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A Time for Peace

Taken from the Books of the OT Bible, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and NT Bible, Matthew.

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time for war and a time for peace.

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We approached both Steven Winduo and Russell Soaba at UPNG per email way back in 2010 when the initial planning was being done for the Crocodile Prize.

Russell responded positively but Steven, although he initially responded seemed to be very reserved and we got the impression that we were treading on turf that he regarded as his own.

Our requests to involve him in the judging were politely ignored. We had hoped that we could get some of his reputation to rub off on the competition but this was not to be. In hindsight it wasn't a big loss anyway because the competition assumed a life of its own.

At the time I believe he was working with Ted Wolfers, an old time colleague who spent a lot of time developing programs at UPNG, and John Evans, from the UPNG Bookshop. They were trying valiantly to get a publishing program established at UPNG.

It was either our intrusion on UPNG turf or the unavailablity of time that saw them, except for Russell, not getting involved in the Crocodile Prize.

I think the other aspect that put them off was the perception that we were pushing 'popular' literature rather than 'high brow' stuff.

This, as time has shown, was true but we reasoned that writing is writing whether it is high or low brow and that's what needed to be encouraged in PNG.

DWU and, to a lesser extent the UOG, had no such reservations and jumped on board wholeheartedly and the rest is history.

It would be great to have UPNG more involved but we don't really have the time, resources or inclination to lobby them. If they came on board of their own violition we would, of course, welcome them with open arms.

Keith - How are the essay entries going this year? Anything from students of the UPNG (my alma mater)?

I know when I was a student that if the Crocodile Prize had been alive then I would have been busy trying to win me some of that nice prize money, apart from trying to best my mates at writing stuff.

Or maybe the students are getting off with free education and everything else is too easy?

Someone should post the Croc Prize flyer on the UPNG website and notice boards and FaceBook it even.

Stories and poetry may take a while to develop, but surely the students at our 'premier learning institutes', the UPNG, Uni-Tech, UOG, DWU, PAU and UNRE must have something to say worth an essay?

Is education being dumbed down? What are the benefits and disadvantages of 'free' education? Is the policy on universal basic education working for PNG? Are our universities delivering the standard that they should? Is political control of universities healthy or are our 'Poets being silenced'? What has happened to student power?

Students - that's sarcasm. But never mind, just think of them as essay topics, OK?

We've had 49 entries so far in the PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum Award for Essays & Journalism - a good return at this early stage. Unfortunately UPNG, as has been the case in the past, is grossly under-represented - KJ

Hi Keith, Could you send a flyer to my email below for the 2014 Crocodile Prize competition. Very interested in participating.

Check out the website here - - and email me with any questions you may have - KJ

Is there any way of buying anthologies locally?

Not yet available locally, Jimmy, but can be obtained here - KJ

What kind of money per category for the Crocodile Prize? This is such an important initiative, I am sure there are even readers of this website who might be happy to sponsor if only they knew.

Category sponsorships are K10,000 - K5,000 to the winner and K5,000 as a contribution to publish the annual Crocodile Prize Anthology. We are just about to send letters to potential sponsors - KJ

Hi Keith, How about a little local publicity?

If you can sketch out a poster in PDF format and post that on PNG Attitude we can all print and post it on our respective work and community notice boards where appropriate.

That way even more people will hear about it.

We have received entries by land mail but this is not acceptable when there are too many entries (800 expected in 2014???) to send and receive, read, judge and publish.

On the other hand I think the effort it may take to put the work onto electronic format and then send it on will reduce the number of pot-luck attempts and encourage serious contributors to submit (editing their work in the process).

Also, to me this competition is for keeps - em bai go inap heven na graun pinis! - so if entries are late because of difficulty to transcribe, then enter it the following year.

That's my thinking.

OK, I'll put my highly limited draughting skills to the test and see what can be provided. Unless some kind soul comes to the rescue to offer an A4 design. (I can provide the words if required) - KJ

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