UNLESS you are extremely lucky there is very little financial reward attached to being a writer.
In Australia the average annual income of a full-time writer is currently $12,900, well below the poverty line in our money driven society.
In Papua New Guinea, it’s fair to say writers’ incomes are not far above zero. That doesn’t help Papua New Guinean literature.
This is one of the hardest truths to convey to new writers when they approach Pukpuk Publications for help in getting their books to market.
THE first ever appearance by a group of Papua New Guinean writers at the Brisbane Writers Festival in September has just been upgraded to a prime lunchtime slot.
Francis Nii, Martyn Namorong, Rashmii Bell and Daniel Kumbon will participate in the one-hour panel discussion that organisers have entitled, ‘PNG: A State of Writing,’ from 12.30 in Auditorium 2 in the State Library of Queensland conference venue.
Collectively the four writers represent a splendid cross-section of contemporary PNG writing, ranging across the spectrum from novels to poetry, commentary and journalism.
Their names are well known to PNG Attitude readers, of course, and also to those many Papua New Guineans interested in public affairs.
THE [Australian] coalition government has rightly made much recently of its policy to promote growth and jobs through its support of small and medium-size Australian businesses.
The Australian publishing industry is made up of hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses. The independent Australian publishing industry, on which printers and allied trades also rely for much of their work, directly and indirectly employs thousands of skilled and professional workers.
Abolishing territorial copyright would place Australian publishing at an impossible business disadvantage in relation to its overseas competitors. Some publishers would almost certainly be driven to the wall.
ON Saturday I went into my local bookstore and picked up a collection of essays by 23 of Australia’s most prominent writers: Tom Keneally, Kate Grenville, David Malouf, Richard Flanagan, Anna Funder, etc. They were all in there.
The unusual thing about this book was the price. It was free.
The book, #SaveOzStories, is a response to Australia’s Philistine government’s plans to destroy Australian publishing.
This crew of neo-liberal morons has already severely damaged the Australian arts industry by cutting funding and re-arranging it in favour of a select few. And now they are out to get Australian writers.
The advice they are acting upon comes from an Orwellian mob called the Productivity Commission.
These colourless characters have produced a report of over 500 pages of dense and maddening economist-speak that recommends two major changes to Australian publishing.
The first is a reduction in the copyright period from 70 years to 15-25 years. This would mean that anyone could publish a writer’s work 15 years after it was published, or after the writer has died, without permission and without any sort of remuneration for the writer or their heirs.
THE McKinnon-Paga Hill fellowship scheme is a great opportunity for Daniel Kumbon, Martyn Namarong and me to learn new ideas and skills about managing literature from a developed society perspective.
Australia has come a long way in the development of a national literature. Authors like Kate Forsyth, Thomas Keneally, Philip Fitzpatrick, Bob Cleland and others including our friends in the media profession will have a lot to share during our meetings and I am looking forward to all of it.
This is the first time I have travelled outside Papua New Guinea and for me there is no better place and people to visit than Australia and Australians, for they are the one that exposed PNG to the outside world and paved the way for modernisation.
WHEN I was a kid, my siblings and I enjoyed reading the adventures of Blinky Bill, a cute Australian koala.
But on my trip down under to the Brisbane Writers Festival in September I’ll be seeking the higher pursuit of learning from internationally recognised writers and building networks that help promote literature in Papua New Guinea.
The favourite moment of my first trip to Australia – the ‘Taking the Truth’ tour of 2012 - was visiting the Australian National Museum in Canberra where I saw the Taim Bipo (Time Before) exhibition on Torres Straits Island culture. It showed how closely connected our people are despite the modern day boundaries.
ALONG with Francis Nii and Martyn Namorong, I’ll be paying Australia a literary visit in the first half of September under the auspices of the McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowhsip program.
I’m looking forward to meeting the people at the forefront, those Australians who are really concerned about the development of literature in Papua New Guinea - like Keith Jackson, Phil Fitzpatrick, Bob Cleland, Professor Ken McKinnon and many other friends of PNG.
I also look forward to meeting Australian writers, authors, journalists and publishers and compare their experiences with the situation in PNG and see if their work gets any recognition at all from the Australian government.
Previously I have entered Australia through Cairns and Brisbane a couple of times. On one of those trips, I crossed Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time late one night and visited the Sydney Opera House, Botanical Gardens and rode on a ferry around the harbour. I felt I was really in Australia when I was in this historic spot with its iconic landmarks.
