Tag Archives: readers

Caribbean Readers Choice Lit Awards

The content in this post would usually be in a Caribbean Lit Plus post (the site’s twice monthly round up of regional arts news) but it merits its own. This is the Caribbean Readers Choice book awards courtesy of the Rebel Women Lit book club – an opportunity for Caribbean readers and readers of Caribbean books to, say, I’mma let you finish (insert prestigious literary awards here) but these are the books that the bookworms are actually stanning. The category breakdown is pretty interesting – I would add only Best children’s book, Best individual poem, and Best cover (of any genre) but there’s always tomorrow. As for today, eligible books would have been published between November 2019 and November 2020 (if I’m remembering correctly), if you’re wondering where your favourites are – books are reader nominated and (after being whittled to a short list) reader voted. So vote. In order announced on Rebel Women Lit’s live podcast, from which these images were screen captured, here is the shortlist of nominees.

First up was critics (this is not a voting category; just acknowledging)

(Now the categories you CAN vote in)

Big Congratulations to all the nominees. There are several books from my TBR listed, plus one I’ve actually reviewed, and voting is going to be hard because I know and/or love a lot of these writers and their writings, and the ones I don’t know, I look forward to discovering.

But this is Wadadli Pen. You know what I’m here for. The Antiguan and Barbudan nominees are:

Rilzy Adams (for best novel) with Birthday Shot. Rilzy is Rilys Adams, local lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist (2005, 2006), in addition to being a prolific self-published novelist.

Joanne C. Hillhouse (listed incorrectly as Hill above) in the short non-fiction category with ‘F is For…’ from the Caribbean Literary Heritage forgotten Caribbean books series. I am Joanne, writer and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator. This short listed article began as a research project for my Jhohadli blog which I later redrafted and contributed to the CLH series. I also find myself in an esteemed company of critics and all I have to say is I’m not worthy.

Several Wadadli Pen 2020 shortlisted writers (whoop whoop!) – Andre J P Warner (A Bright Future for Tomorrow), Zaniah Pigott (A Mermaid), Aria-Rose Browne (Fabled Truth), Cheyanne Darroux (Tom, the Ninja Crab, listed as Ninja Crab), William Henderson (The Beast of Barbados) – made the short list for best short fiction; and how dope would it be if one of them won. Vote!

Barbara Arrindell is one of two nominees (the other being Jamaican writer Pietra Brown) from the online platform started just last month by Antiguan and Barbudan gender activists in the short fiction category. Barbara, a local writer and Wadadli Pen team member, is nominated for Belonging to Barbuda.

We in the 268 don’t get a lot a lot of attention usually as far as canon fanfare is concerned but we made out okay this time. Thanks to Rebel Lit Woman for this initiative. This book lover is looking forward to voting; hope you are too. If voting isn’t open when you check, just check back.

Voting closes December 31st 2020.

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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Finding Readers, Finding Books

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(a book lover’s social media share)

An interesting social media post recently asked book lovers how they found new books, new authors – a question always of interest to authors like me always trying to land our promotion and marketing efforts where it can have the most impact.

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(Another book lover’s social media share)

Here are some of the other responses:

-friends’ recommendations (on social media… and, I would add, other places since more often than not these last few years of trying not to acquire new books until I can lighten my books-unread shelf, ‘new’ books have been thrust upon me by well meaning friends; and I can’t complain. As for how this affects my own promotional efforts, reader reviews are encouraged and used like those movie tag lines. They have proven especially useful being from a small place with my books receiving scant critical attention comparatively speaking, and, though that’s gotten better, I still welcome readers helping me create buzz by recc’ing a book of mine to readers in their network)

bookempt.gyal4(Yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: bookempt.gyal on instagram)

-reading  the book cover blurb and the first pages (online retail sites have made this easier, useful to me both as a reader and as a researcher building and sharing knowledge here on the site and in other places, but I remember I used to – and still – do this when shopping for or considering physical books. I even know people who, while browsing,  read the end and the middle to get a feel for the book – something the online retail sites have also made easier. I don’t get that part because, hello, spoilers. But I do try to accommodate readers’ need to know how it starts by publishing first pages on my Jhohadli blog)

-book related groups + review requests (this is the interaction part of social media, participating not just plugging, recommending other writers, not just pushing your own product; it’s time consuming but part of building community)

-freebies (as a writer and reviewer, with a blogger on books series, I get a number of requests to read books; and promotional giveaways have only gotten more plentiful in this age of internets.  It’s a bit more challenging to take on these reading assignments for the blog due to that time not being covered, plus it can be stressful, especially as I’ve been on the other side of this freebies for reviews relationship and know how it can feel when the person who copped the freebie doesn’t say word one about your book)

