the philippine readers and writers festival 2016


#GoReadWrite2016 Join National Book Store and Raffles Makati’s Philippine Readers and Writers Festival featuring Pulitzer award winning author Adam Johnson and bestselling authors Paula McLain and Anna Todd from August 26 to 28, 2016 at the Raffles Makati.

Admission is free! Attend three days of book signings, discussions, and panels about books, literature, and culture from top Filipino writers and artists.

All events will be held at the Raffles Makati with registration starting at 9 a.m. every day.

Click here for the schedule of events. Tag #GoReadWrite2016 to join the discussion.


August 26:

9:30am – 12:00pm
Lines of Flight:
The Practice and Limits of Realism in Philippine Fiction

Charlson Ong, Jaime An Lim, Dean Francis Alfar, Luna Sicat Cleto, Gabriela Lee, and Eliza Victoria.
Moderated by J. Neil C. Garcia
University of the Philippines Press

August 27:

10:00am – 12:00pm
Mundong Hindi Palaging Atin: Lunsad-Aklat ng The Lait Chronicles, Wounded Little Gods, at Instructions on How to Disappear
Gabriela Lee, Eliza Victoria, John Jack G. Wigley, Carl Javier, Dean Francis Alfar, Alan Navarra, Carlos Malvar, Joey Arguelles, and Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin

Full list of events here.

FAQs here.

See you!

and beyond

Reactions to Marte were of varying intensity and ran the gamut from “It’s astonishing!” to “This play should never have been staged”. Having written at least four books now out in the market, I’m not a stranger to less than stellar reviews. Still, I was surprised by how the negative-to-harsh reviews affected me. Is my confidence crumbling? Is my thick skin no longer thick enough?

Then it hit me. I write prose fiction. With prose fiction, the book or story is marked in my head as DONE following publication, and becomes psychologically separate from myself.

Above all, it is static. Interpretations of the text may change, but the text, every time you flip the page, remains the same.

Not so with theater.

I sat through four out of six shows of Marte and each one of them was different. An actor forgets a line or adds a line, the lights are changed to enhance a scene, the director changes a blocking instruction. A prop falls, gets snagged on a costume, goes missing. A fantastic performance tonight may be middling in the matinee show the next day. And vice versa! With theater, until the very last curtain call, you can’t breathe easy, you can’t relax, because until then you are not done.

It was the most physically and psychologically demanding creative project I have ever worked on.

And I loved it.

My deepest gratitude to everyone who joined me (willingly or unwillingly) in this production journey.

Marte class picture.


On the way to (Tagaytay) CCP.




Pre-show warm-up in Buff aka Backstage Extension c/o Direk Nic Pichay.


With my family before the last show.




Full house!



And a proposal.


Love you Team Marte!


Further reading:

5 new plays–and 5 nerve-wracked new playwrights

Another Baptism By Fire At The 12th Virgin Labfest

Virgin LabFest 13 Revisited:

Ang Sugilanon ng Kabiguan ni Epefania

Ang Bata sa Drum

Mula sa Kulimliman

* * *

What now?

Onwards and upwards.


The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 

August 26 to 28, 2016

Raffles Makati

Manila International Book Fair

September 16 to 18, 2016

SMX Convention Hall

See you around!

i will have a play in the virgin labfest, and other shiny writerly updates

Virgin Labfest XII

My one-act play Marte has been chosen as part of the main line-up of the upcoming Virgin Labfest. Very exciting news; I have seen great plays in the fest, and now I’ll be able to be a part of it! I can’t wait to see this little thing come to life onstage.

See the full list below, which was culled from an unprecedented 197 entries.

Virgin Labfest 12
Established in 2005, the Virgin Labfest is a laboratory festival of new plays by emerging and established Filipino playwrights and held annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The Virgin Labfest aims to provide Filipino playwrights a venue to present their unpublished, unstaged, untested and untried works to theatergoing public. The Virgin Labfest is a yearly project of the Manila-based playwrights group Writer’s Bloc, Inc., acclaimed theater company Tanghalang Pilipino, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


Eliza Victoria’s “Marte”
Carlo Vergara’s “Mula sa Kulimliman”
Herlyn Alegre‘s “Bahay-Bahayan Tagu-Taguan”
Guelan Luarca‘s “Bait”
Ricardo Dingdong Novenario‘s “Daddy’s Girl”
Kanakan Balintagos‘ “Loyalist”
Ma. Cecilia dela Rosa’s “Ang Mga Bisita ni Jean”
Alexandra May Cordoso’s “Ang Sugilanon ng Kabiguan ni Epefania”
Jose Socrates delos Reyes’ “Dahan-Dahan ang Paglubog ng Araw”
Rick Patriarca’s “Hapag-Kainan”
Dominique La Victoria’s “Ang Bata sa Drum”
Oggie Arcenas‘ “Si Jaya, Si Ronda, Si Barbra at ang Mahiwagang Kanta”


