Tag Archives: Wadadli Pen 2013


So, I thought I’d share some of the feedback to the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge 2013 season. In part because I hope it’ll continue to spark interest among other young writers still hiding their light under a bushel, potential patrons, media and the general public (and I hope that interest will translate into more support for the programme). In part, because I just want to take a moment to celebrate another successful year of pulling this off against the odds. Thanks to all patrons, partners, and well wishers; thanks especially to our young writers, FOR DARING (it’s not easy putting your work out there as all of us who’ve ever written a word and submitted it somewhere or even asked someone for feedback know all too well). So go read the stories, okay?

Okay, comments, here goes…

Comments VIA EMAIL (scrubbed of identification markers, I hope):

From the mom of one of our younger finalists:

“(My daughter) would like to thank the sponsors who donated her gifts and rest assured she will be reading them.  She has almost finished reading Trapped (in) Dunston’s Cave. She is all fired up and is already working on two pieces for next year.”


From one of the teachers:

“I really wanted to say thank you for affording my students and me the opportunity to share our stories and drawings. We will definitely by looking out for the next WADADLI PEN COMPETITION …Now that I’m exposed to what is expected (the stories that won were awesome!!!) I will definitely have to put in some extra work!! Awesome job!! You are a role model to aspiring writers. Shine on!!”

From one of the finalists:

“Just want to let you know that I think that the Wadadli Pen Prize is a great initiative and hope to see it continue!”


Left to right, overall winner Asha Challenger, third placed Zuri Holder, and second placed Daryl George.

Left to right, overall winner Asha Challenger, third placed Zuri Holder, and second placed Daryl George.



One teacher said:

“Congrats to Joanne C. Hillhouse and Barbara Arrindell (of the Best of Books) for keeping reading alive, and more importantly, for encouraging our young people to tell our own stories.”


Comment re St. John’s Catholic Primary’s win of US$500 worth of books from Hands across the Sea as the primary school with the most submissions:

“I am so proud to be a part of this school family. Blessings!!!”

“Congrats to my Primary School, I am so proud.”


To the overall winners:

“Education is power, keep up the good work; you guys are our future. I like what I see.”

Re winning story Asha Graham’s Revelations Tonight:

“I really enjoyed this… the scenery was amazing!”

Excerpts from reader comments AT CARIB ARENA:

“ Really like ‘Ceramic Blues’….we really need to come to terms with things and hypocrites in our midst. The story must be told!”


“Great to see this competition for our island’s young people. Congratulations to all winners! Keep up the great work, Joanne Hillhouse and others!”

Me, with the youngest of the 2013 Wadadli Pen finalists - art and lit. (Photo courtesy Antigua Chronicle)

Me, with the youngest of the 2013 Wadadli Pen finalists – art and lit. (Photo courtesy Antigua Chronicle)


“The Wadadli Pen Challenge is the ONLY serious story competition for the young people of A&B. It deserves far more support, from both the private and government sectors.”


“CONGRATULATIONS to all……keep working on the next chapter because ‘until the Lion tells (writes) his story it will always be told (written) by the hunter’. We’ve already heard a million hunter stories. It is a crying shame that this project, ‘The Wadadli Pen Challenge’ does not get the public support it deserves.”

Comments right here ON WADADLI PEN:

“Giant congratulations to ALL………….keep on taking it to the next chapter.”

“Keep Writing and a big Congrats to all the writers and winners this year.”

“Congratulations on a very timely story Mr. George, one need not be a rocket scientist “to get it”. I hope it gets read by more than just the “usual suspects”…………………….”

FINAL THOUGHT: Okay so for the first time, I think, I’ve left the comment section beneath the stories open. In the past, I felt very protective of the writers because of their ages and so closed the stories off to comments. But you know what, feedback is part of the writing life, so feel free to comment; but be constructive – abusive statements will be deleted.

Thanks for reading…and thanks to Antigua Chronicle for permitting the use of their photos.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen 2013, Wadadli Pen News


IMPORTANT UPDATE! GO here for Guidelines and here for Terms of Use for the Writing contest and here for the art guidelines. See Sponsors Here.

Wadadli Pen 2013 is here with a Challenge for both writers and artists.  A challenge also goes out to schools to encourage promising young writers and artists to enter, with 2013 patron, Hands across the Sea, promising US$500 worth of books to the primary and secondary schools with the most submissions.

Best of Books is once again partnered with Wadadli Pen and Conrad Luke has pledged EC$500 for a second straight year. But, as the Cushion Club contribution of an EC$50 gift certificate proves you don’t have to have big bank to support the programme; every contribution enhances the prize packages.

Most of the awardees of Wadalipen with Joanne Hillhouse

As usual, though, the organizers remind that Wadadli Pen isn’t just about prizes; it’s about encouraging expression, nurturing young talent, and showcasing that talent.

Artists must submit up to three Anansi-themed sketches per specific guidelines, the details of which are available on the Wadadli Pen site (https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com) or from the Best of Books. Writers have the option of submitting up to three entries in any genre and style, and on any topic, provided they are Caribbean in spirit, have not previously been published, and do not exceed the 600 word limit. To enter, you must be Antiguan-Barbudan, and aged 35 or younger.

For more including terms of submission, literary prompts, guidelines for both the literary and visual art components, and more, visit the site. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, email wadadlipen@yahoo.com

That’s also the submission address. The submission deadline is February 15th 2013. The winning artist may earn the opportunity to work on a book project, gaining some professional experience; and short listed writers will be taken through an editing and redrafting process designed to assist with their development as writers. Winning stories and images will be posted on the Wadadli Pen site and shared elsewhere as was the case when 2012 junior finalists Akeile Benjamin and Vega Armstrong, both 10, had their stories The Adventures of Mr. Coconut and Legend of the Sea Lords selected for publication in regional digital publication Anansesem.

Wadadli Pen, started in 2004, was also spotlighted in Caribbean Beat in 2012 and continues to attract support not only at home but abroad. Two of the 2013 patrons, donating copies of their acclaimed books, are Jamaican writers – both Commonwealth Short Story prize finalists – Diana McCaulay, author of Dog-Heart and Huracan, and Diane Browne, author of Island Princess in Brooklyn.

The Wadadli Pen is the brainchild of Joanne C. Hillhouse – author of Oh Gad! and other books. Her 2013 partners include the Best of Books manager Barbara ArrindellBarbara Arrindell – who proposed the art challenge as an audition for an illustrator-collaborator for her next book and who is also contributing copies of her previous books to the literary prize package. Also on board again are writers Floree Williams and Brenda Lee Browne – whose contribution includes two spots in her Just Write writers retreat; as well as Devra Thomas who won Wadadli pen in 2011 with her story Sands and Butterflies.

The only question left is what will you be writing about?

*images seen are from the 2012 Wadadli Pen Prize Giving Ceremony.


Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Wadadli Pen 2013, Wadadli Pen News