Tag Archives: Just Write

WADADLI PEN 2020 CHALLENGE PATRONS

Revised between May 9th 2020 (the day the winners were announced) and May 11th 2020

The Wadadli Pen Challenge is the flagship project of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize which launched as a project to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda in 2004. It invites young Antiguans and Barbudans to tell their stories and rewards them for their efforts thanks to the philanthropy of individuals and the corporate community.  We couldn’t do this with out these patrons which change from year to year, though some have been consistently with us through the years. In 2020, we acknowledge and thank the following (plus unnamed patrons) for prizes contributed to the 2020 Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge:

Barbara Arrindell
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bestThe Best of Books Bookstore 

 

Brenda Lee Browne

 

 

 

 

 

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Caribbean Reads

 

 

Cindys Cindy’s Bookstore

 

logo The Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda

The Cushion Club

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D. Gisele Isaac

Dr. Hazra Medica

Floree Williams Whyte
Yohan book

 

Seven SeasFrank B. Armstrong

 

 

 

Friends of Antigua Public Library – NY Inc.

HermitageHermitage Bay Antigua

Jane Seagull

Joanne C. Hillhouse
MUSICAL_YOUTH_Cover_FRONT_Final with-grace-cover Musical Youth

Juneth Webson

Webson gift

Lawrence Jardine

Paradise Vision Center Paradise Vision Center

Photogenesis

 

Sean Lyons

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.

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Mailbox -MASTERCLASS WITH TANYA EVANSON

Press release, St. John’s, Antigua – January 16, 2017: Poets, spoken word artists, creatives and persons who want to write poetry will have an opportunity to work with award winning, Montreal based poet, teacher and producer, Tanya Evanson at a one day Just Write Writers’ Retreat on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.

Evanson will teach a session on Bothism, which traverses silence and sound in the creation of spoken word.  As Evanson explains participants will do more than write: “Through meditation, investigation, magical editing and unique vocal exercises, we will turn quiet literature into loud orature that is unleashed in a non-competitive spoken word cabaret. And all the participants need is passion, patience, paper, pen, mind, body and voice.”

This is the fourth Just Write Writers’ Retreat organised by writer, Brenda Lee Browne and is the first focusing on spoken word: “The popularity of spoken word events over the last five years has unearthed a wealth of talent and I believe that all writers and creatives can benefit from working with other writers/creatives. This one day retreat is open to young, established and persons thinking about writing poetry, dub/hip hop performers, story tellers and writers. And it is a fantastic opportunity to work with such a talented and passionate creative.”

Past Just Write Writers’ Retreat facilitators include: Joanne C. Hillhouse, Marie Elena John, Chadd Cumberbatch and Mark Brown.

The One day retreat will cost EC$100 for persons U21 and EC$150 for adults 22 and over. Scholarships are available. Interested persons can email: brendalee.brownemail.com or check the Just Write Face Book page.

Bio: Tanya Evanson is a Montreal poet, performer, producer, educator and program director of Banff Centre Spoken Word. She tours internationally, has released four audio recordings, six artist books of poetry and in 2013 received the Golden Beret Award and was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Recent work includes guest editing Arc Poetry Magazine (Fall 2015) and publication in Arc, Oratorealis, Cordite, Litlive, WomanSpeak, More Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (YYZBOOKS 2016) and Where the Nights Are Twice As Long (Gooselane 2015). Spoken word performance highlights include Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Australia’s Story-Fest, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Spoken Word Festival, Blue Met, Suoni per il Popolo, Words Aloud, Bowery Poetry Club, Verses, CBC and SLAM stages worldwide. She is currently at work on a short film, poetry manuscript and performing in support of her latest recording ZENSHIP. mothertonguemedia.com

 

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A & B Arts Round Up October 9th 2016 —>

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From the Wadadli Pen Challenge 2016 Awards ceremony: Akeilah Hillhouse presenting to Chammaiah Ambrose, the 12 and younger winner, on behalf of Frank B. Armstrong.

January – February 2017 – Just a reminder that it’s not too early to start thinking about your Wadadli Youth Pen Prize submissions for the 2017 Challenge season. Teachers, youth workers, parents, start encouraging the young people in your lives to start creating; young people, start creating.

January 20th – 22nd 2017 has been announced as the dates of the 4th Just Write Writers Retreat at Mount Tabor, John Hughes, Antigua. Like the page for more updates.

