Silliman holds 62nd nat'l writers workshop

Silliman holds 62nd nat'l writers workshop
SILLIMAN WORKSHOP. From left: Sabrina Victoria M. Dayao (fellow for creative nonfiction), Andrea Ingrid M. Lopez (fellow for Poetry), Jevin O. Astillero (fellow for Sugilanon), John Ray A. Pucay (fellow for Fiction), Kyrios Hafid T. Concordia (fellow for Fiction), John Dave B. Pacheco (fellow for Poetry), guests panelists Exie Abola and John O. Labella, D.M. Reyes (Director-in-Residence), Andrea Therese Nazareno (fellow for Drama), Maria Suson (fellow for Creative Nonfiction), Larraine Franchesca L. Lopez (fellow for Creative Nonfiction), Margarita A. Labrador (fellow for Poetry), Alyana Marie D. Aguja (fellow for Fiction), and Trisha Marie Matabalan (fellow for Fiction) pose in front of the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium after the opening ceremony of the 62nd Silliman University National Writers Workshop on June 24, 2024. / SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY

THE longest-running creative writing workshop in the country and Asia is back.

Gathering 12 writing fellows across different genres from different regions in the country, the 62nd Silliman University National Writers Workshop (SUNWW), which kickstarted Monday, June 24, 2024, at the multipurpose room of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, is now in full swing and will run until July 5.

A flagship program of the English and Literature Department and the Edilberto and Edith Tiempo Creative Writing Center, the two-week workshop is currently headed by newly installed workshop director-in-residence and longtime SUNWW regular panelist Danilo Francisco “D.M.” M. Reyes.

More than 50 entries were submitted this year but only 12 made the cut. Workshop screeners D.M. Reyes, Jose Wendell Capili, and Marjorie Evasco narrowed down the list of accepted fellows, officially filling out the roster of emerging writers of this generation to take part in this year’s edition.


Accepted fellows are Margarita A. Labrador, Quezon City; Andrea Ingrid M. Lopez, Taytay, Rizal; and John Dave B. Pacheco, General Santos City for poetry. Jevin O. Astillero, Misamis Occidental for sugilanon; Kyrios Hafid T. Concordia, Quezon City; Trisha Marie Matabalan, Maribojoc, Bohol; John Ray A. Pucay, Baguio City; and Alyana Marie D. Aguja, General Santos City for fiction; Larraine Franchesca L. Lopez, Parañaque City; Sabrina Victoria M. Dayao, Malate, Manila; and Maria Suson, Cebu City for creative nonfiction; and Andrea Therese Nazareno, Dumaguete City for drama.

This year’s SUNWW coordinator is Kaycee L. Melon. Joining her is the workshop secretariat, namely John Edgar C. Rubio, Deo Mar E. Suasin, Maria Hellene Grace D. Piñero, Honey Grace C. Tiongco, and Aaron James D. Jalalon. They also hold the Edilberto and Edith Tiempo Creative Writing Center (CWC) secretariat roles under CWC Coordinator and English and Literature Department chairperson, Dr. Lady Flor Partosa-Koenig.

Workshop’s vision

At the opening ceremony on June 24, D.M. Reyes stressed the importance of putting together a team who understands the vision of the workshop.

“When we come together and assemble the workshop team, it is not enough that we just bring in anybody who’s willing and interested to take part in it. It takes vision. It takes experience. It takes exposure so that people who will be coming in as part of the team are really literary professionals,” Reyes said.

“They have ongoing experiences in the teaching of literature, so they are affiliated with Silliman University either as new professors or aspiring professors of the English Department and the Senior High School Department. Added to this is the fact that over the years many of them have been apprenticing in the workshop,” he added.

Dr. Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope, officer-in-charge of the Office of the President and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research, welcomed all fellows and panelists in his welcome address.

“All of us are happy at Silliman because for the 62nd time, we have the Silliman University National Writers Workshop... I hope and pray that in the next few years, the members of the 62nd batch will also be in the limelight as literary icons of Philippine literature,” Cleope said.


Luminaries in contemporary Philippine literature will sit as panelists for the next two weeks at the MPR, including Exie Abola, John O. Labella, and Ian Rosales Casocot for the first week, followed by Susan Lara, Marjorie Evasco and Richel Dorotan for the second week. Meanwhile, Dumaguete poet, novelist, educator and SUNWW resident panelist Cesar Ruiz Aquino will participate remotely during the workshop.

Present at the opening ceremony were CWC Advisory Board members Dr. Mae Brigitt Bernadel L. Vilordon, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) dean; Dr. Alana Leilani C. Narciso, CAS associate dean; Dr. Lady Flor Partosa-Koenig, English and Literature Department chair and CWC coordinator; faculty members of the Filipino and Foreign Languages Department; Moses Joshua B. Atega, International Students Office head; faculty members of the English and Literature Department; F Jordan Carnice, National Museum of the Philippines – Dumaguete researcher and former SUNWW fellow; and friends of the Silliman community.

The 62nd Silliman University National Writers Workshop is supported by longtime sponsors and friends of the Silliman community, including Macrina and Sande Fuentes of Hayahay, Maripaz Gonzales Montaño of Wuthering Heights Bed and Breakfast, Xenia Denise Bandivas of InPeace Foundation, Jansen Tan of Adorno Café, National Museum of the Philippines – Dumaguete, and the Silliman University Anthropology Museum.


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