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PRESS RELEASE – WADADLI PEN FIRST: FATHER AND DAUGHTER WIN

A Wadadli Pen first – father and daughter in the top 3.

Kevin Liddie’s name has been added to the Alstyne Allen Memorial Plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books, as winner of the 2021 Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge. The writer of ‘Mildred, You No Easy’, benefiting from the opening up of the usually youth-focused Prize, finds himself in company with his 13-year-old daughter Antigua Girls High School student Aunjelique, third placed with her poem ‘The Beach’. Teen, Ashley-Whitney Joshua, author of ‘Hiraeth’, ranks second. Wadadli Pen congratulates them for emerging victorious from among 72 entries. The announcement of winners was made on May 30th 2021, in the second year of virtual awards.

This virtual shift is not the only way ‘2020’ impacted Wadadli Pen; ‘2020’ was also a subtheme. The subtheme winner is Jason Gilead, whose story ‘The Great Old Woodslave’ is also an honourable mention for the Wadadli Pen 2021 main prize. Sheniqua Greaves, ‘The Juxtaposed Reprieve’, is honourable mention for both the ‘2020’ subtheme prize and the main prize.

Other main prize honourable mentions are last year’s winner Andre Warner, ‘The Brave One’, and 15-year-old Christ the King High School student Razonique Looby, ‘Vixen’.

The other special prize in 2021 is the 12 and younger prize. Gazelle Goodwin, a 12-year-old Island Academy student and writer of the poem ‘Beautiful Disaster’, will be the first name on the Zuri Holder Achievement Award – a new plaque memorializing the former Wadadli Pen 12 and younger finalist who died in a road accident earlier this year. The prize is sponsored by his family.  Nine-year-old Baptist Academy student, ‘The Blackboard’ author Eunike Caesar, is honourable mention in the 12 and younger age category.

The school with the most submissions was St. Anthony’s Secondary School and a couple of their students Aria-Rose Browne, also a finalist last year, and Naeem DeSouza are on the Wadadli Pen 2021 long list.

Reportedly, the school has incorporated Wadadli Pen in to its curriculum. “We are going to do so much better next year,” said teacher Margaret Irish during the awards. “I dare any other school in this country to try to beat us.”

All long listed writers – including former finalist Latisha Walker-Jacobs, Linita Simon, Anastatia Mayers, Jai Francis, Annachiara Bazzoni, Kadisha Valerie, Rosemond Dinard-Gordon, and Noleen Azille – will have the opportunity to participate in development workshops sponsored by US based Jamaican Garfield Linton and facilitated by Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator-patron and Antiguan and Barbudan author Joanne C. Hillhouse.

Rotary Club of Antigua was a first-time major patron in 2021. RCA member Kevin Silston, who attended the virtual awards, explained, “Rotary usually supports the spelling bee (and reading) competition and this year in particular because of the COVID related challenges, we were unable to do that. More broadly, this year, our theme has been opening opportunities by supporting youth development and healthy lifestyle choices. …Us coming on board to be able to provide some support allows us to execute our mandate while at the same time supporting a worthy cause.”

Other prizes have been contributed by past Wadadli Pen finalists Rilys Adams, Daryl George, and Devra Thomas; new patrons the Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Lit Fest, Harper Collins UK, Peepal Tree Press (UK), Jamacia’s Poet Laureate Olive Senior, Ten Pages Book Store, Sekou Luke and new local writer Patricia Tully; and long time patrons Frank B. Armstrong, Juneth Webson, and Barbara Arrindell.

Marcella Andre, owner of another first time patron NIA Comms, which ran its own NIA Mentor Award earlier this year, said, “Wadadli Pen is something that inspires creativity and I think that is something that’s very important…I want to support people who want to get their thoughts out in to the world.”

For Awards clips go to the Wadadli Pen YouTube   and to read the stories visit the Wadadli Pen blog. The team members – Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Margaret Irish, Devra Thomas, and Floree Williams Whyte – thank all patrons, media, partners, past and present for bringing the project from 2004 to the present, nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

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Who Won What in 2018?

The annual Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge is winner take all in 2018. That means – no category breakdowns – one winner.

