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04 September 2017

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That's good Caroline.

I'm in touch with Marlene and this year have my weekends available in Lae.

Thanks Baka, I thought the judging was under control.

It's now a bit late in the year for me to commit time to assisting but if you're really dropping dead let me know what the numbers are and I might take a few off you.

Listen to the ladies guys!

They actually know how to organise stuff and make it work.

(Might work in parliament too?)

Gentlemen, if I may jump in.
One of things we hoped to see after the recent writers conference that the My Walk to Equality contributing writers hosted on September 8 was to run a monthly writers meeting for us Papua New Guinean writers. I know in Chimbu we have Francis Nii, Marleene Dee Gray in Lae, Alphonse Huvi in Bougainville, a few in other provinces plus several of us in Port Moresby who can all run the meetings wherever we are. It all comes down to collaboration.. Let's start mid October. Please email me on caroline.evari@gmail.com to start brainstorming.

Michael and Michael - Yes we need writing cells and discussion groups to critique each others work. A quick look on the internet like San Antonio Writers Guild website has a page on that.

This can only be done by people coming together and be willing to make and receive critiques to their own and others work.

We can only be as good as the inertia that we must be prepared to shed.

The Crocodile Prize needs volunteer editors to work through our maze of applicants. Email on crocprize@gmail.com

Bina Baka, yes being criticised naturally is not acceptable. Before, I thought it carried elements of jealousy on the part of the critic. Now, more than ever I accept being criticised as long as it is done for a purpose of redirecting me. It is a measure of one's current negative situation and being criticised is actually asking one make amendments and be more positive.

When my writings are criticised, the reader is saying good but you either over said it or said little which need adjustment.

Otherwise, a good piece of writing.

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing,and be nothing" - Elbert Hubbard.

"I love to go to bookstores and say, 'Hello, I’m looking for a book called ‘Rejection without Killing.’ Do you have it?’ " (comedian Stewart Francis, Readers Digest, February 2015)

'A healthy loyalty is active and critical, not passive and complacent' - Harold Laski

Jordan, no one responded to my email nor called the mobile number I gave.

Busy? Rather, it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to go out of their way.

Meeting in a group should be an enjoyable part of being a writer.

I used my two days in POM to deliver books to my two alma mater and had some copies to give away to anyone else I met.

Small losses.

Michael said to meet up but never did. Busy I guess. We Pom based writers need to catch up and discuss about marketing & promotion strategies as well as future literary events.

Seems like the ladies are better organised and will be hosting their first meeting this Friday at the National Library. I got an invitation to attend.

With regard to my comments I think what we have going on is a clash of cultures Baka.

It is not a traditional thing in Papua New Guinean culture to come right out and criticise another person. In Papua New Guinea criticism comes through the back door, usually via several intermediaries.

In Papua New Guinean society avoiding direct confrontation is the norm. When two people actually confront each other, you know its pretty serious.

In contrast, in Australian society people tend to come out and say exactly what they mean. They do this in the knowledge that there are enough controls in play to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. In most cases the serious confrontations take place in courts.

That's changing a bit - we now have stuff like road rage to deal with. That's a sure sign things aren't as well as we think.

This all makes criticism of Papua New Guinean writing and the literary scene difficult. How to get the message across without upsetting someone.

What I could do is tell Michael Dom to tell Emmanuel Peni that Baka has doubled up on a couple of pages in his novel and hope that Manu eventually tells you. That would be the Papua New Guinean way.

I've actually thought about this for a while and I've tried both approaches. What I find is that the indirect approach doesn't work too well while the brutal approach seems to get results.

By the same token I don't mind being criticised by other people, except perhaps by that little band of zealots who maintain that everything in Papua New Guinea is wonderful and I should be ashamed for thinking otherwise.

Strange as it may seem, I don't judge anything I've written well unless I've stirred a few people up and got a reaction. That's why I find your comments refreshing. We can now get down to the nuts and bolts and work out where to go next.

And on a more positive note and against my better judgement I can say that I still regard 'Man of Calibre' as a classic; closely followed by Manu's feminist novel 'Sibona'.

And its great to see the Crocodile Prize progressing so well. I thought it would crash but you guys have proven me wrong.

I have bought a book each of Leonard Roka, Baka Bina, Francis Nii, Jimmy Agwal and Phil Fitzpatrick. Except for Phil’s ‘Inspector Metau’ the other books are written in the same PNG style.

I realise my style hasn’t changed since the 80’s.

I agree, Baka, the writing skills of the younger generation are far superior. We ought to mentor our youth so they may publish something saleable.

Some names you’ve mentioned - Joycelin Leahy, Hazel Katkue, Caroline Evara and Gen Hobden - are writers we must watch.

Alexander Nara is another writer that comes to mind.

And when I provide words of encouragement and especially criticism of other people’s work, something I learnt in the hausman must always be borne in mind:

"Once you’ve shot an arrow, it will be irretrievable and penetrates so deep, that the wound takes time to heal and leaves a permanent scar."

Writing cells is exactly what we need.

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