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
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)

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Crocodile Prize Inc – A New Association for Papua New Guinea Writers

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 prize@gmail.com