21 Apr

TRAVEL THE WRITE WAY: TURN YOUR VACATIONS INTO TRAVEL ARTICLES

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If you’re like the others who have been bitten by the travel bug, you would surely get a thrill out of traveling to a new destination that you can tick off your bucket list. Embarking on a new travel adventure would be more meaningful if you record your experiences.

As you indulge your spirit of wanderlust this summer, let Writer’s Block Philippines help you arm yourself with the knowledge on how to turn your vacations into travel articles through its upcoming workshop, “Travel the Write Way” on May 25 (Sunday), 11am-6pm in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City.

The founders of WBP, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, who have been doing writing workshops since 2010 will facilitate the event. “The workshop will serve as an introductory for aspiring writers who want to see their names in print,” shares Santos, an independent journalist and foreign correspondent who is also the Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos. “We will discuss the anatomy of a travel feature and share some writing tips and tricks.”

“It is important to wear your writer’s hat even during vacations, as you can find stories anywhere and everywhere,” reveals Sarthou-Lainez who is also a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. “We plan to instill this mindset to the workshop participants who will also learn the various opportunities on how to get paid to travel the world.”

The workshop is open to participants who are 18 years old and above—both aspiring writers who want to get published and professional writers who want to get additional learning.

Registration is now open and there are only limited slots available! For inquiries and reservations, email [email protected] or contact 0917.397.9927. Visit www.writersblockphilippines.com for more details.

This event is made possible by Travelife Magazine, ClicktheCity.com, WheninManila.com, The Travel Club, Eagle Creek, and Dong-A.

21 Apr

Sign-up for our upcoming travel writing workshop, “Travel the Write Way”

Travel the Write Way

If you’re like the others who have been bitten by the travel bug, you would surely get a thrill out of traveling to a new destination that you can tick off your bucket list. Embarking on a new travel adventure would be more meaningful if you record your experiences.

As you indulge your spirit of wanderlust this summer, let Writer’s Block Philippines help you arm yourself with the knowledge on how to turn your vacations into travel articles through its upcoming workshop, “Travel the Write Way” on May 25 (Sunday), 11am-6pm in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City.

The founders of WBP, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, who have been doing writing workshops since 2010 will facilitate the event. “The workshop will serve as an introductory for aspiring writers who want to see their names in print,” shares Santos, an independent journalist and foreign correspondent who is also the Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos. “We will discuss the anatomy of a travel feature and share some writing tips and tricks.”

“It is important to wear your writer’s hat even during vacations, as you can find stories anywhere and everywhere,” reveals Sarthou-Lainez who is also a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. “We plan to instill this mindset to the workshop participants who will also learn the various opportunities on how to get paid to travel the world.”

The workshop is open to participants who are 18 years old and above—both aspiring writers who want to get published and professional writers who want to get additional learning.

Registration is now open and there are only limited slots available! For inquiries and reservations, email [email protected] or contact 0917.397.9927. Visit www.writersblockphilippines.com for more details.

This event is made possible by Travelife Magazine, ClicktheCity.com, WheninManila.com, The Travel Club, Eagle Creek, and Dong-A.

15 Apr

64th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards Now Accepting Entries, Facilitates Submission

CPMA LOGO

Now on its 64th year, the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (the Palanca Awards), the most prestigious and longest-running literary competition in the Philippines, is now accepting entries for its annual literary tilt.

This year, the Palanca Awards has enhanced­­­ its submission system to facilitate the submission of entries, particularly for aspiring and professional literary artists who wish to join the competition but are based in the provinces or overseas. Contestants will no longer be required to submit hard copies of entries, which saves on printing and courier service costs.

Online submission to the 64th Palanca Awards may be done through the official website,www.palancaawards.com.ph, where the contest documents may be downloaded. The accomplished forms and entries may then be uploaded and submitted through the website. To complete the submission process, hard copies of the notarized contest documents must be submitted to any of the following addresses: (1) Unit 603, 6th Floor Park Trade Centre Bldg., 1716 Investment Drive Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City; or (2) Unit 3G, OPL Bldg., 100 C. Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati City. The contest rules are also posted on the Palanca Awards Facebook page at www.facebook.com/palancaawards.

