25 Jun

The Regional Director of Freelancer.com will be our workshop guest speaker!

Evan Tan

Calling all freelance writers! Guess who will be our guest speaker for our upcoming workshop, Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career?

None other than, Evan Tan,  the Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Freelancer.com. It’s the world’s largest freelancing marketplace in terms of users and projects.

As a seasoned communications professional, he has written for and contributed to various publications such as the Manila Times, Philippines Graphic, 2nd Opinion Magazine, e27, and Catalyst Asia. He has been featured in different media locally and regionally, such as Channel News Asia, Bloomberg Malaysia, Star World, Interaksyon, GMA News, and When in Manila, among many others. He is also the Administrative Head of pioneering HIV advocacy organization The Red Whistle. He blogs at his website, Writer in Manila (www.writerinmanila.com).

Discover freelance writing opportunities from him at our upcoming workshop. Register online now! For inquiries, email [email protected] or contact 0917.397.9927.

18 Jun

Upcoming event: “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career”

JYFWC 2015

Freelance used to mean an unsteady and unpredictable life, jumping from one job and hoping for another.

But with the changing business models in media, writing and consultancy, freelancing has become the new industry normal. Media companies are shuttering down and cutting costs by trimming down full-time staff.  Contracting freelance writers is a way for companies to balance the ever-increasing demand for content and maintaining the bottomline.

Being a freelance writer now offers numerous possibilities, including that of being a sustainable fulfilling career.

Just ask Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, two freelance writers who put up Writer’s Block Philippines, an organization dedicated to empowering writers, communicators, and creative entrepreneurs.

“When we started, we wanted a place where writers could improve their craft, get started on getting published and learn the ins and outs of freelancing. The most logical way for us to do that was by organizing workshops,” said Santos, a journalist who focuses on women and gender issues.

Santos is a regular columnist in Rappler and Working Mom and as the 2014 Persephone Miel Fellow for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, her work has been published in The Atlantic and The Washington Post.

Five years and hundreds of workshop participants later, Writer’s Block Philippines has become top of mind in giving aspiring writers practical tips on starting a freelance writing career.

“The ‘Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career’ workshop was our very first offering and it remains to be one of our most popular workshops,” said Sarthou-Lainez, a lifestyle writer.

Sarthou-Lainez was chosen as one of the five Asian representatives for Moleskine’s Modern Nomads in 2012. She is currently a Contributing Editor in Smile magazine and she also writes for various online and print publications.

The duo both left their respective careers to pursue their passion to become full-time freelance writers and put up Writer’s Block Philippines in 2010.

Santos once held the position of Assistant Vice-President of a financial institution and Sarthou-Lainez was once with a publishing firm.

“Our day jobs were actually crucial in preparing us for the world of freelancing,” said Santos.

“Exactly,” agreed Sarthou-Lainez “Everything we learned about succeeding in freelancing was not taught in school.”

Writer’s Block Philippines will be holding another run of Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career on July 18, 2015, Saturday, at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. The workshop will run from 1pm to 6pm and will cover practical tips on freelancing and how to write a story pitch that will get editors to notice you.

This event is made possible by Fully Booked, 2nd Avenue, BusinessWorld, and Freelancer.com.

17 Jun

JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER (2015): Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

JYFWC 2015

GUIDE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career

When: July 18, 2015 (Saturday),
 1PM to 6PM

Where: U-View (basement), Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Who is this workshop for? How will this workshop benefit me if I am –

An aspiring writer who has not yet been published

“Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career” (JYFWC) has very practical tips on how to get published, finding stories, and living a sustainable life as a creative entrepreneur. It also aims to dispel the myths—and highlight the realities of freelance writing and help the participant start out with the proper mind frame needed to start a career as a writer.

Already working as a freelance or full-time writer

JYFWC is all about creating a career as a writer. If you are already working as a freelance or full-time writer, this workshop can help you learn about the other different writing opportunities that are available, to help diversify your income.

You will also learn how to market and brand yourself as a writer.

Who should attend the event?

You don’t have to be a published writer to join the workshop. As long as you have an interest in pursuing writing as a career—and are 18 years old or above—you can sign up for the event.

This is especially ideal for the following:

  • freelance writers
  • bloggers
  • employees and stay-at-home folks who want to write on the side
  • retirees who want to pursue writing

How much is the registration fee?

There is a P1,800 fee per person, which simply covers the course fee. We’ll take care of the substance, but you take care of your sustenance, that okay?

How can I reserve a seat?

Simply sign up through our online registration form to signify your interest and we’ll email you the details on how to confirm a slot.

How can I pay for the workshop? 

You may settle the workshop fee by making a deposit to our bank account or via Paypal. Details as follows:

Bank: BPI


Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services

Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

If you have the BPI app on your phone, you can also pay via bank transfer without having to enroll our account in your Bills Payment Roster. Simply click on the option, “Transfer to Anyone”.

