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Applications for South Asia Speaks 2023 now open 

Last date to apply is 30 September, 2022


  • Citizens of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives living in their home countries for the duration of the mentorship (January to December 2023). We do not accept applications from South Asian citizens who live outside South Asia or who will be abroad during the period of the mentorship.

  • Afghan writers are exempt from the residence clause and may be based anywhere in the world. 

  • Applicants must be working on one of the following long-term projects:

    • a book of fiction

    • a book of non-fiction

    • a work in translation

    • a series of linked reported pieces

    • a poetry collection

The projects may include short stories, memoirs, travel narratives and more as long as they fit into the mentioned genres and are in English. 

  • Writers who have published a book are ineligible, unless the work is no more than a chapter/essay in an anthology. Self-published authors are welcome.

  • The mentorship is for people who haven't had the opportunity to workshop writing in a formal setting. If you have attended a creative writing degree or a journalism degree outside South Asia please do not apply. 

  • There is no application fee and no hidden costs. The program is completely free.

  • There is no age restriction.

  • Applicants who applied last year but weren't successful are welcome to try again with an updated proposal.  

  • Please send one proposal only.

  • What does the application include?
    Every application must include a one paragraph synopsis of the proposed project and two writing samples. The word count for the synopsis is 300 words. The two writing samples should be in the genre for which the applicant is seeking a mentor. The maximum word count for each sample is 5,000. Fiction applicants must include one sample from the project for which they are seeking a mentor. We are unable to accept fiction applicants who are yet to begin their project. Applicants for the poetry mentorship must include a minimum of ten poems (up to a maximum of twelve), which should be sent in one document as a single attachment. We do not accept academic papers as samples.
  • Can I choose my mentor?
    Mentors will make their own choice based on shared goals and interests. Please only apply if you are willing to work with any one of our mentors.
  • Can I apply for mentorship in multiple genres?
    Please apply for mentorship in one genre only. We do not accept multiple applications or applications for multiple genres.
  • What are the key dates for 2025?
    Applications open : 01 September 2024 Applications close : 30 September 2024 Successful applicants will be informed via email in January 2025. We are unable to offer feedback on applications that have been unsuccessful.
  • I am a South Asian writer living outside South Asia (ex. Dubai, Manila, London). May I apply?
    We only accept applications from writers living in South Asia.
  • How does the mentorship work?
    The mentorship will take place over Zoom. Successful candidates will receive six zoom calls from their mentor in a calendar year. Each call with last 30 minutes. Mentors will also review writing. All fellows will have access to our Masterclass series, as well as workshops dedicated to subjects such as craft, publishing, and acquiring an agent.

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that hasn't been answered on this page please contact 


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