Writing the Trends Piece Workshop FAQs

Here are the Frequently Asked Questions on “Writing the Trends Piece: A Workshop on Feature Writing About Design and Innovation” by Yuchengco Museum and Writer’s Block Philippines

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Writing the Trends Piece (Feature writing on design and innovation, inspired by the ongoing exhibition, “Somewhat Different. Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention)

When: May 26, 2012 (Saturday)

Where: Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City

Program is as follows:

PART A (Writers’ Workshop c/o Writer’s Block Philippines)

9:30 – 10:00 am      Registration & welcome

10:00 – 10:15 am    Workshop Preliminaries

10:15 – 11:15 pm    Session 1: Innovations in Philippine Art and Design

11:15 – 12:15 pm    Session 2: Introduction to Feature Writing / Writing a Trends Piece

12:15 – 1:15 pm     Lunch

1:15 – 1:45 pm     Q&A

1:45 – 1:55 pm     Workshop Evaluation

1:55 – 2:10 pm     Closing remarks and distribution of certificates

2:10 – 3:00 pm     Writing exercise and critique (optional)

 

PART B (Substantive Talk (open to the public) c/o Yuchengco Museum)

3:00 – 5:00 pm    Topic:  “Somewhat Different. Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention”

 

Who is this workshop for?

If you’re someone who loves art and design, and would like to try your hand at contributing feature articles on art and design innovations in the Philippines, “Writing the Trends Piece” will give you the basics to get you started. The one-day workshop is open to participants who are at least college-age and above.

 

What can I learn at this workshop?

Participants will leave the workshop armed with basic knowledge about the trends in Philippine art and design, and will likewise be equipped with the tools to write feature articles and “trends pieces” on the subject. The second part of the workshop will feature a hands-on writing and critiquing session, as well as a talk on the exhibition, “Something Different. Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention.”

 

How much is the fee?

Parts A & B (includes lunch, snacks, cocktails, workshop materials and certificate)

P2,000 workshop fee (which includes light snacks)

P1,800 discounted  (for students, seniors & WBP members)

 

Part B only

Museum talk comes with museum admission

(P100 for adults, P50 for students, P25 for children and seniors)

 

Who is conducting the workshop?

The workshop sessions will be facilitated by Ms. Jeannie E. Javelosa, Curator of the Yuchengco Museum; and Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Niña Terol-Zialcita, founders of Writer’s Block Philippines.

 

What do I need to bring?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes. Laptops are not advisable, as there might not be enough outlets in the venue. As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket. You may also take your lunch in any of the nearby restaurants or bring food that we can heat at the workshop venue.

 

How do I register?

To register, please  email info@yuchengcomuseum.org or call (02) 889-1234. You may settle the payment at the Yuchengco Museum or deposit to the Museum’s RCBC account.

 

Writing the Trends Piece: A workshop on feature writing about design and innovation

Renowned writer Oscar Wilde once said in his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, “Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.”

From classic to contemporary pieces, eye-popping designs and innovation inspire a lot of people to write. Colors, textures, materials, origin–there are various points of interest to draw upon even a succinct but engaging account of a design masterpiece.

But how does one write about such creations?

Inspired by the ongoing German exhibit “Somewhat DifferentContemporary Design & the Power of Convention,” Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) will be holding a workshop on feature writing about design and innovation.

Entitled “Writing the Trends Piece,” the writing workshop will be held at the Yuchengco Museum on May 26, 2012 (Saturday) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The workshop will be facilitated by Writer’s Block Philippines’ editor- founders Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Niña Terol-Zialcita, together with Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa. It fuses practical knowledge about writing, an overview of art and design trends in the Philippines, and hands-on feature writing and art appreciation exercises to give the participant a starting point for covering themes on art, design, and innovation.

ABOUT YUCHENGCO MUSEUM

The Yuchengco Museum was createdto house the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, and highlight his distinguished career as a businessman, diplomat, collector, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and advocate for education in the Philippines and beyond.

