Tag Archives: Writers

Mailbox – Commonwealth announces Regional Winners of Short Story Prize

commonwealth.pngCommonwealth Writers is delighted to announce the regional winners for this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The five outstanding stories were successful in a year of fierce competition when the Prize received a record 6,000 entries from across the Commonwealth.

Janet Steel, Programme Manager of Commonwealth Writers, said:
“We are extremely proud of the Short Story Prize. Every year, as the number of entries increase, we are both thrilled and honoured that writers take the time to send us their precious and sometimes very personal stories from around the world.

The prize is at the heart of all the work we do at Commonwealth Writers. It’s a chance for new writers to shine from around the Commonwealth and be recognised on a global platform. Some of the writers may have come up through our craft development initiatives, others may have been writing for years but what they all have in common is a passion and a commitment to writing stories that are moving, enlightening and make people sit up and listen.”

The winning writers are: READ MORE

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Wadadli Pen Challenge 2017 – the Long List

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PLEASE NOTE: There have been some updates made to this post.

The judges have finished all rounds of judging and have culled the submissions to 11 – all set to receive category prizes with three claiming the top three slots. As we do, the stories/poems were returned to the initial long list of writers for editing before the second round of judging to determine the top three. We return the top entries to the writers with edit notes from the judges so that said entries go through at least one round of the kind of editing they would go through before publishing if submitted to a journal, anthology, or imprint for publishing. We do this because Wadadli Pen is developmental in intent, and we want the writers to focus not just on the prizes but on improving their craft. There was also a third round of judging which resulted in some adjustments to the initial long list.

As a reminder, the judges don’t  receive any names or other identifying information; they evaluate the entries blind, strictly on merit. And, of course, the judges’ decisions are final. If you’re not on the list, use the disappointment to fuel your motivation to come even better next year; if you are on the list, CONGRATULATIONS.

FINALLY, this is what you came here for…

From 93 eligible entries! (a single year record), here’s the revised long list (in alphabetical order):

The Schools which will receive the prize as the school prize with most submissions – Island Academy

Authors who are winners in their age category and still in the running for the main prize –

Emma Belizaire (St. Andrew’s Primary School, student) – entry ‘Cricket is my Life’

Ashley Francis (St. Andrew’s Primary School, student) – entry ‘Our Caribbean’

Fayola Jardine – entry ‘Mango Picking Interruption’

Andrecia Lewis (Antigua State College, student) – entry ‘Strange’

Lucia Murray (St. Anthony’s Secondary, student) – entry ‘Mr Duppy’

Ava C. Ralph (Antigua Girls High School, student) – entry ‘Non fiction?’

Kaeiron Saunders (St. Anthony’s Secondary School, lecturer) – entry ‘Not Another Island Story; as told by Aunty Gah’

Shadieal Simmons (Baptist Academy, student) – entry ‘Brave Eleven-year-old saved two months Baby’

Zion Ebony Williams (Baptist Academy, student) – entry ‘Who don’t hear, will feel’

Devon Wuilliez (Island Academy, student) – entry ‘The Great Big Dumz’

Francis Yankey (Antigua Grammar School, student) – entry ‘And She Sang Fire’

Once again, congrats to the finalists; and good luck!

thank-you-and-Follow-up

Some thanks:

To the teachers, principals, parents, and others who helped students/young writers get their entries in. Processing posed some challenges for us because, frankly, everyone did not follow the submission guidelines (and that’s an understatement) but, though this has delayed final processing, we do appreciate the effort; and will work to make submitting more user-friendly.

To the team – including past winner Devra Thomas who’s helping deal with communication with patrons so that we can properly reward these writers; past finalist and our first ever intern Michaela Harris who has assisted with media and administrative tasks; returning chief judge and author (Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through the Window) Floree Whyte and her team for doing the Difficult; and past winner Margaret Irish who did not know what she was walking in to when she offered to take processing of entries and communicating with entrants off of my hands (but I appreciate it).

You may have noticed, if you’ve followed our pattern over these 13 years of Wadadli Pen, that we are behind schedule-wise. Some of you have already started querying (what gives?). Well, what gives is that we have decided to open up the schedule and announce the winners during the May 13th Wadadli Stories Book Fair; call it circumstance, call it fortune but we think it’s a good blend of brands. Plus another team member Barbara Arrindell is involved with both projects – as is patron the Best of Books – so it just made sense. Though it means a longer wait for the final results. Be patient with us; we will do our best to make it worth your while.

