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Last Lick

This is power point screened while the audience settled, awaiting the start of the Wadadli Pen awards ceremony – make that the 10 year anniversary Wadadli Pen awards ceremony – Sunday 30th March at the Best of Books, St. Mary’s Street, Antigua. It doesn’t have who won and all that nor all the artist statements as it was done somewhere between the short list and final decision but it does include snippets of all short listed pieces. Hopefully enough of a teaser to encourage you to visit the site, read the stories, and show the young writers and artists some love.

Since posting who won what at the weekend, the top 10 most viewed stories from the 2014 Challenge from most to least, so far, are:

Cover design by X-Saphair King

Cover design by X-Saphair King

1. Lajabless by Asha Graham

2. La Diablesse by Ariel Dunnah

Cover design by Ariel Dunnah.

Cover design by Ariel Dunnah.

3. Hallowed Ground by Kohylah Piper

Cover design by Vega Armstrong.

Cover design by Vega Armstrong.

4. The Great Cycle by Chammaiah Ambrose

5. Forbidden by Vega Armstrong

Tied for 6 – or 2 by default

Loving the Skin I’m In by Angelica O’Donoghue, Welcome Back, Champ by Carmen Ambrose, Searching for a Treasure by Mjolnir Messiah, Delinquent Development by Kelvin Juwon Miller

Cover design by Shaziane (Hilesha Humphreys. - 3rd placed in the 2014 cover design Wadadli Pen art challenge.

Cover design by Shaziane (Hilesha Humphreys. – 3rd placed in the 2014 cover design Wadadli Pen art challenge.

Tied for 7 – or 1 by default

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone. Winner of the 2014 cover design Wadadli Pen art Challenge.

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone. Winner of the 2014 cover design Wadadli Pen art Challenge.

Last Cry by Letisha Carrington Faracho, Escape to Paradise by Damian De Silva, The Big Fight by Paula Russell-Peters, The Day I saved a Friend by Zahra Emanuel, The Knock on My Door by Christopher Gittens

Cover design by Emile Hill. Second placed in the cover design 2014 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge.

Cover design by Emile Hill. Second placed in the cover design 2014 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge.

 

So that’s what’s trending. But I do encourage you to check out all the stories linked here.

As with all content (words, images, other) 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!), founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Young Writer Pulls Off Back to Back Wadadli Pen Win

Asha Graham is the 2014 winner of the Wadadli Pen writing Challenge, the first writer to two-peat in 10 years of Wadadli Pen.

Asha Graham, @ 16 going on 17, Antigua State College student

Asha Graham, @ 16 going on 17, Antigua State College student

Graham, 16, a student at the Antigua State College, won for her story Lajabless, favoured by the judges and described by one as having “a wonderfully distinctive narrative style” with dialogue that “flows impressively and rings true”, “brilliantly done” plotting, and writing that is “tight and finely crafted.” Runners-up for the main prize were Kohlyah Piper, author of Hallowed Ground, and Ariel Dunnah, previously a 2012 finalist and in the top three overall this year for her poem La Diablesse. Piper and Dunnah were, also, the winner and first runner up, respectively, in the 18 to 35 age category; Graham was tops among teens 13 to 17.

Margaret (The Skipping Rope) Irish, a teacher at ABIIT who also runs an after school programme, is the winner of the Teachers Lead by Example Prize.

Margaret Irish - winner inaugural Lead by Example Teachers Prize - Wadadli Pen 2014 Challenge

Margaret Irish – winner inaugural Lead by Example Teachers Prize – Wadadli Pen 2014 Challenge

“I wrote The Skipping Rope, because it is one of two powerful memories I have of my mother, who died when I was 8-years old. Actually, she died shortly after the events recounted in this story. The Skipping Rope is therefore a memorial of my mother and a tribute to her strengths as an individual,” Irish explained; adding “Crafting such an emotionally intense experience into a story for children was challenging, but the judges’ comments were extremely helpful.” She’s referring here to the fact that once it has a short list, Wadadli Pen, returns the stories/poems to the writers with edit notes to guide the writer towards improving the story and quite possibly improving its ranking in the competition. The intent is skill building and writers have the option of declining to make changes to their entries.

In Wadadli Pen’s 10th year, there were a record 24 writers on the short list. Four artists were short listed, meanwhile, from among those who submitted to the cover design Wadadli Pen Art Challenge. The winner is musician and art teacher Alvin Livingstone with his design for the poem Last Cry – mindful that cover design is not just about art but marketing, communication and a bit of mystery, he said, “I believe I was able to effectively capture the feel of the poem while leaving some of the interpretation up to the viewer.”

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone

Emile Hill placed second with his cover design for The Knock on My Door and Shaziane placed third with her cover design for Delinquent Development. Past winner Shem Alexander was awarded an honourable mention for his design for The Cold Truth.

Swinging back to the literary prizes, first time contender, T N Kirnon, was the school with the most submissions and one of its teachers Paula (The Big Fight and Two Can Play at That Game) Russell-Peters was second and third placed for the Teachers Prize. Russell-Peters explained that she uses her storytelling as a way of illustrating to her students what they can do. One of her students, Daniel (One Scary Night) Ince, 10, was an honourable mention in the 12 and younger age category.

12 and younger (2)

Clockwise from top left Vega, Chammaiah, Christopher, Mjolnir, Terry, Zoe, Zion, Daniel.

