Sunday, October 29, 2017

THE 2017 'DNA-OUT OF PRINT' SHORT FICTION SPECIAL

Call For Submissions: THE 2017 DNA-OUT OF PRINT SHORT FICTION SPECIAL

The theme for 2017 is WATCHING.

Out of Print invites works that examine what it means to watch or be watched in complexities ranging from violation to tenderness, from the personal to the political.

The stories will be judged by the Out of Print editorial team represented by Indira Chandrasekhar and Ram Sadasiv.

The winning story will receive a prize of Rs 20,000 and four finalists will receive Rs 10,000 each.

All five stories will be published in the DNA print spread ‘Just Before Monday’.

Prizewinners will also be published online in DNA’s e-paper and on the Out of Print blog along with shortlisted works. The Out of Print editorial team will work with each author on one round of editing before publication.

Last date for submissions, Sunday, 19 November, midnight IST.
Longlist, December 3.
Shortlist, December 10.
5 finalists, December 17.
Publication of winning and shortlisted stories, December 17.

Submission Guidelines:
Submitted works must be original, in English, previously unpublished, and close to 2000 words in length.
Only one submission per writer will be read. Finalists from the last two DNA-OUT OF PRINT short story competitions will not be considered.
Submissions should be cut and pasted into the body of an email and sent to dnashortstories@gmail.com. Subject line should read DNA-Out of Print 2017.
A short biographical note of 150-200 words should be cut and pasted below the story.
No attachments will be read.

If you have not heard from us by Sunday 17 December, it means, unfortunately, that your piece has not been chosen.

Past winners:
Dissent’, 2016
Erosion’, 2015
Choice’, 2014

Out of Print 28


Urdu does not lack for lovers. Tens of millions of people across the subcontinent and, indeed, around the world, would agree with Gulzar in saying that the language gives you a high, that it goes down your throat like a gulp of wine[1]. Much of the love has been apportioned by poetry but fiction too has its fair share of fans.

Short story writing, called 'afsana-nigari' in Urdu, is a relatively new form, just over a century old and the wealth of theme and narrative innovation has only grown since. The literary cannon in this genre includes names like Premchand, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Qurratulain Hyder, Krishan Chander, Naiyer Masud, and of course, Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chugtai, who have been widely translated, published and performed in recent years. Happily, with new translations appearing every year, more work has become accessible to readers in English.

We hope that this 28th issue of Out of Print, devoted to Urdu short fiction, featuring a select set of translations, will be as much of a journey of discovery and as much of a joy to read as it has been for the editors.

Dhanpat Rai who wrote first as Nawab Rai, and later as Munshi Premchand, is among the foremost writers of his generation, or indeed, all generations since. His stories are often prescribed on school syllabi for his canny ability to observe the world with innocent eyes. Qazzazi, translated by Fatima Rizvi, is the story of a child's friendship with the man who delivered the post and told marvellous tales.

In contrast, Abdullah Hussain's Spring, translated by Raza Naeem, gives us an old man's view of his own life. What happens when a retired Brigadier with an unwavering sense of routine meets a younger man while he's out on a walk?

Shaukat Hayat's Pigeons of the Dome, translated by Sara Rai, appears to offer a delicate portrait of a genteel existence, filled with children, pigeons, snakes, cats and rakish friends, only to disrupt it with the evidence of more troubling strands of lust and undefined damage.

Animals feature again in Azra Abbas' The Chameleon's Game, translated by Daisy Rockwell. Told from the point of view of a chameleon, this story uses just a few deft strokes to change colour, from innocuous to distressing. 

Intizar Hussain's Reserved Seat, translated by Rakhshanda Jalil, delves into the world of dreams and portents through the familiar character of Badi Boo who, as much as she is ready to depart, is still quite tangled in her earthly affections.

Ali Akbar Natiq's The Graveyard, translated by Ali Madeeh Hashmi, delves into the politics of burials in a village, access to land, and exposes the way feudalism and class distinction undercuts every aspect of life, including death.

Guest Editor: Annie Zaidi

Other translations of Urdu work available on Out of Print are two from the fantastical Tilism-e-Hoshruba, the first by Musharraf Ali Farooqi and the other by Shahnaz Aijazuddin, as well Firduas Haider’s The Cow translated by Nighat Gandhi.





[1] Gulzar, on the beauty of Urdu, recited at the 70th birthday celebration of Jagjit Singh

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Out of Print Curates the March 8 Readings at G5A

MARCH 8 – ON CONSENT

Really pleased to post the bios of the writers invited to read at the March 8 OUT of PRINT-G5A event ON CONSENT celebrating women’s voices. It was an evening ripe with energy and a joyous recognition of the power of voice.



