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South Asia Speaks 2024 Fellows announced

South Asia Speaks is pleased to announce the 2024 class of Fellows, selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants. This year, South Asia Speaks awarded a total of 18 mentorships to writers in South Asia, pairing each one with an established author. The class of 2024 includes two fellows nominated  for "Beyond Ability", a mentorship created for writers who identify as a person with a disability. 

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Hawthornden Foundation grant for South Asia Speaks

South Asia Speaks is delighted to announce the award of a new grant from Hawthornden Foundation. Hawthornden Foundation is committed to supporting organisations that serve underserved literary communities, including in parts of the world with weak or non-existent literary infrastructures. The Foundation’s gift recognizes the efforts of South Asia Speaks to promote literary culture in South Asia. It also provides much needed funds to grow the program.

South Asia Speaks names Board of Trustees

South Asia Speaks Foundation has selected Fatima Bhutto, Isaac Chotiner and Sonia Faleiro as trustees for a period of five years. The trustees will work together to grow the foundation, deepen sources of support, and intensify outreach to traditionally underrepresented voices.

“Beyond Ability”
The mentorship for South Asian writers with disabilities

In 2023, South Asia Speaks introduced “Beyond Ability” a mentorship with author Abhishek Anicca. This brand-new fellowship is aimed at 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. Disabled writers from the intersections of marginalised caste, class and gender identities are encouraged to apply. 

2021, 2022, 2023 Fellows sign book deal

We’re delighted to announce that three South Asia Speaks fellows signed book deals in 2023. Nusrat F. Jafri’s This Land We Call Home, a memoir of caste, identity and religious conversions, was acquired by Penguin Random House India. Nusrat’s mentor was Aanchal Malhotra. Sanjana Ramachandran’s collection of essays, Famous Last Questions, was acquired by Aleph Book Company. Sanjana’s mentor was Sanam Maher. And Shah Tazrian Ashrafi's The Hippo Girl & Other Stories was acquired by Hachette India. Shah’s mentor was Karan Mahajan.

Laurels for
Priyamvada Ramkumar 

2021 Fellow Priyamvada Ramkumar was recognised for her work with a slew of prizes, including the PEN/Heim Translation Grant for translating Jeyamohan’s White Elephant to English from the Tamil and the A Muttulingam Award.  She was also shortlisted for the American Literary Translators Association National Awards in  prose for  her translation of Jeyamohan’s Stories of the True.

South Asia Speaks 2023 Fellows announced

South Asia Speaks is pleased to announce the 2023 class of Fellows, selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants. This year, South Asia Speaks awarded a total of 19 mentorships to writers living and working in South Asia, pairing each one with an established author. 


2021 fellow wins The Perfect Pitch

Subi Taba (SAS 2022) was announced as the winner of The Perfect Pitch, a mentoring initiative by Penguin Random House India. The announcement was made at the 2023 Jaipur Literature Festival which Subi was invited to attend. Subi won a mentorship with editors from the publishing house.


2021 fellow sells first major translation of Tamil novelist Jeyamohan's work

Priyamvada translation of Aram, a story collection by the great Tamil writer Jeyamohan, was published by Juggernaut in July 2022. Buy your copy here.  


Priyamvada was mentored by translator Arunava Sinha

South Asia Speaks Alumnus wins a place at the Logan Nonfiction Program 2022

2021 South Asia Speaks Fellow Nikhil Eapen will be in residence at the Carey Institute for Global Good this year. During his Logan Nonfiction fellowship, Nikhil will be working on a nonfiction book about the biodiversity crisis in South Asia told through the story of the near-extinction of Gyps vultures in the Indian sub-continent.

Nikhil's mentor was writer Sanam Maher. 


2021 Partition fellow Nusrat Jafri  has signed with Jacaranda Agency for her debut book of narrative non-fiction This Land We Call Home: A Family History through Caste, Religious Conversions and the Making of New India. 

Nusrat's mentor was author Aanchal Malhotra.


2022 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program

2022 translation fellow Priyamvada  will work on a translation of B. Jeyamohan’s Vellai Yaanai  (White Elephant) with the support of ALTA mentor Kareem James Abu-Zeid.

Priyamvada's mentor at South Asia Speaks was translator Arunava Sinha.


2021 fellow sells novel to Harper Collins

Zeyad Masroor Khan has sold his memoir Never Cry Wolf In Aligarh to Harper Collins for publication in late 2022.


Zeyad's mentor was New Yorker staff writer Isaac Chotiner.

2021 Fellow wins first Sonny Mehta Fiction Fellowship

2021 fellow Waseem Rashid is the winner of the first annual Sonny Mehta Fellowship at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  


The fellowship is funded by an endowment from Gita Mehta, novelist, documentary filmmaker, and Sonny Mehta’s widow.  The novelist Donna Tartt, who contributed to the fellowships, said: “I’m excited about the young writers that will emerge from these programmes. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate Sonny’s memory.”

Waseem was mentored by novelist Karan Mahajan.



2022 fellow wins IWMF Grant

2022 South Asia Speaks Fellow Deepa Padmanaban was awarded an International Women in Media Foundation grant to complete her South Asia Speaks project on the otters of the Cauvery river.  She was also selected as a Kiplinger Fellow to attend a weeklong journalism program on climate change in Ohio University, in April 2022.

Deepa's mentor is journalist and author McKenzie Funk. 


Novel to Bloomsbury India

2021 Fellow Atharva Pandit has sold his novel Hurda to Bloomsbury India for publication in 2023.


Atharva was mentored by novelist Prayaag Akbar.​​

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