We had our coordination meeting last Saturday at Motion in Mercado Lama, the main aim of which was to decide a fair and transparent way to coordinate the judging process.
We were joined by most of the writers, some of their friends, and Maun Abe - a well respected Timorese poet and active member of the artistic community.
I was very keen to ensure that we draw judges from as many walks of life as possible and had come up with all sorts of complicated methods to ensure the balance of men and women, young and old, literary types and non-literary types, and so on. After over an hour of discussing the pros and cons of the different methods, one of the writers interrupted and said "look... We trust you and Maun Abe. How about the two of you get together and work it out yourselves?" Everyone agreed, so that's what we're doing. As most of the judges will be from Maun Abe's and my (considerably smaller) social circle of literary types, this does make it a little less democratic and will make it difficult to get participation from out in the foho. That said, it will be a lot simpler and quicker. Also, Maun Abe and I are very conscious of these limitations, and we think that, with care, we can select a good, balanced panel that will help us pick a winner.
I was in Indonesia for most of last week so we didn't get a chance to meet again yet, but we hope to start contacting people and asking them if they would be willing to be judges this week.
We have taken nominations from the writers and have a few ideas ourselves, but if there are any readers out there have any suggestions or feel qualified themselves then let us know.