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Applications for the Class of 2024 are open!



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

  • If you are currently under contract with a publisher, or have reason to believe that you will sign with a publisher by January 2024 please say so in your application. 

  • Writers who have a creative writing or journalism degree, from outside South Asia may not apply. 

  • Applicants who have reason to believe that they may 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 (January to December 2024). 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. 

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

    • a book of fiction

    • a book of nonfiction

    • 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. 

  • Introducing "Beyond Ability": ​In 2023, South Asia Speaks is launching a mentorship for writers who identify as a person with a disability. The disability can be locomotor, visual, hearing, psychosocial or neurological in nature. Writers with learning disabilities are welcome as are writers with chronic illnesses and rare diseases that might not fall under the purview of 'disability' in their respective countries. Disabled writers who come from the intersections of marginalized caste, class and gender identities are encouraged to apply. The mentorship will be conducted online by poet and author Abhishek Anicca. Applicants are requested to mention any specific accommodations that they might require. Applicants for Beyond Ability are exempt from all our exclusion guidelines, however only writers who are yet to publish a book may apply. 

  • All fiction applicants must include one sample from the project for which they are seeking a mentor. We are unable to accept fiction writers who are yet to begin their project.

  • Non fiction applicants who have started their project should also include a sample. Otherwise, they may attach any two recent writing samples.

  • Each writing sample should be a maximum of 5,000 words.

  • We do not accept academic papers as samples.

Thank you! We will be in touch.

Apply to Class of 2024

Please fill this form only once. Apply for mentorship in one genre only. 

Application form
  • 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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