BY KEITH JACKSON
Mr Abel has also urged PNG-based companies to get behind the national literary awards and “support this important contribution to our national culture.”
Meanwhile, the organisers of the 2012 Crocodile Prize literary contest are seeking to boost the value of awards from K8,500 to K25,000 as the project extends its reach throughout Papua New Guinea.
The prize was established in 2010, with the first awards being made last month to four Papua New Guinean writers in each of the categories of short stories, poetry, essays and women’s literature.
Some 80 writers contributed 400 original works to the 2011 prize, and these numbers are expected to at least triple in 2012.
A higher level of corporate sponsorship will be sought to underwrite the prizes and other activities associated with the awards.
And a new category – for lifetime achievement in PNG literature – will be added next year, with organisers allocating K5,000 prize money to each of the five sections.
Naming rights are being offered for the contest itself (the Sir Vincent Eri Awards) and for each of the categories:
The Russell Soaba Award for Short Stories
The Sean Dorney Award for Essays (Journalism)
The John Kasaipwalova Award for Poetry
The Dame Carol Kidu Award for Women’s Literature
The Sir Paulias Matane Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement
“We need a more vibrant PNG literature, and the government of which I’m a member is committed to this objective,” PNG Trade Minister, Charles Abel, told PNG Attitude yesterday.
“The inaugural year of the Crocodile Prize was a remarkable success, and this national literary contest is already achieving its primary goal of encouraging Papua New Guinean writers,” he said.
“As a person strongly committed to our nation’s culture, I recognise that the prize is both motivating our writers and also facilitating publishing opportunities for the best of them.
“In the future, the prize will seek to make their work available to as many Papua New Guineans as possible.
“We need a more vibrant PNG literature, and the government of which I’m a member is committed to this objective,” Mr Abel said.
“I hope that many PNG-based companies will be able to offer support to this important contribution to our national culture.”
Potential sponsors interested in naming rights are asked to contact Keith Jackson here.
Writers who wish to find out more about the competition should link here.