Tag Archives: lit arts

Carib Plus Lit News (late November 2019)

Since I decided to start this news round-up, it’s all I can do to keep up. Sorry for the things I missed. Here’s some news (some not so new anymore).


Antigua and Barbuda mourns the passing of Vaughn Walter Mbe, a cultural actor and longtime Culture Director and former Carnival chair, who passed unexpectedly. Walter, son of the country’s second premier and national hero Sir George Walter, who himself ran for elected office in 1999, was assigned to lead prep for Antigua and Barbuda’s hosting of CARIFESTA 2021, and reportedly collapsed on the job. The self-styled ‘de Vagabond’ (Vagga for short) is, also, remembered in the larger public consciousness as a broadly comedic personality known for catchphrases like “you haffu come man, you haffu come”. He has acted in a number of plays and other stage (e.g. calypso) presentations, plus local films. Walter who was also a certified marriage officer and event (weddings) planner, was set to retire from public service after his stint with CARIFESTA. I couldn’t find a listing of Walter’s performance credits but I will share one from memory. When, in 2007, the Rick James Theatre Ensemble undertook to tell the story of Antigua and Barbuda, Our Country, Walter took on the role of the man referred to as the Father of the Nation. Incidentally, this man Sir V. C. Bird Sr. was also his father’s greatest political rival (and vice versa) during the pitched battles of the late 1960s to late 1970s  – arguably the most contentious time in modern Antiguan-Barbudan politics. The accuracy and authenticity he brought to the moment of delivering one of Bird’s rallying speeches was one of the highlights of the play.


On the heels of an adversarial Carnival season, in which the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) was at loggerheads with local event promoters over artist royalties, the copyright management organization has designated an Antigua-Barbuda director in the person of Vaughan Skerritt. Skerritt works in the industry as copy writer and producer,  and was a member of Antigua and Barbuda’s premier hip hop group back in the day – Da Rock 1761.


The Antigua and Barbuda Independence honours list included two members of the arts community, musical arranger Jagger Martin and songwriter Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle, as well as educators Dr. Edris Bird, first and former resident tutor of the UWI Open Campus, and Glendina Jacobs, among others. Congratulations to them all.

Marlon James, Jamaican and former Booker prize winner, was a finalist for the National Book Awards in the US where he lives, thanks to his latest epic novel Black Leopard Red Wolf.

Congrats due as well to Dionne Brand, winner of the 2019 Toronto Book Award (and $10,000 CDN) for Theory. The awards are now in their 45th year and are intended to honour books of literary merit that are evocative of Toronto. Brand is originally from Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaican writer Olive Senior, also Canada-based, won the Matt Cohen at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards in Toronto, celebrating her body of work.

She is pictured here in Antigua (with local author/Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse -i.e. me) after attending the Alliougana book fest in Montserrat. We go back to 1995 when, as I have related more than once, I did my first writing workshop at the University of Miami, the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute, which Olive facilitated. It was during that workshop that I began work on my first book The Boy from Willow Bend. Senior was by then already a Commonwealth award winning writer for her book 1989’s Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Other Stories.

Finally, shout out to the Antigua and Barbuda delegation to the Caribbean Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival. They cleaned up, returning home with awards for production, original script (historical drama, The Long Walk by Zahra Airall), directing (Airall), set design, sound, lighting, actress (Khadelia Williams), and best overall contingent. Her production The Forgotten previously won the main prize at the CSSDF in 2015. Without missing a beat Airall is planning at this writing a staging of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues which she originally brought to Antigua and Barbuda as part of Women of Antigua in 2008.

Repping Books

Antigua and Barbuda’s Best of Books bookstore, a Wadadli Pen patron and partner, won representative of the year from UK publisher Collins alongside Jamaica and Belize.


