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Mission & Values

South Asia Speaks was created in 2020 to support and strengthen the literary arts in South Asia by offering emerging writers one on one mentoring for a full year. Writers working on a major project are eligible to apply.

We match emerging South Asia-based writers with published authors from around the world. We support fiction, nonfiction, reportage, translation and poetry. Mentors and fellows meet for six sessions during the year to workshop writing. 

Fellows past and present have access to the South Asia Speaks Masterclass that brings the brightest minds in the literary arts to our virtual classroom. The Masterclass is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact directly with writers who have influenced our generation. 


Since 2021, the Masterclass has welcomed New Yorker staff writer Parul Sehgal, James Beard Award winner Mayukh Sen, poet Meena Kandasamy, essayist Pankaj Mishra, Pulitzer Prize finalist Suketu Mehta, film director Mira Nair, and novelists Kamila Shamsie, Vauhini Vara, Jamil Jan Kochai, Nilanjana S. Roy, Manjushree Thapa and V.V. Ganeshananthan.

The mentors are a group of internationally renowned authors who are volunteering their time. Their mission is to support the literary arts in South Asia and  address inequalities in publishing. By amplifying voices that have been traditionally excluded from the literary arts, mentors provide opportunities to those who have had none.


Fellows (2021 | 2022| 2023) have published six books since 2020. They have acquired representation at The Wylie Agency and Creative Artists Agency and secured publication deals with Penguin Random House, Bloomsbury, and HarperCollins. They have also won fully funded places to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Logan Nonfiction Program and The New India Foundation, among others.

South Asia Speaks was created by author Sonia Faleiro who is also the program director. In 2023, the South Asia Speaks Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit. Donations are welcome and will be used wisely.

Since it was founded, South Asia Speaks has processed over
1,132 applications and awarded 80 writers a place on the program.

South Asia Speaks provides a transformative platform for outstanding emerging writers. Since 2021, we have awarded 80 writers one on one mentorships with acclaimed authors from around the world.


Your support holds the potential to amplify this influence. Make a one-time gift today or consider a monthly recurring gift. It’s automatic: You just sign up once by ticking the box marked “Make this a monthly donation,” and you can cancel at any time.

By contributing to South Asia Speaks you become a valued member of an expanding community of committed individuals invested in shaping the future of literature.Your contribution:


  • Covers operating expenses

  • Provides bursaries

  • Helps the program scale up  


Become a donor today.

The South Asia Speaks Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organisation deemed tax-exempt by the US IRS. Donations made to a 501 (c) (3) organisation are typically tax-deductible to the individuals and businesses that make them in the US.

Donate to keep South Asia Speaks free

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