Palanca Awards, Grammar, and the Business of Writing

Isagani Cruz wrote about his experience as a judge [Full-Length Play Category] of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Philstar, Sept 5, 2002), and he gave tips on how to improve your chances of winning a Palanca award:

* At least 50 pages of double-spaced text (full-length play)
* Use good grammar (especially in stage directions) ~ he ended up reading only six of the fourteen entries in whole
* consistency of language per character
* avoid trite images and pretentious figures of speech

He focused on the importance of grammar, and I got irked by this line:

A writer that does not know the grammatical or structural rules of a language has no business writing in that language.

Hmmm. Just a paragraph before that he wrote:

Action is still defined even with all the advances in technology and postmodern theories, the way it was defined by Aristotle, namely, as the thing that move the play forward.

I dunno. That doesn't sound grammatically correct. Angel says it might just have been a typo. But still...

If you like to write, then write. Even if your speling is bad. Even if your gramer s wrong. Afterall, if you have a different accent or if you mix your he's and she's or your is's and are's, does that mean you have no business speaking in that language? Hmph! "Hindi ako mayabang..." ;-)

[ First posted on 09/05/2002 by Manuel Viloria ]

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