Mixed views of China in the Pacific Islands
Remembering the escape from New Guinea

A word about the First Nations Book Awards


Books and awards - Ellingson

PORT MORESBY - I had waited at Kokopo airport all day, and when the plane eventually landed it refused to take off. So back to the hotel. Time on my hands.

There on PNG Attitude was AG Satori's poem, ‘Eghe! Koloka moho napa ma! Eghe!’, together with a fine translation which – while I understood the Tok Pisin version – I appreciated. So did a lot of readers, I’m guessing.

I don’t know if you ever heard any of the great orators of the Goroka valley - Soso Subi, Bono Ajanifa, Sabumei Kofikai or Bin Aravaki.  They spoke that type of Tok Pisin

After that, I decided to drop a note to you about the First Nations Writers Book Awards. You can link here to its website, another literary site that we in PNG are gravitating towards. There’s also a great Facebook page here.

The awards organisers have just published their first anthology of contributions from the Pasifika region, including seven Papua New Guineans and one Fijian. Three of them should be well known to readers - Arnold Mundua, Marlene Potoura and Baka Bina, myself.

The awards capture the rich cultures, intellects and story heritage of first nations peoples in the Greater Pacific - Australia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and all Pacific Islands of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

A celebratory festival is also held in Townsville, Queensland, a great excuse for first nations’ writers to meet.

Unpublished but completed book manuscripts of various genres, written by peoples of the Greater Pacific, may be submitted for consideration by the judges.

From next year, two writers from each of five regions will be awarded prizes of between $A2,000 and $5,000 (K4,800 and K12,000).

The awards also accept short stories of between 5,000 and 9,000 words, which attract smaller prizes of $A200 to $500 (K500-K1,200).

There are a bunch of rules and you’ll need to read them here before submitting your entry.


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Lindsay F Bond

Touché, the word used to acknowledge a hit in fencing or the success or appropriateness of an argument, an accusation, or a witty point.


Paul Mabarrack

First nations peoples.... how tiring to hear those three words.

What is wrong with acknowledging tribal societies. They were tribes. And that doesn't diminish their humanity.

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