REGULAR readers of PNG Attitude may have noticed a new byline on a number of stories we’ve recently published on this blog, mostly focusing on current news events.
Peter Kinjap, 36, is the writer and he comes with an excellent pedigree in both academic achievement, heritage writing and journalism.
“I’m a freelance journalist not because I want extra bucks but because writing became my hobby at UPNG 14 years back,” Peter says.
Since that time he has written regularly for newspapers like the Post-Courier, The National Weekender The Independent and the Sunday Chronicle, where he’s a columnist, as well as New Age women’s magazine and his own content-rich blog, The Melanesian Way, which you can link to here.
Author FRANCIS NII has prepared a wonderful presentation for his participation in the Brisbane Writers Festival. The slide show tells how, in Simbu Province, a group of writers began to build a prototype of the administrative infrastructure that would be required for the development of a national literature in Papua New Guinea.
The following transcript, taken from Francis’s Powerpoint presentation, provides a good summary of the sophisticated approach the group took to creating a model for the establishment of a regional literary presence in Simbu and beyond. You can download the full Powerpoint presentation here
Brutes, in name of God, to show their might,
fixed laws, that you’d succumb like measly sheep.
Womankind, kind woman, rise and fight.
Innocents of war with smiles once bright,
ravished; tossed like garbage in a heap,
angels hovering nigh have you in sight.
Faithful brides, for something less than trite,
set on fire in their beds as they sleep.
Kind woman, womankind, your soul‘s in flight.
PREPARATIONS are nearing completion for an inaugural study tour of Australia by three leading Papua New Guinean writers.
The McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowships will enable Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and Martyn Namorong to participate in the Brisbane Writers Festival, where Daniel and Martyn will lead a panel discussion on PNG literature today, entitled ‘PNG: A State of Writing’, and Francis will present a seminar on the development of the Simbu Writers Association.
You can download Francis's presentation here.
The fellowships are sponsored by the Paga Hill Development Company and Prof Ken McKinnon, onetime PNG director of education, university vice-chancellor and chairman of the Australian Press Council.
TO A large extent digital publishing through Amazon’s CreateSpace solved the problem of producing the Crocodile Prize anthologies at a reasonable cost.
It also led to the creation of Pukpuk Publications to publish books by Papua New Guinean writers. We have 37 titles now and still more in the pipeline.
There are still a few annoying problems however. The biggest is finding an efficient distribution system.
There are no wholesale networks for books in Papua New Guinea that we can easily tap into and we have had to fall back on direct deliveries using the unreliable postal service and a couple of freight companies.
Less than a week ago, Alexander Nara stunned PNG Attitude readers with a magnificent documentary piece about a family tragedy entitled Silent Tears. The article has so far drawn more than 1,100 'likes' from readers and this comment from Michael Dom, “What an explosion you have made!” Barbara Short had introduced Alexander to us and yesterday morning she chatted with him on the internet. Here’s the transcript - KJ
ALEXANDER - Morning Ma'am...
BARBARA - Good morning, Alexander.
Thanks. God is in charge here. He's putting me in hospital on Wednesday for a new hip. Where do you live?
I live at Tokarara in Port Moresby
And who do you work for at the moment?
I am working with Post Courier as a sub editor-reporter. I write and design the four- page Hunters supplement that comes out every Wednesday in the Post Courier. Apart from writing, I do graphic designing, video filming, editing and productions as well as radio....
TRICKERY at the Crocodile Pool, a collection of children’s stories sponsored by the Paga Hill Development Company, has been well received by headmasters and senior teachers of six schools in the Wabag District were Enga Province.
Other books also highly regarded by recipients were the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 and recent issues of Air Niugini’s informative in-flight magazine, Paradise.
The distribution was arranged by members of the Enga Writers Association and included formal presentation ceremonies at Kopen Secondary School and Kandep High School which were recorded by NBC Radio Enga.
PAPUA New Guinea will benefit from a privately-funded initiative by PNG Attitude to develop writers associations throughout the country.
A program of annual fellowships has been started to provide the basic management skills required to establish and maintain writers associations at a provincial level.
The McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowship has been funded by separate gifts from PNG’s pre-independence director of education, Prof Ken McKinnon AO (pictured), and the Paga Hill Development Company.
The first three McKinnon-Paga Hill fellows have been identified and accepted their awards.
