Tag Archives: writing challenge

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 2021)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)


This is an opportunity to support Haiti relief – Films For Haiti is a September 17th -18th 2021 event – donate. share. watch. Make a donation, access the films, watch the films.

(Source – Karukerament email)


Opportunities Too has the full schedule of Bocas workshops for 2021; so this is just your reminder that I (Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse) am scheduled (re-scheduled) to facilitate a workshop on writing children’s literature in October 2021. (Source – Bocas on Facebook)


As you’ll see if you check our Opportunities Too page, it’s Commonwealth Writers Short Stories submission time and they’ve shared some tips.

(Source – CW Twitter)


You can register for the 2021 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival events, set for September 10th – 12. (Source – BCLF email)


Bocas’ children writing (as in children doing the writing) contest winners have been announced.

David is 8 and Josh is 9. (Source – Bocas email)


Trinidad and Tobago born, Canada resident M. Nourbese Philip has been named one of two recipients of Canada’s Molson Prize which comes with a $50,000 purse. She is the author of the award winning Harriet’s Daughter and other works like the genre-bending Zong! “NourbeSe Philip is a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio), and in 2020 she was the recipient of PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.” This is no small victory for a writer who in an interview on the Canada Council website said the biggest thing she has had to overcome is “Canadian racism in its myriad forms.” That same site asked her for advice for up and coming writers to which she responded: “Learn how to trust their gut instincts about their own work—sometimes the critics are wrong; be willing to risk—failure or success; and have someone in your life who loves what you do and will critique your work honestly.” (Source – John Robert Lee email)


Jamaica’s Musgrave awards are given to people who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields. The 2021 literature recipients are Ishion Hutchinson (gold), Shara McCallum (silver), and Veronica Blake-Carnegie (bronze). They will be awarded in October. Read all about it in the Jamaica Gleaner. (Source – John Robert Lee email)


The winning stories in this year’s Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival short story competition have been posted. They are ‘Daughter 4′ by Patrice Grell Yursik, winner of the Caribbean-American writers’ prize, and ‘The Wailers’ by Akhim Alexis, winner of the award for writers in the Caribbean. Both are of Trinidad and Tobago. Congrats to them both. (Source – BCLF Facebook)


Environmentalist Brian Cooper was the Antigua and Barbuda selection for the Global Portrait Project, a mission to paint a person per country involved in conservation work. The artist explains about the project and why Dr. Cooper, originally from the UK and later Trinidad before moving to Antigua in the 1980s, was chosen for this project.

(Source – Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper)


Antigua and Barbuda’s Dorbrene O’Marde was one of three recipients of the President’s Award at the St. Martin Book Fair this past June. The other recipients were Deborah Drisana Jack and Fabian Adekunle Badejo, both of St. Martin.

“The Presidents Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). O’Marde has written many plays and calypsos, and a couple of books. He has been a leading cultural worker in the Caribbean region for decades. (Source – Nehesi House press release via email)

New Books Reading Material

Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, And Trying Again, co-edited by Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy just dropped. It includes essays by 17 writers in the teen/YA space on needing an ally, being an ally, and/or showing up for friends and families.

Image is from Shakirah’s instagram, @shakirahwrites
Also congrats to her on her recent nuptials.


This collection on rejection includes the voices of Caribbean writers like Olive Senior and Colin Grant. Another Caribbean writer Caryl Philips described it as “an important anthology that spans generations, circles the globe, and embraces all forms of imaginative writing. Uplifting and inspiring.” (Source – N/A)


I do hope that more and more of you are reading my CREATIVE SPACE series spotlighting local art and culture. I’m really enjoying doing it, I’m happy that it’s growing, and that it allows me to keep my hand in journalism which is my background. For the first installment of September 2021, I visited Clarence House within the National Parks. I was interested in the restoration work and the history. Did you know by the way that Nelson’s Dockyard within the National Parks, right below Clarence House, marked its 5th anniversary as a World Heritage site in 2021. I’m glad I got to do something in that space in this year – as I explored in the article the history of the relationship between us, the descendants of enslaved Africans and that space is complicated. Here’s a link to that article and other recent installments of CREATIVE SPACE.


