The Young Writer’s Workshop 2016

The DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) in partnership with the Libraries’ American Corner invited interested creative young writers for a workshop. This was held on 16 April 2016, Saturday from 9:00AM - 1:30PM at the 13th floor of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall. Around 90 children ages 9-17 registered to join the session. The workshop was aimed to assist promising young writers in developing their creative skills and techniques in writing creative nonfiction (e.g., personal essay, journal or blog entry).

Invited teacher-facilitators for this workshop were Susan Lara, Timothy Montes and Genaro Gojo Cruz. Young writers ages 15-17 were mentored by Susan Lara, a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She won a Don Carlos Palanca Award First Prize for her short story, "The Reprieve," and the National Book Awards for Fiction for her collection Letting Go and Other Stories. She has attended the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, USA, and Seminar on Contemporary British Writing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Lara served as the Director of the Silliman National Writers Workshop in 2013-2014. She was also awarded the 2015 Gawad Balagtas for Fiction given by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL, or the Writers Union of the Philippines).

Participants ages 12-14 were facilitated by Timothy Montes. Tim has received national literary awards like the Don Carlos Palanca Awards, Graphic, Free Press, and the Writers Prize from the National Commission for Culture & the Arts. He teaches in the Department of Literature at the DLSU Manila. He is the 2016 Bienvenido N. Santos Writing Fellow.

As for the aspiring writers ages 9-11, they were assisted and guided by Genaro Gojo Cruz, an award-winning writer of stories for children. His books include: Ang Lumang Aparadoni Lola; Si Nanay Mining at ang Tatlong Kuting; Bahaghari; Ang Aking Pamilya; Ang Paborito Kong Meryenda; Mga Laruang Papel; Ang Sulatan; Ang Dyip ni Mang Tomas and Mahabang-mahabang-mahaba, among many others. His Connect the Dots o Kung Paano Ko Kinulayan ang Buhay Ko is a best-selling personal essay book. He won the 2016 PBBY-Salanga Grand Prize for Makinang Makinang, a tale about a child’s encounter with his mother’s sewing machine. He is the Associate Director for Children’s Literature of the DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. He also teaches at the DLSU Manila and Philippine Normal University.

The workshop was supplemented by a storytelling hour and a tour of the library exhibit entitled, Pamana ng Titik at Kwento: Special Collections on Philippine Literature.