The perfect way to start the year: A Dreamboarding workshop

It’s typical to start another new year with a set of new resolutions, but have you tried creating your own dreamboard?

Dreamboarding is a more creative way to visualize what you want to happen in your life. By making your own dreamboard through crafting a collage of images that resonate with you, you will better understand your goals, priorities, and motivations. Isn’t that a more fun way to begin 2012?

Instead of making another list of resolutions, sign-up for the “Dreamboarding” session of Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) on January 10, 2012 (Tuesday), 6:00-9:00pm in Quantum Café, Makati City. This event is open to writers and non-writers alike, both young and old. Even teenagers may join in on the fun.

Ana Santos, one of the founders of WBP says, “Some people like creating digital versions of their dreamboards, but we recommend the “analog” cut-and-paste version to allow serendipity to fully work its magic into the process.”

Participants will be given enough time to produce their own dreamboards during the event. “Although the dreamboard is something personal since you’ll be pouring your hopes and dreams there, nobody will be forced to share details that they wish to keep to themselves,” reveals Nikka Sarthou, another WBP co-founder.  Aside from visualizing your goals, the regular practice of dreamboarding can help you better understand your priorities and motivations, as well as inspire you to take charge of your own future.

According to WBP co-founder, Niña Terol-Zialcita, “Like any other workshop that you may have already attended, the Dreamboarding workshop will only be as effective as you make it. You get what you put into it. That said, the main ingredients for “success” in this workshop are: an open mind and an attitude of genuine learning and sharing.”

Start the year right in 2012 and register early, as slots are limited. The fee is P1,200, inclusive of food and workshop materials. (Regular discounts apply for WBP members.)

For inquiries and reservations, email writersblock.ph@gmail.com or contact (0927) 850 8280.

Sign-up for our Dreamboarding Workshop in January!

Start the year right by signing up for our first-ever event in 2012–Dreamboarding!

 

What is a dreamboard?

A dreamboard, also called a “vision board”, is a collage of images that are meant to creatively visualize and connect you to your life goals. Some people like creating digital versions of their dreamboards, but we recommend the “analog” cut-and-paste version to allow serendipity to fully work its magic into the process.

 

What exactly is a “Dreamboarding” workshop?

“Dreamboarding” is a three-hour creativity session where participants will be asked to take part in a visualization exercise, make their own dreamboards, and process the contents of their dreamboards to better understand their goals, priorities, and motivations. There are no right or wrong answers, and nobody will be forced to share details that they wish to keep to themselves.

 

What are the general details of the dreamboarding workshop?

When: January 10, 2012 (Tuesday)

Where: Quantum Café, FERON Building 9590 Kamagong corner Bagtikan Sts,. Makati City

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

 

Is the “Dreamboarding” workshop only for writers?

The “Dreamboarding” workshop is open to writers and non-writers alike, both young and old. Even teenagers may attend the event!

 

How many are the expected participants?

We can only accommodate a maximum of 20 participants for this event.

 

How I can benefit from the activity?

At the very least, making a dreamboard can help you visualize your goals. (And what you can visualize, you can more easily achieve!) On a deeper level, the regular practice of dreamboarding can help you better see underlying patterns in your life, understand your priorities and motivations, and be more inspired to take charge of your own future.

 

How much is the registration fee? And what does it cover?

The fee is P1,200, inclusive of food and workshop materials. (Regular discounts apply for WBP members. Please include your membership card number when emailing us your deposit slip and details.)

 

How can I pay for my slot?

To secure your slot to the workshop, you may pay the fee via deposit to our bank account. Details are as follows:

Bank: BPI

Bank account name: Writer’s Block Training Services

Account number: Savings account 1759-0377-11

Once you have made the deposit, please send us a scanned image of the deposit slip to our email address, writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Please also include your full name and mobile number so we can get in touch with you for any urgent communication.

Deadline for registration is NOON of Monday, January 9, 2012.

 

Will you be accepting walk-ins for this class?

Since we will need to prepare materials and food before this workshop, we’re afraid that we cannot accept walk-ins. Also, we will have only 20 slots for this workshop, so we encourage you to reserve and make your payments early.

 

Is there anything else that I will need to do or bring before the workshop?

