5 Short List Winners of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition, Library for all, Writing for Children Category

Children’s writing is a specialised kind of literature. Generally, for children’s literature in PNG, our PNG culture has the same stories told to adults as well as children. The same messages are passed on through legends, tales, fables, comedy, parody, satire and spoof to all ages. However, in modern literature, there are some significant differences. Basically, the writing for children portions out the central ideas and bring out just one tiny aspect of a larger thought or concept in a story or illustration as a literature piece. The idea of love or kindness for example, can possibly be expressed in many many short stories, breaking up the central theme or concept into bits and pieces. This helps to build the required building blocks for the bigger or larger concept for the child as they develop their personalities. The central element of writing for children (more like an unstated golden rule) is that illustrations have to be part of the writing. Our entries for the 2017, Crocodile Prize Competition illustrates a need for PNG writers to embrace illustrations in their art. This year’s entries could also benefit from a writing workshop or coaching specializing in writing for children. Otherwise, the entries this year, small in numbers came from a diverse background. The winner of the year, 2016 Crocodile Prize Competition, Abt and Assiociate, Emerging Young writers, Mr Peter Jokisie sent in the winning entry piece. Who would have thought Peter Jokisie could win the Writing for Children Category, when he wrote about drugs and adult themes with sophistication and deliciously arranged words.

The ‘Library for all’ an NGO from Australia, came on board to support the Crocodile Prize to create more publicity to and sponsored the Prize for the Writing for Children Category.

Below are the short list winners of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition, Library for all, Writing for Children Category.

 Hunting Trip by Leila Parina

 Charlotte and the Shiny Crocodile by Peter Jokisie

 Bruno satisfied his hunger for meat by Charlene Nii

 Snoopy the Lost Puppy by Jordan Dean

 The Collapsed Mess Table by Jimmy Awagl

Hunting Trip by Leila Parina
Leilah says she is not an outgoing person. She prefers to spend time alone or with those who are close to her. She loves reading, writing, sketching, and dancing. Leila is happy to Volunteer her time with worthwhile projects.

Leilah has been writing since she was 9 years old (mostly in her personal journals/diaries) but her first published work was just out in 2017. A piece called ‘A paradigm shift’ was featured in the PNG anthology ‘My walk to Equality’. Leilah has written poems, short stories and essays.

Charlotte and the Shiny Crocodile by Peter Jokisie
Peter is a Safety Supervisor with the, Dulux Group LTD
Peter and is from Morobe and lives in Lae. He enjoys reading and writing in the following genres: thrillers, fantasy, horror and science fiction.

He has been writing for seven years. Peter writes under my pseudonym of J.P. Richard. Some his work has been published in the Crocodile Prize Anthologies of 2012, 2014 and 2016. He won the award for the 2016 Crocodile Prize Competition, Abt and Associates, Emerging Young Writer Award.

Bruno satisfied his hunger for meat by Charlene Nii
Charlene works in Sales. She is inspired by her father Francis Nii who is an established Author in PNG. Charlene plans to continue writing.

Snoopy the Lost Puppy 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.

The Collapsed Mess Table by Jimmy Awagl
Jimmy is a secondary school teacher. He is the founder & vice president of Simbu Writers Association. He regularly contributes to the PNG Attitude Blogg. He writes as a hobby apart from classroom teaching. Jimmy has authored four books so far. He plans to write and publish more books.

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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)

 

Ikin-yal’s Backyard Revelation – Short Story

Ikin-yal’s Backyard Revelation – Short Story

PNC Goroka
Election campaigns in Papua New Guinea draw large crowds. This is one campaign at PNC Goroka.

Story and picture by Bomai Witne

Why should these people brave the hot sun, to sit and listen to one person? Who is this guy? My thoughts ran wild as I watched from the distance. It was in Goroka town, Papua New Guinea on the weekend.

The speaker had a white stained shirt with long sleeves. The shirt was probably stained with the same betelnut that filled his mouth as he spoke. He puffed one cigarette after another and moved his mobile phone quickly between his mouth and ears. He rambled loudly to someone on the phone. We could only hear his voice.

Each time, he pretended to listen and responded loudly. He wanted everyone around him to hear his conversation. The man was surrounded by a small crowd. Those around him, almost a hundred, controlled their movements and conversations as to not disturb him.

The look on their faces suggested the people in the crowd had neither eaten a proper meal nor slept in the last few days. The sun’s heat was strong enough to hang thick in the air, and melt dirt on these people. The man in the white shirt kept talking for almost two hours. I observed from where I waited. The crowd knew how to wait too. They seemed trained. They chewed betel nut and smoked their rolled tobacco.  The sun’s heat, the sweat and the hunger were not important. The members of this audience would have been good candidates for military or Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. They were showing signs of great loyalty to the man on the phone.

The man demanded the attention of the people after two hours. He told them that he had been talking to his boss in Lae, and added that his assignment to Goroka recently to take a junior public service position was a clever and calculated action by his boss. He said his boss had given him the position so he could stay close to his people and campaign for the 2017 national election. The crowd became alive and cheered. They yelled and laughed. They looked at each other and looked at the hopeful candidate, nodding in agreement. They savored this small ‘insight’ with anticipation. Obviously, they nodded to each other to say all their dedication is paying off.

The man in the white shirt started again on the mobile phone. He stopped between his talk to chew betelnut and puff cigarettes. He pretended to get angry at callers on his phone. He told the crowd, the callers were deliberately disturbing him from talking to his people.

He assured the crowd that he would work at his new post in Goroka for six months and resign to contest the election. The people cheered again. He asked for the team leader of the group to come forth and handed him a K100 cash.

“Go and get some scones and cordial for your people”, the candidate ordered.

“Don’t forget betel nut and brus”, someone in the crowd shouted as the team leader was on his way out.

The candidate called another person from the crowd and handed him a bundle of cash and mentioned that it was for transport and beers for the men who braved the hot sun. The people rose in unison and hugged the candidate. The womenfolk also went up to hug the candidate for the men’s beer money.

As they waited for ‘lunch’ to arrive, the candidate went into a building close to the meeting yard and came out with another man. This second character was dirtier and fatter than himself.  The second man appeared drunk but he was forced him to talk to the crowd. The fat guy introduced himself and gave another K100 to the people and referred to his friend in the white shirt as the ‘right man’ for the job. The people cheered and spoke to each other in their own language.

After a few minutes, a bushy moustache middle aged man with a cowboy hat emerged. He wore a dirty pair of jeans that was rolled to his knees. He introduced himself as the ‘young leader’ of his people and spoke.

“My people are always loyal to whoever they support in election. This is the first time Ikin-yal, a prominent public serviceman invited us to talk to his people, and we are thankful and will always be loyal to them.”

It was only then did I realized that the man in the white shirt was called Ikin-yal, and he was inviting groups of people from his electorate to the backyard of his office to reveal his intention to contest for his electorate in the 2017 Papua New Guinea national election.