The Crocodile Prize 2016 has been a long hard battle with Emmanuel (Manu) Peni – struggling almost alone at the business end of the contest, the majority of the support team having drifted away. Manu has been assisted in fine fashion by Phil Fitzpatrick at Pukpuk Publications, which was able to publish the 200 page anthology at very short notice. Over the next period we’ll be featuring the decisions of the judges about shortlisted contenders for the 2016 awards…..
CONGRATULATIONS to the writers who participated in the 2016 Crocodile Prize. The voluntary committee and its supporters together with the sponsors are excited to announce the winners of the Prize. Thank you everyone for the contributions, the competition and the literary pieces.
Today’s announcement is only for the short story category. The other categories will be announced in coming days. We are in debt to the generous support of Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd for their recognition of the need to develop literature in Papua New Guinea.
The short story category attracted 54 entries: 23 from women and 31 from men, Of these, the independent judges have shortlisted five and the winner will be selected by Kumul Petroleum Holdings.
The entries were of very high quality and touched upon many aspects and facets of our lives. Many of the stories sent in, although fiction, resonated with our everyday lives and experiences in PNG.
Violence was a recurring theme and death, illness, sadness, loss, troubles, worry, bleak experiences and disillusionment were not in short supply. The entries painted a vivid if grim mosaic of the current daily narratives of Papua New Guineans.
However, there were also sparks in creative and quite unconventional imaginative pieces that pushed comfort zones, like the lives of people living on and profiting from illicit drugs. There was certain unease that such stories may have told of the experiences of the authors. But at least this created great interest.
The love stories offered depth and colour and a reflection of our PNG cultures, which still need to be a little more progressive in the expression of sex and sexuality. Perhaps there is a readership for stories of explicit romance.
Other stories really put a spotlight on the development status and struggles especially of remote areas or certain domains of governments. Kevin Pondikou, a talented writer, painted some intensely stunning detail in his gripping stories of life as a medical professional in some of the most remote places in the world.
The judges expressed the view that the stories were inspiring and of high quality. It was a difficult task of shortlisting. The Crocodile Prize committee congratulates all people who sent in entries. Every one of them is a writer. The literary landscape has been enhanced by these writers’ contributions.
The shortlist for the short story category of the 2016 Crocodile Prize:
Old man's tears [published in PNG Attitude as Silent Tears] by Alexander Nara
A morning to remember by Alison Kult
The pulse of PNG by Kevin Pondikou
PNG echo by Kevin Pondikou
Thinking of Yehebi [published in PNG Attitude as Today a woman died] by Kevin Pondikou
The committee will announce the winner soon.