November – December 2016 – Master artist Heather Doram is offering another workshop on the heels of her first successful one at the National Youth Enlightenment Academy:
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November 2016 – Jhohadli Writing Project (by Joanne C. Hillhouse) will be offering a series of workshops in November – details to come – but contact jhohadli@gmail.com if you want to be on the mailing list for a first look at those details. Flashback to the first Jhohadli Writing Project workshop activity:

October – November 2016 – Independence stuff:

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And about that big bank writing competition as the literary arts “step up inna life”! – This one’s from the local press – I don’t have any other details about this but there is a number you can call for more information (462-4707) – the information that’s in the press is that students attending primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions have an opportunity to win EC$10,000 (that’s for the upper level students) or EC$5,000 and prizes (for the primary students) for writing an essay on the Independence theme (Building an Economic Powerhouse Together) and submitting it by October 31 – either hand delivering to the National Festivals office on Market Street or emailing jennell.willette@ab.gov.ag

October 11th 2016 – Expressions: Poetry in the Pub returns, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., at Heavenly Java 2 Go in Redcliffe Quay. Start to the new season and ongoing.

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, Fish Outta Water, 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, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Just Write

The Just Write Writers’ Retreat was held for the first time in 2012. I blogged about it here.

Location of the Just Write Writers' Retreat, the Catholic Retreat Centre at Mount Tabor.

Location of the Just Write Writers’ Retreat, the Catholic Retreat Centre at Mount Tabor.

A 2016 post-Retreat release reads in part:
‘The retreat’s organiser, Brenda Lee Browne is very happy: “This is the third Just Write Writers’ Retreat in Antigua and it is growing. It was a packed two days in a great setting and I cannot thank Joanne C. Hillhouse and Chadd Cumberbatch enough for being so generous with their time and sharing their vast knowledge with an eager group of writers.”

Joanne C. Hillhouse adds that: “Artists need space to create; not just physical space but mental space – a retreat like Mount Tabor provides both. It has the potential because of this to attract not only local writers but with proper support and promotion writers from other places. I’m thrilled to have been a part of it over the years and feel myself growing as a facilitator even as those I tutor grow in their strengths as writers.”

The participants attended workshops on ‘Editing’, ‘Poetry Writing and Performance’ and ‘Starting to write’’ READ the full report at Antigua Chronicle (which, sidebar, you may remember has a former Wadadli Pen winner as its editor and publisher)

Congrats to Just Write – writers, co-facilitators, founder Brenda Lee Browne, on another successful year.

Each year Just Write offers a spot to a winning Wadadli Pen writer. Tiffany Smith, front centre, has been one such prize recipient. I'm happy to announce that a spot at the next Just Write Writers' Retreat is part of the 2016 Challenge prize package. With thanks to founder of Just Write, Brenda Lee Browne.

Each year Just Write offers a spot to a winning Wadadli Pen writer. Tiffany Smith, front right, has been one such prize recipient. I’m happy to announce that a spot at the next Just Write Writers’ Retreat is part of the 2016 Challenge prize package. With thanks to founder of Just Write, Brenda Lee Browne.

For more on Just Write, go here.

Just Write Writers Retreat

Just Write, 2016.

For more on the Wadadli Pen 2016 Challenge season, go here.

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Talking Youth Friendly Writing Resources in Antigua and Barbuda

This is one of my favourite queries of the last Wadadli Pen season, because this is the kind of teacher who inspires us:

“I’m in dire need of some expert help with some students in my class. They are exceptionally good writers and I want them to get some exposure so they can develop even more.”

This teacher, I should add, went on to submit entries from students in her class, as in took the time to scan and submit the entries herself as well as all of the required information on each student. In addition to that, she also submitted entries of her own as a way she said of setting an example.

Kudos to her and here’s hoping she and her students are somehow rewarded for their efforts in this year’s challenge. The judging is blind of course so there are no guarantees but I wish them success.

I also wish to share (and expand upon) parts of my response as it may be of interest/use to other teachers out there and inspiration to potential patrons and partners.

One of the things I told her is, of course, to encourage her students to submit to the Wadadli Pen Challenge, letting her know as well that one of the things we do, particularly with the short listed writers, is provide feedback that should guide them in strengthening their entries. It’s part of our desire for this to be developmental and not just another contest; with Wadadli Pen writing (and building writing skills) is not just the medium but the message.