WINNER

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Winner Kyle Christian, centre, flanked by Wadadli Pen partner Floree Whyte, left, and Joanne C. Hillhouse, right, holding the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque with all the winners’ names since 2004 and his various prizes. (photo by Glen Toussaint)

KYLE CHRISTIAN
Kyle is a 28-year-old former journalist and radio news presenter who currently works in public relations. He has a degree in Economics and Finance, but clearly also has a love of words. His story ‘Creak’ in keeping with the historical fiction/poetry theme of the 2018 Challenge is set in the early part of the 20th century in the period when sugar was waning and the Americans on the base were flashing money. It is a story in the spirit of the Sparrow calypso Jean and Dinah, and, says the writer, was also influenced by the August Wilson play Fences.

Excerpt:

Agnes knew her mother knew what she was doing. Ever since the American bases opened, bars [had] popped up to service the needs of the servicemen; and women who worked at the bars were seen as suspect.

But Agnes, at 21 years, needed to make her own money. She told herself she would only do it for a short time.

“Mommy cut cane, daddy cut cane, granny cut cane. Everybody cutting blasted cane! Well not me,” she said. It was how she stayed motivated when doubt crept in. READ CREAK IN FULL.

Judges’ Comment: “This story encompassed the theme perfectly and was well written.”

Prize Breakdown:

Name on the Challenge Plaque & Winners’ Certificate – Donor: The Best of Books

Cash – EC$2937.65 – Donors: Pam Arthurton (EC$500), International Women’s Club (EC$500), Frank B. Armstrong (EC$500), Conrad Luke (EC$500), Juneth Webson (US$200=EC$537.65), Art. Culture. Antigua (EC$300), Carol Mitchell ($100)

Books – Antigua My Antigua (1), The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories (1), With Grace (1), Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (1), Just Write Writers Journal (1), London Rocks (1), and other books – Donors: Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Brenda Lee Browne, the Best of Books

Gift Certificate for books (EC$100) – Donor: Cedric Holder for the Cushion Club

Other gifts – custom Journal – Donor: Jane Seagull, custom gift cards – Donor: Monique S. Simon & the Caribbean Folklore Project, scholarship valued at EC$300 to participate in the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series – Donor: Joanne C. Hillhouse; gift certificate valued at EC$225 – Donor: Danz’s Sweet Dreams

 

***

HONOURABLE MENTIONS
ANDRE WARNER, ROSIE PICKERING, ANDRECIA LEWIS, CHLOE MARTIN, AVA RALPH

Andre (Andre)

Pickering(Rosie)

Andrecia (Andrecia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe (Chloe)

Ava (Ava)

(Thanks to London Rocks and Just Write Writers’ Retreat Journal author Brenda Lee Browne for assisting with prize presentations)

Excerpts:
“I was there when the first African came as slaves to the white man, the first to carve an escape trail; I led them through the winding brush to the hills of safety away from their master’s whip.” – Andre Warner, 20, The Oldest Native

“In the Bohio I cook,
In the hamaka I rest but
Today we celebrate the life of Mama
She will visit Coyaba
To dance and feast forever” – Rosie Pickering, 14, St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Damarae

“Go out into the uncharted oceans and capture those who are polytheistic,
Those who worship Zemis and Tlaloc,
Those who offer sacrifices in the name of Huitzilopochtli,
Make them your slaves.” – Andrecia Lewis, 18, Antigua State College, Sunday School
(Andrecia was also a 2017 finalist)

‘I told her master screams and shouts sometimes
Perplexed and confused she blinked her eyes
She said, “Master who?”
“Where is Chief Mkuuwa Kichu?”’ – Chloe Martin, 14, St. Anthony’s Secondary School, A Song to Sing

“All those gods and what did they do
They watched us leave
In silver chains
Skin polished
But where is my altar
Now I’m souled out” – Ava Ralph, 17, Antigua State College, Fummestory Herstory History
(Ava was also a 2017 finalist)

Prize Breakdown:

Training Session: “Presenting: Telling your story orally” – Donor: Barbara Arrindell & Associates

Books & certificates – Donor: The Best of Books

***

SCHOOLS’ PRIZE

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Marissa Walter, back row left, represented for St. Andrew’s and we encourage her to continue encouraging her students to express themselves. She is pictured with all the winners and two of the Wadadli Pen partners. (This and all photos in this post by Glen Toussaint)

