Writing Beyond Borders: South Asian perspectives on Creative Writing

deadline for submissions: 
August 16, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Aiysha Jahan, University of Exeter, UK

The global and digital connectivity of recent years has transformed creative writing infrastructure and practice around the world.  Recent decades have seen a number of critical and popular publications exploring the history and practice of creative writing, from Marc McGurl’s “The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing” (2011) to Lisa Jaillant’s Literary Rebels: A History of Creative Writing in Anglo-American Universities (2022). Yet, as these titles suggest, the critical focus has been on US and UK courses.

Following a successful run of the Write Beyond Borders project, a transnational mentoring programme for South-Asian writers, the editors have been invited by Bloomsbury Academic to submit a proposal for an edited collection that shares perspectives on creative writing in South Asian contexts.

This collection seeks to address the dearth of literature that presents a voice on creative writing practice in South Asian contexts. It seeks to broaden the narrative on creative writing practice, thinking through the ways that community practice, digital connectivity, and work outside HEI can shift the conversation away from its current western-dominated context.

We are now inviting proposals which explore writing communities at universities, in local contexts that serve South Asian diasporic communities or in international mentoring schemes, like Write Beyond Borders. We’d like to provide perspectives on the challenges in South Asian countries and the schemes, projects and programmes that can offer themselves up as case studies for how writing practice can flourish in South Asian communities.

This collection will offer a unique perspective, one that sparks conversations across the borders of South Asia that serve to divide writing communities. It will also offer perspectives from those working with diasporic South Asian communities in countries of the middle east, the UK and the US.

We now invite a 300-500-word abstract for a 4000-6000-word chapter to contribute to this exciting new collection. An indicative (but not exhaustive) list of topics is below:

  • Historical perspectives on creative writing practice in South Asia, country-specific
  • Current perspectives on creative writing practice in South Asia, country-specific
  • Case studies of mentoring schemes that benefit South-Asian communities and what can be learnt from such schemes
  • Creative writing practice in South-Asian diasporic communities to explore identity, belonging and an exploration of home, or in contexts with large populations of South-Asian origin
  • Creative writing practice and community-building through writing among Third Culture Kids (TCKs) of South Asian origin, or in contexts with large populations of South Asian TCKs
  • Encouraging building writing communities beyond South-Asian borders
  • How South Asian creative writing practice can combine local and global practice
  • The changing status, prestige, or cultural support for creative writing in South Asia, country-specific
  • Digital writing infrastructure in South Asian communities
  • The role of literary magazines and small presses in promoting South-Asian writing

The primary form for our chapters will be academic studies, but we are also interested in proposals for interviews, creative responses, or ‘in conversation’ pieces.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.