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Crocodile Prize campaign moves into top gear

AN ADVERTISING campaign began in the PNG Post-Courier newspaper today to promote PNG’s national literary contest, THE CROCODILE PRIZE.

The contest for Papua New Guinean writers is supported by the Post-Courier and PNG Attitude.

It is named after the first novel written by a Papua New Guinean, The Crocodile by Vincent Eri, published in 1970.

The contest has three categories - for short stories, poetry and journalism.

A first prize of K1,000 will be awarded in each category and the Post-Courier will publish the best entries.

Meanwhile, author and poet Laurie Meintjes, after thinking deeply about his own writing, has distilled ten key principles, which he shares here with people interested in entering The Crocodile Prize.

Further details and an entry form for the contest are available here.

And this is the half-page advertisement that is telling Papua New Guinea about the prize.

PC Ad 041010


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Laurie Meintjes

Greetings, Phil. Yes, it does not hurt to buck the rules occasionally - indeed, it can be very useful - but it is always best to do so with a clear eye on the rules themselves so that one can stray with style.

Ogden Nash was a master at this, and prompted the following piece of doggerel:

Ogden Nash
Wrote with dash
Some say he used a biro
And if a line
Wouldn't rhyme
He'd simply improviso.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Good stuff, Laurie. I've saved a copy for future reference. I suggest that any aspiring writer intending to enter the contest do the same.

I find that self-editing is dangerous. You become 'blind' to your mistakes after a while. I try to con someone else into helping. If you do that it's always wise to edit their editing however.

I agree with the need to be aware of correct grammar but one does not need to be pedantic about it. I have a natural aversion to organised grammar (nouns and verbs and all that rubbish) but I've evolved a natural grammatical instinct by reading a lot.

It doesn't hurt to buck the rules for effect now and again though. Following the grammar/spellcheck on your computer makes that too difficult. That and a job in the public service are the greatest destroyers of creativity known to man.

The only other thing I would add is the importance of sticking at it. I'm a lazy and disorganised writer but I've disciplined myself to keep going no matter what.

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