Five entries shortlisted for the 2017 Crocodile Prize Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Essays and Journalism Award

The 2017 Crocodile Prize Essays and Journalism Category received a collection of interesting topics that were written about and sent in. The topics varied greatly. Predictably, a good number of the entries were about Politics, Corruption, Power and Leadership. 2017 was the year of the Papua New Guinea National Elections and so the number of entries talking about this illustrated this. Congratulations to the 5 entries that were shortlisted for the 2017 Crocodile Prize, PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Essays and Journalism Category. The shortlisted entrants of the competition come with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Listed below are the titles and the names of entrants considered as winners.

 The Murder by Kepan Kepas Winuan
 The Positive Side of Men by Michael Geketa
 Lack of Readers and Buyers in Papua New Guinea by Jordan Dean
 Her Fight by Evah Kuamin Banige
 Doctors without Medical Borders by William Tau -Vali

The shortlisted literary entries above have been sent to the sponsors who have picked the overall winner. The overall winner will be announced at the Awards Reception event on the 17th February 2018, here in Port Moresby. The brief biographies below illustrate a little bit more about the shortlisted authors.

The Murder by Kepan Kepas Winuan

Kepan Kepas Winuan is a Teacher at the Kudjip Nazarene High School, Kudjip Nazarene Station, Jiwaka Province.

Kepan is currently working on publishing two books and a school magazine. These literary materials are; Book of Synonyms, Developing Writing Skills and School Journal.

Her first book (Book of Homonyms) has been completed. She is now negotiating with Notion Press Publishing Company of India to have it published.

The Positive Side of Men by Michael Geketa

Michael Geketa is employed in the informal economy in Port Moresby, National Capital District, after serving in the Royal Police Constabulary for much of his life. He used to contribute his written work to Kokomo Magazine at Kerevat National High School in 1989 as a student. He also contributed poems to the Weekly Writers Column poetry corner of the National Newspaper since 2009. The 2014 and 2015 Crocodile Prize Anthology included his work, four Poems and two Essays. He has started writing a book of poems and short story. Work has also began for a framework of his biography titled: Thun der over Parkinson Ranges

Lack of Readers and Buyers in Papua New Guinea by Jordan Dean

Jordan Dean works as a Director (until confirmed) of Grants Management Organisation in Port Moresby, NCD. He has been writing as a hobby for over a decade. Several of his poems and short stories have been published on international sites and magazines including: Power Poetry, Dissident Voice Magazine, Creative Talents Unleashed, Tuck Magazine, Micro Poetry, Story Write, Spill Words Literary Press and PNG Attitude.

Jordan has published 4 books: ‘Tattooed Face: A collection of Poems’ (2016), ‘Follow the Rainbow: Selected Poems’ (2016)), ‘Stranger in Paradise & other Short Stories’ (2016)) and ‘Silent Thoughts: Exploring Poetry’’ (2017)). These books are available on Amazon.

Her Fight by Evah Kuamin Banige

Evah Kuamin Banige is an Administration Officer in Lae, Morobe Province.
She is passionate about writing, helping children and advocating for change and development in her community. She wrote: ‘Victims of violence have to rise up and speak out for their own good. I believe I have taken the biggest step to write about my experiences as a woman facing violence through this competition’

She has been writing since her primary school days. She won a prize for the story of her experience of the 1994 Twin Volcanic Eruptions which was published in book of collection of short stories. Part of 4th Year Journalism Thesis was published in the South Pacific Islands Journalism Communication. One of her entry won the 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) Best Award in the Print Category of the PNG Media Awards.

Doctors Without Medical Borders by William Tau -Vali

William Tau-Vali
is a retired public servant who resides at his Motuan Village of Gaire, Central Province. His background is in computing. That’s the area he studied at University but he would like to think of himself these days as an emerging writer. This is his first written work, together with the other two pieces he submitted earlier in the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition.

