Students’ Comments

“Having the opportunity to think and write creatively as Tagore and Satyajit Ray had done, where Jhumpa Lahiri, the first Indian woman to win the Pulitzer price grew up, to wander down College Street, and drink up the atmosphere of Calcutta and be taught by excellent authors, was a delight.”

Jocelyn Watson

“I found Amit Chaudhuri to be an excellent mentor. The care with which he read my piece and gave written feedback – pointing out in one page that a certain adjective worked well, underlining in another a mixed metaphor, and so on – was at once illuminating and moving. I don’t know how much my writing has improved as a result of the workshop, but I can claim to have become a more exacting reader and writer.”

A participant from the second creative writing workshop who wishes to remain anonymous

“I will forever cherish my time with the group, with every single member and with the insightful way we each spoke about each other’s writing and craft.

One thing that stays with me is what Amit told us: we must strive to have that ‘I’ in academic writing; another one from Peter: a writer doesn’t need to carry a camera, just a pen and a really good journal. It has been almost a year and I am still living by those words, or at least trying to.”

Nakibuddin Haider (Navid)

“The UAE India Creative Writing Workshop is a fantastic incubator for emerging writers. It provided an invaluable space for me to experiment and deepen my understanding of the craft of writing and the feedback I got from the instructors was constructive and invaluable.”

Susan Lamb

“To call yourself a writer and be amidst more writers. Great first step at taking yourself seriously as a writer. ”

Anisa Mukerjea Ganguli

“In an environment and situation that is not very conducive to writing in general and literature in particular, the workshop was like fresh air from the world of writing; dealing with and discussing several issues and anxieties of writing without guidance. How I wish it was longer.”

Dipanjan Sinha

“Can’t get better guides then Amit Chaudhari and Kirsty Gunn. The Workshop is ideal for someone looking to write reguarly.The module and participants were excellent.”

Gaurav Soni

“The course was rejuvenating like being in a mind spa. My writing till then was going nowhere. The course helped in giving direction and building confidence. Being with writers from different backgrounds and age groups was an enriching experience and the ease with which the faculty interacted helped. I loved the outdoor classes and the general camaraderie. I wish the planners and conveners of the course greater success.”

Priya Sharma

“Narrative non-fictional slant on legendary figures is tough. To recreate factually accurate narratives derived chiefly from archaeological and art historic source is more of a challenge. The UEA 2013 Creative Writing Workshop at Kolkata helped me to confront this with confidence. The workshop was intense and fun at the same time – the new approaches to creative writing inspired me to pay pictorial tribute to tutor Patrick French. And my first draft got a smooth sail.”

Arputha Rani Sengupta

“The UEA India Workshop was the tiniest and widest step I took in order to tell myself that I wasn’t just working on a large piece of fiction but a novel. It gave me the strength to realise that it wasn’t going to be easy or fast. Its never going to be all that we quietly imagine . I dont mind one workshop every year!”

Suhrita Sengupta

“I have this to say about the UEA workshop: it impacted me hugely as a writer. I had been writing short pieces for the magazines and newspapers when I entered the program, but did not have idea how to sustain quality of your prose when you are working on a longer version of fiction writing i.e. novel. Amit Chaudhuri and Romesh Gunasekra gave me so many wonderful literary insights that I really evolved as a writer and at the end of the workshop I was a changed person. The opportunity to interact with 21 fellow aspiring writers was also an opportunity of the lifetime.”

Abdullah Khan

“My first book, Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage, had already gone to print before I attended the UEA non-fiction creative writing workshop. Travel writing and contemporary histories always interested me as a reader. However, I was not confident that I had the skill and rigour that this brand of writing demands. This, and the fact that the workshop was led by two of my favourite writers – Patrick French and Amit Chaudhuri – were my main motivations for applying. The workshop gave me the grounding I had hoped for, and had several unexpected outcomes – the discussions sparked off ideas for a play and two novels. The individual feedback from my tutors made me think about writing in a larger context, such as how much of oneself one should bring into a book, how one must use research in creative non-fiction, and the scope this genre offers for blending observation and imagination into the narrative.”

Nandini Krishnan

“The UEA creative writing course really helped me a lot. To have my work read and criticised by two great masters of fiction was something great. Moreover, I could interact with some of the best budding writers from around the world. I believe that I am a better writer now.”

Kishore Ram