Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Innsmouth Free Press Special Multi-Issue 2010 -- Call For Submissions Extended

The call for submissions for the multiethnic issue of Lovecraftian stories by Innsmouth Press (first blogged about here) has been extended to December 15, 2009. Click here for details. Get crackin'!

ChiZine Publications Flash-Flash Fiction Competition

ChiZine Publications has an ongoing flash-flash fiction competition:

Flash fiction: it's longer than a knock-knock joke, shorter than a short story, and for a short, sharp shock of narrative juice, there's nothing like it.

That's why ChiZine Publications has sent three of its finest short-fiction authors out on a hunt for the best little stories they can find, in ChiZine Publications' Flash Flash-fiction Contest.

Word limit is 300, and the deadline is November 30, 2009. Click here for more details.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Please Vote For Me? :D (Fantasy Magazine's Halloween Flash Fiction Contest)

Sorry for this bit of self-promotion, but...

My story, "Lost For Words", is a finalist at Fantasy Magazine's Halloween Flash Fiction Contest. It was inspired by the illustration here, done by PGS contributor Andrew Drilon. You may recognize it as the one used for the Image Inspiration contest from PGS 2.

If you think "Lost For Words" is good enough, may I ask for your vote? The one with the most votes by November 1, 2009, (U.S. time) is the winner. :D

Thank you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sketch-A-Thon For Ondoy Survivors

Imagination Station sent me this email:

Good day!

We are Start Here, an online project collecting artwork inspired by Typhoon Ondoy relief efforts that aims, in turn, to inspire others to help in rebuilding affected communities in the Philippines.

Currently, we are organizing the START HERE SKETCH-A-THON, a one-day drawing event that aims to raise funds for the benefit of Ondoy survivors. During the event, artists and artists-at-heart can draw their visions of hope, creation, and rebuilding, or ask professional artists for commissioned artwork in exchange for pledges and donations.

The event will happen on 15 November 2009, Sunday at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, and we’d like to ask for your help in spreading the word, so that more people could attend. We also hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Play Hide-And-Seek With Stephen King

Can you find all of Stephen King's new book, Under The Dome? All 336,114 words of it has been hidden across the internet. An excerpt:

Today Stephen King’s UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton launches the biggest ever game of literary hide-and-seek. His much-awaited epic novel UNDER THE DOME, featuring over 100 characters and running to 336,114 words, has been broken into more than 5,000 snippets (scattered across hundreds of websites and locations throughout the UK) as a way to celebrate the breadth of this masterpiece and to give fans a one-off opportunity to piece the book back together before its general release on 10th November.

Extracts of the book have been hidden across Stephen King fansites as well as horror, thriller and lifestyle websites, and offline. Fans are invited to continue this hiding process and also to find the snippets using the clues given on and deliver them back to the website.

What an intriguing way to push the new book!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Junot Diaz Talks About Becoming A Writer

2008 Pulitzer Prize winner for The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz talks about his becoming a writer. An excerpt:

One night in August, unable to sleep, sickened that I was giving up, but even more frightened by the thought of having to return to the writing, I dug out the manuscript. I figured if I could find one good thing in the pages I would go back to it. Just one good thing. Like flipping a coin, I'd let the pages decide. Spent the whole night reading everything I had written, and guess what? It was still terrible. In fact with the new distance the lameness was even worse than I'd thought. That's when I should have put everything in the box. When I should have turned my back and trudged into my new life. I didn't have the heart to go on. But I guess I did. While my fiancée slept, I separated the 75 pages that were worthy from the mountain of loss, sat at my desk, and despite every part of me shrieking no no no no, I jumped back down the rabbit hole again. There were no sudden miracles. It took two more years of heartbreak, of being utterly, dismayingly lost before the novel I had dreamed about for all those years finally started revealing itself. And another three years after that before I could look up from my desk and say the word I'd wanted to say for more than a decade: done.

That's my tale in a nutshell. Not the tale of how I came to write my novel but rather of how I became a writer. Because, in truth, I didn't become a writer the first time I put pen to paper or when I finished my first book (easy) or my second one (hard). You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. Wasn't until that night when I was faced with all those lousy pages that I realized, really realized, what it was exactly that I am.

Best Place To Write...For You

My post directly before this one garnered an interesting comment from Inday:

Very entertaining post but much too westernized. What about Chiang Mai, for goodness sake? Or Ubud in Indonesia? I've always dreamed of retreating somewhere on Mt. Banahaw to let the good spirits spur on my creative energy. And what about Dumaguete? We should write our own version of this article. :)

Okay, I'm open to hearing your favorite cities for writing. In fact, I'm open to suggestions of writing places that aren't necessarily cities.

I'm partial to the idea of a house on a windy, rocky bluff about as high as a three-storey building, overlooking a tropical beach (speedy internet connection required). I'm in the right country for that, though I don't have the wherewithal to acquire it. So close and yet so far. :)

So. Name your cities/places.

