Tuesday, December 06, 2005

[Blog Entry] Contests and Commentaries

Contests and Commentaries

It's funny. Usually when there's a competition, people post the rules on their blogs and on emails. But Fully Booked's ad for The 1st Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards is an image, hence most people link to it instead. Anyway, for your perusal, here are the rules (click "read more"). Italics are my comments.

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman & Fully Booked present The 1st Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards.

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman & Fully Booked present The 1st Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards.

New York Times Bestselling author and all-around swell guy Neil Gaiman and Fully Booked are proud to announce the first PHILIPPINE GRAPHIC/FICTION AWARDS. Seeking to recognize Filipino talent in emerging literature, the contest will award prizes for comics (the Alex Nino award) and genre fiction (the Gregorio C. Brillantes award). Mr. Gaiman has said “There is a strong tradition of Filipino realism in literature; I want to encourage Filipino unrealism.”

Of course this is probably the only part where Neil Gaiman’s name is mentioned. Will he judge the contest? Did he donate the prize money? Will it be compiled in an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman? Dun dun dun…

Over P300,00 worth of prizes, including P100,000 grand prize for the first place winners!

P290,000 to be exact, but that’s still a hefty sum.

Comic Book Writing Contest

1st prize – 100,000 pesos.
2nd prize – 30,000 pesos
3rd prize – 15,000 pesos
Youth Award (16 and under winner) – complete set of Sandman comic books nos. 1-75

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Writing Contest

1st prize – 100,000 pesos
2nd prize – 30,000 pesos
3rd prize – 15,000 pesos
Special Youth Award (for contestants 16 years old and below) – a set of Neil Gaiman’s novels: Anansi Boys, Making of Mirrormask, Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, Smoke & Mirrors

1) Entries must be submitted between November 30, 2005 and Jan. 30, 2006, with complete details on the author’s on a separate sheet, to be sealed inside a legal size letter envelope.

That’s exactly two months, unless you plan to submit old work (as long as they haven’t been published… see below.)

2) The contest is open to all Filipino citizens (even those who may be in a foreign country at the time, so long as they are still legal citizens), except current officers and employees of Fully Booked and the contest’s sponsors.

Note that it’s Filipino citizens. Ex-pats are still a no-no, although Filipinos taking a vacation/studying abroad are still qualified.

3) All entries must be in English.

Not a problem for me, but there will be Filipino writers and artists that might complain. A Philippine contest without the Filipino language?

4) There are two categories: comics and prose fiction. Each person may submit/be involved with only one entry per category. For the comics division, artists are not allowed to submit multiple entries with different writers.

Technically, you can win up to P200,000.00 by joining both contests. One for the fiction category, and another for comics. Artist will have just one shot at it (one entry for comics), unless they try out for the fiction competition as well.

5) Works must not have been awarded by another body or published in a national publication.

To sum it up, submit original work. If you’re already someone that’s established in your respective field, just make sure it hasn’t been awarded or published previously (small-time publications don’t count, so indie comic artists can still submit their previous material).

6) All entries must be original. No adaptations of produced/published/copyrighted material are allowed. All intellectual property rights of entries must belong to the author/s. Fully Booked and its sponsors shall be exempt from any and all liability in the event that the work is said to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of another existing work. All rights revert to respective authors, but FULLLY BOOKED maintains/reserves the right to publish submitted works without permission/approval.

Legal blah blah. Basically, if the winner ends up infringing on someone’s copyright, you don’t blame Fully Booked for “lack of research” and the writer/artist is solely responsible.

You still own the copyright to the work (which means you can still sell it to other publications), but Fully Booked can publish it in their own publication without prior approval. It could be in their magazine, or if they should choose to do so, an anthology. I mean comics alone has 48 pages, if every winner submits the maximum page number, and there are no ties. How much more with fiction? A sizable and profitable book project, especially with Neil Gaiman’s name backing it.

