The Crocodile Prize is getting ready for a big year as it continues to bring the best of Papua New Guinean writing to the world.
The Prize was founded in 2010 and director Ruth Moiam said it has developed as the country’s most important platform for writers and poets.
“It is a means of building and strengthening Papua New Guinean literature,” she said, “and it gives writers the encouragement and recognition they need.”
“The Prize has an attractive sponsorship program which offers organisations tangible benefits,” she said.
“Supporting writers promotes the talent and creativity of the nation and makes a significant contribution to our national culture and identity.”
The Crocodile Prize organisation also publishes an annual anthology of the best PNG writing which is distributed free throughout PNG and retailed internationally.
Since the beginning of the Prize, more than 2,200 original short stories, essays, poems, heritage legends and stories for children have been submitted.
Poet Michael Dom, creative director of the Prize, said developing new talent and ensuring the best of PNG writing is published are central to the Prize’s success.
“Most entrants have never been published before,” Mr Dom said, “and the Prize has become an important outlet for emerging writers.”
“The Crocodile Prize is about supporting writers and improving what they do. One of our most important roles is to edit people’s work and nurture their natural talent.
“The end product is publication in the Crocodile Prize Anthology and in other channels, including the mainstream and social media. It’s all about giving Papua New Guineans their voices.”
Past award winners and shortlisted writers have gone on to write books, win international awards, feature at overseas writers festivals and be engaged professionally for their writing skills.
The Crocodile Prize is named after the first Papua New Guinean novel, Sir Vincent Eri’s ‘The Crocodile’, which was published in 1970.