The Seven Best Cities In The World For Writers

Jamey Stegmaier tries to determine The Seven Best Cities in the World for Writers. An excerpt:

If you wanted to forgo your regular income for a few months and move somewhere in the world just to write, where should you go?

Not that I’m going to do that, but it’s a question I’ve been playing around with for a while. Today I decided to find the answer.

I did a fair amount of online research to find these cities and then rank them, but I’m sure I’ve missed someplace important. I didn’t even consider places like New York or London; even though they’re hotbeds for writers and artists, it’s not cost effective to live there. Plus, there are so many distractions, and way too many novels written about living in New York and London.

I found the cities on this list by looking at places that had established writing communities (even though writing is mostly a solitary task, commiserating with other writers can be motivating), reading/writing festivals and conferences, great settings/environments for writing, and low costs of living (key if you’re surviving off savings for a while).

The list, ascending order.

Travel Writing Workshop And Basic Creative Writing Workshop

From the Filipinas Heritage Library site (click on the links below for details such as fees and dates):

Travel Writing With A Viaje Del Sol Day Tour:

Share your travel adventures. Get the chance to see your name on print! Join award-winning writer Tara Sering in this basic Travel Writing Workshop with a tour to the south of Luzon known as the Viaje del Sol: The way of the sun from San Pablo to Quezon.

The workshop is designed for beginners and those with some experience in travel writing. If you want to be published or write a book about your trip, the Travel Writing workshop is for you. Participants of this unique activity will be treated to a tour of the following places Sulyap Art Gallery Café, Casa San Pablo, Carlito Ortega’s Workshop, and Ugu Bigyan.

Basic Creative Writing: A Beginner's Course:

Learn the basic skills and techniques in writing creatively with this writing course for beginners. Let Palanca awardee and creative writing professor Conchitina Cruz guide you in tapping your intuition as well as your senses for inspiration, and developing the skills and techniques in creative writing.

Storytelling Workshop At Museo Pambata

From School Librarian In Action:

Bagyo! Baha! Kwentong Pambata! - Creative Writing and Storytelling Workshop for child workers, teachers and parents. Nov. 21, 8 AM-5 PM.

Join and learn how to write and tell stories for children. Discover how stories help children emotionally cope and heal from difficult circumstances and events. Workshop facilitators include multi-awarded children storybook writer, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, and talented teacher, storyteller and librarian, Zarah Gagatiga. For further details and reservations, contact 0918-2293587.

A Writing Revolution

From Seedmagazine, A Writing Revolution. An excerpt:

Nearly universal literacy is a defining characteristic of today's modern civilization; nearly universal authorship will shape tomorrow's.

Nearly everyone reads. Soon, nearly everyone will publish. Before 1455, books were handwritten, and it took a scribe a year to produce a Bible. Today, it takes only a minute to send a tweet or update a blog. Rates of authorship are increasing by historic orders of magnitude. Nearly universal authorship, like universal literacy before it, stands to reshape society by hastening the flow of information and making individuals more influential.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Talecraft Character Building Workshop

Ria Lu, Talecraft creator, has announced that the Talecraft Character Building Workshop will be on November 7, 2009, Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Powerbooks Greenbelt.

After the adventure and the wanderings, after the climax and the twists, after the final battle and the happily ever after, it is the characters that stay with us long after the book is closed.

Join us on November 7 as we talk about characters, discuss what makes them good, and share which characters have stolen our hearts.

Featuring talks by:
Budjette Tan (writer of "Trese")
Taga-ilog (creator of "Pasig")

Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some Interesting Publishing Developments

Google will challenge Amazon with an E-Book Service. An excerpt:

Google will roll out a new online service for booksellers in the first half of 2010. Dubbed Google Editions, the service will allow readers to buy books from various e-book vendors and read them on a broad array of devices, from cell phones to e-readers.

Consumers will be able to purchase e-books directly from Google or from existing e-book stores such as and Books sold through Google Editions will be hosted by Google, so they will be searchable in a web browser.

The store will launch with about 500,000 e-books through partnerships with publishers that have digital rights to the works they represent. Google so far has no plans to manufacturer a dedicated e-book reader that carries its brand name.

Wal-Mart and Amazon Trade Price Cuts On Books. An excerpt:

Taking a page from its original playbook, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a full-fledged price war with Inc. and a nation of book retailers, lowering online prices on certain highly anticipated hardback titles to $9.

The volley of discounts, which began Thursday when the retailer listed prices for some upcoming hardcover releases such as Dean Koontz' "Breathless" and Stephen King's "Under the Dome" at $10, was answered with a similar price cut by Amazon, the largest online bookseller. Then the two competitors lowered the prices even further to $9.

The book discounts, the latest in a series of aggressive online maneuvers by the world's largest retailer, could position the company to do to the online marketplace what Walmart stores did to local merchants decades ago.

