Tag Archives: writing contest

Carib Lit Plus Early to Mid September 2020

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.


Stephanie Ramlogan, author of Case of the Missing Eggs, is the winner of the 2020 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean American Writers Prize; and Hadassah K. Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, author of Vizay, is the winner of the award for Writers in the Caribbean. The finalists, after the original long list announcement, include several TnT writers, and two writers apiece from Dominica and Jamaica. Details here.  Also the BCLF is in progress, virtually, at this writing with participation from Nunez, Richard Georges, Donna Hemans, John Robert Lee, Katia D. Ulysse, Ifeona Fulani, Vladimir Lucein, Monique Roffey, Elizabeth Acevedo, Imam Baksh, Lasana M. Sekou, Lisa Allen-Agostini, Lauren Francis-Sharma, Shivanee Ramlochan, Karen Lord, Vashti Bowlah, Curdella Forbes, Kei Miller, Christian Campbell, Merle Collins, Ingrid Persaud, Celia Sorhaindo, and Naomi Jackson. Full participant list here. The festival ends on September 13th 2020.

Old News

This article is actually from last summer (Daily Observer newspaper, July 5th 2019) and I haven’t been able to find more recent news re the Copyright Tribunal it reports on, but I just wanted to keep the report somewhere for the record. Given that it relates to intellectual property issues, this seems as good a place as any. Observer 05 07 19 2


This one’s more of a literary magazine: Crop Over Unapologetic. Crop Over is Barbados’ Carnival and most Carnivals were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Coordinator of the lit mag project Nailah Imoja said in her Reflections, “With the Covid-created cancellation of Crop Over 2020, the NCF’s official months-long event, arose the fear that artists and artistes of all disciplines would be left with no avenue for self expression at one of the most significant times (specifically artistically-speaking) in our cultural calendar. Then came GineOn!…And the Freedom Festival was born….Crop Over Unapologetic is the literary aspect of Freedom Festival.” Selections for the publication were made by Adonijah, Shakirah Bourne, Sara Venable, and Andre Harewood; and selected writers (not exclusively Bajans) include Robert Edison Sandiford, Robert Gibson, Linda Deane, Sonia Williams, Opal Palmer Adisa, and others. Download the issue here.


The paperback edition of global anthology New Daughters of Africa debuted this September, following the March 2019 debut of the hardback edition.


Publication of this book, edited by Margaret Busby, made it possible for publisher Myriad Editions to team up with SOAS University of London and International Students House to launch a £20,000 MA bursary for a female African student. The first recipient of the Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award will take up her place at SOAS next year. Myriad has also partnered with The Black Curriculum to donate 500 copies to UK schools. The anthology – described by the Financial Times as “a groundbreaking book…marvelous and also necessary” – is taking its place on several BLM reading lists.


Remember to check the Opportunities and Opportunities Too pages for …well, opportunities. But also …

The 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is open for submissions. It is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction with prizes for each Commonwealth region and one main prize. All Commonwealth citizens free to enter. Read more.


Earlier this year pre-COVID-19 lockdown, a member of Wadadli Plus film production company launched his book and there’s video. Parental advisory for very graphic sexual content. The video is from the Public Library Author of the Month series. Congrats to the author and to the library for the series spotlighting books made in Antigua and Barbuda. Details of the book, Kameshia Grey Sex Tales from 1735 by Kevroy Graham, can be found on the Antiguan and Barbudan Writing and Fiction pages.


2020 is a milestone year for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest: the tenth year of Trinidad and Tobago’s national literature festival, which has grown into the Anglophone Caribbean’s biggest annual literary celebration. It will go down in history for another reason: it’s the first-ever entirely virtual and online version of the festival, with 80 participating writers and speakers (including Trinidad and Tobago’s Shivanee Ramlochan, Barbados’ Karen Lord, part of a panel dubbed back to the future with fellow Caribbean speculative fiction heavy weights like Nalo Hopkinson and Tobias Buckell, sessions on social justice that will include TnT’s Lisa Allen-Agostini and Vahni Capildeo, the latter a Forward prize winning UK based poet, rising stars like Andre Bagoo and 2020 Bocas prize winner Richard Georges, of the BVI, and living literary legends like Haitian-American Edwidge Dandicat, and other likes Dominica’s Celia Sorhaindo, Barbados’ Nailah Folami Imojah, Trinidad by way of Barbados Ingrid Persaud, Trini’s Ayanna Gillian Lloyd and Monique Roffey, St. .Lucians John Robert Lee and Vladimir Lucein, Grenada’s Jacob Ross, Puerto Rico’s Loretta Collins Klobah) and a programme of free events livestreamed via the Bocas website and social media.

All festival events are free and accessible to all, with no tickets or registration. The programme will be streamed live at www.bocaslitfest.com, facebook.com/bocaslitfest, and youtube.com/bocaslitfest

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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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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Reminder Re Commonwealth Short Story Competition

Press release 17 November 2011
Final call for entries: Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Last few weeks remaining to enter the new Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The prizes are part of a new initiative, Commonwealth Writers, an online hub to inspire, inform and create a community of writers from all over the world. Together with the prizes, Commonwealth Writers unearths, develops and promotes the best new fiction from across the Commonwealth.


Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (5pm GMT)The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English (2000-5000 words). Regional winners receive £1,000 and the overall winner receives £5,000.

Commonwealth Book Prize: Friday 9 December 2011 (5pm GMT)

Awarded for best first book, the Commonwealth Book Prize is open to writers who have had their first novel (full length work of fiction in English) published between 1 January and 31 December 2011. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £10,000.

The winners for both prizes will be announced in June 2012.

As one of the Commonwealth Foundation’s culture programmes, Commonwealth Writers works in partnership with international literary organisations, the wider cultural industries and civil society to help writers develop their craft. Commonwealth Writers is a forum where members can debate the future of publishing, get advice from established authors and ask questions of our writer in residence.

Full rules and entry and eligibility information is available at www.commonwealthwriters.org

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