Like any other workshop that you may have already attended, the Dreamboarding workshop will only be as effective as you make it. You get what you put into it. That said, the main ingredients for “success” in this workshop are: an open mind and an attitude of genuine learning and sharing. We shall provide the materials that you will use for this exercise, but if you’d like to bring your own magazines and art supplies, feel free to do so.

 

Who can I contact for more information?

You may reach us at (0927) 850 8280 or email writersblock.ph@gmail.com.

FAQs: An Introduction to Writing About Arts & Culture Workshop

AN INTRODUCTION TO WRITING ABOUT ARTS AND CULTURE
WRITER’S BLOCK PHILIPPINES & THE YUCHENGCO MUSEUM

Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

What are the details of the workshop?

What: Introduction to Writing About Arts and Culture
When: October 8, 2011 (Saturday)
Where: Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Tower Ayala Avenue, Makati
Time: 9AM to 6PM
Info info@yuchengcomuseum.org or (+63 2) 889-1234 (Please look for Carla Martinez)

What does the P3,500 course fee cover?

The P3,500 per head course fee covers

·         Course fee
·         Light snacks + drink

*NOTE: Bona fide members of Writer’s Block Philippines (those with annual membership) get 10% off on the workshop fee. Students also get a special 15% discount; to avail yourself of the discount, present or email or valid student ID to info@yuchengcomuseum.org before making payment. The 15% student discount does not apply to credit card payments and may NOT be combined with the 10% WBP member discount.

How can I pay for the workshop?

Workshop fees can be paid in cash, bank deposit, or check to the Yuchengco Museum. For payment details, please contact info@yuchengcomuseum.org or call (+63 2) 889-1234 and look for Carla Martinez.

You can pay for the workshop via credit card or PayPal, which you can access on www.writersblockphilippines.com.

Who should attend this workshop?

Anyone who wants to write effectively and creatively about Philippine arts and culture. This is ideal for students (at least university level), writers and journalists who cover the travel & leisure or arts & culture beats, or gallery publicists who want to attract a wider public through their writing. Bloggers who write about arts & culture and related themes will also benefit from this workshop.

Who are the speakers?

The workshop’s main speakers will be Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie E. Javelosa and architect and graphologist Manny Miñana. Writing sessions will be handled by Writer’s Block Philippines’ trio of editor-founders Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Niña Terol-Zialcita.

Jeannie E. Javelosa

Jeannie is an Advocate for Culture and Sustainability. She is an award-winning Painter-Printmaker with more than 20 solo exhibits to her name; an Art Critic-Reviewer in the first part of her career; a Writer and Author with several awards for coffee table books on culture and the arts. She has run cultural institutions such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines Contemporary Visual Arts Museum, the Australia Center, and through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and as Consultant under the Office of the President,  has handled national government projects on culture and the arts positioning Philippine culture in the International and ASEAN level.  She is presently the Curator for the Yuchengco Museum.

Jeannie is also a Strategic Branding and Marketing-Communications Specialist with her company EON Stakeholder Relations Firm whose main advocacy is Branding the Philippines. She is a Social-Entrepreneur for the green sustainable lifestyle through her establishments ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle and Le Bistro Vert Sustainable Foods, and leads the ECHO Sustainable Initiatives or the ECHOSI Foundation.

Jeannie is a yoga practitioner for the past 16 years, and a yoga teacher for the past decade with a certification for teaching Ashtanga Yoga.  She also writes about topics of her interest (culture, consciousness and wellness) in her regular Sunday column entitled A Spirited Soul at the Allure Section of the Philippine Star, as well as contributing articles to other glossy magazines.

Manny Miñana

Emmanuel Miñana is an architect by profession who has had a life-long interest in painting, drafting, photography, and graphology.

He received his degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines’ School of Architecture in Diliman. He has taken further executive education on Sustainable Green Architecture, Hotel Design, Tourism and Resort design from the Graduate School of Design in Harvard.

Manny started his interest and study of graphology when he was twelve.  For the past thirty years, he has analyzed thousands of signatures here and abroad.  He hopes to share a clearer, finer insight on the nature of people through his personal studies and graphological theories that have arisen from this quiet pursuit.

Manny is married to commercial and fine arts photographer Denise Weldon and has two children, Alejandro, 13 and Carolina, 9.

Manny is a student of Siddha Yoga meditation. Last year, he ran the Paris and New York marathons.

This is Architect Miñana’s first public lecture on graphology.

