Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the road to publication & up gawad centennial

I just received the second proofs of my short fiction collection from my publisher, with all the initial comments and corrections from Nikki and myself already imbedded. They've also sequenced the additional pages I requested, such as the dedication page, and used the updated author bionote I sent them.

So all that remains is for me to plunge one last time into the text, rereading my stories for the odd font changes or missing periods and such, before signing off.

Since my design company is providing the cover, I'm still waiting for the required elements that will appear on the front and back (the back is also part of the cover): Anvil's logo, the ISBN, space for the bar code, blurb/s, etc. I'm really hopeful that the publisher's budget permits a little extra for the cover, particularly some kind of lamination for the title (spot or sand lamination) or embossing. I think we have a great-looking cover, but every little thing helps to drive the aesthetic home.

I think part of me has been using this book as a reason not to write as much as I used to. It's as if I'm telling myself to get this done first before I can turn towards new fiction. It's not a very good reason, but I suspect it's the truth.

My inventory (unsold/unpublished stories) count is a dismal "1". I simply have to write more. Soon, I hope to add to the count with the story I'll develop for Jing Hidalgo's anthology of tales, a couple of stories for Perfect World, something for the erotica anthology Nikki's looking at editing, a Young Adult piece for Story Philippines, and - because like Olympic years, the novel category of the Palancas is upon us again next year - a novel (I'm thinking if I plan to write one anyway, might as well make it eligible for competition). Honestly though, with the stultifying heat right now, I cannot imagine how I will do everything.

Speaking of contests, there's a big one next year: the UP Centennial Gawad Likhaan (complete details here). Six awards—each one worth P200,000—will be offered for original, book-length works in the following categories: a novel or short story collection in English in English; a novel or short story collection in Filipino; a poetry collection in English; a poetry collection in Filipino; a full-length work or collection of creative nonfiction in English; and a full-length work or collection of sanaysay in Filipino. Deadline for submission is March 31, 2008 at 5 pm. The names of the winners and the members of the Board of Judges will be announced in June 2008.

Only original works (unpublished in print or online - which means no NaNoWriMo for me anymore, in case I get disqualifed) that have not a won prize anywhere are valid. Which really makes it a tall order as neither Salamanca nor my upcoming collection are valid. Interestingly, since I write neither poetry nor creative nonfiction in either English or Filipino, and writing a novel in Filipino is beyond my small skills, I can only compete in one category: novel or short story collection in English. Let's see, shall it be a new novel (gah) or about 50,000 words worth of new short fiction (gah again - and inventory envy bites me hard). These are two completely different things and one is no easier than the other. I just wonder how the judges will pit someone's novel against someone's short fiction collection.

We'll see how things go, if time can be made. After all, there is still Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.3 to put together.

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