ST. ANDREW’S PRIMARY SCHOOL

Prize Breakdown:

Books – With Grace (2), Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (1), The Wonderful World of Yohan (1), Antigua My Antigua (1), Other books and prizes including a storytelling hour with Uncle Glen – Donor: Floree Whyte and Moondancer Books, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Barbara Arrindell, The Best of Books

***

Thanks to all prize donors and congratulations to all 60+ participants; special thanks as well to media like Antigua Nice, Observer Media Group, Antigua Chronicle, and others for assisting with the promotion of the Challenge this season, and, in the case of Antigua Nice, Wadadli Pen all year round. – Joanne C. Hillhouse, founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize f/ myself and other partners (Floree Whyte, Margaret Irish, Devra Thomas, and Barbara Arrindell). Special thanks to these partners without whom this season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge would not have been possible.

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A Teacher Claims the 2017 Wadadli Pen Prize

PRESS RELEASE

A Teacher Claims the 2017 Wadadli Pen Prize

Twenty-three year old Kaeiron Saunders Saunders croppedwas announced, at the Wadadli Stories Book Fair on May 13th, as the 2017 winner of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge. Saunders, a lecturer at St. Anthony’s Secondary School (SASS), only the second teacher to be added to the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaquechallenge plaque, won the main prize and her age category, 18 to 35, with the poem ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Auntie Gah’.

The Wadadli Pen Challenge, an Antigua and Barbuda literary prize launched in 2004, requires that entries be Caribbean, while leaving the interpretation of that up to the writers’ imagination. For some it can be constricting, for others an opportunity to freely imagine a transforming Caribbean. This poem does both, acknowledging the confines of the same story told over and over,

‘“Not another island story, Auntie,
I’ve heard it all before”
But every year, around this time
Auntie Gah would add more.’

As it presents and critiques this nostalgic approach to Caribbean storytelling, it, also, makes the point that neither the Caribbean nor our perception of it is fixed in time.

“Hush and listen to my story
The point is not to criticize
But to show that the good within a society
Is relative to each new generation’s eyes”

That this rhythmic poem both acknowledges and subverts the clichés, earned the judges’ approval. They dubbed it a “great piece!”

Also coming in for approval were Devon WuilliezDevon, a 16-year-old Island Academy student, for her poem, ‘The Great Big Dumz’, and 11-year old Zion Ebony WilliamsZion, of Baptist Academy, for her story ‘Those who don’t hear, will feel’. Both won their respective age categories – 13 to 17, and 12 and younger – on the way to claiming the 2nd and 3rd prize overall.

It’s worth noting that while Saunders and Wuilliez are first-timers, Williams first submitted to Wadadli Pen in 2014 and has made two previous trips to the finals of her age category before this year claiming the top spot and a spot in the overall top three. For organizers this line-up is reflective of what Wadadli Pen hopes to do: encourage new voices to come forward, challenge practicing voices to keep pushing themselves, and foster growth in terms of the craft of writing in Antigua and Barbuda.

Other long listed writers are Andrecia Lewis (author of ‘Strange’), enrolled at the Antigua State College; Ava C. Ralph (author  of ‘Non Fiction?’), of Antigua Girls High School; Francis Yankey (author of ‘And She Sang Fire’), of the Antigua Grammar School; Fayola Jardine (author of ‘Shakiyah and the Mango Hater’); Lucia Murray (author of ‘Mr. Duppy’), a student at SASS; Shadiael Simmons (author of ‘Brave 11-year-old saves Baby from Fire’), a student at Baptist Academy; St. Andrew’s students Emma Belizaire (author of ‘Cricket is My Life’) and Ashley Francis (author of ‘Our Caribbean’), plus Island Academy, the school with the most submissions. Their rewards are a mix of cash, gifts, and time. Contributing patrons are Art. Culture. Antigua, Barbuda Express, the Best of Books, Brenda Lee Browne, Caribbean Reads Publishing, Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis, the Cushion Club, Danz’s Sweet Dreams, the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank, Frank B. Armstrong, Harper Collins, the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda, Jane Seagull, Jennifer Meranto, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Juneth Webson, Little Bell Caribbean, Monique S. Simon and the Caribbean Folklore Project, Paperclips, Raw Island Products, the West Indies Cricket Board, and one other regular patron who prefers to remain anonymous.

