There is a growing trend in the book industry to provide a dedicated space for new writings. While internet and an “easy access” have increased content generation, it has also impacted the reach of the (written) word. From status updates on Facebook and Instagram, and platforms like Terribly Tiny Tales to blogging on WordPress, there is always something for readers of varied interests. The literary landscape has phenomenally changed, bringing in new opportunities. Literature festivals, that capture the interest of millions today, have not remained isolated from providing a space to new writings.
Jaipur BookMark’s sixth edition announces a new mentorship programme; ‘iWrite’, for aspiring writers. It invites entries ranging from short-stories and poetry to works of long fiction and non-fiction from published and unpublished writers across the country. In its previous years, the Festival has seen a range of first-time writers, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, belonging to diverse social and linguistic backgrounds, seek this mentorship opportunity.
Festival director and author Namita Gokhale says, “We were deeply impressed by the vibrant writing and creative energy displayed in the entries received for the First Book Club last year. We look forward to listening in to more fresh and talented voices at JBM 2018.”
Festival co-director Neeta Gupta says on this occasion, “Being a published writer is not a far-fetched dream anymore!”
After two successful editions, Jaipur BookMark is proud to announce that its upcoming edition will see a launch of three books shortlisted at its programme, previously named First Book Club New Writes Mentorship Programme. These include Avinash Mishra’s Naye Shekhar Ki Jeewani, published by Vani Prakshan (shortlisted in 2017); Alida by Chandra R Talware and Shadow of the Palm Tree by Vatsala Mendonca, published by Zero Degree Publishing (shortlisted in 2018).
Chandra Talware says, “The mentorship programme is an amazing platform for new writers to get a glimpse into what happens at the other end after a book is written.”
iWrite has recognised some fresh, new writing in the past and strives to uphold its literary quality. The programme believes in maintaining its relations with the former participants and direct them to suitable publishers for their work. A phenomenal diversity of participants, more than 800 till date, have entered the programme. Out of these, 40 have been shortlisted for mentorship.
This year, 10 shortlisted participants will be invited to attend Jaipur BookMark on 26th January 2019 to individually pitch their work to national and international experts from the industry- translators, publishers and writers, and perhaps a chance to sign a book deal. The panel will include publishers- Zuban Books, VaniPrakshan, Zero Degree Publishing, literary agents- MitaKapur, JayapriyaVasudevan, Preeti Gill and writer Meghna Pant, amongst others.
The growing presence of such initiatives reduces the number of gate keepers in the industry. The real challenge we face is to deliver quality over quantity. With the bar raised so high, the sheer number of submissions to a platform like this stand as a testimony to its popularity.
The shortlist for iWrite will be announced on 25thDecember, 2018.
Jaipur BookMark is a parallel B2B segment of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, that brings together publishers, literary agents, writers, translators and book sellers to ‘talk business’ through focused sessions and discussions. It will be held between 23rd January- 26th January at Diggi Palace, the home of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival.