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K35,000 in prize money secured for Crocodile Prize

Croc TrophiesWITH THE SIGNING of three new major sponsors, this week has seen a substantial boost to funding for The Crocodile Prize national literary contest.

The Poetry Prize now remains the only award with naming rights on offer, but organisers say the K35,000 prize money required for all seven categories in the competition will be covered.

A Writers’ Forum, held in conjunction with the Prize, has also been sponsored by AustAsia Pacific Health Services and Co-Convenor of the Prize, Keith Jackson, says this may enable the forum for emerging writers to be extended from Port Moresby to Goroka and Madang next year.

Organisers also expect a significant grant to be announced in the next few days that will enable the printing of 10,000 copies of The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2012, a 200-page anthology featuring the best writing submitted to the contest.  This is believed to be a record print run for a creative work published in Papua New Guinea.

The Steamships Short Story Prize, announced this week, will be awarded for the best story submitted on a theme of interest to a general readership.  Steamships Trading Company Ltd is a 93-year old PNG company with interests in transport, manufacturing, property, hotels and information technology.  It employs over 2,000 people.

Announced yesterday was the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Prize for Essays & Journalism, given for the best essay or journalistic feature submitted on a factual theme.  The Chamber is an association representing the interests of the mining and petroleum industry in PNG.

The AustAsia Pacific Health Services Writers Forums provide a one-day creative environment for emerging writers and are led by leading PNG authors, poets and journalists.  The program emphasises the development of creative skills as well as practical matters such as editing and publishing. AustAsia Pacific Health Services is based in Queensland and provides medical and hospital services to individual patients, mining, insurance and other companies, as well as patients referred from overseas medical facilities.

Other naming rights already announced are the Cleland Prize for Heritage Literature, the Chalkies' Yokomo Prize for Student Writing, the Ok Tedi Mining Prize for Women's Literature, and the British American Tobacco (PNG) Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Literature.

A dedicated Crocodile Prize website featuring original Papua New Guinean creative writing is being developed by and will be launched early in 2012.

Organisers further announced that planning is progressing towards the establishment of a PNG Society of Writers, Editors and Publishers in 2012.  It is expected that an application to incorporate the organisation in PNG will be submitted within the next few weeks.  In future years, the Society will administer The Crocodile Prize as well as being a key body in sustaining the role of literature in PNG.

“We are determined that writing, publishing and reading in PNG will be given a huge boost through The Crocodile Prize,” said Keith Jackson.  “Creative writing in PNG must never again be left in the wilderness.”

The Prize and its associated projects are currently managed by a steering committee of Papua New Guineans and Australians.


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Ed Brumby

Great news, Keith .... well done!

Amanda Adams

Congratulations, this is a great boost for the arts in PNG and hopefully will go a long way towards generating the quality and quantity of local literature that we once knew in the heydays.

Barbara Short

Well done, organisers!

Now it is up to the thinkers and writers of PNG to reveal the truth, to dream dreams, to express love, and other strong emotions, to try to right the wrongs, to work out the "PNG Way" of doing things, to heal the wounds, to solve the problems, and so much more....

God bless them.

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