For the second consecutive year, the Varsitarian has included poetry as part of its annual workshop on fiction writing. As a result, the workshop, which used to be called Fiction Workshop, has been renamed the Varsitarian Creative Writing Workshop.

The ninth edition of the workshop had as expert panelists fictionists Eros Atalia, Beverly Siy, and Joel Salud, as well as poets Rebecca Añonuevo and DM Reyes, and academic Shirley Lua.

Siy and Añonuevo emphasized simplicity.

“Do not be too wordy,” said Siy. “Small details can be used to tell stories.”

“Poetry should not be too elaborated,” said Anonuevo.

Meanwhile, Atalia, who won this year’s grand prize for the novel in Filipino in the Palanca Awards, emphasized the importance of tension in a story.

Salud encouraged writers to stick to the familiar and what they know.

Reyes of Ateneo de Manila University and Lua of De la Salle University also reminded fellows of the need for simplicity and characterization.

Lua emphasized the importance of providing the character’s background.

She also cautioned against the tendency of neophyte writers to provide their stories a tragic, often bloody, ending. “Be careful in handling death as part of the story,” she said.

This year’s fellows were Rommel Roxas (Faculty of Engineering), Reinalyn Domasig (College of Commerce), Patricia Villaraza (College of Education), Glenn Pernes (UST Graduate School), Hans Malgapu, Ephraim Bie, Micah Carando, Iza Gonzalez, Alpine Moldez, Katherine Cordero, Irish Foja, and Rijel Reyes (Faculty of Arts and Letters).

Aside from helping foster creative ferment on campus, the workshop, according to Varsitarian officers, also aims to urge students to submit their manuscripts to the 29th Gawad Ustetika, the annual literary derby also organized by the Varsitarian. Marie Danielle L. Macalino and Josef Brian Ramil

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