Once you’ve made the deposit/funds transfer, please notify us of your transaction by emailing us a copy of the deposit slip/screen cap so we can confirm your slot. Kindly indicate in the email the participant’s name, email address and mobile number.

You may also pay via Paypal, which has a payment feature in our website (writersblockphilippines.com).

Is there a deadline for signing up?

There is no deadline but please note that we will close the registration once all the slots have been filled up. Walk-in participants who will pay on the day itself will only be accommodated if there are still available slots.

Who is hosting the event?

It will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a duo 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. She left her post as Assistant Vice President of a financial institution five years ago to pursue a career as a freelance writer.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women’s issues, 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 named the 2014 Persephone Miel Fellow by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Ana has regular columns in Rappler and Working Mom while some of her full-length features have been published in the Washington Post and Foreign Policy.

Nikka Sarthou-Lainez: 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. She is currently a full-time freelance editor/writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts.

In 2012, she was chosen as one of the five Asian representatives for Moleskine’s Modern Nomads and was included in its exhibition of travel writers’ kits where some of her travel paraphernalia were shown on display. She was the only featured travel writer from the Philippines, the others were from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Her feature pieces have appeared in local publications like asianTraveler, Travelife, Spark, Celebrity Mom, Business World, Highlife, Metro, Metro Society, ClicktheCity.com, Spot.ph, Herword.com, Homegrown.ph, GMA News Online and Rappler. She has also been published in Filipino publications abroad such as Filipino Star News in Michigan, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, and Dubai-based magazine Illustrado.

She is currently a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air.

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 out our website: www.writersblockphilippines.com.

20 May

Guess who will be our guest speaker for TRAVEL THE WRITE WAY?

Writer and editor

Erica Paredes, Writer and editor

We’re delighted to share that Erica Paredes will be our guest speaker for TRAVEL THE WRITE WAY happening on May 30, 1-6pm in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City.

About Erica Paredes

While in university, Erica originally wanted join the world of advertising until the magazine industry fell on her lap on her last year in school. She started as a contributing writer for Chalk Magazine and the 2bu section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) in 2001, and was offered a job as a Beauty Editor for Pink Magazine before graduating. Since then, she has spent the past 13 years writing furiously about beauty, fashion as an editor for Metro Magazine, and in the last five years also travel and food. A curious adventurer, with a huge appetite and insatiable wanderlust, her itchy feet and constant hunger has brought her to many different corners of the world, both for work and pleasure. 

Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief and Sales and Marketing Director of beauty website Calyxta.com, which she and her team started from scratch. She continues to travel the globe and write about it via PDI and her personal blog fatkitch-skinnykitch.com. Her ideal life would be one that included unlimited plane tickets, free Wi-Fi, and the patience to homeschool her 11-year-old daughter so she can come along and join all the adventures. 

Listen to her tips about travel writing by attending the workshop. For inquiries and reservations, email [email protected] or contact 0917.397.9927.

13 May

“Travel the Write Way”, a workshop for aspiring travel writers

Travel the Write Way poster

Traveling enriches one’s mind and soul. When we set foot on new places and experience new things, we make our lives more meaningful.

Those with the spirit of wanderlust and those who want to immortalize their travel experiences on paper may either create a journal, or better yet, turn those vacations into travel articles. Join the half-day workshop of Writer’s Block Philippines, “Travel the Write Way” happening on May 30, 1:00 to 6:00 PM in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City.

Aspiring writers, freelancers, and bloggers will go through an introduction to travel writing, learn the anatomy of a travel story, and disover tips and techniques of this style of feature writing.

The Co-Founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, will share their secrets of the trade and how they were able to write travel-related features for various print and online publications. While guest speaker, Erica Paredes, a curious adventurer who has over a decade of experience as editor and writer, will reveal her own tips as well. She has been writing about travel and food for the past five years, and continues to travel the globe and write about it for a major newspaper and her personal blog.

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 Fully Booked, 2nd Avenue, BusinessWorld, Freelancer.com, WheninManila.com, and Dong-A.

27 Apr

“Travel the Write Way”: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

Travel the Write Way 2015

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 30, 2015 (Saturday),
1PM to 6PM

Where: U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Who is this workshop for?

The act of traveling is such an enriching activity that it seems only natural to put your experience on paper. But if you want to share your thoughts, experiences, and travel tips to a bigger audience, you should consider turning your vacations into travel articles.

Let our upcoming workshop, “Travel the Write Way”, help you get started in your journey as an aspiring travel writer.

Who should attend the event?

Do you like to travel or write? That’s all that is required for this workshop, apart from the fact that you should be at least 18 years old to attend. We don’t expect you to have previously published works, nor do we expect you to be the next Pico Iyer.