The Museum’s primary goal is to foster a greater public appreciation of the finest in Filipino and Filipino-Chinese visual arts and creativity. Located in Makati, the heart of Metro Manila’s financial district, the Museum is not only a “temple” that showcases art, but also a “forum” of exchange, debate, and education.

ABOUT WBP

Writer’s Block Philippines is an organization that works to empower  both individual and organizational writers and communicators. Believing that writing is both art and craft, both creative and methodical, a form of expression and a discipline, it offers workshops and customized editorial services to fit various needs.

For details and reservations about the workshop, email info@yuchengcomuseum.org, call (02) 889 1234, or visit www.writersblockphilippines.com

Travel the Write Way: FAQs

TRAVEL THE WRITE WAY: Turn Your Vacations into Travel Articles
GUIDE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

 ————

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE WORKSHOP?

What: Travel the Write Way: Turn Your Vacations Into Travel Articles
When: April 28, 2012, Saturday
, 10AM to 6PM
Where: co.Lab 4th Floor Optima Building, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati 

WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR?

Oftentimes, when you travel to another country or visit one of the Philippines’ many islands, the place becomes not just a tourist destination but an object of deep affection—a source of fierce pride, an overwhelming attachment, or a wellspring of memories and inspiration.

Vacations and beautiful places bring out a multitude of emotions—ranging from adrenaline rushes, nostalgia, awe, sometimes even humility at the majesty of nature when we see what she has created, or at the sheer brilliance of the human mind which has created many man-made wonders.

If you’ve ever traveled to another place, felt this way and wanted to write about it, “Travel the Write Way” will help you get started on another journey—one where you can turn your vacations into travel articles and immortalize your memories on print.

WHAT CAN I LEARN AT THIS WORKSHOP?

Whether you’re just starting out as a feature writer or have been published in the past and want to foray into travel writing, “Travel the Write Way” will teach you all the basics to help you get your travel pieces published.

In this one-day workshop, we’ll dissect the elements of travel features and what makes them unique, then we’ll look at the different building blocks of great travel pieces and show you how YOU can write one yourself. And thanks to the collective experience of our editor-founders, you’ll get inside tips, tricks, and writing techniques gleaned from over 20 years of writing, traveling, getting to know people and cultures, and making editors and readers happy. As always, we will end the workshop with a writing session and a critique of your work so that you can get instant feedback on your draft.

Whether you’re a veteran of press trips or just love to travel during your off-work days, this workshop will teach you how to create unique story angles that will make you stand out from other writers in the pack.

WHAT DOES THE P2,500 COURSE FEE COVER?

The P2,500 per head course fee covers

•    Course fee
•    Light snacks + drink
•    Workbook 

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.

WHO IS CONDUCTING THE WORKSHOP?

The workshop will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a group of editors and communicators who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in writing for publications and for a wide variety of corporate clients.

Ana is associate editor of Illustrado, a lifestyle magazine for expatriate Filipinos living in the Gulf. Nikka is a contributing editor of Smile, the inflight magazine of Cebu Pacific. Nina was formerly editor-in-chief of asianTraveler, the Philippines’ longest-running travel magazine. Together, their experiences in traveling and writing make for a valuable resource that school will not teach you about the industry.

Website: www.writersblockphilippines.com

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE WORKSHOP?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes.  (Laptops are not advisable, as there might not be enough outlets in the venue.) For added inspiration, bring anything from a favorite travel destination, as well as some of your favorite travel photos, travel articles, or even your favorite travel magazine. We may be referring to them from time to time throughout the workshop.

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

You may also take your lunch in any of the nearby restaurants or bring food that we can heat at the workshop venue.

The Write Stuff: FAQs

“THE WRITE STUFF: A WRITING LAB FOR TEENS”
WRITER’S BLOCK PHILIPPINES
GUIDE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

 ————

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE WORKSHOP?

What: “The Write Stuff” A Writing Lab for Teens

When: April 21, 2012, Saturday
10AM to 6PM

Where: co.Lab xchange
3/F #3 Brixton Street
Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig

WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR?

