When you’re THIS close to your idols…

This was reposted from Niña’s writing blog, Niña’s Notebook

This was reposted from Niña’s writing blog, Niña’s Notebook


Some rights reserved by adactio (Creative Commons on Flickr)
Some rights reserved by adactio (Creative Commons on Flickr)

I just realized that many of us are just one step away from people we admire. Social media have made it increasingly easier to be just a tweet or a Facebook message away from our idols.

I got on Twitter because a person I equally admired and envied was on Twitter. I got on Plurk because I saw that Paulo Coelho was active on Plurk. (I have since withdrawn from the network.) Now that I am almost everywhere and find my network to be expanding exponentially, so are my prospects of moving closer to people I truly admire and whose work and career path I wish to emulate.

Today, while in search of inspiration, I worked up the courage to message one of my idols. I needed someone to help me out with some information that I was assessing, and I thought that, because of the world she moved around in, she was the best person to ask.

So I asked.

Facebook >> Profile >> Message >> Send.

Less than five minutes later, she replied. With REALLY great tips. The exchange was short, but encouraging. I replied in thanks. She replied again. There was a brief exchange of ideas, then a plan to meet up.

Thanks to social media, I had closed the gap between me and one of my idols. Maybe it won’t be the last time that happens. 🙂

Global photo contest on democracy launched

The World Youth Movement for Democracy is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Photo Contest. Fifteen semi-finalists will be announced on December 1 2011 and will have their winning photo published on the WYMD Web site.

This announcement is an excerpt of a post in IJNet.org


The World Youth Movement for Democracy is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Photo Contest. Fifteen semi-finalists will be announced on December 1 2011 and will have their winning photo published on the WYMD Web site.

The purpose of this contest is to demonstrate understanding of the workings of democracy in daily life by capturing images to create change for your community.

Read full contest guidelines and information HERE

Asia360 News / Editors Wanted

Asia360 News
Job Title/Position: Editors

Asia360 News is a news organization dedicated to providing Asian perspectives on Asian news and current affairs for a regional and international audience delivered through print and digital platforms. Currently in beta, our website will be re-launched in tandem with our flagship magazine, Asia360 News, in the later part of 2011.

We are a group of dynamic and experienced Asian professionals from various Asian countries spanning the fields of media, journalism, marketing, consulting, advertising, law, public policy and academia. We have worked in Asia and internationally in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and have acted as consultants and advisors to multinational corporations, international and regional organizations, governments and senior business and political figures.

We are looking for experienced, creative and versatile Editors who can:

– Conceptualise and develop copy themes on pan-Asian current affairs and news analysis for weekly print newsmagazine and digital platforms

– Must have a keen nose for Asian news, eye for detail and excellent command of English.

– Should be able to plan editorial content, conceptualise, allocate and review articles.

– Must be able to proof read copies and work closely with the design team during production of the magazine.

– Commission and coordinate writers and journalists across Asia and globally

– Develop content with partner organizations

– Manage various editorial projects, including newsletters, magazines and books

– Facilitate in the management of the day-to-day operations of a weekly magazine.

– Write headlines, short copy and long copy

– Ensure copy quality with copyediting and proofreading

– Copyedit and proofread for clarity and consistency

You should be:

– A self motivated individual who is a team player with a healthy respect for deadlines, a strong desire to consistently better them and an ability to deliver to product specification.

– Competent in managing multiple projects simultaneously

– Experienced in editing news and current affairs content

– Meticulous to grammatical detail, application of exacting style standards and ability to consistently achieve high standards of accuracy and a critical approach to analysing materials

– Experienced in devising content delivery strategies across multiple platforms and you will be full of proven ideas which will help develop the company future business in the region

– Hardworking, fast, resourceful and creative with a clear understanding of the nature of both online and print markets

You should have:

– A degree in a related field

– Broad knowledge base on current affairs, global issues and countries in the Asia

– Excellent writing and editing skills and command of the English Language

– The ability to write both short and long copy

– The ability to work independently as well as with the creative team

The applications should be sent to: info@asia360news.com, and hardcopies, if applicable, can be sent to: 35 Mayo Street,Singapore 208316.

