Writers in Talks 2012

Writers in Talks or W.I.T. is a day for both readers and writers to come together and talk about books and the writing process. It is hosted by Philippine publisher Visprint, and is already on its second year.

The whole day affair was held at the Alphaland Towers in Magallanes, along EDSA. As early as 7:30 am, attentees were already queued for registration. Earlybirds were given a Visprint bag and some printouts of works from the guest authors and speakers.

Anne was the one who brought W.I.T. to my attention, having attended last year. This year’s event had not just the usual author talks that one would expect from similar events, but it also had book launches and surprising fun presentations from a few of Visprint’s authors.

Waiting for W.I.T. to start

The morning’s talks were split into two: Fiction writing and comic book writing. It was a difficult choice but I went with the latter while Anne went to the former.

“Punny and Profound” was the title of the comic book writing talk and it featured three well-known names in the local comic book industry: Budjette Tan (Trese), Paolo Fabregas (Filipino Heroes League) and Manix Abrera (Kikomachine).

Instead of a panel presentation, each one had the floor for a couple of minutes to talk about subjects that were important to them. Budjette gave suggestions on how one should (or could) pitch his or her ideas to a publisher. Paolo talked about the importance of balancing images and words when creating a comic book. Manix talked about his creation process and how he finds inspiration in the most common things. It was a very entertaining discussion.

After their talk was an open forum. Typically, it was a slow start as people seemed reluctant to ask questions. However, when people got over their shyness and started asking questions, the speakers were able to share even more gems of advice. My favorite was from Budjette, but also echoed by the others.

“Find your voice.”

That, and all the random moments when the sound system would suddenly play music that had Budjette and Paolo almost dance didn’t make me feel that bad that I missed Kwentista Chronicles. It didn’t hurt to get a free copy of “Filipino Heroes League” from Paolo either.

Prize for speaking up and participating: A copy of Filipino Heroes League from Paolo Fabregas.

The next session was a little late starting out, so the creative non-fiction talk “Reality Bites Back” was moved after lunch. Visprint authors Karl de Mesa and Alan Navarra, along with special guest Bebang Siy, took the stage as they imparted bits of information about this field of writing. Many aspiring writers attending the talk were mostly aiming for fiction, but these three writers showed that it was very possible to be creative in the realm of non-fiction.

The other talks continued on directly after that. Bart Coronel (who is more known as G.M. Coronel to his readers and is the author of the horror books Tragic Theater and Tomb Keeper), talked about the importance of suspence in a story, and how it wasn’t just for the horror genre. Eliza Victoria launched her new anthology “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” and gave tips on where fantasy writers can send their work both here and abroad.

In between these talks, W.I.T. attendees were entertained by comedic numbers by Visprint writers. Eros Atalia can branch out to stand-up comedy should he so wish, and had the audience howling at his routine. Siege and his friend G.P. Abrajano used the Balagtasan to deliver an ingenious debate on who is crazier in love, men or women. I cannot even begin to describe it because so much of it would be lost in translation. Maniwala kayo, sobrang nakakatuwa nung presentation nila. Bob Ong, the very popular writer whose true identity is still unknown, gave a witty dialogue-slash-advice talk, but only through the voices of three WIT attendees. Whether not Bob was physically present during W.I.T. remains to be seen. Still, his “Self-Serviced Seminar” was well received by everyone.

From the point of view of a first time antendee, W.I.T. was certainly a success. It is an event that readers and writers alike would greatly benefit from. It would definitely be a much-awaited event for 2013.

P.S. A few photos and more links to follow.

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