Tag Archives: who won in 2017

WADADLI PEN Challenge – Who won what in 2017?

As always, we couldn’t do this without support. In 2017, this has meant partners Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Margaret Irish, Devra Thomas, Floree Whyte – along with intern Michaela Harris and judges Glen Toussaint and Sharifa George – volunteering, working together, and playing our roles. We, especially, couldn’t do it without our patrons; without them, we would have no rewards to offer our deserving writers. So, we pause to say thank you. Thank you for coming through (mostly). Thank you for making it possible for us to encourage and reward the cream of Wadadli Pen Challenge’s 2017 crop as decided by our judging team. Thank you for your tangible contribution to the arts and youth development in our twin island state, Antigua and Barbuda. To anyone reading this, we encourage you to support the businesses (also the individuals and organizations) that support the arts.

Here’s how the prizes break down – in addition to certificates for each winner from Wadadli Pen, sponsored by the Best of Books:

School with the Most Submissions Island Academy International School (22 out of 93 eligible submissions)

  • Writing workshop with facilitator fee and miscellaneous expenses to be covered by a patron who wishes to remain anonymous
  • EC$500 gift certificate toward the purchase of books, sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank
  • CAPE and CSEC books across several subject areas, contributed by Harper Collins logo
12 and younger

12 and Younger category winners (from left Ashley, Zion, Shadiael, and Emma) at the May 13th award ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

12 and Younger

Finalists in the 12 and Younger category receive gifts sponsored by US-based Antiguan and Barbudan Juneth Webson and books contributed by Harper Collins logoplus:

Honourable MentionAshley Francis (11, student at St. Andrew’s School; author of ‘Our Caribbean’)

3rdShadiael Simmons (11, student at Baptist Academy; author of ‘Brave Eleven-year-old saved Two Months Baby’)

  • EC$75 contributed byArt_Culture_Antigua-logo
  • With Grace, a book by Joanne C. Hillhouse, contributed by publisher Little Bell Caribbean

2ndEmma Belizaire (11, student at St. Andrew’s school; author of ‘Cricket is My Life’)

1stZion Ebony Williams (11, student at Baptist Academy; author of ‘Those who don’t hear, will feel’)

  • EC$125 contributed byArt_Culture_Antigua-logo
  • With Grace, a book by Joanne C. Hillhouse, contributed by publisher Little Bell Caribbean
  • EC$50 gift certificate for books, contributed by the Cushion Club
13 to 17

13 to 17 category winners (from left Francis, Devon, and Andrecia) at the May 13th award ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

13 to 17

3rd (tie) – Andrecia Lewis (17, student at Antigua State College; author of ‘Strange’)

3rd (tie) – Francis Yankey (16, student at Antigua Grammar School; author of ‘And She sang Fire’)

2ndAva C. Ralph (16, student at Antigua Girls’ High School; author of ‘Non Fiction?’)

1stDevon Wuilliez (16, student at Island Academy International School; author of ‘The Great Big Dumz’)

18 to 35

18 to 35 winners (from left Lucia, Kaeiron, and Fayola) with the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial Plaque at the May 13th awards ceremony. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

18 to 35

3rdFayola Jardine (author of ‘Shakiyah and the Mango Hater’)

  • EC$100 contributed by Caribbean Reads Publishing
  • Books on writing – 3 A M Epiphany by Brian Kitely and This Year You write Your Novel by Walter Mosely, and Just Write Writers’ retreat scholarship, contributed by Brenda Lee Browne
  • Books contributed by Harper Collins logo

2ndLucia Murray (student, St. Anthony’s Secondary School; author of ‘Mr. Duppy’)

1stKaeiron Saunders (teacher, St. Anthony’s Secondary School; author of ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Auntie Gah’)

  • EC$300 contributed by Juneth Webson
  • Gift basket/bag of products contributed by Raw Island
  • Book on writing – Unleash the Poem by Wendy Nyemaster, contributed by Brenda Lee Browne
  • Books contributed by Harper Collins logo
Winner K S

At the awards: Kaeiron Saunders, overall winner, with the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque which bears the names of all the winners since Wadadli Pen started in 2004. Photo by Linisa George/Art. Culture. Antigua

Top Three Overall

3rd – Zion Ebony Williams Zion

2nd – Devon Wuilliez Devon W for posting

Winner! Winner! Winner! – Kaeiron Saunders Saunders cropped

Featured image and some of the included images by Linisa George/Art_Culture_Antigua-logo Thanks to them. Thanks as well to the media who helped us get the word out including Antigua Nice, where Wadadli Pen has a year-round presence as their contribution to our project; and media who shared our notices and releases, or who hosted us for interviews (primarily ABS and Observer media). Thanks all; any oversights are not intentional.