Young Composers

Antiguan and Barbudan Brianna Georges, 16, was a finalist for the Commonwealth International Composition Award. Georges is a former member of the prize winning Antigua Girls High School pan orchestra. The Antigua State College student reportedly wants to be both a forensic scientist and professional musician. Khadijah Simon is also a finalist, also from Wadadli. She is still a student at AGHS, where she serves as the choir’s pianist and as a musician at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church. Another Antiguan and Barbudan Erienne Peters, also had a highly recommended entry. The Composition Award’s stated purpose is to promote composition around the world and give young composers the skills they’ll need to further their careers. This is its first year.

Film Arts Awards (Local)

Did you know that Antigua and Barbuda had two film festivals this Independence season? Well, it did. I’m sorry to have missed both (the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda’s International Film Festival back after a hiatus, the last one was held in 2012, and the first time Wadadli Short Film Festival led by off-island folks with Antiguan-Barbudan roots) – as not only a film lover but as someone who served as associate producer on Antigua and Barbuda’s first feature length film (The Sweetest Mango) and production manager on its second (No Seed), both written by D. Gisele Isaac, and as a writer and arts advocate. Especially though as someone who likes to see the arts thrive and the work of our artists and art producers celebrated. So congrats to the women in film recognized by the MPAA’s festival – Heather Doram, artist and former Culture Director, who cameod in The Sweetest Mango, starred in No Seed, and who has featured in a number of local productions on stage (Sweet Lady, When a Woman Moans), on TV (Paradise View, Keeping it Real), and on film (Maisie and Em film shorts) among other activities since the early 2000s; Julie Hewlett who has appeared in a number of UK TV series (e.g. East Enders and Turks and Caicos per her IMDB) and who was among the main supporting cast of The Sweetest Mango and is forthcoming in HAMA’s Deep Blue, in addition to teaching and facilitating workshops; and Mitzi Allen, a TV and radio producer, also independent producer of Antigua and Barbuda’s main feature films and TV shows (movies The Sweetest Mango, No Seed, Diablesse, The Skin, TV series Paradise View, and any number of commercial productions, and informational or edutainment programmes e.g. Pet Playhouse, Let’s Talk) as co-founder and co-director of HAMA. Also recognized, Sandie de Freitas who is Canada-based (not sure there’s a direct Antigua-Barbuda connection, the article cited was light on information, but she is festival director and founder for Commffest community film festival in Toronto). The Wadadli Short Film Festival is Antigua-Barbuda based but counts the wider Eastern Caribbean/Caribbean community as its constituency, and UK-based personnel as its principals, and its inaugural awards reflected that with best film going to London-based director Jordan Pitt’s Coffee, best OECS film going to French filmmaker Alain Bidard’s The Flight , and best music video going to Hard Knaxx’s Life in Paradise. See the full list of finalists and short list from 130 submissions. Speaking of Antiguans and Barbudans in film, the Peter Pan inspired Wendy, by critically-acclaimed Beast of the Southern Wilds’ director Benh Zeitlin includes local locations and children (notably Yashwa Mack).


Antiguan and Barbudan author  included in the line-up for the Sharjah International Book Fair

More here. And here.

New Books

Not all the new books – just the ones that came across my attention to this writing – including The A to Z of Caribbean Art which is due in early December (no Antiguan-Barbudan artists that I could see); Una Marson by Lisa Tomlinson (fifth in the University of the West Indies press Caribbean Biography series, spotlighting the Jamaican poet, dramatist, broadcaster, and advocate and curator of Caribbean literary arts – Media Release_Una Marson); the latest historical novel by ex-pat writer Apple Gibley’s US Virgin Islands historical novels (Transfer, which just came in the mail along with her earlier work Fireburn, courtesy of the author for review – hopefully I can finish reading them quickly enough to donate them to the Wadadli Pen challenge prize package); a memoir and/or biography by  Antigua and Barbuda’s former PM Sir Lester Bird (The Comeback Kid); US-based Jamaican writer and Howard University professor Curdella Forbes (A Tall History of Sugar); several social studies text and workbooks by local educator Anthea S. Thomas who wrote them initially to fill a material gap in her classroom and landed a publishing deal; and a new anthology, Winning Words, out of Barbados spotlighting winning pieces from the National Independence Festival Creative Arts writing competition.

