Saturday, September 29, 2012


We invite you to join a special edition of our Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition, and, given the very special circumstances and challenges (especially for the artist), this one will come with slightly different rules, and a higher cash prize - P70,000.00!!!

For the first time, the competition piece is a sculpture (shown above), and artist Daniel de la Cruz will take on the challenge of rendering the scenes of the winning story, also as sculptures! This will be a very special and unique children’s book, even for CANVAS, and we are very excited to see what stories you all come up with!

Rules and Conditions:

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

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

3. Writers may submit only one entry, in English or Filipino, which shall be of 1,200 words or less. This is a very strict limit on the number of words. Entries that exceed this limit shall automatically be disqualified from the competition.

4. There is no particular theme, other than the use of this year's contest piece, a sculpture by artist Daniel de la Cruz, as the inspiration or basis for the entry. 

5. The main scene depicted in the contest piece – that of the small boy reaching out to the fish – must be part of your story. Note that there are two other smaller fish in the scene – you may or may not include them in your story.


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

* Originality and Storyline (35%)
* Imagery (45%)
* Quality of Writing (20%)

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 select the winner from among the five finalists.

6. Entries must be submitted by email, as a Microsoft Word attachment, to with the subject heading SPECIAL ROMEO FORBES CHILDREN'S STORYWRITING COMPETITION.  Entrants must include a cover sheet with their name, mailing and email address, and telephone number.  Only the story title should appear on all pages of the entry.

7. The deadline for submission of entries is 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), Friday, 30 November 2012.  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 acknowledgement from us within 24 hours, please assume that your story was not received and kindly resend it to us.

Nevertheless, 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 such 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 70,000.00 (less applicable withholding tax) for his/her entry.  The winner shall be responsible for all applicable taxes.

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, derivative works, 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 week of February 2013.  The winner will also be notified via email on the same announcement date.

13. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the unlikely event that no entry is selected for 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 CANVAS and Daniel de la Cruz 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."

In case you were wondering, there are a number of reasons for our imposing this rule:

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 public viewing and enjoyment, and for free downloading as e-books 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 now taken it one step further. CANVAS now donates thousands of our books to public schools, children’s hospitals and disadvantaged communities throughout the Philippines by raising funds either through grants or corporate sponsorships, and having complete ownership of the titles will make it easier for us to reach our dream of eventually handing out our millionth book. You can read more about this initiative here:

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 somehow get endorsed by Oprah or Ellen, be assured that we will make things right with the winning writer (you'll just have to trust us on this).  But until then, having demonstrably complete ownership over the rights, again, makes it easier and less complicated for us to approach and negotiate with would-be publishers (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 and corporations that we partner with, on the other.


Anonymous said...

Good day! I just want to clarify if the entrant's info in the cover sheet of the story aren't included in the 1,200 word count limit. Thanks and padayon!

CANVAS said...

No it's not. Only the story itself counts in the 1200 word limit. :-)

Anonymous said...

If it's a sculpture, does it mean you will no longer make it into a book?

CANVAS said...

We fully intend to publish it into a book. Except that the "illustrations" will all be scupltures. :-)

Anonymous said...

Isang mapagpalayang araw!

Kung ang ilalahok na akda ay na-publish na sa isang journal o magasin, disqualified na ba ito? Paano kung after ng deadline ito malathala, ayos lang ba?

Lubos akong umaasa sa inyong maagap na tugon. Salamat!

CANVAS said...

Hindi maaaring isali ang kuwento na na-publish na. Hindi rin dapat i-publish ang entry after the deadline. Maaaring i-publish lang ang entry sa ibang publication kung hindi ito manalo dito.

Anonymous said...

Good day! Is the number of words the title of the story has included in the word-count of the whole story itself?

CANVAS said...

Hi. No, the number of words will apply only to the story itself. Thanks and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sending an invitation to my email with regards to this contest. I'll definitely submit an entry, and share this to my friends who might be interested.

I just hope that in the near future, you would also have second and third prizes for this story contest. More power!

Avid Fan said...

Hi! In case ba na ang napasa/naisend naming entry ay -- accidentally -- lumagpas na pala sa 1200 word limit, at medyo matagal pa naman ang deadline, can we send another version of the story (na sakto na sa word limit)? Iniinform din ba ang participants kung disqualified ba sila dahil lagpas sa word limit ang story/entry? Hope you reply very soon. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A pleasant day! In case that we have passed an entry already, is it ok if we pass another story (which has a much better storyline) and make the first entry be void?

CANVAS said...

If you already submitted an entry, but wish to submit another before the deadline, yes, that's fine. The first entry will then be voided and disqualified from consideration.

The 1200-word limit is very strictly enforced. As long as you are able to submit a story that meets this limit before the deadline, that's fine as well. Meeting this limit is the responsibility of the author/entrant. We do inform entrants if they are disqualified for violating this rule, but that might come after the deadline, in which case, he/she can no longer submit another entry.


Anonymous said...

Kailangan ba talaga pang bata yung story?

CANVAS said...

Yes, kailangan pambata yung kuwento.

That said, there are children's stories that are appreciated by adults and children alike. Puede din yun. :-)

cottonmouth said...

pwede pong dalawa yung authors sa iisang story/entry? salamat po!

CANVAS said...

Puedeng dalawang authors sa isang entry. But neither of them can submit any other story.

Anonymous said...

Magandang araw! Gusto ko sanang sumali kaso baka kapusin na sa panahon. Kung sakali ba, magkakaroon pa rin ng Romeo Forbes Contest sa bandang Enero (gaya ng taon-taon niyong ginagawa?) Maraming salamat! More power!

CANVAS said...

May oras pa naman sumali - sampung araw pa! :-)

Meron ulit next year, di lang namin sigurado pa kung anong month.

cath said...

wow! ngayon ko lang po nabasa ang post na ito. I always look forward sa Romeo Forbes contest niyo every January. I hope makasali ako dito. may 9 nine days pa ako... :)

Keona Liuson said...

Hi. After passing the entry will canvas still edit it before publishing it? Or does the story have to be perfect when we pass it? And the cover page would be just the name, address and number no pictures or the title? Oh and also each page of the story needs the title on each page where? Thank you.

CANVAS said...

The stories will be judged, as submitted, and without edits. So, it will of course help to have the story as good and as perfect as possible when it is passed.

The winning story, however, may still be edited before publication.

The cover page should include the name, address, contact info and the title.

Each page of the story may contain the title, but no other identifying mark.

mimitootsia said...

hi guys! just wanna ask if you notify contestants as soon as you receive their entries. kasi i've sent mine twice, but still with no notif. :|

CANVAS said...

We acknowledge receipt of all entries as soon as possible, but definitely within 24 hours. If you have not received an acknowledgement, it probably means that we have not received it - and we diligently check both our inbox and our spam folder, just in case. Kindly resend to


Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to read the future winning story of this contest. May I know kung ilang entries ang natanggap para dito?

CANVAS said...

A new record! We received 124 stories for our competition! :-) We're very excited to read them all. Thank you to everyone who participated!