Prof. John Jack Wigley of the Literature department speaks at a book-writing seminar on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay. (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

AUTHORS can draw from the challenges they have faced and other experiences to find their “voice” in writing, a Thomasian author said in a seminar on Sept. 16 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay. 

Prof. John Jack Wigley of the Department of Literature said finding a voice is the biggest challenge for every writer. 

He recalled in the “How to Write a Book” seminar how his ordeals growing up shaped his experiences, which he now uses to tell stories. 

“I have always felt different,” Wigley said. “I have been carrying an American-sounding family name, which belonged to a race [unknown] to me. I wanted so much to blend in with the others.”

“Looking back, I [now realize] these hurdles were blessings in disguise. They have become the rich material I needed for writing,” he added.

Writers must also consider their target audience apart from developing their style to enhance their craft, Wigley said. 

“Many people think that the reason why people write is because they want to be read, but the problem is knowing your audience,” he said. “Who will read you, and why would people read you?”

Wigley advised aspiring authors to “write the way their literary idols wrote,” which could also help them find their voice. 

Wigley is a former director of the UST Publishing House. He had also served as chairman of UST’s literature department. 

He was joined in the seminar by author and founder of the “90-Day Book Writing Challenge” Sha Nacino, and public speaker Lanzi Borromeo. 

The “How to Write a Book” seminar was organized by the self-publishing platform Publish on Demand and was held as part of the 2023 Manila International Book Fair. 


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