Former finalist Vega (Forbidden) Armstrong, now 13, of St. Anthony’s won the category with a historical romance, with another former finalist Chammaiah (The Great Cycle) Ambrose, 9, of Sunnyside placing second. Chammaiah’s entry serves as a reminder that inspiration is all around us – “My poem resulted from a class science project,” Chammaiah explained. “The huge caterpillars are usually on my neighbour’s tree and as I said, I have never seen the butterflies laying eggs but the tree is always filled with the caterpillars.” Christopher (The Knock on My Door) Gittens, 11, of St. John’s Catholic Primary and Mjolnir (Searching for a Treasure) Messiah, 10, of Minoah Magnet tied for third in this category. Daniel, Zoe Lewis, Zion Williams and Terry Benjamin Jr. were Honourable Mentions in this age category.

Among 13 to 17s, Antigua State College student Kelvin (Delinquent Development) Juwon, 17, placed second and Irene B. Williams student Suzette (The Day I saved a Friend) Emanuel, 14,  placed third. Winner of the category, Graham said this about her story Lajabless: “Caribbean folklore had always enthralled me … The real challenge was mainly how to capture her in a modern sense, and still have her (remain) true.”

In the 18 to 35 age category, Arizé (The Cold Truth) Lee, placed third behind Piper and Dunnah.  Piper’s poem grew out of a moment of gratitude: she said, “as a people we sometimes live as if our history and its value has no bearing on our lives today, and sometimes we take the opportunities that we have, however little,  around us for granted … (but) our evolution from being ‘the owned’ to ‘owners’, from ignorance to education, from dreaming to realizing ought to be reverenced through the actions we take in nation building, defining our progression instead of digression.”

Given that the bulk of submissions came from the 18 to 35 age category, it’s no surprise that they had the bulk of writers on the short list, though the closeness of the ratings among these entries is a credit to the tightness of the race; so kudos to Dunnah, Daryl George, Letisha Faracho, Kaylee Meyer, Alexaandra Spence, Angelica O’Donoghue, and Liscia Lawrence.   There were two honourable mentions in the teaching category, Carmen Ambrose and Damian De Silva.

The judges had a tough time zeroing in on the overall winners and praised the quality of the competition. They did see room for improvement in terms of the expansiveness of the themes and the approach to story telling – i.e. there was room to think outside of the box. Workshops to build on the evident skills of writers and artists is something Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse would like to pursue further, though she stated that community and corporate patronage would be needed to make it happen.

She expressed thanks for those who supported the 2014 season of Wadadli Pen as well as the work of Wadadli Pen through the years. In the 10th anniversary year, such support came from Barbara Arrindell,  Linisa George, Art at the Ridge, Pam Arthurton, Barbuda Express, Best of Books, Brenda Lee Browne, Carol Mitchell and Caribbean Reads Publishing, Karib Cable, Community First Cooperative Credit Union,  Lia Nicholson, Cushion Club, Frank B. Armstrong, Angelica O’Donoghue, Danielle George-John and Sweet Dreams, Karen and Koren Norton, D. Gisele Isaac, Devra Thomas, Ruel Johnson – two time winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature, Guyanese born writer Maggie Harris, Trinidadian writer Danielle Boodoo Fortune and her Wildflower Studio, Joy Lawrence, the Map Shop, Pearson, Latisha Walker-Jacobs, Photogenesis, Raw Island Products, Jane Seagull, Elaine Spires, Juneth Webson, Floree Williams, and, of course, the Media.

For the prize breakdown and more, visit the online home of Wadadli Pen https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com

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WADADLI YOUTH PEN PRIZE ANNUAL CHALLENGE – WHO WON IN 2014?

LITERARY ARTS OVERALL –

“I was soooo impressed by the quality of the writing, both poetry and prose. All of them were absolutely brilliant! This is amazing stuff.” – JUDGE

WINNER

Asha Graham, @ 16 going on 17, Antigua State College student

Asha Graham, @ 16 going on 17, Antigua State College student

Asha Graham – author of Lajabless

“I found this piece to have a wonderfully distinctive narrative style. Dialogue flows impressively, and rings true. What I was really impressed with was the overall arc of the story. The plot is brilliantly done, and the writing is tight and finely crafted. There is much happening here, so many layers and echoes in such a concise little body.” – JUDGE

Prizes:

Winner’s name on plaque – Best of Books
&$500 – Anonymous
&Mentorship session – Elaine Spires
&Writing journal – Jane Seagull
&Pen – Pam Arthurton
&Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio
&Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean – contributed by Joanne C. Hillhouse

Wadadli Pen trivia: Asha was the 2013 winner of the Wadadli Pen Challenge and 1st and 3rd overall in the 13 to 17 age category. She subsequently participated in both the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project (a project of Wadadli Pen founder Joanne C. Hillhouse) and the Just Write Writers Retreat (a project of Wadadli Pen chief judge Brenda Lee Browne)

SECOND PLACED

Kohylah Piper, 25, LEAP - Mount St. John

Kohylah Piper, 25, LEAP – Mount St. John

Kohylah Piper – author of Hallowed Ground

“This poem is rich and beautiful in imagery. The poet leads the reader through the land’s vibrations and along a vast and moving sensory journey.  Powerful echoes.” -JUDGE

Prizes:

$200 – Frank B. Armstrong
&Oh Gad!Joanne C. Hillhouse
&Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio
&gift certificate for more books – Karib Cable

THIRD PLACED

Ariel Dunnah, 18, Antigua State College student

Ariel Dunnah, 18, Antigua State College student

Ariel Dunnah – author of La Diablesse

Prizes:

$100 – Frank B. Armstrong
&Oh Gad! Joanne C. Hillhouse
&gift certificate for more books – Karib Cable
&Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio

Wadadli Pen trivia: Ariel was second placed overall and first and third in the 13 to 17 age category in 2012.

