Tag Archives: sponsors

Thank You…and maybe you, too?

Thank you

This Wadadli Pen project leans heavily on the kindness of patrons and partners. It hasn’t always been smooth (quite the opposite), still I am thankful to them all. And happy to report that 2014 is off to a good start with patrons coming forward before I’ve even had the chance to approach them, two three so far.

One pledged since the end of last year is by choice Anonymous.

More recently, I have Junie Webson , an Antiguan based in the U.S. who reached out to me via http://www.facebook.com/JoanneCHillhouse wanting to support the literary arts in Antigua. After some discussion, she pledged to give, in cash and kind, gifts to the winners.

To the growing list, I can now add Guyanese writer Ruel Johnson who I met in 2003 at the Caribbean Canadian Literary Expo, where as a featured speaker (and youngest winner of the Guyana Literary Prize for Best First Book of Fiction), he spoke of the lack of nurseries for young writers in the region, something I’d recognized as a lack on my own path to becoming a writer. Though still very young in my own career, his speech inspired me to do something; and the Wadadli Youth Pen prize was launched in 2004. I am thankful to him therefore as we come up on our 10th anniversary for offering to contribute at least two copies each of Ariadne and Other Stories and his latest release, Fictions, which this year won him another Guyana Prize for Literature.

Latest addition is D. Gisele Isaac. Gisele, an Antiguan author (Considering Venus), was one of the original Wadadli Pen partners and the Challenge’s main judge. She opted out of the judging process in 2010 but continues to make annual contributions to the project; 2014 is no different. Though I still hope to lure her back as a judge, I am grateful for this gift.

Barbuda Express was one of our major patrons last year, offering three tickets for two to the sister island and they’re doing so again this year. With a possible bonus package – stay tuned. I’m surprised to learn that not all winners have yet cashed in their 2013 vouchers; get on that! The trip is well worth it as this person related in her review. Thanks, Barbuda Express for stepping up yet again.

Best of Books and its manager Barbara Arrindell (who will once again give copies of her books Antigua My Antigua and The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories) have been rocks to this programme. They are on board as partners and patrons. They do so much it seems impossible to try to itemize it – highlights include hosting the annual awards ceremony, emblazoning the winners name on the Challenge plaque, certificates, additional gifts and prizes, books, and providing advice and calm when things get chaotic. Thanks, guys.

Floree Williams a regular patron and partner is donating, once again, as well, copies of her first book Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses. Thanks, Flo.

I must mention here Antiguanice.com which from Wadadli Pen’s earliest years and even through the hiatus years maintained a page for the programme; and always readily help us get the word out by adding our content to their news pages. As one of the main online portals for Antigua and Barbuda, we can’t put a figure on this type of publicity. With this and 365antigua.com which has been similiarly gracious to us (hosting a page on their site, adding updates etc) in recent years, we’ve got the internet covered. Thanks to them both.

Joy Lawrence, profiled earlier on this site, has volunteered to assist with school outreach for the 2014 season, making her one of Wadadli Pen’s 2014 partners. Welcome, Joy, and Thank You. She’s gotten the Government Printery and Staff to assist with flyers as part of her efforts to promote the 2014 season in the schools.

Frank B. Armstrong has been very generous with us before and we’re happy to have them back. Thanks, Margo.

I can add returning patron Map Shop, a cornerstone of the Antigua and Barbuda literary scene and one of the foundation donors in our early years. Happy to have them back for the 2014 season.

Devra Thomas is the 2011 winner of Wadadli Pen. She aged out of the competition that same year but volunteered the following year; she was an enormous help…and she’s back again this year. Gratitude, Devra.

Latisha Walker-Jacobs was a top three finalist in the 18 to 35 age category in 2011 and a short listed writer in 2013. Like Devra she is no longer eligible to compete but is still eligible to participate as a volunteer. She has offered to do so and we are happy to have her on board.

Carol Mitchell is a St. Kitts-Nevis author, a past and future Wadadli Pen donor, and now also a volunteer as part of the 2014 judging team. How thrilled am I to have on board the author of the popular Caribbean Adventure series and 2013 nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Award, the world’s largest children’s award – named for the author of the Pippi Longstocking series, on our team? Too thrilled for words, that’s how. I had the opportunity to meet Carol when she came out last summer to conduct a session during the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project. She was generous with her time then and is preparing to be so again; for that, I say, thank you.

Lia Nicholson was a finalist in the first year of Wadadli Pen. She’s now off doing other things in other places but she reached out recently to say some very positive things about Wadadli Pen recently and I repaid her by roping her into assisting with the promotion (as part of our campaign to attract an increased number of entries) by doing some media rounds next time she’s on island. She was very gracious in acceptance. Thanks, Lia.

