Events: Bookshelf PH launches Things Left Unsaid, a short contest for literary letter writing

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” croons Alfred Lord Tennyson in his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” In Things Left Unsaid: A writing contest for letter writing, Bookshelf PH encourages authors to express all the matters of the heart that were put aside for one reason or another and get the chance to hear them expressively rendered through an audiobook.


Time is as elusive as courage. Whether it was to a childhood crush or a committed relationship that ended in flames, we all have words that were left hanging–out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps your untold soliloquy is a confession of love or a heartfelt apology. Maybe it’s a missed opportunity for closure or a message you wish you sent to the one who got away. Whatever the situation, maybe it’s time those words see the light of day.


Gloryen Limbo, the project head of Things Left Unsaid has this to say about the components of a well-written letter: “Writing, in general, is a familiar activity for many, but writing that’s able to harness raw emotion from the soul–now that’s where it gets more interesting and fun, and that’s exactly what we’d like to highlight through this contest.”

The Filipino media landscape is not hugot-deficient. From literature to film and even radio, Filipinos are familiar with the bittersweet feeling that comes with love. This romantic tradition comes in all shapes and sizes too because everyone feels love–and with it, pain. But that need not be a bad thing because hugot content is, in many ways, cathartic for both the writer and the reader. Putting your words into writing makes it feel real, which makes it easier to overcome. 

“​​Take this opportunity to put all those disregarded emotions out into the universe. Writing it out can be a cathartic experience, not just for you, but for all the readers who resonate with your messages as well. Even if the person you’re addressing it to someone who never hears your words, maybe someone who needs them will,” said Limbo. 

The contest is calling for writers to submit non-fiction letters addressed to their person of choice with the option to remain anonymous with a pen name. Works can also be written in English, Filipino, or even Taglish. Winners will be given the opportunity to have their manuscript developed and prepared by Bookshelf PH, have it professionally recorded, be credited as an author and associate producer of the book, cast voice actors and actresses from our talent pool, and be distributed through Bookshelf PH’s official channels. Additionally, winners will receive continuing professional development support as a Bookshelf PH author.

The contest will run from July 23 to August 13, 2021 with submissions sent to Submit with the subject title “Things Left Unsaid – NAME” and attach your letter, resume, bio, and photo. The winners will be announced on August 20, 2021 on Bookshelf PH’s socials. Rest assured that for those who remain anonymous, we will be announcing the chosen pen names.

This contest is the perfect opportunity for authors to express themselves through non-fiction prose, and because it’s all about your personal experience, anyone can participate. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable is a daunting but rewarding task. Through exploring your own vulnerability, you may also be able to help others explore theirs.

Partner with adobo Magazine

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button