A great big thank you to
G5A who hosted the event, invited Out of Print to curate it, and also, with their wonderful team led by Suruchi Pawar and Siddharth Cougnery participated in conceiving of and curating the event

The PEN All-India Centre and Jennifer Robertson for curating and filling the space with poets and protest and insight

Akshara who ran, with G5A, a film event featuring the marvellous Paromita Vohra in parallel, but also generously shared Rochelle Potkar’s suggestions on some great voices that read at the event

To Port@G5A and Ishan Benegal who helped Out of Print fill the writers with goodness



THE WRITERS

Indira Chandrasekhar is a scientist, a fiction writer and the founder and principal editor of Out of Print, an online platform for short fiction connected to the Indian subcontinent. Her own short stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals across the world, and a collection of her works will be published by HarperCollins India in 2017.

She is working on the archival book of the forty-year-old International Music and Arts Society in Bangalore on whose Advisory Committee she sits. She has long been actively associated with the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture.


Jennifer Robertson is a contemporary Indian poet, critic, and independent curator living in Bombay. Her book reviews and essays have appeared in American Book Review, Scroll and the Telegraph. Her poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, 40 Under 40: An Anthology of Post-Globalisation poetry published by Poetrywala and in Urban Myths and Legends anthology published by The Emma Press. Jennifer is the convener for literary events hosted by the The PEN-All India Centre. Her frst poetry manuscript was chosen for the Editor’s choice award by The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and will be published in 2017


Author of three books of poetry, Vinita Agrawal is a Mumbai based, award winning poet and writer. She is Editor Womaninc.com an online platform that addresses gender issues. Recipient of the Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Award for Literary Excellence, 2015, her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals all over the world. She was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards in 2011 and won the first prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2014. Her poems have found a place in several anthologies. She contributes a monthly column on Asian Poets on the literary blog of the Hamline university, Saint Paul, USA. She has read at SAARC events, at the U.S. Consulate, at Delhi Poetree and at Women Empowerment and Cappucino Readings, Mumbai. She was featured in the transatlantic poetry broadcast online. She can be reached at https://www.pw.org/content/vinita_agrawal and at www.vinitawords.com


Smeetha Bhoumik is an artist and a poet, having arrived home to art  through mysterious, meandering routes, totally diverse! She paints the universe with all the magic of a star forming regions, supernovae, galaxies, globular clusters and constellations, and believes we are all made of star dust! This oneness, to her, is our greatest beauty. Her work has shown in exhibitions around the world, thanks to a great representation by the Global Art Agency . Her poetry speaks softly for the vulnerable.

She founded Women Empowered-India in Sept 2016, putting forth WE-i's vision as that of resource creation, shared learning and an empowering network of individuals that will be a powerful tool for change in years to come.


Mrinalini Harchandrai’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in both Indian and international platforms like KaviKala, The Bangalore Review, Quill Magazine, The Joao Roque Literary Review and Different Truths. Her poems have also featured in a visual art show entitled Breaking Ranks at the Headlands Centre for the Arts, San Francisco. On private commission, she has written the biography of an Indo-Tanzanian freedom fighter.

Most recently, she was invited to speak and recite her poetry at the Goa Arts and Literary Fest, 2016.

She is visiting faculty at Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai.


Gayatri Jayaraman is a journalist and author of the forthcoming Who Me, Poor? and Who Me, Feminist?. She specialises in an intersectional study of social trends. She has over 19 years of experience in journalism and has worked with India Today and Mint Lounge amongst others. Her sentences are always too long and she spends life teetering on the sharp edge of ideological balance because it is more important to be fair than to be correct. Her writing appeared in Out of Print in the issue dedicated to sexual and gender violence. She is 40 years old, a single mother to a 15-year-old future Chief Justice of India, and lives in Thane with her German Shepherd, Zitto.   


Meghna Pant is an award-winning Indian author, columnist, feminist and TEDx Speaker. Meghna's debut collection of short stories Happy Birthday was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Award 2014One And A Half Wife won the national Muse India Young Writer Award and was shortlisted for several other awards, including the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her latest book is The Trouble With Women. Meghna is the winner of the 2016 FON South Asia Short Story Award.

Among her many acheivements, she abridged the world’s longest epic, The Mahabharata, into one hundred tweets.  

She curates a monthly panel discussion on feminism called Feminist Rani, and interviews India’s female leaders and opinion makers on two online shows – First Lady With Meghna Pant (Firstpost/ Network 18) and Get Real With Meghna Pant (SheThePeople). 


Anjali Purohit is a writer and an artist who paints pictures often with words on paper and at other times with oils on canvas. She writes poetry and fiction. Her story, Bitter Harvest, was a winner in the Highly Commended Stories category in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2008-09.

Her writing has featured in several anthologies and literary journals including Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II, Four Quarters Magazine, Guftugu, and The Bombay Review. Her book Ragi-Ragini: Chronicles from Aji's Kitchen​ was published in 2012. 

She is presently completing the translation of the Marathi (Ahirani) poetry of the 19th Century peasant poet Bahinabai Choudhary.

Anjali is part of the team of Cappuccino Readings, an initiative aimed at promoting a literary cafe culture in Mumbai.