Writer’s Block Philippines

The editor-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines have combined writing and editorial experience of over 20 years, spanning a wide variety of lifestyle, socio-political, and corporate themes. Ana Santos is the Associate Editor of Illustrado, an upscale lifestyle magazine for expat Filipinos based in Dubai, which also has an annual arts issue. Nikka Sarthou is a Contributing Editor of Cebu Pacific’s Smile, and is a prolific lifestyle, travel, and food writer. Niña Terol-Zialcita is the Editor-in-Chief of asianTraveler, and has been covering arts and culture themes for a number of years now.

Writer’s Block Philippines has been conducting regular writing workshops since 2010 and have covered freelance writing, feature writing, food writing, travel writing, and corporate writing. Their collaboration with the Yuchengco Museum is a first-of-its-kind endeavor, one that is sorely needed to help boost public engagement in Philippine arts and culture.

What will the course cover?

An Overview of Philippine Arts, Culture, and Heritage in  Contemporary Life
This session aims to contextualize the tech-savvy journalist within the equally wild, wired world of Philippine arts, culture, and heritage. It seeks to answer the questions: What is the current state of Philippine arts, culture, and heritage? How do these fields interact with travel writing? With food writing? With lifestyle writing? How are these relevant today—and why should we care?

Telling the Story of Arts and Culture
Presents a summary of the different types of stories that may be generated within the arts and culture beat, as well as examples of compelling reporting and its results:

– The Artist’s Sketch (personality profile)
– Traveling through Culture and Heritage
– Designing Pieces on Philippine Architecture
– The Art Review
– Opportunities in Arts, Culture, and Heritage Reporting

What You Need to Know
Presents an interactive “toolbox” of the different resources that arts and culture writers need to know in the Philippine context. Who are the sources for these stories and where can they be found? Where else can we go for research? How do we avoid tackling the same angles and using the same sources?

Asking the Right Questions
For the novice arts and culture writer, it is easy to make the mistake of presuming too much or asking too little. This session aims to share the best questions to ask to get the right kind of information, the right quotable quotes, and the right material to make a piece meaty, engaging, but not over-the-top

*Plus other hands-on writing exercises

Yuchengco Museum and Writer’s Block Philippines Partnership

 

Yuchengco Museum and Writer’s Block Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to work together to train writers on presenting the arts, culture, and heritage to a wider audience through the “Writing About Arts and Culture” program. The MOA was signed by Writer’s Block Philippines co-founders Niña Terol-Zialcita (left) and Nikka Sarthou (right) and Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa (center) during the program’s press launch on September 12 at Yuchengco Museum (not in photo is WBP co-founder Ana Santos). The first workshop under this partnership program will be held at the museum on October 8.

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

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: 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

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.

* * *

PAYMENT DETAILS:

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!

Feature Writing 101: Course Outline

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: 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.

 

Story Tour Asia (Philippines) 2011 English Film and Television Screenwriting Seminars & Workshops

Manila May 7 – 8
Bacolod May 11 – 12
Cebu May 14 – 15

The film and television industry is today more international than ever before. Just as Western product has long held a presence on Asian screens, now the brilliant films and television shows of our region are making a real splash with the audiences of the West. The entertainment industry is globalised. Actors, directors, writers, producers and production crews cross borders to creative stories for the screen. Many of the region’s biggest hits have proven highly adaptable, being remade and re-localised to reach new territories. The creators of our region’s film and television stories have found ways of generating profit from their work, and extending the shelf lives of their concepts, that didn’t exist a decade ago. The skills and experiences of industry professionals from other territories are suddenly of enormous value in this fluid, evolving market place.

Responding to the industry’s rapid change, The Story Department, in partnership with Wigile Group International, are pleased to announce the launch of The Story Department Asia Tour 2011 in the Philippines. We make the talent and expertise of renowned industry professionals from other territories available to established and aspiring creative professionals in our own region.

 

Offering the first comprehensive English film and television storywriting classes of its kind in Philippines, The Story Department’s seminars and workshops aim to bridge the gap between screen industries in the East and West. In a globalised market it is the products with universal appeal that travel beyond national and language borders. The Story Tour Asia (Philippines) 2011 allows participants in Manila, Bacolod, and Cebu to identify the elements of this appeal, leading to the creation of internationally successful product.