Meanwhile, I’ve visited many schools over the years (and so have my Wadadli Pen partners and associates) and, for me, time (and frankly funds to cover  at least some of that time as writers don’t live in a bubble where bills don’t exist) is a constraint to doing so at this time but I’m hoping (and have hoped for a while) that we can attract the resources that will allow us to direct our attention to offering year round in-school, in-community workshops, and lay the ground work for the start of in-school reading and writing clubs, or do some kind of summer programme. Recently in conversation with a writer from another Caribbean country, I learned about how between the PTA and the cultural foundation (something lacking here in Antigua) they are actually able to fund writers going into the schools on a consistent basis. Had me wondering what is it they get that we don’t seem to get here in Antigua and Barbuda?

Anyway…

Wadadli Pen has been about finding a way to make a way and if we’re able to access the necessary funding, and it’s a big if, that’s the hope and the dream. At the moment, Wadadli Pen is all voluntary, all the time, and we are stretched pretty thin;  but with more resources, more patronage, we could do more. Here’s hoping. #notgivingup

I also let the teacher know of both the Just Write programme and the Young Poets Society of Antigua and Barbuda, both projects of Wadadli Pen associates/partners.

I should have mentioned the Cushion Club as well as I know from experience that one way to build writing skills is by reading and reading a lot, so for younger kids especially the Cushion Club is a great place to start. Plus, I’m pretty sure that our partner, the Best of Books has some kid programmes as well.

So, the moral of the story, I think, is you can start by reading to and with kids, in home in the school; encourage their writing however you can and, where possible, encourage them to particpate in the sparse opportunities that exist; and help us get the patronage we need to do more of what we do.

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Just Write was “Liberating” – UPDATED

The Just Write Writers Retreat (October 19 to 21) at Mount Tabor Retreat Centre at John Hughes in the green (especially green after the rain we’ve been having) Antiguan countryside was rejuvenating. And the post retreat reflection has been revealing, illuminating…other ‘ings’ I can’t think of now, just a blessing to the soul and spirit and confidence and motivation. Next time I see event organizer Brenda Lee Browne (fair warning Brenda Lee) I might hug her. And I hope you know that you’re in it now; this can’t be a one-off. It will grow. That’s a given.

The retreat was a mix of Caribbean-formal sessions on writing and publishing, exercises to coax the writing out and entice it in new directions, exploration and introspection, and a marathon muddle of liming sessions and sessions on liming (writing and life). The Retreat Centre is Catholic owned and as a born and raised Catholic, I’ll liken it to being in the Confessional…minus the judgment.

I was most nervous, I think, about the one-on-one sessions; that’s where Brenda Lee, Marie Elena and I consulted with individual workshop participants. They’d each been asked to submit samples of their writing and we read these in advance to provide some evaluation and guidance. I’ve been in more of these one-on-ones as a workshop participant than I’ve led and, on either side of it, it’s nerve wracking. On the one side is the writer hoping she isn’t about to hear how much her writing sucks, on the other side is the writer hoping not to be the one who crushes another writers spirit with her candor.  The positive feedback from the participants about the one-on-ones (not to mention almost everything else about the weekend) was another one of those ‘ings’, eye opening.

Here are some excerpts (names withheld to protect the privacy of the participants):

On the location

“Mt. Tabor is green and serene. It felt like we had taken a flight and left Antigua for a bit.”

“I must say I couldn’t imagine a better location; so close to nature, peaceful, relaxing with plenty for the senses to tune into not just for separation from the busy, intrusive world but also to stimulate creativity.”

“The ability to connect with nature, or to have a feeling of an almost all-seeing eye from the balcony for example, was an enlightenment to the whole theme of perspective, and observation and finding the story you want to tell.”

On the sessions

“It felt like we were living the education we were receiving…”

“Of the sessions two of them that I found most challenging were the session that was based on the photo prompt by Brenda Lee Browne and the Session on fictionalizing personal experiences and emotions facilitated by Marie-Elena John-Smith. Both of these sessions took me way outside my comfort zone and asked me to dig further into my writing ability than I thought I could. ”

“…I felt like what I could create, though different, could be just as well appreciated; I did not feel like (it was/I was) any less.”

**UPDATE** “It was comfortable, familiar, easy to blend into and get lost in…Most surprising to me was the ease with which words flowed in response to the various writing exercises…Each writing exercise opened me up, brought out thoughts and feelings and awareness that, prior to, I wasn’t conscious of… and in the awareness I learned more about myself as a writer.”

On the one-on-ones

“…the one-on-one sessions were inspiring, on point and allowed us to see possibilities we haven’t considered.”

“That was very enlightening for me, and from the fact that she referenced things she had seen me do or say and not say throughout the workshop made me feel like I was a speaking to a person who, not only knew her craft, but genuinely cared or was interested about mine.”

