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
AROB 3
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)

 

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 crocprize@gmail.com

How To Write A Poem

HOW  TO  WRITE  A  POEM – Chips Mackellar

The first task is to plan what you want to say.

For example, suppose you wanted to decide if your old uncle is too old to do something.  Would he be too old because he has grey hair? No, because lots of people have grey hair and can do things. What about if he has bad teeth? No, because lots of people have bad teeth but can still do things. So what would make him too old?  Well he would be too old if he thought he could do something then found that he was too old to do it.

So you could put your plan into verse, like this:

He’s not too old when his hair turns grey,

He’s not too old when his teeth decay.

But he’s well on his way to his last long sleep,

When his mind makes a date which his body can’t keep.

The essence of a good poem is if its end of lines rhyme, and the lines which rhyme have the same number of syllables. So, analyse the poem, to see if it rhymes, and count the number of syllables per line.

Total

Syllables

Per line

|

Line                      Number the  syllables per line

 

  1. He’s / not/ too/ old/ when / his / hair/ turns/ grey.
  • 2     3     4      5        6       7      8         9                                       total: 9

 

  1. He’s / not / too/ old / when / his/  teeth / de/
  • 2       3      4        5          6        7     8     9                                             total; 9

 

  1. But /  he’s /  well /  on  /  his  /  way  /  to  /  his / last /  long / sleep,

1      2       3         4        5        6        7       8      9       10       11                   total: 11

 

  1. When /  his /  mind /  makes / a /  date /  which /  his /  body/  can’t/  keep

1          2       3           4        5      6          7         8       9          10       11.    total: 11

 

So you can see that the end of lines 1 and 2 rhyme (grey with decay) and the end of lines 3 and 4 rhyme (sleep with keep) and the rhyming lines have the same number of syllables.

In this example each word has only one syllable except in Line 2 where “decay” has two syllables thus: “de / cay.”

Easy. Isn’t it?

                                                                                                                 Chips Mackellar enjoys writing poetry and has volunteered to help Papua New Guinean who wish to improve their poetry.

[ Note: The poem here is an old maxim of uncertain origin, used here as an example of how to turn prose into poetry]

Poems from Emily that Chips made some suggestions to and as requested by Emily. (Emily’s original unedited poems have been entered in Crocodile Prize 2016).

GLAMOUROUSLY COLOURFUL  1.

Wings so big and feathers so bright,

With plumes outstretched to my delight,

King of birds and colourful too,

Glamourous and bold, we all love you.

Papua New Guinea’s symbolic device,

Our beautiful Bird of Paradise.

STAR SO BRIGHT   2.

Grant me my wish oh star so bright,

In peace and harmony tonight,

That I may not perish in thy sight,

But live and flourish with delight.

A LOVER’S WISH   3.

If our moon should ever fade away,

And the sun dies out and dark our day,

I wish our love be bold and grand,

And linger long in another land,

And never ever fail or stall,

Even if the stars should fall.

Crocodile Prize Competition

This post is for all PNG writers intending to enter the 2016 Crocodile Prize. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.

If you want to take part in the Crocodile Prize this year, you have to visit this blog, http://www.crocodileprize.com or http://www.crocodileprize.org and read as much information as you can. When you decide to enter one of the seven Crocodile Prize 2016 categories, you must label your writing clearly so the entry does not get lost or mixed up with others. Most of the entries the committee has received so far do not even have the writer’s name on the entry itself. Having your name written on the email does not get it on your entry. Some entries do not even have categories they are being entered into.

To assist future submissions, please follow the instructions below carefully and follow the example to submit your entry.

  1. The most important thing to do is to write your title, your full name and category next to that title on the actual entry. You must also attach a copy of the entry form with your full details. The entry forms are on the two websites: www.crocodile prize.com and http://www.crocodile prize.org. The entry form can be downloaded or copied and pasted. Here is an example of how you should submit an entry.

EXAMPLE ENTRY

Poetry Entry Crocodile Prize – by Joycelin Leahy©

New Love

A mess of feelings

Soft strings twisted, and tangled

Intoxication

A lore to be unfold soon

Waiting, yearning the unknown

Once for-warned heart dazed

Consumed in immense chaos

Riddled with beauty

Warmed and rendered with lightness

EXAMPLE ENTRY FORM

CROCODILE PRIZE 2016 ENTRY FORM

*** MUST BE COMPLETED AND EMAILED TO crocprize@gmail.com WITHIN 48 HOURS OF SUBMITTING ENTRY ***

NAME: Joycelin Leahy

DATE OF BIRTH:16/03/1965

PLACE OF BIRTH (town/village): I am from Wagang Village, Morobe province. I was born in Wau, Morobe Province.

OCCUPATION: Writer/Artist/Storyteller

TITLE OF WRITTEN/ILLUSTRATION ITEM: (as my submission above)

New Love

CATEGORY:

Poetry

WORD COUNT:

38 words

BRIEF BIO (please write a few sentences to introduce yourself to the Crocodile Organising Committee 2016)

I am a Papua New Guinean writer with specific interests in short stories, children’s stories and creative non-fiction (such as memoirs). I write and read daily. I was a trained journalist and later worked in PR, marketing, business development and small business. To improve my writing skills, I like working with other writers and enjoy setting up daily challenges for myself to write short stories with certain plots in limited number of words. Sometimes I would read this to my family and friends and see how they react to the story. I also attend a weekly creative writing workshop with other writers to share and learn about storytelling. I find the best stories I write come from free-writing. Free-writing is when you set up a time (e.g. say for five minutes) I focus, let everything go, and just write down whatever that comes to my mind. Then, I expand, re-write and develop the plot.