Message from the Voluntary Organizing Committee (VOC)

Greetings everyone for the new year, 2018. The Crocodile Prize is happy to announce the short listed entries and winners of the different categories of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition.

The Competition ended on the 31st October 2017. That was when the last entries from budding writers were received. Since then, the VOC has been in constant communication with several members of the writing community who are not entirely connected to the Prize and to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Firstly, the VOC sorted out the entries at the closing. The folders for each category was put together and sent to selected Literary Expert to cull from whatever numbers of entries received to only 10 entries. This part of the process took weeks because these people doing the culling were also doing these in their free time.

The sorting out of the folders gave adequate information for a comprehensive report to be written on the organising and the result of the annual competition. The report was published on the Crocodile Prize blog, the Crocodile Prize Facebook page and in the Post Courier. A special report was also written for the Poetry category alone because of the sheer interest and the numbers of entries received for that category alone.

Secondly, on receiving the 10 selected entries, the VOC then sent these off to the Judges. This was right in the heart of the Christmas and New Year period so the Judges were given ample time to have their holidays and have some time to judge.

Thirdly, the VOC then sent the 5 selected entries of each categories to the appropriate Sponsors. The sponsors were to pick the overall winner from among the 5 entries shortlisted by the judge.

At the time of the writing this update, two of the sponsors have identified the winners of their categories. The VOC will be informing the winners soon.

In the meantime, the VOC will be publishing all the entries on their blog. A list of the winners of each of the categories will be posted in the coming days.

Some of these winners will be featured in the news as a lead up to the Prize giving event.

A Prize giving reception was planned to be staged at the Gateway Hotel on the 17th of February 2017. Traditionally, this reception was convened on a weekday and took up to 2 hours. The event at the Gateway in 2018 should take for 3 hours: i.e. from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock in the evening. The reception will feature two key note addresses from members of the writing community, reading of 2 poems, a short story extract and a case story of what Crocodile Prize has done for an individual’s life and career.

Let’s have this time to call to stage, those with the passion for writing, illustrating and art, those with the spirit of altruism and those who want to support Literatures in PNG. Lets call to stage and acknowledge the generosity of the sponsors. Lets take the time to promote and celebrate Literature (Writing Illustrations and art) in PNG with aspiring Literary Papua New Guineans. Congratulations to all who participated in 2017 and those who have been selected as winners.

2017 Competition Report

Compiled by Gretel Matawan and Emmanuel Peni

This is an account of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition

The Voluntary Organising Committee (VOC) of the Annual 2017 Crocodile Prize Literature Competition in PNG is happy to announce that a successful year of literature competition has come to a close. We would like to thank all the sponsors and the public who have sincerely supported this competition.

There have been several queries on when the winners will be announced. The VOC is excited too to know about the winners.  However, the winners will have to be administered through a lengthy process of judging and selection.  Our Volunteers have put together the folders (9 altogether) of the entries. Below is the summary of the entrants and the entries for this year.

This is the 7th year of the Annual Literature Prize.  This year the VOC received 245 entries from 87 Papua New Guinean writers and artists.

The Table 1.0 shows that the majority of the writers are from NCD. The VOC did its best to use several media platforms to reach every PNG citizens.  It is unfortunate that very few entries are coming in from outside of NCD.  The Committee is looking at accepting written pieces on paper from remote places in 2018.  Otherwise, the VOC will do its best to reach out to the people of PNG in 2018. Hopefully we get some entries from even those provinces not listed here:  West Sepik, Southern Highlands, Hela, Western Highlands, New Ireland, Central and other PNG citizens living abroad. We have an entry from Fiji.  We can confirm that it is from a Papua New Guinean citizen.  We would like to also report that the entries from Gulf Province were from Kikori secondary schools after a visit by a member of the VOC in 2017.   Our publicity and communications team have learnt a lot in promoting writing in the last two years of work in PNG. Literature spaces and activities in PNG have declined to a state of irrelevance.  This is a tragic and frightening trend when considering Google and fb and Alibaba and more are fighting and in the process spending billions to get information from people around the world. When will Papua New Guineans wake up and write our own history, experiences and our aspirations?  Why do we let outsiders do it from their reference point and own our stories?

