Muse Of The Month January 2016: Inspiration From Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Muse of the Month writing theme is back in 2016. Each month this year, we shall be hosting a writing theme, with a ‘writing cue’ from an iconic female author of Indian origin. The 5 best entries get published here!

The Muse of the Month writing theme is back in 2016. Each month this year, we will host a writing theme, with a ‘writing cue’ from a contemporary female author of Indian origin. The 5 best entries get published here!

What you need to do for January 2016

Step 1. Read the writing cue (which is either a direct quote from the featured author, or a quote from one of their works, mentioned down below) and get inspired.

Step 2. Write your own story/poem/narrative/essay/piece based on the cue. You could use it as the opening line, the closing sentence, or somewhere in between! You could even choose not to use it anywhere in your story – just write a story using the cue as a prompt. (And ‘story’ can be fictional – or not – as you wish).

Step 3. Send your work to us. Please email it to [email protected] with ‘Muse of the month – Jan 2016’ in the subject line, and your story as a word/txt attachment. Do include the name we should use if we publish it, and a brief introduction to yourself (2-3 lines) in the mail.

Please note: Given the number of entries received, we won’t be able to respond to each, but every single entry is being read through very carefully and is much appreciated.

Updates: Shortlisted entries

Here are the five shortlisted entries. Do keep a lookout for February’s Muse of the Month announcement soon.

The Prima Ballerina, by Sreesha Divakaran

Sands of Time, by Kasturi Patra

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Kunti – Confessions of a Woman, by Deepa Arun

Evolved Pawns, by Jyothi Vinod

Tossed About By Time, by Priya Parul Singh


Please send in your stories by January 14th 2016, Thursday, 3 p.m. IST. The 5 best stories will be published on Women’s Web between the 18th to 22nd January, one on each day.


The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you and you’re free to subsequently publish it elsewhere).

Keep it between 250 and 800 words. (Please keep this in mind; in past editions, we have had to disqualify some good entries purely due to word count issues).

Please avoid typing the story as inline text. Send it as an attachment only.


The 5 best entries will each win a Flipkart voucher worth Rs 250. Plus, there will be 5 overall winners at the end of 2016 from among these winners!

Muse of the month (January 2016)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, a writer of Indian origin, residing in the USA, is an award-winning author, poet, activist and teacher. Her themes include the Indian experience, contemporary America, women, immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world.

Her books have been translated into 29 languages, and her work has appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies. Several of her novels and stories have been made into films and plays. She has won an American Book Award and a Light of India award.

Divakaruni teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston and writes for both adults and children. In 2015, she was chosen by the Economic Times for their list Twenty Most Influential Global Indian Women.

If you haven’t yet read her work, The Palace Of Illusions, Sister Of My Heart and The Mistress Of Spices are all good choices to begin with.

Cue for January 2016

“Aren’t we all pawns in the hands of time, the greatest player of them all?”
―from Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions

Do not forget to send in your entries by January 14th 2016, Thursday, 3 p.m. IST.

Image source here.


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