 

12  AND YOUNGER –

WINNER

Vega Armstrong

Vega Armstrong, 12 going on 13, St. Anthony’s student.

Vega Armstrong – author of Forbidden

Prizes:

Books from Pearson Caribbean (Fish outta Water by Joanne C. Hillhouse-illustrated by Zavian Archibald, Figgs and Phantoms by Ellen Raskin, Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams, and Starting Shakespeare by Linda Marsh and Michael Marland) plus gift
& from Floree Williams (Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses)
& from Art at the Ridge Debbie Bruschi notebook and Cordella Samuel pencil
&Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio
&cash and gifts – Juneth Webson

Wadadli Pen trivia: Vega was a 2012 honourable mention and placed second in 2013 in the 12 and younger age category. Her 2012 story Legend of the Sea Lords was subsequently selected for publication in Anansesem.

SECOND PLACED

Chammaiah Ambrose

Chammaiah Ambrose, 9, student at Sunnyside Tutorial.

Chammaiah Ambrose – author of The Great Cycle

Prizes:

Floree Williams (Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses)
& from Pearson Caribbean (Fish outta Water by Joanne C. Hillhouse-illustrated by Zavian Archibald, Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox -Illustrated by Lydia Monks and The King of the Birds by Malachy Doyle-illustrated by Mike Terry)
& from Art at the Ridge Woodrat Jill by Nicky Laak, Debbie Bruschi notebook and Cordella Samuel pencil
&gifts – Juneth Webson

Wadadli Pen trivia: Chammaiah placed third in the Wadadli Pen 12 and younger age category in 2013. She subsequently participated in the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project.

THIRD PLACED (TIE)

CG

Christopher Gittens, 11, St. John’s Catholic Primary.

Christopher Gittens – author of The Knock on My Door

“This story is fast-paced, imaginative, and full of adventure… (with) an unexpected twist.” – JUDGE

Prizes:

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Stories – Barbara Arrindell
& books from Pearson Caribbean (Fish outta Water by Joanne C. Hillhouse-illustrated by Zavian Archibald, Bones and the Cloud Mix up Mystery by David Adler-illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman and Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl-illustrated by Quentin Blake)
& a book by the Kittitian-Nevisian author of the Caribbean Adventure Series– Carol Mitchell/Caribbean Reads Publishing
&book/s from the Best of Books
&gifts – Juneth Webson

Mjolnir Messiah – author of Searching for a Treasure

Messiah, 10, from Minoah Magnet.

Messiah, 10, from Minoah Magnet.

Prizes:

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Stories – Barbara Arrindell
& books from Pearson Caribbean (Fish outta Water by Joanne C. Hillhouse-illustrated by Zavian Archibald, Bones and the Cloud Mix up Mystery by David Adler-illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman and Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl-illustrated by Quentin Blake)
& One of Carol Mitchell’s books – Carol Mitchell/Caribbean Reads Publishing
& gifts – Juneth Webson

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Daniel Ince, 10, T N Kirnon.

Daniel Ince, 10, T N Kirnon.

Daniel Ince – author of One Scary Night

Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua  book by Barbara Arrindell
&Two of Carol Mitchell’s books – Carol Mitchell/Caribbean Reads Publishing
& gifts – Juneth Webson

Terry Benjamin Jr., 11, St. John's Catholic Primary.

Terry Benjamin Jr., 11, St. John’s Catholic Primary.

Terry Benjamin Jr. – author of The Farm Thief

“This has the structure of a good story.” – JUDGE

Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua book by Barbara Arrindell
&The Tattoed Potato and Other Clues by Ellen Raskin – Pearson Caribbean
&One of Carol Mitchell’s books – Carol Mitchell/Caribbean Reads Publishing
&gifts – Juneth Webson

Zion Ebony Williams, 8, Baptist Academy.

Zion Ebony Williams, 8, Baptist Academy.

Zion Ebony Williams – author of The Night I went to Cricket

“This story is very descriptive and captures the excitement of the game.” – JUDGE

Prizes:

Pearson Caribbean’s Lynn Visible by Julia Divers, Princess Posey and the First Grade by Stephanie Greene-illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson and Princess Posey and the Perfect Present by Stephanie Greene-illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson & gifts – Juneth Webson

Zoe, 12, St. John's Catholic.

Zoe, 12, St. John’s Catholic.

Zoë Kyah I. Lewis– author of The Day I almost Died

Prizes:

Pearson Caribbean’s Lynn Visible by Julia Divers, Princess Posey and the First Grade by Stephanie Greene-illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson and Princess Posey and the Perfect Present by Stephanie Greene-illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson & gifts – Juneth Webson

13 TO 17 –

WINNER

Asha Graham – author of Lajabless

Prizes:

Ticket for two – Barbuda Express
& $200 towards account – Community First Cooperative Credit Union
& Pearson Caribbean’s A World of Prose edited by David Wiliams and Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Dilemmas of Deokie by Carol Sammy (Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series), and Longman Language Activation Dictionary
&Postcard – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio
&books – Best of Books

SECOND PLACED

Kelvin Juwon Miller

Kelvin Juwon Miller, 17, Antigua State College.

Kelvin Juwon Miller – author of Delinquent Development

Prizes:

Pearson Caribbean‘s A World of Poetry edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Keats: selected poems and letters (Heinemann Poetry Bookshelf) and William Shakespeare Julius Caesar (CSEC edition)
& Gift Basket – Raw Island Products
&books – Best of Books

THIRD PLACED

Suzette Emmanuel

Suzette Emmanuel, 14, Irene B. Williams.

