• Caribbean shortlist features two previous winners, Diana McCaulay (2012), Alexia Tolas (2019) • Sharma Taylor shortlisted for the fourth time • Chair of the Judges, Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar hails ‘memorable and urgent stories that captured the concerns of their respective communities…. Reflecting a complex and afflicted planet’ • Ambitious and wide-ranging variety of styles, storytelling traditions and themes – from family dramas, to explorations of love and loss, exploitation, betrayal and scandal, and the ‘hurts of history’ • UK-based authors from Trinidad and Tobago and St Vincent and the Grenadines, JS Gomes and Cecil Browne, also feature on the shortlist
Twenty-six outstanding stories have been shortlisted by an international judging panel for the world’s most global literature prize. The writers come from 20 countries across the Commonwealth including, for the first time, Papua New Guinea, eSwatini, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The 26 shortlisted entries range from forbidden love to coming-of-age stories, tackling subjects from bereavement to climate change, and span genres from speculative and literary fiction to romance and crime.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from any of the Commonwealth’s 54 Member States. It is the most accessible and international of all writing competitions: in addition to English, entries can be submitted in Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. Such linguistic diversity in a short story prize in part reflects the richness of the Commonwealth, not least its many and varied literary traditions. In 2022, 408 entries were in languages other than English.
The stories on the 2022 shortlist were selected from a total of 6,730 entries from 52 Commonwealth countries.
The shortlisted writers range in age from 23 and 75 and many have been nominated for the prize before. There are four previous regional winners on the shortlist: Diana McCaulay (2012), Alexia Tolas (2019), Sagnik Datta (2018), and Mary Rokonadravu (2015); Sharma Taylor has been shortlisted for the fourth time, and two authors, Sophia Khan and Franklyn Usouwa, for the second time.
Chair of the Judges, Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar hailed a list of ‘memorable and urgent stories that captured the concerns of their respective communities’ and noted that ‘these writers achieved all this while they displayed an astute sense of the many forms of the story and its many long traditions on a continuum, from oral to scribal, from performance to contemplation [….] the result is a shortlist of stories that is aware of history, while never sacrificing story. These stories are as diverse as the world that they are drawn from and care about: they reflect a complex and afflicted planet; they answer the call of today’s multiple societal tensions by acts of reading that transform how the reader views that world.’
Dr Anne T. Gallagher AO, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, the intergovernmental organisation which administers the prize, commended all those who entered the competition, offering a ‘special congratulations to those who have made the shortlist in what was a highly competitive year.’ Dr Gallagher added: ‘the growing popularity of the prize speaks to the vital role that storytelling plays for people and communities right across the Commonwealth. In these fragile and uncertain times, the Short Story Prize transmits a strong and timely message about the power of cultural expression to help us make sense of ourselves and the world around us.’
The 2022 shortlist in full:
AFRICA ‘and the earth drank deep’ by Ntsika Kota (eSwatini) ‘Lifestyle Guide for The Discerning Witch’ by Franklyn Usouwa (Nigeria) ‘Something Happened Here’ by Dera Duru (Nigeria) ‘How to Operate the New Eco-Protect Five-in-One Climate Control Apparatus’ by Charlie Muhumuza (Uganda) ‘Thandiwe’ by Mubanga Kalimamukwento (Zambia)
ASIA ‘A fast-growing refugee problem’ by Sagnik Datta (India) ‘Accidents are Prohibited’ by Gitanjali Joshua (India) ‘Fault Lines’ by Pritika Rao (India) ‘The Kite’ by Sophia Khan (Pakistan) ‘The Last Diver on Earth’ by Sofia Mariah Ma (Singapore)
CANADA AND EUROPE ‘The Stone Bench’ by David McIlwraith (Canada) ‘Losing Count’ by Alexandra Manglis (Cyprus) ‘A Landscape Memoir’ by Jonathan Pizarro (Gibraltar) ‘A Hat for Lemer’ by Cecil Browne (United Kingdom/St Vincent and the Grenadines) ‘Hot Chutney Mango Sauce’ by Farah Ahamed (United Kingdom/Kenya) ‘Omolara’ by J.S. Gomes (United Kingdom/Trinidad and Tobago) ‘The Scars and the Stars’ by PR Woods (United Kingdom) ‘What Men Live By’ by Shagufta Sharmeen Tania, translated from Bangla by the author (United Kingdom/Bangladesh)
CARIBBEAN ‘No Man’s Land’ by Alexia Tolas (The Bahamas)
‘Bridge over the Yallahs River’ by Diana McCaulay (Jamaica)
‘Have Mercy’ by Sharma Taylor (Jamaica)
PACIFIC ‘Slake’ by Sarah Walker (Australia) ‘The No Sex Thing’ by Eleanor Kirk (Australia) ‘The Nightwatch’ by Mary Rokonadravu (Fiji) ‘Speaking in tongues’ by Shelley Burne-Field (New Zealand) ‘Wonem Samting Kamap Long Mama?’ (‘What Happened to Ma?’) by Baka Bina, translated from Tok Pisin to English by author (Papua New Guinea)
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation.
