Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Fact vs. Fiction with Miguel Syjuco

Book BitseMy last experience in workshopping and discussing creative writing with Miguel was incredibly fruitful, so when The Arts House announced that he was conducting a workshop, I was quite interested to go.

While waiting for Miguel to arrive...
While waiting for Miguel to arrive…

The session was nice and cosy, with about 10 of us in The Council Room, Level 2 of the Arts House, and Miguel talking about the grey area between fact and fiction and how they can influence each other in terms of writing. The format of the workshop was simple enough, with Miguel starting on a news piece, getting us to write a quick article, and then writing a fictional piece inspired or based on the news story.

I liked how the session was incredibly interactive. Apart from a whole lot of writing and hands-on, he got us to get into the heads of characters and parties involved in order to have a better view and shape of the situation being told to us. We all did a bit of Role Play, writing statements for us to give to the “media”, so that was fun.

Just to give a bit of background, the news situation we were put in was the “sex for grades” case which happened a few years back. Despite knowing about the case, however, we upped the challenge and tried to be as objective as possible, based on the situation as spelt out by Miguel.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this workshop. As I went along, I have come to realise that the smaller the workshop group, the better I fare, or the more comfortable I become. I liked that everyone was given an opportunity to share their views, and snippets of their writing style. Miguel’s delivery was also very personable, so it felt more like a conversation than a workshop.

Many thanks to Miguel and the Arts House for organising this workshop. For more information on activities at the Arts House, click here. For more information on Miguel Syjuco, click here. And if you would like to read the flash fiction piece I wrote at the end of the workshop, click here.

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