Wadadli Stories logo

For more on the project, check:
About Wadadli Pen
Wadadli Pen 2017
Wadadli Pen 2017 Challenge Patrons

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, and With Grace; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

 

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A & B Artistes Discussing Art

Primarily, in this space, I’ll be sharing discussions, in Question and Answer format, of craft, and insights to not only the author/artist’s journey but the story of the arts in Antigua and Barbuda. This is a Work in Progress. The main criteria, so far, for inclusion, apart from the Q & A structure and the arts/art history focus, is that these are interviews not conducted by someone who is part of the artistes’ publishing and/or promotional team, and are interviews that are in the public sphere on a platform independent of the artistes and/or their publishing and promotional team. Beyond that, it’s what I come across and you can also link me interviews that fit the very broad stated criteria by emailing wadadipen@gmail.com

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Tammi Browne Bannister talking to David DaCosta (December 28th 2016):
“When I was little, I loved reading Aesop’s Fables and was attracted to the humor, the lessons, and the tragedies and of course the way these tales made me think about the characters long after reading. I’ve written a few.” Full interview.

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Cray Francis talking with Good Morning Antigua Barbuda (April 5th 2016):
“I felt like I had to write my own stories.”

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Linisa George reads and talks about ‘In the Closet’, which was the Antigua and Barbuda Poetry Postcard  for the UK series featuring works from the Commonwealth in time for the 2012 Commonwealth Games. “I’ve always been a poet…” she says, then explains the journey toward stepping in to that power. Link.

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Joanne C. Hillhouse talking to M. J. Fievre at the Whimsical Project (November 21st 2014): “Calypso, the calypso at that time, sang the things people were afraid to say and reflected the concerns and reality of the folk, authentically, in their voice, in a way that stirred spirits. I think there’s a part of me that strives for that in my writing.” Full interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse talking to Commonwealthwriters.org (2014): “I use a lot of detail, a lot of specificity in rendering the world, and I write from a very character-driven place – Who are they? What do they want? What is their truth (don’t compromise on telling their truth)? Why should we care?” Full interview.

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TamekaJTameka Jarvis-George talking with SheRox: “I initially did not start out with the intention to write a whole book. I started writing what I thought was a short story, but it just wouldn’t end.” Full interview.

Jazzie B. talking with Chris Williams for Wax Poetics (May 14th 2014): “’Keep On Movin’ actually came about lyrically because we were at the Africa Center in Covent Gardens, and we were being put under a lot of pressure by the police. It was due to the fact that other clubs in the area were empty and ours kept being full. Every so often, we would get the squeeze put on us. At one particular moment, they threatened to close us down. The whole concept of this song came from there.” Full interview.

Clifton Joseph talking with Ian Ferrier (2007): “Hip Hop, Dub Poetry, Dancehall, Reggae all sort of come out of the same African inspired, Caribbean, American, emphasis on words, rhythm, repetition; all of those things pull from the same pool of stylistic influences.”

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JamaicaJamaica Kincaid talking with Mother Jones (January/February 2013): ‘I think I was trying to understand how, short of an accident—you know, you pick up the phone, he says, “Your mother is dead. Her car. The Earth fell”—I never expected the everyday to suddenly become an accident. Suddenly you go downstairs and the pine floor is a gravel pit. I was trying to understand how the everyday suddenly becomes the unexpected.’ Full interview.

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JoyLapps1Joy Lapps talking with Joanne C. Hillhouse (December 2nd 2012): “I think that my strengths lie in composition and writing lyrics for music composed by others and by myself. My inspiration comes from my lived experience and some things I read about or see on the news, my spirituality and love of God, falling in love with my husband, the everyday challenges of life…etc.” Full interview.

Natasha Lightfoot talking with Renee Goldthree for Black Perspectives (April 4th 2016):
“In the UWI archives, there was an almanac for the West Indies in the nineteenth century, and it contained an entry in the year 1858 for Antigua. The entry mentioned that there had been a riot and that the island’s jails were completely full, but it also claimed that the riot was nothing of any political significance. The entry suggested that the rioters were basically rabble in the streets causing trouble—and not at all political. That entry raised my antenna so to speak. I thought that the way the entry was written was a sign that whatever had occurred was very political: there had been a riot in the streets for several days and the jails were full of rioters. I wanted to figure out what happened and why.” Full interview.