Zahra Emanuel  – author or The Day I saved a Friend

Prizes :

Another Day – Carol Mitchell/Caribbean Reads Publishing
& Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams – from Pearson Caribbean
&Debbie Bruschi notebook and Cordella Samuel pencils – from Art at the Ridge
&Floree Williams (Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses)
&books – Best of Books

18 to 35

WINNER

Kohlyah Piper – author of Hallowed Ground

Prizes:

$250 – D. Gisele Isaac
& 2 books – Ariadne and Other Stories and Fictions by Ruel Johnson (winner of the 2013 Guyana Prize for Literature)
Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio

SECOND PLACED

Ariel Dunnah – author of La Diablesse

Prizes:

$150 – Brenda Lee Browne
& Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – Pearson Caribbean
&Dancing Nude in the Moonlight by Joanne C. HillhouseBest of Books

THIRD PLACED

Arize Lee, 18, Antigua State College student.

Arize Lee, 18, Antigua State College student.

Arizé Sabien Charles Lee –  author of The Cold Truth

Prizes:

$100 – Brenda Lee Browne
&Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – Pearson Caribbean
&Dancing Nude in the Moonlight by Joanne C. HillhouseBest of Books

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Ariel Dunnah – author of A Grain of Salt

Prize:

Kiskadee Girl – from the author Maggie Harris

Daryl George.

Daryl George.

Daryl George – author of A Guilty Fragrance

“I was drawn to the way this story built up and gained momentum. Very nicely written, particularly in the way the sense of smell is woven through and used to pull the whole thing together.” – JUDGE

Prize:

Gift certificate – Map Shop

Wadadli Pen Trivia: Daryl was an honourable mention in 2012, and in 2013 in addition to earning first and second spots in the 18 to 35 age category was second placed overall.

L C Faracho

L C Faracho

Letisha Carrington Faracho – author of Last Cry

Prize:

Gift certificate – Map Shop

Kaylee Meyer

Kaylee Meyer

Kaylee Meyer – author of This is Paradise

Prize:

Gift certificate – Map Shop

Alexandra Nathaniel Spence – author of Why did I get Punished?

Alexandra Spence.

Alexandra Spence.

Prize:

Gift certificate – the Cushion Club

Angelica O'Donoghue.

Angelica O’Donoghue.

Angelica O’Donoghue – author of Loving the Skin I’m in

Prize:

The Footprints of ParhamJoy Lawrence

liscia

Liscia Lawrence – author of Misguided Illusion

Prize:

Bethesda and Christian Hill – Joy Lawrence

Wadadli Pen Trivia: Angelica O’Donoghue is the 2006 winner of Wadadli Pen and Liscia Lawrence was an honourable mention in 2004 and 3rd runner up in 2005.

TEACHERS LEAD BY EXAMPLE PRIZE

WINNER

Margaret Mae Maria Irish – author of The Skipping Rope

Margaret Irish

Margaret Irish

Prizes:

Plaque sponsored by Joy Lawrence
&$500 cash and gifts sponsored by Caribbean Reads Publishing
Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower Studio

SECOND PLACED

Paula Russell-PetersPaula Russell-Peters – author of The Big Fight

Prizes:

Bethesda and Christian Hill and The Way We TalkJoy Lawrence
& from Pearson Caribbean – Longman Active Study Dictionary
&books – Best of Books

THIRD PLACED

Paula Russell-Peters –  author of Two can play at that Game

Prizes:

Pearson Caribbean – Reading Central (Reading in the Real World) series
&gifts – Joanne C. Hillhouse

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Carmen Ambrose.

Carmen Ambrose.

Carmen Ambrose– Welcome Back, Champ

Prizes:

The Way We Talk and Other Antiguan Folkways – Joy Lawrence
&book – Best of Books

Damian De Silva

Damian De Silva

Damian G. K. De Silva – Escape to Paradise

Prizes:

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Stories – Barbara Arrindell & A Short Guide to Antigua by Brian DydeBest of Books

VISUAL ARTS

WINNER

Alvin Livingstone – cover art for Last Cry

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone

Cover design by Alvin Livingstone

Prizes:

A piece of art (Edison Liburd) – Art at the Ridge
&Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower
&
$250 from Juneth Webson
&$200 from Frank B. Armstrong
&
Gift basket – Raw Island Products
&
DC & Marvel Comics Encyclopedia & DK – Pearson Caribbean
&book – Best of Books

SECOND PLACED

Emile Hill – cover art for the Knock on My Door

Cover design by Emile Hill.

Cover design by Emile Hill.

Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower
&
Cash – $150 – Juneth Webson
&
Longman Visual Arts for Secondary Schools – Pearson Caribbean
&gift certificate for more books – Karib Cable

THIRD PLACED

Shaziane – for cover art for Delinquent Development

Cover design by Shaziane (Hilesha Humphreys).

Cover design by Shaziane (Hilesha Humphreys).

Post card – Danielle Boodoo Fortune Hackshaw/Wildflower
&
$100 – Juneth Webson
&
Longman Visual Arts for Secondary Schools – Pearson Caribbean
&gift certificate for more books – Karib Cable

HONOURABLE MENTION

Shem Alexander – for cover art for The Cold Truth

Cover design by Shem Alexander.

Cover design by Shem Alexander.

Prizes:

Sketch books – Brenda Lee Browne & book –Pearson Caribbean
Wadadli Pen trivia: Shem is the 2010 winner of the Wadadli Pen art prize.

