The first time we had a writing workshop for children was in 2011, when members of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING) served as individual mentors to nine elementary students from the University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) over three Saturdays, ultimately resulting in the publication of a chapbook with cover by Gigi Yia and art by Mary Rose Velmonte.
The next writing workshop was held in 2013, a half-day seminar on how to write alternative and speculative fiction, for Marikina students.
Compared to the 2013 writing workshop, the 2011 writing workshop was held over a longer period of time, was more structured, more interactive, and had more writing activities. The participants also benefitted from one-on-one mentoring from the following Kuting members, all storytellers and published authors themselves:
- Joem Antonio
- Dr. Lalaine F. Yanilla Aquino
- Ime Morales Aznar
- Felinda Bagas
- Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad
- Liwliwa Malabed
- Boogie Mortel
- Sierra Mae Paraan
- Augie Rivera
- Michael Jude “MJ” Tumamac
In addition, the participants were already part of a community, since they all went to the same school, and surely this community of support was a factor in encouraging them to start writing, and more importantly, write to finish.
As a result, participants were able to come up with a substantial collection: 3 short stories in English, 1 short story in Filipino, and 11 poems.
This January 2016, we’re organizing another writing workshop for children (Theme: stories set in the Bayong ng Kuting world), and hope that this would again result in an overflow of new works. As with previous writing workshops, authors will own copyright to their works. The goal of the workshop is to provide a structured, interactive mentoring experience for participants to help them start writing, and more importantly, write to finish. Hopefully, the workshop will help the participants find the discipline as well as a community of support to guide them towards a completed work, and ultimately, the publication of their first, or their next, book.
The main difference between this 2016 workshop and the 2011 workshop is that the 2016 workshop will be held online. While participants will not have individual mentors, kid-lit authors Gabriela Lee, Rhandee Garlitos, and Robert Magnuson will share their own experiences about writing for children. Mina V. Esguerra, who has successfully championed many writers into becoming published authors, will chair the class.
See you there.