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Jelani ‘J-Wyze’ Nias, author of Where Eagles Crawl and Men Fly, talking about following his path to publication: “The biggest wall I encountered, not that there weren’t others, but the biggest was my own fear. And once you get through that fear/feeling of will people understand this, will people accept this, are people gonna see my vision, once you go through that then everything else tends to be a lot more easy to deal with.”  – Watch the video.

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Dorbrene O’Marde talking with Judd Batchelor at Batchelor of Arts Theatre Online (2016): “And one of the comments I made -which seemed to rattle some of the young writers, was the total absence of socio political concerns in this region, at this particular point in time when there is so much need for concern and there is so much need for understanding the post-colonial independence bind that we find ourselves in, that our leaders find themselves in that we as persons trying to inform leadership have not really clarified for ourselves. And my view of the role of the artist is to help in that clarification.” Full interview.

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Paul ‘King Obstinate’ Richards: “We’re prophets; a lot of things we write about comes true.” (King Obstinate on calypso, September 2013)

PHOTO credits: Pictures of Joanne C. Hillhouse and Joy Lapps are from the 2011 event Telling our Stories at the University of Toronto – event photo; of Tameka Jarvis George is from the 2006 Wadadli Pen/Museum literary showcase Word Up! – event photo/Laura Hall; of Jamaica Kincaid is from the 2014 University of the Virgin Islands literary festival – event photo; of Jelani Nias is a screen grab from a televised interview.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.

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Commonwealth Short Story Short List 2016

I’ve been meaning to post about this but I’ve been backed up. But better late than never. Congratulations to all the writers making the Commonwealth Short Story Short List. If you entered and that’s not you, don’t be discouraged. That’s not platitudes. I’m someone who enjoys experimenting and testing myself with the short story form and who, as a journeying writer, stretches toward every opportunity I can alllmost reach for, who continues to receive more than my fair share of rejections (that’s the cycle, submit, shake it off, submit again, and every now and again go crazy celebrating that w/in), and who’s had to stem the disappointment as far as this prize is concerned. The closest I’ve gotten to the main draw is my selection for the Commonwealth short story prize for the collection entitled Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean. It was encouraging to know I’d gotten that close though – and can I tell you, the reviews of the published story (Amelia at Devil’s Bridge which, incidentally, was also short listed for the Small Axe Fiction prize) have been really positive and it’s even been taught at the University of Belize, so you never know why something didn’t make the final cut, doesn’t mean it has no value, and you never know where something may end up and never will if you don’t put it out there. I continue to work on strengthening my writing skills and looking for the opportunity to sink that black eight ball in the pocket. You better believe the Commonwealth judges ah go tired fu see me face (thanks, Bob). And so I say to you, if your name’s not on this list, shake it off (thanks, Mariah). Those who know me know I’m not relentlessly optimistic (ha!) but I am obstinately persistent. So, to you I say, I know through the blood, sweat, and tears of rejection that it can be discouraging but DO NOT GIVE UP.

Big up to all the finalists and especially the Caribbean finalists in bold below.

Aabirah, Sophia Khan (Pakistan)
A Visitation, Jane Healey (United Kingdom)
Black Milk, Tina Makereti (New Zealand)
Charmed, Jane Downing (Australia)
Children of the Zocalo, Don McLellan (Canada)
Confluence, Nova Gordon-Bell (Jamaica)
Cow and Company, Parashar Kulkarni (India)
Dirty White Strings, Kritika Pandey (India)
Eel, Stefanie Seddon (United Kingdom)
Ethelbert and the Free Cheese,
Lance Dowrich (Trinidad and Tobago)
Exorcism, Lausdeus Chiegboka (Nigeria)
Girdhar’s Mansion, Sumit Ray (India)
Imbecile, Craig S Whyte (United Kingdom)
Instant Karma, Vinayak Varma (India)
Kurram Valley, Munib A Khan (Pakistan)
Niroporadh Ghum (Innocent Sleep),
Sumon Rahman (Bangladesh);
Translator: Arunava Sinha
Saving Obadiah, Enyeribe Ibegwam (Nigeria)
Space Invaders, Stuart Snelson
(United Kingdom)
The Driver, Oyinkan Braithwaite (Nigeria)
The Entomologist’s Dream, Andrew Salomon (South Africa)
The Pigeon, Faraaz Mahomed (South Africa)
This Here Land, Miranda Luby (Australia)
This is How We Burn, Cat Hellisen
(South Africa)
Vestigial, Trent Lewin (Canada)
When I Came Home, Mark Winkler
(South Africa)
Where Mountains Weep, Bonnie Etherington (New Zealand)

This version of the list pulled from the Scoop.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, DancingNude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you share this list, give credit; if you appreciate the service, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

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WHO WON IN 2015?

