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Muse Of The Month September 2021 With Manjul Bajaj

2021. A new year, a fresh Muse of the Month short fiction contest, and the winners picked by a well known writer. So, start writing?

Hello! This is the 6th year of the Muse of the Month short fiction contest. In these years, this contest has given a fillip to the careers of many emerging Indian writers. If you’re looking to test your mettle, have your fiction reviewed by a noted author and be published with the best, read on!

This writing contest is elegantly simple: Women’s Web gives you a writing cue each month, picked by an eminent author, from their own work. 5 winning stories for the month are chosen for publishing. (What’s more, the noted author who picks the cue for the month would also be helping us review and choose the winners, quite an honour for you indeed, if your work is selected!) 

All the winning stories become eligible to be chosen from, for our year end eBook, which is released at the Orange Flower Awards.

Muse of the Month September 2021

Manjul Bajaj is the author of Come, Before Evening Falls (shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize in 2010) and Another Man’s Wife (shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize in 2013) and In Search of Heer (listed for the JCB and other prizes in 2020). She has also written two books for children—Elbie’s Quest and Nargisa’s Adventures.

The cue is from her book In Search of Heer.

“The breeze bullied the reeds forcing them to swish and sway to its vagaries, forwards and backwards, this way and that. Everything was as it had been yesterday and the day before. The cuckoo bird continued its ‘coo-coo-once-is-not-enough-here’s-another’, coo-coo call, pleased with its own poetics, its rhythm unfaltering. So much had transpired, yet nothing had changed.

Rules, Terms & Prizes

~ Write your own story (fiction) incorporating this cue. The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you).

~ Please make sure the cue paragraph is incorporated into your story – last month we’ve rejected a couple of very good stories because they did not do this. It is not just a prompt; it has to be an integral part of your story.

~ 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 Women’s Web author dashboard with [Muse of the Month September 2021] in the title. Do NOT forget this – we’ve regularly discovered entries that did not have these words in the title much AFTER the winners had been published. Sign in here, or register, if you are not yet an author with us (it’s easy!). 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, in the last week of this month. Winners receive a voucher of Rs.750 each. (Do follow our social media updates on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, for the winners.)

~ 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.

Deadline: Monday, 13th September 2021, 3 PM; late entries will not be accepted.

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.

So what are you waiting for?

In 2020, we had a wonderful run, with the eBook of stories picked from the 60 winning stories of the year just around the corner. Here are the eBooks from earlier years: Kunti’s Confessions & Other Short Stories (2016), When Women Speak Up (2017), No Apologies (2018), Sharing Lipstick (2019).

Image source: Facebook

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