The UK Diaries Part 1: MinaLima + Cursed Child

It was one year in the making.

Remember how we were holed up at the Writer’s Bar at Raffles last year, reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child over copious cups of tea?

Well, a few days after that, a new batch of theatre tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went on sale, and much as we bellyached over the content of the screenplay, we decided to join the online queue for a shot at the much-coveted tickets… and before I knew it I was on a trip that snowballed into me fangirling all over the UK.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got back, and I’ve been tackling the pileup in  my workload (and my hallway library is in disarray), but I have so many stories and photos to share from this trip, so let me start with this one.

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Interview: Barry Cunningham

In line with the Scholastic Asian Book Award’s manuscript critique initiative, “You Write to Me, I’ll Write to You,” I was given the opportunity (squeeeee!!!) for a quick email interview with Barry Cunningham (who paved the way for the publication of Harry Potter).

Here it is in its entirety, with a tip or two for Filipino writers looking to submit their manuscripts for a chance to be read by Barry Cunningham.

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I’ve always enjoyed drinking tea, but after temporarily moving to a place with huge windows last year, I had to adjust my sleep cycle and swapped the daily coffee routine for tea. (NB: Since then we’ve moved back and my sleep cycle readjusted but I haven’t gone back to coffee). Anyway,  I was looking for a book to read with tea as its theme, when I came across the book “Darjeeling: A History of the World’s Greatest Tea” by Jeff Koehler, which was my best book for 2016.

While there’s always some Darjeeling in my tea selection, I’m actually partial to the stronger Assam or Ceylon teas, or the mellow Oolong (and quite recently, the fragrant Jasmine), so I wasn’t that keen on an entire book about Darjeeling tea, but I had read a glowing review in The Guardian so I decided to give it a try. It isn’t available here in the Philippines, so I ended up getting the ebook, but I loved it so much I eventually sent out for a copy on Book Depository.

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You Write to Me, I’ll Write to You with Barry Cunningham!

Calling all Filipino writers! Submit a short synopsis and the opening pages of your unpublished chapter book or novel and stand a chance to be shortlisted to receive a review and written feedback by the man who discovered J.K. Rowling, Mr. Barry Cunningham.

‘If it wasn’t for Barry Cunningham, Harry Potter might still be languishing in his cupboard under the stairs… I doubt any of the writers with whom he has worked could be more grateful to him.’ — J.K. Rowling

Continue reading “You Write to Me, I’ll Write to You with Barry Cunningham!”

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