The 2022 judging panel is chaired by Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar. His fellow judges, drawn from the five regions of the Commonwealth, are Rwandan publisher Louise Umutoni-Bower (Africa), Indian short story writer and novelist Jahnavi Barua (Asia), Cypriot writer and academic Stephanos Stephanides (Canada and Europe), Trinidadian novelist and former winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize Kevin Jared Hosein (Caribbean), and Australian Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic Jeanine Leane (Pacific).
Global impact on authors’ careers
Winning or being shortlisted for the Prize opens a wealth of opportunities to the selected writers, propelling them further in their writing careers. Last year, Sri Lankan author Kanya D’Almeida won the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story ‘I cleaned the-’. She has subsequently signed with Felicity Bryan Associates Literary Agency and been invited to give talks at literary events, join judging panels, and lead writing workshops.
Shortlisted writers receive invitations to participate in literary events and festivals: 2019 shortlisted writer Rashad Hosein was a featured writer at the 2019 Bocas Lit Fest; 2021 regional winner Roland Watson-Grant was invited to speak at the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival. Publication opportunities also arise: 2021 shortlisted writer Heather Barker was invited to submit work to Doek!, the Namibian literary magazine, and shortlisted stories from Dinesh Devarajan, Aravind Jayan and Riddhi Dastidar will be featured in an upcoming anthology of work by India’s finest young writers under 40 to be published by Aleph Books later this year. Riddhi has also been selected for the South Asia Speaks Fellowship for new writers.
The 2022 shortlisted stories will be published online, in the innovative online magazine of the Commonwealth Foundation, adda (addastories.org), which features new writing from around the globe. The judges will go on to choose a winner for each of the five regions. These regional winners will be announced on Monday 23 May, before being published online by the literary magazine Granta. The overall winner will be announced in June.
Shortlist announcement – Monday 25 April Regional winners announcement – Monday 23 May Overall winner announcement and award ceremony – Tuesday 21 June Join the conversation @cwwriters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep up to date with the prize via commonwealthwriters.org
About the Commonwealth Short Story Prize The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation. The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words). Regional winners receive £2,500 GBP and the overall winner receives £5,000 GBP. Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible.
About the Commonwealth Foundation The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation established by Member States of the Commonwealth. The Foundation works to support civil society engagement in shaping the policies and decisions that affect people’s lives. Its cultural programming is founded on the belief that well-told stories can help people make sense of events and take action to bring about change. The Foundation works with local and international partners to identify and deliver a wide range of cultural projects and platforms, including adda, an online magazine of new writing. commonwealthfoundation.com | commonwealthwriters.org | addastories.org
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, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.
A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)
This is an interesting one. African American actor (a personal fave) Michael B. Jordan has trademarked J’ouvert for use as the name of his new announced rum. It has raised issues of cultural appropriation, which is fair (if complicated), but the part that made this interesting to me and relevant to this site was the trademark issue (a google search of j’ouvert also turns up this other trademark claim …?). I read (e.g. in this Trinidad Express article) that ‘the trademark filing …claimed “J’Ouvert” has “no meaning in any language”.’ Not true. Not for any Carnival loving Caribbean person. Literally Day Open, it is historically the start of our mas and for us in Antigua is the start of Carnival Monday, Emancipation Day. I want to make clear that though Trinidad-American rapper Nicki Minaj was the one to raise this on social media, J’ouvert also does not belong to Trinidad – I speak this as the daughter of a patois speaking J’ouvert loving mother from the French Creole island-country Dominica whose earliest memories include being hugged against my mother and sister jamming during J’ouvert in Antigua whose Carnival, Calypso, J’ouvert, Mas, Music, and Pageantry is Carnival to me. This is a Caribbean t’ing not a Trini t’ing. To me. It has meaning to us, collectively. Per the Dothraki, it is known. This move though raises questions of legal ownership, trademark of so many cultural attributes – one of the things not documented in my recent CREATIVE SPACE (CREATIVE SPACE #13 Eat n Lime), for instance, from a conversation with the owner of the oldest family owned business, a rum distributor, on the island about the reason we can’t export Cavalier – our island rum – being a (failure to) trademark issue. There’ve been discussions around steelpan, as it’s become more and more international, and other things over the years. A product is one thing though but what of something that is part of the collective culture, like j’ouvert, who owns that? can anyone? I think we would agree that whoever it is, it probably shouldn’t be an African American actor? BUT What if a percentage of profits was put in to a fund for the preservation and development of Caribbean culture and art – since we know that is lacking in the region? Is that a discussion to be had? Re use of a word we claim but have no legal standing to so do, I’d be interested in an opinion from a Caribbean luminary on this. Just in general. I mean, Antigua is the name of my island. It means old in Spanish. It’s also been used as a fashion brand which, as far as I know, we don’t profit from. Where is the line? So that’s why I’m sharing this. To fuel that conversation around ownership of the things we consider our own. (Source – Caribbean Entertainment Magazine which is making a comeback after a three year hiatus – Read more)
Canadian artist of Antiguan descent Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) has announced the release of her feature film (she co-wrote it with director Charles Officer) Akillah’s Escape, which earlier premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. (Source – Email)
A reminder that July 12th 2021 is Caribbean Literature Day. Will share details of activities as they become available and as time allows. But keep an eye out. (Source – email)
Post note: Olive Senior couldn’t make it. Ivory and I read our stories in full and fielded a number of thought provoking questions. Fruitful discussion. Good lime.
