03 May 2016, 12:05 pm – DIFFERENT
publishing strategies were discussed in the 7th Philippine International
Literary Festival at the Quezon City Memorial Circle held April 28 to 29.

The festival,
which had the theme “Against Forgetting,” featured Thomasians authors who
shared their expertise in roundtable discussions and lectures. 

Pantoja Hidalgo, director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary
Studies, gave a lecture on literary editing in print, particularly in the book
and magazine industries. Hidalgo lamented the lack of trained editors. 

“The lack of
literary editors has led to this situation: many authors, particularly those
who already have made a name for themselves, do not readily accept editing
other than copy editing,” she said.

Hidalgo said a
good literary editor should be a good writer, team player and wide reader who
is careful and considerate of the writer’s work, while possessing a good feel
of the market. “One problem is the size of the market for literary works,” she

Ralph Semino
Galan, Arts and Letters professor, was a panelist in a discussion on writing
workshops in the country alongside Michael Coroza, a UST Graduate School
professor. Writer and former Varsitarian editor in chief Vim Nadera and Artlets
professor Ferdinand Lopez served as moderators in a discussion on sex and

The festival
also featured speakers on marketing, book design, copyright selling and publishing
for an international audience. 

Stacy Whitman,
founder of Tu Books, which publishes middle grade and young adult literature,
opened the final day with a discussion on publication in the international
market, stating that social media is ‘the great equalizer in publishing.’ 

She drew from
her own experience in publishing books of various genres, particularly
children’s books and young adult novels. “For writers, once you’ve perfected
your craft, you have to look at who is selling the kinds of books or the kinds
of stories that you’re writing, and if nobody is selling it, you might still be
avant garde,” she said in an interview.

Whitman was
joined by poet Nicholas Pichay; Frankfurt Book Fair senior manager Claudia
Kaiser; author Kate Evangelista; book designer, food writer and visual artist
Guillermo Ramos; and others in plenary sessions on topics ranging from
negotiating publishing contracts to breakthroughs in digital publishing in the

The festival
was a project of the National Book Development Board and served as the
highlight of the Philippine Book Development Month. Cedric Allen P. Sta.


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