Organized and sponsored by the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc., the 64th Palanca Awards is accepting entries in the following categories:

  • English Division – Short Story, Short Story for Children, Essay, Poetry, Poetry Written for Children, One-act Play, and Full-length Play;
  • Filipino Division – Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tula para sa mga Bata, Dulang May Isang Yugto, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, at Dulang Pampelikula;
  • Regional Languages Division – Short Story-Cebuano, Short Story-Hiligaynon, and Short Story-Iluko.

In addition, the Palanca Awards welcomes submissions for the Kabataan Division, which specifically caters to young writers below 18 years old as of 30 April 2014. This year’s Kabataan Division theme is, “How can the youth help in natural disaster preparedness in the country?” for the English category and “Paano makatutulong ang mga kabataan sa paghahanda ng bayan para sa mga kalamidad?” for the Filipino category.

Notably, as the Novel and Nobela categories are only accepting entries every two years, they will be closed for this year’s competition since it was offered in2013.

Aspiring and professional writers may submit only one entry per category. All entries must be submitted on or before the contest deadline as stated in the contest rules. Winners will be awarded at a special ceremony to be held on 1 September 2014.

Established in 1950 to honor the legacy of businessman and philanthropist Don Carlos Palanca, Sr., the Palanca Awards aims to develop Philippine Literature by providing incentives for writers to craft their most outstanding literary works and by being a treasury of these literary gems.

09 Apr

TRAVEL THE WRITE WAY: Turn Your Vacations into Travel Articles

Travel the Write Way

GUIDE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Travel the Write Way: Turn Your Vacations Into Travel Articles
When: May 25, 2014 (Sunday),
11PM to 6PM
Where: Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City
 
Who is this workshop for?

Often times, when you travel to another country or visit one of our many islands, the place becomes not just a tourist destination, but an object of deep affection—a fierce source of pride, an overwhelming attachment, or a deep source of memories and inspiration.

Vacations and beautiful places bring out a multitude of emotions—ranging from adrenaline rushes, nostalgia, awe—sometimes even humility at the majesty of nature when we see what she has created or at the sheer brilliance of the human mind which has created many man-made wonders.

If you’ve ever travelled to another place, felt this way and wanted to write about it, “Travel the Write Way” will help you get started on another journey—one where you can turn your vacations into travel articles.

What can I learn from this workshop?

The great thing about “Travel the Write Way” is that it is basic enough to serve as an introductory course for aspiring writers, but comprehensive enough to be a source of additional learning for those who are already writing professionally.

Check out what we have lined up for “Travel the Write Way”:

I. Introduction to Travel Writing

After we hope to have inspired your wanderlust enough, we go what exactly a travel feature is, what does it seek to do and differentiating between a travel feature and an advertorial.

II. Anatomy of a Travel Feature

We’ll take a look at the different travel writing formats and how format can dictate tone, angle and even length of the article. We’ll also go into a bit of the must-haves of each travel feature like an attention grabbing lead, a sidebar, and other useful information.

III. Travel Writing Tips & Tricks 

A travel assignment requires you to explore a place on a deeper level versus traveling as a tourist. That is a task that requires you to have certain skills like note-taking, recording details, taking and documenting pictures—while still enjoying your trip.

We’ll talk about media “fam” tours (familiarization tours) and how to get meatier stories out of the usual press tours.

IV.Getting Published

Together we will discover the many opportunities for the travel writer and how you can get paid to travel the world.

V.Writing session & Critique

No writing workshop would be complete without a writing session. Be ready to write your own lead and generate additional story angles when we brainstorm with others.

What does the P1,800 workshop fee cover?

The P1,800 per head includes the course fee and light snacks.

How can I reserve a slot and settle the workshop fee?

To reserve a slot, enter your name and contact information in our form and then pay for the workshop via bank deposit. Details as follows.

Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

Once you’ve made the deposit, please email us a copy of the deposit slip so we can send you an Acknowledgment Receipt.

Who is conducting the workshop?

The workshop will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a group of editors and communicators who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in freelance lifestyle and corporate writing.

 Ana P. Santos: reproductive health rights and women’s issues

Ana has had over 12 years experience in advertising and marketing communications. Her last position was Assistant Vice President of a financial institution.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women in armed conflict, Ana has received media grants from Newsbreak, Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Press Institute to cover population and development issues. Most recently, she was awarded an international reporting grant by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, D.C. to do a series of stories about Filipinas working as nannies in Dubai entitled, “Who Takes Care of Nanny’s Children?”.

