Call for Papers: Kritika Kultura / AdMU Press First Book Prize (deadline extended to Apr. 7, 2018 / final call)

March 26, 2018

Kritika Kultura (KK), in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Press, is now seeking submissions for its first book prize.

Gina Apostol, award-winning novelist, will serve as the competition’s inaugural judge. Her achievements include the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award) for both Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, which also won the biennial Gintong Aklat Award from the National Book Development Board. Her third novel, Gun Dealers’ Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. Her fourth novel, The Unintended, will be out in the fall of 2018.

Apostol’s growing oeuvre is remarkably influenced by her scholarly interests. Lately, she has been researching the Filipino-American war and has found herself unable to write about it in a single novel. The Unintended is an intellectual concept-novel, though also a book of grief, using research on the Balangiga massacre and the Filipino-American war to reexamine contemporary times. During the Duterte era, a white moviemaker and a Waray translator write dueling scripts about Balangiga and test the reader on these questions—who should be telling what story, and what is the telling for? The Unintended is only 220 pages long. Meanwhile, William McKinley’s World, her work-in-progress, is not yet a third way done at 300 pages. It is a domestic family saga weaving together filial memory of growing up with a pro-Marcos family under martial law with the diaries of two brothers, one a collaborator and spy for Americans, the other a revolutionary, during our forgotten anti-colonial war against the Americans—one brother has to kill the other, but what is that dying for?

Apostol’s novels are marked for their articulation of history not only in the sense of what has already taken place, but also as unforeseen possibility. Her works ground the reader in familiar circumstances while simultaneously rethinking personal agency alongside historical urgency.

If she has one way of describing work that she enjoys, it would be work that has spine: the structure holds the parts together, whether it is a work of detection, or desire, or despair, or simply of the comic quotidian, or of daily life.

This book prize welcomes a variety of works: from a simple novel with run-of-the-mill characters who suddenly find themselves in a Jane Austen romance, to a young-adult anti-colonial ghost story. Likewise, submissions which leave nothing wanting by way of novelistic form, and which challenge the boundaries of both scholarship and fiction, are also welcome.

All told: although the competition is open to a range of thematic considerations and formal approaches, the winning work will be distinguished by a sense of completion and integrity, both in form and content.

Prize Guidelines

1. Who May Submit

The first book prize is open to all Filipino citizens regardless of place of residence who have not published a book of fiction or have not entered a formal contract for publication of a book of fiction by the deadline for submission of manuscripts to this competition. 

The following may also be eligible to join the competition:

a. Filipino writers who have published books in other genres or other disciplines;

b. Filipino writers who have published books of fiction with no ISBN.

These writers may submit their independently published work to the competition.

Staff and employees of KK and AdMU Press, including their family members and relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity, and incumbent students of the judge are disqualified from joining the competition.

2. What May Be Submitted

Interested writers may submit a book-length (at least 49 pages) manuscript of fiction: a novel, a collection of short stories or flash fiction, or a cohesive gathering of works of various forms that may fall under the general classification of fiction. The manuscript must be written in English; translations into English from Filipino and other local languages are accepted, but the entirety of the original must be unpublished. Each writer may submit only one manuscript to the competition. The manuscript as a whole must be unpublished, but individual pieces within the manuscript may have been previously published. If applicable, include an acknowledgments page with publication credits in the manuscript. Simultaneous submissions to other publishers and contests are not permitted, although inquiries about the status of their submissions may be emailed to the organizers six months after the deadline has passed. 

3. How to Format the Manuscript and Where to Submit

Each manuscript must be submitted both in hard copy and electronically. 

The hard copy (A4 paper size) must begin with a cover page that shows the manuscript’s title and the author’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and the word count of the manuscript. A second cover page must also be included, this time containing only the manuscript’s title and, if applicable, a table of contents. Please include a brief biography and, if applicable, a list of publication credits at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page. The manuscript must use a standard typeface in at least 11-point type; the manuscript may be 1.5-spaced or double-spaced. The hard copy of the manuscript must not be stapled or bound. Instead, the loose sheets must be placed inside an envelope.

Send the hard copy of the manuscript to:

Kritika Kultura

Department of English

School of Humanities

1/f De La Costa Hall

Ateneo de Manila University

Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108


Email the soft copy of the manuscript to (cc: For both the subject heading of the email and the filename of the submission, the author’s last name and the words “Book Prize” must be mentioned (for instance, Cruz_Book Prize). The following must be placed as in-line text in the email: the author’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and a brief biography; the word count of the manuscript; and a list of publication credits. The soft copy needs only one cover page, which includes the manuscript’s title and, if applicable, a table of contents. The manuscript must be submitted as an attachment, in .docx or .pdf format.

4. When to Submit

The hard copy of the submissions must be postmarked no later than Apr. 7, 2018 and the soft copy must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm (Philippine Standard Time) on Apr. 7, 2018.

5. Announcement of Winner

The result will be announced on September 2018. The winning manuscript will be published by Ateneo de Manila University Press, and the author will receive a modest cash award.

Please address inquiries to (cc:

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Clarivate), Scopus, EBSCO, and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

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