Feature Writing 101, 2.0

By Writer’s Block Philippines

Guide to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Feature Writing 101
When: September 17, 2011
Where: Powerbooks Greenbelt 4, 10AM to 6PM

What does the P2,500 course fee cover?

The P2,500 per head course fee covers

  • Course fee
  • Light snacks + drink
  • Workshop kit  inclusive of a CD containing workshop presentations

How can I pay for the workshop? 

You can pay for the workshop via PayPal which you can access on www.writersblockphilippines.com or you can deposit your payment to

Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

Once you’ve made the deposit, please email us a copy of the deposit slip so we can send you an Acknowledgment Receipt.

How will this workshop benefit me if I am —

An aspiring writer who has not yet been published

“FW101” aims to help you find your writer’s voice and uncover your writing style. The discussions will tackle common writing mistakes and common do’s and don’ts.  The different feature stories and the effective ways of developing and writing a lead and storyline will also be discussed.

Already working as a freelance or full-time writer

We have had many participants who are already freelance or full-time writers. They welcome the chance to polish their writing techniques and uncover new ones. They also mostly enjoy and benefit from the group session where is each person’s work is critiqued.

What does the workshop cover?

You may view the course outline through www.writersblockphilippines.com.
Feature Writing 101: Course Outline


Writer’s Block Founders

The founders of Writer’s Block Philippines collectively have close to two decades of experience in freelance writing. Together, their works on lifestyle, travel, arts & culture, advocacy, sex & relationships, and women’s issues have been extensively published both locally and internationally.

Now that they have made freelance writing their full-time job, they will answer the questions they are most commonly asked: why freelance? And how do you make money from writing?

News vs. Features

We read, watch and listen to news all the time so we may all—in one way or another—be familiar with news writing, but what exactly is feature writing? Relating it to the more familiar writing form of news, we will talk about the differences between news and feature articles and cite examples of award-winning features.

Different Kinds of Feature Stories

From the personality feature to the travel and food feature, we will take you through the kinds of feature articles, what each should have, and how to make each one compelling, moving and relevant.

Finding a Story Angle

They say that there are many ways to skin a cat and in this exercise-led discussion, you will find out that there are many ways to tell a story. Just how many? That’s what this exercise aims to find out.

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the right questions is key to getting a good story.  In this session, we will discuss what questions you should ask yourself before you take on an assignment and how to conduct good interviews.

Writing Techniques and Rituals

Intimidated by that blank piece of paper or that blinking cursor? We’ll talk about the different ways to get those creative juices flowing and some books that might help.

Writing a Lead

The lead is the first thing you will read in a story and, depending on how well it is written, can make you decide whether or not you want to go on reading.  In this part of the workshop, we will talk about writing a good lead and its main function in storytelling.

Writing Your Story

We’ve gotten our story angles, our story material, and our lead. Now, let’s write the rest of the story. Participants will be given time to write a short feature. The group will break into small groups and discuss the piece for constructive feedback and critique.

Who is conducting the workshop?

The workshop will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a group of freelance writers who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in freelance writing.

Website: www.writersblockphilippines.com

The founders of Writer’s Block are:

Ana Santos: sexual health rights and women’s issues

Ana has had over 12 years experience in advertising and marketing communications. Her last position was Assistant Vice President of a financial institution.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women in armed conflict, Ana has received media grants from Newsbreak, Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Press Institute to cover population and development issues.

She is also the Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

Nikka Sarthou: lifestyle / travel

Nikka has over 10 years of experience in writing for various online and print publications, as well as developing content for corporate clients. Her last corporate post was Associate Lifestyle Editor at a major publishing company.

Currently, Nikka is a full-time freelance writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts. She is also the Content Editor of OfficiallyPhilippines.com, a website that aims to be the ultimate travel guide to the Philippines.

Nikka is also the Contributing Editor of Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific.

