Wednesday, July 28, 2010


so the past few weeks have been particularly rough on the junior faculty members of the department. and my personal budget's a mess because of all the unexpected costs incurred trying to meet the many demands of the department's activities. and i've been ill due to all the physical and emotional stress. and we are all still waiting to be properly acknowledged for all the work we've done. and i've been asking myself if i really want to stay in a community that sees us more as pledges than colleagues. and i've been wondering if this is the life i want for myself. and then this morning, out of nowhere, a message appears in my facebook account. and this is how it goes.

Dear Sir Butch,

Do you remember back in '07, you told me that I should write more? (I took your Flash Fiction CW10 class). I just wanted to say that it took a couple of years before I could really take it seriously (being busy with the Engineering studies) and but I've always wanted to continue writing during my free time. So I made it so it would be manageable (well, at least, as best as I could).

I've attached a link to my online journal here. I hope you could check it out and give your own input so that I can develop further. I may have forgotten some of the lessons in writing fiction (you'll notice) -- but I find I've started to lean towards gonzo journalism lately anyway.

Just wanted to drop in and thank you for the experience in Creative Writing. It was so worth it :D How's the Press doing? Hope you are well!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

50th UP National Writers Workshop Call for Applications

LIKHAAN: The University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing (UP ICW) is now accepting applications for the 50th UP National Writers Workshop to be held in Baguio City in April 2011.

The director of the 2011 workshop is Likhaan Fellow Jun Cruz Reyes. The Advisers, Fellows, and Associates of the UP ICW comprise the workshop panel. These are Gemino Abad, UP ICW Director Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, J. Neil Garcia, Charlson Ong, Conchitina Cruz, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera Jr., Rolando Tolentino, Mario Miclat, and Romulo Baquiran Jr.

The following are the submission guidelines:

QUALIFICATIONS – To qualify, applicants: (1) must be writers in English or Filipino; (2) must have attended at least one creative writing workshop (national/regional, including the UP National Writers Workshops), or earned a degree in Creative Writing/Malikhaing Pagsulat, or won at least one national/international literary award; (3) must have published at least three poems or two short stories or two pieces of creative nonfiction in reputable collections or anthologies, journals, magazines (including campus publications), or refereed Internet web magazines, or have had a play staged. Writers who have been fellows at any of the UP National Writers Workshops are eligible. Some of these qualifications may be waived in exceptionally meritorious cases, with the unanimous concurrence of the UP ICW Fellows, Associates, and Advisers.
REQUIREMENTS – Applicants must submit (1) five copies plus digital file (12 points, double-spaced, 8 x 11) of one original unpublished manuscript (short story, poem, creative nonfiction, or play) to be discussed during the workshop – this manuscript should not have been submitted to any other workshop, and should be part of a larger work in progress; (2) five copies plus digital file (12 points, double-spaced, 8 x 11) of an essay on "What I write, how, and why?" in relation to the work in progress. This essay will be the basis for a 20-minute presentation that the fellow is expected to do during the workshop; (3) photocopies of the applicant’s published work, including publication details; and (4) application form (available at the UP ICW office in UP Diliman and on the ICW-maintained website

Only writers who go through the complete application process will be considered for fellowship.

Fellows must be present for the full duration of the weeklong workshop.

All fellows are entitled to a modest stipend, free hotel accommodation, and free transportation from UP Diliman to Baguio City and back.

The deadline for submission is October 30, 2010.

The U.P. National Writers Workshop was reformatted five years ago to address a dearth in the mentoring of writers in mid-career. What before was a workshop that honed emerging talent mostly from the nation’s universities and colleges, the new workshop now focuses on writers who have already published, or are on the verge of publishing, a book or have won major literary awards. In effect, the new format caters to writers who have moved up from the beginner level.

The UP ICW is the only institution that offers a workshop of this caliber in the country. The function for beginner writers that the UP ICW vacated for the new workshop format is filled by the workshops held by other writing centers from the other universities in the country.

Aside from subjecting works in progress to workshops with the most admired names in Philippine contemporary literature, the UP National Writers Workshop provides a venue for discussion of the participants’ respective writing processes. It also allows participants to interact with local writers through special activities organized by the UP ICW and Baguio-based groups. And as an outreach activity, the UP ICW has partnered with the University of the Philippines Baguio to hold an annual public lecture by an eminent writer. The lecture coincides with the workshop and is held in universities and colleges in and around Baguio City.

For inquiries, call 922-1830 and ask for Butch Guerrero.