For the full breakdown of winners and prizes, and to read the winning stories, visit wadadlipen.wordpress.com

==END==

This is the press release circulated for media use about the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge after the May 13th 2017 Awards during the Wadadli Stories Book Fair. Please feel free to share. If you have questions, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

Featured image courtesy, a group shot of finalists and Wadadli Pen coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, at the awards, courtesy Art. Culture. Antigua.

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Who Won in 2016?

THE WADADLI YOUTH PEN PRIZE 2016 CHALLENGE has been held in Antigua and Barbuda since 2004. It was conceptualized and is coordinated by author Joanne C. Hillhouse who intends the programme to be developmental – nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda by providing incentive and a platform via the annual Challenge. The Challenge is intended to be more than a contest (and unlike your typical contest the longlisted writers receive edit notes from the judges to help them improve their pieces) and Wadadli Pen (which through this blog has provided an online platform for Antiguan and Barbudan arts with an emphasis on the literary arts) aspires to be more than its annual Challenge. The Challenge has been the most consistent offering to date and has dug up and/or encouraged a lot of talented writers over the years, and hopes to continue doing so. A word on prizes – that’s never the purpose of writing but the reason we seek monetary prizes among the other gifts is to reinforce the value of the arts, that writers deserve to be paid for their creative and intellectual output. The best way to support the arts is by investing in the arts. So hopefully, if you’re reading this, you’ll support the businesses that support the arts and/or become a business that supports the arts. Okay, enough soapboxing. Here’s the breakdown of the 2016 winners and prizes. 

Please note that each winner also receives a certificate and the winner’s name is emblazoned onto the Challenge plaque – (renamed) the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque with the names of all the winners through the years sponsored by the Best of Books which also assists Wadadli Pen in other ways, including hosting the awards ceremony.

WINNER – SCHOOL WITH THE MOST SUBMISSIONS
Christ the King High School

Prizes & Sponsors
The following books (x2) sponsored by Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel and the now defunct Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival:

selected poemsLorna Goodison’s Selected Poems
Prosperos DaughterProspero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez
the women who raised meThe Women who raised me by Victoria Rowell

& leftovers of the books (x2) contributed in 2015 by CODE – Sponsors of the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean Literature:

alloverAll Over Again by A-dziko Simba Gegele
Inner-city-Girl-School-Edition_webInner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis

& contributed by the Best of Books Musical YouthMusical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse (2)

TOP THREE – OVERALL
WINNER- Daryl George (author of Tropical Moonlight Sonata)

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Wadadli Pen 2016 winner Daryl George, centre, poses with the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque named in honour of a late member of the original Wadadli Pen family. Pictured, left, is a member of her family, Douglas Allen, and, right, Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and friend of the deceased whose official tenure with the programme ran from 2004 to 2006. (Photo courtesy The Best of Books)

Prizes & Sponsors
EC$500 – Patron who prefers to remain anonymous
Pen (w/discount provided by Frank B. Armstrong), Glorious by Bernice McFadden – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel
Barbuda Express voucher x2 (including ferry and day tour with lunch)
Raw Island Products– gift basket of products
Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings by Joanne C. Hillhouse (courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse)
Books – the Best of Books

 

1ST RUNNER UP-Alyssa Charles (author of Faded Glory)

Alyssa Charles 1

Alyssa Charles.