They are established authors Daniel Kumbon and Leonard Fong Roka, who have received full fellowships, and Francis Nii, who has received a part fellowship.
STRANGELY, the recent availability of my early book, Bamahuta: Leaving Papua, as a downloadable PDF from the Australian National University has prompted a range of questions I thought had been retired to bed years ago.
Of all the characters and the events in the book, the one people mostly ask about is Ihini, the young journalist in the narrative.
Some people say, “I knew you in Papua New Guinea before independence but I never met Ihini, who was she?”
Others make the assumption that Ihini was actually a young Ikini Yaboyang, who went on to marry Barry Holloway.
THE Enga Writers Association was established at a meeting last Tuesday with an initial membership of eight people who also form the core of the first interim executive.
There are no titles but members are expected co-ordinate their activities as volunteers.
This is just the beginning and more work will be done to register the association and provide it with permanent executive members.
Any person who contributes a poem, short story, essay or book is an automatic member of the Enga Writers Association.
I do not know what made them go,
Those brave young blokes so long ago,
Those faithful sons you sent to war.
Was it glory, mateship, honour;
For freedom, from violent foe?
And when they fell, so far from home,
Did their souls rest whence they had roamed?
Does God forgive you their horror?
I do not know.
Many died young, still bright and bold.
Their hopes and dreams did not unfold.
We, who now live by their valour,
Spend just one dawn to remember;
Will we keep faith as day grows old?
I do not know.
DESPITE the nation being embroiled in so much controversy, a group of new and established writers met on the campus of the University of Papua New Guinea last Saturday.
Among those present were established writers Sil Bolkin and John B Varey as well as Frank Senge Kolma, the veteran PNG journalist, editor and writer, who came with his wife. Short story writer Akilino Powesiu and his wife also attended.
There were also a number of school children, some with their parents.
The members of the organising committee are Tanya Alone, Frank S Kolma, John B Varey, Yombi Kep (a final year journalism student at UPNG), David Kawage Bitno and John K Kamasua.
THE RECENT article by Nathan Lati, extracted from a paper based on his Divine Word University graduate thesis, reveals there are many thinking Papua New Guineans who are aware of their culture and the how it is being diminished by modernisation.
More importantly, thinkers like Naith are also doers; working towards addressing the issues he’s talking about.
Another familiar voice of PNG Attitude, Martyn Namorong, is likewise a doer with his championing of the PNG extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI) through the Papua New Guinea Resource Governance Coalition.
These agendas seem broad and separate but they meet at a single point, well over seven million points – Papua New Guinea’s citizens.
HAVE you ever finished reading a really good book and then happily floated around on a big white fluffy cloud of contentment for the next few days?
Do you find you are sleeping better, your stress levels seem to have relaxed and you feel good about the world and yourself?
You’re not alone, regular readers have known about this effect for centuries. The entrance to the library in Thebes, in ancient Greece, had an inscription above its door saying inside was a “healing place for the soul”.
Shakespeare knew about the healing power of reading too. In his Titus Andonicus the lead character advises Lavinia to “Come, and take choice of all my library/And so beguile thy sorrow”.
AFTER the first couple of Crocodile Prize anthologies in 2011 and 2012 I began to notice that there was some very fine and incisive writing appearing on PNG Attitude that hadn’t been entered in the literary competition.
This mostly included articles specifically written for the blog but there was also a sprinkling of material that Keith had picked up from other blogs and media and re-published, a practise he continues to this day.
In those early days the copyright rules for material on blogs were pretty fuzzy but no one seemed to object to their material being re-published, they were, after all, seeking the widest coverage.
Rather than let these non-competition articles, poems and short stories fade away, I started to include some in the annual anthology.
IN the immense timescale that is the history of the Universe, the evolution and demise of the human race will probably not even register as a blip on the horizon.
Our petty little planet will one day burn up and blow away as so much cosmic dust.
Yet, in our ignorance, we persevere. We fight silly wars and we plunder our home in the mistaken belief that what we are doing is somehow significant.
Some of us take on what we think are noble causes in the hope that we might make a difference. But even in our own little worlds we know this will never happen. Life will blunder on into ultimate oblivion and our causes will be lost without trace.
The Master Marksman by James Smith, Pukpuk Publications, 2016. 322 pages. ISBN: 978-1523450282. US$14 plus postage from Amazon or AU$24.95 plus postage from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
PUKPUK Publications was originally established to produce the annual Crocodile Prize anthologies but branched out to publish books by both Papua New Guinean and Australian writers.