Whether you’re college-age or about to retire, as long as you love to travel and have an interest in writing, you can join the workshop. This is especially ideal for the following:

  • freelance writers
  • bloggers
  • employees and stay-at-home folks who want to write on the side and turn their vacations into travel articles

What can I learn from this workshop?

The workshop will discuss the following topics:

  • Introduction to Travel Writing
  • Anatomy of a Travel Feature
  • Travel Writing Tips & Tricks
  • Getting Published

How much is the registration fee?

There is a P1,800 fee per person, which simply covers the course fee. We’ll take care of the substance, but you take care of your sustenance, that okay?
How can I reserve a seat?

Simply sign up through our online registration form  to signify your interest and we’ll email you the details on how to confirm a slot.

How can I pay for the workshop? 

You may 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

If you have the BPI app on your phone, you can also pay via bank transfer without having to enroll our account in your Bills Payment Roster. Simply click on the option, “Transfer to Anyone”.

Once you’ve made the deposit/funds transfer, please email us a copy of the deposit slip/screen cap so we can confirm your slot.

You may also pay via Paypal, which has a payment feature in the upper right-hand side of our website.

Is there a deadline for signing up?

There is no deadline but please note that we will close the registration once all the slots have been filled up. Walk-in participants will only be accommodated if there are still available slots.

Who is hosting the event?

It will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a duo 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. She left her post as Assistant Vice President of a financial institution five years ago to pursue a career as a freelance writer.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women’s issues, 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 named the 2014 Persephone Miel Fellow by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Ana has regular columns in Rappler and Working Mom while some of her full-length features have been published in the Washington Post and Foreign Policy.

Nikka Sarthou-Lainez: 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. She is currently a full-time freelance editor/writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts.

In 2012, she was chosen as one of the five Asian representatives for Moleskine’s Modern Nomads and was included in its exhibition of travel writers’ kits where some of her travel paraphernalia were shown on display. She was the only featured travel writer from the Philippines, the others were from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Her feature pieces have appeared in local publications like asianTraveler, Travelife, Spark, Celebrity Mom, Business World, Highlife, Metro, Metro Society, ClicktheCity.com, Spot.ph, Herword.com, Homegrown.ph, GMA News Online and Rappler. She has also been published in Filipino publications abroad such as Filipino Star News in Michigan, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, and Dubai-based magazine Illustrado.

She is currently a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air.

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 out our website: www.writersblockphilippines.com.

26 Apr

Get Cool and Spark Your Creativity

Artists, writers, singers, designers… People in the creative industry may have innate talents, but it’s not enough to perfect the craft. Even creative geniuses need to get up from their workstations, go out, mingle, and show the world what you can do. Nobody wants to be a starving artist, right?

You also need to practice your gift of gab as you market yourself. Make sure to socialize with other like-minded individuals and people from the industry so they can learn more about you and the work that you do. It may take some effort and your throat might experience some wear and tear, which is only natural. No need to worry. Those who have a lot of speaking engagements, those who sing for a living, and those whose work involves a lot of talkies, know how it feels to have a stressed throat.

Relaxing or taking a breather is one way to deal with this condition, but a more instantaneous approach is by chewing on some lozenges like Valda Pastilles, which has been in the Philippines for over 100 years.

These tried-and-tested pellet-shaped pastilles help alleviate dry and itchy throats with its cooling effects. It has a unique formulation of plant extracts that soothes the throat immediately. It has menthol that produces a sensation of coolness in the mouth; the camphor-like smell of eucalyptol mixed with a spicy, cooling taste; thymol which is an antiseptic; terpinol which is known to loosen mucus; and safflower or lemon extract to add a more pleasant flavor.

The great thing about Valda Pastilles is that it is not considered medicine, it is categorized as food, so there is no limit in taking it. These come in two enjoyable flavors: menthol and lemon. You can take it anytime, anywhere. It’s very convenient because there is also no need to consume water right after taking the product, as it easily dissolves in the mouth.

Valda Pastilles come in nifty pouches and tin cans that you can bring anywhere with you—to the office, a client meeting, a performance, a speaking engagement, and other occasions. It comes practical for those with respiratory illness like colds and coughs, too. You won’t be bothered by your stressed throat anymore, and can easily continue with your work, as the menthol soothes you, calms you down, and sparks your creativity.

Keep Valda Pastilles handy in your bag and say goodbye to a dry and itchy throat!

Valda Pastilles is available in leading drugstores nationwide. For more information, visit facebook.com/VALDAPILIPINAS. For product inquiries and concerns, email [email protected] or call (02) 792-8000.

