Sunday, January 2, 2011


We're ready and looking forward to be enthralled and surprised!

It's time to again start the New Year with an invitation for you to join and submit an entry to our annual Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition!

This year, Liv Vinluan does the honors and provides the inspiration with this new contest piece:

(Untitled Contest Piece)
by Liv Vinluan
48"x48" oil on canvas (2010)

Contest Rules and Conditions

1. CANVAS' Romeo Forbes Children's Storywriting Competition is open to all Filipinos.

2. Entries must not have been previously published or submitted in any other competition, and all entrants must warrant the originality of their submitted entries.

3. Writers may submit only one entry, which may be in English or Filipino. The entry must not exceed 1,500 words.

4. There is no particular theme, other than the use of Liv Vinluan's untitled contest piece, shown above, as the inspiration or basis for the entry.

5. Judging Process. A CANVAS review panel shall read and award points for all stories received based on the following criteria:

* Originality and Storyline (35%)
* Imagery (35%)
* Quality of Writing (20%)
* X-Factor/Judges' discretion (10%)

Based on the points received, CANVAS shall forward a shortlist of at least five stories with the highest scores to the Artist. The Artist shall then provide comments on any or all the stories, for consideration by the panel of judges.

The panel of judges - taking the contest criteria and Artist comments into non-binding consideration - shall collectively choose the winner from the shortlist of stories.

If the judges cannot come to a consensus on the winner, they shall take a vote and the entry that gains the most number of votes shall be declared the winner.

None of CANVAS' review panel, the judges or the Artist shall see the entrant's name until the winner is chosen.

6. Entries must be submitted by email, as a Microsoft Word attachment, to with the subject heading 2011 ROMEO FORBES CHILDREN'S STORYWRITING COMPETITION. In the body of the email, entrants must provide their name, the title of their entry, mailing and email address, and telephone/cellphone number. Only the story title should appear on all pages of the attached entry.

7. The deadline for submission of entries is 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), Thursday, 31 March 2011. Entries received after the deadline, even if sent earlier, will no longer be considered for the competition.

Kindly note that CANVAS acknowledges each and every entry that we receive. If you submitted a story, and do not receive an acknowledgment from us within 24 hours, please assume that your story was not received and kindly resend it to us.

Entries received after the deadline, even if sent earlier, will no longer be considered for the competition. CANVAS shall not be responsible for entries which are not received, or which are received after the deadline, due to technical failure or for any other reason whatsoever.

8. All entrants hereby agree to authorize CANVAS to post their entries on its website, as CANVAS deems fit, and free from any payments, royalties or fees whatsoever.

9. There shall be only one winner, who shall receive a cash prize of PhP 35,000.00 (less applicable withholding tax) for his/her entry.

The winning writer shall also be entitled to five (5) free copies upon publication of the book.

The winner shall grant and transfer to CANVAS all intellectual property and publication rights to the story, including any translations, adaptations or modifications thereto.

It is hereby understood that the cash prize to be awarded to the winner shall include consideration of such intellectual property and publication rights to the story, and the writer shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, licensing of, or other transactions on the same.

(Please see our note below on why we have this rule.)

10. Except for the right to publish any received entry on its website, CANVAS shall not retain any other rights to entries that are not selected as the winner, except where separate agreements are reached with the writers.

11. CANVAS shall exercise full and exclusive editorial and artistic control over the publication of the winning entry and resulting book.

While, it is the full intention of CANVAS to publish the winning entry as a full-color children's book, CANVAS reserves the right not to publish the same for any reason whatsoever.

12. The winner of the CANVAS storywriting competition will be announced on or around the first half of June 2011. The winner will also be notified via email and by text message on the same announcement date.

13. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the unlikely event that the judges decide that no entry was received that is deserving of the top prize. In such event, however, CANVAS shall have no right whatsoever over all entries that were received; and shall not publish any entry, in its website or in any other venue, without the prior written consent or agreement of the author.

14. The decision of the competition judges shall be final, and no correspondence or inquiries into the same - including requests for comments/feedback on received entries - shall be entertained.

15. Employees of CANVAS, and members of their immediate family, as well as the Artist's immediate family, are disqualified from participating in the competition.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Why We Ask for the Transfer of Rights

The competition rules (Rule 9) clearly state that the winning author should agree to transfer all rights to CANVAS and "...shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, derivative works, licensing of, or other transactions on the same."

This rule has understandably raised quite a few eyebrows in the writers' community, and this note is just to clarify where it is that CANVAS is coming from.

