Sunday, June 2, 2013


Panahon na naman!

CANVAS proudly invites you to join and submit an entry to its 10th Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition, and possibly see your written text rendered in full color in a children's book.

This time, rising creative talent Dex Fernandez, does the honors and provides the inspiration with this untitled contest piece:

Untitled Contest Piece
by Dex Fernandez

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 1,000 words or less. This word limit is a strict and absolute limit. Even just one word above the limit will be enough to disqualify an entry.

4. There is no particular theme, other than the use of this year's contest piece, a new work (shown above) by artist Dex Fernandez as the inspiration or basis for the entry.


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 (30%)

Based on the points received, CANVAS shall forward a shortlist of three to 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 10th 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, 02 August 2013.

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, may 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 35,000.00 (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, 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 October 2013.  The winner will also be notified via email/text on the same announcement date.

13. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the event that the judges decide that no entry was received that is deserving of the top prize.  In such unlikely 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).

Beyond this, all our stories are also 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. 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, aside from the possibility for getting some of our books published abroad, we also sometimes talk with corporations about sponsoring the publication of books that can be given away to children in public schools and disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

(You can read our latest updates on this initiative by clicking here.)

Indeed, our dream is to give away ONE MILLION BOOKS in the next five to ten years!

Should we get really lucky and end up on the NY Times Bestseller List or say, get our book endorsed 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 corporations eager to support children's literacy in the Philippines, or would-be publishers abroad.

Finally, we are also trying to be financially sustainable. We rely on self-generated revenues, some corporate support, and a small amount of grant funding to run CANVAS and conduct our activities, including co-sharing the publication costs of the books. We can only hope to recoup the expenses so that we can pursue our visions and dreams for children's literacy and Philippine art consistently and relentlessly 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 and funds that have been entrusted to us, and to the publishers and corporations that we partner with, on the other.

Thank you.


meari guresu said...

no deadline extension?

Anonymous said...


With regards to rule #8:
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.

This means that entries that did not win may not be submitted to other publishers because you might publish them online. I hope you can put a time limit on just how long the authors have to hold off submitting to other publishers because it is unfair for them.

Also, it seems unfair that the author will not receive any payments, because publishing online is still publishing.

CANVAS said...

Sorry, no extension. :-)

CANVAS said...

Except for the winning author, everyone else who submitted stories to CANVAS are free to submit their works to other publishers, whether we post them online or not. The only stories that did not win that we post, by the way, are only those that were finalists to the competition. In fact, we've had stories submitted to us that did not win, but that went on to win the Palanca. :-)

As for payments, ideally, yes if we could afford to pay writers for publishing their works online, we would. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and that is the reason why we make this very clear in our rules. Writers can then decide for themselves whether they wish to enter the competition or not, with full knowledge of what to expect. :-)


Anonymous said...

hi, with regards to the category 'children' what age bracket are we actually considering?

CANVAS said...

It's up to you. We don't really have any particular age bracket in mind. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello po. With or without royalties, I will be honored if my stories will be published. The printed book is enough reward for me as a budding writer. Later on, I will cite with pride the first printed book I authored when I am already a well known literary writer. Iyan po ay sa ganang akin lang.