The Commonwealth Short Story prize winner will be announced on June 30th 2021. Virtual attendees will hear readings from winning regional stories during the event being held in partnership with the London Library. Regional winner for the Caribbean is Roland Watson-Grant of Jamaica. Kei Miller, also of Jamaica, is one of several announced guest readers. Registration information here. One snag – it’s announced for 1 p.m. India Standard Time which is foreday morning in our Atlantic Standard Time time zone. (Source – CW email)
Antiguan and Barbudan artist Heather Doram has a live coming up on Untapped Potential with Dr. Simone Mathieu. June 19th, 5 p.m. Watch on facebook at @Pushpast10 and live on TDNtv.net See also http://www.pushpast10.com (Source – instagram)
Webinar Opportunity! Are you an inspiring author or simply interested in publishing a book? If so, this webinar will be of much use to you! The World Intellectual Property Organization in collaboration with the Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property and Commerce Office will be hosting a webinar for authors and publishers. Join our regional and international experts on June 21, 2021, at 10 am – 12 pm, as they walk us through the ins– and- outs of publishing a book! This session will cover the foundational strategies that govern:
• State of the industry in the Caribbean region (Speaker Ms. Barbara Arrindell, Writer and Manager, Best of Books) • ISBN identifier (Speaker Ms. Ms. Stella Griffiths, Executive Director of the International ISBN Agency)
• The landscape and opportunities for publishing. Why do you need a publisher? (Speaker Mr. José Borghino, Secretary General of IPA) • The author –publisher relation (Speaker Mr. Luke Alcott, International Author’s Forum)
A recent addition to our Opportunities Too page is the Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize. Chapter books by Caribbean writers for readers 7 – 12, roughly 6000 words, are eligible. Details here and here:
Remember to check for more pending opportunities here.
Third Horizon Film Festival has posted its schedule which runs from June 24th – July 1st 2021, and includes virtual screenings, preceded by three evenings, June 21st – 23rd 2021, of free keynote and masterclass conversations. RSVP here for discussions on the Caribbean cinematic aesthetic, film financing, and distribution.
I met Audrey Edwards at the Anguilla Lit Fest in 2015. She moved to France after the 2016 US election and actually the day before the inauguration of he who shall never be named on this site in 2017. Here she discusses her book American Runaway: Black and Free in Paris in the …Years. Her father is from St. Croix and he is described as coming from “a line of proud West Indian men who tolerated no bad behavior from Blacks or whites…”
Joy James, whom you may remember as the owner of the Art at the Ridge gallery and a patron of Wadadli Pen, has announced the release of 101 Black Inventors and Their Inventions, a crowdfunded self-publication. The book is targeted at late primary and early secondary school ages. The author, Joy, recently started writing non-fiction children’s books to help educate and inform curious, young minds. She and her husband, whose family originates from Antigua & Barbuda, raised their own children on our twin island nation. “This book was an idea long before I started writing it,” Joy said in an exclusive to Wadadli Pen. “When my children were younger, I wanted a book about Black role models to help inspire them and expand their minds. I knew this information was out there somewhere, but I couldn’t find anything in an organised format or in the form of a children’s book. I hope that everyone young and old will enjoy reading about the many Black inventors in our world and their wonderful contributions that help to improve our lives. I hope that they will be heartened by this. Our world has certainly benefitted from these amazing inventions!”
From Gerald Lawson’s home video game console that led to the Xbox and PlayStation to Annie Malone’s haircare products which led her to become a millionaire, the book narrates how “these real-life superheroes” overcame adversity, including discrimination, in achieving their goals.
