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Thursday 19th January 2012

The Wadadli Pen 2012 Challenge in partnership with the Best of Books is inviting submissions of poems and short stories from Antiguans and Barbudans between now and February 17th 2012. Read more

Help us out by spreading the word if you know any young people who might be interested in entering and if you know any individuals or companies who might welcome the opportunity to give back by patronizing the competition with a contribution to the 2012 prize package. Remember, every little bit counts, and an investment in our youth is an investment in the future of our country.

My Havana Dreams still slumber but I will be in Suriname, God willing, for the 13thInternational Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, organized under the theme ‘The Caribbean, the Land and the People: Women’s Efforts, Women’s Lives’. It comes up in May, and I will be, in their words, a “featured writer of the English speaking Caribbean.” Also representing will be Cynthia McLeod (Suriname), Sylvane Vayabouri (La Guyane), Anouska Kock (Aruba), Rihana Jamuludin (Netherlands), Annie Paul (Jamaica), Paulette Smit (Netherlands), and two other guests from the French Caribbean. For more on the conference and the ACWWS visit their website.

Speaking of literary gatherings, I can now report on the October 2011 Canada trip for the 20thanniversary of Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence. It’s always an amazing experience to share a platform with other Antiguan and Barbudan writers and realize that we have amassed essentially a body of work; that there are living writers producing quality and creative content with cultural resonance and universal appeal; that writing isn’t something that happens in other places, that the capacity lives within us as well. It was beautiful. From Althea Prince to Amber Williams-King, Elizabeth Abbott to J’Wyze, to the various others who shared, their words were delightful and it felt good to be in such good company. Here are some highlights.

I’ve created a Facebook Fan pageto keep more people updated about developments with the forthcoming book and more writing and promotional news. I hope you’ll take a look and ‘like’ it. And most importantly, help spread the word.

An Oh Gad! preview can now be read here. I hope you’ll read it and maybe post a comment.

Some of you may remember my Writing off the Map blog posted last year at critic Charmaine Valere’s Signifying Guyana. Well, as of December, it was re-posted at Blurb is a Verb, a blog run by Julia’s Child author Sarah Pinneo. Blurb is a Verb is an interesting spot which found its way into my bookmarks because as I’ve explored ways of building the readership of my books as it gives first hand author experiences of struggles and successes.

The Blurb is a Verb posting prompted another writer, Stained Glass Summer author Mindy Hardwick, to contact and interview me for her blog– the focus was mentorship.

Novel Spaces is an online writers’ collective which sometimes features guest writers. I wrote in this December posting about one of the hurdles I’ve had to overcome in putting my work before an audience.

Oh, and the pic you keep seeing at all those postings, that was taken by Emile Hill who recently debuted his photography book.

I’ll direct you as always to the Wadadli Pen blogfor Antiguan and Barbudan literary happenings such as the December visit of Cuban born author Mario Picayo. One popular December post was the year end round up.


  • Barbara Arrindell and Edison Liburd’s Antigua My Antigua, a colouring book that’s so good, parents are hesitant to let their kids colour in it.
  • Provocative and entertaining AIDS themed film short  written by, co-directed by, and co-starring Zahra Airall – perhaps best known as one of the forces behind the When a Woman Moans productions – for ABS TV…talk about a multi-hyphenate, right?
  • The screening thanks to the last of the 2011 Expressions Open Mic of Tameka Jarvis-George’s film short, Dinner, which she also executive produced and starred in.
  • National Youth Awards for Jarvis-George and Wadadli Pen judge (and all around writer and literary advocate) Brenda Lee Browne whom I subsequently profiled in the Daily Observer.
  • Linisa George’s selection to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the International Poetry Festival in London.

Big up to these literary women doing their thing!


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