Finally, on December 1st 2019, Haitian American writer M. J. Fievre drops her latest book – ‘Happy, Okay?’. The Florida-based writer’s book is sub-titled “Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope, Survival”. A recent press release described it as “an exhilarating exploration of depression, anxiety, grief, and loss”. It is, according to the release, meant for people living with mental illness and those closest to them. Edwidge Dandicat, another famed Haitian-American writer endorsed the book: “‘Happy, Okay?’ is a beautifully written meditation filled with poignant and lyrical meditations of the joys, pains, and complications of life and the daily struggle to survive, create, and love.” Here’s the press release in full: Fievre_Press Kit

Speaking of books

Sandals knows what’s up. Books makes good gifts. I do hope some Caribbean and Antiguan and Barbudan books are in the mix.

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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At the Half Year

I usually do a year-end top posts of the year post on my blogs. But I’m in the mood for a half-year assessment just now so here’s the top ten so far for 2018.

Seat of Power

#1 – the most viewed post of the year so far – Art ‘Revelations’ (Antigua-Barbuda) – This art show, located at the Antigua Girls High School, featured the work of a handful of local art teachers and was an opportunity to check a pulse point of local visual arts evolution. The success of this post is also, to my mind, an indicator of interest in this type of content, and is one of the drivers behind launching/reviving the CREATIVE SPACE series on my author/writer services blog. – The post actually ties for second most shared on the blog so far this year and though it’s only received one comment, it’s a good one “Enjoyed the exhibit, and appreciate the writing of (it) … Gives a feel of the busyness and buzz in the room. As an artist it was quite refreshing to see the heavy weights of the industry within our 268 take front stage.” (pictured is one of the images from the show, Seat of Power by Bernard Peters)

Rilzy 2Yohan book

#2 – this was an interesting one – Vote for Your Favourite Antiguan and Barbudan Book of the Year – posted in December 2017,  and inspired by a similar poll in Trindad and Tobago, it got a lot of looks and tied with the #1 post for second most shares but had next to no response, not enough even to hit the minimum number of votes to select a winner; hell, not even the writers voted. Maybe it’s not a thing anyone wants, maybe they hadn’t read even one of the books yet, maybe I just launched it too late, maybe it didn’t run long enough, maybe all of these maybes but because I think it’s a good way to push not just an author but the literary culture in Antigua and Barbuda, I’m inclined to do it again (maybe in sync with the Wadadli Pen Challenge season) – but then I’ve been wrong before. In case we do try this again, and if you want to get a jump on the 2018 poll, the A & B releases (limited to books/literary CDs where Antiguans and Barbudans are the main or primary author and/or editor) for 2018 so far, according to the blog’s records are: The Plantations of Antigua, the Sweet Success of Sugar, Volume I (w/Donald Dery). AuthorHouse. USA.(Agnes Meeker); Learning Bible Verses: the Bow, the Wow, the Now. (Elloy DeFreitas); Milo’s First Winter (Milo’s Adventures). Amazon Digital Services. (Juneth Webson); The Nakedness of New. CreateSpace Independent Publish Platform North/South Carolina, USA. (Althea Romeo Mark); Fu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56. USA. (Iyaba Ibo Mandingo); The Royal Wedding. Antigua. (Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau). (pictured are the 2017 books by Antiguan and Barbudan authors that tied for most votes)


#3 – Creak by Kyle Christian (Wadadli Pen Winning Story, 2018) – the winning story in the 2018 Wadadli Pen Challenge got a lot of views and a lot of shares  – it’s typical for one of the winning stories (if not always the winning story, as in 2017 for example) to make the top 10. The reviews for Creak have been positive if few: “Excellent!”; “Brilliant, bold and witty, delivered with passion; drawing attention to (a) hidden history”. (pictured, Kyle Christian)

Rosie Pickering

#4 – Damarae by Rosie Pickering – this was an honourable mention in the estimation of the judge of the Wadadli Pen Challenge. It was a win for the readers as the fourth most viewed and first most shared post so far of the half-year. (pictured, Rosie Pickering)


#5 – Shout out to Caribbean Actors in Black Panther – well, duh. (pictured, Wakanda forever!)