The book is now available online. Joy has a book on the same theme, this one for ages five and younger, scheduled for an October 2021 release. Congrats, Joy. (Source – Joy James via facebook and direct mail)
Programmes and Projects
Look up. There’s a new R & D page hereon the Wadadli Pen blog. The R is for resources and the D is for Databases. All gathered in one place.
A local, UNESCO-funded “culture mapping project … will see information gathered to assess the sector’s economic impact in Antigua and Barbuda. The aim is to highlight the contribution creative industries make to national development, identify ways to increase participation in them, and lobby for more funding, among other things.” Details here. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)
The National Cultural Foundation, Barbados, offers hearty congratulations to writer Linda M. Deane who won the $10,000 top prize at the 23rd Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition on Sunday, February 14. Her collection of poems, An Ocean Away; My Mother Smiling: Tales of Migration and Memory, was selected the best over 60 other entries. Linda is a British-Barbadian writer, editor, publisher and graphic designer. She is also a NIFCA Governor-General Awardee, having won the award in 2017. She is also co-editor of the on-line journal ArtsEtc. (Source – JR Lee email)
Antigua-Barbuda-born Dionisia Diaz, 20, has won Digicel’s Regional BIP Mascot 3D Design Challenge and US$10,000. The Challenge was to create a 3D mascot for the BIP messaging app. Entries came from 10 countries and Diaz won with a robot-themed design.
(Source – the Daily Observer newspaper)
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, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, 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.
I (Joanne C. Hillhouse, author and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator), zoomed today with my fellow judges, author, publisher, and veteran Wadadli Pen judge Floree Williams Whyte and past winner and first time judge Devra Thomas. After separately creating our own list of ranked entries (entries, not writers whom the judges didn’t know as they read) from among 72 entries, and an average ranking from that list, guided solely by numerical ranking, leading to the posting of a long list, we discussed the long list, revisited the entries, lobbied and debated, and ranked, and we have a short list. Congrats to everyone who entered for trying (that’s important in #TheWritingLife) and to those who made the short list. How that short list breaks down will be revealed at our Awards ceremony (which is our next project activity – details to come). But in the meantime, join us in congratulating writers short listed for the Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge Prize.
Eunike Caesar – The Blackboard (fiction) Jason Gilead – The Great Old Woodslave (fiction) Gazelle Zauditu Menen Goodwin – Beautiful Disaster (poetry) Sheniqua Maria Greaves – The Juxtaposed Reprieve (fiction) Ashley-Whitney Joshua – Hiraeth (fiction) Aunjelique Liddie – The Beach (poetry) Kevin Liddie – Mildred, You No Easy (fiction) Razonique Looby – Vixen (fiction) Andre Warner – The Brave One (fiction)
Congrats as well to the writers who made the long list. Since we mentioned only the titles and not the names before, they were (in addition to the short listed writers above) – Noleen Azille (Mission: Covered, fiction); Annachiara Bazzoni (Maybe, poetry); Aria-Rose Browne (Spirit of the Flame, fiction); Rosemond Dinard-Gordon (Emerging, poetry); Naeem Desouza (The Goat in the Rainforest of Puerto Rico, fiction); Jai Francis (The Legend of the Snowy Egret, poetry); Anastatia K. Mayers (Home, poetry); Linita Simon (The Breeze, fiction); Kadisha Valerie (The Silence was So Loud, fiction); and Latisha Walker Jacobs (Nothing Like Me, poetry).
All long listed writers will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop facilitated by me post-season (thanks to sponsorship from one of our patrons) – other prizes will be announced at the awards ceremony.
The winning school, i. e. the school with the most submissions, is St. Anthony’s Secondary School. Congrats to them and to teachers at all schools who had to rise to meet the challenges of a most extraordinary year.
Just doing my annual check-in to see what people responded (and didn’t respond) to on the blog this year. It’s an important part of building engagement and community – or so the experts say. Let’s dive in.
The Most Popular Post or Page apart from the Home Page (obvs) was the post on Most Influential Antiguans and Barbudans. This started out as an ask on a friend’s facebook page that I decided to archive here on the site. Listed are some of the people we lost in 2020 like Edris Bird, Swallow, Joseph ‘Calypso Joe’ Hunte If 2020 has taught us anything this year it’s how fragile everything is, life, reality, our sense of what tomorrow will bring. I always believe it’s important to recognize the people who put in the work and helped shape and define our culture; this year just underscored and put that in bold.
