National Book Awards

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The National Book Awards is an annual recognition given by the Manila Critics Circle to the most outstanding Philippine books written, designed, and published. Since 1982, the award has been considered as a premier accolade to many distinguished writers, editors, and publishers who continuously produce avant-garde titles in the Philippine literary scene.

Contest rules

Aside from the books written or edited by a member of the Circle, all books that were written, edited, and published in the Philippines are qualified to run for the shortlist of awardees. On the other hand, the Circle's members who may have published books become eligible for the Members' Awards.

Winners of the award are given trophies and cash prizes from different private and government benefactors. The trophies that have been awarded by the Circle for the past years were designed and donated by Eduardo Castrillo (1981-83), Agnes Arellano (1984-87), Cesare and Jean Marie Syjuco (1989-91), Edgar Doctor (1992), Gino Gonzalez (1993-95), National Artist Napoleon Abueva (1996-99), and Tito Sanchez (2006).


The winning works are classified according to categories namely: anthology; art; art studies; bibliography; biography and autobiography; business and economics; cartoons; children's literature; comic book; cookbook and food writing; cultural criticism; dictionary; documentation; drama; editing; environment; essay; fiction; short fiction; film criticism; folklore; historical; historical essay; journalism; law; linguistics; literary criticism; literary history; literary studies; media; medicine; music; personal anthology; philosophy; photography; photojournalism; poetry; reference; sciences; screenplay; social sciences; special interest; theology; translation; travel; young adult literature; and design.

Special awards

Special awards are also given by the Circle such as: the Alfonso T. Ongpin Award For Best Book On Art; the Juan C. Laya Award for Fiction (in Philippine and foreign language); Citations; the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Publisher of the Year.

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