The National Book Development Board (NBDB), a government agency mandated to promote book readership and the development of the local book industry, reports that a total of 24 authors have submitted their applications for book writing grants under the “Filipino Authors’ Trust Fund.” Out of the total, 11 fall under the “Novel” category while 8 aspiring authors submitted their partial manuscripts on the “Environment and Biodiversity” genre. Also, four writers submitted entries under the “Health and Wellness” category while one sent a collection of poems. The deadline for submission of entries was on August 15.

The first batch of grantees under the National Book Development Trust Fund will be announced during the Philippine Book Development Month slated November this year.

The Filipino Authors’ Trust Fund was established last March 2009 by virtue of Republic Act 9521 which authorizes the creation of a ₱100-million trust fund under the NBDB to support Filipino authorship and help improve both the quality and quantity of locally-generated literature. For 2011, the Book Board decided to award financial grants to three (3) deserving Filipino authors whose work touch on the following topics: a.) Health and Wellness, b.) Environment and Biodiversity and c.) an English translation of a novel originally written in a regional dialect or a novel in English penned by an author based in the provinces. Each winning applicant will be given a financial grant amounting to P200,000.

With the final submission of entries, the NBDB is currently forming a panel of book experts to examine and select the most promising manuscript. The first batch of aspiring book authors to receive financial grants under the National Book Development Trust Fund will be announced this coming November during the National Book Awards festivities.