Asia Pacific Writers & Translators (APWT) formerly Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership' | APWT builds, promotes and helps sustain the careers of authors and literary translators in the Asia Pacific region.

MANILA, 22-25 October 2015


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Dissidence, Dissonance and Difference

Asia Pacific Writers & Translators’ 2015 Conference

Hosted by the National Commission for Arts and Culture and University of the Philippines.

Our logo depicts Filipino revolutionary hero Gabriela Silang who led troops against Spanish colonialists. We replace her sword with our pen.

Supported by De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Anvil Press, British Council and the Japan Foundation.


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Speaker and Participant Bio Notes.

OCTOBER 22, Thursday University of the Philippines, National Institute of Physics.

08:00 - 09:00 Lobby REGISTRATION.
9:00AM Auditorium CAL Dean Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete WELCOME by Prof. Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Dean of the College of Arts, University of the Philippines, with brief remarks by APWT's Chair, Nury Vittachi.
9:30 Auditorium Jose-Dalisay 2 FIRST KEYNOTE—'AGAINST THE GRAIN' by Jose Y. Dalisay. All delegates are invited to join an open forum discussion following this provocative address. Moderated by Lily Rose Tope.
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Room 1 Vittachi WHY PUBLISHERS PREFER OUTSIDERS (Panel A)—Logic tells us that locals should know their own communities best. But bestseller lists show that publishers and the public often prefer outsiders’ perspectives. What are the rights and wrongs of this, and are big changes afoot? Tom Sykes (UK), Mida Azada (PH), and Eli KP William (Canada) tackle this thorny issue. Moderated by Nury Vittachi.
11:00 - 12:30 Room 2 Gabriella Lee IT’S LITERATURE BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT (Panel B)Do popular TV shows like Game of Thrones count as literature? Or net repositories of words, such as fan fiction sites? The edges of the definition of literature today are discussed by an all-Filipino panel: Gabriela Lee, Tito Quiling, Pocholo Torres and Francis Quina. Moderated by Anna Sanchez.
11:00 - 12:30 Room 3 lily Rose Tope KEY TRENDS IN ASIA (Panel C)—What are the vital things writers need to know about what’s happening in this region? A useful look at interesting developments comes from Mickey Lin (Singapore), Helder Beja (Macau), Farheen Chaudhry (Pakistan), and Iwan Sulistiawan (Indonesia). Moderated by Lily Rose Tope.
12:30 Lunch
1:30 - 4:30 Room 4 Hemley WRITING WORKSHOP #1 WHAT IF I OFFEND/SHAME/EMBARRASS PEOPLE? THE ART OF MEMOIR WRITING , led by Robin Hemley. (Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