Table 1.0 shows the Provinces and the number of writers/artists who have sent in their literary piece(s).

Provinces (Areas) Number of Entrants
East New Britain 3
East Sepik 3
Eastern Highlands 4
Fiji 1
Gulf 3
Jiwaka 2
Madang 2
Manus 3
Milne Bay 2
Morobe 5
Mt Hagen 1
NCD 46
No Response 2
Oro 1
Central 1
Simbu 1
West New Britain 3
Western 1
Grand Total 87


There are 8 categories showing here in which entries have been received for. Of these entries two other category winners will be selected from.  These are: Emerging Young writer and Women in Writing.  The figures in the table clearly show that poetry is the most preferred literary piece to be written and sent in at 53% of the total. It is exciting to see that short stories went over half a century.  The VOC will work hard to help the writers/artists of PNG write or illustrate more our experiences, past and our dreams. It is unfortunate that Heritage writing continue to register low levels of entries. One can easily imagine anyone telling a tumbuna story (we have thousands) or describe a cultural experience.

Writing for children is one category; the Crocodile Prize is going to promote more in the next couple of months. We are interested to have more stories for our children so they become readers of our own journey.    

VOC will be more available for Essay and Journalism category next year after the Crocodile Prize blog has been upgraded to Premium.     There will be more interaction and discussions on the entry pieces sent in.

Table 2.0 shows the number of entries received for the categories in which prizes were secured for 2017.

The 2017 Categories Number of Entries
Short Play 3
Essays and Journalism 26
FB & NBC Radio Comp 4
Heritage Writing 14
Illustrations 3
Poetry 130
Short Stories 52
Writing for Children 13
Total 245

It is exciting to see that the 60% of the entries came from the economically active population of ages between 21 – 40 years (refer to Pie chart 1.0 below). It is unfortunate that the older population who would have had many experiences and culturally more rooted sent in less this year.  It is presumed that those who have resigned or have their careers stalling (11% of the total entries) would find passion somewhere else and writing and illustrating could have been a healthier, productive and meaningful diversion.

Chart 1.0 also gives a good indication on the members of the writing societies whom the VOC will target next year to promote, guide and support and engage in the literature competition. Even if they do not want to participate, their entries or submission can be used to add to the body of knowledge captured for generations to use to understand the evolution of the PNG cultural heritage.    
Where to from here:

The process of identifying the winners will take two months. Firstly, the folders will be sent to those who will cull (select what can be judged) from whatever numbers down to 10 entries. The 10 entries will then be sent to the judges who will then select only the top 5 entries. The top 5 entries will lastly be sent to the sponsors who select the winner.  We will announce the 5 shortlist at the end of January 2018. The winners will be announced at a Ceremony at the Grand Papua Hotel on the 10th February 2018.  There will be an official gathering where the 2018 Crocodile Prize Competition will also be launched.  Stay tuned for the announcements and the winners and the launching.

A burning question to discuss is the participation of women in PNG. Both 2016 and 2017, (under the leadership of Papua New Guineans) have proven beyond doubt the participation of women in writing has gained its foot hold.  There are more women sending in entries (55 %) than men folks.  The quality and diversity of the entries far outweigh that of men. Women were the youngest of the entrants and the oldest. Last year’s winner of the Paga Hill Foundation Writing for Children Category was a 14 year old girl from Bougainville.   Females were more active in asking for information and following the rules and guidelines.  The tides have turned and so there must be a category for Boys in writing and Men in writing.

The only issue encountered by the administrative team of the VOC was the lack of respect to the rules and procedures. One of the entrants sent in 23 entries altogether. Clearly this person did ignore the rules or did not bother to ask for clarification.  Others continue to send in entries without the entry forms.  This may sound like hard work to you as an entrant, but technology has made it so easy. One can literally take a snap shot of the entry from and inbox this through fb messenger or email it in picture format.