The Second Most Popular Post or Page was Wadadli Pen 2020(which, God willing, will be flipping to Wadadli Pen 2021 soon) and the Fourth Most Popular was Who Won What in 2020?(referring to our annual writing challenge), while About Wadadli Pen (summarizing our work 2004 to date) was our Fifth Most Popular. The work we do at Wadadli Pen being this blog’s reason for being, I”d, of course, be happier if either of these was number one but I get it. Every year we’re able to keep this thing going even as our lives get more stretched is a miracle, but our passion endures. We had several people asking about the Challenge after it wrapped this year, by the way. So we invite you, while you’re, here give the blog a follow to give us a boost and ensure that you never miss any of our content again.
The Third Most Popular Post or Page was Antiguan and Barbudan Writingswhich I am personally happy to see because we work hard on keeping the records updated and, frankly, the new publications are coming so fast and furious these days, it isn’t easy. That said, if you are releasing new books, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) the details per the page’s format, so that we can keep the reading public informed and enter you in to the ‘official’ Antiguan and Barbudan canon. #fortherecord Oh and look up, I rotate covers randomly in the site banner at least quarterly as an extra way of giving our authors a boost.
As usual, we give a boost to the least viewed/least popular posts of the year as well. There are a bunch of them at basically the same level, so I’ll just put 10 I like at random (blogger’s privilege). Meeting Ashley Bryan – about my introduction to the famed award winning children’s writer who happens to have Antiguan and Barbudan roots, You and Your Wiki Caribbean Writers edition – in which I spoke about the need for us to create wikis for our Caribbean talent (not a cause=effect but I subsequently got, through no involvement of my own, my own wiki), Culture must be Free – Latumba (one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite calypsonians and the project to transcribe as many of our lyrics as we can continues), After Reading In the Black this is a book edited by Althea Prince and for those looking to read the Black experience in this year of Black Lives Matter worth revisiting right now, A Barbuda Adventure – the sister island’s been on my mind a lot lately and in this piece a prize recipient (actually someone who accompanied one of our recipients of a prize from Barbuda Express) reminds us of what’s so beautiful and precious about it (what should be preserved not crushed and run over by capitalist blindness), Wadadli Stories Q & A – this is 2017 event is last of our community literary festivals and that’s kind of a shame, (image of Wadadli Pen prize recipients at the 2017 book fair – photo by Linisa George of Art. Culture. Antigua.)
We weren’t able to have actual live awards this year (the awards announcement was done via facebook live and our release was sent out to the media– thanks to the Daily Observer, 268today, Antiguanewsroom, and anyone else who ran it). We do have pictures, though, ‘thanks’ to our drawn out post-awards season of trying to connect winners with their prizes. An unexpected side-benefit of having to do so much communication virtually is the patrons, parents, and participants who’ve stopped to look back and share their thoughts and pictures. We appreciate it and are delighted to share with you…
This picture from long time patron Frank B. Armstrong’s rep, presenting main prize winner (tied) Andre J. P. Warner (author of A Bright Future for Tomorrow) with his $500 cheque from the company, while both modelling good mask etiquette (in light of the global pandemic that forced a change in our usual award protocols as it has in facial wear, personal space, and hygiene all over the country and the world – remember to keep #socialdistancing and #besafe).
This picture of Andre who tied with 11 year old Cheyanne Darroux (author of Tom, the Ninja Crab) for the main prize – their names will be on the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge Plaque (pictured) and also won the 18 to 35 and Imagine an Future/Climate Change prize was sent to us by the Best of Books, our usual awards host, plaque sponsor, and longtime patron, which contributed a selection of books to each 2020 finalist. Andre’s book haul also includes local authors‘ Brenda Lee Browne’s London Rocks and Just Write journal and Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Musical Youth (hard cover edition), and US$250 worth of books sponsored by Sean Lyons (a NYC-based recent tourist who contributed US$500 worth of books which was divided between the two main prize winners). Winners’ choice.
This image of 13 to 17 winner D’Chaiya Emmanuel (author of Two Worlds Collide) is also from Best of Books, where she picked up her books contributed by the bookstore, her gifts from Juneth Webson (who contributed gift packages which were shared among several winners and the $500 which went toward Andre’s climate change prize), cash from Lawrence Jardine (who contributed $500 which was divided among the 13 to 17s), $200 from D. Gisele Isaac, a free eye exam from Paradise Vision Center, and an external hard drive from the Cushion Club (which also sent us an image of their gift wrapped prize).
Zaniah Pigott (author of A Mermaid), who was 3rd 7 to 12 and received books from Best of Books, Cindy’s Bookstore (as did all winners 7 to 12), and copies of Musical Youth and With Grace (both paperback) from Joanne C. Hillhouse.
Congrats to them all. You can read their stories and all winning stories through the years, here. Thanks to the ones who dropped us a line. Such as…
Aria-Rose Browne (author of The Fabled Truth, and 3rd placed 13 to 17, who won Musical Youth, cash from Lawrence Jardine, the books from the Best of Books, and the gift from Juneth Webson): “I would like to thank you all so much for both the opportunity and rewards. I am so thankful to have made it as a Short Lister much less third place, especially as this is my first writing competition. I really appreciate, and thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will be sure to keep writing.”
