Home > Hyderabad Focus > Thoughts on the Hyderabad Literary Festival

Thoughts on the Hyderabad Literary Festival

Thanks to Muse India and the Osmania University, I am happy to declare that Hyderabad now has its own literary festival! We got off to wonderful start.Today was day 2 of the Hyd Lit Fest. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow writers. But my surprise discovery was how much I enjoyed the poetry readings, considering I’ve never had much to do with poetry.

The wonderful Keki Daruwala did the keynote address in verse. Made me wish I knew more Urdu in order to be able to follow the beautiful couplets.

The equally incredible Profs. Siva K. Kumar and K. Sachitanandan (former secretary of the Sahitya Kala Academy) presented their peoms. A feast for the soul. Prof. Sachitanandan also spoke a little about what drives poets.

Yesterday’s session had a panel discussion on the state of arts & culture in the country (and in Andhra Pradesh in particular). Very informative.

What HLF did right:

* Gave the attendees a chance to meet with incredible writers in an informal setting. Established and new writers/poets both got their turn at the mike.

* Had a counter with books by attendees as well as by other, established authors. Great opp to pick up some books. I bought books by Pico Iyer, Fatima Shenaz, Ruth Khanna, Vamsee Juluri and a book of short stories by Indian writers (edited by Khushwant Singh).

What I would like to see in future sessions:

* Have the panelists taking questions, perhaps making the session more interactive.

* Introduce workshops for writers – on the art and craft of writing, and publishing, marketing and promoting your book with small groups (no more than 10 people).

* Have the above workshops be practical give-and-take sessions, rather than the teacher-instruction type.

* Advertise more. This time it was more through word of mouth.

I hope to do reviews of all the books I bought and post them online in the next few days.

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Categories: Hyderabad Focus
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