All you need to know about The Crocodile Prize
The Crocodile Prize is Papua New Guinea’s national literature contest. It was established in 2010 to encourage Papua New Guineans to write and also to ensure the people of PNG had access to a home-grown literature. Thus both a writing competition and a publishing program were initiated. The first prizes were awarded in 2011.
The contest and related activities, including the publishing program and writing workshops, were initiated and managed by two Australians with long experience in PNG, Keith Jackson AM and Phil Fitzpatrick.
In late 2012 these responsibilities were handed to the PNG Society of Publishers, Editors and Writers Ltd (SWEP) and an elected committee. The move was not successful and a severely limited competition ensued. In September 2013, the Crocodile Prize Organising Group (COG) was formed to take over the prize. COG is at present an unincorporated association of 11 Papua New Guineans and Australians.
For 2014 the contest offers five categories of writing:
STEAMSHIPS SHORT STORY AWARD. A work of generally not more than 2,000 words generally on a fictional theme of interest to a general readership.
PNG CHAMBER OF MINES & PETROLEUM ESSAY & JOURNALISM AWARD. A factual work or opinion piece of generally not more than 2,000 words on a theme of interest to a general readership.
CLELAND FAMILY HERITAGE AWARD. A work generally of not more than 2,000 words on a factual or fictional theme related to the culture, heritage and traditions of Papua New Guinea.
KINA SECURITIES POETRY AWARD. Generally not more than 500 words on a theme of interest to a general readership.
OK TEDI MINING BOOK OF THE YEAR. A book (fiction or non-fiction) that was published and made available for sale in the period from June 2012 to June 2014.
There is a prize of K5,000 and a trophy awarded to the author of the winning entry in each category. In addition, there is also a special award of K5,000 to a person who has made a significant lifetime contribution to Papua New Guinea literature.
How to enter
If you are a citizen of Papua New Guinea, you may submit as many entries as you like in one or more of the five categories of short story, essay, poetry, essay and book.
If entering the Book of the Year Award, you must send three copies of the printed book to the address below.
You must also provide us with a properly completed entry form (one form covers all your entries).
Send your entry form (only one is required) and entries to any of these contacts:
Crocodile Prize, PO Box 1688, Noosa Heads QLD 4567 Australia
Keith Jackson Email here
Phil Fitzpatrick Email here
All entries must be submitted by Monday 30 June 2014. The winners will be announced on PNG Independence Day, Tuesday 16 September 2014.
You can help promote the Crocodile Prize to PNG writers by downloading, printing and circulating this flyer.... Download Flyer here
The organisers would like to thank these sponsors who see that the development of a PNG literature is an important part of the cultural and spiritual life of the nation.
Steamships Trading Company
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
The Cleland Family
You can purchase copies of The Crocodile Prize Anthologies from Amazon in paperback or e-book format.
Anthology 2013 ($9.00 & $5.00)
Anthology 2012 ($11.99 & $5.00)
Anthology 2011 ($7.62 & $5.00)
The Crocodile Prize national writing contest in Papua New Guinea was launched by PNG Attitude and the PNG Post-Courier newspaper on 16 September 2010. The driving forces behind it were two Australians who had worked for many years in PNG, Phil Fitzpatrick and Keith Jackson AM.
The name ‘Crocodile Prize’ paid tribute to the first novel written by a Papua New Guinean, Vincent Eri’s The Crocodile, published in 1970.
Sir Vincent Serei Eri (1936-93) was born in Moveave in the Gulf Province and later became Director of Education, PNG’s first Consul General in Australia, a Member of Parliament and Governor-General.
His novel The Crocodile is set in PNG before and during World War II and is a coming of age story about Hoiri, whose life poses a continuing contradiction between traditional life and the modern world.
In the first year of the awards, 2011, the contest had four categories - for short stories, poetry, essays and women’s writing.
“We started the contest to provide an opportunity for PNG writers to publish their work and for readers to have access to that work,” said Philip Fitzpatrick.
“We want to encourage writers to write and readers to read,” he said. “This means more than receiving contributions. It means ensuring the winning entries reach a much bigger audience throughout PNG.” And thus The Crocodile Prize Anthology was born – an annual collection of the best writing from PNG.
Then PNG Governor-General, Sir Paulias Matane, himself a prolific author, at the time encouraged Papua New Guineans to enter the new national writing contest.
“I welcome The Crocodile Prize, as I have been a passionate proponent of Papua New Guinea literature for many years,” Sir Paulias said. “Our nation has had a rich oral tradition and this has but slowly extended into the written form.
“This is a wonderful initiative and now I call upon our people to write, write, write - and make The Crocodile Prize an overwhelming success.”
In its first year, 2011, the Prize attracted 250 entries and in 2012 about 600. Organisational problems affected the 2013 contest and the number of entries slumped. Appropriate published contributions to PNG Attitude were used to expand the pool, however, ensuring that the quality of the three winning entries was undiminished.
Short Story - Jeffrey Mane Febi
Poetry -Jimmy Drekore
Essay - Martyn Awayang Namorong
Women’s Literature - Lapieh Landu
Short Story - Charlotte Vada
Poetry - Michael Dom
Essay -Emma Wakpi
Women's Literature - Imelda Yabara
Heritage Literature - Lorraine Basse
Student Writing -Angeline Low
Lifetime Contribution to Literature –Russell Soaba
Short Story – Leonard Fong Roka
Poetry – Lapieh Landu
Essay –Francis Sina Nii
Crocodile Prize Organising Group 2013-14
Phil Fitzpatrick, Joint Director
Keith Jackson AM, Joint Director
Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin
Steven Ilave Sr
Francis Sina Nii
Leonard Fong Roka