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Simbu writers dominate Crocodile Prize 2014 entries

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KEITH JACKSON

AFTER the Crocodile Prize was established in 2011 and the closing date for entries passed, Phil Fitzpatrick and I got down to the judging.

There were 105 contributions from 40 writers to read and assess in three categories: short stories, poetry and essays.

As the judging progressed, Phil and I noticed that the women’s entries were relatively small in number and it seemed certain the first awards would be dominated by men.

So, at the last minute, we initiated an award for women’s writing and Dame Carol Kidu was gracious enough to lend her name to it.

It was the last time we had to offer a special award for women. From 2011 on, when it came to literature, the women of Papua New Guinea showed they were every bit as good and competitive as the men.

In 2014, we have received more than 600 entries from 130 writers, 46% of them female. We consider this a very satisfactory outcome. Continue reading

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Over 500 entries & 100 writers line up for Croc Prize 2014

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KEITH JACKSON

IT was quite a weekend in the Jackson office. The fag end of the Crocodile Prize national literary contest (entries close today) witnessed a torrent of creative writing pouring in through the email.

Many new writers made a first appearance, bringing the registered total to more than 100 with many yet to be processed.

The number of entries received will total well over 500 by the time this creative part of Papua New Guinea’s writing awards is done and dusted.

Now follows some weeks of judging and selecting which entries are good enough to be published in the annual Anthology. Continue reading

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Sir Paulias Matane recognised for lifetime contribution to PNG writing

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KEITH JACKSON

THE Crocodile Prize Organising Group, COG, has announced that former Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane will receive this year’s Ok Tedi Mining Award for Lifetime Contribution to PNG Literature.

The award will be made on Thursday 18 September at the same time as five other awards for writing are presented during a ceremony at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

Now aged 82 and with 44 books under his belt, Sir Paulias is the most prolific published writer in PNG. He is also a great advocate of books, learning and literature.

He was born in 1931, became a teacher and rose through the public service to become the eighth Governor-General of PNG. His memoir My Childhood in New Guinea has been on the school curriculum since the 1970s, and for many years he wrote a column in a national daily newspaper. Continue reading

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Call out for people wanting to attend this year’s writers workshop

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KEITH JACKSON

AS the deadline for entries to this year’s Crocodile Prize national literary contest nears (entries must be in by Monday 30 June), another area of activity is revving up to full speed.

With the awards scheduled for Thursday 18 September, the attention of organisers is switching to the presentation event, writers workshop and Anthology launch which are all to be held on this same day.

The writers workshop will run from 9 am – 4 pm and is planned to be held in the American Corner of the PNG National Library. Continue reading

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Are you a missing writer? It’s time to submit that entry form

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KEITH JACKSON

WITH less than two week left for Papua New Guinea’s writers to enter the 2014 Crocodile Prize and its K35,000 in awards, many writers who have submitted entries have not yet sent in entry forms.

And the list of missing entry forms includes some of PNG’s best known writers.

If your name is mentioned below, you need to download the entry form here and email it to the address shown. Only one form is required to cover all your entries.

The ‘missing’ writers are:

Alfred Kawo, Chris Baria, David Gonol, Donalyn Pipino, Dotty Tearaki, Emma Wakpi, Francis Sina Nii, Gabriel Ramoi, Gary Juffa, George Kuias, Hela Kaiabe, Hogande Kiafuli, Jane Pumai Awi, Jeffrey Mane Febi, Jimmy Drekore, Joe Wasia, Joseph Ambane John, Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin, Lapieh Landu, Leonard Fong Roka, Marlene Potoura, Martinez Wasuak, Martyn Namorong, Michael Dom, Nigel Matte, Norm David, Paul Wauglo Wii, Sioni Ruma, Sonja Barry Ramoi, Steve Labuan, Steven Gimbo, Steven Ilave Snr, Tanya Zeriga Alone, Tony Flynn, Yvonne Hani

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The wheels that drive the COG – Ruth Moiam

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KEITH JACKSON

UPON leaving Divine Word University with a degree in communications in 2008, Ruth Moiam went to work as a public relations officer for PNG’s Nambawan Super.

Just a few months later, she accepted the post of PNG-Australia Alumni Coordinator in the Australian Scholarships section of AusAID.

In an accelerating career, by early 2011 Ruth was Public Diplomacy Coordinator with the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, and it was in this role that she first encountered the then newly established Crocodile Prize.

In what she labels as one of her core achievements, Ruth was appointed by the High Commission to organise the on-the-ground Prize activities – the awards ceremony, writers workshop, reception and the many accompanying administrative tasks.

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Did Steamies breach its own values in abandoning Croc Prize?

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KEITH JACKSON

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IN an extraordinary turn of events, it seems that Steamships Trading Company may have breached its own corporate value of ‘integrity’ in the manner in which it reneged on its sponsorship of the Crocodile Prize after seven months of promising ‘the cheque is in the mail’.

Steamships most recent annual report discloses that it “redefined its values” in 2013, with the value of integrity (truth, honour, uprightness) said to include “taking the more ethical and honest path; honouring our commitments and delivering on our promises; creating a bond of trust that sustains relationships with … the communities in which we do business.”

There is a long list of promises Steamships did not deliver on in relation to the 2014 Crocodile Prize, all of them contained in emails from corporate relations officer, Wanita Wakus, to me….

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Friend of PNG makes good as Steamships abandons Croc Prize

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KEITH JACKSON

IN the midst of a storm of social media protest, an Australian friend of Papua New Guinea has told PNG Attitude he will “make up the Steamies deficit” to ensure the planned print run of the 2014 Anthology of the best PNG creative writing can be maintained.

The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

On Friday, after seven months of repeated commitments to fund the Crocodile Prize short story award, including advising that “payment is being raised”, Steamships Trading Company on Friday made the shock announcement that it was reneging on the agreement. No explanation was given.

Organisers made immediate arrangements to maintain funding for the short story award. This had to be done by diverting money from the production of the annual Anthology, reducing the anticipated print run from 1,500 to 1,000 books.

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The wheels that drive the COG – Francis Nii

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KEITH JACKSON

OF the many luminous people associated with the Crocodile Prize, one of the brightest stars is Francis Sina Anguary Nii, 50, from Yobai village in the Salt Nomane area of Simbu Province.

It is well known to regular PNG Attitude readers – many of whose doantions helped him through a serious patch of ill health last year – that Francis is a paraplegic whose residence is Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Kundiawa where he writes, administers and boosts the morale of other residents, especially those with a disability.

Francis earned a degree in Economics from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1987, after which he joined the head office of the Rural Development Bank as a loans officer, later serving in East New Britain, New Ireland (Namatanai), West New Britain (Bialla), Manus and the Eastern Highlands (Kainantu and Goroka).

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Steamships reneges on its Crocodile Prize short story award

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KEITH JACKSON

STEAMSHIPS Trading Company, which describes itself as having a “pre-eminent position in the (PNG) community”, has at the last minute reneged on a commitment to sponsor this year’s Crocodile Prize.

The pledge, first given by Steamships in October last year and restated on several occasions over a seven month period, was to renew its support for the Short Story Award it first sponsored in 2011 (see the photo at right from happier days) and claims credit for in its annual report.

The most recent affirmation that Steamships would continue to sponsor the award was on 23 May.

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Literary Awards of Papua New Guinea