1:30 - 3:00 Room 1 Neville Saroney CRIMINAL INTENT (Panel D) — Writers from around the region address the politics and horror of writing in times of war and terror, with Isa Lorenzo (PH), Philip McLaren (Australia), and Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio (PH), and participating moderator, lawyer and crime writer Neville Sarony (HK).
1:30 - 3:00 Room 2 qaisra FREEDOM OF SPEECH HAS COME UNSTUCK (Panel E)—In the past year, writers have resigned from PEN, self-censorship has become an epidemic and there are protests outside book fairs. Never has this issue been so controversial. Guiding us through the maze are Qaisra Shahraz (Pakistan), Nury Vittachi (HK), Maria Carmen Sarmiento (PH)and Daryll Delgado (PH). Moderated by Isagani Cruz.
1:30 - 3:00 Room 3 Paolo m TOMORROW’S POETRY (Panel F)—Poetry has been read the last rites many times, but it continues to thrive and may even be expanding, often appearing in new media and in new contexts. This fascinating topic is discussed by an all-Filipino panel, with Conchitina Cruz (PH), Victoria Vasquez (PH), Gemino Abad (PH), Thomas Chaves (PH) and Ralph Galan (PH). Moderated by Paolo Manalo.
3:00 Coffee break
3:30 - 5:00 Room 1 Satoshi KITAMURA IS MANGA LITERATURE?(Panel G)—Graphic novels and related art-forms are respected and win literary prizes in the West. But Asian manga has yet to make that same leap – has the right time finally come? An up-to-the-moment discussion with Budjette Tan (PH), Roland Kelts (US), Satoshi Kitamura (Japan) and Muhammad Rez Mustar (Indonesia). Moderated by Emil Flores.
3:30 - 5:00 Room 2 Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 11.44.15 am SEX AND SENSITIVITIES (Panel H)—Literature is a tool a society uses to examine itself. But can (and should) the lively, “anything-goes” mores of Western society be transplanted to Asia, with its quieter, more conservative values? Writers will need to tread a careful path. With Menchu Sarmiento (PH), Bernidick B. Hosmillo (PH), Laurel Fantauzzo (US). Moderated by Neil Garcia.
3:30 - 5:00 Room 3 Heidi THE MARKET FOR YOUNG READERS BOOMS (Panel I)—Works written for children and youth make up one of the biggest, most exciting growth markets in the business. Asia has the majority of the world’s children—and yet very little original material that has had international success. Trends and issues are discussed by Joachim Emilio Antonio (PH), Cheeno Sayuno (PH) and Nury Vittachi (HK). Moderated by Heidi Abad.
5:00 SHUTTLE TO CONSPIRACY GARDEN CAFE—a popular artists' gathering place. (Meals at delegates’ own expense.)
6:00 - 8:00 Conspiracy karina bolasco (1) BOOK LAUNCH of new work by Anvil Publishing authors, Merlinda Bobis (Locust Girl), Alfred ('Krip') Yuson (reissue of Jungle Energy), Danton Remoto (Riverrun) and (TBC) Lakambini Sitoy (Sweet Haven), moderated by Karina Bolasco. Initial refreshments provided by Anvil Publishing. Meals available to purchase.




