Pinoy books go to London Book Fair: Palanca Awards accept entries for 70th tilt

For the first time, the Philippines is sending books to the London Book Fair (LBF) which will run from April 5-7 at the Olympia London Exhibition Center in Kensington, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) recently announced.

Fifty-two books by Filipino authors will be showcased at the fair, which will be attended by international publishers and producers from the film, television, music and theater sectors looking for new content to adapt.

The NBDB “is pushing for Philippine books to be competitive export commodities in the global marketplace of ideas,” said NBDB Project Development Officer Sofia Dearos.

“We want our graphic literature, YA [young adult] novels, children’s books, horror stories and contemporary works of fiction to be picked up by international distributors in the same way as Trese [graphic novel] has arrived on Netflix.

“It’s time for Pinoy stories to explode and reach an unlimited audience.”

As the government agency responsible for book research and development, the CDBN will showcase a wide variety of Filipino works, including Yvette Tan’s Waking the Dead, an iconic collection of horror short stories; Flowers for Thursday by Mia Tijam, speculative fiction short stories; Virginia Villanueva’s Tales from the Southern Kingdom, a collection of legends, folklore, and children’s stories about the Sama and Tausug peoples; and Tingle: An Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing, edited by Jhoanna Lynn Cruz.

Charisse Aquino-Tugade, Managing Director of CDBN, Kevin Ansel Dy, Project Manager of CDBN’s National Book Database, and Paolo Herras, Founder of Komiket, will attend the fair to engage with publishers and literary agents.

“We are delighted to finally be able to travel and meet international publishers. The world deserves our stories and the London Book Fair provides a great opportunity for the works of our authors, illustrators and publishers to gain a wider audience. This fair is the best place to start,” Tugade said.

Komiks Editor Paolo Herras added, “Filipino comics are one of the most underrepresented and exploited genres. We are not studied in colleges or universities, we are not present in the K-12 curriculum, in national writers’ workshops, or in most national awards.

“But we’re already crossing territories, getting picked up by international publishers around the world, and venturing into live-action movies, animation, content platforms, video games, toys, and other merchandise. . We are therefore very proud to represent the Philippines at the London Book Fair. It was time.

In addition, the Philippine Embassy in London will host lectures by Tugade (on the decolonization of the Filipino reading landscape), Herras (Philippine graphic literature) and Dy (UK-PH relations seen through books) on April 8.

The Filipino community in the UK supports the Philippines’ participation in the LBF. Acclaimed UK-based Filipino writers such as Candy Gourlay (award-winning Tall Story author) will visit the Filipino booth.

We wish the Filipino contingent the best as they share Filipino stories with the world.

* * * After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (CPMA), the country’s longest running literary competition, is back on track and accepting entries for its 70th edition .

“We know that the last two years have been very difficult for everyone because of the pandemic,” said CPMA official spokesperson Bernardita Ben, administrative manager.

“As we slowly get back on track and settle into the new normal, we believe the time has come, once again, to promote and celebrate Filipino literature and honor our literary artists.”

The CMPA is now accepting submissions in its regular categories as follows:
• Novel and Nobela categories;
• English Division – Short Story, Short Story for Children, Essay, Poetry, Written Poetry for Children, One Act Play and Complete Play;
• Philippine Division – Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tulang Para in Bata, Dulang May Isang Yugto, Dulang Ganap ang Haba and Dulang Pampelikula;
• Regional Languages ​​Division – Short Story-Cebuano, Short Story-Hiligaynon and Short Story-Ilokano;
• Kabataan Division for young writers under 18: informal (personal) essays in English and Filipino on the topic: “Life amidst the pandemic and coping with the new normal” (Kabataan Essay) and “Buhay sa Gitna ng Pandemya in Pagharap its ‘New Normal’” (Kabataan Sanaysay).

The competition is open to all Filipino citizens or former Filipino citizens of all ages, except current directors, officers and employees of The Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. Entrants may submit only one entry per category. The deadline for submitting applications is May 31.

All submissions must be made online; paper and email submissions will not be accepted. Official contest rules and forms are available on the Carlos Palanca Awards website:

For inquiries, email [email protected] or call (632) 8843-8277 / (632) 8478-7996. Ask for Ms. Leslie Layoso or Ms. Susan Castillo.

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Colin L. Johnson