7) All entries must include four (4) hard copies, typewritten or computerized (preferably computerized). Every page must contain the title of the work, and all pages numbered consecutively (e.g. 1 of 20, 5 of 15 and so on). For prose, the entry must include 1 soft copy on a CD-ROM. EACH ENTRY MUST BE TYPWRITTEN OR COMPUTERIZED, DOUBLE-SPACED ON 8.5 X 11 INCHES BOND PAPER, WITH APPROXIMATELY ONE-INCH MARGIN ON ALL SIDES. IF COMPUTERIZED, THE FONT SHOULD BE ARIAL, TIMES NEW ROMAN OR BOOK ANTIQUA AND DTHE FONT SIZE SHOULD BE 12 pts. Files should be in the .rtf or Rich Text Format. The author’s name and address must not appear on the entry. For comics, entries must consist of four (4) hard copies (bond paper size) and one (1) soft copy on CD-ROM; no original art must be submitted. In case entries from abroad win, an authenticated copy of the Authorization Form by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate will be required.

Can you say confusing and redundant? No offense, but hard copy and computerized aren’t exactly two terms that go well together (it should be soft copy). And the first statement is repeated in the comics section.

The problem with page numbers is when it comes to comics. That means no bleeds, or at the very least, bleeds (if the artist chooses to do so) won’t be as effective with page numbers sticking out at the bottom.

8) Fully Booked has no obligation to return submitted material.

Hence the “no original art must be submitted” clause in the previous item.

9) For prose, all entries must fall under the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror. For comics, the theme is open.

So why is there a limitation in prose, but none for comics? And I won’t go into the discussion of what characterizes fantasy, horror, or science fiction.

10) A special award may be given to the best entry submitted by authors aged sixteen (16) and below. This award will only be given to an entry that has not won a major award in its category.

Basically those under seventeen have a chance to win something if they didn’t qualify for the three places.

11) Attached to the notarized Application Form shall be signed consent and understanding of the above rules. For minors, this should be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian’s signature.

Since I’ve never formally joined a writing competition, I don’t know how to go about this.

12) For comics, twelve (12) pages is the maximum length. For prose, entries may not exceed seven thousand (7,000) words.

Actually manageable for the time frame.

13) For comics, all artwork should be in black and white. No signatures must appear on any of the pages of the entries.

I don’t think anyone would submit colored comics with such a short deadline. Unless it’s like four pages or something. As for the latter clause, mainly for the judges to remain objective.

14) The Board of Judges shall have the discretion not to award any prize if, in its judgment, no worthy entry has been submitted.


15) Fully Booked has the sole right to designate the persons who shall constitute the Board of Judges in each of the contest categories. The decision of the majority of the Board of Judges in all categories shall be final.

Basically we don’t know who the judges will be, nor will we have a right to complain.

16) All rules and guidelines of the contest must be followed STRICTLY. Non-compliance will subject the entry to immediate disqualification.

All questions regarding the competition should be emailed to: writingcontest@fullybookedonline.com.

Powerbooks 100-Book Spree!

Get a chance to win 100 books of your choice!

How to join:

1) For every PHP 1,000.00 single receipt purchase, a customer is entitled to one raffle coupon for a chance to win any of the following:

a) Grand Prize: One (1) winner of 100 books of his/her choice (to be selected from stocks in the store)

So yes, the winner actually gets 100 books. But see details below for more info.

b) Consolation Prizes: Five (5) winners of 5 books of his/her choice (to be selected from stocks in the store)

2) Winners can only pick one (1) copy per title and select books that cost PHP 2,000.00 and below. If he or she gets a book worth Php 2,010.00 and above, he/she must pay for the excess amount.

Basically the winner can’t exhaust the stock of say, Fellowship of the Ring. It’s 100 (or 5 for the consolation prizes) unique books. If you also do the Math, Powerbooks is actually giving the winner up to P200,000 worth of books. But since we’ll seldom pick books that are priced exactly at P2,000.00 each, the actual prize is less than that.

The good thing is that if you pick a book worth more than P2,000, you pay the difference instead of nullifying your winnings. But the P2,000 limit has other ramifications. Fiction purchases is not really a problem, although buying “packages” (books bundled together) might be. Comic fans might also find it difficult, as while a couple of trades and hardcovers are priced under P2,000, you can’t get something like say, The Absolute Watchmen or the Complete Bone without paying extra. Computer books can be pricey as well, as some range under P2,000, but the better ones go beyond that.

My best advice for the winner? Get the fiction hardcovers.

See posters for complete mechanics.


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