Tag Archives: press release

Press Release – Wadadli Pen, New Prize Pays Tribute

A Wadadi Pen Release, the second after the release announcing the launch of the Wadadli Pen 2021 season, was disseminated to the media on March 10th 2021. Thanks to media like the Daily Observer, and many others – including longtime patron Antiguanice.com. The text is copied below.

Press Release

Wadadli Pen, New Prize Pays Tribute

March 10th 2021

On the heels of launching the 2021 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge with a March 26th submission deadline, the organizers announce several additional and very meaningful patronages.

Cedric Holder, father of Zuri Holder, who died tragically in a road accident in January, has requested inclusion of a plaque to honor his memory. The Cushion Club Zuri Holder Achievement Award, inclusive of a gift certificate toward the purchase of books, will be awarded to a writer 12 years or younger. Cedric is a long time Wadadli Pen patron, his gifts typically made in the name of the Cushion Club Reading Club for Children, with which he is chief volunteer and of which Zuri was a member. Zuri also had history with Wadadli Pen – 2nd place in the 12 and younger category in 2011 and 3rd place overall and winner of the 12 and younger age category in 2013.

Zuri with his two prize certificates from the 2013 Wadadli Pen awards ceremony.

“His passing remains a huge personal loss to his family, friends, and all the communities he belonged to,” said Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, who also volunteered with the Cushion Club and knew Zuri for many years as a result. “We welcome Cedric’s desire to keep his name alive in this way, while contributing meaningfully to the development of other young people.”

Wadadli Pen also welcomes a cash contribution (EC$300) from award winning author Rilzy Adams, pen name of local lawyer Rilys Adams. Rilys, author of almost 20 self-published books, recently collected an international romance industry award for her novel Go Deep, only her latest accolade. Rilys is also a former Wadadli Pen finalist (2nd place in 2005 and 2006) – one of two former finalists who are 2021 patrons. The other is Daryl George who has contributed EC$250. “It feels good to see that Wadadli Pen has not only survived these 17 years, since it first launched in 2004, but that the people who’ve come through the programme have gone on to do great things, of which we are only a small part,” Hillhouse said, “and that they’ve looked back.” The Wadadli Pen core team also includes two former finalists.

Though focused on nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, Wadadli Pen is networked with Caribbean literary entities and one, Diana McCaulay and her publisher Peepal Tree Press have pledged her latest award winning book Daylight Come to the Prize Package.

More than 80 books including Big Cat Caribbean titles have already been received from Harper Collins (UK). Other announced 2021 patrons, so far, are the Best of Books, Moondancer Books, award winning Jamaican author Olive Senior, and new local author Patricia Tully.

Wadadli Pen is still hoping to attract more patronage for both the Wadadli Pen Challenge and the #readAntiguaBarbuda readers’ choice book of the year initiative. To support the work, email wadadlipen@gmail.com To create and submit to the Wadadli Pen Challenge download the submission form at the Wadadli Pen 2021 tab on wadadlipen.wordpress.com There, too, you’ll find the link to vote for your favourite Antiguan and Barbudan book of the year.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen 2021, Wadadli Pen News

The Votes are in and…

Vivian Luke’s F.A.K.E. has won the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year of 2017-2018. It is our first time doing such an initiative and we thank all voters for their participation. Congratulations to Dr. Vivian Luke on her win and congratulations to Foundation Mixed School as her selection to receive the EC$900 plus promised (in books). The children will have the opportunity to select the books themselves on Monday 8th April 2019 at the Best of Books. Thanks to our patrons.

Below, we’ve published in full a statement from Dr. Luke and a bio which includes her Antigua-Barbuda connection.

Statement by Dr. Vivian Luke:

I am deeply humbled to be voted the 2019 Recipient of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for my book, F.A.K.E.! Fake Lives, REAL Friendships.  Writing is a gift but the ability to conceive of and complete a well-structured story that is well received is a dream for any author.  So, I must congratulate the rest of the authors who were part of this process as well. Congratulations!  My love for writing likely spawned from my love of books at a young age.  My love of books definitely came from observing both of my parent’s love of the written word.  Their willingness to talk and share their opinions about whatever it was they were reading enabled me to formulate my own thoughts about a topic and engage in meaningful discourse with each of them.
I am so thankful to each of my parents for the exposure I was afforded to a variety of reading material – from poems to classical European literature to Caribbean and African American authored literature.  Honestly, as a child I did not always appreciate their efforts but once I became an adult I came to realize how invaluable it was to my overall growth and development.  I learned from my mother and aunt — both proud Foundation Mixed School alumnae — the impact of receiving a strong educational foundation that helped deliver each into their chosen professions, i.e., an accounting executive for a major airline and a Registered nurse who later became a pastry Chef.

