antiguastories.wordpress.com/about/ – The Friends of Antigua Public Library is interested in collecting oral histories; some of them are posted here. Do you have a story to share? I’m sure they’d like to hear it.
The Antiguanization Project – here’s their facebook
Antiguan Writer – this is my current you tube channel
Archeology Antigua with Dr. Reginald Murphy, director of Heritage Resources for the National Parks Antigua, president of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, affiliated Professor of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, co-director on the Human Eco-dynamics Research Group CUNY Graduate Center, co-founder and President of the Museum of Antigua, and the Secretary General for the National Commission UNESCO Antigua and Barbuda. Dr. Murphy is, also, a “Restoration Ambassador to the St. John’s Cathedral, a trustee of the Clarence House Restoration Trust in the U.K., Chairman of the Betty’s Hope Estate Project, and a director of the Barbuda Research and Archaeological Center.
http://danielleboodoofortune.blogspot.com – I’ve been a fan of Trini Danielle Boodoo Fortune’s poetry since I met and shared a panel with her in Barbados in 2008. Who knew she was such a delightful artist as well?
http://www.darienbookaid.org – In existence since 1949, Darien Book Aid is a non-profit, all volunteer organization that builds a foundation of peace, understanding, and friendship through the free distribution of books. Book Aid sends books in response to specific requests from Peace Corps volunteers, libraries and schools all over the world Books are also donated to libraries, prisons, hospitals, and Native American and Appalachian groups in the United States. Among the groups, Dariend Book Aid has donated to is the Cushion Club right here in Antigua.
DDX Channel – This YouTube find has interviews with various Caribbean personalities – across sports, academia, the arts, media, and more. Its founder and interviewer hails from London. He is a Brit of Caribbean descent – born to a Caribbean mother and a English-born father of Caribbean descent. He has a deep interest in Caribbean history and a desire to document interesting people, capturing their stories while they’re healthy and alive, for his own enjoyment and to give others an insight in to what they do. Which, in addition to being a resource for school work or other purpose, can be useful in helping people learn more about themselves. This is the video that led me to the site, an interview with Antiguan and Barbudan scholar Dr. Natasha Lightfoot
and this is the one that sold me on the channel, this delightfully unorthodox interview (what DDX calls a Thread Bag Session) with local star sprinter Cejhae Greene.
Frank Walter – a site dedicated posthumously to showcasing the life and work of the late Antiguan and Barbudan artist.
http://freshmilkbarbados.com/ – Fresh Milk is a Caribbean non-profit, artist-led, inter-disciplinary organization that supports creatives and promotes wise social, economic, and environmental stewardship through creative engagement with society and by cultivating excellence in the arts.
http://islandstyle.typepad.com – Okay, so this site isn’t strictly literary but the blogger (an Antiguan) does have an engaging style and occasionally posts excerpts of fictions. But mostly it’s about fashion…and what’s wrong with that?
Museum of Photography and Fine Arts – Photo museum showcasing the history of Antigua & Barbuda – a project of photographer and publisher Timothy Payne – located in the upstairs gallery at the Multipurpose Centre Perry Bay – the subject matter is mostly historical
Travelling Light – this site is on a mission to collect an object – physical or virtual – from every country in the world. And, yes, I sent them something from Antigua and Barbuda.
I like the beauty of Van Gogh’s art and find his life so fascinating…fascinating like I’d like to see it on screen someday, with maybe Michael Fassbender in the title role…yeah, I’d go see that…in the meantime, check out the man and his work – Van Gogh, not Fassbender – here at the Van Gogh Gallery.
White Creole Conversations – a new dialogue privileging open and honest communication. Rather than asking ‘who am I?’ the question posed might be ‘who are you?’ The focus of the conversations pivot on issues to do with race and class in this small post-colonial island space and take place between the artist and the participant.
http://womenspeak.tumblr.com/ – This is a space for women to share their stories, embrace their power, and celebrate their womanhood. It’s also a space of vulnerability and pain where the struggles and sacrifices are spotlighted. It’s an inclusive space, constantly updated with information and prompts designed to engage the reader in the process. Also, it’s 100 percent Caribbean. Check it out.
WiWords – a user driven online dictionary of Caribbean terms.
Hard to get printed historical material seems to be available through this site.
Met Annie Paul at the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars conference in 2012. This is where she blogs on the literary arts and other things. Also had the opportunity to reconnect with well known author, literary scholar and former professor Carolyn Cooper and like Paul she is another thought provoking blogger out of Jamaica. Here’s where she stirs it up.
Don’t have a link so I decided to type up some of this because I think those of us who are practicing artistes and the policy makers who at present do woefully little to support our efforts need to read it. Forgive my conceit in hoping that one or both of the above will stumble across my blog and give a … –JCH, Wadadli Pen blogger
From Strengthening the Caribbean’s Cultural Industries by Ramesh Chaittoo, International Trade Expert in Services Scoop, The Caribbean Trade in Services Magazine Annual Publication 2014
The creative industries in the region are a significant sector with substantial economic value.
