Message from the Editor of the Klarion, Mrs. Karo Haltmeier

The Haltmeier Family are the sponsors for the new category in The Crocodile Prize. They will be sponsoring the Facebook & NBC Radio Competition. Here are a few words from Mrs Haltmeier.

– Kenthurst Rotary, NSW Australia

Editor’s Corner..
I have just returned from a two months visit to
Papua New Guinea. Over there I have engaged
myself and my family in a new charity work.
My family will now be sponsoring one of the
prizes for the Crocodile Prize Competition.
Crocodile Prize is the annual national literary
competition for Papua New Guinea (PNG)
writers. The people of PNG are traditional
story-tellers and they preserve their culture
through oral history. This competition is for
contemporary PNG writers to find the PNG
Voice by engaging, sharing, learning and telling
their stories.
My family will be sponsoring the prize for the
Face-book and National Broadcasting
Commission (NBC) Radio Tri-Monthly

Croc Prize 2016 – a transitional, all Papua New Guinean year


THE chair of the Crocodile Prize Board of Trustees, Emmanuel Peni (pictured), has provided a detailed and frank report about the operation of the competition in 2016, its sixth year.

Last year was a transitional year when the competition passed entirely into Papua New Guinean hands.

Mindful that the organisation of the competition required a different approach, Keith Jackson and I stepped aside but offered our assistance wherever possible.

However, apart from the odd request for particular advice or clarification, the committee decided it needed to run the gauntlet alone.

In retrospect this was probably a good decision. Experience is a great teacher and the lessons from mistakes, hiccups and even success tend to be better learnt.

An added task in this first year was the need to establish the competition as something more formal, transparent and legally constituted, given the economic and political environment in Papua New Guinea.

The contest was launched on 27 January 2016 at the National Library at Waigani with appropriate fanfare.

The Crocodile Prize was registered as an association with the Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority on 7 July whereupon the voluntary organising committee became the Board of Trustees.

The board defined its role as “facilitating the creation of a space where people with artistic talents, gifts, skills, knowledge and competence could present their work and get recognition and satisfaction from being part of the evolution of the literary landscape in Papua New Guinea”.

A bank account was opened with Bank South Pacific. All the financial support from sponsors was deposited into this account.

A total of 550 entries were received in the competition from 436 entrants. Of these 226 came from females and 210 from males. This probably makes literature one of the few areas in Papua New Guinea where gender equality has been achieved.

The entries were managed by the deputy chair Joycelin Leahy, who also managed the blog and other communicaton.

In May the committee agreed that Emmanuel take over as chairperson from Baka Bina with Joycelin remaining as deputy chair. Baka stayed on the committee with two other members, Martyn Namorong and Ruth Moiam.

In September Gretel Matawan joined the group. Emmanuel noted that Gretel was “a breath of fresh air” particularly in terms of undertaking the technical and administrative tasks of the committee.

All committee meetings were carried out through email, WhatsApp and Facebook. Telephone conversations were rare.

A total of seven sponsors stepped forward to support the completion: Kina Securities K10,000; Minerals Resources Development Corporation K5,000; Kumul Petroleum Holdings K5,000; Paga Hill Development Company K5,000; Abt JTA-PGF K5,000; Cleland Family K5,000; PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum K5,000.

SP Brewery agreed to contribute K10,000 but rescinded for reasons unknown. Together with the prize money the total budget of the 2016 competition was K46,286.44.

The PNG government set aside a week in August to promote books through National Book Week, which is usually an important week for educational institutions in PNG. It was also significant for the Crocodile Prize. The board of trustees participated in the event with the Ward Strip Demonstration School in Port Moresby.

More than 400 Grade 7 and 8 students listened to Emmanuel, who spoke about the need for them to participate in the Crocodile Prize and add to their learning. Baka Bina talked about the importance of capturing stories while Ben Packham, representing the sponsor of the emerging writers prize, Abt Associates, spoke about the importance of education, writing and reading.

The scheduled writers workshop was convened at the INA Conference room at IPA Haus, Port Moresby on 8 December 2016. Dr Anna Joskin, Russell Soaba and McPolly Koima were an excellent combination of presenters.

The workshop attendees comprised 11 females and 15 males, seven below the age of 20 with the youngest being 13 years old and the oldest 65. Everyone came away excited and motivated. The young professionals, who attended, mainly from the information and communications industry, were attentive and contributed constructively to discussions.

Mr Soaba stressed character development and narrative. The participants agreed with him that the first person voice was usually the easiest to write.