Linisa George well known to the local literary community for her work with Women of Antigua (When a Woman Moans and local stagings of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues) and August Rush (Expressions Open Mic and Young Poets Society of Antigua and Barbuda; as well as a writer in her own right and publisher of the online magazine Black Girl in the Ring was part of last year’s voluteer team; happy and thankful to have her back.

CaribbeanReads Publishing, Publisher of the Caribbean Adventure Series and now sponsor of our first ever Lead by Example Teachers’ Prize for Writing (teachers, have you started writing?)

Brenda Lee Browne has been our main judge since 2010. In 2012 and 2013, she’s also contributed spots in her Just Write Writers Retreat. We are thankful for her service. This year in lieu of time she’ll be contributing a cash prize to our prize package.We are most grateful.

The Cushion Club is a kids’ reading club I’ve volunteered with for several years (albeit less actively these days). The Cushion Club chief who doesn’t like me to call his name finds ways for the Club which is already a voluntary initiative to give back. So he sponsors a school prize and he sponsors a gift for the Wadadli Pen prize package. He’s confirmed that he will continue to do so and we’re thrilled to have him and a little less thrilled that we can’t call his name because he deserves plenty props.

We have another Joy onboard…oh happy day! This Joy is the owner of Art at the Ridge. She’ll be one of our art judges and will also be contributing prizes. Whoot! Whoot!

Elaine Spires has given copies of her books to Wadadli Pen over the past couple of years; this year she’s giving something even more important to a budding writer – her time and the benefit of her experience – she’ll be a mentor to one of our finalists. As Wadadli Pen aspires to be developmental, this is the kind of prize we’d like to have been able to offer since year one; so, thanks for that, Elaine.

Pearson is the publisher of my picture book Fish Outta Water and lots of other reading material. There’ll be sharing stuff from their stacks with our winners. We’re thankful for their contribution.

Thanks to them both all and I look forward to more.

If you would like to give to Wadadli Pen, supporting both the literary arts and youth development in Antigua and Barbuda, please contact me at wadadlipen@yahoo.com For more about the programme read this. Also visit the individual project years, read the stories of the past winners, and hopefully you’ll become as excited about this project as I have been even with the ups and down. Looking forward to your support.

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, 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.

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Our Alphabet of 2013 Sponsors

UPDATED! The Wadadli Pen 2013 season is done and the awards ceremony was held on Sunday 7th April, 4 p.m. at the Best of Books. See winners here. Speaking of the Best of Books, mad props to them for being the kind of partner that it’s a pleasure to work with. Gratitude also to my partner judges Floree Williams, Linisa George, chief judge Brenda Lee Browne; and past winner Devra Thomas for her invaluable assistance throughout the life of this year’s challenge. Couldn’t have done it without them or without the patrons listed below:

One of Antigua and Barbuda’s most esteemed and prolific writers. Her most recent collection (So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End), as editor, brings a who’s-who and a who-is-becoming of Antiguan and Barbudan writers together. Layout 1She’ll be contributing copies of the new collection to the Wadadli Pen 2013 prize haul.

ART AT THE RIDGE has delivered a handful of gifts  featuring the art work of Edison Liburd and Lyris Tracy for our prize package to art winners; because what other way to encourage these young artists by exposing them to more art.


UntitledWhen I asked Barbara, manager of Wadadli Pen partner bookstore the Best of Books and writer, to kick in three copies of her new book The Legend of Batman’s Cave and other Antiguan Stories, she promptly responded, “Yup – and 2 of the colouring book.” The colouring book is her 2011 release Antigua My Antigua. Thanks, Barbara.

We received a prompt response from Barbuda Express, a past and now returning patron, re accomodating at minimum one of our finalists with tickets for two, at best a group of us including finalists and Wadadli Pen ‘staff’ for a trip over to the Sister Island.  In the end, they agreed to give  three of the finalists two tickets each and we are thankful for their generosity and for this bit of encouragement: “I am a 100% behind you when it comes to reading, and (encouraging) young people(‘s) minds!”

One of the first to respond to our official solicitation letters, Bay House is on board with a gift voucher for lunch for two for one of the winners. I’ve lunched there a couple of times and it’s a nice spot; food is good, atmosphere is good, view is good, service is good, and clearly they have a spirit of philanthropy so, it’s all good. Thanks, Ms. Carter and Ms. Gordon.

“The Best of Books is a general bookshop, with the widest variety of books in the Eastern Caribbean.” Read more.