In doing so it utilised new print-on-demand technologies provided, in our case, by Amazon’s Createspace facility.
Pukpuk Publications now has over 30 titles on its book list, most of which have been written by Papua New Guinean authors.
Until recently all the titles had Papua New Guinean themes. But from time to time manuscripts of a more general nature have been submitted for consideration. Previously, I referred them to other publishers.
IT seems to be standard practise in most western countries for retired or ousted politicians to write books and ‘memoirs’. Many of them see it as an opportunity to ‘set the record straight’.
In reality it is more likely to be an attempt to blame other people for the mistakes or misdemeanours the politicians themselves made while in office. Either that or it is an attempt to secure a tiny spot in their country’s history.
Two of the most recent cases in Australia have been books by ex-prime ministers John Howard and Julia Gillard. Howard was interested in glory but Gillard was interested in putting the boot into the hapless Kevin Rudd, in the nicest possible way of course.
Other politicians write books on their way up the ladder. These manifestos are often much more interesting after the fact when the politicians have peaked, crashed and burned. The standout is Tony Abbott’s Battlelines.
“Any act of love, however—no matter how small—lessens anxiety’s grip, gives us a taste of tomorrow, and eases the yoke of our fears. Love, unlike virtue, is not its own reward. The reward of love is peace of mind, and peace of mind is the end of man’s desiring” – Harper Lee
FOLLOWING the recent death of Harper Lee, her first essay contributed to Vogue magazine, Love – In Other Words, was edited and republished online.
The April 1961 meditation on the dimensions of love is a most decorous work from the author of the iconic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.
I was moved by the essay’s poignant words and shared it with a dear friend. One with whom. For I felt Ms Lee, in articulating an indifference for distinctions between the various types of love, captured best our decade-long persistence at what has been, at worst, a tumultuous union.
A VERY important, and still continuing, experience for me was finding and participating in the PNG Attitude blog and the associated Crocodile Prize national literary contest.
It is not possible for me to overstate the profound influence of the blog and the Crocodile Prize on my own writing achievements and their influence on the literary output of Papua New Guinea’s writers and thinkers.
These initiatives have broad implications for our society.
I recall the moment I began writing poetry: it was on a special day in March 1995.
The precise place was Gordon Secondary School, Grade 11G, ex-Lahara Block, bottom left classroom, third desk from the door, left hand side wall, sitting at the aisle seat, Richard Leka on the window side, Louella Taumayauna and Susan Tovi at the two desks in front and Jennifer Kaeyo at the desk to my left.
IN 2012 I was working with one of the regular Papua New Guinean contributors to PNG Attitude editing and tracking down a publisher for a book he had written.
I saw Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin’s The Flight of Galkope as a significant historical and anthropological contribution to the understanding of Papua New Guinean society. Beyond that it was a work entirely researched and written by a Papua New Guinean.
I thought that it brought a new perspective to the study of society in the country separate but complementary to the more academic works hitherto mostly written by expatriates.
MOST people in a literate society understand the power of the written word.
Not just books, journals and newspapers but almost everything people see on television, in cinemas and on social media begins with a writer.
If the writers in a literate society ever went out on strike en masse many things taken for granted would grind to a halt.
Although people may not be familiar with the particular works of a significant writer, they will more than likely have heard of them.
MICHAEL Dom has given the people of Papua New Guinea – and, more recently, people around the world – the great gift of his poetry.
During my consulting years in Asia, I was once informed by a proud Bangladeshi that each one of his countrymen was a poet. I have concluded that in every Papua New Guinean there also lies the music and lyricism of poetry – and increasingly the rest of us are recognising this and appreciating it.
And we are learning that things can be said, matters can be raised, through the incisive stiletto of poetry that are more difficult to achieve in prose. Melanesians seem to understand this and are great exponents of it.
Send words as gifts: Selected & new poems, 1995-2015, by Michael Dom, publication details to be advised
SOMEHOW, through forces not evident or apparent, in Michael Dom Papua New Guinea produced a world class poet.
He is a poet equally capable of devious nuance, spiralling metaphor and rock-crushing bellicosity; sometimes in the one piece of writing and always with a message.
Words as Gifts reminds us that Michael Dom has been writing poetry for 20 years, plenty of time to hone a style and a purpose. And that purpose has been frequently political, keeping a weather eye on those who seek to exercise power and especially those who exercise it in their own rather than in the common interest.