As you journey through life I encourage each and every one of you to chase your passions and choose to become lifelong learners!  Read, Read, Read so that your intellectual curiosity may be heightened.  Further, books, through their pages, will enable you to “travel the world” while you tap the depths of your imagination and, as an added benefit, you will become well versed in a variety of topics.  Congratulations! Foundation Mixed School for nurturing the minds of many talented children over the course of 80 years and, for never compromising your standards of EXCELLENCE in the process.


Dr. Vivian Luke is a senior executive consultant with 22 years of experience providing expert consultative support services to public and private sector Director and C-level clients in the areas of quantitative and qualitative research (survey research and design), data analysis, policy development, organizational analysis, knowledge management, personnel management, quality assurance/quality control, and training. Her advice and counsel are highly respected and consistently sought. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science with Honors (concentration in Political Science and Technology) from Howard University, Washington, DC; M.CRP degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University, Ames IA; and, B.A. degree in Justice from The American University, Washington, DC.

Vivian recently self-published her debut novel, F.A.K.E.! Fake Lives, REAL Friendships. She is the mother of two daughters, Raiven (19) and Elle (11).  Vivian is the daughter of Vincent Luke and Elaine (Edwards) Luke originally of St. John’s, Antigua.  Her roots run deep in Antigua as her maternal great-great grandfather was from Parham and both sets of grandparents are Antiguan born and raised.   She is the granddaughter of Carmen and Claude “Pitt” Edwards of Ottos.  Richard and Elfreda Luke of St. John’s – owners of R.K. Luke & Sons Hardware Store in St. John’s and the niece of Conrad Luke.  While not a resident of the beautiful island of Antigua, Vivian has always considered herself a daughter of Antigua given her heritage and close connection with family and friends. “I am a proud Antiguan – 1st generation removed.”

Read the press release announcing the outcome here.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business, Wadadli Pen News

A Teacher Claims the 2017 Wadadli Pen Prize


A Teacher Claims the 2017 Wadadli Pen Prize

Twenty-three year old Kaeiron Saunders Saunders croppedwas announced, at the Wadadli Stories Book Fair on May 13th, as the 2017 winner of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge. Saunders, a lecturer at St. Anthony’s Secondary School (SASS), only the second teacher to be added to the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaquechallenge plaque, won the main prize and her age category, 18 to 35, with the poem ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Auntie Gah’.

The Wadadli Pen Challenge, an Antigua and Barbuda literary prize launched in 2004, requires that entries be Caribbean, while leaving the interpretation of that up to the writers’ imagination. For some it can be constricting, for others an opportunity to freely imagine a transforming Caribbean. This poem does both, acknowledging the confines of the same story told over and over,

‘“Not another island story, Auntie,
I’ve heard it all before”
But every year, around this time
Auntie Gah would add more.’

As it presents and critiques this nostalgic approach to Caribbean storytelling, it, also, makes the point that neither the Caribbean nor our perception of it is fixed in time.

“Hush and listen to my story
The point is not to criticize
But to show that the good within a society
Is relative to each new generation’s eyes”

That this rhythmic poem both acknowledges and subverts the clichés, earned the judges’ approval. They dubbed it a “great piece!”

Also coming in for approval were Devon WuilliezDevon, a 16-year-old Island Academy student, for her poem, ‘The Great Big Dumz’, and 11-year old Zion Ebony WilliamsZion, of Baptist Academy, for her story ‘Those who don’t hear, will feel’. Both won their respective age categories – 13 to 17, and 12 and younger – on the way to claiming the 2nd and 3rd prize overall.

It’s worth noting that while Saunders and Wuilliez are first-timers, Williams first submitted to Wadadli Pen in 2014 and has made two previous trips to the finals of her age category before this year claiming the top spot and a spot in the overall top three. For organizers this line-up is reflective of what Wadadli Pen hopes to do: encourage new voices to come forward, challenge practicing voices to keep pushing themselves, and foster growth in terms of the craft of writing in Antigua and Barbuda.

