LIKHAAN: The UP Institute of Creative Writing has announced the names of the finalists for the 2017 Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award (MGBFBA). Now on its 17th year, the MGBFBA honors the best first book by an up and coming writer in the Philippines, alternatingly awarding works in Filipino and English, and judged by some of our foremost writers and critics.
This year’s MGBFBA focuses on first books in English that came out between 2015 and 2016. From the many submissions, four were selected as finalists. These are The Reddest Herring by Francisco Guevara, Writing Naked: A Memoir by Arnie Quibranza Mejia, All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan, and Mariposa Gang and Other Stories by Catherine Torres.
Three of this years’ finalists are from the UST Publishing House (The Reddest Herring, Writing Naked: A Memoir, and Mariposa Gang and Other Stories), while All My Lonely Islands is published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. These four shortlisted works encompass the genres of poetry, short story, novel, and creative non-fiction.
The winner of the 2017 MGBFBA will be announced during the awarding ceremony to be held on December 1, 2017, 4 to 6pm, at the Pres. B.M.S. Gonzales Room (SR 108) at the UP Hotel in U.P. Diliman. An open forum will be held where the authors (or a representative of the author’s family) will talk about the book and the writing process and inspiration behind it. The winner of the award will be announced after the open forum.
The board of judges for this year’s MGBFBA is comprised of Dr. Gemino H. Abad, Prof. Randy David, and Sarge Lacuesta. Dr. Abad is the head judge.
The MGBFBA starts off the three-part celebration of the annual UP Writers Night, and is followed by the launch of the UP ICW’s Likhaan 11 anthology and the Writers Night proper, which this year will be hosted anew by Gou De Jesus, and include a poetry slam segment and a performance by SAGO frontman and Palanca-winning writer Lourd De Veyra. Writers Night 2017 is a free-admission event; everyone is invited to come.