SCHOOL WITH THE MOST SUBMISSIONS

WINNER

T N Kirnon

Prizes:

Books courtesy of Pearson Caribbean
Prentice Hall Writing Coach: Writing and Grammar for the 21st Century series
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
Hank the Cowdog: The Disappearance of Drover by John Erickson (illustrated by Gerald L. Holmes) x3
Know the Game by Nasser Khan
Horrible Harry Cracks the Code by Suzy Kline (pictures by Frank Remkiewitz)
How Music is Made by Elaine Morris
Raymond and Graham Bases Loaded by Mike Knudson (illustrated by Stacy Curtis) x3
Raymond and Graham Dancing Dudes by Mike Knudson (illustrated by Stacy Curtis) x3
Raymond and Graham Rule the School by Mike Knudson and Steve Wilkinson (illustrated by Stacy Curtis) x3
The Twits by Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
The World Cup by Nasser Khan

For the full list of 2014 Patrons visit here…and for all the patrons through the years, visit here.

Thanks as well to everyone who volunteered to make this 2014 season a success. Full list here.

NO IMAGES POSTED HERE CAN OR SHOULD BE RE-USED OR RE-POSTED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS AND TO ALL PARTICIPATING WRITERS AND ARTISTS FOR DARING.

 

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Wadadli Pen Awards This Saturday

You are invited to come out and support our budding writers at the March 31st Celebration and Awards for the finalists in Wadadli Pen Challenge 2012, held in partnership with the Best of Books. The brief ceremony, which will include readings from the top stories by the authors, will be held at the bookstore’s Village Walk branch on Friars Hill Road at 6:30 p.m. Prizes will be distributed during the ceremony from these sponsors: ABI Insurance, ACT, Adventure Antigua, Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour, Barbara Arrindell, Australian Homemade, the Best of Books, Blue Waters Hotel, Brenda Lee Browne, Caribbean Helicopters, D. Gisele Isaac, Frank B. Armstrong, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Jabberwocky, Jolly Beach Resort, Keyonna Beach Hotel, Little Antigua Island Tour, Conrad Luke, Claytine Nisbett, Ondeck, Stephen B. Shoul, Elaine Spires, and Floree Williams. We thank these sponsors for ensuring that we are able to adequately reward the writers of the interesting and diverse entries received. And we thank the media and public, in advance, for coming out to support.

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SELECTIONS FROM THE A & B INDEPENDENCE LIT AWARDS 2011

The Antigua and Barbuda Independence Literary Awards dates back to 2005. You’ll find there’s a lot of overlap in the Antigua and Barbuda literary community. I served as a judge once or twice. The Awards’ first chairperson Brenda Lee Browne, who gave up the post after a four year run (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), has been a Wadadli Pen judge for the past two years. Barbara Arrindell who announced her retirement from the chairmanship after 2011, having run it for three years (2009, 2010, 2011), has been, as manager of the Best of Books,  a supporter-cum-partner of Wadadli Pen from 2004. Our literary paths overlap in other ways, and there’s a reason for all that, a shared commitment to nurture and advance the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. The Independence Literary Awards plays a critical role in that process as it challenges participants of all ages to create to a common theme, usually a nationalistic theme. I was fortunate to be in the audience at this year’s awards to hear Barbara Arrindell deliver these words in the presence of the Culture Minister Eleston Adams. As he is himself a playwright, I hope he heeds them. The literary arts needs more foundational (and financial) support; that’s a fact.

But enough soap boxing; you came here to read about the winners. You’ll notice that this post is called ‘Selections from the A & B Independence Lit Awards 2011’. There’s a reason for that. I’m not posting and/or commenting on every single winning entry (separately), just some of my favourites (blogger’s discretion). Here they are:

First is the first, the young lady who pulled off the amazing upset by besting the two-time champion: Kimolisa Mings, of whose poetry (open mic to open mic) I am a quiet fan for its deceptively delicate force (both in delivery and content) so that

Mings a familiar open mic presence reading at the National Library Day programme at the Best of Books; image lifted from their facebook gallery of the event.

when she reads “They say the world/Is to end in 2012,/I say let it end”, you can’t help but murmur a quiet “yes!” because the flow of words has seduced you around to its point of view. And what is that point of view? Enough with the negativity, let’s tap into the positivity, and light, the God-ness that lives in us and conquer this darkness that threatens to consume. No, it’s not a religious poem but it comes from a deeply spiritual place, in my view, and most importantly, it hooks you. So, here, for your reading pleasure “This is Not a Good Time“.

And I like the concept of teen poet Jordee Josiah’s “I Whisper“. With the deft use of rhetoric, eye catching imagery, and a gently insistent tone, it’s no wonder this poet wowed the judges into granting first placed among poets 12 to 17.

I’m adding this one by one of the little ones because I think it shows promise, and an understanding that the crux of fiction is conflict …if the author were to revisit this story perhaps in a few years, they’d no doubt discover that they could give it more shade and detail, but for now, for a child, it’s a good start. Reminds me a little of one of the winning entries in the 12 and under of Wadadli Pen (2012) in that regard, a story called Mongoose in a Hole – a simple premise in search of a solution. The original submission was actually little more than the premise but it was enough of one to capture the judges’ attention and during the editing cycle of our contest, it grew not just in length but depth. That same potential resides in winner of the 11 and under short story Dante Barton’s Forward On.

Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis won the fiction contest but had to settle for second place in poetry this year even with a strong and resonant parent child take on the theme that spoke of sacrifice and pride; as usual her presentation of it lifted it from the page and it was easily a favourite of the night: Just Forward On.