Many cultural industry professionals will argue, however, that the sector has achieved some measure of export success in spite of governments, not because of them.
So, just how should the Caribbean approach creative entrepreneurial development and maximize on the sector’s economic value…
Establish and implement a concerted research and marketing programme targeted at specific national and other musical and performing arts festivals across Europe… funding can be made available for artistic exchanges with European countries under the EPA Protocol on Cultural cooperation.
[sidebar: please note that here at Wadadli Pen, I’ve created a list of literary festivals throughout the Caribbean and opportunities within and beyond the Caribbean related to literary programmes, markets, contests, and more – use the search feature at the top right of the page to find them]
Establish national endowment funds for the Arts to which the public and private sectors can contribute. There may also be need for a regional fund for CARICOM-wide collaborations and productions.
[sidebar: re those festivals and other ideas and initiatives, funding is often one of the biggest barriers, so the need for this can’t be emphasized enough]
Establish a Caribbean Entertainment Investment Fund of about US$20-25 million at concessional or subsidized rates of interest from which the private sector in CARICOM can access financing for commercially viable projects. This could also include public-private partnerships to build facilities and infrastructure for the creative sector and join ventures across CARICOM states and between foreign and regional companies…
Build new facilities and infrastructure for artistic performances and practice across the Caribbean Community.
[sidebar: and open the finally completed but yet unfurnished public library and make it a community space for the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda… and consider converting one of our central historic buildings into a national art gallery while you’re at it]
To date, only Trinidad and Tobago has a major, specialized facilty for the performing arts. In the OECS there are no public facilities that are up to professional standards.
Convert and upgrade the irregular Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA) into a full-fledged professional entertainment trade show in the Cariibbean.
[sidebar: and make the selection process more transparent and inclusive on the national level…oh and as far as the literary arts go, assist the literary community in one of the first countries to mount a literary arts festival in a region where literary arts festivals have become quite popular to once again have a literary arts festival…by the way, you could easily insert jazz festival, performing arts festivals and other initiatives in which we’ve been a leader but not a followthrougher]
Establish national databases of artists and cultural entrepreneurs in all CARICOM countries which are updated on a continuous basis.
[sidebar: time consuming as it has been, I’ve tried to do as much for the literary arts here on this site through the listings of Antiguan and Barbudan writings and their various sub-genres, as well as the author links for those with an online presence]
Collect Market information and market opportunities, exchanges, funding for entertainers and other Caribbean artists involvement in trade missions, exhibitions etc. in the European Union, North America and Japan on a regular basis.
[sidebar: re literary arts – see Opportunities by searching this site]
National and/or regional entities need to help creative firms develop new short and medium-term strategies for creation, distribution and exploitation using digital technology and increasing international integration.
Provide training for financial institutions for the Caribbean on how to value intellectual assets (particularly copyright in music). Training in risk assessment for investment projects in the entertainment sector is also required especially since banks have no experience, apparent interest or understanding in lending to creative sector companies or individuals.
Establish and strengthen training institutions for the entertainment sector, in particular, music and performing arts in countries in which they do not currently exist.
Establish creative business incubators.
Set up a regional initiative to promote the use of design and/or art in business to develop competitive edges, for example through “artist in residence” projects.”
Parham Primary Principal Anthony Hampson decided to have a mini-panorama at his school as a way of keeping children from scudding and disappearing to the beach in that time between the end of exams and the end of school. It worked. Each grade was well prepped and ready to represent by the time the actual event rolled around – July 4th. The prize, a cake, could have been gold or a trip to Disneyland for how excited they were, fired up as they were by the competition and hopefully by the music. They were playing nursery rhymes – Baabaa Black Sheep, Hickory Dickory Dock, This Old Man, Old McDonald had a farm, the Alphabet song – with the spunky young’uns from Grade 4 taking the cake. It almost doesn’t matter who won though. In fact, while the judges deliberated, the students lost themselves in a guest performance by Golden Sticks, a pan section from Hampson’s music academy Le Chateau d’Or, with cries of “another one!” until the emcee had to call a halt to the music so that we could get the results. The delay was long enough so that one parent who was running late was just in time for the results, though disappointed that she’d missed the performances. “They’re going to play again,” I whispered to her when it was revealed that her daughter’s class, Grade 4, was the winner. They did just that and she was able to catch a picture and the memory. So, between the children’s excitement, the pride of parents like her, and the organization of the event by the school, the outcome was secondary to the event and the flash of creative thinking that prompted the event. Kudos to all involved and to Mr. Hampson especially for his inventive approach to inspiring his students and keeping them at school. Now, if they could just get some quality pans as chief judge, a young pannist who already has multiple wins as composer and arranger at the national panorama to his credit, Khan Cordice recommended.
Is anybody listening?
Edited to add:I should mention that Khan’s recommendation was made to the zone’s education officer who earlier in the programme had said “music assists students in their academic development. …playing music helps you to learn.”
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, and Oh Gad!). 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.