Things I learned from attending literary events

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Things I learned from attending literary events
The author with Ricky Lee
Things I learned from attending literary events
The author with Ricky Lee

One of the most amazing things about my university is the privilege of attending lectures on fine arts and hearing writers talk about their books. I think this is also because our university has its own publishing house. Events that involve literature, books, talks about movies and more happen all year round.

As a literature major, this fills my heart with joy. As a junior officer of the Literature home organization, I tend to volunteer at these events. It helps me see the how these events work, especially the ones where writers sell and sign their books.

The talks broaden the students’ horizons and teach us about the writing industry. It’s a blessing that our literary department takes time to inspire students, give them ideas and let them see options and possibilities.

Things I learned from attending literary events
Volunteering at an event

I’m sharing here the things I learned from helping out at these literary events. Maybe they’ll inspire you, too.

  1. There is no harm in trying. I love interacting with others and learning from them but I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you want to enter the literary world, however, you should be prepared to interact with others and step out of your comfort zone. Go to book signings, attend talks, or even help out. There is also no harm in submitting your work to any contest. I know it can be scary, but take the risk. It’s worth a try.
  2. Don’t be shy to ask questions.
While at an event, if you have questions about the book, the writer, the artist or the movie being discussed, make that leap and ask. It will haunt you for days if you don’t. Trust me, I’ve been there. You’ll also be helping others learn more and it creates room for intelligent discourse.
  3. Support local writers by buying their books at these events. One thing I love about book launches or talks featuring National Artists or other renowned authors is that you can usually buy their books there and, if the author is present, you can even get your books or merch signed. One of my favorite encounters happened very recently, where National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee gave a talk and signed everyone’s books and merch. That was one of the most insightful talks I’ve attended. I was happy that my professors also gave lectures on the works of other National Artists like Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio.
  4. Follow the social media accounts of publishing houses. This will give you the advantage of knowing when events are are happening and how to sign up for them.
  5. Lastly, have fun! The most important thing is to have fun at these events, where they’re small ones or bigger ones like the Manila International Book Fair.
Things I learned from attending literary events

This month, National Literature Month, we should aim to read more, and support both novice and renowned Filipino writers.

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