Cuban-American writer Achy Obejas released a new book this September. It is Boomerang/Bumeran, a bilingual poetry collection exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and belonging. (Source – author email)


Cover reveal. This one won’t be out until August 2022 with Peepal Tree Press. Synopsis: Gay men search for sex, adventure, pleasure, self-realisation and love in Woodbrook, Trinidad.

(Source – Nature Island Literary Festival’s Facebook)


I ‘discovered’ and wrote about the new Department of Culture – Antigua and Barbuda publication in the Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late February 2021 edition. I lost track after that but I just came upon issue 3 and want to commend them for keeping it going, and (having been involved in my share of local publications that have come and gone) express hope that they do keep it going.

Content includes a tribute to late former director Vaughn Walter – “a man who personified culture”, DIY Craft with DOC head of craft Sylvanie Abbott, a music focused article on copyright, features on music artists Andrew Dorsett and Zamoni, the behind the scenes of a local documentary – Own It, an interview with Pan-o-Grama founder Nevin Roach; then they have some listicles – one on the Top 150 Antigua and Barbuda Soca Songs by DJ Illest, who, judging by the list prefers midtempo tracks.

I went further back to find Issue 2.

Scrolling through this one, I find Antiguanisms, a recipe for bread pudding; articles about the role of government in the development of pan by Stafford Joseph, copyright (so, this seems to be a series), coverage of a craft exhibition, ‘Stamp 268’, organized by Culture, a history of Halcyon, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, and reflections by Gilbert Laudat on dance in Antigua and Barbuda. Featured artists include cover artist Guava (Ron Howell) and pannist Alston M. Davis. This edition’s listicle is by bookstagrammer Lalabear, a teacher named Lakiesha Mack, who shared her top 5 Caribbean books. Since it’s only 5 and this is primarily a lit arts site, I’ll share them: Tea by the Sea by Donna Hemans of Jamaica, The Girl with the Hazel Eyes and The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning of Barbados, whom she identifies as her favourite author, Where there are Monsters by Breanne McIvor of Trinidad, and How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones of Barbados. (Source – initially lalabear’s post about her listicle which sent me looking for the article and ended with me finding both issues of Fu Arwe Ting)


Witness in Stone by Barbados poet laureate Esther Phillips actually debuted in April 2021 (sorry to be so late, Esther).

John Robert Lee, creator of the Caribbean lit bibliography featured on this site, with Caribbean writers George Lamming and Esther Phillips at a BIM literary event in 2008.

From the summary on the site of publisher Peepal Tree: “Esther Phillips’ poems are always lucid and musical; they gain a rewarding complexity from being part of the collection’s careful architecture that offers a richly nuanced inner dialogue about the meaning of experience in time. Not least powerful in this conversation are the sequence of poems about Barbadian childhoods, poems of grace, humour and insight. When Barbados chose Esther Phillips as its first poet laureate it knew what it was doing: electing a poet who could speak truth, who could challenge and console her nation – and all of us.”

Esther is also the editor of BIM: Arts for the 21st Century, a new edition of which dropped in June 2021. (Source – publisher site)

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, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, 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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Finally! Wadadli Pen Challenge Launches



February 26th 2021

The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize returns with its latest challenge to writers and artists in Antigua and Barbuda. As in the past, the 1000 word (maximum) entries – of any literary genre or sub-genre – should be Caribbean in spirit. Entrants can write about anything but there is, also, an optional themed challenge.

The arts often flourish in difficult times as a way of channeling and expressing, also escaping, the turmoil and complexities of that time. For that reason, and the cathartic relief it can offer, Wadadli Pen looks back to ‘2020’, a year which has become a euphemism for struggle and uncertainty, as an optional sub-theme of the 2021 Wadadli Pen Challenge, with a reminder to reflect, imagine, and make it Caribbean. Both written and art-text combos (i.e. storytelling using both written and visual art) are welcome.

Each year, the winning writer’s name is emblazoned on to the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque sponsored by the Best of Books. Additional pledged prizes so far this season have been confirmed from the Best of Books, Harper Collins (UK), International award winning Jamaican author Olive Senior, Patricia L. Tully of Antigua and Barbuda who has recently published her first book, and past Wadadli Pen winner Daryl George.

2021 Wadadli Pen Patron Daryl George’s name is on the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque as a past winner. Pictured with George (right) is Douglas Allen (left), a Wadadli Pen founding partner and brother of the late volunteer for whom the plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books, is named.