Other long listed writers are Andrecia Lewis (author of ‘Strange’), enrolled at the Antigua State College; Ava C. Ralph (author  of ‘Non Fiction?’), of Antigua Girls High School; Francis Yankey (author of ‘And She Sang Fire’), of the Antigua Grammar School; Fayola Jardine (author of ‘Shakiyah and the Mango Hater’); Lucia Murray (author of ‘Mr. Duppy’), a student at SASS; Shadiael Simmons (author of ‘Brave 11-year-old saves Baby from Fire’), a student at Baptist Academy; St. Andrew’s students Emma Belizaire (author of ‘Cricket is My Life’) and Ashley Francis (author of ‘Our Caribbean’), plus Island Academy, the school with the most submissions. Their rewards are a mix of cash, gifts, and time. Contributing patrons are Art. Culture. Antigua, Barbuda Express, the Best of Books, Brenda Lee Browne, Caribbean Reads Publishing, Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis, the Cushion Club, Danz’s Sweet Dreams, the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank, Frank B. Armstrong, Harper Collins, the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda, Jane Seagull, Jennifer Meranto, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Juneth Webson, Little Bell Caribbean, Monique S. Simon and the Caribbean Folklore Project, Paperclips, Raw Island Products, the West Indies Cricket Board, and one other regular patron who prefers to remain anonymous.

For the full breakdown of winners and prizes, and to read the winning stories, visit wadadlipen.wordpress.com


This is the press release circulated for media use about the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge after the May 13th 2017 Awards during the Wadadli Stories Book Fair. Please feel free to share. If you have questions, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

Featured image courtesy, a group shot of finalists and Wadadli Pen coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, at the awards, courtesy Art. Culture. Antigua.


Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business, Wadadli Pen 2017, Wadadli Pen News, Wadadli Pen Open Mic, Workshop

The Sunshine Awards Organization Releases 2014 Nominees

New Jersey, September 22, 2014. The SUNSHINE Awards Organization today announced in New Jersey, the nominees for the 2014 SUNSHINE Awards. The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards Program is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, at the AXA Equitable Center, 787 Seventh Avenue in New York City. The black tie event will begin at 6:00pm with a cocktail reception followed by the presentation of awards at 8:00pm. Live performances from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America will punctuate the presentation of awards. World renowned legends such as the Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow, steelpan soloists, Liam Teague, Dane Gulston, the last Mambo King, Orlando Marin, African Guitarist, Abdoulaye Diabaté and International dancer, Dheeraj Gayaram are among the performers.

Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, who earned his Doctorate from the University of Michigan and chairs the Nomination Network Committee said, “This year was one of the most challenging periods of our history of awarding persons in the Performing Arts and Education, owing to the fact that nominees for the awards came from places far and wide, including some remote areas of Africa. In addition to the many nominees, discussions among members of the Awards’ Committees reached at times to heated but knowledge-spreading debates, all to the benefit of our organization. The search for persons to be awarded and the system of rigor employed to reach decisions endorses the SUNSHINE Awards for its nobleness and respectability.”

The Nominee for the 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards include:

Orlando Marin – Puerto Rico– Contribution to the performing arts.

A man of Puerto Rican heritage and a unique musician often described as “The Last Mambo King.” This man’s music is appreciated not only by people of Latin descent but also by millions around the world. He is recognized as a pioneer of Mambo music pushing it way beyond recording studios. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VUgiArq6BU


Abdoulaye Diabaté – Mali, Africa – Contribution to African Music. He has over twenty years of experience in contemporary and popular music. He has toured the entire continent of Africa and many parts of the world as a singer and guitarist. In 1996, he relocated to New York City and has since taken part in many cultural events as leader of the re-formed Super Mande group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fufLFRBTjc0


Jocelyne Mayas – Haiti – Contribution to Humanity. Jocelyne Mayas is the founder of Empowerment Centre for Caribbean Immigrants formerly (Queens Empowerment Centre for Haitian Immigrants) a Community based organization whose goal is literacy and civics as the way to empowerment. For over a decade, she has prepared immigrants to become US citizens by conducting monthly immigration workshops and weekly radio information broadcasts on immigration. She has served Haitian refugees in many capacities including their release from Carmichael Detention Center in the Bahamas and GITMO in Cuba.



Dheeraj Gayaram – Guyana – Contribution to the Performing Arts & Indian Culture.