 

The Philippine Screenwriting Tour 2011 showcases two internationally experienced screenwriting instructors, Karel Segers and Luke Devenish, who will share their insights on dramatic writing for television and film. The screenwriting seminars are a must for established and aspiring writers, producers, directors and other screen industry creatives who want to write stories that capture the imagination of a broadest possible audience.
The Story Department in partnership with Wigile International are pleased to announce the The Story Department Asia Tour 2011 – Philippine Storywriting Intensive Masterclasses for writers, producers, directors and other screen industry executives in the Philippine storytelling community. The first comprehensive film and telesyres storywriting masterclasses of its kind in Philippines, the seminars and workshops showcases two internationally acclaimed screenwriting instructors Karel Segers and Luke Devenish will share their insights on dramatic writing for the two main screen story formats: television and film.

On the first day of the weekend seminar Luke Devenish will reveal the mechanics of serial drama writing with particular focus on creating viable, endearing, compelling and sustainable characters and creating storyline character trajectories. On the second day, Karels Segers will discuss how the Hero’s Journey can empower film screenwriters to connect with a universal audience.

Participants can expect to study clips from TV soaps and Films. Participants can attend either the one day intensive for TV writing or the one day intensive for Film writing or both. For those wanting an act (approx. 30 pages) of their own scripts dissected & assessed, The Story Department is also proud to present The Cave intensive: roundtable discussions with Luke Devenish or Karel Segers who will give feedback on participant’s submitted scripts. The weekend seminar is a must for anyone wanting to improve their screen writing craft for an international audience.

Screen industry executives with projects in development wanting one-one feedback of a full script can get their scripts analysed by Karel Segers (Film) or Luke Devenish (TV).

For more info please visit the following links:

 

Meet our guest speakers for “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0”

Meet our guest speakers for “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0”

JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER is a two-day workshop that takes participants through the whys, whats, wheres, and hows of freelance writing. It is participant-focused, helping the budding writer find his (or her) writing voice to better identify and maximize available writing opportunities. It also aims to equip the writer with the necessary tools and information to get started, as well as debunk myths that can get in the way of freelancing success.

On our fourth run of our flagship workshop, “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career,” we are very fortunate to have two amazing guest speakers from the industry. Get a chance to hobnob with an award-winning author and a well-known media personality.

Tweet Sering is a writer and publisher based in Manila, Philippines. She is the author of the novel Wander Girl (Summit Books) and of the memoir Astigirl: A Grown Girl Living On Her Own Terms (Astigirl Publishing).

A recipient of the 2000 Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature for the One-Act Play The Tuesday Club, Ms. Sering was a copywriter at JWT-Philippines, a contributing editor at fashion magazine Preview, an associate creative director at GMA Network, Inc., and an executive producer for television commercials at Brew Productions.

She has written for Cosmopolitan-Philippines, Female-Singapore, Mabuhay (Philippine Airlines’ in-flight magazine), Smile (Cebu Pacific’s in-flight magazine), legmanila.com, UNO magazine and business magazine SME Insight. She writes a column, Elephant in a Shoebox, for the Philippine Star.

In 2006, she began conducting writing workshops (dothewritething.ph) designed to jump-start people on their creative/personal projects. Recently, she set up her publishing company, which published her blog-turned-book Astigirl.

 

Vince Golangco is a radio DJ on “The Wake Up Show” heard Monday to Friday, 6am-10am, on Mellow 94.7. Vince is also a TV show host of “Tek Tok TV” (Tech Talk TV) and is the Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director of WhenInManila.com. You can connect with Vince on Twitter.com/VinceGolangco

 

JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0 happens on April 30 and May 1 in Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, Makati City. For more information, you may email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com, contact us at 0927 8508280, or visit our website.

How to use your passions to jumpstart a freelance writing career

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

Although Nikka began her career working full-time in a publishing house, she eventually embarked on a freelance career to have the flexibility to pursue her passions while making a comfortable living. She is now Contributing Editor for Smile, Cebu Pacific’s inflight magazine, as well as content manager for the travel website OfficiallyPhilippines.com.

“Schools do not really teach its students how to go about freelance writing. I had to learn the ropes myself,” she points out. “It took me some time before I was able to have a sustainable freelance writing career, and now I’m enjoying its benefits. Since I’m now a full-time freelance writer, I get to be my own boss and marry my two other passions, which are writing and travelling.”