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BRAVE ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD SAVED TWO MONTHS BABY by Shadiael Simmons

Shadiael

The author, an 11-year old student at Baptist Academy, says: “I love playing football and I am a part of the Villa Lions Football Club.”

Judges’ verdict: “This story has potential.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Simmons’ story 3rd in the 12 and Younger age category.

***

“Good Morning mommy!” I said in the kitchen of my home. For some reason, I started playing football; she turned and exclaimed sharply: “BWOI! how much time I have to tell yuh nuh play football in the kitchen, especially when me in yah a cook!”

I immediately stopped.

“Go bathe yuh ‘kin and get ready fu football and then come eat,” she instructed, going back to work on the fried dumplings.

Later that Saturday afternoon my mother told me that she was going to get her hair done. After she left, I played football at the front yard on the grass. Fifteen minutes into the game, while I was cheering myself on and sweating all over, I heard a cry.

I stopped and listened. I was about to continue when I heard it again, this time louder and more frightened. I ran to where the crying was coming from and ended up in my neighbour’s front yard. I ran into the house and saw the pot on fire with no way to out it.

“What can I do?”

I  ran to the baby’s room, quickly grabbed her up but by that time, the fire was eating away at the Living room. I looked and looked and looked for an escape. Then, I saw a window in the masters bedroom. I got a stool from the baby’s room and then I started to cough. I placed the stool at the bottom of the window and awkwardly lifted myself and the baby out the window, accidentally cutting my right shin against the window pane.

When I got out the house, ABS  and the Daily Observer questioned me. I didn’t Know how to answer those questions because I was so badly hurt and I was coughing non- stop. As the house exploded I heard a wailing scream coming from the baby’s mother, Yvonne, who was running towards the house. She saw me with the baby in my hands and came over, crying “OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD!”

She took baby girl from me and started crying all over again as she sobbed “Thank you!”
Two minutes later the ambulance arrived with the fire fighters and it was all loud and exciting from there, however I was still struggling to breathe.

When I woke up I was in the hospital. They said I had second degree burns on my hands, feet and face. The doctors placed me on oxygen because I had inhaled a lot of smoke. Baby girl’s parents visited me and thanked me again for what I had done. I was in the newspapers and on the television… I was to be the next national hero.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$75 cash/gift certificate (contributed by Art. Culture. Antigua)
Books –  The Person Controller by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, AniMalcolm by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, Sword in the Stone by T H White, Spell like a Champion (contributed by Harper Collins)
Gifts (contributed by Juneth Webson)
With Grace by Joanne C. Hillhouse (contributed by Little Bell Caribbean)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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OUR CARIBBEAN by Ashley Francis

ashley francis

The author – an 11 year old sixth grader at St. Andrew’s School – says: “I love writing poetry and music lyrics. So when I heard about this contest and that we had to ‘keep it Caribbean and fresh’, I immediately wanted to enter and share a poem that tells all about my love and pride for my Caribbean.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, Francis’ poem earned Honourable Mention in the 12 and Younger age category.

***

Caribbean, we feeling nice
A place where the sun is bright
A load of beaches to swim
This paradise is no sin.

All of these beautiful islands
There is nothing that is more grand
Than the great Caribbean
Sun, sea and sand.

Jumping up when it’s Carnival time.
Listening to all the soca rhymes
Carnival is so dear to me
Cant wait ‘til its100th anniversary.