Ana maintains a regular column on Rappler called, “DASH of SAS” (a spin-off of her website, Sex and Sensibilities.com) and a column in Working Mom called, “Happy Even After”. She is also the Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

Nikka Sarthou: lifestyle / travel

Nikka has around 10 years of experience in writing for various online and print publications, as well as developing content for corporate clients. Her last corporate post was Associate Lifestyle Editor at a major publishing company.

Currently, Nikka is a full-time freelance writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts. She is a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. She regularly writes for GMA News Online as well.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes. Laptops are not recommended though as power outlets will be limited. As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket. Also bring a story idea to work on during the writing activity or bring anything from a favorite travel destination—one that has been checked off or one that remains on your bucket list to give you additional inspiration.

Who do I contact for more information about the workshop?

You can call us through this number (0917) 397.9927 or email [email protected] You can also check the www.writersblockphilippines.com.

17 Mar

The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens

The Write Stuff

Do you dream of being a writer when you grow up? Do you enjoy scribbling stories in your notebook? Or do you have an online journal or blog?

 

Sign up for “The Write Stuff: A writing lab for teens” by Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) and do something creative and fun this summer.

 

It doesn’t matter whether you have writing experience or not, the important thing is to have that interest in writing—that would be a good start.

 

Youngsters between 12 to 17 years old can sign up for our half-day writing workshop on April 5 (Saturday), 1-5pm in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. This workshop aims to develop your writing skills by helping you find your writer’s voice, learning relevant writing techniques, and doing writing drills.

 

The event will be facilitated by the founders of WBP, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez who have been doing writing workshops since 2010. “Ever since then, it has been our advocacy to help aspiring writers see their names in print, as well as encourage teens to bring out the inner writers in them,” shares Santos.

 

Since we live in the digital age and tech is virtually the second language of the youth, we believe it is also important to give teenagers guidelines on how to write online, especially on social media sites. Features Editor of ClicktheCity.com, Bea Acosta, will share more tips about this subject matter during the workshop.

 

Anna Limon, Editor-in-Chief of juice.ph will talk about what the writer’s voice is and how to find yours. She’s thinking of including cats and Internet in her presentation, but we’ll find out for sure on the actual workshop day.

 

“It’s all about flexing your writing muscles to get you into the writing groove, and that’s what we’ll do in this writing lab for teens,” reveals Sarthou-Lainez.

 

Here’s the course outline for The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens.

I. Is writing a skill or a talent?

II. What is the writer’s voice and how do I find mine?

III. Technology as the language of the youth

  • Writing for social media
  • Creating your brand online

IV. How do I get started?

V. Writing Drills and Exercises

There are only limited slots available so register now!

For more information about the workshop, contact us through this number (0917) 397.9927 or email [email protected] You can also visit www.writersblockphilippines.com.

This event is in partnership with Fully Booked, ClicktheCity.com, and Travelife magazine.

04 Mar

We’re launching “Writing Wednesdays!”

WBP Writing Wednesdays posterWRITER’S BLOCK PHILIPPINES is brewing up a series of events in Commune!

You’re invited to a meet-and-greet event with the ladies of Writer’s Block Philippines! We finally found the perfect place where we can simply talk shop and touch base with other people from the industry. Be at the launch and find out what we have in store for you this 2014.

March 12, 2014 (Wednesday), 6:30-8:30pm
Commune Café – Liberty Center, 104 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Makati City

This event is FREE!

To register, accomplish this form. For other inquiries, email [email protected] or contact 0917.397.9927.

26 Feb

Feature Writing 101

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Guide to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the details of the workshop?
What: Feature Writing 101
(FW101)
When: March 22, 2014 (Saturday), 10AM to 5PM
Where: Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City 

What does the P1,800 course fee cover?
The P1,800 per head course fee covers course fee and the workshop kit.

How can I register and pay for the workshop?
You may email or text us your complete name, email address and contact information so we can reserve a slot for you. However, to confirm your slot, kindly settle the workshop fee by making a deposit to our bank account. Details as follows:

Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

Once you’ve made the deposit, please email us a copy of the deposit slip so we can send you an Acknowledgment Receipt.