Wadadli Pen is launching later than usual this year and without the usual prize confirmations but determined to press on. To support the work by sponsoring a prize or volunteering, contact wadadlipen@gmail.com

Wadadli Pen is open in 2021 to entries from anyone of any age resident in Antigua and Barbuda; but reserves the right to single out youth entries for commendation. As usual, Wadadli Pen will also recognize the school with the most submissions.

For full submission details and entry form, visit the Wadadli Pen 2021 tab.

Consistent with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary and other artists in Antigua and Barbuda, the Wadadli Pen team is, also, once again inviting reader participation in its #readAntiguaBarbuda readers choice book of the year initiative. Vote.

This is the first time the organizers have done the challenge and the readers choice book of the year initiative at the same time; the organizers encourage full participation in this ongoing effort to boost the literary arts.
Submissions due by March 26th 2021.

Submission form:

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A Song to Sing by Chloe Martin (Wadadli Pen Honourable Mention, 2018)


A song to Sing

Today I met someone new
She was brown with long hair
And her eyes were green-blue
Her hands were soft, skin unscarred
Picking cotton with baby hands
Now that will be hard

Her name was Uhuru and she was scared
Just give respect and he won’t pull your hair
I told her master screams and shouts sometime
Perplexed and confused she blinked her eyes
She said, “Master who?”
“Where is Chief Mkuuwa Kichu?”

She says she’s from somewhere far away
Where she lived in clay huts with roofs made of hay
I asked her what she did for fun
She said, “I played catch with my friends in the warm sun
We were always together, like a family, you know?
We loved each other and lmba Wimbo”

In the village of lmba Wimbo
There was chanting, dancing and sing too
I would love to hear just one song

She said songs represent where you come from
I overheard her singing something
She sang of angels with wings and children playing

I listened to her sing and tell stories
I then wondered how mother had never told me
I wanted to play by the river
And have big family dinners
I was angry, livid, hurting and raging
All along I didn’t know what I was missing

At mid-day there we were picking cotton
Master slowly approached us and took her away
But my day turned dark for she was chosen
No slave ever dared to scream
But today there was a new noise for him

Uhuru was thrown out clothes torn
Butt naked, just as she was born
She did not please him, he had no fun
So he beat her skin red until she was broken
I ran to her side and held her face
I looked into her eyes and her pureness had been erased

We ran far from the plantation
Searching for words to chant, drums to dance to,
Ignoring the shots fired, pounding hooves racing behind us
Focusing on the ocean crashing and the birds in the sunset
Ignoring our feet leaving the ground as we leaped off the cliff
Imagining our fluffy white angel wings
We were just two little girls looking for a song to sing.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chloe Martin, 14, is a student at St. Anthony’s Secondary. An Antiguan/ Canadian, she enjoys creating art. She grew up exploring Antigua, using it as inspiration for her art. She asserts that she is an artist entrepreneur who has started her own business.


Chloe accepting her prizes at the 2018 awards from Wadadli Pen patron London Rocks author Brenda Lee Browne.

ABOUT THE POEM: “A creative piece” – judge

“I was inspired by the culture of Africans who have  freedom and a wonderful life, one which slaves did not have. As the main character learned, sometimes we don’t realize how terrible we are being treated until someone teaches us. It is important to maintain cultural traditions especially in hard times because it brings hope to the future generations.” – Chloe

PRIZES WON: As with all the honourable mentions, Chloe received a training session (Presenting: Telling Your Story Orally) from Barbara Arrindell & Associates, and books and a certificate from the Best of Books.

ABOUT WADADLI PEN 2018: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 14 years later. The project was launched by Joanne C. Hillhouse with D. Gisele Isaac and the Young Explorer publication. Today, its core team is Hillhouse with past finalists Devra Thomas and Margaret Irish, and writers and long time patrons and partners Floree Whyte and Barbara Arrindell. The name of each winner is emblazoned on the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque, named for one of the project’s earliest volunteers (and sister-friend of founder, Joanne C. Hillhouse) who died in 2015. The Challenge is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. The Challenge has encouraged young writers in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to write on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. It doesn’t often prescribe other limitations, but this year it did request specifically historical fiction/poetry. Normally, prizes are broken down by age categories but this year it’s winner take all with only one winner and a handful of honourable mentions (Andre Warner, Rosie Pickering, Andrecia Lewis, Chloe Martin, and Ava Ralph). Congratulations to them all. Thanks to the patrons and to partners – Floree Whyte, Barbara Arrindell, Devra Thomas, and Margaret Irish. To find out how you can continue to support the work of Wadadli Pen contact wadadlipen@gmail.com

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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Wadadli Pen Deadline Approaching!