Put your hands in the sky
Wave them, way up high
Let Caribbean beauty shine
It’s the favourite place of mine

Beaches, forests, rivers and lakes
Coming here to the Caribbean is no mistake
Please don’t try, for goodness sake
It’s a place you can’t recreate

Come enjoy a cricket game
You’ll never want to go once you have come
You will never feel the same
An experience you can’t even name

Come and celebrate with me
Let us rejoice with glee
The Caribbean is the Key
To sun, sand, and sea

Let us say this one last time
These isles are truly divine
All of these gorgeous lands
Make up the ‘Islands of the Caribbean’.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

Books – Love From Paddington by Michael Bond w/illustrations by Peggy Fortnum and R. W. Alley, Spell like a Champion (contributed by Harper Collins)
Gifts (contributed by Juneth Webson)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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CRICKET IS MY LIFE by Emma Belizaire

Belizaire

Emma Belizaire

The author says: “I am 11 years old.  I am a 6th grader at St. Andrew’s School.   I have a love for all sports especially football and cricket.  My hero is Anisa Mohammed; the amazing female cricketer for the Women’s West Indies team.  Many people tell me I bowl like her, and so she and my love of cricket inspired this poem.”

Judges’ verdict: “Good poem.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge, the judges ranked Belizaire’s poem 2nd in the 12 and Younger age category.

***

Cricket ohh cricket
Cricket is my life
When I play cricket I feel free
So don’t try to beat me!

There is batting, there is fielding
There is also bowling
But when you see my team and I playing
We are unstoppable!

You are not going to beat me
You better take a seat,.. see
You see when I play cricket
I am in a zone, I am free
Cricket just calms me

I am in a zone that no one can take
Away from me
I am free…just free
I am free.
Don’t disturb me when I am playing,
I am in my zone

Cricket ohh cricket
Cricket is my life
Cricket just calms me
Don’t disturb me while I am playing, I am
In my zone. My cricket zone.

When you see me hitting the boundary
And knocking sixes with my eyes closed like
Sir Vivian Richards, I am in my zone.

When you see me breaking middle wickets
Like Anisa Mohammed, I am in my zone.
When you see my team catching them out
Like West Indies. We are in a zone.

When you see me wicket keeping like Ramdin
I am in my zone
When you see me bowling maidens like Stephanie Taylor
I am in my zone.

When I am playing with my team or even friends, I zone out.
Cricket just calms me
Cricket ohh cricket
Cricket is my life

When I’m looking like a tomato all red with rage
But then I’m playing cricket I just let go,
Cricket ohh cricket
Ohh cricket
Cricket is my life!!

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$100 cash/gift certificate (contributed by Art. Culture. Antigua)
Books – Street Child by Berlie Doherty, Dotty Detective by Clara Vulliamy, Spell like a Champion (contributed by Harper Collins)
With Grace by Joanne C. Hillhouse (contributed by Little Bell Caribbean)
Gifts (contributed by Juneth Webson)
Cricket gear (contributed by the West Indies Cricket Board)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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THE GREAT BIG DUMZ by Devon Wuilliez

Devon W for posting

The author says: “I enjoy writing poetry in English class. I deeply appreciate my teacher, Mrs.DiCocco for helping me enjoy English. My poem, ‘The Great Big Dumz’ is about how the Caribbean was brought together by a Dumz tree… (it) shows just how united the Caribbean islands are and gives a youthful spin on how the Dumz tree spread around the Caribbean.”

Judges’ verdict: “This hits all the right points, Rhyme and Rhythm, Caribbean flavor. It is simple yet immersive…and catchy enough that you could get beyond the whiff of cliché and enjoy the sweet familiarity.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Devon’s poem 1st in the 13 to 17 age category and 2nd Overall.

***

There was once a search for a very special tree
A tree so tall, and as bold as could be
The tree had fruit that was ever so sweet
For no other tree could even compete
The children would search, all across the land
They would climb through bush and dig deep in the sand
The trunk was ever so strong and thick
The fruit so plump, and ready to pick
For years they searched, but nothing was found
Some even assumed it was dug out of the ground
It was said that this tree could only be seen
Somewhere way down deep in the Caribbean
For it’s only here that such beauty can grow
The soil is soft and there isn’t any snow
It was on one exceptional Saturday
When some of the children had just come out to play
They had noticed a crack in the side of a cave
A small leaf poked out and suddenly waves
They began to move away rocks and that’s when they found
The Great Big Dumz tree with fruit so round
It had been asleep in the cave for as long as they knew
At last they discovered the tree with its outstanding green hue
After enjoying some fruit they sat down to think
They thought of a plan brought them together with the tree as their link
They decided to share this magnificent tree
By planting a seed in every Caribbean country

