Attention aspiring writers: Creative writing programme from top authors

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Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program is an 8-weekend long creative writing course that features leading Bengaluru writers as faculty. Taught in the form of lectures, workshops, assignments, discussions and a whole lot of writing, the 2020 edition of the program will begin in June 2020, and has 30 seats. The program is brought to you by course directors and acclaimed writers Anjum Hasan, Eshwar Sundaresan and Zac O’ Yeah in association with Shoonya.

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When Anjum Hasan, Zac O’ Yeah and Eshwar Sundaresan got together in the last decade to plot a creative writing course, considering that aspiring writers would frequently contact them for advice, they had a couple of things in mind. One, it should be entirely local and classroom-based, rather than virtual and worldwide. Two, the program should give students a taste of different genres of writing. Three, it should have a distinctive name rooted in Bengaluru’s culture. The name was easy – all it needed was a few beers and the unspoken conviction that there is no sin graver than taking oneself too seriously. What better way to reinforce our humbleness than by calling ourselves world-famous? (But semi-deluxe) 

Three editions of Bangalore’s World Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program down, we’re glad to say the idea seems to have caught on. Almost 100 students have, over the past three years, tried their hand at various genres including poetry-writing, translation, reportage, short fiction, travelogues and thriller-writing (for more on the last, read Zac’s How to write a thriller). The course has pulled in well-known writers, teachers and critics from the city as faculty. Our emphasis has been on classroom interactions, one-on-one discussions, exchanges between fellow writers, face-to-face meetings with professionals from the writerly world, and lots of writing exercises. No two classes have been the same and we don’t offer pre-packaged modules for becoming a successful writer or fabricated templates for writing.

Applications are officially open!

Course fee: Rs 31,700

Early bird discount: Apply before February 14, 2020 to avail the early bird discount of 15%

Last date for submission: May 31, 2020

About the programme

The program will be held over eight weekends. You will spend your mornings in a classroom learning skills, understanding craft, and trying your hand at a range of genres, while using your spare time to complete assignments that will be reviewed by the faculty on an individual basis. This hands-on and interactive experience promises to be an engaging way to challenge yourself to do something new. By the end of the workshop you will be writing courageously and skilfully.

Faculty include leading practitioners in their respective fields, ranging from fiction to poetry, thriller writing to travelogues, children’s writing to long form journalism, to name a few.

Benefits of the programme

  • The habit of writing regularly
  • The confidence to write like a master
  • Tools and techniques, taught by Bangalore’s celebrated expert writers, to help you write with impact
  • An exposure to various genres including short stories, thrillers, travelogues, children’s literature, poetry and translations
  • The ability to look at one’s own writing critically and with the resolve to improve it
  • An understanding of emerging market conditions and what it takes to succeed commercially as a writer

Application process

Your journey begins with you sending in an 800-word (max.) submission titled “Who Am I?” The submission may be in any form or style of your choosing (an essay, a poem etc.).

If we are convinced that you have the willingness and the talent to write, we will invite you to join 30 of the best applicants to attend the workshop. Do email us at info@shoonyaspace.com with your entry, with the subject line <your name – who am I>. Along with the “Who Am I” submission your application email should include the following information about yourself: Full Name, Age and Contact Details (phone number and postal address).

Some half a dozen of our alumni are busy writing books. But for most of our students what the program seems to have offered is a space to not just write but test ideas about writing, reading as well as, importantly, self-worth. Here are some testimonials.

  • “It helped me the most in inculcating the discipline of writing daily and seriously.”
  • “Detailed feedback, discipline of writing regularly, and dealing with the fear of not being good enough – not completely, but in a substantial measure.”
  • “Intense! Lots of things to think and ponder about. From understanding how reading is a firmament to how to make writing a regular ritual.”
  • “The detailed reviews from the faculty and interactions with the other students have given me clarity on what work is required and specifically where I need to improve. I feel empowered to write more seriously now.”
  • “A refined sense of what it takes to write well – in language, memories, and a curious head – and meeting wonderful people who I would perhaps never have met otherwise. Also, listening to writers from various genres talk about their love for literature and for the work they do, was really heartening.”

Find detailed application guidelines here.

[This article is based on a note from Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program (BWFSDWP), and has been published with minimal edits]


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