Are your entries in?


Remember to check the Wadadli Pen 2017 tab for submission details.

And big up to our 2017 Patrons::support the businesses that support the arts.

For more about Wadadli Pen, go here.



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A & B Arts Round-up January 20th 2017 —>

Updated January 27th 2017

March 11th 2017 – Soothe16114617_1821137648146082_1427462733952277420_n

February 7th 2017 – the Literacy Festival that forms part of Education Week, this year with a focus on expressive literacy at the Secondary and Tertiary levels. The students will be engaged in an impromptu speaking activity and a dramatization of an extract from a text of any genre. In addition, there will be a display of original writings by teachers as well as local and regional authors as models of literacy.The event will take place at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Relatedly, congratulations to Desryn Collins on her appointment as Education Officer, Language Arts, (Ag.) as of January 3rd 2017.

Wadadli Pen 2017 flyer.jpgFebruary 6th – Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Annual Challenge deadline. Must be Antiguan and Barbudan and 35 or younger to participate. See details at Wadadli Pen 2017. Teachers, youth workers, parents encourage the young people in your lives to create and submit; young people, we, at Wadadli Pen, look forward to reading your efforts.

January 28th – 10:30 a.m. – Antigua Dance Academy will be hosting a Creole Headtie Workshop at the Red Cross Headquarters on Old Parham Road. It is part of their year-long 25th anniversary celebrations.

January 23rd – Start of 12-week sculpting and painting workshop. Register at the Cultural Development Division on Nevis Street.

January 21st – Tanya Evanson will be hosting a special master class ‘Bothism’ for poets, spoken word poets and creatives during the one Day Just Write Writers’ Retreat on Saturday, January 21, 2017, upstairs Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Long Street 10 am to 5pm – EC$150 (22 and over). Young writers 21 and under PAY ONLY EC$100 AND scholarships are available.


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Arts Round-up (August 27th 2016—>)

October 5th 2016 art show at the AYC Event Centre will feature the works of GuavadeArtist, Jan Farara, Jennifer Meranto, Angela Stenzel, and Maria Tyrrell. More here.


Zahra I Airall’s Zee’s Youth Theatre is back after a long hiatus. Zee’s Youth Theatre is open to young people between the ages of 11 and 16. Under the motto “changing the world one scene at a time”, the main objective is to create a healthy and safe environment where young people can express themselves through the performing arts, mainly using the elements of drama. This will also be an excellent forum to allow them a platform to unleash and showcase their creativity to explore issues affecting young people, in hopes of raising awareness. “Drama has always played an integral part in my life. I was born into it, and I had the privilege of working under the direction of renowned stroyteller and director Amina Blackwood-Meeks as a child. Drama not only instills discipline, but sharpens the mind, forces creativity and critical thinking, while building confidence, public speaking skills and developing social and interpersonal skills that are paramount to a successful foundation as a student and professional.” – Zahra I Airall. Classes will be held on Mondays from 5-6:30pm at the Antigua Girls’ High School auditorium, for the academic year 2016-2017, with the exclusion of public holidays, for a total of 30 weeks. There will be a fee of XCD$350 to be paid each term. The first term’s fee will be due by October 3rd; second term by January 16th; and third term by April 24th. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Zahra Airall at 779-6634 (call or whatsapp) or email byziaproductions@gmail.com. Spaces are limited so register your child/children as soon as possible.


I’m late posting this one but hopefully it’s not for you to participate. Or to start your own writing challenge. No time to get started like today, right?



Meanwhile, in New York (if you’re there)


The Caribbean Cultural Theatre which is behind the above event also reports that the visiting writers doing work for younger readers will for the first time be having readings for elementary and middle school students in Brooklyn and the Bronx thanks to partnerships with Brooklyn Public Library, Caribbean Research Center – Medgar Evers College, Jamaica Progressive League, and the Marcus Garvey School for making these possible.  A meeting with Caribbean-American educators is also planned. On September 18th 2016, these and other writers are expected to spend time during the day under the CCT tent at the Festival marketplace – Booth 533 (Beside Borough Hall at Joralemon & Adam Sts).