#6 – Barbados, Guyana, Bermuda Finalists for the Burt Award – this post title is actually something of a misnomer as it begins with news of the 2018 finalists but gives the full listing of all the books that either exist or have had a bigger reach because of this prize – as a reminder, submissions are invited for the 2019 prize – and you (and your teen) are encouraged to read all the books. (pictured are some of the winning books through the years)

winners2b#7 – Who Won What in 2018? – another regular in the top 10 because there’s always a high level of interest in the outcome of the annual Challenge which is good for both our patrons and participating writers/artists, both of which we always need more. (pictured are winners from 2018 and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, holding the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books, at the awards ceremony)

Aye Write April 2014

#8 – Literary Arts in Antigua and Barbuda: a Reflection – I have been recently reminded that when you share the journey (the good and the bad), people read and sometimes mis-read the full accounting of your life. Rest assured that my full life will never be shared on social media (so be careful how deeply you read) but my journey in writing and my frustrations with and love for Antigua and Barbuda, and Antigua and Barbuda in relation to the arts, and the literary arts in particular, that I have shared to a fair degree. In order to vent sometimes, yes, but also in order to inform understanding about the journey and about the challenges artists face, celebrate the victories, and underscore that they are often hard-won. I try to pass on what knowledge I can – resources, to opportunities, to my own hard-earned lessons, stumbles, breakthroughs, and triumphs. What an upside down world we live in when the people who create are pitied for doing what they were put here to do, for continuing to work against the odds to explore, interrogate, and affirm our existence for a time in this space called life. Well, this post is about what some of our literary artists (not just me, have been doing in our space and time). (this picture is actually from 2014, a Commonwealth panel in Scotland which I was invited to be a part of after my story Amelia at Devil’s Bridge, submitted to the Commonwealth short story competition and losing, was selected for inclusion in the collection Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean – which included the winning Commonwealth short story and the best of the also-rans to the best of my understanding. Amelia is now one of my most travelled stories and is a reminder to me that on the writing journey the road may be potholed but keep moving, you never know where you might end up…and, if you’re lucky, your art will travel further than you do and sometimes take you along for the ride)

Wadadli Pen Logo

#9 – Kyle Christian Wins Wadadli Pen – This was the announcement press release re the Challenge – so no surprises about this being in the top 10 – the Challenge is our main project; it attracts submissions from young writers in Antigua and Barbuda who are typically eager to hear how things turned out for them and in the Challenge as a whole. (pictured, the Wadadli Pen logo which was created by Ken Shipley)

author books#10 – Writers Shoutout, Diversity Discussion – you know I had someone hit me up on social media recently to push back on all this diversity talk and all I’ve got is a hit dog will holler. Diversity isn’t about taking anyone’s place (it’s about making space for other voices) nor is it about tokenism (funny how people go there as if the hushed voices are inherently inferior), it is about all the interesting landscapes, voices, stories, perspectives that the world is missing out on (it is about making the world a richer place). This popular piece is just one part of the discussion. (pictured, books by Yolanda T. Marshall which were the jump-off for the most recent diversity post)

With thanks to anyone who engages with any thing I write or share in this space – keep reading and sharing; like and comment more (what’s up), and let’s see if these favourites hold up to the end of the year.

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!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; 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 WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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This is one of my favourite things I have ever had the opportunity to work on. It was released as a newspaper supplement. I wish it had taken more permanent form (a book or CD) but I’m glad that I got to do it at all. It was a publication I pitched for the 50th anniversary of Carnival and got the go-ahead to produce. The rollout was such that it was less impactful than I would have liked but still I was happy with the product. Happy because it collected the cross section of arts that contributes to Carnival – a reminder that Carnival is art…correction, arts.