Andre J. P. Warner: “…excellent job for organizing Wadadli pen for another year once again.”
Dyna, mom of Sienna Harney-Barnes (author of A New World, honourable mention 7 to 12, who won books from Cindy’s Bookstore and Best of Books in addition to The Wonderful World of Yohan and Antigua My Antigua, contributed by the authors Floree Williams Whyte and Barbara Arrindell, respectively): “Thank you so much. Sienna was tickled pink to be acknowledged. She truly enjoyed the experience.”
Zaniah: “Hello Joanne, Thank you so much for the experience you and Wadadli Pen have provided. It was such a fun time and I’m very thankful for all the help you have given to allow me to advance so far. I have read some of the other stories and they are all interesting and fun. I will still strive to write better stories and hope to enter with my brother next year.”
Her mother wrote as well: “Thank you so much for these books for my avid reader Zaniah. Zaniah and I are very grateful for this opportunity for her to showcase her story telling.”
You know what I appreciate most about these notes, that hint that each writer feels encouraged to continue writing – that’s the goal. Finally, I encourage you to join these dope people whose feedback I found here and on social media, and leave a comment beneath the winning stories.
“I read both winning entries (A Bright Future for Tomorrow and Tom, the Ninja Crab) and thoroughly enjoyed both but I especially loved the one that was written by the young lady (Tom, the Ninja Crab) because I got to share it with my granddaughter and great niece.”
“Great poem, I hope he continues to keep up the poetry writing even with the demands of medicine. Excellent and evocative.” (this refers to Oh, Beach that I once Loved by Sethson Burton, 3rd place 18 to 35, winner of books from Best of Books and a copy of Musical Youth, 2nd edition paperback)
Those are the major ones; there were some awesomes and wonderfuls thrown in there. Add yours, or constructive criticism, that’s okay too, just don’t be …unconstructive.
Thanks again to all of you who have supported the 2020 Wadadli Pen Challenge Season, to patrons the Cultural Development Division, the Best of Books bookstore, Photogenesis, Cindy’s Bookstore, the Friends of Antigua Public Library-NY, Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams Whyte, Lawrence Jardine, D. Gisele Isaac, Paradise Vision Center, Juneth Webson, the Cushion Club, Brenda Lee Browne, Hermitage Bay Antigua, Dr. Hazra Medica, Caribbean Reads Publishing, Sean Lyons, Jane Seagull, and Frank B. Armstrong/Seven Seas.
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, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, its Spanish language edition Perdida! , and Oh Gad! ). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.
Part of our promotion strategy which over the years and this year has variously included media releases and notices, media interviews, social media promotion with flyers and by other means, direct mailing to select mailing lists including schools, youth workers, past participants, etc., blog posts like this one, ads, psas, etc. etc. By whatever means we can. This post is a copy of a mail sent recently to teachers. Feel free to share.
Teachers have always been a vital part of the Wadadli Pen ecosystem. This image is from the 2014 awards ceremony and teacher (then at T N Kirnon school at the time) Paula Russell Peters, centre, is pictured collecting one of her prizes. She was a finalist for the WP 10th anniversary Teachers Prize and also collected on behalf of T N Kirnon which netted a prize for the most submissions from a single school. One of her students was also a finalist.
Encouraging youth creativity is about encouraging self-expression. This can be purely fun and about self-discovery; it can also open a portal to expressing and coping with challenging feelings and experiences. Encouraging youth creativity also promotes mental growth, potentially improving academic performance and emotional maturity. Encouraging youth creativity gives young people an opportunity to try new things, new ways of seeing, new ways of thinking, and new ways of problem solving. The ‘Imagine a Future’ special prize in this year’s Wadadli Pen Challenge, for instance, will create an opportunity to explore the potentials of action or inaction on climate change – the existential challenge of our day – do we survive and how. This may emerge as a dystopian shadowland or a bright sci fi future. Who knows? As small islands, we are on the front lines of climate change; it’s an opportunity for young people to think through what will be the first major battle of their life time, for bad or good. If you are a youth in Barbuda, you have been in the headlines at least since 2017 and hurricane Irma, the trauma of which you may not have fully explored even as you grapple with historical and political realities beyond your understanding, where is your voice in this, what’s your story? ‘The Wa’omani Prize’ is an opportunity to remember that there are no small stories, that every experience matters – from fishing with your dad/mom to being in the path of a storm to end all storms. The Wadadli Pen Challenge is not fixed on a theme – tell any story you want, about anything you want, however you want – but it is Caribbean, simply because we must centre our own imagination in our own stories. Storytelling is an opportunity to explore us. At the same time, it is an opportunity to experience our reality from a different perspective – where did the frigates go when they flew away …from the perspective of a frigate. For people working with young people it’s an opportunity to ask what if… allowing the imagination to zig from reality to fantasy and back again. The 3-strip comic panel is a challenge for those better at expressing themselves using visuals than words because visuals too can tell a full story filled with drama, humor, warmth, etc. Writers and artists can even collaborate for full expression of an idea. The important thing is that they feel the freedom to tell their story and the joy that self-expression can bring.
