Writing Is for Everybody: A Mentored Workshop


[Find a PDF version of this call here]


Zubaan Publishers and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, under the Fragrance of Peace project, are organizing a writing workshop for women, queer, trans and non-binary persons from marginalized communities across India. This workshop, one of the first in a series, attempts to support new writers while questioning and challenging the hierarchies in which written literature is situated. Following our work with researchers and writers on documenting oral histories in the Northeast, we hope to expand the space for new and emerging writers from oppressed and marginalized communities and create solidarity-building platforms through the power of writing one’s own stories. 

The act of writing is fundamentally socio-political. Who is writing and what/who is being written about parallels existing power dynamics and structural inequalities. It is therefore unsurprising that writing has historically been the privilege of those who bear markers of dominant identities. As an organization involved in producing knowledge, we believe in using our networks and resources to facilitate exchanges where people can share their stories and devise ways to talk about their realities on their own terms. 


Writing is For Everybody: A Mentored Workshop is a free online workshop and short-term mentorship program that recognizes the hierarchies in the realm of writing and attempts to challenge these by making the writing process accessible under the mentorship of writers Parismita Singh and Ather Zia.


Workshop Structure


 The selected applicants will be invited to join the workshop along with a draft version of a piece they are currently working on. Participants will attend two sessions in September over one weekend (dates to be decided), led by four authors and the curators. These sessions will work toward deconstructing various stages of the writing process. We will also have an optional and brief in-house session on publishing feminist literature.


Following this, participants will be given 2 weeks to build upon their drafts using their learnings from the sessions. They will be encouraged to reach out to their respective mentors, who will support them through the writing process during this period. After this, a final feedback session will be held with the mentors on a mutually agreeable date, and the workshop period will close. In addition, participants will receive a letter of acknowledgment from Zubaan after completing the workshop.


The workshop will be conducted in English, for English language pieces, with due focus on the structures of power within the colonial language. We hope to conduct future workshops in other regional languages of the subcontinent.


Eligibility Criteria 


  1. This workshop is open to women, queer, trans and non-binary people from marginalized communities, with a preference for those who have not previously attended writing workshops.
  2. Since the workshop is catering to writers of creative feminist fiction and nonfiction, we require the writer’s draft piece of choice to fall under these categories.
  3. Selected applicants must commit to participating in all the workshop sessions, reworking/revising their draft piece in consultation with the mentors, and attending a final feedback session with the team. 


To Apply


  • Applicants should prepare an original feminist fiction or nonfiction piece of their own writing, of no more than 2500 words, in English. This could also be a piece they are currently working on.
  • Fill out the application form and upload the draft work here by 20 July 2022.


[Note: If you are having trouble filling out the google form or have any queries about the workshop in general, please email contact@zubaanprojects.org with the subject line’ Queries for Writing Workshop‘.]


Shortlist and selection of grantees


All applications will be screened by a selection committee based on internal criteria. Selected applicants will be informed by the first week of August. The committee’s decision will be final.




The total duration of the program will be three weeks, starting from the two-day weekend workshop in September (dates to be decided), including the mentorship, reworking/revising of drafts based on feedback with a final session with the curators, and the Zubaan team.


Curators bio 


Parismita Singh:

Parismita Singh is a writer, artist, and educationist whose publications include the graphic novels The Hotel at the End of the WorldMara and the Clay CowsCrab Chronicles, and a collection of short stories Peace has Come


Ather Zia:

Ather Zia is a poet, writer, and associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado. She is the founder of Kashmir Lit, an online journal of Kashmiri and diasporic writing. 


Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd is an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi. We publish academic books, fiction, memoirs, popular nonfiction, and books for children and young adults under our Young Zubaan imprint, aiming always to be pioneering, cutting-edge, progressive, and inclusive. For more information, log onto www.zubaanbooks.com.


The Sasakawa Peace Foundation addresses the diverse and complicated issues that human society is encountering in the 21st century. SPF and Zubaan Publishers work together on projects linked with cultural production, writing, and literature in Northeast India. For more information, log onto www.spf.org.