IN YET another step up for Papua New Guinea writing, the London-based Commonwealth Education Trust has included the work of poet Michael Dom in its new children’s anthology, A River of Stories.
The poem, Lucky Little Lizard (see below), was first published in PNG Attitude and is reproduced now in an illustrated volume featuring a work from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries.
“My poem was requested and a small fee paid for it to be placed in the book,” Michael told me.
“Somehow having this one poem in their children's book just beats everything so far.
“I'm having a wow moment!"
WHEN it comes to nurturing the body and soul of a nation most politicians opt to concentrate on the former rather than the latter.
That is, economic matters are seen to be much more important than the culture, literature, art and music of their people. These are viewed as ‘luxuries’ that are only affordable in times of plenty. It is a sadly misconstrued view.
It is only when these soul things look like making a profit that they become interested.
Thus Australia’s identity is linked to football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars and Papua New Guinea’s identity is linked to tourism attractions like wigmen, Birds of Paradise and the Kokoda Trail. All of these things are marketable commodities. It is a fairly blinkered view.
AT its first meeting for 2016 held in the Mt Wilhelm Tourist Hotel last Friday, Simbu Writers Association executives developed strategies for the organisation’s 2016 activities.
Re-elected president Jimmy Drekore, vice president Jimmy Awagl, treasurer Francis Nii and newly elected secretary Angela Kaupa spent three hours reviewing the achievements and hiccups of 2015 and planning for 2016.
Among the important matters discussed was the 2016 Simbu for Literary Excellence Program – an annual debate, quiz and literature competition for provincial high and secondary schools – which was started in 2014.
I’VE been thinking about the future of literature in Papua New Guinea for a while now.
It’s a frustrating thing to contemplate. As Ed Brumby has pointed out, there is a lack of inertia and an all-pervading ennui in Papua New Guinea that seems to permeate and frustrate not just literature but most worthwhile endeavours.
I’m not sure why this is so but I know that it’s been the case for as long as I can remember. We were even warned about it at ASOPA where we were trained before we set foot in the country.
For a while I thought it was a reaction to colonisation, or whatever it was that Australia practised in Papua New Guinea prior to independence – a kind of passive resistance as exemplified by Ghandi and others at being ruled over by outsiders with an overly developed sense of superiority and little understanding of other cultures.
LIKE Phil Fitzpatrick, I have quite a few of those ‘must read' books that I have never been able to finish.
They include 'War and Peace' and the Koran – both of which have sold millions but which bored me out of my mind.
Before the onset of television in Papua New Guinea, I was in Baimuru and irregularly would have a few videos chosen for me by a staffer working in Steamships Trading Company.
My predecessor at Baimuru, John Bird, had sent memo in the mid-1980s asking for “more violence and sex” and got plenty of the former.
I think most of us at some stage have started reading a book but, having found it heavy-going, we have abandoned it.
I’m a fairly non-discriminatory reader with a wide range of literary tastes and can be pretty stubborn in resolutely pursuing a book to the bitter last page. Nevertheless, there have been a couple that I’ve eventually given up on.
In some cases it was the subject matter, although I’m picky about the types of books I will attempt to read in the first place.
I tend to stay away from the ‘latest blockbusters’ produced by the legions of ‘famed’ authors usually found in airport bookshops and big department stores.
IT snowed every winter in the place where I came from.
As kids we used to climb to the top of a nearby hill, make a big snowball and send it rolling down the slope.
As it rolled it picked up more snow and got bigger and bigger until it finally crashed in spectacular fashion in the valley below.
It may intrigue you that I was once caught in a snowstorm in Papua New Guinea.
THE second book in the Inspector Metau series has just been released in paperback and, among other tasks, I have started research for the third and final book. The first book has also just be re-released in the same format.
In the acknowledgements to the second book, I have noted the debt I owe to the works submitted by many writers to the Crocodile Prize competition.
Coupled with trips to Papua New Guinea, and Port Moresby in particular, the competition has been a valuable resource. I suspect I’m not the only one who could claim this privilege.
It is not that I am pinching people’s ideas as much as gleaning information and observation. Although I must admit that one of the more colourful characters in both books is derived from a short story by Bernard Sinai, a talented writer who seems to have disappeared off the radar.
PEOPLE write for many reasons. For Papua New Guinean writers, especially those who have participated in the Crocodile Prize, I’m sure the first reward was seeing their work being published, read and commented upon for the first time in PNG Attitude.
