Have you ever wondered how writers are able to craft their works? Or maybe you've got a burning question you've always wanted to ask about your favorite story? Or if you've been wondering how the literary scene is doing lately--it's looking quite well--you might just find all the answers at National Book Store's Philippine Readers and Writers Festival. The free three-day gathering is happening from August 2 to 4 at Raffles Makati; Registration starts at 9 a.m. every scheduled day, and admission is free.

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"This year, we have a fresh and exciting lineup of authors and speakers, as well as more meaningful experiences for all of the attendees and insightful conversations about the authors, books, and reading," says Xandra Ramos-Padilla, managing director of National Book Store (NBS). Apart from book signings, discussions, and exclusive discounts, the festival will also be focusing on different topics for each day: August 2 will be for students, teachers, and academics; August 3 will be for lifestyle and fiction fans; while August 4 will be for fans of children's and young adult's literature.

With this run's theme "Borderless: Bringing Stories from Asia to the World," they've tapped Vietnamese author Viet Thanh Nguyen and Filipina author Gina Apostol to lead the line-up. Nguyen is a refugee who fled to the United States in 1975. His debut novel The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is set in 1975 and tells the story of a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese army.

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Apostol's works have also won many awards and have appeared in presitigious publications like The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Gettysburg Review. Her novel Gun Dealers' Daughter won the 2013 Pen/Open Book Award while her latest work Insurrecto-which follows a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker as they write about a massacre during the Philippine-American war-was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice early in 2019 and a part of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2018. 

An entire slew of award winning authors will also be at the festival. Don't miss your chance to talk to Butch Dalisay, author of Soledad's Sister and winner of 16 Palanca Awards; or multi-hyphenate Ricky Lee, journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter; or historian and prolific writer Ambeth Ocampo; as well as many others. 

Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2019 is from August 2 to 4 at Raffles, Makati City. Registration starts at 9 a.m. For updates, check out the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival official website or follow them on Facebook.

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