The pandemic continues, but so does the production of literature to help us make sense of the times. The Likhaan UP Institute of Creative Writing is opening the call for the third and fourth volumes of Dx Machina: Philippine Literature in the Time of COVID-19.

The journal will collate Writing and reading have been two of the many ways that Filipinos have used to cope with everything happening to the country during the pandemic. With the proliferation of fake news and the general distrust in information, many have turned to literature to get a sense of what is happening to their fellow Filipinos across social classes and sectors. The narratives exposed in these literature expose not only the healthcare problems caused by the pandemic, but also everything else from political to social and economic struggles. By gathering these writings, the Dx Machina journal aims to provide a diagnosis of our current condition.

Like last year, there will be two issues. The editor for the third volume is Roland Tolentino, while Vlaidmeir Gonzales will be for the fourth.

The guidelines for contribution are as follows:

• Contributed works can be written in English or Filipino, or other Philippine languages provided that they are accompanied by a translation in English or Filipino.
• Short stories can only have 12-20 pages, and must be double-spaced, using 12 points Times New Roman, New York, Palatino, Book Antiqua, Arial, or other similar typefaces. A collection of shorter fiction may also be accepted as long as they follow the suggested page count.
• Poems may be submitted as a suite of three or one long poem.
• Personal and academic essays follow the same typeface and page count as short stories.
• Comics must fit the specified dimension of 6”x9” and must be compatible with a black and white format. Works in this category are also expected not to exceed 20 pages.
• The journal is also accepting literary forms that respond to or interrogate ideas of what is “creative,” “critical,” or “literary” in the time of COVID-19.
• Solicited works may also be accepted.
• The contribution should not be published in print or online, or must not have been submitted to any other publication at the time of consideration. The contribution will be published first in the Dx Machina journal if it is accepted.
The works that will be collated in the anthology are expected to involve or be similar to one or more of the following themes:
• The writing process and literary production during the pandemic
• Struggles and experiences of different social classes and sectors in relation to the pandemic, particularly healthcare and economic issues
• Critiques on the work of creating a narrative for the people during a pandemic
• Local and national policies that were developed in response to COVID-19
• Political struggles arising in the Philippines in the last year
• Critique on literature that has been written about the pandemic
• Changes or the lack thereof in the Philippines’ situation

Works are to be submitted as an editable document (.doc) at The deadline for contribution to the third volume is March 31, 2021, and May 31, 2021 for the fourth volume.