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.
An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism
THOSE who read a lot are more than likely to become good writers. In my case, captivated by the beauty of the English language, I have spent almost three decades trying to attain something akin to perfection.
Most of you will agree with me, I am sure, that those people who read will surely have the upper hand in many areas of life.
I am spellbound when I hear people like President Obama deliver a speech with so much flair and eloquence. There is beauty in the words of speechmakers, poets and song writers. There is beauty in the words of a writer.
MY old mate Dave Lornie, still writing for the PNG Post-Courier after all this time, has been given the daunting task of working on a major project to celebrate 40 years of Papua New Guinea’s Independence.
This includes daily features and supplements which will start in the newspaper in August this year with a hardcover book to be published in mid-2016.
PNG Attitude readers who were active in PNG affairs 40 or more years ago could be a vital link in this project.
Many of you have written material that has been published in this blog and which I’d like you to consider republishing as part of the Post-Courier’s great project.
JIMMY Drekore, chairman of the Crocodile Prize Organisation and founder of the Simbu Children Foundation, was last night named PNG’s Digicel Man of Honour at a glittering award night in Port Moresby.
This is a great tribute to Jimmy – bush poet extraordinaire – and the people of Simbu who have supported him in his philanthropic work.
“I am humbled and pleased,” Jimmy said when he was declared the 2014 Digicel Man of Honour for 2014.
“Thank you for the words of encouragement and support all the way through...moneaa wakai we!”
One of Jimmy’s vocal supporters, Mathias Kin, said, “Yes, the man won the highest award in the land. We are all happy for him.”
Mathias added that a contingent from Simbu will travel to Goroka on Monday to receive him.
A much-awaited meeting of Port Moresby writers was held last Friday in the Kuri Dom Building at the Waigani campus of the University of PNG.
And, apart from the good roll up of 21 people who attended the meeting, many others sent emails to register their interest to be involved in future events.
Many people thanked me for the concept and said they looked forward to getting involved in what we will be doing in Port Moresby.
When the meeting began, I welcomed participants and outlined the rationale for floating the idea, including the need to formally organise writers in Port Moresby through an association.
LAST Monday afternoon was a historic moment for the Simbu Children Foundation and Simbu Writer’s Association.
A high profile six-person Digicel Foundation delegation, led by chief operations officer Jennifer McConnell, travelled to Kundiawa for an on-camera interview with Jimmy Drekore, founding president of both organisations, who is one of the three people shortlisted for this year’s PNG Community Leader.
The Digicel Foundation is the charity arm of the largest communication company in Papua New Guinea, Digicel Ltd.
The visit was triggered by the nomination of Mr Drekore in the 2014 Digicel Man of the Year Award by Amos Wama, who is working with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
If he wins this category, Mr Drekore will proceed to the final, competing against the winners of five other categories for the overall Man of Honour Award.
WRITERS from in and around Port Moresby will gather at the University of Papua New Guinea at midday today to discuss the formation of a local writers’ association.
The hour-long lunchtime meeting will be held in Room KD202 of the Kuri Dom Building (pictured), named for the distinguished father of award-winning Papua New Guinean poet Michael Dom.
“It is hoped that as a result of this meeting a core group of writers will be formed from which important activities such as formalising the group through an association can be launched,” said organiser John Kaupa Kamasua, himself a writer and a senior academic at the university.
THIS is a call-out to all writers (including poets, novelists, essayists, short story writers, journalists and so on) in the National Capital District.
A short ‘meet and greet’ gathering is being organised for writers at the University of PNG Waigani Campus on Friday 6 March.
The gathering will be held in Room KD202 of the Kuri Dom Building. It will extend for only an hour and start at 12 noon.
It is hoped that, as a result of this meeting, a core group of writers will be formed from which important activities such as formalising the group through an association and a membership drive can be launched.
LAST week I received high praise from Papua New Guinean entrepreneur Emmanuel Narokobi, on his Masalai Twitter account, about my poem, ‘small listening devices’.
Emmanuel called for more simple poems like this one and I partly agree with him.
It is now five years into the Crocodile Prize national literary contest and this year I will gladly make space on my bookshelf for the fifth instalment of the Anthologies. At half-way to the decade, this is a small but significant milestone for PNG.
Throughout the contest, poetry has remained the most dominant literary factor; it is consistently providing about half of the entries received.
MARLENE Dee Gray Potoura is a remarkable and talented woman.
She is a single mother who is raising two children - which many people would regard as a full time job in itself.
She also operates a private school – another full time job.
And, as readers of PNG Attitude know, she is a prolific writer of short stories, poems and stories for children.
This labour of love is undertaken almost every night after her children have gone to bed. Marlene often writes until three in the morning.
As she says, “I love writing. It is truly my passion and I just wish I had more time to do it and to fulfill my dream of having my works published properly.”
For several years now, Marlene has submitted entries to the annual Commonwealth Writers Short Story Competition.
Can you write creative stories about children’s rights, environmental solutions, and the future that we all want?
Would you like to join a global council of prize-winning child authors, and have your work published internationally in many languages?
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a new series of children’s books entitled Voices of Future Generations has been launched by a consortium of leading educational charities and international agencies, in cooperation with the United Nations.
Every year, we feature children’s stories inspired by the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), and by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) itself.
KERENGA Kua, former Attorney-General and a man considered one of a Papua New Guinea's leading politicians, was holding his breath and looking extremely impressed.
Soon after, while the presentation of certificates was proceeding, Mr Kua left his seat and came to where Jimmy Drekore, Ware Mukale and I were sitting.
“You guys are doing something great that I didn’t know about,” he said, referring to the Crocodile Prize and the activities of the Simbu Writers Association.
And Mr Kua (pictured here with Jimmy Drekore) put his enthusiasm to work by committing K20,000 to SWA from the 2015 District Services Improvement Fund.
The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014 was one of the books amongst the literary wealth of the Simbu Writers Association that was on display at the recent Ku High School Grade 10 graduation in Simbu.
THE Ku High School anthology is the first book of its kind in Papua New Guinea. The compilation of stories is by students who entered the literary competition promoted by the Simbu Writers Association earlier this year.
The entries are in the form of short stories, essays and poems and it was a struggle for Grade 9 and 10 students to write quality material as they had not been taught to systematically structure stories and essays. And the construction of poetry proved complex for Grade 9.
Those students who did not contribute entries regretted this later when the published anthology was displayed right in front of their eyes during the school assembly.