Maynard Manansala‘s “Dalawang Gabi”
Juan Miguel Severo’s “Hintayan ng Langit”
Eljay Castro Deldoc‘s “Si Maria Isabella at ang Guryon ng mga Tala”


Layeta Pinzon Bucoy‘s “Mac and Naty”
Job Pagsibigan‘s “Mrs. Victoria”
Vincent A. DeJesus ‘ “Changing Partners”
Adrian Ho’s “Run, Marga, Run”
Jonathan Tad Tadioan‘s “Dinuguan”


Alex Dungca’s “Nang Maligaw ang mga Halimaw”
Dwein Baltazar’s “Ang Debutante sa Bubongan”
Jerome Ignacio‘s “Perfecto Gomez”

Here’s from the fest’s first write-up on Market Monitor:

Of the playwrights whose works were picked for the main line-up, five are “virgins.” Of these, the most notable is Eliza Victoria, who first gained attention—at least, from the literary community—for her Palanca award-winning poetry collections “Reportage” and “Maps,” and for her National Book Award-winning novel Dwellers.

Read more here.

Wounded Little Gods giveaway

My thanks to all those who joined the giveaway, and congratulations to Mays T. I also chose another winner (Pamala G) from those who participated in my survey from way back. Thanks and enjoy reading!

Copies of the book have also been delivered to Fully Booked and Precious Pages bookstore branches. Here’s a photo from Budjette Tan as proof.

WLG in Fully Booked

It’s coming soon to other book stores near you. If you want a copy now, do email/alert



The tenth volume of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series is now available in the following online venues, so please grab a copy.

Flipside –…/philippine-speculative-fiction-volume-…

Amazon –…/…/

Kobo –…/philippine-speculative-fictio…

Google Play –…/Dean_Francis_Alfar_Philippine_Spe…

iTunes –…/philippine-speculat…/id1100520266

Weightless Books –…/philippine-speculative-ficti…/

This is the landmark tenth volume of what’s been called “one of the most important projects to come out of the contemporary writing generation”. PSF is credited as the springboard for the thriving Philippine speculative fiction movement, which defines, explores, and sometimes blurs the boundaries of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things in between.

Philippine Speculative Fiction X is proud to present a representative range of exemplary stories from Filipino writers, including both renowned veterans and exciting new voices in the field.

Contributors include:

Alyssa Wong
Sarge Lacuesta
Joel Pablo Salud
Eliza Victoria
Jose Elvin Bueno
Victor Fernando R. Ocampo
Cyan Abad-Jugo
Kenneth G. Yu
Andrew Drilon
Kate Osias
Gabriela Lee
Joseph Montecillo
Renz Torres
Vincent Michael Simbulan
Francis Gabriel Concepcion
EK Gonzales
Alexander M. Osias
Noel Tio
AJ Elicaño
Lakan Umali
Razel Tomacder
Raymund P. Reyes
Richard Calayeg Cornelio

Edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar

There will be a launch on Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m. at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Shangri-La Plaza Mall. Please join us.

writing roundup: online reads + a nomination + my compli copies are here!

Wounded Little Gods is now out in the wild. See a couple of photos from readers below. Thank you!

Photos from readers

Photos from readers

I also got my complimentary copies!

Wounded Little Gods

Wounded Little Gods

Wounded Little Gods

Wounded Little Gods

Wounded Little Gods

Wounded Little Gods

My first Visprint book with my latest Visprint book, for size comparison.

Wounded Little Gods

As tradition dictates, expect a book giveaway soon–but let’s talk about that later.


  • Neon Literary Magazine has nominated my poem “What Waits” for the 2016 Forward Prize. You can read the poem and the three other nominated pieces in the link.Says editor Krishan Coupland: “The Forward Prizes, awarded annually, are some of the most prestigious awards for poetry available in the UK. Each year I nominate four of the best poems published in Neon during the previous twelve months for the Best Single Poem category[.]”
  • My short story “The Seventh“, published in Likhaan Vol. 9, is now available to read online. Feel free to share the link.
  • My story “Fortitude” will be appearing in this volume:



Coming soon from University of the Philippines Press

With stories by: Kim Sarabia, Eliza Victoria, Kate Osias, Raymond P. Reyes, CP Coulter, Gabriela Lee, Lakan Umali, Daniel Carlos Tan, Nikki Alfar, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo

Cover design by: Aletheia Rio

Edited by: Dean Francis Alfar, Kenneth Yu

  • My story, “The Target”, will be appearing in the tenth volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction.