Prizes & Sponsors
EC$300 – Juneth Webson
GloriousJacketGlorious by Bernice McFadden, Controlling the Silver by Lorna Goodison – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel

2ND RUNNER UPChammaiah Ambrose (author of Guilty)
Prizes & Sponsors
EC$200 – Juneth Webson
Glorious by Bernice McFadden, Goodison-controllingTheSilverControlling the Silver by Lorna Goodison – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel

TOPS – 18 to 35
WINNER – Daryl George (author of Tropical Moonlight Sonata)
Prizes & Sponsors
EC$350 – Frank B. Armstrong
Just Write Writer’s Retreat fellowship – Brenda Lee Browne
Equianos EpigramEquiano’s Epigrams: The Interesting Narrative in Poetry by John Agard – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel
WritersDigest-January-2016-Cover_1Writer’s Digest magazine (courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse)
Caribbean Time Bomb by Robert Coram – The Best of Books

HON. MEN. – Jemelia Pratt (author of Les Trajó Aquí)
Prizes & Sponsors
EC$150 – Frank B. Armstrong
Anna in BetweenAnna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez, Lorna Goodison’s Turn Thanks – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel
Caribbean Time Bomb by Robert Coram – The Best of Books

TOPS – 13 TO 17
WINNER – Alyssa Charles (author of Faded Glory)
Prizes & Sponsors
EC$240 – Dr. Hazra Medica
Papillote_-_Gone_to_DriftGone to Drift by Diana McCaulay – Papillotte Press
turn thanksLorna Goodison’s Turn Thanks, Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez – Pamela Arthurton of Carib World Travel
Musical Youth & Writer’s Digest magazine (courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse)
Vampire Diaries board game – The Best of Books

RUNNER UP – The runner-up in this category has (as of 2020) been retroactively removed due to plagiarism.

HON. MEN. –
Canice James (author of Heroic Night)
EC$50 – Dr. Hazra Medica
All Over Again by A-dZiko Gegele– CODE

Zahra Emanuel (author of My So Called Father)
EC$50 – Dr. Hazra Medica
Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis– CODE

TOPS – 12 AND YOUNGER

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From left, Akeilah Hillhouse, rep for sponsor Frank B. Armstrong, and 12 and younger top three – Chammaiah Ambrose, Zion Ebony Williams, and Judah Christian.

WINNER – Chammaiah Ambrose (author of Guilty)
EC$200 – Caribbean Reads Publishing
EC$60 gift certificate for books – the Cushion Club
All Over Again by A-dZiko Gegele– CODE
Gifts – Frank B. Armstrong
Legends of the Guardians board game – The Best of Books

 

1ST RUNNER UPJudah Christian (author of My Worst Day Ever)
EC$175 – Caribbean Reads Publishing
EC$35 gift certificate for books – the Cushion Club
All Over Again by A-dZiko Gegele – CODE
Gifts – Frank B. Armstrong
Life Adventures game & I was a Rat by Philip Pullman – The Best of Books

2ND RUNNER UPZion Ebony Williams (author of A Dinner to Remember)
EC$125 – Caribbean Reads Publishing
EC$35 gift certificate for books – the Cushion Club
Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis – CODE
Gifts – Frank B. Armstrong
The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell – The Best of Books

HONOURABLE MENTIONS –
Denejah Browne (Lost and Found)
Avriel Walters (My Cousin)
Rolanda Cuffy (The Caribbean)
Kya Matthew (Antigua and Barbuda-My Paradise)
Morgan Leah Simon (Antigua Experience)
Laila Tahir (Caribbean Experiences)
-gifts contributed by Juneth Webson, Frank B. Armstrong & the Cushion Club

IMG_0043

Juneth Webson delivers her Wadadli Pen gifts to programme founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse

 

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A Mammoth Picture Post – *You Have Been Warned

The awards ceremony for the 2014 Wadadli Pen Challenge was on Sunday 30th March; here finally are the pictures with thanks to Glen Toussaint of the Best of Books bookstore, St. Mary’s Street, Antigua. – usually I’d say respect copyright and don’t use the pictures but I’ll break with form and say share by all means, as an encouragement for the young writers and artists; and a thank you to all the patrons and partners. Speaking of patrons, the full list of who got what from among the contributed prizes can be found here. Follow the links to read the stories or see the art work.

Cake designed and made by Danielle George-John of Sweet Dreams.

Cake designed and made by Danielle George-John of Sweet Dreams.

Danielle presenting the cake.

Danielle presenting the cake.