WRITING EXPERIENCE ( how long have you been writing? have you written any published books, magazine articles, academic journal articles etc? do you have a Blog – if yes, title?)

I have been writing for over 30 years. I have published short stories and won the Crocodile Prize 2015 Writing for Children category. I also wrote for PNG newspapers and the Paradise Magazine and consultation reports. (Email me on joycelinleahy@gmail.com for specifics).

Submit all entries to crocprize@gmail.com

 

PNG Poets Can Get Help

Picture1
Chips Mackellar

Papua New Guinean poets intending on brushing up their poetry for the Crocodile Prize can get help from Australian poet Malcolm Mackellar or Chips as he is known to friends.

Chips has offered to look at your poems and offer suggestions to improve the rhyme and metre.

“My reason for asking to help PNG poets, is to encourage them to write better poetry. Whilst PNG poets are to be praised for their work, unfortunately the so called poems I have seen in lack rhyme and metre. Not surprising as I suppose no one has showed them how”, Chips said.

After completing his education in Australia, Chips served in Papua New Guinea from 1953 to 1981.

He started as a patrol officer, then Assistant District Commissioner, and finally District Court Magistrate. His postings included; Western District, Western Highlands, Madang, Milne Bay, Morobe, Enga and his final posting was as District Court Magistrate, Ela Beach Court House, Port Moresby. Chips speaks English, Pidgin, Police Motu, and Indonesian Bahasa.

The Committee 2016 is proud to have Chips on board to assist PNG poets. Please send your poems to crocprize@gmail.com and the selected poems will be posted here with some advice from Chips.  Here is one of Malcolm Mackellar’s own poems.

The Patrol Post in the Sky ©Malcolm Mackellar
There’s a Patrol Post in the sky, above the sea near Lae,
Nor’nor West of Samarai, South-East of Hansa Bay.
It has palm trees waving in the moon, where mosquitoes sting at night,
And canoes out on the blue lagoon, awaiting fish to bite.
It smells of kunai in the rain, and smoke from the valley floor,
And you’ll hear the pounding surf again, on the reef beyond the shore.

It’s the place where all the kiaps go, when their life on earth is through,
And they talk with all the friends they know, of the things they used to do.
They talk of all the times now past, and of places far away,
And of all the memories that last, of Independence Day.
They talk of sights and sounds and smells, and people they all knew,
Of bugle calls and mission bells, of garamut and kundu.

Of days gone by in Samarai, and windswept coral cays,
Of tribal fight and freezing nights, and misty Highland days,
Of black-palm floors and tidal bores, and life on the River Fly,
The Kavieng Club and the bottom pub, with a thirst you couldn’t buy,
Of Highland roads and carrier loads, at the time when we were there,
Of bailer-shell pearls and Trobriand girls, with flowers in their hair.

And when we say good bye to you, don’t mourn us when we go,
For the Big DC will call us too, and this of course we know.
That last patrol will take us all, along that well worn track,
But the difference with this final call, is that we won’t be coming back.
And our parting should not cause you pain, it’s not sad for us to die,
For we shall all soon meet again, in that Patrol Post in the Sky..

Fireplaces, Facebook & a quest to preserve PNG’s stories

Shared from the PNG Attitude Blog

By MARTYN NAMORONG

SINCE its emergence 2011 as PNG’s preeminent literary award – the Crocodile Prize – has spurred a growth in the recording of Papua New Guinean stories.

Named after Sir Vincent Eri’s epic novel The Crocodile, the prize seeks to unearth PNG’s emerging story tellers.

If social media is PNG’s new fireplace where people gather and tell stories, the Crocodile Prize and its accompanying Anthology represent an attempt to record and preserve those “fireplace” stories.

The Prize and the Anthology are a written record of the Papua New Guinean condition has viewed through the eyes of writers who live through these times.

They represent the logic, passion, disappointment and hopes of a nation in transition.

They represent the confusion and the clarity of those who struggle with modernity and those who have engaged with it.

They represent a nostalgia of the independence rhetoric of the 1970s but also the embracing of the new age of information technology and the internet.

This diversity of experiences reflects the richness of the Papua New Guinean experience has filtered by its cultures, its landforms and seascapes.

Through the written word are minds taken on a journey of what Albert Maori Kiki would describe as “Ten thousand years in a lifetime.”

From the fireplace to Facebook, great stories are being told that need to be preserved. The Crocodile Prize and the Anthology serve as a repository of contemporary PNG culture and experiences.

The Crocodile Prize Anthology is also an historical source document from which future generations of Papua New Guineans can learn from the experiences of their forbears.

In 2016 the Crocodile Prize and Anthology seek the support of everyone who calls PNG home or has benefited from the abundance of this beautiful nation.

And so if you are hearing this calling from the forested mountains to the lowland plains and across the coral seas, I hope you may be able to raise your hand in support of the Crocodile Prize.

Please contact the chairman of the Crocodile Prize Organising Committee, Baka Bina via email here, should you wish to assist in this quest to preserve PNG’s stories.

Top Five Tips on Publishing a Children’s Book

I had posted this on another blog and many readers found it most helpful. I write children’s stories myself and these tips are more for a novel than a picture book, but the general guidelines apply in both cases.

Tribalmystic stories

There are a lot of tips on what you need to do when you have a book ready to publish. Here are top five tips on publishing for children.

The man himself, Barry Cunningham, the original publisher of Harry Porter and the Publisher of Chicken House gives a little advice to aspiring writers for children’s books,  ranging from age 7-18.

Personally, I think this advice is good for any aspiring author with a ready manuscript – not just children’s books. What do you think?

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