-recommendations on (person mentioned a specific literary platform but really all of them – not to mention #bookstagram #booktube the book blogging community and its many memes, and the myriad goodreads lists not to mention groups on facebook and specialized lists on twitter etc; it’s a lot to keep up with but I try to be in those spaces and try to connect my books with people in those spaces…of course, you have to give to get and that means making recommendations of your own)

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(Yet yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: baby making machine blog)

-Always ask my daughter (lol) – I like this one but this speaks to your real life reading partners and book clubs and the like, the book store employee who recs books he thinks you’ll like based on your reading history …those personal connections… book clubs and bookstores are among my mailing lists but beyond the lists are the relationships. Remember when you were in school and no two of you had a single penny to knock together but someone might have a book and that booked got passed around like mix tapes? How about that relationship with that friend you really see except for when it’s time for another book exchange every time a favourite author drops a new book? book conversations? book groups where there’s as much wine and idle chatter as book deep dives? you know what I mean) … it’s a beautiful thing.

oh gad in walmart posted by hadassa 2012
(book lover’s social media share)

How about you, where do you find your books?… authors, where do you find your readers?

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

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Anguilla Lit Fest – Some Photos

Yeah, I know, not the most imaginative headline. But these are some additional pictures from the Anguilla Literary Festival where, as an invited guest, I did a talk and reading at the public library, was part of a panel well attended by a number of students who’d read and studied my book The Boy from Willow Bend, and co-facilitated a youth writing workshop. Thanks, Anguilla, and thanks, Anguilla students, for your enthusiastic response to The Boy from Willow Bend. Hope you pick up Musical Youth with as much enthusiasm. Fingers crossed.

Signing autographs...yeah, I was surprised too.

Signing autographs…yeah, I was surprised too.

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See the boy to my left...he's already working on telling his own stories...that's what I like to hear.

See the boy to my left…he’s already working on telling his own stories…that’s what I like to hear.

I did a session at the Anguilla Public Library... that's a staff member (and the supplier of many of my Anguilla photos to my right) and to my left are other participating people in publishing - Philip Arnell, writer, Yona Deshommes, publicist, Annie Potts, writer and actress, and J. Ivy, poet and author.

I did a session at the Anguilla Public Library… that’s a staff member (and the supplier of many of my Anguilla photos to my right) and to my left are other participating people in publishing – Philip Arnell, writer, Yona Deshommes, publicist, Annie Potts, writer and actress, and J. Ivy, poet and author.

Audience at my panel.

Audience at my panel.

I love how enthusiastic this teacher was about The Boy from Willow Bend as well...she told a story about how responsive boys who didn't particularly like to read had been to it that made my day.I love how enthusiastic this teacher was about The Boy from Willow Bend as well...she told a story about how responsive boys who didn't particularly like to read had been to it that made my day.

I love how enthusiastic this teacher was about The Boy from Willow Bend as well…she told a story about how responsive boys who didn’t particularly like to read had been to it that made my day.I love how enthusiastic this teacher was about The Boy from Willow Bend as well…she told a story about how responsive boys who didn’t particularly like to read had been to it that made my day.

Showing each other some love...Benilde Little and J. Ivy.

Showing each other some love…Benilde Little and J. Ivy.

 For more pictures and just more you can check out my blog and this one as well which is more student specific.

Photos courtesy the Anguilla Public Library Service.

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,  Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. 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. And using any creative work without crediting the creator will open you up to legal action. Respect copyright.

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Burt Award: You Can Now Submit Your Books

Submissions are now being accepted for the second round of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature until October 24th, 2014.

Established by CODE with the generous support of Canadian philanthropist William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, in partnership with Bocas Lit Fest, the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature is an annual Award given to three English-language literary works for Young Adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors. 

A First Prize of $10,000 CAD, a Second Prize of $7,000 CADand a Third Prize of $5,000 CADwill be awarded to the winning authors this year.  

Publishers of winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies. Published books and self-published books published between 1 October 2012 and 23 October 2014, as well as unpublished manuscripts, are eligible for the award. All submissions must be received by the Bocas Lit Fest by 24 October 2014. The winners will be announced at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2015. 

To consult the guidelines and access the entry forms, please visit: www.bocaslitfest.com/burt-award-for-caribbean-literature

For additional information, please contact Catherine Belshaw, CODE’s Literary Awards Officer, at cbelshaw@codecan.orgor Bocas Lit Fest at burtaward@bocaslitfest.com    

Post note: re Burt Award YA for Caribbean Literature, Year 1 – winner and third placed writer were A-dZiko Gegele and Colleen Smith-Dennis (both of Jamaica) and Joanne C. Hillhouse (Antigua) placed second. Yes, that’s me; I encourage all Antiguan and Barbudan writers to get writing and submit. Readers, look out for my book Musical Youth which was submitted in manuscript form and will shortly be in the hands of teen and young adult Caribbean readers thanks to this prize.

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