The photo call: (front row, from left) Joanne C. Hillhouse - Wadadli Pen coordinator, Emile Hill - second placed in the art challenge, Daryl George - 18 to 35 honourable mention, Daniel Ince - 12 and younger honourable mention, Christopher Gittens and Mjonir Messiah - tied for third place in the 12 and younger category, and Vega Armstrong - winner 12 and younger. Back row from left - special guest, donor and Wadadli Pen co-founder D. Gisele Isaac, Zahra Emanuel - 3rd placed 13 to 17, Paula Russell-Peters - 2nd and 3rd placed for the Lead by Example Teachers' Prize, and Margaret Irish - winner of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

The photo call: (front row, from left) Joanne C. Hillhouse – Wadadli Pen coordinator, Emile Hill – second placed in the art challenge, Daryl George – 18 to 35 honourable mention, Daniel Ince – 12 and younger honourable mention, Christopher Gittens and Mjonir Messiah – tied for third place in the 12 and younger category, and Vega Armstrong – winner 12 and younger. Back row from left – special guest, donor and Wadadli Pen co-founder D. Gisele Isaac, Zahra Emanuel – 3rd placed 13 to 17, Paula Russell-Peters – 2nd and 3rd placed for the Lead by Example Teachers’ Prize, and Margaret Irish – winner of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

...okay so picking up where the first image left off, that's Zion Williams next to Vega, and Chammaiah Ambrose next to her, and behind them, that's Zoe Lewis - they're all 12 and younger finalists - and behind her that's second placed writer overall and winner of the 18 to 35 category Kohylah Piper.

…okay so picking up where the first image left off, that’s Zion Williams next to Vega, and Chammaiah Ambrose next to her, and behind them, that’s Zoe Lewis – they’re all 12 and younger finalists – and behind her that’s second placed writer overall and winner of the 18 to 35 category Kohylah Piper.

Art winner Alvin Livingstone collects his prizes from D. Gisele Isaac. That image on top is an original Edison Liburd and was contributed by Art at the Ridge.

Art winner Alvin Livingstone, who did cover art for the Last Cry, collects his prizes from D. Gisele Isaac. That image on top is an original Edison Liburd and was contributed by Art at the Ridge.

Emile Hill collects his second placed art prize.

Emile Hill collects his second placed art prize.

with Shem Alexander - 2010 art winner and 2014 art honourable mention.

with Shem Alexander – 2010 art winner and 2014 art honourable mention.

Gisele presents to second placed writer 13 to 17 Kelvin Juwon Miller.

Gisele presents to second placed writer 13 to 17 Kelvin Juwon Miller.

Barbara presents to Paula Russell Peters, a T N Kirnon teacher who won both the second and third placed in the Lead by Example Teachers Prize. Her school also won a prize for having the most submissions.

Barbara Arrindell of the Best of Books bookstore presents to Paula Russell Peters, a T N Kirnon teacher who won both the second and third placed in the Lead by Example Teachers Prize. Her school also won a prize for having the most submissions.

Barbara Arrindell of the Best of Books presents to Damian De Silva, an honourable mention for the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

Barbara Arrindell of the Best of Books presents to Damian De Silva, an honourable mention for the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

Carmen Ambrose, mother of one of the 12 and younger wins, and an honourable mention in her own right for the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

Carmen Ambrose, mother of one of the 12 and younger wins, and an honourable mention in her own right for the Lead by Example Teachers Prize.

Margaret Irish - winner of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize collects her gifts courtesy Caribbean Reads Publishing and plaque sponsored by Joy Lawrence.

Margaret Irish – winner of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize collects her gifts courtesy Caribbean Reads Publishing and plaque sponsored by Joy Lawrence.

Liscia Lawrence, a two time past finalist and honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category. 18 to 35...wow...she was 15 or 16 the first time she participated in Wadadli Pen.

Liscia Lawrence, a two time past finalist and honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category. 18 to 35…wow…she was 15 or 16 the first time she participated in Wadadli Pen.

Daryl George was honourable mention in 2012, second overall in 2013, and is honourable mention this year in the 18 to 35 age category.

Daryl George was honourable mention in 2012, second overall in 2013, and is honourable mention this year in the 18 to 35 age category.

Alexandra Spence collects from the Cushion Club rep; she was an honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category.

Alexandra Spence collects from the Cushion Club rep; she was an honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category.

 

Letisha Carrington Faracho - another honourable mention 18 to 35.

