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. She’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.
When 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!”
BAY HOUSE RESTAURANT @ TRADE WINDS HOTEL
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.
BEST OF BOOKS
“The Best of Books is a general bookshop, with the widest variety of books in the Eastern Caribbean.” Read more.
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.
BRENDA LEE BROWNE
Brenda 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
ELAINE 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.
HANDS ACROSS THE SEA
“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.
JOANNE C. HILLHOUSE
Founder/coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and Antiguan-Barbudan author. Read more.
That’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.
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.