“WHERE’S the children’s story contest,” was a question pitched at me in a number of emails after we announced the 2015 Crocodile Prize awards in November.
Well, truth be told, we were awaiting advice from the previous sponsor, Buk bilong Pikinini, to confirm whether they’d continue this year. It was advice that never came.
So we were absolutely delighted when late last week the Paga Hill Development Company offered to fill the gap.
As the company’s CEO, Gudmundur Fridriksson, said: “It’s an award which will result in more locally written material being made available to children of all ages in PNG. The love of language and joy of reading at an early age is a wonderful and powerful gift.”
Absolutely true – and we hope Papua New Guinea’s writers take this as their cue to begin drafting their stories for children up to the age of about 12.
Last year, Iriani Wanmi (pictured above receiving her prize) won the first Award for Writing for Children with an entry she described as “an educational story about friendship and transformation.”
“I love children and their sense of curiosity, adventure and imagination,” she said. ”I knew some children liked insects and decided to do the story from the point of view of insects with human qualities to make it interesting for children.” (You can read Iriani’s winning story here)
And so the Paga Hill Development Company Award for Writing for Children is officially underway.
Papua New Guinea writers are asked to submit a fictional or factual story of up to 1,000 words on a theme of interest to children up to age 12, and using language the children find accessible. (You can find the entry form here)
As usual there is one prize, and it’s a good one – K5,000 in cash along with guaranteed publication in the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 and a trophy.
In addition, because this year awards event is being held in Kundiawa, we’ll throw in free travel and accommodation if you live elsewhere in PNG.
And, while you’re thinking about all that, take a look at this short article by Suzanne Lieurance on the top 10 mistakes made by new children's writers.
I look forward publishing the first entry soon - and hope we may get enough before the 30 June deadline to produce a special book of PNG stories for children. Go to it!