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

Barbuda ferry tour voucher x2 (courtesy Barbuda Express)
EC$300 (contributed by Frank B. Armstrong)
EC$225 (contributed by the International Women’s Club of Antigua & Barbuda)
Painting (contributed by the artist Jennifer Meranto)
One on One Coaching session (courtesy author Joanne C. Hillhouse)
Books – Jeremiah, Devil of the Woods by Martina Altman, Twilight: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, + Dragon’s Oath: A House of Night novella by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast  (contributed by the Best of Books)
Inspirational card (from a line created and contributed by Monique S. Simon’s Caribbean Folklore Project
Certificate x2 
(sponsored by the Best of Books)

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SHAKIYAH AND THE MANGO HATER by Fayola Jardine

Fayola JardineThe Writer – a local poet, spoken word artist, and actress currently at work on three books with plans to publish her first poetry book by the end of 2017 – says: “Shakiyah is an island girl who climbs trees and picks mangoes. While doing just that, she meets Brent, a mango hater. That should’ve been enough to tell her he was bad news.”

Judges’ Verdict: “There is a good build up between characters.”

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, they ranked Jardine’s story 3rd in the 18 to 35 age category.

***

I should’ve known. After all, his opening line was, “I hate mangoes.”

It was the heart of the mango season and I agreed to help Mama make mango jams for Mango Fest the following week. I took a bus to Urlings, to my father’s farm, to pick the mangoes we needed.

When I arrived, my dad was in the middle of a tour. He wore a bright grin and signaled with pride towards his ackee trees and jamun berries.

I snuck by, not in the mood to make friendly, and jogged to the storage house where I retrieved a basket.

Appropriately dressed in t-shirt, jeans, and bare feet, I hoisted myself up into a mango tree and picked and threw mangoes into the basket below. In no time, I was lost in the rhythm of the work and the smell of the fruit.

“I hate mangoes,” he said.

I looked down and found a young man looking up at me, decked in fancy track pants and a fresh mohawk. He was cute.

“More for me,” I said.

“It’s mongoose food.”

“You drink milk?” I asked.

“Yea.”

“Baby cow food.”

He threw back his head and laughed.

“I’m Brent,” he said.

“Shakiyah,” I answered.

“You look too pretty to be climbing trees, Shakiyah.”

“One does not preclude the other,” I said. “Are you looking for someone?”

He smiled. It was crooked, but cute.

“I’m looking for dums. Can you show me where they are?”

I obliged him. He helped me down from the tree. My feet landed with a heavy thump on the grassy ground.

I escorted him towards the dums and we started a conversation. I learned he was eighteen – just a year older than me, and was home on summer break from college overseas.

We spoke about Mango Fest and I told him he was missing out. He cocked his head to the side, smiled, and said I was changing his mind. I fought not to blush.

We walked, talked, and flirted, and took longer than necessary to get to the dums.
We found the big ones that resemble green apples. He bit into one with gusto.

“Now this is good!”

I laughed at his enthusiasm.

“If I promise to come see you at Mango Fest, will you give me your number?” He asked.
I gave him my cellphone. Our fingers touched and my heart sped up, just a little. He was about to –

“Brent!”

A girl, who looked like her skinny jeans and bandeau top were painted onto her body, stomped towards us. Brent choked out the name Camille and took a step away from me.
“You carn serious,” she said. Her eyes raked over me like a detective scouring a crime scene.

Brent blurted out that I was the farmer’s daughter – Shakiyah wasn’t good enough, it seemed.

“What’s going on here?”

My father walked into the grove with his guests in tow. He stared at me. The guests stared at me. Camille glared at me. I felt like a suspect standing in front of a judge, jury, and hateful-looking prosecutor.

Moments, that felt like lifetimes, passed.

My mind was racing for something to say when a fat raindrop landed on my nose. As if on cue, a cloud burst over our heads and everyone ran towards the verandah, for cover.
Grateful for the rain’s redemption, I ran to the storage house. I was embarrassed, and glad that I could hide away until everyone left.

