Bringing Out the Best in Teens Through Writing

Written by Enthrem Bagtas //  Published

“The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile.” - Robert Cormier

The 4th of July 2020 marked a memorable milestone for me as I was given the opportunity and liberty to hold an essay writing workshop (also my first) for the teens ministries of ICOC Quezon City and ICOC Makati City. It was a rewarding and fruitful experience for both sides of the coin­−to me as the speaker because I was able to impart valuable tips on writing which I have gathered from experience for the past 20 years, and to the 30 participant teens (and teens ministry workers) who were inspired to start putting down their thoughts and experiences on paper.Even though the session was conducted through zoom, the school break and the community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth the perfect timing for the workshop. What a better way for teens to make the most of their free time by writing or journaling and keep at it. Just like any art, it takes practice to exercise the writing muscle in us.


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From elaborating the writing process to enumerating the benefits to sharing valuable tips (aka dos and don’ts) in writing, I was able to condense 2 decades of learning to 10 PowerPoint slides for the teens to chew on. I believe it provided a springboard or accelerator for the budding writers and artists who attended the workshop.I concluded the workshop by giving a homework to the participants which will also serve as the output of the workshop. I asked them to write about faith in their own words. By the deadline, eight brave souls took the challenge and submitted their essays and poems on faith. I decided to feature all of them, each piece amusing in its own facets, in this collection which all of us can learn from.


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