Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Workshops’

Our next Writing Boot Camp is on July 22 and 29, 2017 so book a place now!

June 21, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Workshops 2 Comments →


You’ve always wanted to write, but you don’t know how to get started.

You used to write, but you haven’t done it in a while and you feel rusty.

You’re sort of interested in writing, but you’re afraid to even admit it.

You’ve started many stories, but you ran out of steam.

You think you can write, but you need a second opinion.

You have a writing project that you’ve been putting off, and you just looked at the calendar and it’s almost 2018.

You want to learn the basics of storytelling.

(Or you have a friend who is any/all of the above and you want to give them a little push.)

Join our Writing Boot Camp! The objective is simple: to start and finish a piece of writing (a short story, a personal essay, or a piece of fanfiction) in two weekends.

Dates: July 22 and 29, 2017, from 1-5pm.
Venue: WSI Corporate Center, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati (near the Makati fire station at the end of Ayala Avenue)
Cost: Php6,000, but if you pay on or before June 30, 2017, you only pay Php5,000.

No pressure, no tears, no time like the present.

For inquiries and to book a place, email

Here are the writers and their stories from Writing Boot Camp February 2017

February 13, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Workshops 2 Comments →

After one Saturday afternoon of discussions, readings, rough drafts and outlines, the ten participants in our just-concluded Writing Boot Camp got to work on their stories. This last weekend, nine read their stories to the class.

The more I do these workshops, the more I realize that there is no shortage of writing talent out there—they just need a push, a few practical suggestions, and some assurance that they are not alone and that there is a point to putting in the work. Few things can match the satisfaction of having produced a story exactly as you imagined it.

These nine stories (and hopefully another one) will join the ten from our previous Writing Boot Camp (October 2016) in a planned anthology to be published this year.

The Other Girl by Ilsa Malsi. We all have someone like her: the classmate or contemporary we constantly measure ourselves against, whose triumphs we regard as silent rebukes, whom we wish in our darkest heart of hearts will fail.

Origin Story by Chuck Smith. The unflinching, painful, and hilarious tale of a boy whose life has been defined by a rumor: everyone thinks he’s the son of a dead 1980s bold star.

As It Was In The Beginning by Anne Tamondong. A current take on an old story: the deal with the devil.

In the Faculty Center by Will Liangco. The students in a Creative Writing class are intrigued, scandalized, and revolted when it appears that their classmate, a zealous feminist, has embarked on an affair with their greasy, moustache-massaging, altogether unattractive professor. What is the truth?

The Lizard by James Fajarito. A freshman at a seminary, ostracized when he is revealed to be gay, gains the respect of his judgmental classmates.

That Song by Rex Monteverde . As a child Brenda discovers that she can see ghosts, and she is taught to abide by the first Rule of the Gift: Never let the ghosts know that you can see them.

Salvador by Vicky Marquez. On a trip to Bahia in Brazil, a Filipina just out of college strikes up a friendship with a European boy, but does not realize its significance until years have passed.

Silver Belles by Gilda Guillermo. A lawyer becomes fixated on the dance number that her law school class will perform at its 25th alumni homecoming. When circumstances prevent her from attending the homecoming, she starts plotting her revenge.

The Favorite Tita by Tina Vitug. When their sister is killed in an accident, two sisters with contrasting personalities and values find themselves embroiled in a custody fight for their two nieces.

The next Writing Boot Camp will be held in May. For inquiries, email

Last call for participants in the Writing Boot Camp on Saturday, 15 October

October 13, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Workshops 2 Comments →


The objective of Writing Boot Camp is to start and finish a short story between the two Saturday sessions.

Writing Boot Camp consists of a lecture, readings, discussions, and the screening of a classic short film. Light snacks will be served.

Here’s the map to the venue.


To register, email before Saturday. The fee is Php5,000 for the entire workshop.

Stop threatening to write, and just write something.

Start and finish writing a short story in two weekends in our Writing Boot Camp.

September 26, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Workshops No Comments →


Poster by Anne Tamondong

Both sessions will be facilitated by Jessica Zafra.
The venue is WSI Corporate Centre on Metropolitan Avenue corner Kakarong Street, Makati (behind the Makati Fire Station).
For details and to book a place, email

Letter from a Reader: How do you start getting published?

September 19, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Workshops 4 Comments →


Hello Ms. Zafra!

Im Mao and I read some of your of your essays from the twisted series. A friend of mine recommended you to me and I thought you were amazing. I don’t really have any concerns, I just really wanted to tell you how great your writing was. I loved how you saw mundane things, how you turned them into experiences worth noting, and existential crisis worth scrutinizing. They were great!

I write a bit and, I was wondering (looks like I have a question, after all. Sorry for the white lie earlier) how you started getting your work published? I’m wondering because I’d like to do it as well. I’m aware that my ideas are nothing special but that’s only because I’m used to them- maybe my random mussing could be a good reference for others. I really just want to get ideas out there. Ideas get people talking and the more ideas we have, the more we help fight ignorance. I don’t know, I just really want to create something. Maybe something that tells me that I’m here, like I’m present.

Lately I’ve been feeling like a wanderer. I do things and become tired and although I get office tasks accomplished, I don’t feel productive. A friend told me I was dead inside because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I think I do, but I’m afraid it won’t reap anything good. What I want is to create something and have it out there. Something to prove my existence. Not to others, to myself. I feel like everything I said is a contradiction but I just wanted to get it out there and I really want your advice on this. Ir any words at all. I’m sorry for the bother,

PS You’re amazing and awesome. I’m happy you’re alive approximately the same time as me. I’m happy we share a lifetime


Dear Mao,

Thank you for your letter. It is always good to get feedback directly from the readers. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I would caution you against admiring anyone too much. At some point they will let you down. It is not necessarily because they’re terrible people, but because we are all complex beings with our own personalities and inevitably we will disagree.

Fiction-Writing Workshop, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, 2-5pm in Makati. Book your places now.

April 29, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Workshops 1 Comment →

flyer - p1

Fiction-Writing Workshop
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
2-5 pm at WSI Corporate Center, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati
Only 12 participants will be accepted, so book your places now.
For inquiries, fees, etc, email