The Reading Spree

Flipping pages and finding common denominators

Category: Industry (Page 1 of 2)

2017: A Reading (and Writing) Odyssey

I don’t know about you, but I’m so looking forward to the end of 2017. It’s been such an exhausting and depressing year for humanity. Everything‘s been exhausting: from daily life to most of what I’ve been reading on headlines and social media, to everything in local and global politics. Some days, I feel like not getting out of bed at all.

Thank goodness for books, then.

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Applying for a National Writing Workshop: A Non-Definitive Guide

I think I’ve mentioned only once on this blog that I was a creative nonfiction writing fellow for this year’s UST National Writers’ Workshop. But I know I’ve talked about it to death the past couple months and posted endlessly on social media, so bear with me because this is the last time I’ll talk about it. 😉

I really didn’t think I’d get in. Countless writers from around the country submit their manuscripts every year to UST, as well as for the UP, DLSU, Ateneo, Silliman and Iligan national workshops; and competition’s always tight. Plus there’s the mentorship/patronage stuff I talked about before, which I think exists in every institution, not just in creative writing.

Those who know me well also know I was terrified. It was my first-ever national workshop, and before that I relied only on small and comfortable class workshops. I didn’t know anyone at UST except for one professor, and we met only once. I’ve heard horror stories of fellows getting thoroughly chewed out at workshops like these, of panelists on their best diva behavior, of the high attrition rate of writers post-workshop.

But it all worked out in the end. I had an amazing time and learned so much. It’s always good to hear other viewpoints, find holes in your work that you didn’t know existed, and widen your writing-centric support system.

I think a co-fellow got it right when he said we still have a high from the workshop. So we were surprised when the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (UST CCWLS) announced it was already accepting applications for next year’s workshop. Break-up stage na, mga bes.

(Several other calls for submission have popped up afterward, like the one for the 57th UP National Writers’ Workshop. Awards season is also underway, with this year’s Palancas in the bag, and the Philippines Graphic‘s Nick Joaquin Literary Awards scheduled on September 13.)

Here’s the official poster for the 2018 UST workshop, if you’re interested.

(Go to the UST CCWLS Facebook page for more info, and to see the photos and videos from this year’s workshop.)

I had to answer a lot of questions when I got back, mostly about applying for writing fellowships and how the workshop went. You can say this is my attempt to answer everything. Since I’ve only been to the UST workshop, that serves as my main reference. I guess some items could apply to other national workshops as well, or even journal/anthology submissions.

Also, I have creative nonfiction writers and manuscripts in mind for this blog, but I think some advice could work for writers in other genres, too.

Lastly, I don’t guarantee your acceptance into any workshop. Walang sisihan, ha.

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Column: E or Tree? Of Books and E-Books.

So I thought I already posted my last blog update for the year. Sorry; I’m taking that back. This is the last one for 2014. 🙂

A fellow tech writer asked me for my views on the long-running battle between print books and e-books. This was my response.

(Reposted with permission from 2nd Opinion. You can find the original post here, and it’s also on the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Add ’em up on Facebook, too!)

See? They can play nice. “e-book | e-reader” by Cristian Eslava. (via Flickr and CC BY-SA 2.0)

“E” or Tree?
Why not use both?
by KC Calpo

There are three specific words that I’ve been hearing for years, words that almost automatically get an eye roll in response.

“Print is dead.”

Is it, really? I don’t think so. Not yet, anyway. Give it a few extra decades, maybe.

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A Day Of Fantastic Lit: POPtastik Pinoy!

I’m the kind of person who often gets dragged by friends and family to various events at the last minute (a.k.a. kaladkarin!), or gets notified just a few days before. I rarely get to mark personal dates in advance, or know about things before they happen. This also means I miss out on a lot of events — and I’ve already missed out on several book/lit events this year because I wasn’t really paying attention to what’s going on. 😛

A few days ago, I got an e-mail that (thankfully) broke that long passive/reactionary streak. November 15, 2013 has been blocked off on my calendar, and readers/writers should do so, too.

What’s going to happen on that particular Friday? Check it out:

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It Starts Tomorrow!

Are you going? (Source)

Almost forgot about this book fair! Still thinking about going. I went to the last two fairs, and left with a considerable book haul. Am dead broke this year, but I’ve never attended the talks/special events.

If I do decide to go… see you there! If not, well, you can tell me all about it. And there’s always next year. 🙂

This Month’s Link Love!

I’m still working on the next bulk book review (already on the last book!), and I just know it’ll take a while. Hopefully I’ll post something new by the end of the month!

To “tide you over”, here are some of the latest (and… well, not-so-latest) developments, news items and discoveries in the world of words.

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Sunday Slowdown.

For me, Sundays are real special. It’s the only day in the week that’s completely free of work and other professional/personal obligations. I can spend the whole day doing what I like, whenever and however I want.

This Sunday, I chose to stay in; relax; and go through my e-mail, RSS/social media feeds and saved articles/pages. (Yeah. I like living a boring life.) I save so much online material, but rarely have the time to read them all (or, OK, some of them). Today, I can do that; time for a quick run-through — and a new and more focused Snippets format!

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Snippets #9.

Read up!




More next time. Nahihilo na ako. 😛

Snippets #8.

A month after my last link list, Snippets is (finally) back!

Yeah. It’s a long list. Had to dig deep into my RSS feed, social media feeds and Pocket list to find the ones I found interesting and share-worthy. Then I had to review everything and trim the list down, which called for a few more hours of work. 😛 The links included here kept me reading, writing, WANTing, organizing, and planning during the holidays and in recent weeks; hope they do the same for you. Enjoy!

Oldies but goodies

December 2012

Snippets #7.

The past week has given me (and now, you) lots of awesome headlines.


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