If you’re between the ages of 13-18, like to read and write and want to be a better writer for  school and for creative expression, and are thinking of writing as a career, “The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens” is for you. 

At this workshop, we will spend one whole day discovering our writing style, trying out various writing techniques and, we hope, come out with a better inkling of how to make our writer’s voice come out loud and clear on paper.  : )

WHAT CAN I LEARN AT THIS WORKSHOP?

Check out what we have lined up for “The Write Stuff”:

WHY WRITE?

The editor-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will share their back story about how they found their love for writing and made a career from doing what they love and loving what they do.

Nina can tell you how the rhythmic sound of her grandfather’s typewriter sounded like music to her ears. (And if you’re from a generation who no longer knows what a typewriter is, Google it before attending the workshop!)

Nikka will share her enviable job of traveling, reviewing restaurants, and getting paid to do it. (But what you should really also ask her is how she doesn’t get fat even after eating plenty of desserts! 

And Ana can tell you how throughout her career, she stayed away from writing for so long, but in end, writing found her anyway. (Ask her if she still misses her parking slot and the corner office.)

From their stories, you’ll learn about the myths and realities of being a writer and a creative entrepreneur. We hope you’ll pick up on influences and turning points and find out what opportunities are out there for writers.

Finding Your Voice     

How do you know what kind of writing works best for you? We’ll take a short quiz to find out.

(Don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of quiz you need to study for.)

Writing Techniques

How do you turn a personal experience into a feature article? How do you deal with writer’s block? Those are all issues that even the most veteran of writers have to deal with.

We’ll work out both our writing muscles and our brain waves with writing exercises specially crafted by Writer’s Block Philippines.

Writing, Blogging and Social Networks

Writing is all about practice, practice, practice.

In this portion of the workshop, we’ll talk about how you can use your blog to  practice your writing, build an audience and find your voice. We’ll also share social media do’s and don’ts to build your credibility as a budding writer.

Writing Exercise

We’ll end the day with a writing exercise, just for practice. : )

WHAT DOES THE P2,500 COURSE FEE COVER?

The P2,500 per head course fee covers

  • Course fee
  • Light snacks + drink
  • Workbook

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.

WHO IS CONDUCTING THE WORKSHOP?

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

Website: www.writersblockphilippines.com

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE WORKSHOP?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes.  As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket.
 You may also take your lunch in any of the nearby restaurants or bring food that we can heat at the workshop venue.

Know more about the business side of being a creative entrepreneur

Mark your calendars as the flagship workshop of Writer’s Block Philippines, “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career (The Crash Course Edition),” happens on March 17 in co.lab, 4/F Optima Building, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Aside from discussing the opportunities in freelance writing and other related topics, the workshop will feature a guest speaker who will tackle the business side of being a creative entrepreneur. Ariel Y. Lim, Jr., the Business Development Officer of Full Suite, Inc., will clue in the participants about business requirements and more.

Full Suite, Inc. has been operating since 1999, and the company has been helping companies of different sizes and industries for almost 13 years now. Full Suite allows them to focus on their core business by treating their company as our own. We become a strategic partner in growing their business. We become an extension of their company. Full Suite does these by providing support and other back-end activities in Accounting and HR. These include bookkeeping, financial reporting, payroll, benefits, policy setting and such.

The workshop fee is P2,500, which is inclusive of the course fee and workshop kit. Sign-up now and learn practical tips to help you jumpstart your freelance writing career! Limited slots available.

For more information, email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text us through this number: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines website at www.writersblockphilippines.com.

Writer’s Block Philippines brings you a crash course edition of “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career”!

Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) is happy to bring back its flagship workshop, “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career,” but instead of the usual two-day workshop format, it will be a crash course edition, which is perfect for the aspiring writers that lead busy lives. This jam-packed one-day workshop will equip you with practical knowledge and business tools to start writing and building a career as a writer.