Dr Joskin focussed on the nuances of grammar that are significant in defining the quality of writing and illustrated some common errors made by those for whom English is not their mother tongue. She also gave some essential pointers on how to organise a good piece of writing.

Mr McPolly Koima was very thorough in the area of character development, scene development and expressions using specific rules and formats for writing a script. He gave simple and illustrative examples of his work. His practical presentations were easy to comprehend.

There were several interesting questions from participants. Two that stood out were: “It is very difficult to formulate a title for a piece of writing. How can you write a title”? There were many suggestions and knowledge shared as a response. The most succinct was from Alexander Nana, a participant. He said, “Let the story give you the title”.

The Australian High Commission and the Crocodile Prize Organizing Committee were pleased to invite winners of the prize, the sponsors, families and supporters of literature in PNG to the awards ceremony on 16 February 2017 at the Australian High Commission. A total of about 70 people attended the reception.

One of the esteemed judges, Dr Anna Joskin, was guest speaker. Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Bronte Moules, also spoke. Baka addressed the invitees of the event while Martyn was master of the ceremonies.

The event would not have been such a success if it were not for the efforts of Gretel Matawan, who made sure all the details were taken care off.

The event was also a success because several of the sponsors committed to continue to support the prize while five new sponsors raised their hands. Two of these stepped forward and introduced the categories which they will fund. These were a script writing category to be sponsored by Port Moresby Arts Theatre while the 2017 Facebook challenge category will be sponsored by the Haltmeier Family.

The Prizes were awarded to seven winners:

Kina Securities Poetry Award – Wardley Barry for ‘Paradigmania’

Kumul Petroleum Limited Holdings Short Story Award – Alison Kult for ‘A Morning to Remember’

Cleland Family Heritage Writing Award – Tess Gazoria for ‘Ketar Natis, Killings and Two Grieving Kinsmen’

Paga Hill Development Company Writing for Children Award – Marycathrene Tavore for ‘The King of the Jungle’

PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Award for Essays and Journalism – John Kamasua for ‘Ah PNG, the way we are’

Minerals Resources Development Corporations Women in Writing Award – Roslyn Tony for several of her entries and her work with the Simbu Writer’s Association

Abt Associates Emerging Young Writer Award – Peter Jokisie for several entries. Peter’s writing was noted as being “fresh and bordering on the unconventional”

As noted, the 2016 Crocodile Prize was a transitional year. In his report, Emmanuel observes that running a writing competition has its own challenges, many of them out of the ordinary. In 2016 this was complicated by it being a intermediate year where new arrangements had to be established.

As a result the process experienced by the board of trustees was an adventure up a steep learning curve. It is to their credit that they reached the summit.

Along the way the committee learned an enormous amount which should make subsequent years easier.

The task now is to maintain the momentum they have created.

Crocodile Prize Winners Will be Announced Tonight


The winners of Papua New Guinea’s National Literature Awards – The Crocodile Prize 2016 will be announced this evening at the Australian High Commission, Port Moresby. The competition attracted 550 entries from PNG writers.

Each category winner receives K5000 tonight.

The Crocodile Prize Writers Competition is named after the first novel written by a Papua New Guinean, “The Crocodile” by Sir Vincent Eri and published in 1970. It is an annual competition that has been running successfully for five years under Keith Jackson and Phil Fitzpatrick since they started it. The 2016 saw the first time the writers of PNG took ownership of the competition and ran it successfully.

As the current Crocodile Prize Committee Chairman I sincerely thank our two major sponsors Kina Finance and SP Holdings for their generous contributions of K10,000 each and sponsors; Cleland Family, Kumul Holdings,Paga Hill Development Foundation, PNG Chamber of Mines, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, and Abt and Associates for their generous contributions of K5000 each. We also thank the Australian High Commission for hosting this event and Andrew Edwards at Global for sponsoring a laptop for the competition.

All together, the 2016 committee comprising, Baka Bina (former Chairman) and Joycelin Leahy (current Deputy Chair), and Ruth Moiam began work from September 2015 to 2017 to raise a total of K50,000 prize money. I joined the Crocodile Prize and relieved Baka Bina of the chairman’s position (because he had a lot of work obligations) in May 2016 and helped negotiate the last sponsorships mid last year and ensured we formalised the Crocodile Prize Inc by registering at the organisation at IPA. At that time we added Marlene Dee Gray Potoura to the committee and Martyn Namorong later in the year. In addition, it was a blessing to have Gretel Matawan join the committee to assist with some of the administration work.

