8Letters LitFest: Encouraging Indie
Written by Katie velez
8Letters Bookstore and Publishing’s Annual LitFest introduces writers to the world of self-publishing and how it allows them to embrace their passion for writing. The LitFest is also a treat for readers, who are introduced to unfamiliar voices and unique storytelling.
Weeks prior to the 5-day event, 8Letters called for submission of entries to a writing contest. Winners will receive a publishing contract for their entry that will be included in the LitFest anthology, besides cash prizes. Hundreds of entries flooded their inbox in response to the announcement.
On August 5, the event kicked off with the opening of 8Letters Online Bookstore, where dozens of books became available for sale. The demand for more readers to discover works by Filipino self-published authors prompted the creation of the 8Letters Bookshop.
The LitFest offered workshops and webinars where writers were given tips and advice on how to discover their strengths, improve their craft, and become better writers. Although primarily focused on writers, these talks also provide viewers and participants a better understanding about independent publishing and how much support self-published authors need. Here is the rundown of the webinars and workshops during the LitFest:
- The Go-Indie Talk by Bebang Siy and Ronald Verzo of Isang Balangay
- Road to Publishing: Why You Need an Editor with Christian Loid Valenzuela and Owen Guamos of C&B Editing
- Versions of You in the Self-Publishing World by Jahric Lago
- Panayam kay Juan Bautista “Kuwentista”
- Selling your e-Books on Amazon by Mayumi Cruz
- What you ZINE is what you get: Zine-Making 101 by Maria Kristelle Jimenez and Marius Carlos Jr. of Rebo Press
- How to improve your writing skills by Emerald Blake of Penmaster’s League
- What is and Why 8Letters? by Cindy Wong and Katie Velez
If you want to watch any of these videos, head over to 8Letters’ Facebook page to search for them.
In its continuous support to self-published authors, several authors had the spotlight and launched their books throughout the week-long event. These are the must-check-out list of books launched during the LitFest:
- Pawn Queen, Life’s Chess and Quest by Shiela M. Cancino of Treasures Finder
- Mandirigma 173 by Ellena Odde
- The Fairy’s Godfather and Hush, My Heart by Katie Velez
- Virgo by Marigold Uy and other writers
- Embracing Uncertainties by Cindy Wong
- Rose by Maria Criselda Santos
- To the First Woman Who Loved Me by Camille Esteban
- Ripe for Love – sweet, Three Tells, The Hot Friend Hurdle, Encounters with Strange Creatures, Return of the ’80s White Lady by Margery Santander
- A World Full Of Color by Lia Salen
- Silver Linings: Stories of Love, Hope, and Courage in a Pandemic Setting by LitArt Publishing
Noticed something on the list? Yes, our issue editor, Mayumi Cruz held a webinar on how to sell and profit from your e-books on Amazon Kindle. And as one of the curators of 8Letters, you would probably see my face in most of those videos. I also launched my books—a poetry collection, Hush, My Heart; and a fantasy novella, The Fairy’s Godfather.
Did you know that LitArt Hub also had a book launch during the fest? Watch the video of Mayumi Cruz and I when we talked about our first anthology, Silver Linings.
8Letters LitFest is an annual event held by 8Letters Bookstore and Publishing. It aims to let readers and writers meet. An event where writers can freely embrace their passion and meet readers and similar-minded people who will support them. Follow their Facebook page to receive updates when the next literary festival will be held.