OCTOBER 23, Friday : University of the Philippines, National Institute of Physics.

08:00 - 11:00 Room 4
<Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 6.16.51 pm WRITING WORKSHOP #2 FICTION OF DISSONANCE, DIFFERENCE & DISSIDENCE ('with Asian characteristics') led by Xu Xi. Suitable for writers at all levels.(Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
9:00 - 10:30
Room 1 Christine NATIONAL VS REGIONAL AND GLOBAL LITERATURES (Panel J)—This panel's focus is on regional literature and how, with the explosion of the Internet, literatures written within geographical regions are benefiting or losing out. This panel takes Mindanao as an example. This huge southern Philippine island rarely makes world headlines unless it’s about unrest and the insurgency. But Mindanao is a thriving island of 21 million people, with a rich culture and history, and some great creative writing. Christine Godinez-Ortega (PH), Steven P.C. Fernandez (PH), Victor Sugbo (PH), Rogelio F. Garcia (PH), and Karlo Antonio Galay-David (PH) discuss the great benefits of regional literatures, and some of the challenges today. Moderated by Jeena Rani Marquez.
9:30 -10:30



Room 2 CNogues POETRY COLLABORATIONS (Panel K) - We live in the era of sharing, in which barriers fall every day. Yet writers traditionally have been solitary workers, spending weeks alone at desks. How does collaboration fit into the new ethos? With Collier Nogues (HK), Ravi Shankar (India), and Lawrence Ypil (PH) and David Perry (USA). Moderated by Isabela Banzon.
9:30 -10:30 Room 3
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 6.46.20 pm LOVE IN A TIME OF DISSONANCE (Panel L)—Stories about love, whether they are literary dramas, or popular romances, are undoubtedly a huge section of literature. This topic gets an examination from an Asia-Pacific point of view, with Jose Dalisay (PH), Merlinda Bobis (Australia), DAI Fan (China), and Francesca Rendle-Short. Moderated by Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo.
10:30 Room 1 coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Auditorium gunesekera SECOND KEYNOTE—‘FICTION: A DANGEROUS ART?’ by Romesh Gunesekera. Followed by an open forum. Moderated by Nury Vittachi. Romesh's participation is made possible with the help of the British Council.
12:00 - 1:30
12:30 - 3:30 Room 4 Tomlinson WORKSHOP #3 PITCHING TIPS FROM THE NEW YORK WRITERS WORKSHOP led by Tim Tomlinson.(Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
12:30 - 3:30 Room 5
Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 8.21.44 am WORKSHOP #4 CREATING TIMELESS VERSE, taught by poet and editor Ravi Shankar. Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
1:30 - 3:00 Room 1
yahp, beth TRUE STORIES NEED TO BE TRUE (Panel M)—Or do they? It’s an area of much discussion, with several authors having been sued for fictionalizing their memoirs. But non-fiction is more popular than ever. The whole issue of truth in writing is a fascinating one, particularly when discussed by Beth Yahp (Malaysia), Romi Grossberg (Australia), Irena Cristalis (Holland), and Neil Garcia (PH). Moderated by Qaisra Shahraz.
1:30 - 3:30 Room 2
THE MULTILINGUAL CLASSROOM (Panel N)—Today more than ever, people are crossing borders and we are dealing with texts in our classrooms for students with different language backgrounds. What’s the best way forward? Dealing with this practical topic will be Sally Breen,James Shea, Robin Hemley, Xu Xi and Kate Rogers. Moderated by Dai Fan.
1:30 - 3:30 Room 3 TRANSMEDIAL TRANSLATION (Panel O)—These days many works of writing are translated not just from one language to another, but from one format to another. With Rody Vera (PH), Jazmin Llana (PH), and Richard Madrilejos (PH). Moderated by Merlinda Bobis.
3:30 - 4:30 Auditorium APWT's ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING . Everyone welcome. Contribute to discussions about the future of APWT.
4:30 - 5:30 Auditorium ELIZA NEW VOICES—BOOK LAUNCHES & READINGS. Featuring Eliza Handayani, David Carlin, and Beth Yahp. Moderated by Francesca Rendle-Short.
7:00 - 9:00 UP Executive House CONFERENCE DINNER at Executive House, the University president’s official home and the venue for the most important events on campus. The dinner, hosted by the president, will feature a music by some of UP’s brightest talents as well as readings of inspired prose by invited Filipino and visiting writers (Jimmy Abad, Tim Tomlinson, Alfred ('Krip') Yuson, Bonnie McDougall, Isabela Banzon, Neil Garcia and Kate Rogers).



OCTOBER 24, Saturday VENUE CHANGE!!: morning at De La Salle University (DLSU), 5th Floor, Henry Sy Sr. Hall. afternoon at University of Santo Tomas (UST)

07:30 -
Microtel lobby
Coach transfer from Microtel to De La Salle University.(Founded by the La Salle Brothers at the start of the 20th century, DLSU has contributed significantly to the formation of the country’s business and intellectual elite, and is home to the Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center.)
9:00 - 9:30
Verdure5/F Henry Sy Sr. Hall.
JulioTeehankee WELCOME by Dr. Julio C. Teehankee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and a brief program of entertainment.
9:30 -10:30



