Thomasian student writers and country's top authors gathered for the 14th Creative Writing Workshop at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center last Oct. 27-28. (Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

SOME OF the country’s top poets and fictionists tackled ethical responsibility in writing about mental health and other sensitive topics during the 14th Creative Writing Workshop held at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center last Oct. 27-28.

Poet Vijae Alquisola said authors have an ethical responsibility in representing people dealing with mental health issues.

“Creative writing is not merely an expression of the author. Even if you have a first-hand experience, always consider yourself as an outsider because the danger to misrepresent the issue is always there,” he said.

Joselito de los Reyes, chairman of the UST Department of Literature, urged young writers to research when writing about personal traumas.

“[A] creative writer is perceived as someone who just makes their own stories. Let’s change that because we are doing tremendous research especially if it is a sensitive topic,” Reyes said.

Poet Allan Popa urged writers to create “new metaphors” in their writings. “Maybe it is the metaphors of your milieu that might give dynamics on how we can understand the modern way of living,” Popa said.

Another poet, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, also emphasized the need for “youthful exuberance” in writing.

“The older you get, the harder you write. That’s why you, guys, should be observant on your experiences and just keep on writing while you still can,” Lacuesta said.

Other panelists in the workshop were Chuckberry Pascual and Beverly Siy (katha); Paolo Melendez and Susan Lara (fiction); Allan Pastrana and Ned Parfan (poetry); and Romulo Baquiran, Jr. (tula).

This year’s 16 fellows were Joseph Verallo, Aleia Anies, Melissa Mendiola and Isabel Pine (fiction); Sofia Navarro, Nicole Abesamis, Ryan Veluz and Ivan Gentolizo (katha); Celine Garcia, Leigh Disdo, Vivien Leynes and Christian Claridad (poetry); and Philip Jamilla, Jefson Felix, John Orpilla and Hailord Lavarias (tula).


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