Ana Santos, on the other hand, embarked on a freelance writing career in a roundabout way, having been in the banking industry for nine years before finally leaving her post as Assistant Vice President of a multinational financial institution to do what she really loves to do: write and support the women’s reproductive health movement. Since taking on the plunge to write full-time and create the website www.sexandsensibilities.com in 2010, Ana has been invited to numerous speaking engagements and media appearances and has also been featured in Cosmo’s feature on Women Warriors  in the November 2010 issue. Ana is also a foreign correspondent for the United Nations, as well as Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

For her, even the perks of a bank executive—including the designated parking slot—don’t compare to the fulfilment she feels when she is able to write in support of a cause that she is truly passionate about.  However, she is quick to point out that her mix of marketing, PR, and hard-core corporate skills are useful in building her personal brand as a freelance writer.

“The marketing skills I picked up during my banking days come in handy now that I manage my own ‘by-line’ which we at Writer’s Block Philippines, liken to managing your own corporation. Thinking of writing as a career rather than a ‘gig’ or ‘sideline’ is the key to making it a sustainable passion.”

Niña Terol-Zialcita, meanwhile, fuses advocacy, travel and arts & culture in her writing, shifting easily from political writing and consulting to writing and editing travel features—sometimes in the span of a few hours. With a career that has spanned working for a telco, a non-profit consulting firm, the Philippine Senate, and a national electoral campaign, Niña finds a way to fuse her various skills and balance her many interests through freelancing.

She shares: “For someone like me who enjoys exploring many different fields and expressing myself across different disciplines, I find that freelancing has given me the opportunity to widen my network and horizons, and enhance my competencies. Writing also immerses me in the creative sphere, balancing my cutthroat political-corporate sensibilities with my need for softer artistic outlets. Even while holding a full-time Senate post, I enjoyed writing and editing for lifestyle and travel publications.”

At present, Niña is a political and corporate communications consultant while being a book author and editor-in-chief of asianTraveler Magazine.

Writer's Block Philippines
Writer's Block Philippines: Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, Nina Terol-Zialcita

All three ladies are also co-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, an organization dedicated to helping writers and communicators sharpen their skills and find profitable, sustainable opportunities in writing. When they are not busy with their respective editorial and consulting engagements, the three conduct writing workshops to share tried-and-tested tips for breaking into the competitive world of freelance writing.

“There was a large gap in the market that we wanted to fill,” shares Ana. “While attending Maven Secrets, a course taught by Anton Diaz on professional blogging and Internet marketing, we realized that there are not enough  courses that teach people how to write and communicate better.”

Nikka adds: “We also saw throughout our respective careers that there are many opportunities for freelance writing that can fit people’s varied interests. Our courses aim to teach participants how to break into freelance writing through various channels, such as print, mobile, online, and social media.”

“More importantly, we teach our participants how to not only get published but also how to build their respective brands and how to sustain a profitable career in freelancing. This isn’t about one-shot deals but about building a life that you want out of the things that matter most to you,” reveals  Niña.

All of these elements are integrated into JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0, a two-day workshop designed to prepare participants for a freelance writing career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and talks by guest speakers from the industry. The next workshop will run from April 30 to May 1, 2011, 10AM to 6PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Testimonials from past participants show the following statements:

“Thank you for creating Writer’s Block Philippines. I’m proud to belong to a community of writers who have passion for and respect the craft. The workshop is excellent. It would be nice to have monthly meetings for follow-up.”

“Writing the pitch was really practical Also, the opportunities and advice were very structured and practical.”

“The workshop gave me a lot of information on how to really start a career as a freelance writer.”

“You guys did a great job team-teaching. You are great at conveying your enthusiasm. And it was a valuable experience. Thank you.”

Indeed, Writer’s Block Philippines and its founders have proven that it is possible to build an enjoyable and profitable career in the pursuit of one’s passions. All it takes is an acute awareness of one’s gifts and talents, an openness to keep learning, and the courage to take the inevitable leap of faith.

 

Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0 is supported by Powerbooks, Travelife Magazine, ClicktheCity.com, Nivea, MiLi, and WheninManila.com. For more information, please contact Writer’s Block Philippines at (0927) 850.8280 or writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Online reservations and payments are also accepted through www.writersblockphilippines.com. For fresh updates on Writer’s Block Philippines events, follow WBP on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writersblock.ph) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/writersblockph)