Verdure, 5/F
Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.28.36 pm KEYNOTE #3—‘GRASPING THE INDIGENOUS LITERARY NETTLE AND OWNING IT’ By Dr. Philip McLaren, followed by questions and discussion. Moderated by Ronald Baytan.
9:30 -12:30 Faculty Centre Room 3A
SallyBreen WORKSHOP #5 WHAT EDITORS WANT. An editing master class led by Sally Breen. Suitable for writers at all levels.(Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
9:30 - 12:30 Faculty Centre Room 4A FrancescaCarlin WORKSHOP #6 ESSAYING MANILA. A collaborative workshop building on improvisational techniques, involving an active immersion in place (through walking) as well as structured 'essaying'. Suitable for experienced writers as well as those less experience. Led by Francesca Rendle-Short and David Carlin. (Link to details and registration by clicking the workshop title.)
10:30 - 12:30 lobby area Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Yuchengco Conference Room 507 Jhoanna Cruz PUBLISHING OUTSIDE THE CENTER (Panel P)In terms of publishers, professional writers often talk about “the big five”, pointing out that a huge proportion of the successful writers around the world come from a small handful of companies. But are things changing? With Jhoanna Cruz (PH), Pranesh Prasad (India), and Jun Cruz Reyes (PH). Moderated by Gerry Los Baños.
11:00 - 1230
Yuchengco Conference Room 509 Kate-Griffin-199x300 GAINED IN TRANSLATION (Panel Q)—As the world becomes a globalized market for writing, exciting changes are taking place in translation. With Runar Vignisson (Iceland), Bonnie McDougall (Australia), Luna Sicat-Cleto (PH), Ralph Galan (PH) TBC, with participating moderator Kate Griffin (UK).
11:00 - 12:30 The
Romi BOOK LAUNCH & OTHER READINGS —Launch by Ravi Shankar followed by readers including Tse Hao Guang, Pranesh Prasad, Neville Sarony, Qaisra Shahraz and some of the authors featured in 'New Asia Now', including Romi Grossberg, Eliza Vitri Handayani and Glenn L. Diaz.

Lunch in The Verdure, 5/F Henry Sy Sr. Hall
2:00 - 3:00 Room 1
Coach transfer to University of Santo Tomas. (Older than Harvard by 25 years, the University of Sto. Tomas has nurtured some of the Philippines’ most illustrious writers, heroes, and leaders, including four Presidents. Its urban campus was the site of a famous internment camp in World War II, and its museum and library have important holdings amassed over centuries of religious and educational work by the Dominicans.)
3.00 - 4:00 UST museum
VISIT UST MUSEUM — the oldest museum in the Philippines. It was used as an internment camp by the Japanese during WWII housing American and European civilians who were trapped by the war. Today, it has been refurbished but it has kept its old world charm. It houses sections on Natural History, Paintings by Filipino masters, religious artifacts, pre-colonial and colonial historical artifacts, etc.
4:00 - 5:00 Grand Ballroom INDIE-ANA FILM SHORTS—Laugh, cry and take a peek into life in the Philippines then and now, with this sampler of film shorts from Filipino indie-ana, courtesy of Sarge Lacuesta and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Venue: Buen-aventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building.
5:00 - 5:30 Grand Ballroom Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.22.23 pm WELCOME TO UST by Dr. Michael Anthony C. Vasco, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Letters, followed by a brief program.Venue: Buen-aventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building.
5:30 - 6:30 Grand Ballroom Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.jeg FAREWELL KEYNOTE "The Subversive Memory: Women Tell What Happened" by Dr Cristina Hidalgo, followed by the launch of Dr. Hidalgo's new book. Moderated by Ralph Galan.
7:00 Grand Ballroom Carillo-Clarita copy CLOSING by Vice Rector for Academic Affairs UST, Dr. Clarita Carillo, followed by DINNER at UST.


8:30pm Transfer to back  hotel.

OCTOBER 25, Sunday Venue: Pick Up from Microtel Inn, UP-Technohub

8 AM - 4 PM intramuros-manila-1City Tour: Intramuros (the walled city). Intramural is the Spanish colonial section of old Manila still beautifully preserved and evocative of the 300 years of Spanish presence in the Philippines. Includes Fort Santiago, which houses a museum of Philippine author and national hero Jose Rizal; San Agustin Church, the oldest church in the Philippines; Casa Manila, a house museum showing how wealthy Filipinos lived at the turn of the 20th century. Includes lunch. Cost depends on numbers, but will be kept low. Includes lunch.



Books will be available for sale at the UP and La Salle conference venues. Make arrangements to have your books available by contacting Karina Bolasco, Publishing Manager at Anvil Publishing:


RECOMMENDED Conference HOTEL, Microtel Inn, UP-Technohub, Commonwealth Ave, Diliman. CONTACT Sales Executive Ms Alyssa Fagutao: Subject head your email: ‘UP/APWT Manila.


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