Sharpen Your Writing Skills
By: Reena Mapanao
A special Non-Fiction Writing Workshop was organized by the Office of the President to elicit new insights, brush up on techniques and master simple strategies among Enderun’s aspiring writers. Polished writing skills are a positive asset for all Enderun students in any profession. Collateral benefits focused on discovering a new breed of writers for Enderun’s various publications, particularly INK.
Held at New Library last June 20-21, the Writers’ Workshop presented a panel of professional facilitators from CNN, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Enderun Colleges. Ms. Joselle Felicano, Executive Assistant, President’s Office opened the workshop and introduced the facilitators.
Ms. Izzy Matias, writer and marketing producer of CNN Philippines (and Enderun graduate!) talked about the importance of “Structuring and Outlining Your Thoughts” before starting to write about anything.
“Done is better than perfect,” a powerful phrase given by Ms. Matias to remind the audience that nothing should hold them back from writing no matter what hindrances they may encounter. In the first activity, participants were asked to draft an outline of their chosen topic. Several kinds of outlines were proposed, including mind mapping and droodling!
The second lecture, “Story, Perspective, and Angle” was given by Mr. Matikas Santos, Head of NewsLab, Editorial Innovations team, INQUIRER.net.
He easily caught attention through his personal and social media approach, which was also reflected in his choice of slides. Mr. Santos dwelt on the difference between blog style and formal newspaper and magazine styles, but stressed that in either format, the most important criterion was to base your statements on facts, not hearsay or rumor or just passing on random thoughts. This can make or break your piece!
In the second activity, Mr. Santos urged the students to apply the approaches that they learned, by writing 3 paragraphs about their chosen topic and using also, their structured outline from the earlier session. Mr. Santos and Ms. Matias checked on each of the student’s works.
The third and last workshop, “Popular Writing Styles,” featured Enderun’s Carlos Valdez, Lecturer in English as a Second Language, and working on his master’s degree in English Literature. Mr. Valdez led a light yet serious discussion on different writing styles and how to differentiate formal from an informal styles.
IN the following exercise, participants continued their piece now enhanced by these further notions raised by Mr.Valdez.
With the knowledge, skills, and insights gained from the writing workshop, the participants appeared more eager to write and less afraid to express their thoughts or tell a story. If the pen is really mightier than the sword, we also have to keep that pen sharp!