Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Workshops’

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

We held our Free Workshop last night. It was a blast and nobody was killed.

February 19, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Workshops Comments Off on We held our Free Workshop last night. It was a blast and nobody was killed.

Yikes, I look demented.

Ninety-five people attended last night’s almost-instant Free Workshop at the WSI Corporate Center. I had a blast, and I especially enjoyed listening to the participants’ story ideas and pointing out the approaches and directions they can take.

Many thanks to our friend Juan for letting us use the WSI conference hall, Victor Yang and the techs at WSI for setting up the facilities including the video conference and audio recording perfectly, and our original workshop elves Roni, Angus, Deo, Momelia and Bubbles for manning the registration desk.

You and your group of up to 20 (even 30) people can book your own workshop on any of these subjects:

The Essay
The Short Story
The Personal Essay (Memoirs)
The Novel
Writing for Beginners
Movie Reviews
Travel Essays
Interviews and Personality Profiles
Feature Articles
Writing Refresher Course
Starting A Book Club

Each workshop is tailored to your requirements, and can take from one to four two-hour sessions.

Workshops can be held at your office or a venue of your choice. If you do not have a venue in mind, we can book a conference room in Makati for you.

For inquiries, or to book a workshop for your group, email

* * * * *
About the teacher

Jessica Zafra is a columnist at the Philippine Star, BusinessWorld, and InterAksyon. She has written two collections of short stories and a dozen Twisted collections of essays on film, literature, travel, rock music, popular culture and politics. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Newsweek, the Hong Kong Standard, and The National. She was editor-in-chief of Flip: The Official Guide to World Domination, and the annual literary journal Manila Envelope.

Outside of publishing, Jessica has hosted talk shows on the FM stations NU-107 and K-Lite, and the TV show Points of View. She is an executive producer on the film Norte by Lav Diaz and screenwriter of Esoterika: Manila by Elwood Perez. Her new TV show will premiere this year. Visit her website,

I’m giving a Free Workshop on The Craft and Practice of Writing on Thursday, 18 February at 630pm. Book your seats Now.

February 15, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Books, Workshops 38 Comments →

drogon fang

Wait, weren’t you supposed to do your first workshop for the year at Ayala Museum on Thursday?

It’s been cancelled.

I got an email at 8am saying, “Due to low turnout of participants, we have to cancel the workshop for Movie Reviews.”

Oh, really? The day after my second announcement appeared in the Philippine Star? With four days to go, when historically participants wait until the very last minute to register and pay the fee? The first workshop of the year, without which the series straggles along like a headless corpse?

“We will push further with the rest of the workshops,” the email went on to say, whatever that means.

What for? Just cancel the entire series for the year.

Then I had a brainwave: I’m going to do workshops and organize them myself. And since I’m free on Thursday anyway, I’m going to give a FREE WORKSHOP, how about that? Yes, the first taste is free. I think I’ll call my workshop You Do Not Cancel My Motherfucking Workshop. Naah, I’ll call it THE CRAFT AND PRACTICE OF WRITING. For anyone who has ever contemplated the writing life.

Thursday, 18 February, 1830 at the office of BBDO-Guerrero, Frabelle Building (the one with Wildflour on the ground floor), Rada Street (up the street from Union Church), Legazpi Village, Makati.

You need to register by posting a comment here, or sending an email to Quick, quick, quick, I need to know how many people will turn up.

The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. Why do people piss me off? Don’t they know I live for conflict? Oh right, I’ve been quiet and polite for a long time. Screw that. I’m taking the swords out of the lockbox. See you on Thursday. Tell your friends. Tell everybody. Tweet and repost this.

Update: Here’s our low turnout count as of 1100 of Thursday the 18th.

Registered on Comments section: brewhuh23, Momelia, balqis, santi01 + 1, cookie, Jules, unlimitedgrubgrabs (If you are a spammer, your ass is dead), leiastrud, themark, Leoj, paulaxgianna + 1, tsitai + 1, Ronigurl, kittyb73, gerezimdelapena, Angus, egfallorina, jichuacuco.

Overseas, will attend via video link: spooky, primavera579, alpha12, toyomansi, Cacs, Miray, traceea. To avoid bandwidth issues we are no longer accepting participants via Skype. The address will be emailed to you.

Registered by email: Christian, Carla, Glaiza, Florence + 1, Pb + 1, Murshamir, Erlyn, Dylan, Kate, Fidel, Shala, Jove, Niccolo, Mikhaela, Judith, Irish, Nelson, Kate, Leonora, Johanna, Joanne, Wenz, Dolarica, Marvin, Ancel, Jessica, Joyce, Roch, Rizza, Glaiza Mae, Lucille, Fatima, Roxanne, Albert, Tim, Jeffrey + 1, L.A., Gielizza, John Paul, Anna, Aldrin, David, Grace Anne, Antoniette, Martika, Joe, Anna, Dan, Nissa, Jenica, Rizza, Polly, Chuckie, Marisol, John Michael, Hanniel, Monique, Patricia, Mikaela, Nora, Melissa, Pia, Cherry, Barbie, Bianca, Jhantzen, Angelico, Phia + 1, Jayne, Roselle, Maika, Amy, Janina, Patricia, Kalel, Zoe, Pia, Jannah, Mary Grace, Katherine, Camille, Lynn, Rosette, Chuck, Denison, Hans, Jerome, Agel, Bong, Paula, Michaelo, Christine, Patricia, Janus, Jamaica, Mafe, Jannica, Elai, Lei, Dinnah, Kate, Sharmaine, Mikee, Kim, Emman, Aldrine, Mari, Chenie, Romina, Jules, Christine Ingrid, Lyka, Chrixy, Rosette, Ronalyn, Zonel, Franco, Joy, Tami, Sandino, Aytch, Judy.

15 from BBDO Guerrero
2 from Campaigns & Grey

We are no longer accepting participants, so stop grovelling. We expect that not everyone who registered will show up. If you registered, you had better make sure you appear or you will be barred from any future workshops. You think I’m kidding? This is serious shit.

The venue is

7th floor, WSI (Wordtext Systems) Corporate Center
1005 Metropolitan Avenue (beside Ecoville, near the Makati Fire Station)
Makati 1205

This is a map to WSI.


Ask me again where the venue is and YOU’RE OUT OF HERE.

Do not ask me when the next free workshop is. WHAT ARE YOU, CHEAP?

Participants, “Be there by 630” means “BE THERE BEFORE 630.” Of course there’s traffic. DEAL WITH IT.

Do not be late. THE GATES CLOSE AT 630.

And if you have to ask if you can take selfies with me, YOU HAVE NEVER READ MY WORK, GET OUT.

If any of this causes you distress, forget about writing altogether because YOU DO NOT HAVE THE SPINE TO BE A WRITER.