Letisha Carrington Faracho – another honourable mention 18 to 35.

Arize Lee - 3rd placed in the 18 to 35 age category.

Arize Lee – 3rd placed in the 18 to 35 age category.

Kohlyah Piper collects her prizes - she was best writer 18 to 35 and second best overall.

Kohlyah Piper collects her prizes – she was best writer 18 to 35 and second best overall.

A finalist in 2012 and 2013, Vega Armstrong was the best writer in the 12 and younger category in 2014. She collects from D. Gisele Isaac.

A finalist in 2012 and 2013, Vega Armstrong was the best writer in the 12 and younger category in 2014. She collects from D. Gisele Isaac.

Mjolnir Messiah tied for third; he collects.

Mjolnir Messiah tied for third; he collects.

Zion Williams, 12 and younger honourable mention collects.

Zion Williams, 12 and younger honourable mention collects.

Christopher Gittens who also tied for third in the 12 and younger category.

Christopher Gittens who tied for third place in the 12 and younger category.

Chammaiah

Chammaiah Ambrose, second placed writer, 12 and younger, collects her prize.

Daniel Ince was an honourable mention - 12 and younger.

Daniel Ince was an honourable mention – 12 and younger.

Zoe Lewis accepts her prizes as a 12 and younger honourable mention.

Zoe Lewis accepts her prizes as a 12 and younger honourable mention.

Zahra Emanuel placed 3rdin the 13 to 17 age category; and collects.

Zahra Emanuel placed 3rdin the 13 to 17 age category; and collects.

Just a couple more…these were on facebook even before the event was over courtesy Eef Armstrong, mother of 12 and younger winner Vega and one of our 2013 and 2014 donors via her company Raw Island Products:

Vega collects from Gisele.

Vega collects from Gisele.

A cross section of the winners.

A cross section of the winners.

some of the winners 4 by eef

Because it's so sweet, behold The Cake.

Because it’s so sweet, behold The Cake.

Me with Vega.

Me with Vega.

One more, this one from Zoe’s mom by special request:

Zoe and me by request of her mom; with thanks to her mom for sharing.

Zoe and me by request of her mom; with thanks to her mom for sharing.

Finally, four tokens were contributed by Photogenesis for the specific purpose of presenting them to four of the longest serving Wadadli Pen volunteers – three (Barbara Arrindell, Alstyne Allen, and D. Gisele Isaac) were at the programme and received theirs; the other (Brenda Lee Browne) is off island and will receive hers at a later date. I wish I had one for all the volunteers through the years or the partners as I’ve come to think of them because they all help me do the heavy lifting, and I thank them for that… I also wish I had one of these to keep because aren’t they pretty: token

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Press release – the wrap

Wadadli Pen once again proves that when it comes to talent, age is nothing but a number. The top three in the 2013 Challenge are writers from each age category. The overall winner is 15-year-old Antigua Girls High School student Asha Graham with her tale of quiet yearning ‘Revelations Tonight’ which also won the 13 to 17 age category. Graham was, also, third in her age category with her poem ‘Remembrance’. Second overall is 27-year-old Daryl George; also winner in the 18 to 35 age category, with the haunting ‘Ceramic Blues’; he also claimed the runner up spot in his age category with ‘Julie Drops’. Third overall and winner in the 12 and younger category is Antigua Grammar School student 12-year-old Zuri Holder with his sports themed story ‘The Big Event’.

The Awards ceremony at which these writers and all finalists were recognized was held Sunday afternoon at the St. Mary’s Street store of long time Wadadli Pen partner The Best of Books.

The other big announcement of the day was the US$500 worth of books each to be gifted by Hands across the Sea to Antigua Girls High School and St John’s Catholic Primary for most submissions.

Wadadli Pen’s organizers are also pleased to recognize and express gratitude for the support of regular patrons like Conrad Luke, Stephen B. Shoul, and the Cushion Club. Shout outs are also due to Art at the Ridge, Barbuda Express, Jane Seagull, Pamela Arthurton, Bayhouse Restaurant, Keyonna Beach, Heavenly Java 2 Go, Raw Island Products, Silver Lining supermarket, and Koren Norton. Several writers contributed copies of their books: namely Antiguan and Barbudan writers Dorbrene O’Marde, Althea Prince, Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis, and Marie Elena John; Jamaican writers Diana McCaulay and Diane Browne; Trinidadian writer Kris Rampersad; Kittitian-Nevisian writer Carol Mitchell; and British writer Elaine Spires. There is one other major patron who wishes to remain anonymous. Gratitude also to Wadadli Pen’s media partners, especially Antiguanice.com and 365Antigua.com both of which maintain Wadadli Pen pages on their popular online hubs.