The founders of WBP, Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou and Niña Terol-Zialcita, will conduct the workshop. They have over 15 years of combined experience in freelance writing and they will share their tips on how to build a career as a freelance writer.

According to Ana, an award-winning writer who contributes to the international wires, “We will look at the pros and cons and the myths and realities of freelance writing as a career. We will answer the question that every writer wants to know, ‘Is it really possible to earn a living as a freelance writer?’”

The workshop will also discuss the opportunities available in the field. Nikka shares that, “We will look at the various writing opportunities and how to capitalize on them and maximize them as diversified earning potentials.” She has been a full-time freelance writer for over five years now, and is currently maintaining three retainer jobs, including being a Contributing Editor in Smile magazine.

The best part of the workshop is that it will also talk about how to market yourself and the practical side of the business, which every professional writer should learn as well. Niña, the President and Deputy Editor of ProPinoy.net and an aluma of the European Journalism Institute, reveals that “Every writer should know how to write a pitch. A pitch to a writer is what an audition is to an actor—it’s a potential job that can lead to other potential jobs. Our pitching session—which has nothing to do with baseball–will clue you in on what editors are looking for and how to pique their interest.”

As a bonus, there will be a guest speaker during the workshop who will tackle the business side of being a creative entrepreneur. Ariel Y. Lim, Jr., the Business Development Officer of Full Suite, Inc., will clue in the participants about business requirements and more. Full Suite offers entrepreneurs and small companies different kinds of services to set-up their business.

What more could you ask for? Join the ranks of some of our past workshop participants, whose works have been featured in publications such as Illustrado, asianTraveler, Travelife, OfficiallyPhilippines.com, Good Housekeeping, Metro Society, and several others!

Here’s some more feedback from past workshop participants about Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career (taken from evaluation forms):

            “Great way to get yourself started on your writing career. Also a great way to gain friends and contacts.

            “I wasn’t very excited about your workshop at first but after attending it, I think it’s very good, very worthwhile, and the only one of its kind in the market today. Your approach is  very unique, different and very practical.”

            “Overall, I learned a lot from this workshop and the content is relevant for aspiring writers in our country. Therefore, it is very good workshop.”

            “I truly admire how the three ladies conducted the sessions. They are very comfortable with each other and it made me, as a participant, comfortable too. The set-up of the seminar, the presentations and the resources provided the best environment to learn about freelancing.”

            “You’re doing a great job! Very generous with tips, time and commitment/the  seriousness is needed in writing. Students take after their mentors and you three are creating responsible writer-entrepreneurs-to-be. Thank you.”

Why don’t you give yourself and your writing a chance? Sign-up now and get closer to your dream of being published!

Mark your calendars as our upcoming workshop will happen on March 17 (Saturday), 9am-6pm in co.lab, 4/F Optima Building, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. The fee is P2,500, which is inclusive of the course fee and workshop kit.

Email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text us through this number for more information: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines website at www.writersblockphilippines.com or co.lab’s website www.colabmanila.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Nikka Sarthou

0927 8508280

writersblock.ph@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career (The Crash Course Edition)

Writer’s Block Philippines, together with co.lab, brings you Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career, the crash course edition!

This jampacked one-day workshop will equip you with practical knowledge and business tools to start writing and build a career as a writer.

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career–The Crash Course Edition

When: March 17, Saturday, 9am to 6pm

Where: Co.Lab Optima Building, Salcedo St. Legaspi Village, Makati City

What does the P2,500 course fee cover?

The P2,500 per head course fee covers the course fee and workshop kit.

How can I pay for the workshop?

You can deposit your payment to our bank account. Details as follows:

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.

What does the workshop cover?

The founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will discuss the following topics:

Why freelance?

Why should you freelance? It is about having more free time or just doing what you want? While both may be true, we will look at the pros and cons and the myths and realities of freelance writing as a career.

Opportunities

Freelancing is and can be a viable and sustainable career. We will look at the various writing opportunities, how to capitalize on them and maximize them as diversified earning potentials.