Emiline Bero’s third placed story (which actually feels more like a personal essay than a short story to be honest) in the teen category was quite clean and poignant, and, as I’m reminded when I talk to nieces, nephews, and other kids I come into contact with, (unfortunately) topical. It deals with the topic of bullying and pushing through it: Forward On.

I liked the humour of Star’s (regular Wadadli Pen winners will know her as Shakeema Edwards – a 2010 and 2011 Wadadi Pen finalist in the teen category) third placed adult (yes, she’s adult now) short story: A New Stove for Independence.

In fact, I liked bits and pieces of some of the others. Some in the winners’ circle I felt clung to cliché or didn’t stretch themselves enough creatively, and I didn’t think having ‘forward on’ as the theme meant it had to be repeated incessantly (show, don’t tell, remember), but there were interesting moments even in those. Here’s the Full List of Winners: All Winners Independence Lit Awards 2011 and here’s my report on the awards ceremony.

FYI, because it’s important to keep a record of these things (so I hope I’m getting this right), this means that the Independence Literary Awards winners are, in order:

Zeina Hechme 2005

Lawrence Jardine 2006

Hazra Medica 2007

Kemal Osmel Nicholson 2008 (incidentally a 2006 Wadadli Pen Honourable Mention)

Rev Denise Smith Lewis 2009

Rev Denise Smith Lewis 2010

Kimolisa Mings 2011

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Post Note

Post contest, winners have been making the media rounds; Devra Thomas, as overall and 18 to 35 winner, has been contacted by and will be featured in a pending publication by News Pages; and Orique Gordon, along with other winners in the 12 and under category, Zuri Holder and Keillia Mentor appeared with their parents on Auntie Debbie’s Our House on Observer Radio. Winning stories through the years will be featured in a special issue of online children’s journal, Anansesem.

But it’s the small moments that resonate…receiving the edits of the short listed pieces from the writers
(who readily embraced the redrafting process guided by Judge Brenda Lee Browne’s comments), preparing and delivering the prizes (it’s a bit like wrapping presents at Christmas), and feedback like this…

Orique sharing that he’s started work on another story, Zuri sharing that he just keeps staring at the cheque he received (not depositing or cashing it, just staring at it!), their faces as they read their stories on air (nerves and joy in one nice bundle), the pride in the parents’ voices…

And emails like these:

“We were thrilled to be a part of such a lovely event and Freya was blown over with all her ‘Winnings’. We have been to
register with Edison and I am (sure) she will benefit greatly from his expertise .”
– from the mom of eight year old Freya Platts-Costeloe
(second in the art contest…the Edison mentioned is Edison Liburd who donated two scholarships worth EC$300+ each to his art camp to the two art winners)

“Elated mother (what a mother’s day gift)”
– from Orique’s mom on learnng her son had made the finals.

“I am so grateful to write and receive encouragement…you inspire me to step out”
– from Devra after her win.

The truth is, they inspire me.

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Who Won in 2011?

Congrats to all the winners!

Thanks to all partners and sponsors.

Admittedly, we’d still love to see more entries, and this was a tough year for attracting prizes, but we got some really quality pieces(read and see for yourself), and we tried to evenly distribute what we were able to attract (weighing in sponsor preferences) and keeping in mind that the prizes are an incentive not the point of creating.

In addition to prizes mentioned, all winners receive a certificate from the Wadadli Pen team; plus the Challenge plaque, sponsored by Best of Books, has been emblazoned with the winner’s name and will hang in the store until it is updated with the next winner’s name.

VISUAL ART AWARDS

First Placed:

Hudle Jennings
for illustration of Sands and Butterflies story (writer: Devra Thomas)

Prize Package –

  • Art Camp scholarship – Edison Arts
  • EC$250 – Caribbean Alliance  Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Hula Girl (framed art piece) – Jennifer Meranto

Second Placed:

Hudle Jennings
for illustration of The Curse of the Kumina (writer: Shakeema Edwards)

Prize Package –

  • EC$125 – Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Books –
    • All That Glitters is Not Gold – Marcel Marshall (author)
    • The Boy from Willow Bend –
      Joanne C. Hillhouse (author)
    • The Scarlet Letter (author: Nathaniel Hawthorne – audio book) – the Best of Books

Third Placed:

Freya Platts-Costeloe
(8, Island Academy) for illustration of The Scary Story (writer: Zuri Holder)

Prize Package –

  • Art camp scholarship – Edison Arts
  • EC$75 – Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Freedom (framed art piece)
    – Jennifer Meranto
  • Art project books – The Best of Books
  • A children’s music CD –
    Joanne C. Hillhouse

LITERARY ARTS AWARDS

12 and Under

First Placed:

The Lost Coin
by Orique Gordon (11, Minoah Magnet Academy)

Prize Package –

  • EC$150 – Caribbean Alliance  Insurance Company Ltd.
  • A selection of children’s books and gifts – The Best of Books
  • Boat Boys (framed art piece) – Jennifer Meranto
  • Party gift certificate – K & E Party Time

Second Placed:

The Scary Night
by Zuri Holder (10, Sunnyside
Tutorial)

Prize Package –

  • EC$75 – Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.
  • A selection of children’s books and gifts – The Best of Books
  • Book – Ninth Ward – Jewell Parker Rhodes (author)

Third Placed:

Mongoose in the Hole
by Keillia Mentor (10, Buckley’s Primary)

Prize Package –

  • EC$75 – Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.
  • A selection of children’s books and gifts – The Best of Books
  • Book – Ninth Ward – Jewell Parker Rhodes (author)

13 to 17

First Placed:

The Legend of Banana Boy
by Chatrisse Beazer (16, Princess Margaret School)