Coming in April! Philippine Speculative Fiction X, edited by Nikki Alfar and Dean Francis Alfar (Flipside Publishing). Featuring fiction from Alyssa WongJoel Pablo Salud, Jose Elvin Bueno, Cyan Abad-Jugo, Andrew DrilonGabriela Lee, Renz Torres, Francis Gabriel Concepcion, Alexander M. Osias,AJ Elicaño, Razel Tomacder, Richard Calayeg Cornelio, Sarge Lacuesta,Eliza Victoria, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Kenneth G. Yu, Kate Osias,Joseph Montecillo, Vincent Michael Simbulan, EK Gonzales, Noel Tio, Lakan Umali, and Raymund P. Reyes.

  • IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Visprint is holding a Summer Warehouse Sale at the Visprint warehouse. See map below and get to it!

Map to Visprint

All of your favorite Visprint titles on SALE! From 20-50% off! April 2-3, 2016, 8am to 5pm only.

You’re still here? Oh goody. Let’s get to the exciting part.

Now that Wounded Little Gods has been released, here’s how you can support it:

1. Buy the book. Of course! :) Delivery to book stores is pending, but you can email to have it delivered to your doorstep.

2. Share this link and other Wounded Little Gods info on your social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest etc.).

3. Review the book. Blog about it. Tell your friends, whether you enjoyed it or not. If you are on Goodreads, add the book to your bookshelf and share your thoughts.

To celebrate, I will be giving away one (1) free signed copy of my new book.

Go to this link to see the mechanics and enter the giveaway:

Some additional details:

  1. The  winner will be announced no later than April 17, Sunday.
  2. Open to residents living in the Philippines only.
  3. The copy will be shipped, hopefully immediately (it depends on how busy I am) via courier.
  4. The copy I will be sending are from my own set of advance copies from Visprint, but Visprint is not a sponsor of this contest. Neither is the courier.
  5. The winner will be chosen via electronic lottery, and will be announced on this blog and contacted via email.

Have fun!

aiming for two book releases in 2016


Wow I haven’t been in here since forever.

I realized that I did not have a major print release last year, and so perhaps two books this year will even things out?

(I’m sure Mina Esguerra is looking at this and thinking, oh two books in a year? You’re so cute.)

Mervin Malonzo is busy working on the art for After Lambana. Here are some sample art I posted a while back to remind you/get you all excited. [Further reading: “Visprint announces 2016 Komiks Line-Up” on Flipgeeks.]

I sincerely have no idea how readers will react to this story. I also have no idea how readers will react to Wounded Little Godsmy little novel slated for release in March. [Further reading: “Eliza Victoria has Another Book!” on Whatsageek]

[We geeks band together, as it turns out.]

In other news, I will have a poem in the 42nd issue of Neon Literary Magazine. Thank you to editor Krishan Coupland. Check back on the leap day, and please consider pre-ordering or subscribing.

I’ve spent today putting the finishing touches to the eBook editions of issue forty-two of Neon. If all goes to plan, the latest instalment of the magazine will launch at the end of this month, on February 29th. If you want to be one of the first people to get hold of a copy, why not place a pre-order, or even subscribe?

From a brief biography of a man raised as a chicken, to a mortuary romance, to a tale that teeters on the edge of a precariously-assembled tower, this issue is packed with excellent poetry and fiction. There’s even a grotesquely surreal comic by Swedish artist Janne Karlsson, and an innocuous-looking but unique broadside by poet Jaclyn Weber.

Other writers featured in issue forty-two include Luke Silver, Clifford Parody, Jane Flett, Mack W Mani, Tara White, Eliza Victoria, Gregory Cartwright, Caroline Hardaker, and Natalia Theodoridou.

This will be our largest print run ever for an issue of Neon. Thanks to everyone who has already subscribed or purchased a copy – and for everyone else, it’s never too late to do so.

I am still writing–though not as fast and as often as I used to, as I want to. Work and life get in the way, you know how it is. But I’m enjoying working on the new novel (a murder mystery/fantasy), even if my scattered notes and plot timelines are driving me crazy. I have broken past the 100-page mark. I have a good feeling about it.

2016 poems + filipino readercon

November’s coming to a close, and I’m ending it with a couple of acceptances, a writers night, and a reader conference.

