The annual Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge is winner take all in 2018. That means – no category breakdowns – one winner.
Winner Kyle Christian, centre, flanked by Wadadli Pen partner Floree Whyte, left, and Joanne C. Hillhouse, right, holding the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque with all the winners’ names since 2004 and his various prizes. (photo by Glen Toussaint)
Kyle is a 28-year-old former journalist and radio news presenter who currently works in public relations. He has a degree in Economics and Finance, but clearly also has a love of words. His story ‘Creak’ in keeping with the historical fiction/poetry theme of the 2018 Challenge is set in the early part of the 20th century in the period when sugar was waning and the Americans on the base were flashing money. It is a story in the spirit of the Sparrow calypso Jean and Dinah, and, says the writer, was also influenced by the August Wilson play Fences.
Agnes knew her mother knew what she was doing. Ever since the American bases opened, bars [had] popped up to service the needs of the servicemen; and women who worked at the bars were seen as suspect.
But Agnes, at 21 years, needed to make her own money. She told herself she would only do it for a short time.
“Mommy cut cane, daddy cut cane, granny cut cane. Everybody cutting blasted cane! Well not me,” she said. It was how she stayed motivated when doubt crept in. READ CREAK IN FULL.
Judges’ Comment: “This story encompassed the theme perfectly and was well written.”
Name on the Challenge Plaque & Winners’ Certificate – Donor: The Best of Books
Cash – EC$2937.65 – Donors: Pam Arthurton (EC$500), International Women’s Club (EC$500), Frank B. Armstrong (EC$500), Conrad Luke (EC$500), Juneth Webson (US$200=EC$537.65), Art. Culture. Antigua (EC$300), Carol Mitchell ($100)
Books – Antigua My Antigua (1), The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories (1), With Grace (1), Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (1), Just Write Writers Journal (1), London Rocks (1), and other books – Donors: Barbara Arrindell, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Brenda Lee Browne, the Best of Books
Gift Certificate for books (EC$100) – Donor: Cedric Holder for the Cushion Club
Other gifts – custom Journal – Donor: Jane Seagull, custom gift cards – Donor: Monique S. Simon & the Caribbean Folklore Project, scholarship valued at EC$300 to participate in the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series – Donor: Joanne C. Hillhouse; gift certificate valued at EC$225 – Donor: Danz’s Sweet Dreams
ANDRE WARNER, ROSIE PICKERING, ANDRECIA LEWIS, CHLOE MARTIN, AVA RALPH
(Thanks to London Rocks and Just Write Writers’ Retreat Journal author Brenda Lee Browne for assisting with prize presentations)
“I was there when the first African came as slaves to the white man, the first to carve an escape trail; I led them through the winding brush to the hills of safety away from their master’s whip.” – Andre Warner, 20, The Oldest Native
“In the Bohio I cook,
In the hamaka I rest but
Today we celebrate the life of Mama
She will visit Coyaba
To dance and feast forever” – Rosie Pickering, 14, St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Damarae
“Go out into the uncharted oceans and capture those who are polytheistic,
Those who worship Zemis and Tlaloc,
Those who offer sacrifices in the name of Huitzilopochtli,
Make them your slaves.” – Andrecia Lewis, 18, Antigua State College, Sunday School
(Andrecia was also a 2017 finalist)
‘I told her master screams and shouts sometimes
Perplexed and confused she blinked her eyes
She said, “Master who?”
“Where is Chief Mkuuwa Kichu?”’ – Chloe Martin, 14, St. Anthony’s Secondary School, A Song to Sing
“All those gods and what did they do
They watched us leave
In silver chains
But where is my altar
Now I’m souled out” – Ava Ralph, 17, Antigua State College, Fummestory Herstory History
(Ava was also a 2017 finalist)
Training Session: “Presenting: Telling your story orally” – Donor: Barbara Arrindell & Associates
Books & certificates – Donor: The Best of Books
Marissa Walter, back row left, represented for St. Andrew’s and we encourage her to continue encouraging her students to express themselves. She is pictured with all the winners and two of the Wadadli Pen partners. (This and all photos in this post by Glen Toussaint)
ST. ANDREW’S PRIMARY SCHOOL
Books – With Grace (2), Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (1), The Wonderful World of Yohan (1), Antigua My Antigua (1), Other books and prizes including a storytelling hour with Uncle Glen – Donor: Floree Whyte and Moondancer Books, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Barbara Arrindell, The Best of Books
Thanks to all prize donors and congratulations to all 60+ participants; special thanks as well to media like Antigua Nice, Observer Media Group, Antigua Chronicle, and others for assisting with the promotion of the Challenge this season, and, in the case of Antigua Nice, Wadadli Pen all year round. – Joanne C. Hillhouse, founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize f/ myself and other partners (Floree Whyte, Margaret Irish, Devra Thomas, and Barbara Arrindell). Special thanks to these partners without whom this season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge would not have been possible.