Last week I wrote about the writing workshops going on this summer, with the aim of nurturing and developing the skills of Filipino writers. I mentioned how essential these workshops are not only to teach craft and technique, but also to build and foster a sense of community among people who often feel they are alone in their endeavors. I can't emphasize enough just how important workshops, literary conferences, and similar gatherings are, especially those that are conducted face-to-face. As I see in workshop after workshop the happy and fulfilled faces of participants and read their messages of thanks and acknowledgment, I become even more convinced we need to do more to propagate activities and events that bring people together to celebrate the written word and all the other forms and permutations of narrative and storytelling. Thus I call upon provincial and city/municipality leaders to be open to holding literary residencies and workshops in their areas to further promote reading and writing among their constituents, and to provide points of collaboration for their writers with others from across the country. What are writers' residencies? These are programs that provide housing, food, etc. to writers to stay in a certain area for a certain length of time (could be weeks or months) so that they can do research or finish a literary work. Residencies are necessary because the craft of writing requires time, focus, and an environment conducive to creativity. Writing residencies offer a unique opportunity for writers to retreat from their everyday lives and immerse themselves in their work. To fully harness the potential of literary talent in the country, local governments should consider offering and subsidizing writing residencies. These programs not only foster the growth of individual writers but also contribute to the cultural fabric and creative landscape of a nation. By offering fully or partially funded residencies, governments can alleviate the financial burdens that often hinder writers from pursuing their craft full-time. Subsidized residencies enable writers to focus on their creative endeavors without the constant pressure to generate income through unrelated jobs. This support allows them to […]
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