The VOC takes pride in our work in one tiny area of literature in PNG. What we are especially proud about is our process on identifying the winner.  Our selection and judging process is very stringent. We want to instil integrity into the processes and give an opportunity for the public, sponsors, supporters and participants to believe that we have been transparent and accountable. We want to show and prove that we can be objective and manage wantok system, nepotism and any other possible foul play or conflict of interest.

Otherwise the VOC are privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the Crocodile Prize. The VOC would like to congratulate everyone on their efforts and wish everyone a success in their different endeavours.

 Our Sponsors:

Sponsors Category
Port Moresby Arts Theatre Best Short Play
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Essays and Journalism
Haltmeier Family FB & NBC Radio Comp
Cleland family Heritage Writing
Yet to Announce Illustrations
Kina Securities Poetry
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited Short Stories
Mineral Resources Development Corporations Women in Writing
Library for all, Australia Writing for Children


The Interim Working Committee

Chairman: Emmanuel Peni, (Author, Director – People Centred OD Consult)

Deputy Chair: Joycelin Leahy (Blogger and Author, operating out of Brisbane, Australia)

Other member of the working Committee:

Ruth Moiam, Consultant (World Bank Communications)

Martyn Namorong, (Blogger, National Coordinator – EITI)

Baka Bina, (Supreme Courts – Human Resources)

Gretel Matawan, (Communications, Institute of National Affairs)


Apologies for Silence

Message from the 2017 Volunteer Organising Committee of the Crocodile Prize

Dear everyone

The Volunteer Organising Committee would like to sincerely apologise for the silence we have given to all.

Our Volunteers are putting together the folders (10 altogether) of the entries, and are summarizing all the entries so we can have a comprehensive response as a report to you all.

The folders will go to those who will cull ( select what can be judged) from what ever numbers down to 10 entries. The 10 finalists entries will then be sent to the judges who will select only 5 entries. The 5 entries will go to the sponsors so that the winner can be selected from.

Our selection and judging process is very stringent. We want to instill integrity into the processes and give an opportunity for the public, sponsors, supporters and participants to believe that we have been transparent and accountable. We want to show and prove that we can be objective and manage wantok system, nepotism and any other possible foul play or conflict of interest.

Please bear with us.

We will also publish all the names of all those who sent in entries in the Post Courier next Friday – so look out. On Friday we will also have decisions: on when the finalists will be announced, when the Prize Giving Ceremony will take place and other important information. We will publish these on the news paper too. We initially planned on announcing the winners in December 2017. But this is not feasible anymore. we appologise too for this.

Thank you for your understanding.

We apologise again for the delayed announcement.

Yours sincerely

2017 Volunteer Organising Committee

2017 Competition Closed

The 2017 Crocodile Prize Literary Competition is Closed.

Message from the Voluntary Organizing Committee of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition. 

The entry of literary Pieces for the 2017 Crocodile Prize has come to a close for the year.  The Members of the Voluntary Organizing Committee have had an interesting year.  2017 has been the year of creating more awareness.  It is still evident that a lot more awareness and incentives are needed to increase the number of entries and the quality of entries.  8 million people of PNG were given an opportunity to enter the competition and only less than a thousand entries from less than 300 aspiring writers and artists were able to send in their entries.  This speaks volume in terms of the need for more work in the area of writing and art.

Given our own contextual limitations, the organizing committee is extremely proud to say this year has been a year of awakening the Spirit of Papua New Guineans to really take ownership of the Competition.  This year the Prize has been solely organized by Papua New Guineans who are passionate and committed and are nationalistic.

The most exciting aspect from the experience of the 2017 Competition was seeing the growing interest in Literature in ALL Papua New Guineans of ALL ages. We understand that there are few challenges for those that do not have access to internet or laptops. We have taken that into consideration and we will in the next competition, make it more accessible as well as to create more awareness to include more rural schools as well as the general public.