Wadadli Pen partners and writers in their own right Brenda Lee Browne, Barbara Arrindell, Floree Williams, and Joanne C. Hillhouse, who founded the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize back in 2004, have added to the prize pool: two spots in Browne’s Just Write Writers Retreat, and copies of Arrindell’s Legend of Batman’s Cave and Other Stories, Williams’ Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, and Hillhouse’s Oh Gad!

Taking their portion of these prizes are writers Jamila Salankey, Vega Armstrong, Chammaiah Ambrose, and Michaela Harris; and art winners Avecia James, Dennika Bascom, Jamika Nedd, and Gavin Jeffrey Benjamin. Other shortlisted writers were Juliet Browne, Rhea Watkins, Isheba Simon, Danielle M. Benjamin, Latoya Aretha Honoré, Arati Jagdeo, and Latisha Walker-Jacobs.

Hillhouse reminds that Wadadli Pen’s purpose is to nurture and showcase Antiguan and Barbudan youthful literary talent. As such the top stories are returned to the writers with the editors’ notes for revision. In time, she hopes with funding and support to conduct workshops in schools and community.  

For the full breakdown of2013 winners and prizes, and the project’s history visit https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com To support future activities email wadadlipen@yahoo.com

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WADADLI PEN 2012 AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY 2

Normally we struggle to get good pictures of the awards, but this year we have an abundance of riches thanks to several camera toting folk. This gallery is made up pictures taken by the mother of 12 and younger honourable mention Vega Armstrong. We love supportive parents!

Check out her pictures below, and check out who won what.

Mali addressing the group; a short presentation that was well received.

Me, saying something.

Vega with her certificate.

Vega Armstrong with her shortlist certificate and guest presenter Mali A. Olatunji, noted photographer and aesthestician who spoke about being creative.

Herer I am with several of the winners after the awards.

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WADADLI PEN 2012 AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY 1

Here’re the details of who won what in 2012. And below is the first gallery from when they won.

The first set of pictures is from Cushion Club chief cook and bottle washer Cedric Holder who is always there to support and will double as photographer in a pinch. Thanks, Cedric.

Tiffany Smith tied for first place in the 18 to 35 age category with The Untitled while her Colour Red earned Honourable Mention. Photo by Cedric Holder. For use contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com

Vega Armstrong, honourable mention in the 12 and younger category for The Sea Lords. Photo by Cedric Holder. For use contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com

Karenna Nicholson's Caribbean Flavour was adjudged best under the Origins theme and first in the 12 and younger age category. Her school, Antigua Wesleyan Junior Academy, also accepted the prize for most submissions. Photo by Cedric Holder. For use contact wadadipen@yahoo.com

Jordée Josiah, third placed in the 13 to 17 age category, for her poem Let's Dance. Photo by Cedric Holder. For use contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com

Me after setting up during the day and rushing away to change and return 1 minute to showtime (even with Saturday night traffic). Photo by Cedric Holder.

Book store supervisor Glen Toussaint who ably emceed the awards. Photo by Cedric Holder. For use contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com

This young lady did triple duty that night collecting for finalist Ariel Dunnah and for her school the Antigua Girls High School in addition to collecting her certificate for making the competition short list (though not the final winners' circle). Michaela Harris, I believe. For permission to use the picture contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com

Darryl George, an Honourable Mention in the 18 to 35 age category for his story Snowcone Melancholia, accepts his certificate from special guest Mali Olatunji. (Photo by Cedric Holder). Do not use without seeking permission from wadadlipen@yahoo.com

Best of Books manager Barbara Arrindell addresses the audience. (Photo by Cedric Holder) Do not use without permission from wadadlipen@yahoo.com

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen 2012, Wadadli Pen News