Home > Hyderabad Focus > The Hyderabad Literary Festival

The Hyderabad Literary Festival

G. Surya Rao (Muse India), Sujatha Gopal (Muse India) and Prof. Vijay Kumar (Osmania University) did a terrific job in getting the festival going. The informal atmosphere was something I particularly liked, because I got a chance to mingle with the likes of Keki Daruwala, Prof. K. Sachitanandan and Prof. Siva K. Sharma.

Speaking of Daruwala ji, something he said struck me – “He said that the Hyd Lit Fest will never get as big as the Jaipur Fest, but it went off to a good start” (or words to that effect).

IMO, this is not a criticism. We need to differentiate ourselves from the Jaipur Lit Fest, which has grown too big. I am told that it is now more a celebrity stalking event than anything else. Here are some thoughts on what I think the Hyd Fest could be:

  • Geared towards the serious writer. Have sessions for writers on the art and craft of writing (I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m expanding on it). Have writers register for specific events.
  • Have courses on what it takes to get published – from how to find a literary agent, how to craft that perfect query, what a good contract should look like, what it takes to get published, how to stay published, book promotion etc.
  • Have Indian publishers, agents and editors be present. Offer the attendees a chance to interact with them.
  • Run contests – for example, the person who writes the most intriguing query/first page will get a personalized critique from a published, attending author. Perhaps the attendees can submit this at the time of registration.
  • Try and attract literary agents to the festival, and have would-be authors sign up for 5-10 minute pitching sessions with the agents.
  • Instead of Indian-style panel discussions, where the panelists are on stage, out of reach, make it more informal – perhaps a round table kind of session, where there is more give and take between the panelists and the audience.
  • Have featured book signings
  • Give newly minted authors a chance to do their book launch
  • Have a weekend theater class for children. Involve local theater personalities.

List of English literary e-journals in India as listed in the HLF magazine:

Categories: Hyderabad Focus
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