The Crocodile Prize Committee 2016 is proud to announce that it is officially an association as of this week. The Competition Committee Vice Chairperson Joycelin Leahy said it is a dream come true for writers in PNG to finally have a proper organisation and a place where the voice of PNG can be developed through literature.
“Having a properly registered organisation means the association can run confidently and transparently and this will boost the government, private sector and donor support for Papua New Guinea writers and the Crocodile Prize competition, ” Ms Leahy said.
She also said becoming registered means the voluntary committee is serious about promoting literature in PNG. “Having an association is a milestone for PNG literature and we are also proud that despite the looming political and economic crisis in PNG, the Crocodile Prize has received immense support from the private sector. And with this small but strong working committee, we will keep the competition running,” Ms Leahy said.
A handful of PNG committee members (Emmanual Peni, Martyn Marorong, Ruth Moaim, Baka Bina and Joycelin Leahy) who had worked tirelessly to promote the competition and seek funding for prizes also contributed their own money to process and register the association. Another PNG author and recently joined committee member Marlene Dee Gray Poutora also contributed to the registration of the association. This is the first step to formalise Crocodile Prize Inc’s activities and the committee hopes that with support, the association will run smoothly, increase writer- participation and build up membership of national writers in PNG and overseas. The Crocodile Prize competition has been running for five years as a voluntary event.
Ms Leahy said the credit for achieving an association status was due to the hard-working committee but credit has to go to Emmanual Peni, an author and a very enthusiastic committee member who worked tirelessly to get all the paper-work processed for the association. “Manu is a writer himself and he knows how hard it is to get work published, how PNG’s own writers are hardly recognised and how little creative writing is appreciated. We are traditional storytellers and our stories and ways of telling them is one educational and cultural heritage we as Papua New Guineans must be proud of, she said.
Ms Leahy said she hopes that the new association can give the committee more power and zest to bring Crocodile Prize competition to every aspiring writer and PNG children who love stories and story-telling”; we want to read and promote your stories – send them in”, Ms Leahy said.
The Crocodile Prize 2016 competition was expected till the end of this month, but due to events in PNG and the process in getting the organisation registered, the competition deadline could be extended. The association is now open to Papua New Guineans to join for a small membership contribution. Please continue to check this blog for more details. Competition submissions can continue to be sent to: crocodile firstname.lastname@example.org