Getting one’s work published in PNG Attitude and in the annual Crocodile Prize Anthology of the best PNG writing are very positive reinforcements. And the Prize contest itself is very important.
But, as you all know, writing does not stop after the award of prizes. It is a personal walk that continues for each of us for as long as we desire and for as far as it can take us. Indeed it may take us into areas where we have never dreamt possible.
A group of established writers and editors at the University of Papua New Guinea have put their weight behind the concept of the Port Moresby Writers Association.
It is anticipated that the group will also form the core of a panel of judges and mentors to aspiring writers.
The individuals are mostly drawn from the English Communication, and Language & Literature Strands of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UPNG.
They include Russel Soaba, Sakarep Kamene, Philip Aratiso, Dr Steven Winduo and Aundo Aitau among others.
QUEENSLAND is sometimes referred to as the ‘Deep North’, an allusion to the Deep South in the USA, where conservative and reactionary values run deep.
Another epithet is ‘the red-neck state’. Having lived and travelled in Queensland for the last six years or so I can confirm that our fair state seems to have an abundance of this regressive species.
The man in large part responsible for this image was former premier Joh Bjelke Petersen. His mixture of home-spun philosophy, aversion to anything remotely cultural unless it was garish or a money spinner and his government’s overt nepotism and corruption tarnished Queensland’s reputation for many years.
An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism
VOLUNTEERISM means sacrificing precious time, energy, knowledge, experience and resources for the benefit of others in the community and, more broadly, the nation.
It is no easy feat, particularly when the volunteers are people with no formal employment and with no stable financial base.
It’s a mammoth task, particularly in the society that is ridden with greed and selfishness, and yet members of the Simbu Writers Association (SWA) are devoted to it.
Ok Tedi Mining Ltd Book of the Year
Part of the Crocodile Prize Award
I am happy to announce that, very soon, a collection of short stories from Enga Province will be published.
The book is in production for release under the Pukpuk Publishing imprint, the publications arm of the Crocodile Prize Organisation.
The stories began to be written in the mid-1980s by Engans studying at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Some were published in the UPNG Enga Students Association Yearbook and the Arts and Culture section of Enga Nius, the provincial newspaper. Other in the collection have never been published.
THREE weeks ago, using the online service Change.org, I started a petition to the Papua New Guinea Parliament on behalf of the Crocodile Prize and PNG authors making three requests which will improve both literacy and the national cultural standing of PNG.
First, the petition sought an Independence gift to the children of Papua New Guinea in the form of making the annual Crocodile Prize Anthologies of 2011 to 2015 available to all PNG schools.
Secondly, it asked Honourable Members to allocate an annual portion from their district improvement (DSIP) budgets to ensure that every school in their electorate has an increasing number of books that have been written by Papua New Guinean authors.
WE’RE coming up to the tail end of this year’s Crocodile Prize and I’ve started putting together the 2015 Anthology.
There’s only four weeks of the competition to go (entries close on Tuesday 30 June), so if you want to enter you need to do it now.
Apart from the opportunity to re-read some of the wonderful entries that have appeared in PNG Attitude over the last six months, the assessment and compilation process has also stirred some of the rustier cogs at the back of my brain and made me re-visit the reason for the contest and reflect on what makes a good writer.
At my age these thoughts tend to appear as irrational ramblings but, if you’ll indulge me, I’ll try to explain.
ROSARY Secondary School at Kondiu in Simbu Province burst into life a week ago with students, teachers, a singsing group, local police and the community converging in the Bishop Cohill Auditorium.
They were there for the 2015 Simbu Writers Association (SWA) school debate and quiz contests and literary awards presentation.
Normally, it is inter-school sports or athletic competitions that bring schools together. More rarely, schools get together for other reasons. This was one of them
The event was made possible by the SWA through its pioneering endeavour, Simbu for Literary Excellence, that attracted and united provincial high schools and secondary schools.
THE Department of Education in Papua New Guinea is interested in receiving children’s stories from PNG writers.
The Department of Education publishes collections of writing – called School Journals – that are suitable for children from Grade 3 to Grade 8.
Written and illustrated by PNG nationals, the School Journals are distributed free to primary schools throughout PNG.
The Department of Education is looking for a variety of different types of texts to include in the School Journals.
The texts can be stories, legends, non-fiction articles, personal experiences, poems, plays, photo stories and instructional articles.