Wadadli Pen has operated, since its founding in 2004, as a project. In 2016, founder Joanne C. Hillhouse brought a team together to share the work and move the project forward toward becoming a legal non-profit. In 2021, we received our certificate of incorporation. Thanks are owed to regular patron Juneth Webson who made a financial contribution to the process and Ann Henry who contributed her legal expertise and the time and resources of her office, Henry & Burnette. The core team will continue to work together, per the mandate of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. Team members are:
Joanne C. Hillhouse is a writer from Ottos, Antigua and Barbuda. She conceived of, founded, and has over the years, with the help of various volunteers, coordinated the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. At this writing, in 2021, she has seven published books of fiction: The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight (10th Anniversary Edition), Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and The Jungle Outside; and works freelance/independently as a writer and editor, among other creative and professional activities. She has written for Essence, Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Digest, Huffington Post, among others; and has presented at festivals around the world. More here.
Floree Williams Whyte is a Communications and Advertising professional who also holds the title of published author and publisher at Moondancer Books. Her publications include Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through the Window, The Wonderful World of Yohan, and Dance on the Moon.
Barbara Arrindell is the manager of the Best of Books bookstore. She is also a human resource training consultant, and writer and creative writing workshop facilitator. Her play ‘Dream…Faces…Reality’ is one of the most performed plays in Antigua and Barbuda, having been used in HIV/AIDS education. Her published books include Antigua My Antigua, The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories, and Turtle Beach.
Devra Thomas is the 2011 winner of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and has volunteered with the programme since 2012.
Margaret Irish won the Wadadli Pen Lead by Example Teachers’ Prize in 2014, and was the main prize winner in 2015 – a year in which it was a flash fiction prize open to all ages. In 2021, she self-published a children’s book entitled A is for Arawak.