Friday, March 02, 2007

Advice to Workshop Applicants, Part 1

As an adjunct to my earlier post inviting applicants for the 46th Dumaguete National Writers Workshop, I thought I'd give some advice to prospective participants. This is based on my experiences from being a fellow last year and from being a reject the year before that.

Most of this is meant for workshop virgins (like I was). Workshop veterans probably already know the drill, and so can skip on to Dumaguete-specific tips.

So, newbies, listen up. First: read the requirements carefully.

The applicant must submit original manuscripts consisting of at least:
* three to five short (3-5) stories; OR
* three to five (3-5) essays/creative non-fiction; OR
* two (2) one-act plays; OR
* seven to ten (7-10) poems

Therefore: Do not mix and match categories, e.g., sending in two short stories and a poem. Do not send works not in the categories above, e.g., a novel. The workshop revolves around the short story, the poem, the essay, and -- this year, apparently -- the one-act play. As a fellow, it is your work in one particular area that will be critiqued.

Don't send in more than the required number of works. The reviewers will not have time to read them all. In fact, just send in the minimum number, e.g., three stories or three essays or seven poems. Just make sure they're your best.

(It is possible to have one of your works in another category critiqued in the workshop, but this is arranged with the panelists during the workshop itself.)


Only unpublished manuscripts are accepted. Works which have previously won in literary contests will not be accepted.

This is because the purpose of the workshop is to improve one of your unpublished works, not an exercise in additional ego-stoking.

As to the format:

a diskette or CD containing the various submitted literary works encoded in Microsoft Word; a recommendation letter from a renowned writer or literature teacher; two 2x2 pictures; and a brief biodata or résumé.

Not specifically mentioned, but it would help if you include hardcopies of your work (sans byline). This will save Dr. Tiempo's staff the trouble of printing them out, and it will increase the chances of your work actually being read.


  1. hmmm.. what about submitting non-English works? Are they strict about their "preferrence" of english works? i'm planning to submit two stories in english and one in filipino...

  2. Carms, you need to submit at least three short stories. The announcement says that works in English are preferred so it's a good idea to follow that.

    Nothing to stop you from negotiating with the panel and the fellows for subtituting your Filipino work during the workshop itself, though.

  3. ask lang ko if meron bang specific limit ang haba ng isang poem?

  4. Hi, Gregg: I'd say a minimum of three stanzas, but even I'm not sure of that. I'd say go for the imagery more than anything else.