First of all, having complete ownership of the story rights makes it easier and less complicated for us to quickly and liberally share and give our consent to anyone who may ask for permission to use the winning story (something that we have always granted in the past).

It is for this very reason that the stories and illustrations of books we publish are all available for free viewing and enjoyment on our website (, despite the concern of some that the easy availability of the stories on the Internet could eat into the sales of our books (which, happily, has not proven to be the case).

We have, in fact, now taken it one step further. All our stories are now available and downloadable on our website FOR FREE, in both English and Filipino. Just as we were fortunate enough to have been given permission to adapt "The Man Who Planted Trees," into our maiden publication - "Elias and His Trees," - we hope that the stories that we work on will inspire similar creativity.

A second reason why we ask for the transfer of rights is that CANVAS is a small nonprofit, and is not equipped to document and track royalty shares that ideally should accrue to authors and artists. In fact, we only rely on and trust our partner publisher(s) to remit to us our own royalty shares. It is for this reason that our prizes (we think), are quite substantial and approximates (if not exceeds) what writers would normally expect to receive in royalties.

Third, we are also trying to get the stories published abroad. Should we get really lucky and end up on the NY Times Bestseller List or say, get our book selected by Oprah, be assured that we will make things right with the artist and writer (you'll just have to trust us on this).

But until then, having demonstrably complete ownership over the rights makes it easier and less complicated for us to approach and negotiate with would-be publishers and agents (who hopefully would not be spooked by our giving out downloadable e-books for free in the first place).

Finally, we are also trying to be financially sustainable. We rely on a small amount of grant funding to conduct our activities, including co-sharing the publication costs of the books. We can only hope to recoup the expenses so that we can do these activities on a continuing and recurring basis in the years to come.

Please be assured of our continuing effort to balance our desire to contribute to the public domain in a manner that is also fair to the writers and artists, on the one hand; and our need to also be fiscally responsible with the grants that have been entrusted to us, and to the publishers that we partner with, on the other.


Anonymous said...

Question. If my story were to be picked, would there be any indication at all that it was once written from me? Or will the winning writer just be totally ignored?

CANVAS said...

Thanks. The winning writer will absolutely be recognized for the achievement. Not only will his/her name be fully prominent on the book cover, he/she will also receive a special trophy at the book launch. :-)

pegaraw said...

Some of the dates in your guidelines are not updated. I think the text was salvaged from last year's.


CANVAS said...

Hehe. Sorry about that. :-) We've made the corrections na. Thanks.

Christopher Rosales said...

is it okey if the entry has two authors?

CANVAS said...

Hi Christopher. Sorry, no. There should only be one author per entry.


pegaraw said...

Hello again. I was wondering what was the winning entry in the years 2009 and 2006? I downloaded and read the FREE stories and found out that the winner last 2005 was the Rocking Horse; 2006 ?; 2007 was the Ang Batang Maraming Bawal; 2008 was Lupito; 2009 ?; and 2010 (to be published) was Tahan Na, Tahanan.

I wanted to print these stories (for personal use) and I was hoping that I could do it by year. Thanks! :D

CANVAS said...

Hi, the winners in order are:

(2006) The Rocking Horse
(2007) Ang Batang Maraming Bawal
(2008) Si Lupito at ang Barrio Sirkero
(2009) Doll Eyes
(2010) Huni sa Loob ng Kawayan (forthcoming)
(2011) Tahan na, Tahanan (forthcoming)

Thanks. :-)

Anonymous said...

Good day :-) Would just like to know if there is a target child age range for this contest, or at least a minimum level, let's say 6 yo and above? Thanks :-)

CANVAS said...

Hi, there is no minimum or target age for the contest. :-)

Anonymous said...


I'm just your post about the winning entries. 2011's winning entry is a story entitled "Tahan na, Tahanan" do I understand it right? If so, I think the contest entry submission is ongoing since the deadline is on March 31. So does this mean you already have a winner even before the deadline?

Thanks and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I'll be looking after this one. I can't wait!

CANVAS said...

Hi. Sorry no, "Tahan Na, Tahanan" won in 2010 but will be published only this year.

The competition for 2011 is still ongoing, as you correctly understand, and the deadline is indeed on March 31, 2011. We hope to announce the results in June 2011.


Chris said...

Good Day!

i just wanna know why the names of the judges are not said in the announcement of winners in this contest.

sana sabihin rin po ang pangalan ng mga nag-judge ng entries.... i am longing for your reply

CANVAS said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your query. We reveal the names of the judges only when we announce the winners of the contest, so for the ongoing competition, we can't name the judges yet.

