I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday afternoon with a room full of Filipino authors last April 11th at the National Bookstore Super Branch in Cubao. It was our first #F2F, or Face to Face class for#SparkNA with Mina and a few representatives from Anvil Publishing’s Spark Books. My friends and I came a bit late, so naturally, we ended up being more anxious than we were supposed to. I think that by the time I stepped into the room, I had to take a deep breath because “Oh my god there are so many of them, I feel like throwing up a little.”
No, but seriously, a handful of the participants already know each other from Mina’s previous classes, but we (my friends and I) were all n00bs, so you understand the initial apprehension. I didn’t realize how quickly we’d warm up to the entire group, even if I only got to speak to about 20% of the class.
It’s barely been a week since #SparkNA began (in case you missed it, here’s a post a made about this free writing class I joined), but I’ve already learned a lot–from our facilitator, Mina Esguerra, to my very passionate support group and fellow classmates. But it all starts with bravery, it seems, and I think it very appropriate that this is our running theme for the whole writing journey we will be taking from now until early June.
The first rule: “Your Main Character must be brave.”
Last night, My friend Therese sent us this photo via Viber, and said (not verbatim), “I’m about to make one of those three-legged creatures soon. I don’t know which is better: for it to be ignored, or ripped apart.”
Hit me right in the feels.
If you are an aspiring writer residing in the Philippines (preferably the Greater Manila Area), great news! Anvil Publishing’s Spark Books is sponsoring a writing class called #SparkNA with Mina Esguerra at the helm. The class is absolutely free and will be done online, with two or three optional face-to-face classes which are still to be announced. Classes will run from April 6 to June 6, though when I signed up the other day, I already received my first writing task. If you’re scared about these tasks and challenges, don’t be. I’m pretty sure these tasks and challenges will mold us into better and more responsible writers.
Oh, and the best part? If Spark Books likes your piece well enough, they may offer to publish your book! Isn’t that great? I know I’d love to see a book of mine on display at local bookstores, so this is a real treat. To be quite honest, I don’t really have a solid idea on the story I’d like to write just yet, but I’ve decided on a theme, at least. My next step would be to create character sketches and a working outline so I don’t get swept away by deadlines come class time.
It’s amazing how many young writers and readers are on Wattpad these days. Admittedly, I learned about the site very late (I joined in late 2013, so you can say I’m still a n00b), mainly because I haven’t been actively writing fiction since late 2010, and man was I floored upon seeing the writing and reading population in that website. In fact, it had been so popular here in my country that publishing companies have ventured printing popular Wattpad novels, and film and TV producers have been jumping onto the bandwagon as well, producing some of the more famous stories for film and mini-serials.
The accessibility of cheaper smartphones and data services has made it easier for the younger generation to access Wattpad. If memory serves me right, there’s a major telecom company offering free access to the site when you avail of a certain data service–that’s how popular it is now to the youth in my country.