Hopefully, you’ll see the magic in that and encourage your children to create and submit by February 16th 2020. We urge you to post the flyer(s) at minimum but also to more actively encourage their participation, not just for the opportunity to win the schools book prize for most submissions, nor for the individual prizes they could win, but to encourage their creativity.
I posted here before about the Caribbean writers long listed for the Commonwealth short story prize. So, it’s only fitting that I come back to let you know that one of those four has won the prize. She is Ingrid Persaud of Trinidad & Tobago, and her story is The Sweet Sop.
The 26th annual Forward Prizes will be awarded on September 21, 2017, at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in London. Among the writers on the shortlist there are Caribbean writers such as: Ishion Hutchinson (Port Antonio, Jamaica); Malika Booker (of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage); and Richard Georges (Port of Spain, Trinidad). [Caribbean writers Vahni Capildeo and […]
The Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most coveted awards for poetry published in Britain and Ireland: they have played a key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century. They were set up in 1991 by philanthropist William Sieghart to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience, and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year. The three prizes – £10,000 for Best Collection, £5,000 for Best First Collection and £1,000 for Best Single Poem – are unique in honouring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. Past Forward Prizes winners include Claudia Rankine, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.
Among the writers on the shortlist there are Caribbean writers such as: Ishion Hutchinson (Port Antonio, Jamaica); Malika Booker (of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage); and Richard Georges (from Port of Spain, Trinidad and resident in the British Virgin Islands). [Caribbean writers Vahni Capildeo and Tiphanie Yanique were among last year’s Forward Prizes winners.]
Here, Wadadli Pen will be celebrating award wins (including sometimes award nominations and long and shortlisting, and accolades received) by Antiguan and Barbudan writers. It came about because I’d bump in to laudatory accomplishments (beyond publishing) but couldn’t figure out where to put them. The Antiguan and Barbuda Writings pages are bibliographies, and neither the Reviews page nor the journal publications page were right. So, here we go. Please note, this page is a work-in-progress. As with the other named sections, it will be updated somewhere between when I find updates and when I find the time to post them. I’m not ranking the awards at this point (some are local, some regional, some international, some prestigious, some not so much…I’m just adding them as I can). Primary focus will be on awards related to literary arts. No omissions or errors (and there are plenty, no doubt) are intentional. As always if you have information that will help me flesh out the content, let me know. Conversely, if you wish to be removed, no problem, just let me know that too.
Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge wins are not listed here but if you want to see the winners of that in-house prize through the years, go here.
Kimolisa Mings claimed an EC$1000 cheque for submitting the winning piece to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s ‘Love and Wanderlust’ romance writing campaign with “Rule No. 3”.
Bert Kirchner, Howard Allen, Dr. Alvin Edwards (contributions to film development), and Joanne C. Hillhouse (commitment to literacy) receive awards from the Antigua and Barbuda Film Academy/Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda.
Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) is a Canadian Screen Awards nominee for writing the episode ‘Eyes Up’ of season 3 of the TV series Coroner. Brathwaite was also selected in 2022 for the CBC-BIPOC TV & Film, CFC Showrunner Catalyst.
Motion shared the screenwriting award with Charles Officer, who is also the film’s director.
Elaine Jacobs, born in Antigua, though living most of her life in the US Virgin Islands was named in December 2021 as the winner of the Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for new or emerging writers from The Caribbean Writer. She won for the story ‘Going without Shoes’.
Tawhinda Tanya Evanson’s Book of Wings was named a Quill & Quire Book of the Year.
Kincaid was named one of 12 inaugural Royal Society of Literature honorees of the RSL International Writers Programme. The RSL International Writers programme was announced as part of RSL 200, a five-year festival launched in 2020 with a series of major new initiatives and 60 new appointments championing the great diversity of writing and writers in the UK. The programme is a new award recognising the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders to bring people together. RSL International Writers celebrates the many ways in which literature can shape a future world.
Joanne C. Hillhouse’s short story “Freedom Cup – The Games are Coming” was one of 30 stories long listed for the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean
– Canada-based Antiguan and Barbudan writer Gayle Gonsalves was a National Indie Excellence Finalist in Canada in the multi-cultural category for her novel My Stories have No Endings. She also placed second in the Women’s Fiction category of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and CIIPA Education and Literacy Foundation’s awards. She was named a distinguished favourite in the NYC Big Book Award.
