Thursday, September 14, 2006

working with words

Happily, I'm up to my ears in stories.

On Sunday, I'll be critiquing stories over at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the 2nd USTETIKA Literary Workshop, along with co-panelists Charleson Ong and Eric Melendez. I have a folio of the stories for consideration that I need to digest and mull over so that I can give something constructive to these new writers.

Meanwhile, with the deadline for submissions for Philippine Speculative Fiction V2 at midnight tomorrow, stories are coming in at a startling pace. As of this morning, I've received over 70 stories for consideration, with strong texts in the various genres. I'm glad I started a personal program to handle the projected flow - as a result, I'm actually not that stressed (unless tomorrow brings 20 or so stories LOL). I'm delighted by the number of new and previously unpublished authors who sent in stories; part of the agenda here is to encourage new voices while helping the slightly more established ones grow. Ah, the editor's life! I'll write more about the process of selection after I make my final choices.

Tonight, the Litcritters will tackle four texts by John Kessel, David Schwartz, Sarah Prineas and Robert Reed. In addition, I usually give a small lecture on some aspect of writing, before we talk about our own works and how to improve them with an eye toward future publication. Scheduled for the coming weeks: Socorro Villanueve, Pearlsha Abubakar, Timothy Montes, Tara FT Sering, Myrza Sison, Butch Dalisay - and that's just from our side of the pond. Waiting in the wings are stories from Kristien Hemmerechts, Joyce Carol Oates, G.K. Chesterson, Jonathan Lethem, Ben Peek, Jonathan Caroll and others.

Plus there are the odd stories sent my way, unsolicited, asking me to review and critique them. I do try guys, but often the load is unforgiving. I'm happy though that in the past few months I've managed to respond to a small number of authors in Davao, Cebu and Manila.

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