How will this workshop benefit me if I am –
An aspiring writer who has not yet been published

“FW101” aims to help you find your writer’s voice and uncover your writing style. The discussions will tackle common writing mistakes and common do’s and don’ts. The different feature stories and the effective ways of developing and writing a lead and storyline will also be discussed.

Already working as a freelance or full-time writer

We have had many participants who are already freelance or full-time writers. They welcome the chance to polish their writing techniques and uncover new ones. They also mostly enjoy and benefit from the group session where is each person’s work is critiqued.

What does the workshop cover?

Introduction: Writer’s Block Founders

The founders of Writer’s Block Philippines collectively have close to two decades of experience in freelance writing. Together, their works on lifestyle, travel, arts & culture, advocacy, sex & relationships, and women’s issues have been extensively published both locally and internationally.

Now that they have made freelance writing their full-time job, they will answer the questions they are most commonly asked: why freelance? And how do you make money from writing?

News vs. Features

We read, watch and listen to news all the time so we may all—in one way or another—be familiar with news writing, but what exactly is feature writing? Relating it to the more familiar writing form of news, we will talk about the differences between news and feature articles and cite examples of award-winning features.

Different Kinds of Feature Stories

From the personality feature to the travel and food feature, we will take you through the kinds of feature articles, what each should have, and how to make each one compelling, moving and relevant.

Finding a Story Angle

They say that there are many ways to skin a cat and in this exercise-led discussion, you will find out that there are many ways to tell a story. Just how many? That’s what this exercise aims to find out.

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the right questions is key to getting a good story.  In this session, we will discuss what questions you should ask yourself before you take on an assignment and how to conduct good interviews.

Writing Techniques and Rituals

Intimidated by that blank piece of paper or that blinking cursor? We’ll talk about the different ways to get those creative juices flowing and some books that might help.

Writing a Lead

The lead is the first thing you will read in a story and, depending on how well it is written, can make you decide whether or not you want to go on reading.  In this part of the workshop, we will talk about writing a good lead and its main function in storytelling.

Exercise: Writing Your Story

We’ve gotten our story angles, our story material, and our lead. Now, let’s write the rest of the story. Participants will be given time to write a short feature. The group will break into small groups and discuss the piece for constructive feedback and critique.

Who is conducting the workshop?

The workshop will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a group of freelance writers who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in freelance writing.

Website: www.writersblockphilippines.com

Ana Santos: sexual health rights and women’s issues

Ana has had over 12 years experience in advertising and marketing communications. Her last position was Assistant Vice President of a financial institution.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women in armed conflict, Ana has received media grants from Newsbreak, Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Press Institute to cover population and development issues.

She is also the Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

Nikka Sarthou: lifestyle / travel

Nikka has over 10 years of experience in writing for various online and print publications, as well as developing content for corporate clients. Her last corporate post was Associate Lifestyle Editor at a major publishing company.

Currently, Nikka is a full-time freelance writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts. She is a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. She regularly writes for GMA News Online as well.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes. Laptops are not recommended though as power outlets will be limited. As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket. Also bring a story idea to work on during the writing activity.

Who do I contact for more information about the workshop?

You can call us through this number (0917) 397.9927 or email [email protected]. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines at www.writersblockphilippines.com

27 Jan
An Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing

An Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing

Have you ever heard of the phrase “starving artist”? Have you ever told someone that you want to be a writer only to be told that “there’s no money there”? (Even if no one told you that you weren’t going to get rich from writing, didn’t you think that already?)

 

There are many reasons to believe that living the creative life is an indulgence that is best reserved for those who already have money or those who only want to do it to earn extra money on the side.

And there are just as many reasons not start your writing career and living the life of a creative entrepreneur.

 

At our upcoming talk, “An Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing,” Writer’s Block Founders, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez will give an overview of the life of a creative entrepreneur and will discuss the importance of personal branding, setting and meeting monetary targets and creating various income streams for business sustainability.

 

“Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing” will be on February 1, 2014 (Saturday), 2pm to 4pm at
The Forum at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. This talk is FREE for members of Fully Booked.