Compared to the past, entries are coming from diverse communities and geographical areas of different levels of socio economic and educational spread.  Compared to the past we have newer aspiring writers who have never published or written something for public consumptions. Entries from Remote Kikori in the Gulf Province, from Manus Islands and from remote and rural satellite hamlets outside of Port Moresby has been a success for the Organizing Committee.

The Organizing committee has spent significant effort in Publicizing and creation of awareness.  The effort is significant because of the nature of their contribution which is Voluntary.

The Interest and the gratefulness from those who entered their work have been overwhelming. This has given the committee more motivation to ensure that such a space is continuously made available, resourced and added effort is given by the Voluntary Organizing Committee to sustain it.

The Organizing Committee is happy to announce that the winners of the prizes will be announced on the 15th December in a Ceremony organized in Port Moresby (Exact Venue to be announced at a later date).

We would like to thank all the Sponsors:  Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) sponsored K10,000 for the Women in Writing in Category; Cleland Family sponsored K10, 000 for the Heritage Writing Category; Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) sponsored K10,000 for the Poetry Category; PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum sponsored K10, 000 for the Essays and Journalism Category; Kina Securities Limited sponsored K2, 000 for the Poetry Category; Moresby Arts Theatre for sponsoring Script/ Best Short Play Category; Library 4 All/World Vision for sponsoring the Writing for Children Category, Haltmeier Family for sponsoring the Facebook & NBC Radio Competition and Bank South Pacific (BSP) for sponsored K5, 000 for the paid advertisements and printing of anthologies

We would like to thank the people of PNG, especially those who have participated, those who have helped in advancing the awareness, those who have inspired and helped others to explore their talent and gifts.

The members of the Voluntary Organizing Committee are:  Baka Bina, Gretel Matawan, Ruth Moiam, Martyn Namorong and Emmanuel Peni. The Committee would like to thank other supporters who continue to be critical of the work and the entries.  The Judges will not be named here for independence and objectivity but an acknowledgement is necessary. Also, acknowledge the efforts of the editors: Rosa Koian, Anna Joskin PhD, Russel Soaba and Joycelin Leahy.

We would like to thank all Media outlet who have provided a stage for the competition to be broadcasted.  EMTV, NBC TV, NBC Radio, Post Courier, National, Yumi FM, FM central, The Sunday Chronicle and TV wan.  Acknowledge the efforts by many different administrators of Facebook Pages such as:  Sepik Writers Associations, PNG Book Blub, PNG Writers, Editors and Publishers, and many other Facebook users who help post or share our articles and posts.

Thank you all for this year of art and writing for the truly National Literature Competition called the Crocodile Prize Competition.

# Tami Ana

From the Author of Sibona, Emmnauel Peni- A short story from his collection of Short Stories.


Tami:  lol multi tasking with my namba wan:  #cooking, #chatting #Texting  #Instagramming #Liking #happy Faceting #chatting.

Ana:    Shared a page on Climate Change.  Sceptics of climate change also include God fearing Christians. So much for depending on religion to save the day.

Tami was in a good mood, singing and dancing, headphones on, checking his mobile phone and helping his partner, who was cooking for the couple’s evening meal.  Ana was in a good mood too, humming a song, which was on repeat and dancing.  Both continued to check on their mobile phones, send messages, update statuses and chat to each other as they cooked.

Then they each set aside their phones and sat down to eat at the table.  Their phones were visibly active with vibrations and flashing blue lights to confirm delivery of messages or notifications on Facebook.  The phones were placed just beside their plates.  They checked the phones now and again as they ate in silence.

So what did you think of my last post?  Ana asked as she picked up Tami’s empty plate and set it on top of hers.  What should I think of what post? Answered Tami.  Oh you know, the post I tagged you on, on Facebook not long ago, Ana said as she looked searchingly for some important and deeper conversations.

