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Kagay-anon writer receives fellowship in essay

Charmaine Carrillo, a junior fellow of writers collective Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (Nagmac), has recently been accepted as a writing fellow at the 3rd Nueva Ecija Personal Essay Writing Workshop, which is annually organized by Steinberg Essay Prize finalist and Curt Johnson Prose Award for Nonfiction awardee Wilfredo Pascual.

Carrillo will be joining 13 other budding personal essayists from all over the country. The three-day intensive writing workshop will be held this Feb. 28 to March 2 at Willi’s Place in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija. Applications were thoroughly reviewed and screened based on the quality of the work, as well as the potential of the fellowship to advance the career of emerging practitioners of the personal essay. The fellowship will consist of manuscripts critiquing, mentoring/coaching sessions, craft lectures, among others.

“When I attempt to write a personal essay, I start with an image. Or when a memory resurfaces to consciousness, I think about what is in that memory. What is a physical object I can start with to make sense of that experience? Is there a dominant smell I can remember? Sometimes, I end up with a realization. Sometimes, I don’t. Sometimes, I wait until it makes more sense,” Carrillo said.

“I am a really private person. I like to keep to myself. But there is the charm in writing a personal essay. The beautiful part of it is the attempt to make sense.”

Carrillo has previously been a writing fellow for the literary essay and creative nonfiction at the 2016 Veritas Writers Workshop (co-organized by Nagmac and Xavier University’s student publication The Crusader Publication) and the 2017 Davao Writers Workshop (organized by the Davao Writers Guild). Her works were published in Veritas Literary and Art Folio, the Bulawan Literary Journal of Northern Mindanao, Dagmay Literary Journal, and Payag Habagatan: New Writings from the South.

Last October, Nagmac and its flagship publication, the Bulawan Literary Journal of Northern Mindanao, have hosted “Essaying Self-disclosures,” an author craft talk, writeshop on the personal essay, and book signing with Pascual at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. (nagmac)

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