Marketing Yourself

Your byline is your brand.  Just like any brand you need to market yourself, create your portfolio, and create a positive image for yourself as a writer.

Practical Side of the Business

In this crash course of Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career, we will include a portion on the practical side of becoming a creative entrepreneur.

Getting Published

How do you start a freelance writing career? How do you get published? First, you have to know how to write a pitch  A pitch to a writer is what an audition is to an actor—it’s a potential job that can lead to other potential jobs. Our pitching session—which has nothing to do with baseball–will clue you in on what editors are looking for and how to pique their interest.

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.

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. 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 Air.

Nina Terol-Zialcita: arts & culture, travel, 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 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, [r]evolutionaries: The new generation of Filipino youth and youth organizations.

In 2010, Nina was a scholar at the European Journalism Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. Nina was also a former Editor-in-Chief of 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 email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text us through this number for more information: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines website at www.writersblockphilippines.com.

Using feature writing to attract new clients, improve business communications

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — People commonly associate feature writing with lifestyle articles and glossy magazines. For the savvy business communicator, however, feature writing can be a great way to tell a company or brand’s story (and we all love stories!), grab mindshare, change behaviors, and attract new business.

Take the case of a multinational construction company who wanted to soften its image and appear more approachable to its clients. It needed a communication solution to a perception problem about the product being “stiff”, “boring”, and “too technical.”

The solution: develop an in-house lifestyle publication that would show cement not just as a technical product, but as the stuff of which beautiful things are made. The feature articles housed in this magazine tackled architecture, interior design, even a bit of arts and culture, and, of course, profiles of people from all around the company that made it a great building partner.

There is also the case of a financial institution that wanted to promote one of its newly launched services. Using feature writing, it was able to showcase success stories of clients that had availed themselves of this service, as well as explain–in lay terms–mechanics that would otherwise have been crammed into a small flyer. Feature writing humanized the product and made it easier to understand.

Here are a few more ways to make the most of feature writing in your company or organization:

1.    Show human interest stories of your company’s leaders to show the open and warm culture in your company.

2.    Profile beneficiaries that show the positive, life-changing results of your work, and why it will be worth your donors’ money to choose YOUR non-profit or charity.

3.    Show tips for making the most of your product or service.

4.    Showcase a featured destination (or occasion) and show how, for example, your travel agency helps make memorable holidays like this come true.

5.    Share testimonials of happy clients and what makes your company THEIR partner of choice.

When done well, feature writing can be a powerful tool for business and can help you save on advertising costs. After all, there are few things more powerful than a compelling story shared online or through word of mouth.

To know more about how feature writing can work for your business or organization, join Feature Writing 101 by Writer’s Block Philippines. The one-day workshop runs on February 18, 2012, 10am to 6pm at Quantum Café, Kamagong St, Makati. For complete details, visit <www.writersblockphilippines.com>, email writersblock.ph@gmail.com, or call/text (0927) 850 5280.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Feature Writing 101 v 3.0

What are the details of the workshop?
What: Feature Writing 101 v3
 (FW101)
When: February 18, 2012 (Saturday), 10AM to 6PM
Where: Quantum Café, Kamagong corner Bagtikan Streets, Makati City

 

 

 

 

What are the details of the workshop?
What: Feature Writing 101 v3
 (FW101)
When: February 18, 2012 (Saturday), 10AM to 6PM
Where: Quantum Café, Kamagong corner Bagtikan Streets, Makati City

What does the P2,800 course fee cover?
The P2,800 per head course fee covers the following:

  • Course fee
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Workshop kit

How can I pay for the workshop?
You can pay for the workshop via PayPal, which you can access on the sidebar of our website, www.writersblockphilippines.com, or you can deposit your payment to our bank account. Details as follows:

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?

Introduction: 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: what makes good feature writing? And how do you begin?

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 Air.

Nina Terol-Zialcita: arts & culture, travel, 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 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, [r]evolutionaries: The new generation of Filipino youth and youth organizations.

