Read my fiction and poetry online: Imagine Nation 2019

Source: Central Echo Facebook

As you all may know, I am a frustrated fiction writer. It's been so long since I attempted to write anything, and these pieces that I wrote last year are the latest ones I've published.

These were published in Imagine Nation, the literary folio of Central Echo. CE is the official student publication of Central Philippine University, Iloilo City. Each year, they conduct an Imagine Nation Literary Contest with a specified theme. Works in English and Filipino are accepted for the following categories: poetry, short story, art, and photography.

Only enrolled students can submit, so these were submitted on my last semester for my MLIS.

I have published works in previous Imagine Nation volumes. My first ever short story that was published, 'Pleiades Upon the Stones' was in their 2014 volume. Even if submitted entries to the literary contest did not win, they have a chance to be featured in the year's folio.

Here are my works and links to access them in the digital version of the magazine. I also talk about how I came up with the idea and my writing process.

Romance is not my favorite genre to read or write, but I noticed that it is very popular among young people. I usually write things that are totally weird to the ordinary reader. So I swallowed my writer's pride and tried to write more on everyone's favorite topic: love. The story and poem I wrote below deals with that subject. I had fun writing them, though it isn't something I always write about.

The theme for 2019 was Tinta or Ink. Writers are free to interpret the theme in their own way.

Maikling Kwento: Mga Sulat sa Hangin ('Letters to the Wind')

This won 3rd place in the Filipino short story category. There is a limit of 1,500 words, so it was a challenge to write something with both characters and plot. I came up with an idea of lovers writing to each other, I've always wanted to try the 'epistolary' form of writing, a literary form of a story written through letters. So, nothing much happens in this story. It's set in Martial law, and the letters are from a guy who joins groups against the government, he's fearing for his life and writing for his girlfriend. That's it!

I always love the illustrations and pictures that accompany my work. I like seeing how artists interpret the story through drawing. Here's the illustration for my story by Bejay Songcog:

Poetry: a poem about you

I wrote this one real fast, I finished it in one sitting with no pauses and it came out just right. I was satisfied with it, and it didn't need any more editing. I was in a hurry to beat the deadline. To my surprise, this short piece won 1st place in the English poetry category! I got a cash prize for it and it was also the first time I won 1st place in a category (just in time for my last ever submission, maybe, as an enrolled student).

I don't usually write love poems, but I sometimes try to cater to what readers might like. I did like writing this 150-word poem, though. I bought a decent yoga mat with the money I won from the contest.

The poem is about a poem written by an unnamed narrator (not me) while contemplating a past relationship. I also love the picture they used taken by Kathleen Frugalidad, it's the essence of the poem in one photo.

If you are interested in reading my past works for previous volumes of Imagine Nation, check out the My Writing page where I post a brief bibliography with links of my few published works. 

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