Nina Terol-Zialcita: arts / culture and advocacy

Nina has over 10 years of experience in corporate, non-profit and public sectors and has been engaged in independent consulting and freelance writing since 2003. She is currently the contributing features editor of Spark Magazine, deputy editor of ProPinoy.net, and a contributor to various print and online publications. Her work can also be seen in books by the Asian Development Bank, the Direct Sellers Association of the Philippines, the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations, and, just recently, The Inaugural, a coffeetable book about the campaign and presidency of Pres. Benigno Aquino III.

In 2010, Nina was a scholar at the European Journalism Institute in Prague, Czech Republic.Recently, Nina also took on the post of Editor-in-Chief for asianTraveler.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes. Laptops are not recommended though as power outlets will be limited.

As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket.

Who do I call for more information about the workshop?

You can us through this number for more information: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines at www.writersblockphilippines.com

Your short short story could win you $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in the U.S.!

We’re looking for fiction that’s bold, brilliant…but brief. Send us your best in 1,500 words or fewer.

But don’t be too long about it—the deadline is November 15, 2011.

We received great news in our inbox this morning when we found this:

Writer's Digest 12th Short Short Story Competition

We’re looking for fiction that’s bold, brilliant…but brief. Send us your best in 1,500 words or fewer.

But don’t be too long about it—the deadline is November 15, 2011.

First Place: $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
Second Place: $1,500
Third Place: $500
Fourth Through Tenth Place: $100
Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate for Writer’s Digest Books

* The names and story titles of the First-through Tenth-Place winners will be printed in the July/August 2012Writer’s Digest, and winners will receive the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market and 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Plus, all First through 25th place winners will receive a free copy of the 12th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection.


Looks interesting, right? The competition is open even to non-U.S. residents, so YOU could have a shot at this!

Want more? Read the rest of the competition rules and FAQs HERE.

Calling all bloggers: Win invites to Friday’s Tatt Awards!

Want to win invites to Friday’s Tatt Awards? Here’s a note from the folks at Globe Tattoo on how to get in:

Want to win invites to Friday’s Tatt Awards? Here’s a note from the folks at Globe Tattoo on how to get in:

Three days to go before end of the Tatt Awards voting phase! And now, you have the chance to win EXCLUSIVE invites to this Friday’s first ever social media awards night at Manila Peninsula! Just do the following:

1. Blog about your favorite finalists and why he/she should win in their category.

2. Include the link to the Tatt Awards portal – http://tattoo.globe.com.ph/tattawards

3. Tweet the title and URL of your blog entry with the #TattAwards hashtag. Deadline is on August 25, 2011 12 noon.

4. Tattoo will choose the 10 best entries by 6pm, August 25, 2011. Winners will win TWO (2) invites each to the event!

What are you waiting for? Get the chance to meet the country’s great social media movers only from Tattoo! Join now!

Tatt Awards e-Invite_awards night

And here’s a shameless plug! WBP co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita is one of the finalists in The Advocate category! Please support her changemaking dreams and vote for her in this category. 🙂

Feature Writing 101 (v.2.0) happens on September 17, 2011. Reserve a slot now!

Feature Writing 101 v2 POSTER by Writer's Block Philippines
Feature Writing 101 is back!

We’re thrilled to announce the we’re bringing back Feature Writing 101, our best-selling workshop that aims to equip participants with the basics of writing features so that they can pursue their passions and live to write about it! To many, there’s nothing better than doing what you love to do and getting published and paid for it.

The workshop will be facilitated by the founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, who each has years of writing and editing under her belt. Ana Santos is Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine;Nikka Sarthou is Contributing Editor at Smile, the inflight magazine of Cebu Pacific; and Nina Terol-Zialcita is Editor-in-Chief of asianTraveler, the longest-running travel magazine in the Philippines.

Participants of the first Feature Writing 101 course have already started pitching their stories to different publications–with some already earning their byline in as little as a few weeks!

The workshop has limited seats, so email writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text (0927) 850 8280 to reserve your seat today. Please note that reservations will be confirmed only upon payment of the workshop fee.

* * *


Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

Once you’ve made the deposit, please email us a copy of the deposit slip so we can send you an Acknowledgment Receipt.

Thanks in advance, and we look forward to seeing you there!