Missed Opportunity.

I’ve already written about VVG Something (including why we went there, how we got there and what we saw), so I won’t rehash all of that here. And nearly a month after I wrote that blog entry, I finally got to do some research on the titles we saw that day.

We found this group of books near the door, and some of these books’ titles really got our attention. However, there were so many things to see, touch, ogle and purchase at VVG Something that I eventually failed to go back to these books and pore over them. And now I really regret not doing that; turns out these books were written by first-time authors who go to Babette’s Feast, described and promoted by independent Singapore bookstore Books Actually as:

…a fortnightly gathering of writers: writers of singular words, writers of sentences, writers of letters, writers of lyrics, writers of stories, writers of fact, writers of the ephemeral. Come over for a casual dinner consisting of a humble feast (potlucking is encouraged), warm company, sharing and critique of your written works. Open to the public.

Books Actually is the host and organizer of these fortnight gatherings; its publishing brand (Math Paper Press) has enlisted several writers who participate in Babette’s Feast, and support them by printing “chapbooks” of their work and selling them. Looking at Books Actually’s online listing, two titles are missing from this collection (My Suit by Jason Wee, and You Cannot Count Smoke by Cyril Wong), and there are some duplicates (Careless by Jacqueline Ong, Bare by Terry Lee, The Law of Second Marriages by Christine Chia, Victimology by Verena Tay, and The World Must Weigh The Same by Carol Chan). I really wish I bought these titles − or maybe I can buy them online (in bulk), and have them shipped here to Manila.

Which makes me think… are there any Philippine bookstores, book clubs, or writing workshops that publish (or help publish) the work of promising writers?