There was Carnival-themed visual art by cover artist Heather Doram, Carol Gordon, Mark Brown, Marie Kinsella, Denise Li, E. T. Henry, Jan Farara, Debbie Eckert, David Cadogan, Muerah ‘Artist’ Boddie, Jennifer Meranto; photography by Allan Aflax, Bernard Richardson, Alexis Andrews, Jermaine Simpson; Carnival designs (dresses and costumes) by Calvin S., Errol ‘Bumpy’ Nanton, Colin ‘Wanga’ Martin, and others; lyrics, short fiction, novel excerpts by writers like D. Gisele Isaac, Tameka Jarvis-George, Marie Elena John, Jermilla Kirwan, Shelly Tobitt, Marcus Christopher, Selvyn Walter, S E James, Leonard ‘Tim’ Hector, Brenda Lee Browne, Arthur ‘Bum’ Jardine, Edgar Lake, Sylvanus Barnes, Aziza Lake, Althea Prince, and others.

I called this collection Carnival is all We Know as a nod to a soca song that I felt captured the all consuming energy of Carnival and the exclamatory nature of it. And also, music.

I can’t share anything from the collection (although if you’ve read my book Oh Gad! you’ve read some of it since it was first excerpted in it and one of the stories found in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings was first published here). If you’re interested in reading a more recent lit journal dedicated to Carnival, remember to check out the latest issue of Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters. Also in the spirit of #throwbackThursday here’s a Carnival inspired article I wrote back in 2011.


p.s. this is the niece referenced in the story below with me on the road in 2017 when I played the tree faerie from my book With Grace.

Bridging the Musical Gap
An anecdote from the launch of Carnival 2011
By Joanne C. Hillhouse

“Is all old people dancing,” she said.

Pull up. Let’s start at the beginning.

Like hundreds of islanders – and a fair amount of visitors – I ventured to the Carnival street party at the Dockyard Saturday night. Truth be told, my niece and I left home intent on attending the Wadadli Music Fest as we’ve done in recent years but en route, plans changed, and there we were sitting on the grassy mound while below us CP swung her fire engine red locks and wined in sinfully short shorts backed by an energetic and athletic chorus line as she segued from track to track – Carnival is All We Know, Go Claudette, Something’s Got a Hold On Me. Well, I sat and swayed; Niecey disappeared for a while with a friend, reminding me that I was less liming partner, more chauffeur; reminding me that she was growing up and away from me. Sure, we both loved Claudette but she loved her down in the thick of it while me, I loved her, from a distance.

The distance was about to get wider; they don’t call it the generation gap for nothing.

Just as she returned, the emcees announced that Burning Flames was up next and that no, Tian Winter would not be performing. “No Tian Winter” it was almost too much for her pre-teen heart but she was still looking forward to Burning Flames. Me, less so. As I proceeded to explain to her, she hasn’t heard Flames like I’ve heard Flames. After all, I grew up on their music and still dream of the awesome foursome coming together for one grand finale, or, at any rate, to make me feel like they did then. They spell youth to me, my youth, and, ageless as they themselves seem, who could blame me. So, what we were about to hear was for me a poor facsimile of the original.

Then that voice we swooned over as teens at jam pond started up, the familiar and infectious beat behind it, and, on my feet now, my body remembered it all. Good music is good music, and the Flames of the mid-80s to mid-90s was the best; and as Onyan and Krokuss teased at the memory of those songs, that time, what could we do but dance. No, I wasn’t the only one. All around me, in the parking lot outside of the Dockyard gates, feet remembered, hips swayed and couples rocked. For some it was the end of Sailing Week, for us it was Carnival.

