Yes, we have. Read the launch release for details: PRESS RELEASE Wadadli Pen seeking Interns
Meanwhile, for those not in the know about Wadadli Pen, here’s some background.
The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize first launched in 2004
(First Wadadli Pen challenge winners photo call, sponsors and culture/education officials seated; Heritage Hotel conference room – 2004)
In 2005 we offered workshops
(The 2005 Wadadli Pen workshops were held at the Cushion Club reading club for kids meeting place – the Cushion Club has been a consistent patron over the years)
In 2006 we staged Word Up! – a successful literary showcase and fundraiser in partnership with the National Museum
(2005 winner Sandrena Martin and runner up Rilys Adams read at the 2006 Word Up! showcase alongside some of Antigua and Barbuda’s top writers)
We tapped out but then came back in 2010 with the fourth installment of the annual-ish Wadadli Pen writing and visual arts challenge to encourage creativity, and another arts showcase this time as part of a Black History Month week of activities
(top to bottom: 2004 Wadadli Pen literary challenge winner, 2005 finalists, 2006 finalists, and one of the 2010 art winners – 2010 was the year of our first visual arts challenge)
In 2010, we also launched the Wadadli Pen blog in 2010. It wasn’t our first website as we were fortunate to be a part of an Alliance Francaise sponsored OECS project that funded online platforms for arts projects thanks to then Culture Director Heather Doram – who came out to our first awards ceremony in 2004 when we had no name value at all. Funding had run out but I worked to transfer the data to a platform I had to teach myself to use since we no longer had tech support and I didn’t know coding – so I chose the most user friendly platform I could find and fought through it.
(Performance by Zee’s Youth Theatre member backed by drummers from the Antigua Dance Academy at Word Up! 2010)
Other milestones included hitting, in 2014, our 10 year anniversary which that injected new energy into the arm of the programme
(top to bottom: 2011 Wadadli Pen literary challenge winner, 2012 finalists, 2013 finalists, and 2014 art prize winner)
In 2014, Wadadli Pen offered a prize for teachers as well – because none of this is possible without teachers – and a number of them are closet writers too.
(Future Wadadli Pen partner won the Lead by Example Teachers prize in 2014 and won the main lit prize – opened up for the first time to all age groups – in 2015)
In 2016, another turn as I set up an advisory and works team (which includes two past finalists) to help me do the work
(at the 2015 awards ceremony with judge Floree Williams Whyte a year before she became a part of the permanent team)
Before that, each year I reached out to different people for help – people like founding partner D. Gisele Isaac, Linisa George, Brenda Lee Browne, Cushion Club, Glen Toussaint – who in 2010 launched a Wadadli Pen Open Mic which is a Best of Books project, not ours but which has also been doing good work for years pulling out fresh voices…and more.
(Top to bottom: some 2016 Wadadli Pen lit finalists and a 2017 finalist with Wadadli Pen intern Michaela Harris)
In 2017, we recruited our first intern (a former finalist as well) – laying the groundwork for the mentorship programme we’re hoping will be a part of the 2019-2020 iteration of the Wadadli Pen Challenge.
(Another winner take all year – 2018 – finalists pictured)
Speaking of 2019, another big development – a Readers Choice Book of the Year Challenge which ended with us donating nearly $1000 in books to a local school chosen by the winning author and funded by our donors.
(the students of selected school got to come in the bookstore to choose their books)
And that’s just the visible stuff – Wadadli Pen answers questions, provides resources (mostly through the online platform), has partnered with the Cushion Club for a summer read challenge, has for many years recommended and nominated people for opportunities including the National Youth Awards, and more.
(Wadadli Pen judge and lit and theatre creator and activist Linisa George was a 2012 National Youth Award winner)
We’ve said before that we want to do more and that we need help and guidance re becoming a legal non-profit so that we can do more; but in the meantime, we continue to do the work that we do
(Wadadli Pen founder/coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse with 2017 Wadadli Pen intern Michaela Harris)
…including beginning to work towards the 2020 challenge which will be both a literary and visual arts challenge.
(2016 winner – Daryl George – with the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque – named for a founding partner and presented by her brother Douglas Allen, publisher and editor of the Young Explorer which also partnered with Wadadli Pen in the beginning. The plaque, which has the name of all major winners, hangs in the bookstore)
Remember, if you’d like to be a Wadadli Pen Challenge intern or would otherwise like to volunteer with or sponsor the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize email firstname.lastname@example.org
As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is researched and 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 Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.