Past judges though were:

2010: Carlos Celdran and Rica Bolipata Santos

2009: Bam Aquino and Mariella Sugue-Castillo

2008: Lea Salonga, Dawn Atienza and Wendell Capili

2007: Jessica Jalandoni Robillos and Fernando Gonzalez

2006: Becky Bravo and Lito Zulueta

2005: Carla Pacis and Augie Rivera.

CANVAS Executive Director Gigo Alampay also sits in as an ex-officio member of the panel of judges each year.

Michelle Manese said...

I'm only sixteen but I'm joining. Do I need any letter whatsoever of my legal guardians for consent? Or just...go for it?

Thanks CANVAS!

CANVAS said...

Hi Michelle,

Just go for it, but do let your legal guardians know. Should you win, we will ask them to co-sign the release waivers for your story with you.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just a simple question, one of the requirements state that the story should not have been previously submitted in another competition. Does this mean that after submission to CANVAS, the author also can't submit to any competition until CANVAS announces the winners? (or tells the authors that they did not win?)

CANVAS said...

Yes, we would appreciate it if entries are not submitted elsewhere until we announce the results (which hopefully will be made by June 2011).


Anonymous said...

Can one author submit two entries?

CANVAS said...

Sorry, no. Only one entry per person. :-)

Lulu said...

Hi! This is a Children's Story Writing Competition, right? What is the oldest age for the target market? It's kinda hard if we don't know the age range because there might be words or concepts that children who are too young won't understand. :)

Anonymous said...

My children, who love to write, live abroad. One of them is now an American citizen, having married an American, but of course her nationality is still Filipino.Is she qualified to join the Canvas competition? Thank you very much.

CANVAS said...

Hi Lulu,

Thanks for your query. We've deliberately left out an age range, so it really is up to the writer. But for reference, most of the stories that have won would probably be appropriate for children ages 8-11.

Thanks again.

CANVAS said...

> My children, who love to write,
> live abroad. One of them is now
> an American citizen, having
> married an American, but of
> course her nationality is still
> Filipino.Is she qualified to
> join the Canvas competition?
> Thank you very much.

Yes, of course. Hurry though, the deadline's just a few days away! Good luck! :-)

Christopher said...

Is it ok to put a pen name on my entry? hope you reply soon. thanks! is it necessary that the entry must be double-spaced?

CANVAS said...

No name (whether real or pen) must appear on the entry itself, as the judges will be deciding it without knowing who wrote the stories.


Genaro Fan said...

Hmmmm, I just wonder dun po sa post sa taas, mentioning the past winners of Romeo Forbes . . . HIndi po nabanggit si Mr. Genaro Gojo Cruz for his "ANG DYIP NI MANG TOMAS" . . . hmm, i hope you could able to correct this thing. thanks

CANVAS said...

"Ang Dyip Ni Mang Tomas" was not a winner of the competition. It was a finalist and the winner that year was "Doll Eyes."

Nonetheless, we liked Genaro's story so much that we worked with him to publish it, and we tapped another artist, Anthony Palomo, to do the illustrations. :-)

Anonymous said...

How much tax would be deducted from the 35K cash prize?

CANVAS said...

We are required to withhold 20% or P7,000.

sadge eyhm said...

I submitted entry for 2011 contest basing on Liv vinluan's art work. I'm wonder why it take such pretty long turnaround time until the winner is announce. Is not there any procedure of picking a bit faster. Please heal my impatience!

CANVAS said...

It really takes a while to read through all the entries, shortlist them, and make the final selection of the winner.

That said, as mentioned in the rules, we will announce the winner sometime this first half of June, so kaunting hintay na lang. Any day now. :-)

Wind said...

There were 84 stories submitted this year. I am sure that each of those 84 stories have been infused with lots of effort and inspiration. It will be definitely worth the wait. :)

Anonymous said...

hi. ive been following the works of the past winners. ang galing ng mga ginawa nila. i cant wait to see who'll win this year.

ano po kaya ang exact date of the results? and when will the winning story be available to the public, either in internet or book form?

chandra said...

I was too late to know of this, please keep posting, i have bookmarked!@bose

Anonymous said...

pleasant day. i think teh updates have stopped po. is there any means for us to be informed of who teh winners were (if you chose someone na po)? thanks in advance

CANVAS said...

Hi. Sorry, we sent emails to all contestants a few months ago. It may have gone to your spam folder?

In any case, Francesca Torres won for her story, "Blue Stars." You can view the announcement here: