Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program


Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:30am - 1:00pm | 12 weekends

To write is to experience the world anew, even as the world moulds you through writing. Writing sharpens your faculties, sensitises you to language, and enables you to find a voice. As a writer you could tell your own story or those of others, create narratives or report on those unfolding around you, find new ways to communicate your ideas, and tune in to other styles of thinking. Writing could also bring you into contact with fellow writers, give you an income, enable you to travel, open out a career. Or it could just enhance your interest in literature.

Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program has been designed with all these possibilities in mind. This 12-week program will make you an aware and innovative writer in either fiction or non-fiction. Or both! Faculty include leading practioners in their field including Anjum Hasan on fiction and poetry, Zac O’Yeah on thriller writing and travelogues, Eshwar Sundaresan on literary concepts and business writing, as well as a war correspondent, a former chairman of an ad agency, renowned writers of children’s books, a premiere Kannada-to-English translator, one of India’s best reviewers, and a leading literary agent amongst others.

Over 3 months, you will spend your weekend mornings in a classroom learning skills, understanding craft, and trying your hand at a range of genres, while using your spare time to complete assignments that will be reviewed by the faculty on an individual basis. This hands-on and interactive experience promises to be an engaging way to challenge yourself to do something new.

Benefits of the program

  • The habit of writing regularly
  • The confidence to write like a master
  • Tools and techniques, taught by Bangalore’s celebrated expert writers, to help you write with impact
  • An exposure to various genres including short stories, thrillers, travelogues, children’s literature, writing for film and television, business writing, column writing, copy writing, poetry and translations
  • The ability to look at one’s own writing critically and with the resolve to improve it
  • An understanding of emerging market conditions and what it takes to succeed commercially as a writer

Application submission

Your journey will begin with the submission of an 800-word essay titled ‘Who am I?’ If we are convinced that you have the willingness and the talent to write, we will invite you to join about 40 of the best applicants, to attend the workshop.

Please send your essay to:

Email subject: Who am I – <your name>


Limited merit-based scholarships may be applied for by practicing writers / freelance journalists / creative artists / prospective students of writing who need financial assistance. For more details on application requirements please write to us at

The extent of scholarship ranges from 15% – 40% of half of the the total course fees.

Send in your application essay by 10th July, if you wish to apply for the scholarship.


10th July

If you wish to apply for the limited merit-based scholarship, please send in your application essay latest by 10th July , along with:

  • A cover letter that explains your financial situation and describes how you will leverage the course to progress.
  • Your bank statement of the last 6 months
  • Your IT returns of the last 2 years

Any application post 10th July will not be screened for scholarship.

17th July

Final date for application submission. Scholarship not applicable.

23rd July

Program commences.

Program fees

Fiction OR Non-Fiction: INR 24,000

Fiction AND Non-Fiction: INR 31,200

Payment of fees

Non-scholarship candidates

  • Within four days after we inform you of your selection, full fee must be paid to block the seat
  • In the event of you not being able to pay within the four days, your seat will be awarded to a waitlist candidate

Scholarship candidates

  • Within four days after we inform you of your selection into the program, 50% of the fee must be paid to block the seat
  • Within four days of us informing you the extent of scholarship you will be offered, the remaining 50% (minus the discount), must be paid to confirm participation in the program
  • If we inform you of your selection as well as the extent of scholarship in the same email, i.e on the same date, you must pay the fee (minus the discount) in the following four days, to block your seat and confirm participation
  • In the event of you defaulting on any of the above, your seat will be awarded to a waitlist candidate

Course schedule and syllabus

Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Program @ Shoonya
Week TopicFiction / Non-FictionFacultyDayDate of session
1IntroductionBothEshwar SundaresanSunday23-Jul-17
2ReadingBothAnjum HasanSunday30-Jul-17
3Enlivening conceptsBothEshwar SundaresanSunday6-Aug-17
4Enhancers of writingBothEshwar SundaresanSunday13-Aug-17
5Editing & researchBothZac O’Yeah + Anjum HasanSunday20-Aug-17
6Travel writingNon-FictionZac O’YeahSaturday26-Aug-17
6ThrillersFictionZac O’YeahSunday27-Aug-17
7Writing for the mediaNon-FictionRohini MohanSaturday2-Sep-17
7TranslationFictionVanamala ViswanathaSunday3-Sep-17
8Business WritingNon-FictionEshwar SundaresanSaturday9-Sep-17
8Screenplay/Tele-seriesFictionSamhita ArniSunday10-Sep-17
9Writing in advertisingNon-FictionThomas XavierSaturday16-Sep-17
9PoetryFictionAnjum HasanSunday17-Sep-17
10Children’s writingBothRadhika ChadhaSunday24-Sep-17
11Writing reviewsNon-FictionSomak GhoshalSaturday30-Sep-17
11Short storiesFictionAnjum HasanSunday1-Oct-17
12The commerce of writingBothJayapriya VasudevanSaturday7-Oct-17


Course details

The 12-week program has two modules to choose from ‘Fiction’ and ‘Non-Fiction’. Classes 1-5, 10 and 12 are common for both the fiction and non-fiction modules. The details of the course are mentioned below along with the faculty member taking each class.