More Tips On Dealing With Wet Books

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Three PGS Contributors Get Honorable Mentions For Best Horror Of The Year!

Wonderful (and belated) news!

Three PGS contributors get Honorable Mentions for Best Horror Of The Year from esteemed editor Ellen Datlow. She put up her list last October 3, 2009, and I only saw it now (my thanks to Elyss Punsalan for pointing it out).

The three PGS contributors are:

Elyss Punsalan for "Thirty-Two" from Story Philippines, Volume 2.

Yvette Tan for "Seek Ye Whore" from the July issue of Rogue.

Apol Lejano-Massebieau for "Psychic Family" from Philippine Genre Stories 4.

Congratulations to you all! Thank you very much, Ms. Datlow!

My thanks too to The Bibliophile Stalker for sending PGS and other local fiction publications abroad!

What Do You Think...

...of a digital, online version of PGS? No more print version.

I'm not saying it's going to be done, 'kay? Just asking. Everything's up in the air.

Your opinions, thoughts, please?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PGS Horror Issue Now Available

The PGS Horror Issue is now available at Comic Quest Megamall and SM North Edsa, and will soon be available at National Bookstore care of Anvil Publishing. Here's the link to David Dizon's advanced review.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

For Mature Readers: Pinoy Transgressive

Pinoy Transgressive is a fairly new site devoted to short stories of transgressive fiction, which is described on Wikipedia as "A genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways. Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressive fiction may seen mentally ill, anti-social and/or nihilistic. The genre deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sex, violence, incest, pedophilia and crime."

In the introductory blog entry, Margeurite Alcazaren de Leon writes:

This anthology (which, with your future short fic contributions, will become the regularized, online story orgy we’ve been drooling for) yearns to be testament to the fact that transgressive fiction is dynamic, that it will continue to live on despite the countless deaths our society and its ever-morphing standards will hurl at it. There will always be something out there that will cause us grave offense, that will goad our gonads to go nuts, that will get us all ticked and scared and sick and, most importantly, that will exhort us to think hard about who or what we’ve become, and how we can all get the hell away from and beyond that crap. How to transgress. To sin for our own sakes.

I am writing this introduction on the 18th floor of a corporate complex in lieu of my ‘occupational tasks.’ Maybe you are reading this from your own business district hidey hole, or from your studio-type room-for-rent, or from your most esteemed university. It doesn’t matter. What does, however, is how you want to fare after reading these stories. What do you do now? There has been a gun to your head all along. And if there is anything these stories would have beaten into you by now, it is that you do not like this sting of steel on temple. It is that you want to live.

They are open to submissions in any language, with no page limit, and no restrictions. Head on over!

My thanks to Banzai Cat for emailing me about this.

Tales From 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories

School Librarian In Action has received the green light from U.S. publishing house Libraries Unlimited to prepare the manuscript for their proposed book, Tales From 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories. Congratulations!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Time For The End Of The World Again

So, the Philippines and India are flooded, Indonesia suffers an earthquake, Samoa gets a tsunami. Remember my previous posts on the end of the world? Well, let's do it again!

Here, according to, are the 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time.

And for a more empirically analytic point of view, scientists say that despite all that's naturally happening and all that mankind is doing to the planet, Earth Will Be OK...But For Us It's Not So Good.

Telling Family and Personal Stories : For Healing, Therapy and Learning

School Librarian In Action will be holding a Storytelling Workshop on November 7, 2009. Those who are interested, do consider attending. Details here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Farthest Shore Is Now Up

Editors The Grin Without A Cat and Notes From The Peanut Gallery have just put up their secondary-world anthology, The Farthest Shore. Both editors are PGS contributors, and it's nice to see familiar PGS contributor names too among the authors: Catching The Duma Virus, Breaking Camp, Contradiction In Terms, Wishcatcher, Rocket Kapre, Village Idiot Savant, and My Life As A Bed. I am so looking forward to reading the anthology as soon as time allows. Head on over!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fantasy Magazine 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction And Graphic Contest

I know it's hard to think of anything else but the storm that passed and the storm that's coming, but here's something that the writers among you may like to keep in mind: The Fantasy Magazine 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction And Graphic Contest. Deadline is October 16, 2009.

How To Restore Flood Soaked Books

Ah, a book-related entry from me, at last :). How To Restore Flood Soaked Books.

I hope you don't have any books that need to be restored, though. Sadly, I have friends who do. Their houses were inundated. :(

Take Precautions

I haven't blogged about books or reading in a while. Been busy, and now the country is suffering because of typhoons. :(

Anyway, the second one is supposed to hit in the latter part of the week even if everyone hasn't recovered yet from the first one last week. Its winds have reached 240 kph (Category 5 Hurricane winds). Please take precautions, and ask your local government to take billboards down. Be careful, and find safe shelter.

Those of you in safer places, wish us luck.