“It was very helpful to have both strong points of my pieces and my issues highlighted and be given suggestions on how to make my work better. This session encouraged me to keep working on my craft and to pay special attention to my editing process.”

“The one on one time was welcomed and I appreciated the tenderness yet realness of the critique.”

“I came away recognizing a few of my weak areas; it was what I needed to hear to grow.”

*UPDATE* “Under the capable guidance of the more experienced writers – Joanne, Brenda Lee and Marie Elena – I came to accept the uniqueness of my voice, the significance of stories seen and shared through my eyes. During my one-on-one session with Joanne she said something in her nonchalant way that, for me, was like a big sister shaking sense into the younger. She said ‘you are a writer, you may not be aware of it yet, but you are a writer!‘. …She said many things in that brief meeting that resonated with me, but the most significant was the simple acknowledgement that I AM a writer.”

On favourite moments

“I enjoyed the field trip through the village, the opportunity to make new friends and strengthen the bond with old friends.”

“I enjoyed the exercises that pulled the stories out of us and challenged us to think outside of the box, to channel personal experiences into stories that were not too personal.”

“Mark Brown got me to draw; what can I say? Love him!”

*UPDATE* “…the ridiculously talented visual artist, Mark Brown, who spent less than half hour with us and in that time got us to tap into the Picasso within and bring that bad-boy front and center… on paper (for a person who was kicked out of art in high school you can appreciate how significant that must be).”

“I also would say that the passion that was demonstrated by you (Brenda Lee Browne), and all the ways in which you tried to communicate messages to us about this craft, even through art, was most empowering of all.”

On the overall impact on the participants

“What I experienced the most was an opening of possibilities and seemingly endless opportunities to write and to work out ideas.”

“My mind is still engaged and finding inspiration in different seemingly mundane places!”

“This weekend has truly been inspiring and reinvigorating. I feel urged to revisit old pieces, rewrite some, and create new pieces with the intention of publishing.”

“It freed me – from the self-imposed shackles I normally wear when writing – to Just Write… I learned that the things I struggle with are not peculiar to me; that accomplished and young writers share the same challenges (like doubt) and that was also freeing for me.”

*UPDATE* “…the honest opening to each other; the gentle, knowing smiles, the deep from the belly laughs, and the tears, all added a special touch to the overall experience. The Just Write Writers‘ Retreat woke me up from a long slumber and, now that I’m awake, the one thing left for me to do is Just Write…”

N. B. All images by Brenda Lee Browne.

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, DancingNude 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.

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Official Just Write Post Event Release

Press release – St. John’s, Antigua, October 14, 2012: ‘Empowering’, ‘thought provoking’ and ‘needful’ are just some of the words used to describe last weekend’s Just Write Writers Retreat at Mount Tabor in John Hughes.

Zahra Airall, Loretta Benjamin, Devendra Thomas, Carissa Warner, Aisha Ralph, Glenn Toussaint, and Tiffany Smith were the first seven participants of a weekend filled with workshops, discussions, walks and writing exercises facilitated by Marie-Elena John ‘Unburnable’, Joanne Hillhouse, ‘Oh Gad!” and Brenda Lee Browne.

“The Just Write workshop/retreat was a necessary and important programme, which showed that we recognize the need to encourage, nurture and develop our writers and our artists so that we can tell our stories in a stronger voice,” states Glen Toussaint.

The first Just Write Writers Retreat was made possible with the help of the following partners: Joan Underwood, the Best of Books, Colombian Emeralds International, Education for Advancement – Antigua and Barbuda, PIC Insurance and private donors.

Brenda Lee Browne the Retreat’s organiser added that the weekend exceeded all her expectations: “I have to thank my fellow facilitators, Joanne and Marie-Elena, my partners and the wonderful participants who really made this weekend so memorable. It was an opportunity for all of us to talk and learn about the craft of writing as well as practical sessions on rewriting, resource materials and moving from manuscript to published book. The fabulous setting at Mount Tabor was conducive to writing; we are looking forward to returning next year.”

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER: Browne has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and has facilitated various writing workshops with the Department of Culture, Gender Affairs, and the Antigua and Barbuda Literary Festival and chaired the Independence Literary Arts Committee for four years. For the past two years Browne has been the head judge of the Wadadli Pen Prize, and is a recipient of a 2011 National Youth Awards for Contribution to the Literary Arts.

BONUS Click on the names for more on co-facilitators Marie Elena John and Joanne C. Hillhouse, or for more on Just Write. And click here for participant reflections.