Prize Package –

  • EC$350 (and miscellaneous gifts) – ABI Insurance
  • Books – Turn Thanks (author: Lorna Goodison) & Prospero’s Daughter (author: Elizabeth Nunez) – Antigua and Barbuda International   Literary Festival

Second Placed:

The Curse of the Kumina by Shakeema Edwards
(17, Antigua State College)

Prize Package –

  • EC$250 (and miscellaneous gifts) – ABI Insurance
  • Books – Turn Thanks
    (author: Lorna Goodison) & Prospero’s Daughter (author: Elizabeth
    Nunez) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Third Placed:

Pre School Days
by Ardis Lavelle (17, Antigua State College)

Prize Package –

  • EC$150 (and miscellaneous gifts) – ABI Insurance
  • Books – Turn Thanks (author: Lorna Goodison) & Prospero’s Daughter (author: Elizabeth Nunez) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival
  • Book – All that Glitters is not Gold – Marcel Marshall (author)

18 to 35

First Placed:

Sands and Butterflies by Devra Thomas

Prize Package –

  • EC$150 (and miscellaneous gifts) – ABI Insurance
  • EC$150 – D. Gisele Isaac
  • Books – Sugar (author: Bernice McFadden) & Selected Poems (author: Lorna Goodison) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Second Placed:

Cocos Nucifera
by S A Dixon

Prize Package –

  • EC$100 – D. Gisele Isaac
  • Valise – Benetton
  • Books – Sugar (author: Bernice McFadden) & Selected Poems (author: Lorna Goodison) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Third Placed:

Market Day
by Latisha Walker-Jacobs

Prize Package –

  • EC$100 (and miscellaneous gifts) – ABI Insurance
  • Vegetable Stand (framed art piece) – Jennifer Meranto
  • Books – Sugar (author: Bernice McFadden) & Selected Poems (author: Lorna Goodison) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

OVERALL WINNERS

First Placed:

Sands and Butterflies by Devra Thomas

Prize Package –

  • Trophy – ABI Insurance
  • EC$500 – International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Books –
  • The Caribbean Writer 2010 Edition & The Boy from Willow Bend – Joanne C. Hillhouse (author)
  • Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses & Through the Window – Floree Williams (author)

Second Placed (tie):

The Lost Coin
by Orique Gordon

Prize Package –

  • EC$175 – Frank B. Armstrong/Seven Seas
  • A children’s music CD – Joanne C. Hillhouse
  • Books – Captain’s Courageous (author: Rudyard Kipling – audio book)

Second Placed (tie):

The Curse of the Kumina
by Shakeema Edwards

Prize Package –

  • EC$175 – Frank B. Armstrong/Seven Seas
  • Book – Anna in-Between (author: Elizabeth Nunez) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Third Placed:

The Legend of Banana Boy by Chatrisse Beazer

Prize Package –

  • EC$150 – Frank B. Armstrong/Seven Seas
  • Book – Anna in-Between (author: Elizabeth Nunez) – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

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From the Wadadli Pen Photo Archives

The Optimists some years ago singled out a handful of Wadadli Pen winners for recognition. They were 2005 winner Sandrena Martin, youth winner Sarah Ann Li, and finalist several times over Rilys Adams. Here they are:

Sandrena accepting her award.

 

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Who Won in 2010?

The Wadadli Pen prize returned in 2010 as part of a series of Black History Month activities (with the theme ‘Black and Beautiful’). For the first time, it also included an art component and a breakdown of winners by additional age categories; also the age limit was pushed from 18 to 35. Additionally, whereas the literary competition had previously accepted entries only in the fiction writing category, it opened up to other genres in 2010.

*In adddition to the prizes listed, several winners received a Ladybird bag from the Best of Books, and all winning artists had their pieces displayed both at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda (during the Black History Month visual arts exhibition) and at the Art Loft where they also attracted buyer interest.

Literary Arts Winners:

Best Writer in the 12 and under age category:

Terrikia Benjamin – 12 – AGHS – Title: Happy to be Black

Prize Package:

  • EC $50 (gift certificate) – Cedric Holder for the Cushion Club
  • EC $100 from D. Gisele Isaac

Best Writer in the 13 to 17 age category:

Shakeema Edwards – 16 – AGHS – Title: Skin Deep

Prize Package:

  • Books – a copy of Ladies of the Night by Althea Prince (courtesy Althea Prince); and, courtesy Best of Books, The Festival of San Joaquin by Zee Edgell and Marlon James’ John Crow’s Devil
  • EC $200 from D. Gisele Isaac

Best Writer in the 18 to 35 age category:

Hilesha S. Humphreys – Black and Beautiful

Prize Package:

  • Book – a copy of Being Black – Althea Prince
  • EC $200 from D. Gisele Isaac
  • EC $100 gift certificate – The Best of Books

*No overall winner was selected and as such no name was added to the challenge trophy sponsored by the Best of Books.

Visual Arts Winners:

Best Artist in the 12 and under age category:

Déjà Phillip – 11 – Foundation Mixed School

Prize Package:

  • Gift certificate for two hour art tutorial with Jane Seagull and a copy of the Debbie Eckert print ‘Fatawi’s Birthday Balloon’ – courtesy these artists and the Art Loft
  • EC $100 gift certificate – The Best of Books
  • EC $100 from Raeburn Generator Services

Best Artist in the 13 to 17 age category:

Ashley Clendenen's winning entry quickly attracted buyer interest when on show at the Art Loft

Ashley Clendenen – 17 – Antigua State College – Title: Pride

Prize Package:

  • Gift certificate for art tutorial and a print of ‘Daria’s Friend’ both from Debbie Eckert of the Art Loft
  • EC $200 from Raeburn Generator Services

Best artist in the 18 to 35 age category:

Akeem Barry – 18 – Antigua State College

Prize Package:

  • EC $100 gift certificate – Stephen B. Shoul’s
  • EC $200 from Raeburn Generator Services

Overall winner in the visual arts category:

Shem Alexander – 17 – ASC

Prize Package:

  • EC $250 gift certificate – Harper’s
  • EC $500 cheque – Daily Observer
  • Gift from Jeweler’s Warehouse   (value US$135)

    Shem Alexander collects his gifts from Museum director Michelle Henry.