Dheeraj Gayaram, born in Georgetown, Guyana, started dancing at the age of 9. At that age he won his first prize in both classical and pop dancing. Since then, Dheeraj has performed in over 5000 shows locally and internationally and has won over 150 dancing competitions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeG0-Z-qZKM


Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne – Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to Education, Technology and Science. Dr. Alleyne has dedicated her 19 year career to advancing the areas of aerospace and space technology development, and most recently in the areas of space technology application for international development and global science and space education for girls. She has served in several technical management roles with increasing responsibility both at NASA and the US Department of Defense. She also led the integration of all international space education programs across the United States, Japan, Russia, Europe and Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teAraTjKLWs


Professor Liam Teague – Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to Education and the Performing Arts. Known as the “Paganini of the Steelpan,” Liam Teague currently serves as the Head of Steelpan Studies and Associate Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University. He has received many awards from various organizations and won a number of notable competitions such as the Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Festival Solo Championship. His commitment to demonstrating the great musical possibilities of the steelpan has taken him all over the world. http://liamteague.com/


Sister Rosario Hackshaw– Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to education and humanity. Sister Hackshaw is a member of the Catholic nunnery who used her Catholic upbringing and her love of the poor to bring Catholic primary and secondary education to the forgotten fishing village of Matelot in North Trinidad. Her interest in and commitment to education for all raised eyebrows and like the historical Robin Hood, she led the rich to give to the poor. She has displayed throughout more than fifty years of dedication to education, a Jesuit-like approach whereby she strove to face all her challenges with the cross, image, and purpose of her creator. This recognition is in memory of that great pioneer, Dr. Basil Matthews who changed education in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension, the Caribbean.



The Nominee for the 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards Hall of Fame are:

Winston Bailey – Trinidad and Tobago – Life-long contribution to the calypso art form. Known to the calypso world as, the Mighty Shadow. He began his calypso career in the 1960’s and quickly soared to stardom with mega hits like “Bassman in Meh Head” “Stranger”, “I Come Out to Play” and “What Is Life”.



Lancelot Layne (Deceased) hails from Trinidad & Tobago. Founder of Rapso music. He began his singing career in the early 1970s. He is often described as the founder of Rapso music and his 1970 song “Blow Away” was the first rapso recording, although the term was not coined until 1980. Many of his most remembered songs were not recorded, including the song “Strike Squad”, which he composed for his local football team. “Get off the Radio” was a protest song about the imbalance of radio airplay between local and foreign works. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/5186add7-7dda-4471-b791-ecbda9fc05ec

Hillary “Baga” Rezende-Trinidad and Tobago. Life-long contribution to steelband music. His involvement in the steelband movement dates back to the 1930’s… He was described by the Trinidad Express Newspaper earlier this year as “the Enduring Panman.” Today, in his 80’s, he continues to make his contribution by often reflecting on his journey with the Pan Movement for recognition of the steelband as an instrument capable of playing all forms of music. He recently called on Universities and Research Institutions around the world to reassess the present status and the continued development of the steelband. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/sunday-mix/The-enduring-panman-272387751.html?m=y&smobile=y


Cecil Ward – Barbados – Life-long contribution to steelband music. Now 93 has been involved in the steelband movement for virtually all his life. He thrilled judges during many performances at competitions and coached many steelband soloists including the legendary panist, Sonny Roach. http://www.trinbagopan.com/steelpan/ward.htm


The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards “Friend of the Arts” will be presented to the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) – Trinidad & Tobago – for its contribution to various Caribbean art forms. NACC is the cultural arm of the National Joint Action Committee and has been involved in the various Caribbean art forms and carnival since the 1970s. NACC is also credited for designing and developing many training and development programs for young performing artists. In fact, many veteran calypsonians today have benefited from its development programs. NACC also promotes the National Young Kings and the Calypso Queen competitions. The organization also plays an active role in the African Liberation Day and the Liberation Day celebrations. http://www.njactt.org/national_action_cultural_committee.html


The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards “Corporate Award” will be presented to National Staffing Associates (NSA) of the United States. Incorporated in West Orange, New Jersey, National Staffing Associates brings over twenty years of experience to its core specialty, the provision of quality supplemental health care staffing in diverse disciplines throughout the spectrum of the health care industry. The company has been accredited by the New Jersey Commission on accreditation for Home Care since 1999. NSA is passionate in its support for other Caribbean businesses as evidenced by its active membership and participation in the Caribbean American Business Association (CABA), an organization dedicated to the expansion and success of Caribbean businesses in the tri-state area. NSA is also an active supporter of cultural and artistic activities throughout Caribbean-American diaspora. https://www.nationalstaffing.org/


The SUNSHINE Awards was founded to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, science and sports. Over the years, the program has expanded with the global view to include the Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America and India.


The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards is sponsored in part by the United Airlines –“the preferred airline for the SUNSHINE Awards”, The Kobrand Corporation/Alizé, National Staffing Associates, All Star Motors and Essex County Towing, VMS Consulting, T & T Express Shipping and Trini Breakfast Shed. For further information and tickets call 201-836-0799 or info@sunshineawards.com


Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love