Peter O’Neill seeks to calm concerns about PNG economy
2015 Crocodile Prize Award event is all set to roll in Kundiawa

If we write, we help develop PNG’s culture & literacy says Hazel

Winner - Hazel KutkueKEITH JACKSON

HAZEL Kutkue, 20, the winner of this year’s short story award in the Crocodile Prize, was born in Madang of East Sepik parentage.

Early in her life, Hazel’s parents separated. “I do not know much about my father,” Hazel said, “my mother, who now lives and works in Mt Hagen, raised me and my four siblings on her own.”

Hazel is in her third year of medical school at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

“PNG literature state is yet to reach the optimum state,” Hazel told me. “But it is getting there, though at a slow pace. Seeking avenues for publishing is hard and getting writer’s work to people is difficult. I hope these things change in the near future.”

She was surprised about winning the Crocodile Prize. “I knew that there were a lot of entries, and this competition is a nationwide affair that attracts a lot of talent, even writers better than I am. But once the surprise wore off, I was purely happy about it and remain so.”

Hazel said that writing is a passion. “Even though this competition is about winning awards, writers should never write in that limitation only.

“They should write with a goal in mind, to improve and be better and to help grow the country’s literature and writing culture.”

She is optimistic about her own future in writing. “Winning this award gives me the hope that, one day, I might get my own book published, and soon. However, right now I am focusing on completing my medical degree program and graduating.

“After that I will definitely keep writing, and maybe achieve my goal of having my work published.”

Hazel is grateful to Planning Minister Charles Abel and the PNG Government for sponsoring the short story award.

“As someone who loves writing, I write purely for the joy of it. The Crocodile Prize further enhances this desire to write and be better at it.

“I am sure, these awards, with great sponsorship, also motivate other writers to write and become better at it too. This helps develop the literacy of our country.”


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Milcah Xkenjik

I love her perspective.

Robin Lillicrapp

Well done, Hazel. Keep up the good work.

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