Papua New Guinea’s national writing contest, the Crocodile Prize, will continue this year, thanks to much needed backing from corporate and private sponsors in the country.

In July, the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) signed on to sponsor the “Women in Writing’ category which is one of the seven categories in the competition.

The Crocodile Prize Award competition was established in 2010 as a vehicle to encourage creative and critical writing in PNG and to provide Papua New Guineans access to a home-grown literature.

Mr Imbi Tagune, General Manager MRDC External Affairs & Sustainable Development said the ‘Women in Writing’ category was one MRDC was proud to support as the sponsorship demonstrated the company’s commitment towards educational initiatives and programs in PNG especially in the development of women and girls in all facets of the society.

“Writing is creative tool that can be used to express one’s inner most thoughts, though factual events or in fiction through the lives of your characters. A competition like this, gives women a great platform to speak their mind free of fear and oppression,” said Mr Tagune. “We hope and encourage more women and girls to participate in this competition and to tell their stories.”

Chairman of the Crocodile Prize Committee, Baka Bina expressed his gratitude towards MRDC for the sponsorship commitment. “We are pleased to see companies like MRDC support educational initiatives that promote the development of storytelling.

“Writing critical essays and challenging the way we lead and live is healthy for any nation. Each country and culture have their own voice and own way of story-telling. You see, only Papua New Guineans can tell our stories in the way that makes sense.”

The other categories of the Crocodile Prize are; Short Story, Illustrations, Book of the Year, Essays and Journalism, Heritage and Children’s writing. The competition was opened for all Papua New Guineans on the 27th of January. Winners will be announced in November 2016.