It was then that I patted my pocket, and remembered that Brent had my phone.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$100 (contributed by Caribbean Reads Publishing)
Books – 3 AM Epiphany by Brian Kitely and This Year You write Your Novel by Edward Mosley (contributed by Brenda Lee Browne along with a scholarship to the next Just Write Writers Retreat)
Books – Thicker than Water by Cal Flyn and Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (contributed by Harper Collins)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books bookstore)

 

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MR. DUPPY by Lucia Murray

Lucia

About the author:   Lucia Murray is an 18 year old advanced level student at St. Anthony’s Secondary School, who enjoys writing. She is a visual artist who describes herself as being fond of the Arts and interested in expanding her knowledge in various subjects.

About the entry: All young Somaya wanted to do was to accompany her friends in retrieving a football from the backyard of her neighbour, Mr. Duppy. Rather than finding a football – however – Somaya is faced with gleaming, yellow eyes and her reflection in a minacious cutlass.

In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Lucia’s story 2nd in the 18 to 35 age category.

***

“Run!” the shrill voice shouted. Rain pelted violently onto my face, as I raced for my life.

“Run, run, run!” the voice sounded out, even more panicked than before. My legs began to ache, but my pace quickened. Images of a sharpened cutlass, gleaming in the moonlight, and my own life flashed before my eyes. The mud from the poorly constructed trail flew onto my legs as my sore feet hit the ground. Tears sprung into my eyes, and I could not tell whether they were from the pain or the fear that I felt. Perhaps, it was both.

A scream erupted behind me – it had gotten to one of them, and it was growing closer.

“Oh Christ, oh Faddah help me,” I whimpered, my voice quivering. Tears began to blur my vision, and before I knew it, I could barely see the path. The rain continued to pour with vigour, and my legs began to weaken.

Crash! As if in resonance with the thunder, I slipped and tumbled down the slope near to the path – into the thicket below. When the tumbling ceased, I shrieked in pain – thorns, cuts, and bruises covering my body. I stayed on my back and faced the sky. The rain became gentler – it was almost healing.

When did everything go wrong?

“Somaya, move!” Brendaly exclaimed. Without another thought, I darted to the left – barely missing the ball that came hurtling in my direction.

“Watch wey yuh kicking de ball, nuh!” I shouted over to my group of friends that were playing a rather intense game of football. I reclaimed my seat on the steps in front of my back door, and gentle breeze blew, rustling the leaves of the tall, tamarind trees within my backyard. Sighing, I looked over at the yard of my neighbour, Mr. Duppy. As usual, it was lush, vibrant, and smelled of sweet, fresh fruit. However, it had always been difficult to peer into his yard –beyond the greenery. It was almost as if Mr. Duppy had created his own world within his back yard, and I could not blame him for doing so. After all, his ex-wife had taken pride in their beautiful yard. I looked toward the sky; grey clouds had begun to form.

“Marc!!! Yuh foot ben’ up see!” Isiah yelled, immediately catching my attention. Marc had kicked the ball into Mr. Duppy’s back yard, and as a result, a fight ensued.

After much quarrelling, it had been decided that Marc would climb over the fence to retrieve the football. However, ten minutes had passed, and worry began to set in. The once clear sky was, now, completely covered with dark, rain clouds.

We climbed the fence – the biggest mistake we would ever make.

Entering his yard felt like we had truly entered another world – perhaps we had. Wild plants grew all around us, and there were a few narrow trails that lead into different directions.

“Help!” Marc’s voiced called – it sounded strained. Quickly, we dashed in the direction of the sound, but when we finally discovered Marc, he was not alone. A dark, shadowy figure towered above us, yellow eyes glowing. It gripped a cutlass in its right hand, and a toothy grin slowly spread across its face.

Crunch. Crunch.

The sound of footsteps brought me out of my thoughts – I was still on the ground.

Crunch. Crunch.

It was right above me, now; I accepted my fate. I took one last look at its glowing eyes, darkened face, and menacing cutlass.

“Mr. Duppy?” I uttered, before he swung the cutlass down and everything went black.

-END-

Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.

With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):

EC$200 (contributed by Juneth Webson)
Book – On Writing by Stephen King & spot in the Just Write Writers’ Retreat (contributed by Brenda Lee Browne)
Books – The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (thriller) and Fire Child by S K Treymayne (contributed by Harper Collins)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)

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