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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Anita Brookner, Dumaguete Natl Writers' Workshop

It's cough and colds time once again at the office--and I didn't stand a chance.

Everyone's sniffling and snarling at each other with the office bug in the air. Last Friday, I couldn't take the aching feeling in my bones.

This weekend, I took advantage of bed-rest and curled up with Anita Brookner's novel "A Closed Eye" for a little 'me' time. It struck me that "A Closed Eye" and Brookner's other works all have the same melancholy that Jean Rhys has in "Tigers are Better-Looking." Both the collection of short stories and novels were about silent, strung-out, kept women and their unnamed despair.

It reminded me of Ana's comment about my latest Travel Series poems--that there is a certain melancholia to them. I told her way back in Baguio it wasn't intentional. I just liked the way it sounded--sweet and at the same time, sad. As if the coupling was a necessary one. Happy memories always with the heart pangs.

Then a couple of weeks ago Marc and I had a telephone chat that left me realizing when exactly in my life should I start bringing up my writing "A" game. Meaning--in between the projects at work, family, friends, I've let the writing slide.

Marc mentioned someone at work who dreamt of going to Dumaguete workshop. I shared that Doug was just there last year--for 3 weeks of fun, frolic, and of course, the fellowship with fellows and other famous literary faces. When he asked me why I hadn't tried out--I gave my standard spiels which I had used since university--summer classes, my every year internships/work during summer months, no vacation leaves at my work today for the 3 week was a staple. The other workshops on the other hand took at most 2 weeks out of your life. But 3?

Ana and I in a separate phone conversation planned a reunion post-UP Workshop--what if we both tried out for Iligan (at MSU), DLSU IYAS (Bacolod), and of course the Dumaguete workshops? She even emailed me the links in practically 5 minutes. This planning was more, her going, "Cathy--you better do this." And me going, "um, okidoki?"

So, here I am--vascillating again--between my excuses of no leaves at work, to just "eh, wala akong bagong tula." As a reminder, I'm cross-posting the announcement for the workshop deadline below. And of course, as an invitation to other writers---calling try out!


National Artist for Literature Edith L. Tiempo has announced a March31 deadline for applications for fellowships to the 46th NationalWriters Workshop to be held in Dumaguete City from May 7 to 25.

Panelists this year are Gemino Abad, Alfred Yuson, Susan Lara, AnthonyTan, DM Reyes, Marjorie Evasco, and others. They will compose therevolving panel of writers together with National Artist forLiterature Edith Lopez Tiempo, and resident panelists César RuìzAquino, Bobby Flores Villasis, and Ernesto Superal Yee. Fifteen (15) fellowships are open for young writers all over thecountry. The first screening panel, composed of the workshop's residentwriters, selects the writing fellows for the summer based on themanuscripts submitted by the applicants.

These selected manuscriptsare forwarded to the Director of the Workshop, who does the finalscreening and formally approves the final lineup of writing fellows. The writing fellowship covers lodging for the full 22 days of theduration of the entire workshop, a modest stipend, one-way farereimbursement, and workshop manuscripts and reading materials.

The applicant must submit original manuscripts consisting of at leastthree to five short (3-5) stories, or three to five (3-5)essays/creative non-fiction, or two (2) one-act plays, or seven to ten(7-10) poems. Stories, poems, plays, and essays in English arepreferred. Only unpublished manuscripts are accepted. Works which havepreviously won in literary contests will not be accepted.

Other requirements include an application letter addressed to WorkshopDirector Dr. Edith Tiempo; a diskette or CD containing the varioussubmitted literary works encoded in Microsoft Word; a recommendationletter from a renowned writer or literature teacher; two 2x2 pictures;and a brief biodata or résumé. These must be sent before the 31 March 2007 deadline to Dr. EdithLopez Tiempo, National Writers Workshop Director, c/o CollegeAssurance Plan, 2nd Floor, CAP Building, Rizal Boulevard, 6200Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Accepted fellows are usually notified by postal mail, or email, or byphone call, although the announcement is usually published by majorPhilippine dailies. Interested parties may also apply for sit-in or auditing privileges.

The National Writers Workshop was established by Edith and EdilbertoTiempo in 1962, making it the longest-running creative writingworkshop in Asia. The 2007 edition is sponsored by the NationalCommission for Culture and the Arts, Silliman University, and CollegeAssurance Plan, in coordination with the Creative Writing FoundationInc. and the Dumaguete Literary Arts Service Group, Inc. Donors to thefellowship program include Senators Edgardo J. Angara and Mar Roxas aswell as former NCCA Chairman Jaime Laya and Ms. Erlinda Panlilio.


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