2012 winner with Best of Books rep.

2012 winner with Best of Books rep.

Best of Books is a Wadadli Pen partner several years running and will be contributing not only prizes toward the final prize packages but will also organize and host the awards ceremony and lend other support behind the scenes.

374021_10151324147836833_658497388_nBrenda Lee Browne has fit us into her busy jet setting schedule these past few years and she does not know the heights of our gratitude; seriously, I don’t know what I would have done without her slotting into the chief judge spot since our 2010 return. Added to that, she supports as sponsor through her Just Write Programme, giving up two sponsored spots in 2012 and now again in 2013 Just Write Writers Retreat to two of our finalists. Thanks, B.

carol mitchellCAROL MITCHELL
The St. Kitts-Nevis born author will be giving two three-packs of her Caribbean Adventure Series, which includes the books Adventure at Brimstone HIll, Pirates at Port Royal, and Trapped in Dunston’s Cave. She’s also given a copy of her Seascapes. This will be a great addition to the gift packs of the under 12s in the 2013 Wadadli Pen Challenge, and really any child under 12 for parents interested in getting their children – and especially their boys – reading.


Her Road to Wadi Halfa is international fiction, set in northern Africa, Europe and the Caribbean and taking on international politics. She’s donating copies of this and its predecessor Tides that Bind.

For the second year running, Lukie, a local businessman and socio-cultural activist will contribute EC$500 to the prize package. Lukie is the type of patron you hope for. He takes the initiative, he commits for the long game, and lets you do your thing without interference beyond his equally generous encouragement and support. We thank him for his passion and philanthropy.

The Cushion Club is a reading club for kids. As a long time volunteer, I’ve written about it on this site for years. So, you may be wondering about one non profit sponsoring  another. Actually the EC$50 book gift certificate being given in the Cushion Club’s name is as usual (this isn’t their first time giving) being sponsored by a donor who insists on remaining anonymous.

Jamaican children’s author and text book editor, winner of her country’s Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, the  Book Industry Association of Jamaica Awards, and a special prize for Best Children’s Story from the Commonwealth Foundation (2011 for The Happiness Dress). Read more.

540919_459821044080572_1082516529_n[1]Brown has contributed two copies of her book Island Princess in Brooklyn, described in one review as “a delightful read”.

Award winning Jamaican writer and winner of the Commonwealth Foundation regional short story prize. Her books have been short listed for several international awards. Read more.

Diana at the Huracan launch at the Mona Visitors Lodge and Conference Centre at the University of the West Indies with Professor Edward Baugh. (Photo courtesy Diana McCauley)

Diana at the Huracan launch at the Mona Visitors Lodge and Conference Centre at the University of the West Indies with Professor Edward Baugh. (Photo courtesy Diana McCauley)

Featured earlier this year on Wadadli Pen, Diana McCaulay has subsequently pledged copies of her books Dog-Heart (“a notable achievement”) and Huracan (“A very good read – highly recommended“) to the 2013 prize package.

Dorbrene O'Marde signing copies of his book at the launch.

Dorbrene O’Marde signing copies of his book at the launch.

DORBRENE O’MARDE, respected Antiguan playwright and calypso song writer, has published his first novel, Send Out You Hand – which “follows the intersecting lives of business men and women, socio-political activists and academics across the Caribbean as they attempt to chart a course to regional unity.” He has agreed to cntribute three copies to the Wadadli Pen prize package.

Elaine2ELAINE SPIRES who has been generous to the programme this year and last; this year adding to our prize haul a copy of her new book, Sweet Lady in which “celebrity artist Eleanor West and her daughter Victoria take a winter holiday in Antigua with the idea of recharging their batteries before Eleanor’s upcoming exhibition until Tyrone walks into their lives, turning things upside down.”

FLOREE WILLIAMS has been part of the Wadadli Pen team since 2012 and a prize donor a little bit longer than that. She’s still on board as the former and offered to be the latter yet again. Her books are Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses and Through a Window.

“Dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children. Hands Across the Sea sends great new books and works with local educators and U.S.Peace Corps Volunteers to create borrowing libraries and sustainable positive change.” Read more. Hands will contribute a book donation worth US$500 to the primary school with the most students submitting; and another US$500 worth of books to the secondary and/or tertiary school with the most students submitting.

HEAVENLY JAVA 2 GO …they’ll be giving a gift certificate.

JANE SEAGULL A Michigan born artist resident in Antigua and Barbuda 20 plus year’s she’s known for her offbeat style. We look forward to the original journal she’ll be creating for our winning author.

Founder/coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and Antiguan-Barbudan author. Read more.