 

This event is open to members of Fully Booked. Limited slots only! For inquiries or reservations, call/ text/ email 858-7091/ 0906-637-0829 / [email protected]

17 Dec

A Time for Family Gatherings and Good Cheer

Christmas celebrations are best spent with family and with good food. Make it more memorable by partying in style in City Garden Hotel Makati.

This holiday season, the hotel is offering Christmas party packages that could cover even up to 100 guests for P37,000+ to P98,000+.

For four hours, party guests can enjoy scrumptious meals from a buffet, featuring either the City Garden, Western, Fiesta Filipino, Continental or Asian menu. The in-house sound system is also free to use for the traditional parlor games, the mandatory performances and other activities in line for the celebration. A TV monitor is also available for use to show those embarrassing pictures of previous Christmas celebrations that will surely leave everyone feeling at home.

And finally, top the celebration with  one night room accommodation that also comes with the package!

With City Garden Hotel’s Christmas packages, everyone should be in good cheer!

City Garden
7870 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati 1200, Philippines
Tel+63 2 899 1111

15 Dec

The Business of Hospitality

Rooms in City Garden Hotel Makati are Italian-inspired.

Rooms in City Garden Hotel Makati are Italian-inspired.

Johnny Rios, 48, is probably one of the best people to talk to about the hotel and hospital industry in the Philippines.

After graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, he started working in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila, where he also did his practicum, as a front office receptionist. Two years after, he was promoted as front office supervisor.

Since then, Johnny has moved to a lot of positions and workplaces, including stints as duty manager and assistant front office manager for EDSA Shangri-La, front office manager and executive housekeeper for Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort, and director of rooms for Pan Pacific Hotel Manila.

Now, Johnny is the general manager of City Garden Hotel Makati, which has been in operation since 2000.

Armed with 25 years of experience in the business, Johnny says that the Philippines can definitely be a major player in the hospitality and tourism sector, citing the improving economy and the various tourist destinations that the country can offer.

He, however, thinks that the Philippines needs to improve the peace and order situation to make foreigners, and even locals, feel safe in the streets. In addition, he says the country needs to improve basic facilities that tourists would need access to.

But of course, there are unique things only the Philippines can boast about. No talk about the industry can skip on the attributes of Filipinos, in general. “Filipinos being naturally warm and friendly people makes them naturally good employees in such a business – a big factor in the industry.”

“I would say that you must have the patience and the passion to serve people in order to be successful in this field. Being warm, friendly and hospitable is already in our nature,” he advises.

City Garden Hotel Makati has 160 rooms, ranging from deluxe to executive superior.

City Garden Hotel Makati has 160 rooms, ranging from deluxe to executive superior.

Johnny credits his work ethic and learning about working well with others as the important lessons he learned over time.

He adds there is a need to commit 100% in the company and in the industry. And so long as things are being done right, “things will fall into place as they should be,” he adds.

Johnny emphasizes the need for dedication and preparation for the demands of the job. “There will be a lot of untold sacrifices that needs to be done to fulfill the requirements of assigned duties.”

Of course, this commitment doesn’t only cover one’s self. He says there is a need to be professional in every way, starting with treating everyone with respect. “Others will feel ashamed not to deliver on their performance if you have been supportive and respectful of them. Walk the talk and consistently be a good example.”

And he does walk the talk. He points at continuous innovation of City Garden’s products and service to exceed expectations to keep ahead of the competition. “Again it boils down to dedication and passion to provide service and exceed customer expectations.”

A Time for Family Gathering and Good Cheer

Christmas celebrations are best spent with family and with good food. Make it more memorable by partying in style in City Garden Hotel Makati.

This holiday season, the hotel is offering Christmas party packages that could cover even up to 100 guests for P37,000+ to P98,000+.

 

For four hours, party guests can enjoy scrumptious meals from a buffet, featuring either the City Garden, Western, Fiesta Filipino, Continental or Asian menu. The in-house sound system is also free to use for the traditional parlor games, the mandatory performances and other activities in line for the celebration. A TV monitor is also available for use to show those embarrassing pictures of previous Christmas celebrations that will surely leave everyone feeling at home.

And finally, top the celebration with  one night room accommodation that also comes with the package!

With City Garden Hotel’s Christmas packages, everyone should be in good cheer!

City Garden
7870 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati 1200, Philippines
Tel+63 2 899 1111

 

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