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Writers, take note

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – “It’s something I’ve benefited from,” Brenda Lee Browne said as she prepares to run her first Just Write Writers Retreat at Mount Tabor in the Swetes area of Antigua.

What she means, of course, is that as an alum of the Hurston Wright Writers Retreat in Washington, for instance, and the Sheffield Hallam University Masters programme in the UK, she’s had the experience of being in an environment where you are both expected to write and to get critical feedback on what you’ve written.

“I just know how much a writer can get from an event like this,” Browne said, noting that for the retreat period, October 19 to 21, there’ll be nothing to do but write.

It’s an opportunity to both “see how serious your craft is” and meet and learn from other writers.

The location, the interior of the island where the hills are green and rolling and the city is at a muted distance, will be conducive to the process, she believes.

“It’s beautiful,” Browne said. “It’s a place where you can actually just write and not be disturbed; it encourages you to write.”

Read More.

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.

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Just Write Writers Retreat in Antigua

Brenda Lee Browne has, in recent years, become a regular in the Wadadli Pen judging pool. Her experience as a writer and youth workshop facilitator in Antigua and Barbuda are well known. And now she’s founder of the new Caribbean writers retreat right here in Antigua and Barbuda. Her programme is Just Write and we’ll tell you more about it as we go along. But for now, know this, it’s set for October 2012 in beautiful Mount Tabor (in the greenest part of the island), there are 11 spaces left (two of the available spots have gone to two Wadadli Pen finalists Rosalie Richards and Tiffany Smith), you have until August 31st to register, and it will be a great opportunity for resident and non resident writers and wanna-be writers to get cracking on your next writing project or just get writing. You can get even more immediate updates or contact her directly for information via her Just Write facebook page.

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Highlights of the latest August Rush Newsletter

There’s so much goodness in the April 23rd edition of the dynamic duo (August Rush)’s newsletter, I just had to share some of it.

…Expressions: Poetry In The Pub continues Tuesday 24th April at our Heavenly Java 2 Go home at the boardwalk at the Redcliffe Quay. The night get’s going at 8pm. To sign-up in advance to perform, email us at augustrush.antigua@gmail.com or call 783-4120 or 779-6634.

…It’s that time of the year again, when Women of Antigua (WOA) has everyone moaning. This year the organisation celebrates their 5th year of existence with a bang as they will be staging two different productions; The Vagina Monologues on Saturday 26th May and When A Woman Moans on Saturday 27th May. Both productions will begin at 8:05 pm. Tickets are $40 per night, and $70 for both nights ($10 discount). Stay tuned for the early bird special when you can pay $60 for both nights…After this year’s performance, WOA will be taking a hiatus from the shows in order to focus and produce other activities in an effort to empower people and end violence in Antigua and Barbuda, one of which will be the One Billion Rising campaign…on 14th February, 2013… ‘Like’ The WOA page ‘When A Woman Moans 2011’, and stay tuned into all the organisation’s activities including Campaign Moan, which is designed to raise awareness and also promote the show. WOA is asking the public to answer a simple question: “Why do women moan?”.  Answers are to be written on a manila or sheet of paper, held up in front of the individual and a photograph taken and emailed to campaignmoan.anu@gmail.com. Photos will be posted on the When A Woman Moans Facebook page, where the public can vote for their favourite answer. The winner will receive tickets to this year’s productions…Another promotion this year, is the production of WOA TV, which grants the public a behind-the-scenes pass to rehearsals and cast members. Videos can be seen on the Facebook group page as well. For further information or to get involved you can visit the Facebook page ; email woa.vday@gmail.com or call 779-6634, 723-6934, 772-7913 or 780-7754.

…The Just Write Retreat is the first of its kind in Antigua and Barbuda – a weekend for established and new writers looking for space to write, get ideas and insights into their craft. An island as small as ours means that fund raising is limited to the same corporations that fund cultural, sporting and educational events – this money will assist 12 writers and three tutors as allow for two of the tutors to share the experience with inmates in the island’s, small, yet over crowded prison. As much as most of the sessions will be voluntary – it is not sustainable as writing time costs money. A donation of U$25 will buy writing equipment such as journals; US$50 will pay for a day of the three day writers retreat. A donation of US$100 will cover two days at the retreat. Your money will help make writing accessible, it will help to build a sustainable writing project that is annual. Donate today by clicking here.

 

They also included a little big up re my launch but I clipped it. You can see launch coverage here, and purchase the book here. And you know you have my sincerest thanks; right?

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