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Muse Of The Month: For October 2020, Here’s Inspiration From Shashi Deshpande

The Women's Web Writing Theme For October 2020

Oct 2020

Are you a writer who wants your short stories featured on India’s most loved platform for women? Then read on – you’re at the right place!

We’re back with a shiny new 5th edition of the beloved Muse of the Month series in 2020!

It is 2020, we’re 2 decades into the new century and the new millennium, and what do feminists around the world have to say today? We hope to bring you some food for thought from them, and look forward to the same engaging short stories that are a hallmark of our Muse of the Month contests.

So, here goes.

A Few Words About Prizes

Every month, the 5 best entries selected by Women’s Web editors will be featured on the site, and will each receive a shopping voucher worth Rs.500

All winning stories qualify for being chosen for our popular year end e-book. (You can check out past e-books here (Kunti’s Confessions and Other Stories; When Women Speak Up; and No Apologies. Our latest, freshly published e-book Sharing Lipstick from the 2019 Muse of the Month series is now on Amazon too.)

Your Writing Cue For October 2020

Step 1. Shashi Deshpande is a multiple award winner, the most notable of which is the Sahitya Akademi Award. While she has been widely published in English, much of her writing has also made its mark in Kannada and Marathi literature, the languages she speaks in her personal life.

Daughter of a Sanskrit scholar, she has read most of our mythologies, and, as she says here, ‘which she reads “against the grain”, from her own, feminist position.’ Her short stories, books, and essays are all ‘woven from Indian women’s lives, their day-to-day living deeply impregnated by religious, social, and political traditions, and gender relations determined by male power structures.’

The cue is this quote by her: “But for women the waiting game starts in childhood.”

Step 2. Write your own story (fiction) based on this cue. (But of course!)

Step 3. Upload your story directly on your Women’s Web dashboard with ‘Muse of the Month – October 2020’ in the title. Do include your name and a brief introduction of yourself (2-3 lines) at the foot of the story, which we can use if your piece gets picked.

Click here to login or create an account if you haven’t registered on Women’s Web yet.

Deadline: Tuesday, 13th October, 3 PM

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

Rules, Terms & Conditions

~ The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you).

~ Word limit between 250 and 2000 words. Please keep this in mind; in past editions, we have had to disqualify some good entries purely due to word count issues.

~ Submit your stories on the author dashboard you have on Women’s Web, with [Muse of the Month October 2020] in the title. If you are not yet an author with us, do register – it’s easy, following instructions from the ‘register/ log in’ button above. Only stories uploaded directly will be considered..

~ The editors may change the title of the story and use appropriate images to promote the story, as per their discretion.

~ The best 5 stories will be published one every day, from 19th October to 23rd October 2020.

~ If your story is selected for publishing among the best 5 stories, you agree to provide exclusive digital publishing rights to Women’s Web, i.e. it will not be published elsewhere online.

Don’t forget – upload your entries by Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 3 PM

All Cues & Winning Stories For 2020

January 2020 cue by Sushmita Sen: “The world would be a better place if the woman decides what she wants for herself!”

A Matter Of Life And Death by Manideepa Lahiri

I Will Survive; I Will Thrive by Supriya Bansal

It Isn’t My Fault I Have AIDS! Why Should I Hide? by Shalini Mullick

After All That, My Daughter Was The Game Changer by Sreemati Sen

I Waited To Leave Once The Time Was Right by Sarita Nirjhara

February 2020 cue by Serena Williams: “Whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”

Where Fears Crash And Drown Me by Manisha Sahoo

Will All Our Sacrifices Be In Vain? by Ujwala Shenoy Karmarkar

Bad Mother by Sonal Singh

Would This Reminder Of That Innocent Day Never Leave Her? by Shalini Mullick

For I Know It Is As Difficult For My Mom As It Is For Me by Shweta Singh

March 2020 cue by Savitribai Phule: “Success will be ours in the future. The future belongs to us.” 

You Heard Their Voice In Faraway America, Didn’t You? by Shalini Mullick

Just One Among HIS Many Devadasis by Preethi Warrier

Simply The Wrong Gender by Swagata Tarafdar

Your Dreams Are Mine, Daughter, And The Future Belongs To Us! by Sonam Chamaria

Her Passion… Dormant No More! by Manisha Sahoo

April 2020 cue by Anne Frank: “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

Surviving Code Blue by Manisha Sahoo

Our Choices Make Life Beautiful, And I Couldn’t Have Picked Otherwise by Shalini Mullick

Circa 2083: From Death To Immortality 63 Years After COVID-19 by VJ

Making A Difference, On A Path Less Traveled by Preethi Warrier

There’s Always Been Love, But I Doubted It At The Time by Janani Balaji

May 2020 cue by Marguerite Duras: “Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we’ve ever met.”

If There’s One Thing We Inherit From Our Mothers, It’s Certainly Their Madness by Sonia Dogra

Maybe Mothers Are The Only Ones Who Know Us Better Than Ourselves by Shalini Mullick

Like Her Jackfruit Tree, This Woman Who Gave Birth To Me by Rajlakshmi Kurup

Happiness, And A Mouthful Of Golgappas by Meha Sharma

The Extraordinary Past That Made My Mother Who She Is… by Supriya Bansal

June 2020 cue by Oprah Winfrey: “So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.”

It Was The Fall Of Everything She’d Held Dear, But… by Janani Balaji

The Tiger Widows Of The Sundarbans by Swagata Tarafdar

An Immediate Curfew For All Men! by Sucharita Hazra

As The Argument Gets Uglier, She Sees The Woman’s Resolve Getting Stronger… by Aparna Sekaran

Isn’t That Against Indian Culture? Now That There’s Nothing Between Us, Why All This Drama? by Preethi Warrier

July 2020 cue by Malala Yousafzai: “At night, our fear is strong but in the morning, in the light, we find our courage again.”

There Would Be Scary Nights, But There Would Also Be The Beautiful Mornings That Follow by Rajlakshmi Kurup

Just A Step Back From The Abyss Beyond That Window by Vipul Lunia

Mother by Sangeetha Bhaskaran

A Strong Single Mom, Just Like Hidimba From The Mahabharata by Janani Balaji

It Was As If The Dark Clouds Of Ignorance In Her Life Had Lifted by Preethi Warrier

August cue by Marilyn Monroe: “For a long time I was scared I’d find out I was like my mother.”

Was There More Of Her Mother In Her Than She Had Thought? by Shalini Mullick

This MIL DIL Madness Stops With Us; We Break The Chain by Preethi Warrier

The Unknown Face Of My Mother by Ujwala Shenoy Karmarkar

Proud To Be Your Daughter, Ma! Yours, Chinmayee by Soumya Bharathi

There Will Never Be The Silence Of This Lamb by Narayani Manapadam

September 2020 cue by Tina Fey: “There are no mistakes, only opportunities.”

My Daughter Will Not Grow Up And Wonder Why Her Mom Stayed Back In A Broken Marriage by Prasanna Rao

Being A MAN Of Consequence In A Man’s World by Janani Janarthanan

What It Is To Be A Woman In This Godforsaken Part Of The World by Preethi Warrier

As She Savoured Her First Day As A Free Woman After The Divorce… by Barkha Shah

And The Night Was Fragrant With The Sweet Smell Of Liberty by Narayani Manapadam

Editors’ Note: The new ones will be added every month.

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