My fiction in Central Echo's Imagine Nation 2017

The cover of Imagine Nation 2017 with the theme "Concrete"
Imagine Nation is the Literary Folio of Central Echo, the official student publication of Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City. Every year since 2013, they hold the Imagine Nation Literary Contest for aspiring writers in the university. They have an annual theme for submissions. Contest winners and selected entries are chosen for publication. I first entered the contest in 2014, I submitted three entries (short story and poetry categories), two won awards but all three got featured in the folio that year.

Since I'm enrolled in CPU again for my Master's degree and there's another contest coming up, I took the challenge again. This year's theme was "Concrete" and that's a very challenging topic to write on, it really stretches your creativity. I submitted three entries for three contest categories: Maikling Kwento, Short Story, and English Poetry. "Bato" won 2nd place in the Maikling Kwento category, while "Barricades" also won 2nd place in the English Poetry Category. "Atlantis" is my entry for Short story category, it didn't win any awards but it was published in the folio.

The online version is still not available, I will post the link when it does. Here, I will write about how I came up with the ideas and the writing process:

Atlantis [short story]
This story is about a brother going back home to the funeral of his twin sister and finds the answer to her death.

Since the theme was "Concrete," my first ideas were abandoned buildings or forgotten civilizations. This is a story that was almost not written because by the first paragraph it was going nowhere, I don't even have a solid idea of it. I thought I might write about the lost city of Atlantis, but a story just wouldn't form. I left it for awhile, but near the deadline, another idea came: Atlantis as someone's name. Then from there the story just wrote itself, I didn't take a break while writing, I finished it in one sitting.

Now that I read it again, I think I was inspired by Cynthia Hand's book about a sister dealing with her brother's suicide, The Last Time We Say Goodbye [link to my review].

Bato [maikling kwento]
This story has action, poverty, and drug-dealing. This story won the 2nd place in the Imagine Nation Literary Contest this year for the Maikling Kwento or Filipino short story category.

Once I knew the theme, I immediately wanted to write something about poverty. This is me trying hard to be edgy. This was inspired by the current administration's 'War on Drugs' and this story centers on Joel, an innocent probinsyano who goes to the city to fulfill his dreams, only to find himself in a drug syndicate. Edgardo Reyes' Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag is a huge inspiration.

Barricades [poem]
is just another poem about infatuation. Much to my surprise, it won 2nd place in the English poetry category.

Since the Lang Leav-type poems are really popular nowadays, I tried my hand at writing something on the same subject but I didn't really think much about it as I wrote it. I guess poetry about love and infatuation will never lose its popularity, but this poem is really more of a joke to myself. When I knew about the theme the first lines already popped into my head (There's a wall / between you and me / that I want to break / You pass by me, seeming uncertainty / I imagine your eyes / see me as I see you), and it was easy to write the rest of the poem.

This issue also has my sister Edrianne's two poems and my friend Charlyn Mateo's short story in Filipino, "Diploma".

Speaking of writing, I wasn't aware that my work was included in a flash fiction anthology by Kasing Kasing Press, Mariit: Hiligaynon Flash Fiction 3. I did submit for a contest and forgot about it, and only saw now that it was included a year after it was included. Funny that I've seen this so many times but didn't bother to check.  My flash fic is entitled "Kataw". This costs P50.00 and is available at Kasing Kasing Press.

Post a Comment