You mean the rape and murder of that young boy in Lae, he asked with indifference.  Are you sure if it’s a boy? He chuckled and then returned to his phone.  You find that funny, do you? Asked Ana with much agitation.  I am sorry; I have so much on my mind! He said and looked seriously at her but for a fraction of a second and then quickly departed the place as he stared into his phone. She gently placed her phone on the table, pushed the chair as loudly as she could, stood up from the chair and placed her hands on her hips.  Her glare was as fierce as a lion who is just about to catch its prey. Is that right, and your page is full of selfies of yourselves, your friends and all other lame posts on Facebook, friends talking about what they ate, the status of their relationships and where they were travelling to. You call all that “so much on my mind?”  Let’s see then, two minutes ago, you posted photos of your trip to Wewak.  The photos were of the hotel, food and beer.  That’s too much on your mind? cried Ana.

Tami looked at her with concern; the smirk that was there on his face was replaced with resignation and guilt.  He placed his phone on the table and stared at it. His shoulders dropped as low as ever but not as low as his ego. Ana could smell the guilt. She stopped and waited for him to say something. The silence between them was constantly broken by Ana’s vibrating phone. Ana ignored it.  Tami had his phone on silent and the blue light was beeping and flashing with intense craving for attention and urgency.

After a while he looked up pleadingly at Ana.  Can I please check my phone again for that post dear, please? he begged, still unsure if he should reach out and pick up his phone.  His yearning and craving to check his phone were unbearable; he was fidgeting, almost choking.  She looked at him, then to the phone, rolled her eyes and stood up, a sad smile broke as she shuffled to the kitchen sink. Would you like a glass of water? she asked as she reached the kitchen.

He reached out swiftly and grabbed the phone, held it with both hands and started checking all his messages and posts and notifications. “Would you, …………” she stopped at the start of her question as she turned and realised that Tami was staring at his phone.  She looked at him sitting there with the phone in both hands, his eyes glued to the phone screen.  A feeling of despair overcame her. It encapsulated her like a grey cloud that appears suddenly and threatens rain.  She held both hands on the edge of the sink in the kitchen and took deep breaths for support as she fought back tears.  She took another huge breath; he looked across and jumped up from his chair. “Found it,” he said as he danced toward her, he lied as he had just started to scroll down the page looking for that particular post.

“It is a boy! A boy?” he exclaimed and stopped to take some time to accept that fact.  Oh my God, this was done by someone completely out of it.  This guy had been on the binge for 3 straight days.  He had marijuana and additional homemade steam.

“There you go, darling see, I was angry, I put an angry face and had the hash tags.  Here look,” and he brought the phone over to her.   #rape, #drugs #alcohol #violence. “ Yiha! yes! You did indeed!” she exclaimed.  He felt the raw sarcasm and it cut through him like a blade.

“Great, then what?” she asked.  “Then what, what else do you want me to say?”  he asked exhaustingly.  “Are you on a mission to be disappointed in me tonight?”  he asked.  She ignored his question.  “I expected you to feel something and talk about solutions. I expected more from you and from all other people posting on that particular thread.  No one seemed to want to do anything.  All they do is say something, use emoticons and then hash tag.  Here look at a couple of these.”

“What’s wrong with hash tagging?  Everyone is doing it;” he started but ended up whispering to himself.

“Let’s see than, how many more posts have you hash tagged?” She brought her phone to him so they both scrolled down from the most recent post.

Hit and run by drunkard Government Employee #drugs, #alcohol #violence.

Policeman Murders wife #drugs #alcohol #violence.

Nun raped during a Peace Ceremony #rape, #drugs #alcohol #violence.

Drunken Youth kills Members of a family over K 5.00   #drugs #alcohol #violence.

Drunk driving PMV driver kills 7 #drugs #alcohol.

Priest caught with Marijuana Destined for Australia   #drugs #alcohol #violence.

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.





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.