Wadadli Pen 2018 Has Wrapped

Yes, it has and above are some visual highlights (photos with the winner and the honourable mentions – also pictured team members and patrons) and here are some links you can check out:

Media links – the only ones I’ve come across are Antigua Chronicle (which is published and edited by 2006 Wadadli Pen winner Angelica O’Donoghue) and Antigua Nice (which has donated space on its platform via a permanent page in addition to sharing our notices and releases). Observer Media Group did reach out with an invitation to appear on their Marketplace programme (91.1 FM, also streamed online), so listen in on Saturday 28th April 2018 at 8 a.m.

Site updates – Who Won What in 2018 (i.e. the prize breakdown; shout out to the patrons!), and the Media Release we sent out that …2 (?) ran–>ETA: Well, Actually

Stories – Winning story ‘Creak’ by Kyle Christian, which was supposed to the only story posted but there’s been a demand for the posting of the honourable mentions so I’m putting those up bit by bit as well; starting with A Song to Sing by Chloe Martin (more to come so follow Wadadli Pen or check back)

And for anyone still wondering, Wadadli Pen what’s that? I’ve updated our About page and the 2018 page.

Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting; fingers crossed for growth in the future.


Thanks to Glen Toussaint of the Best of Books (and also a past Wadadli Pen judge who organizes and hosts a Wadadli Pen open mic – a bookstore project) for the pictures.

Springtime Friends in September

Response to another RandomMichelle prompt. Fair warning for adult language.

Margot had never had a favourite number, like her best friend Alana. Her number was seven. She does have a least favourite. It’s 40.
“I love it,” Alana said.
“Yes, but we long ago established that you’re not normal,” Margot responded.
“I think you’ve got that backward. You’re the one who said she feels like an alien. I’m perfectly human.”
Margot cocks open an eye lid, closes it hastily and covers her eyes with her arm for good measure. Light is her enemy.
“Aaargh aging sucks. My body feels like it’s mutating daily. I have enjoyed 20/20 vision my entire life. Now light hurts and my body hurts on waking, my limbs, my joints, I think even my damn hair follickles are rebelling against this damned decade.”
“It’s not so bad,” Alana responded. “It’s so liberating to be able to say exactly what you think.”
“Oh fuck you.”
“See what I mean.”
Rolling her eyes hurt but it had to be done.
Lying there, the fabric of the couch both hot and itchy against her skin, Margot allowed herself to feel thoroughly sorry for herself. She may have even squeezed out a few tears. She felt like one of those alien things in V who wore human like a skin over something greener, more reptilian, darker, and that greener reptilian thing had no love for humanity. In fact, it seemed determined to suck the life out of it. Suck the life out of her.
Alana kicked her just then, right in the shin, from the other end of the couch where she sat knees drawn up.
“What? I didn’t even say anything!”
“I can read your face.”
She cocked an eyebrow, seeing nothing but knees, hers and Alana’s, just like when they were girls.
“You can’t even see my face.” And, so what if she sounded around five years old.
“That’s how well I know you.”
Margot sighed. “Well, I’m glad somebody does, because I barely know myself these days.”
“Aww, chin up, boo. This too shall pass. You’ll go to the doctor, up your prescription, and be good as new.”
She supposed that was true. This wasn’t permanent – but what if it is, a small devilish part of her brain, insisted.
“…But it isn’t,” she said, aloud.
“That’s right, it isn’t,” Alana said. “Soon you’ll be as good as new… ish.”
And Margot genuinely laughed at that. Alana was right; she had life. That was worth getting up for; even if her body was letting her down like a little bitch.
But trust Alana not to leave well enough alone. “And look at the bright side, we’re winning; all that’s left to overcome before death is menopause, and that’s not for another …five years at least.”
Margot didn’t even bother opening her eyes.
“Again, and sincerely, with everything in me, Fuck You, Alana.”
“Love you, too, boo.”

Wadadli Pen Turning 10

So my major non-profit activity is something I actually wouldn’t mind having the werewithal to do and develop full time; some days it already feels like a full time job. The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize (http://wadadlipen.wordpress.com) can be time-consuming but I’m grateful to all the patrons and partners for helping to lighten the load. I’m also grateful for notes like this facebook note from Lia Nicholson (the second placed writer in the first year of the annual Wadadli Pen Challenge for her story Tekin Ahn Dey!):

“Thank you Joanne for all your hard work over the years to inspire young writers and give confidence in creativity. The extent of my writing these days is limited to academic work as I study for my master’s, but I did get one blog up earlier this year: http://environment.yale.edu/envirocenter/wearing-two-hats-reflections-on-the-role-of-small-islands-at-cop-18-in/. Count me in for celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Wadadli Pen Challenge next year! It is a great asset to Antigua & Barbuda.”

This is the photo call for the first season of Wadadli Pen. Lia's actually not in this picture (she was a high school student in Vermont at the time) but that's her mom standing second from right.

This is the photo call for the first season of Wadadli Pen. Lia’s actually not in this picture (she was a high school student in Vermont at the time) but that’s her mom standing second from right.

As I said in response, writing is writing, and I’m glad that Lia is still hitting it for six; I’m also thankful for her and all the young writers who shared their writing because as a writer myself I know it’s not easy. And you know I reached out to see how she could come celebrate with us, right?

If you want to support Wadadli Pen in anyway, contact wadadlipen@yahoo.com