Common classes

Class 1 (common class) – 23/07/2017
Introduction – Faculty: Eshwar Sundaresan
a. What does it take to be a writer?
b. Barriers to writing
c. Titling
d. The importance of rewriting

Class 2 (common class) – 30/07/2017
Reading – Faculty: Anjum Hasan
a. The value of reading
b. The non-utilitarian side of reading
c. The value of reading for writers

Class 3 (common class) – 06/08/2017
Enlivening concepts – Faculty: Eshwar Sundaresan
a. Wonderment
b. Involving the five5 senses
c. Showing and telling

Class 4 (common class) – 13/08/2017
Enhancers of writing – Faculty: Eshwar Sundaresan
a. Suspense
b. Humour
c. Characterisation

Class 5 (common class) – 20/08/2017
Editing & Research – Faculty: Zac O’Yeah + Anjum Hasan
a. Learning to edit one’s OWN writing
b. Learning to edit professionally
c. Learning to research efficiently and accurately

Class 10 (common class) 24/09/2017
Children’s Writing – Faculty: Radhika Chadha
a. How has children’s writing changed in recent times? Fiction as well as non-fiction.
b. The basics of crafting a children’s storybook – what’s different about plot, characterization and dialogue
c. Writing non-fiction for children
d. Working with an illustrator
d. Basic dos and don’ts

Class 12 (common class) 07/10/2017
The commerce of writing – Faculty: Jayapriya Vasudevan
a. What do editors, publishers and media agencies look for?
b. The structuring of a contract – advances, royalties, ownership of rights (translation/overseas/films/syndication etc)
c. Finding an agent/publisher – the role of synopsis, sample chapters and book outline
d. Trends in the publishing industry
e. Coping with rejection
f. Tips to network

Fiction classes

Class 6 (Fiction) 27/08/2017
Thrillers – Faculty: Zac O’Yeah
a. Why bad writing is usually always very boring writing
b. Methods that writers use to create suspense and thrills – the importance of plots, characterization etc in converting novels into page-turners

Class 7 (Fiction) 03/09/2017
Translation – Faculty: Vanamala Vishwanatha
a. The importance of translation in the modern world – in books, in the UN, in families etc. India as a ‘translation area’.
b. What does a translation do? Changes more than language – it builds  bridges across time, culture and sensibilities.
c. Translation as a process of re-creation
d. The challenges in getting the public and the publishers interested in translations.

Class 8 (Fiction) – 10/09/2017
Screenplay/Tele-series – Faculty: Samhita Arni
a. How is screenplay writing different from other forms of fiction – location, camera positions, the role of light, costume etc
b. Dialogue writing in screenplay – a super-specialization
c. The specifics of writing for a tele-series
d. Writing for documentaries – the partial screenplay

Class 9 (Fiction) 17/09/2017
Poetry – Faculty: Anjum Hasan
a. What is poetry?
b. A distinction between free verse and other forms of poetry. A distinction between rhyming lines and non-rhyming lines
c. The role of the metre, foot and rhythm – examples of various kinds of metres
d. The creative liberties of a poet – the inventiveness of a poem
e. Poems that changed the world

Class 11 (Fiction) – 01/10/2017
Short story – Faculty: Anjum Hasan
a. What differentiates a short story vis-à-vis other forms of fiction
b. Examples of the different kinds of short stories – fables, folk tales, modern short fiction, post-modern short fiction

Non-Fiction classes

Class 6 (Non-fiction) 26/08/2017
Travel Writing – Faculty: Zac O’Yeah
a. How to identify a sellable story
b. How to plan and prepare
c. How to explore a site
d. How to write a travelogue

Class 7 (Non-fiction) 02/09/2017
Writing for the media – Faculty: Rohini Mohan
a. Various forms of media write-ups – investigative journalism, features, opinion pieces, long-form journalism
b. Creating a niche as a freelance journalist/columnist
c. The skills required to be successful in this space – primary research, secondary research, finding all angles in the story, structuring the story etc
c. The nitty-gritty of writing for the media – deadlines, article lengths, payment modalities

Class 8 (Non-fiction) – 09/09/2017
Business writing 
– Faculty: Eshwar Sundaresan
a. Learning to write website content, white papers, business blogs, brochures, tech writing etc.
b. The super-specialized skill of ghostwriting – what, how and why

Class 9 (Non-fiction) – 16/09/2017
Writing in advertising
 – Faculty: Thomas Xavier
a. Brand – the element that is highlighted in advertising. A discourse on uniqueness and the greatness gene
b. The essential elements of writing in advertising – brevity, clarity, impact and memorability
c. How to be creative sellers
d. Ad campaigns that changed the world

Class 11 (Non-fiction) – 30/09/2017
The science and art  of review
s – Faculty: Somak Ghoshal
a. The essential and common elements of a review – honesty, accuracy, informativeness, entertainment
b. How to review literature and the arts
c. Emerging areas of reviews – food, travel, technology etc. Reiterating the common elements of review.
d. Building a brand as a reliable reviewer – including staying abreast of developments in your chosen field of review