Read of other stateside Caribbean-arts activities this month, here.


September 4th 2016 – Let’s Paint Antigua

Paint your own Picture

image from facebook.com/letspaintantigua

Two hour session creating one-of-a-kind art pieces in the company of others at a popular bar or restaurant (Russell’s Fort James) – 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – EC$70 per person – Rules: drink wine and have fun, do not compare paintings, do not use words like “mine don’t look good”, do not let someone else paint for you, do finish your painting, do feel proud of your painting, do come again, do tell your friends how much fun you had. To register, contact 724-9043 or letspaintantigua@gmail.com



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Wadadli Pen 2016 Challenge Launches

Details here.

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I’ve been adding to the Thank You wall little by little but the generous 2014 Patrons and Partners deserve their own pages. So as we prepare for the official launch of our 2014 season in just about a month, I’m taking a minute to tell them publicly big up and thank you.



A is for  all the folks (listed and unlisted) who support Wadadli Pen.

Barbara is pictured here (right) at the 2013 Wadadli Pen awards ceremony with winner Asha Challenger (left). (Photo courtesy antiguachronicle.net)

Barbara is pictured here (right) at the 2013 Wadadli Pen awards ceremony with winner Asha Challenger (left). (Photo courtesy antiguachronicle.net)

Barbara Arrindell is the manager at the Best of Books, so she’s key to Best of Books’ support of our project; but she’s also making an author contribution as the author of two books – Antigua My Antigua and The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Antiguan Stories. Barbara is a rock both with her calm and with her reliability when it comes to making a way out of no way and always supporting the literary arts. Her books are good keepsakes as well for anyone of any age interested in Antiguan and Barbudan culture.

Art at the Ridge is a gallery on the south west side of the island, on the Sugar Ridge property to be specific. It is one of the Top Ten Galleries in the Caribbean according to Culture Trip, a global website that showcases art and culture in 200 countries worldwide. It has a wide selection and runs developmental programmes like its juried exhibition and annual Christmas card competition. It contributed to our art prize in 2013 and will do so again in 2014, various gifts including items from the gallery and a mentorship session with artist-in-residence Jane Seagull – sure to be coveted by any budding artist. Owner Joy James will also be part of the judging team of the art component of the Wadadli Pen Prize.

Pam Arthurton is the boss at Carib World Travel and the co-founder with her sister of the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival, not the first but among the earlier literary festivals in the region.

Me (JCH) and Eric Jerome Dickey on a panel at The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.

Me (JCH) and Eric Jerome Dickey on a panel at The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.

It’s been on extended hiatus for a minute but we hope it will return, that it won’t be another Antigua and Barbudan arts initiative that floundered due to lack of resources while other islands not only made it work but made it bigger.  Pam hasn’t let the shelving of ABILF stop her from supporting the arts; once again she is making her contribution to the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and this with other activities like the ABILF backed film festival earlier this year marks her as a friend of the creative arts.


Barbuda Express is a ferry service between Antigua and Barbuda. Barbuda is, of course, our incomparably beautiful sister island.

This is a picture of a visit to the sister island by one of our prize winners and a friend; the friend's the one in the picture - click on the picture for her review of the experience.

This is a picture of a visit to the sister island by one of our prize winners and a friend; the friend’s the one in the picture – click on the picture for her review of the experience.

If you’re Antiguan and you haven’t hopped over as yet, come on now, what are you waiting for? It’s an experience you should have at least once in your lifetime. Barbuda Express has more than a couple of times ensured that we can offer it at least once a year to a few of our finalists, and though we’re disappointed to learn that some have not (yet) taken up the opportunity, and we are grateful for that.

The Best of Books bookstore is located on St. Mary’s Street with perhaps the most varied and international collection on island. It is a popular hub for literary activities in Antigua, including the monthly Wadadli Pen Open Mic. It has given to Wadadli Pen from the beginning and has done more than give since 2010, assisting with lots behind the scenes, especially the awards preparation and hosting. It’s been a HUGE help and their contribution to our prize package has enabled us to give even more. They also do the Wadadli Pen Challenge plaque on which the names of all our winners are emblazoned.

Best of Books owner E. M. Grimes-Graeme and Devra Thomas, 2011 winner, poses with the Challenge plaque which hangs in the Best of Books.