In 2010, Nina was a scholar at the European Journalism Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. Recently, Nina was also a former Editor-in-Chief of 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. Also bring a story idea to work on during the writing activity.

Who do I call for more information about the workshop?

You can email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text us through this number for more information: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines website at www.writersblockphilippines.com.

The power of cut-and-paste: How a dream board can be more effective than New Year’s resolutions

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares how dreamboarding can be more effective than making New Year’s resolutions. Read the excerpt here below, and read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl.

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares how dreamboarding can be more effective than making New Year’s resolutions. Read the excerpt here below, and read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl.

The power of cut-and-paste: How a dream board can be more effective than New Year’s resolutions

 

By now, you might already have made your list of New Year’s resolutions, starting with losing all the holiday weight that you’ve put on, kicking a nasty habit (such as smoking or drinking a wee bit much), spending more time with your family, or saving instead of spending. Whatever your resolutions may be, we all know the drill–you jot them down on a piece of paper, in a journal, or on a blog, and you make a commitment to stick to them. We also know that, unless you are able to successfully form a new habit out of your resolutions (it takes 21 days to form a habit, experts say), they will be just like many of our to-do lists–listed down but not really fully accomplished.

What New Year’s resolutions lack, I’ve seen, is the power to inspire us with positive images of our desired outcome. More often than not, the resolutions that we list are just means to get to an end instead of the desired end itself. For instance, many of us want to go back to the gym, sign up for yoga, lose weight, or stop smoking because, in the end, we want to live healthier, fuller lives. Or we want to save and invest more so that we can use our money and resources on the things that really matter to us–our families, our dream home, our dream vacation, future needs, and so on. For these resolutions to be truly effective, we need to be able to visualize them and map out how they fit into our lives.

This is where dreamboarding (or vision boarding) comes in.

First, what is a dream board?

A dream board, simply put, is a collage of images that help you visualize your dreams, goals, and priorities. It is made by cutting and pasting images from magazines and photographs onto a large sketchbook or illustration board, accompanied by some sort of mental processing. (More on this later.) It can be as all-encompassing as a dream board for your life goals, as medium-term as a dream board for the next year (or three, or five), or as short-term and as specific as a dream board for school or work, or love. There are no right or wrong “answers” for dreamboarding–although there are ideal conditions and processes for it–and you can do them as often as you’d like.

How it has worked for me

My first experience with creative visioning had been with my grades in school. I was a grade-conscious student, I admit, and I used to put on my bedroom wall ideal grade reports that looked almost exactly like the grade reports that were handed out by my school, but with the grades that I wanted to get. I wasn’t unrealistic by putting straight As on my ideal grade report, but I put in there the highest possible grades that I could get considering all the “givens” for that semester–how easy or challenging the professors were, my level of interest in the subjects, the chances of really getting As, and so on. Seeing the “vision grades” every single day motivated me to do my best in each of my subjects, and I ended up with almost the exact same grades that I put on my ideal grade report.

(The downside: I started using this technique only in my senior year in college–imagine if I had started much earlier!)

After having seen the power of creative visioning in my student life, I took visioning to a higher level and soon created a “vision wall”: a HUGE collage–more like a mural, actually–of images all over my bedroom walls, which I used to motivate and inspire me as I embarked on corporate life.

It’s been roughly 13 years since I first started creative visioning and dreamboarding, and it’s something I continue to do whenever I need clarity or inspiration or simply just a positive boost. There’s nothing like seeing your goals, dreams, and priorities laid out before your very eyes to inspire you to move along the right path–YOUR own path.

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Read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl. Writer’s Block Philippines is also offering a three-hour Dreamboarding workshop on January 10, 2012 (Tuesday), 6-9PM at Quantum Cafe, Bagtikan corner Kamagong Streets, Makati City. To know more about this workshop, read our FAQs HERE. To register, fill out this online registration form. You may also email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text (0927) 50 8280.

Happy New Year!