Valda Pastilles was a key partner of the Writer’s Block Philipppines’ Creative Entrepreneurship Summit held last 31 January 2015 at Top Shelf, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. 

26 Apr

Let the Words Flow and Your Skin Glow

Writers sometimes have a love-hate relationship with words. Writers love it when words flow effortlessly on the page but that doesn’t always happen.

Even the best and most veteran writers get stumped. And…that’s the start of long hours of pen tapping, hand-wringing in front of a blank screen. Mild panic starts to creep in as a writer wonders, “Where have all the words gone?”

When the words do come, then comes the struggle of editing and obsessing over words to get just the right ones to complete a story.

Being at a loss for words is something that no writer can afford to suffer from. And neither can they have dehydrated uneven skin from all those late nights sitting in front of a computer.  Dehydrated skin is the number one reason skins takes on a dull and aged appearance.

Writers can find a surprise ally comes in the form of Bio-Oil, a skin care oil brand made from Australia.

Bio-Oil is infused with letters that can help writers fight off the dehydrated skin: vitamin A which aids in skin renewal and elasticity and vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant that makes skin soft, smooth and supple.

Bio-Oil is made with natural herbal ingredients like lavender that promotes skin conditioning, calendula that has a cell regenerative effect and rosemary that conditions skin. (And it smells great, too.)

Gently massage Bio-Oil on your face in a slow circular motion twice a day. Enjoy its relaxing and soothing powers, rejuvenate your skin and get your creative juices flowing so you can get back into your writer’s groove. Let the words flow and your skin glow.

Writers need not have love-hate relationship with words. And with Bio-Oil, they need not have a love-hate relationship with their skin either.

Bio-Oil is available in leading supermarkets nationwide. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/biooilPH. For product inquiries and concerns, email [email protected] or call (02) 792-8000.

Bio-Oil was a key partner of the Writer’s Block Philippines’ Creative Entrepreneurship Summit held last 31 January 2015 at Top Shelf, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. 

21 Apr

Invitation to #AsiaOnScreen Film Festival on May 8-12, 2015!

ASIA ON SCREEN 2015 Film Festival
May 8-12, 2015
Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza

Asia Society Philippines and Security Bank, together with Shangri-La Cineplex and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), invite you to witness the best films from Asia at ASIA ON SCREEN 2015.

Moviegoers will enjoy a showcase of award-winning films from across the region. Participating countries in the film festival are the following: Australia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, China and the Philippines.

Bring your date, friends and loved ones to experience the best of Asian cinema!

Tickets will be available on site at Shang Cineplex for PHP 100. For inquiries, please contact Jenny Rockett or Avanti Narayanan at [email protected] or 550-2612.

Official Facebook event page: http://bit.ly/AsiaOnScreen.
Official Hash tag: #AsiaOnScreen
Asia Society Philippines: @AsiaSocietyPH

16 Apr

Final call for entries to 65th Palanca Awards

Palanca LOGO
With the April 30 deadline fast approaching, the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature issues its final call for entries to the 65th Palanca Awards. Interested participants have until the end of the month to turn in their literary submissions to the country’s most prestigious and longest running literary competition.

 

The 65th Palanca Awards is accepting entries in the following categories: Novel and Nobela; Short Story, Short Story for Children, Essay, Poetry, Poetry Written for Children, One-act Play, and Full-length Play under the English Division; Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tula para sa mga Bata, Dulang May Isang Yugto, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, at Dulang Pampelikula under the Filipino Division; Short Story-Cebuano, Short Story-Hiligaynon, and Short Story-Ilokano under the Regional Languages Division. The Kabataan Essay Division accepts entries from writers below 18 years of age as of April 30, 2015.  This year’s Kabataan Division theme is, “How Can Philippine Literature Cultivate National Unity?” for the English category and “Paano Mapag-iisa ng Ating Literatura ang Ating Bansa?” for the Filipino category.

Contestants may only submit one entry per category.

Aspiring and seasoned writers participating in this year’s Palanca Awards are advised to read the official revised 2015 rules and forms which may be downloaded through www.palancaawards.com.ph. Entries, along with accomplished contest forms, must  be submitted on or before the following deadlines: 1) through direct submission to any of the Palanca Foundation offices by 12 midnight of April 30, 2015; 2) by mail or courier, postmarked no later than April 30, 2015; and 3) through the Palanca Awards website, with time of transmission no later than April 30, 2015, and the envelope with the original signed requirements must be sent by mail or courier postmarked no later than April 30, 2015.

Submission process must be completed by sending the notarized contest documents to: 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.

Confirmation that a literary work qualifies as an entry to the 65th Palanca Awards shall be sent by email. Winning entries will be announced on September 1, 2015. 

For more information about the 65th Palanca Awards, email [email protected] or call (632) 511-0003, +639108878552 or +639255560457.

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