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Who won in 2005?

2005 Wadadli Pen winners (front from left K. Charles, C. Beazer, S. Li, V. Benta; back R. Adams and S. Martin) flanked by Youth Minister Winston Williams and Wadadli Pen chief judge, D. Gisele Isaac.

*In addition to prizes mentioned, all winners receive a certificate from the YE WYPP team.

Also, special prize to the school with the most submissions – Buckley’s Primary – 20 books donated by Macmillan Publishers. This included copies of Backfire and Act of God (various authors); Baba and Mr. Big, Full Circle: The Rami Johnson Story, A Cow called Boy, and Big Doc Bitterroot (C. Everard Palmer); The Legend of St. Ann’s Flood (Debbie Jacob); Caribbean Folk Tales and Fantasies (Michael Anthony); The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories (Anthony Winkler); and The Boy from Willow Bend (Joanne C. Hillhouse)

Honourable Mention – Under-12 Category:

 Chatrisse Beazer, 10, Irene B. Williams School student for her story A Scary Night.

Prize Package:

  • Big Banana gift certificate
  • Best of Books gift certificate [valued at EC$40]
  • EC$100 cash – YE WYPP [thanks to American Women’s Club & Daily Observer contributions]
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘The Boy from Willow Bend’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) courtesy Macmillan
  •  Teddy Bear – HERO

Honourable Mention – General:

 Debesha S. A. Grant, 18, for her story Blue Mountain Hike.

Prize Package:

  • Images.Cam photo package
  • Motion in Poetry book/CD combo – Motion/Women’s Press
  • EC$100 cash – YE WYPP [thanks to American Women’s Club & Daily Observer contributions]
  •  YE WYPP certificate for ‘Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘Brother Man’ (Roger Mais) courtesy Macmillan

Kennella Charles, 16, Ottos Comprehensive student, for her story Awaken to the Night.

Prize Package:

  • Images.Cam photo package
  • The Source gift certificate [valued at EC$125]
  • EC$100 cash – YE WYPP [thanks to American Women’s Club & Daily Observer contributions]
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘There’s No Place Like’ (Tessa McWatt) courtesy Macmillan

Verdanci Benta, 12, Antigua Girls High School student, for her story Boysie’s Fixed Account.

Prize Package:

  • Woods Pharmacy Gift Certificate [valued at EC$100]
  •  Best of Books Gift Certificate [ valued at EC$40]
  • EC$100 cash – YE WYPP [thanks to American Women’s Club & Daily Observer contributions]
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘The Hummingbird Tree’ (Ian McDonald) & ‘Butler, Til the Final Bell’ (Michael Anthony) courtesy Macmillan

BEST UNDER 12 WRITER

Best Under-12 Writer:

Sarah Ann Li, 11, St. Andrew’s School student, for her story Lucky Dollar.

Prize Package:

  • Happy Kids Gift Certificate [valued at EC$150]
  • Caribbean Helicopters [US$80 voucher for tour]
  • Red portfolio, mini-portfolio & paints – Harper’s
  • EC$150 cash – YE WYPP [thanks to American Women’s Club & Daily Observer contributions]
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘The Boy from Willow Bend’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘Going Home and Other Tales from Guyana’ (Deryck Bernard) courtesy Macmillan
  • Teddy Bear – HERO

TOP THREE WRITERS

Third Place:

Liscia Lawrence, 17, Clare Hall Secondary School student, for her story Misinterpreted.

Prize Package:

  • EC$350 Food voucher – Anjo Wholesale
  • Jolly Beach day pass for two
  • EC$100 Kool Net gift certificate
  • Benetton bag
  • EC$50 Best of Books gift certificate [courtesy Cedric Holder and the Cushion Club]
  • ‘Motion in Poetry’ – Motion/Women’s Press
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘Brother Man’ (Roger Mais) courtesy Macmillan

Second Place:

Rilys Adams, 15, Antigua Girls High School student, for her story Fictional Reality.

Prize Package:

  • Two LIAT tickets
  • Citizen watch and bracelet [from Colombian Emeralds]
  • Best of Books Gift Certificate [valued at $60]
  • EC$100 Kool Net gift certificate
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘Ginger Lily’ (Margaret Knight) courtesy Macmillan

Winner:

Sandrena Martin, 16, Antigua State College student, for her story The Torturer.

Prize Package:

  • Personal Internet Communicator [MAX]– Cable and Wireless

    Me, Joanne C. Hillhouse, collecting the Cable and Wireless contribution from Corporate Communications Manager Paula Lee.

  • BWIA ticket to any Caribbean destination
  • Cross Pen – Stephen B. Shoul [est. value EC$120]
  •  ‘Bein’ Black’– Althea Prince/ Insomniac Press/ Canadian Scholars’ Press
  • EC$100 Kool Net gift certificate
  • YE WYPP certificate for ‘Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’ (Joanne C. Hillhouse) & ‘Such as I have’ (Garfield Ellis) courtesy Macmillan
  • Teddy Bear – HERO

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