We could not have run Crocodile Prize without the support of our sponsors and the hard work put into the competition by only a handful of volunteers. The Crocodile Prize email and Crocodile Blog have been run by Joycelin Leahy. Over 1000 emails, comments, letters and feedback from PNG writers have been managed through the emails and the blog.

I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate everyone for their hard work and enthusiasm to drive the Crocodile Prize from the beginning in Simbu (September 2015) to the end with prize-giving in Port Moresby tonight. I also thank the overwhelming response from all PNG writers to enter the competition. We want to raise the entries to 1000 this year – 2017.

One winner will be chosen out of each category finalists listed below to win the K5000. The finalists’ names are not listed in any order of winning, but only to show who came in the finals. The committee encourages all finalists to attend the ceremony.

Category 1 

2016 Crocodile Prize – Kina Finance, Poetry Category –  Short List

  1. Dying Man by Vagi Samuel Jnr
  2. Miracle’s Monday Trip by Samuel Jnr
  3. Paradeigmania by Wardly D Barry – Igivisa

Category 2 

2016 Crocodile Prize – Kumul Petroleum Limited Holdings, Short Stories Category – Short List

  • Old Man’s Tears by Alexander Nara
  • A Morning to Remember by Alison Kult
  • The Pulse of PNG by Kevin Pondikou

Category 3 

2016 Crocodile Prize – Cleland Family, Heritage Writing Category –  Short List

  1. Morekea Town by Julie Kondi
  2. Waghi by Gina Amba Mul
  3. Ketar Natis, Killings and Two Grieving Kinsmen by Theresa Gizoria

Category 4 

2016 Crocodile Prize –  Paga Hill Foundation, Writing for Children Category – Short List and Winner

  1. King of the Forest by Marycathrine Tavore
  2. How darkness came to the Telei lands or how the rhinoceros beetle broke his nose by Agnes Rita Maineke
  3. Why Dogs Bark by Romney C Tabara

Category 5 

2016 Crocodile Prize – PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Essays and Journalism Category – Short List and Winner

  1. Ah! The way we behave sometimes by John Kamasua
  2. Regionalism – The most pressing threat to our nationhood by Busa Jeremiah Wenego
  3. Cervical Cancer A Killer disease by Jina Amba Mull

Category 6 

2016 Crocodile Prize –  South Pacific Brewery, Illustrations Category –  Short List and Winner – No entries received this year.

Category 7 

Minerals Resources Development Corporations, Women in Writing Category

Names to be finalised by tonight.

Category 8 

2016 Crocodile Prize – Abt and Associates, Emerging Young Writer Category

Names to be finalised by tonight. – Chairman Emmanuel Peni.





2016 Heritage Category Shortlist

A winner will receive K5000 next Thursday (February 16) for the Cleland Family Heritage Prize in the 2016 Crocodile Prize Competition. Below are the three finalists of the 2016 Crocodile Prize Heritage Competition: Ketar Natis, Killings and Two Grieving Kinsmen by Theresa Gizoria; The Disappearance of Gambu by Julie Sugoho and Christina’s History by Talitha Kove.The K5000 winner is one of the three listed here. There were 26 entries for the Cleland Family Heritage Writing Category.
The 2016 Crocodile Prize Organizing Committee would like to congratulate all those who submitted their entries and sincerely thank the sponsor, Cleland Family. The Cleland family has been sponsoring the Competition since 2012.

Many of you may have heard of the famous Sir Donald Cleland Pool ( Taurama Swimming Pool/ Taurama Leisure Centre) in Port Moresby which has recently been turned into an international sports and recreational center. This recreation and sports centre was named after Sir Donald Cleland, the father of Bob Cleland who has been part of the Crocodile Prize for many years and has always supported the voluntary committee.

Sir Donald Mackinnon Cleland (1901-1975), soldier and administrator, was born on 28 June 1901 at Coolgardie, Western Australia, eldest son of Adelaide-born Elphinstone Davenport Cleland, mine-manager, and his second wife Anne Emily, née Mackinnon, from Scotland. Sir Cleland arrived in PNG as a Brigadier in the Army and assumed several other posts when PNG was colonised. After his term, he chose to live in Port Moresby and became very active in many civic activities. One was as a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea. For more information about Cleland please click on the link – here

Heritage is defined as property that is or maybe inherited, as an inheritance. Archaic: special or individual possession, an allotted partition. The Love of your grandmother or your love for your home remains your heritage. Heritage is a collection of features and characteristics belonging to the culture of a particular society. These features have a historical significance such as found in language, traditional practices, religion, buildings and totems.