  • UK-based Neon Literary Magazine will be publishing my poem “What Waits” in a 2016 issue. Thank you to editor Krishan Coupland. You can read a poem of mine here, published in Neon’s 34th issue. You can read Krishan’s interview with me here.
  • Singapore-based Kitaab will be publishing my poem “Tiny Tragedies”. My thanks to poetry editor Desmond Kon.

The 9th Likhaan volume, edited by Luna Sicat-Cleto, Eugene Evasco, Isabela Banzon and Charlson Ong, and which includes my story “The Seventh”, will be launched during Writers Night at the UP Executive House on November 26. Read the details here.


The 5th Filipino ReaderCon will be held this Saturday, November 28 at the Henry Sy Hall, the De La Salle University in Manila. Register here  and check out the panel descriptions here.

‘dwellers’ wins best novel in english at the 34th national book awards + a new poem + #talkflip

Exciting stuff! Dwellers wins Best Novel in English, and Visprint is awarded Publisher of the Year. Thank you to Visprint, the National Book Development Board, the Manila Critics Circle, J and my family, and the little book’s readers for their attention and kindness. Congratulations to all the winners. The full list follows.

Dwellers by Eliza Victoria (Cover)

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) are pleased to announce the winners of the 34th National Book Awards (NBA). Below is the list of NBA winners for books published in 2014:

(English Language)

Dwellers, by Eliza Victoria, Visprint, Inc.

(Filipino Language)

Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon, by Edgar Calabia Samar, Adarna House, Inc.

(English Language)

Wonderlust, by Nikki Alfar, Anvil Publishing Inc.

(English Language)

Ramon Obusan, Philippine Folkdance and Me, by Kanami Namiki, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

(English Language)

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, by Rey Ventura, Ateneo de Manila University Press

(Filipino Language)

iStatus Nation, by Joselito Delos Reyes, Visprint, Inc.

(English Language)

Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change, edited by Regina Abuyuan, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities

(Filipino Language)

Ang Labingtatlong Pasaway, by Jun Cruz Reyes, Visprint, Inc.

(English Language)

The Postcolonial Perverse vol. 1, by J. Neil C. Garcia, The University of the Philippines Press

(Filipino Language)

Talab: Mga Sanaysay sa Wika, Panitikan, at Pagtuturo, by Rebecca T. Añonuevo, Ateneo de Naga University Press

(English Language)

Hidden Codex: Fictive Scriptures, by Jose Marte A. Abueg, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House

Time’s Enchantment and Other Reflections, by Marne Kilates, Ateneo de Naga University Press

(Philippine Language except Hiligaynon/Kinaray-a)

Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan, by E. San Juan, The University of the Philippines Press

(Hiligaynon/Kinaray-a Language)

Tikum Kadlum, by Federico Caballero and Alicia P. Magos, The University of the Philippines Press

(English Language)

Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby, by Gerry Alanguilan (story) and Arnold Arre (illustration and color), Meganon Comics Publishing House

(Filipino Language)

Tabi Po (Volume 1), by Mervin Malonzo, Visprint, Inc.


14 (Silent Comics) by Manix Abrera (writer and illustrator), Visprint, Inc.


Manila Synod of 1582: The Draft of Its Handbook for Confessors, translated by Paul A. Dumol, Ateneo de Manila University Press



Country Cooking, by Michaela Fenix, Anvil Publishing, Inc.


Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao (expanded edition), by Wilfredo Magno Torres III (editor), Ateneo de Manila University Press


The Adventures of a PR Girl, by Bettina Rodriguez-Olmedo, Anvil Publishing, Inc.


Buti Pa Ang Roma, May Bagong Papa, by Noreen Capili, Anvil Publishing, Inc.


Journey of a Thousand Shuttles, The Philippine Weave, by Norma A. Respicio, National Commission for Culture and the Arts


Birds of Cebu and Bohol Philippines, by Nilo Arribas Jr., Bobby Kintanar, and Raul Benjamin Puentespina, University of San Carlos Press


Sakdalistas’ Struggle for Philippine Independence, 1930-1945, by Motoe Terami-Wada, Ateneo de Manila University Press


Vantage Point: The Sixth Estate and Other Discoveries, by Luis Teodoro, The University of the Philippines Press


Manila Synod of 1582: The Draft of Its Handbook for Confessors, design by Karl Fredrick M. Castro, Ateneo de Manila University Press


Ambagan 2011: Mga Salita Mula sa Iba’t Ibang Wika sa Filipinas, by Michael M. Coroza and Galileo S. Zafra, The University of the Philippines Press


Visprint, Inc.

Source: National Book Development Board

Other exciting things:

Live twitter chat eliza victoria