Antigua launch of Oh Gad at Best of Books photo by BYZIAPhotographyThat’s me. I’ll be kicking in personal copies of my book Oh Gad! (“an excellent written portrait of elements of our society in the 21st century“),  The Caribbean Writer Volume 26 which includes my poem “Mango Season” and In the Black: New African Literature which includes my story “Man of her Dreams” – signed, sealed, delivered.

KEYONNA BEACH, a delightful beachside restaurant on the southwest coast, is gifting us lunch for two.

KRIS RAMPERSAD will be contributing a copy of her LITTSCAPES: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago.

KOREN NORTON is a social worker, counselor, and author of self help guides who runs her own book-bag back to school charity where she outfits kids with school supplies at the start of the new school year. She appreciates other programmes like ours that reach out to young people and is gifting us with a small cash contribution for which we are most grateful.

Marie Elena John reading at Wadadli Pen and Museum showcase/fundraiser, 2006 (Photo by Gemma Hazelwood)

Marie Elena John reading at Wadadli Pen and Museum showcase/fundraiser, 2006 (Photo by Gemma Hazelwood)

MARIE ELENA JOHN has offered us a copy of her critically acclaimed Unburnable – also a Hurston Wright Legacy Award nominee – for the second straight year; and we say thanks.

PAM ARTHURTON OF CARIB WORLD TRAVEL AND THE ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL is not a new patron of Wadadli Pen. We’re happy to have her back this year again. Each year we give a pen – a practical and symbolic gift – given our title and the craft of writing (even in the IT age). This year the sponsor of the somewhat pricey gift opted out but thankfully Pam has opted in. As this gift is a staple of our annual Challenge, we are very thankful to her for agreeing to do so.

RAW ISLAND PRODUCTS contributed a gift bag of some of their all natural items. We’re thankful for their initiative nd their generosity.

SILVER LINING is a supermarket in my home community of Ottos. They too have contributed a gift to the pot.

STEPHEN B. SHOUL has contributed to Wadadli Pen from the jump, without hassle or hustle; we are thankful for patrons like them. This year they’re breaking with their usual tradition (a pen) and giving us a $200 gift certificate. We remain thankful.

To find past patrons, go here.

This is the page of individuals, businesses and other groups which have so far committed to the 2013 Wadadli Pen Challenge. There is one other donor who insists on remaining anonymous but who has our thanks nonetheless. And finally a big up to our media partners, to all the media who help us get the word out considering that we have no advertising budget. Among these we single out as we do each year Antigua Nice and 365 Antigua both of which keep our presence on their site live.

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The awards ceremony for the Wadadli Pen 2012 Challenge in partnership with the Best of Books is set for 6:30 p.m., March 31st at the Best of Books, #1 Village Walk Mall. I’m in the process of collecting the pledged prizes from sponsors spread across the island and across the water…

UPDATED 30/03/12 – It’s been an abundance of riches these past few days and I just haven’t had the time to write about it. In addition to the offers reported in the last update, IWC and Little Antigua Island Tour have dropped off their gifts. We’ve heard from Marie Elena John re contributions of her book Unburnable; we got more than we bargained for when we collected from Australian Homemade, ABI Insurance, and the Best of Books today; muchos gracias to them for the extras. That’s what I call a giving spirit.

UPDATED 27/03/12 – Not collected yet but received word today from Cedric Holder of the Cushion Club and K C Nash of the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda that both groups will be making contributions to the 2012 Wadadli Pen prize package. ABI Insurance and Australian Homemade are also on board with their promised commitment and then some. Still collecting, stay tuned.

UPDATED 24/03/12 – We also have copies of Barbara Arrindell’s Antigua My Antigua, my Boy from Willow Bend; Adventure Antigua – I’ve done this as well, and it’s sooo relaxing and informative; the Best of Books; and Frank B. Armstrong.

UPDATED 22/03/12 – Just in gift certificates for three of our winners, from Ondeck.

UPDATED 17/03/12 – These just in: cash prizes from D.Gisele Isaac and Jabberwocky; gift certificates from Blue Waters, Caribbean Helicopters, and Keyonna Beach Hotel; a copy of one of my books from me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) and flash drives (three of them) from ACT.

UPDATED 11/03/12 to add: I’ve received the vouchers from two of our esteemed writers, Elaine Spires, currently performing on the West End in London, and Brenda Lee Browne, currently jetsetting in India; Elaine is giving copies of her books What’s Eating Me and Singles’ Holiday and Brenda Lee is giving two spots at her writers’ retreat later in the year. Excellent!