Best of Books owner E. M. Grimes-Graeme and Devra Thomas, 2011 winner, poses with the Challenge plaque which hangs in the Best of Books.

Brenda Lee Browne has been working and volunteering on behalf of the literary arts for a long time now. Her Just Write Writers Retreat is only the latest manifestation of that.

The colourful group from Brenda's first Just Write Writers Retreat. That's her in the blue top on the right; that's Glen who hosts the Wadadli Pen Open Mic next to her and in front of her, that's Tiffany Smith, a finalist in 2012 - the weekend retreat was part of her prize package, contributed by one Ms. Brenda Lee Browne.

The colourful group from Brenda’s first Just Write Writers Retreat. That’s her in the blue top on the right; that’s Glen who hosts the Wadadli Pen Open Mic next to her and in front of her, that’s Tiffany Smith, a finalist in 2012 – the weekend retreat was part of her prize package, contributed by one Ms. Brenda Lee Browne.

We have supported each others’ projects over the years and I am grateful that she continues to be a part of the Wadadli Pen family. She has offered spots to Wadadli Pen finalists (2) for the first and second year of the programme in addition to serving as Wadadli Pen’s chief judge between 2010 and 2013. For the 2014 season, she’s offered not only a spot in Just Write but also a cash contribution.  I am grateful for the contribution but also for her being a true believer in what we’re trying to do with this programme and in the untapped, unrealized, unsupported potential of the literary and all the arts in Antigua and Barbuda.


Caribbean Reads Publishing is the publisher of the Caribbean Adventure Series (featuring Chee Chee the capuchin monkey) and also a patron of Wadadli Pen and main sponsor of the Lead by Example Teachers Prize, a new addition to the programme. The author of the Caribbean Adventure series and the woman behind Caribbean Reads Publishing, by the way, is Carol Mitchell

Carol Mitchell.

Carol Mitchell.

who has given to the Wadadli Pen Programme in the past but who has significantly increased her contribution (in cash and kind) with this 2014 pledge.

Community First Cooperative Credit Union – Formerly the Teachers’ Cooperative Credit Union, founding in 1959, and an Antiguan institution, CFCCU is technically a returning donor having given to Wadadli Pen many years ago. We are delighted to have them back on board with a generous gift to one of our junior winners, a gift which will set them on the road to saving.

The Cushion Club’s founder will shoot me if I mention his name but he really does deserve mad props because whereas some other volunteers (points to self) are in and out, he is there week in week out and has been for years – before I even knew what the Cushion Club was and I’ve been volunteering about 10 years now. That’s serious commitment. Some of the kids that have come through are grown now and it’s always a bit unsettling to meet them and see through them how much time has passed; unsettling and yet rewarding for whatever small part the Cushion Club played in their becoming.

Cushion Club.

Cushion Club.

That would be enough but *oops almost said his name* always wants to do more. The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize is part of that more because we can always count on a little something from the Cushion Club – really from his pocket in the Cushion Club’s name – to add to our prize offerings.


Frank B

Frank B. Armstrong is a company that has proven its commitment to youth several times over as a lead sponsor of the annual Rotaract Spelling Bee. We are happy to have them back as a Wadadli Pen patron as well.


Danielle George-John is a cake designer. She has something special in store for our anniversary celebrations this year. Can hardly wait.


Maggie Harris is a Guyanese born, UK based writer. She’ll be contributing a copy of her book Kiskadee Girl.

Joanne C. Hillhouse – I’m contributing copies of my book Oh Gad!


Photo by Sonji Davis

Photo by Sonji Davis

D. Gisele Isaac is, among many other POWAful things, the author of Considering Venus – a good read. She is also one of the founding partners of Wadadli Pen –she, me and Young Explorer back in 2004. She hasn’t been a judge since 2010 but her support of the programme has never wavered.


Ruel Johnson is a two time winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature and as of 2013 also winner of the Small Axe Prize for fiction. I’ve told this story before but it was while listening to a presentation by the Guyanese writer in Canada that I began formulating the Wadadli Pen programme, a response to his observation that the Caribbean lacked nurseries for budding writers, a charge that resonated with me as a young and floundering writer.  Wadadli Pen was intended, therefore, to be more than another competition, and more than a programme using the literary arts as a means to an end – you know, the write-to-this-theme competitions. Writing and nurturing Caribbean writers would be the point of Wadadli Pen. We continue to work to live up to that idea; and are grateful to have Johnson offer his award winning books (Ariadne and Other Stories, Fictions) toward our prize package.