Ripped Bodice Awards for Excellence in Romantic Fiction (2020) – Rilzy Adams, Go Deep. Adams has also been nominated for other books and other industry awards – Swoonies, Black Girls Who Write (Go Deep nominated for Best Black Erotica), and Rebel Women Lit readers choice among them (making it on to short lists in some cases).
Wadadli Pen 2020 winner Andre J. P. Warner’s winning story Bright Future for Tomorrow was awarded best short fiction in the first Rebel Women Lit Caribbean Readers Awards. Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse was a RWL CRA honoree . There were several other nominees from the Wadadli Pen family and from Antigua and Barbuda; full list of nominees can be found here.
Joanne C. Hillhouse’s short story “Vincent” was one of 21 stories long listed for the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean
Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the story “Shedding”
Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots won the 2020 Bocas Prize for his poetry collection Epiphaneia
The Directorate of Gender Affairs held its first ever Women of Wadadli Awards – a number of artists were recipients – Heather Doram (visual artist) for Culture, Noreen Phillips for Fashion, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator and author Joanne C. Hillhouse for Literature, Colleen Simpson (author of A Likkle Bit a Dis & a Likkle Bit a Dat) for Culinary Arts, dramatist, photographer, writer, and educator Zahra Airall for Fine Arts, Wadadli Pen partner and patron and a writer and dramatist in her own right Barbara Arrindell as a Change Maker, Marion Byron for Music, Mickel Brann for Media/Journalism, and Mako Williams, who is also a visual artist, for Science and Technology. Details in this WoW article in Observer
Richard Georges wins a fellowship to the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study – Georges is Trinidad born and lives in the BVI but he also has Antiguan roots
Winners of Flow Mobile Film Competition (Antigua and Barbuda) –
The top three winners in category 12-16 years
1st Sontee’ Beazer – “Independence”
2nd Jontae Cornelius -“What Independence Day Means to Me”
3rd Kaleb Kidane Hatton – “What does Independence mean to me”.
The top three winners from the category 17- 30 years old
1st Moses Wiltshire – “My Independence”
2nd Bernella Vidal – “What Independence Means To Me”
3rd Dalisha Spencer – “Independence”
The top three winners in the 31+ category
1st Romeo “Kulcha D” Reid – “Kulcha D Independence”
2nd Laune Isaac – “Reflections On Independence
3rd Colin John-Jenkins -“What Independence means to me”
The PEN America Literary Awards Longlist – The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey by Rowan Ricardo Phillips longlisted for the PEN/ESPN AWARD FOR LITERARY SPORTS WRITING ($5,000) To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2018
Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots won the Marvin E Williams prize from The Caribbean Writer for ‘X’ and was shortlisted for the Small Axe Poetry prize for “Darkening/Freeport”
Ashley Bryan – short-listed for the Kirkus Prize and received a Newberry Honor
Anisfield-Wolf book award + Griffin Poetry Prize for Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Philips
Joanne C. Hillhouse selected for the CaribLit editing workshop in Guyana
Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Commonwealth Short Story submission “Amelia at Devil’s Bridge” was selected for publication in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean – consisting entirely of brand-new stories by authors living in the region, gathered from among the very best entries to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize from islands throughout the Caribbean
Jamaica Kincaid receives the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award for See Now Then
Melissa Gomez and Cinque Productions’ film Silent Music wins Best Documentary feature at the Maine Deaf Film Festival
Rowan Ricardo Philips is a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award winner for poetry + NAACP Image Award finalist for Outstanding Literary Work, Poetry + PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry winner + Whiting Award winner, for The Ground
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, The Jungle Outside, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). 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.
The Guyana Prize for Literature has had cause to reschedule its time-table this year, and will not announce the Shortlist until after Carifesta XII, mainly because of the scheduling of the Regional Festival itself.
This is as a result of the closeness of the dates for the Guyana Prize activities to those of Carifesta. Some members of the Jury for both the Guyana Prize and the Caribbean Awards who are from other countries outside of Guyana, advised that they are involved in Carifesta on behalf of their own countries, and their availability would be made easier by a shifting of the dates. Earlier in the year when the Guyana Prize rescheduled its time-table for 2015, there had been no confirmation that Haiti would host Carifesta this year as originally planned in 2013.
We are therefore avoiding the month of August for all Guyana Prize activities and are not in a position to announce the Shortlist as previously planned. This will now be done in September. The date for the Awards Ceremony will then be advertised along with a literary festival that is expected to accompany it.
Guyana Prize for Literature
and Caribbean Awards.