UPDATED (09/03/12) to add: thanks to Conrad Luke who has followed through on his commitment to give a $500 gift certificate for books redeemable at the Best of Books for the school with the most submissions – a way of encouraging even greater participation; and thanks to Jolly Beach Resort (and especially GM Vernon Jeffers) from whom I’ve now collected a voucher for a day pass for two – btw, I know someone that did this and they had a thoroughly enjoyable time so it should be fun.

Have the second of these in hand. It’s a Cross Century II Medalist Ball point Pen (which retails for EC$215.00) and comes with a lifetime guarantee for mechanical failure and is chrome in colour with 23 karat gold plated appointments.  For practical and symbolic purposes, we’ve sought a pen of high value as a gift from the very beginning of Wadadli Pen. Stephen B. Shoul has been the one to give in 2005, 2006, and now again in 2012. Killing us not just with clothes (per their old ad) but with their generousity.

That was the second of the prizes to come in as earlier the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour people emailed us their gift certificate which entitles the bearer to a full course for two (I’ve done it, it’s a scream!). We’ve just got to get it printed. Grateful to them for their prompt delivery.

As always, we encourage you to support our sponsors because, of course, we want them to keep on giving.

Stay tuned for more on this year’s prizes and sponsors.

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2011 Sponsors and Partners

(This list will continue to grow as names are added, so keep checking back)

2011 Partners:

The Best of Books

Brenda Lee Browne (media and communications consultant/writer)

Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau (poet)

Renee Phillip (art teacher)

More on Past partnerships and Wadadli Pen history here.

2011 Sponsors:

ABI Insurance

Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Limited

Seven Seas (via Antigua and Barbuda distributor Frank B. Armstrong)

The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

The International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda

D. Gisele Isaac (author of Considering Venus; screenwriter, No Seed and the Sweetest Mango; fmr. Wadadli Pen judge)


Floree Williams (author of Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through A Window)


Edison Arts

K & E Party Time and Rentals

Jennifer Meranto

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Marcel Marshall

See past sponsors here

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Me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) with a representative for past sponsor Cable & Wireless (now LIME).

As we continue to solicit support for the Best of Books Wadadli Pen Challenge 2011, we take a moment to say thanks (and be sure to support) the sponsors who’ve assisted us through the years. We single out especially those who’ve given substantially and/or continuously over the years (whether time, gifts, or money) such as:

ABI Insurance
Alstyne Allen
Antigua Barbuda International Literary Festival
Armelle Chatelier and the OECS Cultural Portal
Barbuda Express (with Nedd Tours)
Best of Books
Brenda Lee Browne
BWIA (now Caribbean Airlines)
Cable and Wireless (now LIME)
Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.
Caribbean Star Airlines
Caribbean Union Bank
Cedric Holder and the Cushion Club
Charmaine Thomas
Colombian Emeralds
Computer Reset
D. Gisele Isaac
Deb Andrews
Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau
Edison Arts (Edison Liburd)
Floree Williams
Frank B. Armstrong (distributor for Seven Seas)
Heather Doram
International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda [formerly the American Women’s Club]
Jennifer Meranto
Jewell Parker Rhodes
K & E Party Time and Rentals
Ken Shipley
King Progress Music Shop
Marcel Marshall
Mark Brown
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

Observer Group
Renee Philip
Sharon Embroidery Creations
Stephen B. Shoul
Young Explorer/Douglas Allen


ABS TV/ABS Radio              Althea Prince                          Anicol

Anjo Wholesale                       Antigua Jewellers                 AT & T Wireless

Bailey’s Jewellery                   Barry’s                                      Big Banana

C J Communications             Canadian Scholars Press       Caribbean Helicopters

Cyber Centre                           Community First                     Courts

Dawn Gibson                          Deluxe Cinema                        Denise Francis

Electronic World                    Exotic Antigua

Family Radio                          Flo’s Perfume Plus

Guidance and Learning Centre                                              Global Bank of Commerce

HAMA Productions               Happy Kids                              Harpers

Heritage Hotel                        HERO House                           Hitachi                                          Howell Jewellers

Images.Cam                            Info Tech Solutions                Insomniac Press

Jolly Beach Resort

Kool Net                                 Leon ‘Chaku’ Symister           Macmillan

Map Shop                                Maxine Allen                          Motion

O K Johnny                             Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group

Photogenesis                           S.E. James                               Sight Sound and Time

The Source                              Spirit of Nature                       Subway

TMA Handprinted                  Woods Pharmacy                   Women’s Press


Coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse  

(N.B. any oversights are not intentional)

To give email us at wadadlipen@yahoo.com



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