top of page

Applications for 2024 are now closed
Class of 2025 will seek applications in September 2024




South Asia Speaks was created to support emerging writers of exceptional talent. The following guidelines were created to make our program more equitable, diverse and inclusive. They do not, therefore, apply to writers  from communities that are inadequately represented in publishing. If you believe that the exception applies to you, please say so in your application form. 

  • Writers who have already published a book may not apply unless they are self-published.

  • Writers who have signed a publishing contract or are in the process of doing so are ineligible and should not apply. 

  • Writers who have attended a creative writing or journalism program outside South Asia are ineligible.  

  • We do not accept current Master's or PhD students. 

  • Applicants who have reason to believe that they will move abroad during the fellowship period should not apply. 

  • Citizens of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives living in their home countries for the duration of the mentorship as well as Tibetan refugees based in South Asia. Afghan writers are exempt from the residence clause and may be based anywhere in the world. Please do not apply if you live outside your home country or plan to do so during the fellowship period. All applicants will need to show proof of citizenship and residence.  

  • There is no age restriction. The mentorship is free and there are no hidden costs.

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

    • a book of fiction

    • a book of non-fiction

    • a translation

    • a series of linked reported pieces

    • a volume of poetry


The projects may include short stories, memoirs, travel narratives and more as long as they fit into the mentioned genres and, apart from the proposed translations, are in English.  We are unable to accept graphic novels, children's books or screenplays.

  • 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 

bottom of page