Karib Cable – has come on board with a gift that will benefit at least two (maybe more) of our finalists. Thanks to the cable provider for their generosity.


Joy Lawrence is an Antiguan folk historian and poet. During the latter part of 2013, she has also served as schools ambassador, taking our message to every school on the island, you read that right, every school.

Joy with students from Trinity Secondary School.

Joy with students from Trinity Secondary School.

That’s some serious miles and some serious dedication. She didn’t need to do anything else but she is, she’s also contributing to our prize package including one special addition to the Teachers Prize.


When you think of the Map Shop ,you think especially of children’s books, texts and reference material, and Caribbean books; that’s not all they carry but I think it’s fair to say that can be considered their niche. They are a cornerstone Antiguan and Barbudan business now located on Redcliffe Street. They were one of the first businesses to support Wadadli Pen and they are back as one of our patrons in 2014.

MEDIA because we are mindful of the fact that it costs to do what you do to help us get the word out special thanks to online media partners who maintain Wadadli Pen pages – antiguanice.com and 365antigua.com – also Antigua Chronicle, Observer especially Auntie Debbie, ABS TV with a special shout out to management and the team at Good Morning Antigua Barbuda, ZDK, Crusader especially the team at X-press Yourself.


Karen and Koren Norton – Koren specifically has been the kind of person to reach out and say, are you okay-what do you need? She did so again this year and with her sister Karen is coming through. Much appreciated.


Pearson is a UK based publishing house – the publisher of my first children’s picture book Fish Outta Water.

There's me, there's the book...and there's a little girl in the corner flexing her muscles. You go, girl!

There’s me, there’s the book…and there’s a little girl in the corner flexing her muscles. You go, girl!

They are giving copies of more than 40 books (not just Fish Outta Water, a range of books from the fun to the educational to the literary) plus art supplies in support of our efforts; and will be giving more. We welcome their enthusiasm and generousity.

Photogenesis is a photo studio offering services from in studio and event photography to signage and promotional material. They’ve contributed to Wadadli Pen once in the past, in the early years and will do so again for the 2014 season. Thanks, Joe.


Raw Island Products surprised us last year with a gift basket brought to the awards ceremony to be added to our prize package. It was like our birthday! This just in – they’re offering to give again, and we are happy to say, yes, please and thank you. Raw Island Products is an Antigua-based enterprise that provides raw organic honey, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut flour coconut wedges, coconut ice creams and coconut shavings. Its mission is to provide healthful raw natural foods from available local resources and its tag line is “health with a Caribbean flavor”.


Jane Seagull is an artist, in fact she is artist-in-residence at Art at the Ridge. Last year, she designed and created a journal for our winning writer. We’ve asked her to do so again and she has graciously agreed.

Elaine SpiresElaine2 is an actress and writer from the UK. She has a home here on Antigua and has become quite active in the arts, staging productions of her own and participating in local productions. She is the author of several books and has gifted them to Wadadli Pen finalists in the past. This time around she is giving the gift of time having agreed to provide a mentorship session to one of our finalists. I’m happy for this as this is something I’ve been wanting to offer from the jump – an opportunity to learn from a writer already doing, ask your questions and gain some insights. It’s something I try to do and B with the spots she offers to Just Write as well, but it’s nice to have another avenue where a young aspirant can through Wadadli Pen connect with a working writer and learn a little something something.


Juneth Webson is an Antiguan resident overseas who reached out and offered to contribute to our effort; her cash contribution and the gifts she has promised as well will be most welcomed.

Wildflower Studio is the banner under which Trinidad and Tobagonian artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortune markets the art she creates – some of which she’ll be contributing to our 2014 prize package.

Floree, right, at her first book signing outside the Best of Books.

Floree, right, at her first book signing outside the Best of Books.

Floree Williams is the author of two books. This will be her third year with Wadadli Pen as a judge as well. I love that she’s always enthusiastic, offering before you even ask as she did with her contribution to this year’s prize package.

Go here for 2014 Partners For all Wadadli Pen 2014 news go 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!). 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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