Wadadli Pen’s 2015 Challenge was a Winner Takes All Flash Fiction Challenge. And the Winner is…

MARGARET IRISH, for her story JUSTICE

TriviaIrish was also the 2014 winner of the Wadadli Pen Lead by Example Teachers’ Prize.

Prizes:

Name added to the annual Challenge trophy, winners’ certificate courtesy Wadadli Pen & the Best of Books

$500 cash – anonymous donor

Gavinia Michael representing Flow, presented a $500 gift certificate on behalf of the company and assisted with the presentation of other prizes to winner Margaret Irish.

Gavinia Michael representing Flow, presented a $500 gift certificate on behalf of the company and assisted with the presentation of other prizes to winner Margaret Irish.

Gift certificate valued at $500 for books sponsored by FLOW

Gift basket from Raw Island Products

Matching Journal and Notebook Set contributed by Art at the Ridge

Books courtesy CODE, sponsors of the Burt Award for Teen/Young Adult Caribbean Fiction & Bocas, administrators of the award – includes 2014 Burt Award Winning Titles All Over Again by A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse, and Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith Dennis

BEST OF BOOKS PICKS

Best of Books, a longtime partner and patron of Wadadli Pen decided to offer some special gifts to other promising young writers from this year’s entries. These receive certificates and book prizes sponsored by the store, as well as gifts contributed by Art at the Ridge, and 2014 Burt Award winning titles contributed by CODE. They are…

OLSFRED JAMES, author of GET SET, GO…

JUDAH CHRISTIAN, author of JUDAH AND HIS FRIENDS SAVE THE DAY

ONDREJ AUSTIN-MCDONALD, author of an untitled entry

AVRIEL WALTERS, author of TEENAGERS

MELICIA MCCALMON, author of THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO ST. JOHN’S

Photo courtesy of Barbara Arrindell of the Best of Books.

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Teenagers

By Avriel Walters

You know what I can`t stand about teenagers? They always feel they`re the boss of every sibling.

One day my cousin got invited to a send- away party and I begged her to go but she said,

“NO, you too likkle.”

That very night, I found out that the girl had invited me. I was so vexed.

The next day my parents were going to St. Lucia, before they left, I had asked them for permission to go to the movies with my friends and they agreed.

An hour later, the very same cousin came into the house; I had expected her because my parents always ask her to babysit me- something I’m never happy about.

I left her to go and get ready. When I was about to head out the door she stopped me saying, “Where are you going?”

I replied saying “to the movies.”

“Who are you going with?”

“With my friends.”

“Well likkle gyal once your parents not here, you not going nowhere by yourself, so forget about it.”

I cried, went in my room and closed my door with a force.

You see why I don’t like teenagers?

Avriel Walters collects her prizes from poet (whose latest CD is I am Speaking) Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau. Photo courtesy The Best of Books.

Avriel Walters collects her prizes from poet (whose latest CD is I am Speaking) Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau. Photo courtesy The Best of Books.

 

Avriel Walters, 10, attends the Mary E. Piggot primary school (grade 5). “I had entered last year and wanted to enter again this year.” Second time’s the charm; she is a Best of Books Promising Writer pick in the 2015 Wadadli Pen Challenge.

All Rights Reserved. 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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Burt Award Finalists

The leading Caribbean literary award for young adult literature, CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, will go to one of three shortlisted writers from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The writers are in the running for valuable cash prizes and a publishing deal with a Caribbean publisher that will see 7,500 copies of their novels distributed to schools, libraries and community organizations across the region. The first place winner will receive $10,000CAD, the runners up will receive $7,500CAD and $5,000CAD each.

The top three titles (in alphabetical order) are: READ ON.

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