The Heritage Category is of great importance to PNG. The committee wants more heritage entries in 2017 competition. PNG has a third of the world’s languages and is blessed with numerous unique cultures and traditions. There are many stories to be told.
The committee and the judges would like to emphasise that we need to hear more of these stories.

Congratulations once again to the writers who captured our heritage in their excellent literacy pieces. These entries gave imagery accounts of our heritage and the scenes created by the writers were like a view through a kaleidoscope. The entries addressed; changing physical/social geographies, origins of names of geographical locations, plants and animals, historical perspectives, traditional and cultural practices, biodiversity, the effects of climate change, and mystical and legendary gods that form our truly unique culture.

-Chairman Emmanuel Peni.


The Crocodile Prize – K5000 winner

The prize money in the PNG annual literary competition, The Crocodile Prize will remain at K5000 for one winner. The Chairman Emmanuel Peni said it was better to keep the prize at K5000 (Australian – $2000 today’s exchange rate) as the previous five years.

There has been a slight delay in winners’ announcement because of the confusion with the prize money.

Although the committee had discussed three prizes from first to third, 2016 prize total remains the same. This was the amount already publicised in PNG media. There will not be three winners per category as in the previous post. Any inquiries about this can be sent to The Chairman on



Message From Chairman

Greetings everyone, and welcome back to the Crocodile Prize Blog and Home.

We are excited to launch The Crocodile Prize Competition 2017, but not just yet.

Before we launch, we will announce the 2016 Competition winners. The official Crocodile Prize 2016 Award Ceremony will be held on the 16th of February at the Australian High Commission Grounds, Port Moresby, NCD.

We are excited that we were able to select the winners using a very rigorous and a transparent process of culling and then judging. We believe our highlight for 2016 would have been institutionalising INTEGRITY into our systems and process of administering the Crocodile Prize in Papua New Guinea. Having registered a legal entity to operate under gives Crocodile Prize a strong platform to stand on for future years. The committee has also secured two major sponsors, Kina (K10,000) and SP Holdings (K10,000) and we have introduced “Emerging Young Writer Award”, sponsored by Abt & Associate. You will also be pleased to know that we will have three prize winners from each category – not just one.  As of today, we have all the winners identified from the eight categories.  The categories and their sponsors are:

Kina –Poetry

SP Holdings Ltd – Illustrations

Abt and Associate-Emerging Young Writer

PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum – Essay and Journalism

Kumul Petroleum Holding – Short Stories

Paga Hill Development – Writing for Children

Cleland Family – Heritage Writing

MRDC –Women in Writing

We will start announcing the Short Story winners tomorrow and will continue with all the categories each day on this blog. All winners will be contacted directly by the committee.

Next week, Crocodile Prize representatives will be on the NBC radio to talk about the the competition.  Please tune in to listen to winners, judges and committee members speak about the 2016 competition and this year’s launching.

We would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors for their support.

Thank you writers and friends of Crocodile Prize.  Let’s make 2017 a big year. Write those stories!  – Chairman, Emmanuel Peni.

Story-crafting Workshop a Success


The story-crafting workshop for writers organised by the voluntary Crocodile Prize Committee has been a huge success.

Over thirty people attended the first Crocodile Prize story crafting workshop in Port Moresby, yesterday. The participants were as young as 13 and as old as 65 consisting of writers, readers, enthusiasts and Crocodile Prize fans.

“They were hungry to learn. There was enthusiasm and passion and many participants raised insightful questions. It was a great energy for the future of Crocodile Prize and the competition itself”, Chairman Emmanuel Peni said.

The Writer’s Workshop was organized by the Papua New Guinea’s Crocodile Prize Association.

Mr Peni said the workshop drew passionate writers from different age groups, both sexes, cultures across PNG and industry people.

Character development, writing in scenes, understanding point of view (POV) and using the right language were important elements of story-telling discussed at the workshop. Presenters at the workshop included University of Papua New Guinea lecturers Mr Russell Soaba, Dr Anna Joskin and Mr McPolly Koima.

Crocodile Prize 2016 prize winners will be announced shortly. Please continue to watch this blog.

The Current Crocodile Prize Committee is looking for sponsors for 2017 and skilled Papua New Guineans to assist with the running of the association. The association is entirely run by volunteers, so if you think you have skills the association could use and can help; please write to