She holds a PhD in Philosophy. Anjali lives in Mumbai with son, spouse, an equanimous disposition and fond memories of Misty, her dog.


From Paree to Waqt, Suneeta Rao's musical journey over the years has deemed her the ‘Paree of the Masses’.

Suneeta has written the lyrics for many of her works, including for her latest pop-fusion album Waqt. Her articles have been published in local and national newspapers. Her blog on motherhood in the Times Wellness section was a continuing feature for over a year.

Her roots lie in Musical Theatre – she has sung and performed in a number of plays including Evita, and Man of La Mancha. More recently it is her music videos and her stage shows that have travelled across the world, which capture her fans.

Suneeta is the spokesperson for the girl child initiative Laadli, and is on the Advisory Board of Population First, Laadli’s parent NGO. The album, Waqt includes a song and music video, Sun Zara for the girl child, which was sponsored by UNFPA for the cause.

Suneeta is currently touring with her live band and working on new material that has contemporary treatment of Ghazals and Carnatic music.


Barnali Ray Shukla is a filmmaker and a writer.

Starting off as a cell-biologist specializing in plant tissue culture Barnali turned to filmmaking. Her debut feature-film as a writer-director Kucch Luv Jaisaa, was released in May 2011.

In addition to story and scriptwriting, she also writes poetry and was published in Kitaab, teksto and the Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II. She has read her work for PEN India Events and has been part of the 100Thousand Poets for Change and read at their Mumbai Chapter.

Her scripts were long-listed for the SUNDANCE-Mahindra Script Lab in 2013 and 2014; she will use one of them in a feature film she is making in Bengali. She has been invited with her documentary Liquid Borders to film festivals across North America, Italy, and to more than eleven film festivals in India.

She is the India winner of the Raed Leaf Poetry Award 2016. She likes to describe herself as a ‘mutant poet’ and when she is not doing any of the above, she goes off to climb mountains.
She is currently shooting her second documentary film.


Smita Sahay co-conceptualised and served as associate editor of of Veils, Halos & Shackles - International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women. Her writings have appeared in various national and international journals and anthologies. She holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business and is the founder of Acciohealth, a social venture that works to shatter the stigma associated with mental health and make information and care accessible to everyone. She's currently working on her first novel.


Ankita Shah is a full-time poet and part-time tax consultant. She co-founded The Poetry Club (TPC) in 2013, an organisation dedicated to enabling more people to practice and access poetry. As a part of TPC, she has curated many poetry reading events in the city including at the Lil Flea, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, the AIESEC Mumbai Youth Speak Forum and Canvas Kavita. She also co-conducted Verse Voyage – a camp cum poetry writing workshop, and introductory poetry workshops with young students at the Akanksha Foundation.  

She was featured at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016, Times Literature Festival 2016, Kavya Hotra 2016, an annual multilingual poetry festival in Goa and the Poets Translating Poets Festival 2016.  


Lavanya Shanbogue-Arvind is the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Special Prize, 2011. Her short story, The Crystal Snuff Box and the Pappudum was adapted for radio by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and was broadcast in Commonwealth countries.

Her debut novel, The Heavens We Chase has just been released. Her short stories have been published in both Indian and International presses including the Griffith Review, Australia, Blink, the year-end fiction edition of the Hindu Business Line and New Asian Short Stories. Her non-fiction writings include work on gender, sexuality, and citizenship, women’s engagement with the law, women’s writings, and history amongst other humanities related subjects.

Apart from a Master’s degree in Business, she holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the City University of Hong Kong. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

In an earlier avatar she spent 7 years in financial services and worked in the areas of credit risk management and underwriting of diverse kinds of risks


Maya Sharma Sriram is a writer-poet. Her work has appeared in many journals in India and abroad, including the anthology, Voices in Time, a collection of poems short-listed in the All India Poetry Competition conducted by The Poetry Society of India and The British Council, Kavya Bharathi, Brown Critique and Mused Literary Journal.  She is a winner of the Elle Fiction Award, 2010. She is also the author of the book, Bitch Goddess for Dummies.


Tanuj Solanki’s Neon Noon, was shortlisted for the Tata Lit Live First Book Award (fiction). His work has appeared in Caravan, Out of Print, Hindu Business Line, and numerous other publications. He is currently at work on his second book, a collection of short stories about characters from his hometown, Muzaffarnagar. The book, tentatively titled Compassionate Grounds is due in late 2017.


Shruti Sundarraman writes about culture, music and the human condition. She performs her songs to those who listen and spoken word to those who won't. She finds bios ironic because no one really knows themselves. 


Annie Zaidi is the author of Gulab', 'Love Stories # 1 to 14 and Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, which was short-listed for the Crossword Book Awards. She is also co-author of The Good Indian Girl, a series of inter-linked narratives that trace young women's lives and liberties, and has edited Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women's Writing. Her work has appeared in Out of Print.