Here comes little Miss, right in the middle of the Go, Go, Go riff. “Let’s go”. Now I knew she had to be kidding; not when things had finally come alive. Don’t get me wrong, CP rocked it and if I had seen only her, it would have been enough. But this was just too much: Iron Band, Swinging Engine, Ride Yuh Bicycle, Go on wan kinda how…all the classics. But of course that was the problem. Excited as she’d been to hear Flames, she didn’t know the Flames I knew. Flames, for her, is Bull Bud, a ditty I didn’t particularly care for having missed Carnival, for the first time ever, in 2010. She’s of the era of Ok Papi, while I remember going crazy to Ah Rudeness Mek Me. And if I had to choose between the twin Flames we’ve got going these days, I suppose I’ve been more Red Hott.  But none of that mattered now, Onyan’s falsetto still had that delicious tremble and the music still had that intoxicating effect; and she would just have to wait – and choke on the irony – as I danced to the band she’d been salivating to see while she stood there in the stereotypical bored teenage pose (never mind that she has a few weeks to go before making teenager).

“Look,” I teased, “you don’t see people dancing?”

This is where we began. “Is all old people dancing,” she pouted. This amused me no end, as I looked around at these primarily twenty and thirty somethings – maybe one or two forty and fifty somethings – and shook my head at what surely must be an exaggeration. But then, when I was 12 everyone over 25 likely looked old to me too, I suppose.

What struck me then – or later, I was too busy dancing then – was I was exactly her age the first time I heard Flames; I remember how they had this Pied Piper effect luring the dancing posse to Potter and beyond all the while jigging Left to Right.

I remember though that I also appreciated my parents’ music – Short Shirt, Swallow, Latumba, Obstinate – because, to me, while each generation has its defining music, one generation’s Madonna is another generation’s Gaga, good music transcends generations. After all, didn’t I begin the day listening to Billie Holiday, and later cleaning to Aretha Franklin, didn’t I move to the dancehall and hip hop beat of the DJ battle before Sassy shifted the mood back to Carnival, and wasn’t I now dancing to Flames? I never could understand people who only listened to this or that genre or period of music; music is music, I say, and if it makes me feel, gi me more.

Alas, my niece was still stuck in a generational box and Flames was showing their age as far as she was concerned. She’ll grow out of it. After all, who can resist good music of any time or place, and, who can resist the band who – by any configuration – has a name that’s synonymous with Carnival.

So by the time Onyan and company teased Obeah and Brown Girl in a Ring we were both dancing; and by the time Bull Bud came on, well, for her, they could once again do no wrong. All was once again well with Carnival.

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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). 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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Only One Week to the Wadadli Pen Awards

Are you excited?

The Wadadli Pen Awards, which will be held 5:30 p.m. as part of the Wadadli Stories Book Fair, takes place on May 13th. That’s next week Saturday. We’re looking forward to it here at Wadadli Pen, too. That’s when our Finalists will be rewarded and the ultimate winners announced, which we would not have been able to do without the contributions from our generous patrons. Whew! This is the longest gap we’ve ever had between the actual awards (which launches every year in January) and the awarding (typically late March/early April), but I’m sure our patrons and finalists will agree that they have a bigger spotlight as part of the Wadadli Stories event. Believe it or not, even with a permanent team in place, we’ve needed all of that time. And then, once the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge season is wrapped, the team can exhale… until we get back to planning and executing the transition of Wadadli Pen from this project I launched back in 2004 in to a proper non-profit which could potentially out last even me. I dream. Anyway, hope to see you if you’re in Antigua at the book fair. There’ll be something for everyone from the Spelling Bee for the kids to the Erotic tent for the adults and somewhere in between a mini-comic-con complete with cosplay for the kids at heart. There’ll be professional development panels (such as my panel on editing), literacy activities (such as testing), readings (including my reading for the little ones from With Grace and for the older ones from Musical Youth), and much more. Go to the Wadadli Stories page for all the details.

17854813_10154497215021188_8497364273538347535_oFor more local arts events on our radar, go here

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!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. Seriously, a lot of time, energy, love and frustration goes in to researching and creating content for this site; please don’t just take it up just so without even a please, thank you or an ah-fu-she-subben (credit). 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 – 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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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen 2010, Wadadli PEN 2015, Wadadli Pen News