Posted in Coordinator's Desk, Creative Writing Topic

Sweet Summer Sweat ’17

– Coordinators, ELS

Here are the topics and guidelines for Sweet Summer Sweat 2017. Mail in your entries to by 12th August. Edit: the deadline has been extended to 23:59, 31 August.

The best entries win books and get featured both on the blog and in Meander, the annual ELS magazine.

Posted in Creative Writing Competition, Creative Writing Topic

TaleSpin ’17

– Coordinators, ELS

“Setting topics for a creative writing event is too much work. It is like handing out ideas to every person who is suffering from a writer’s block.”  – Shehzad Hathi, TaleSpin ’16

Truer words have not been spoken. It’s even harder to set topics for people suffering from writer’s block if you’re suffering from writer’s block yourself. Well, we’ve done it, so welcome to TaleSpin ’17, the creative writing competition conducted as part of LitFest ’17.

The general guidelines are given here:

  • Plagiarism will lead to disqualification.
  • You can choose to compose on multiple topics. Your composition may be in the form of a prose, a poem, a comic or literally anything that involves some form of text. (Try to) Limit yourself to 2000 words.
  • Topics can be found here: TaleSpin ‘17.
  • Entries, along with the topic they have been written on, (and queries) must be emailed to
  • Deadline for submission is 25th March 2017. Winners will be awarded books as prizes and their entries will be published on the blog.
Posted in Creative Writing Topic, Prose

Two Dimensional Musings

– Warren Peace

Time- 2:47 am.

State of mind- unnerved.

“I could start with a quote since we’re going to talk about meaning.”

I wouldn’t say no to some coffee if someone were to make it for me. While I do have a diversified palate and I can gulp down a coffee brewed in sewage without regurgitating my guts out, I wouldn’t mind a decent espresso in a sanitized cup.

There is a desultory door formidably closed in front of me. It has a mean doorknob.

I wouldn’t open it because I despise doorknobs anyway.

Beyond this door is catalogued garbage. A mortgaged dumpster.

Like any other dustbin, it houses objects that wouldn’t be able to make acquaintance if they were still functioning. Old cassettes that are so dead that they wouldn’t cough a song now, CDs that no longer reflect, newspapers dating back to 500 BC, issues of magazines which are now defunct, utensils, spoons that don’t look like spoons anymore et al have been stored in it. I don’t think it stinks but I never go in there without holding my breath even though I punctured a lung once doing the same.

Every time my parents come across a dying claustrophobic object, they look at it quizzically and quickly decide whether it deserves another chance. If it’s lucky, it is carelessly thrown out of the garbage collection window and it then falls six stories to meet its maker. Eventually. Otherwise the door is cast open and another object is deposited. Their lifetime starts tending towards positive infinity once the door is closed on them. One can never get out.

Why do they collect them? They never look at them again. (like me) (I hope I was not collected)

I understand the urge to preserve, to go back and drown in your past, to revaluate and assign significance to things that didn’t matter then, out of compassion maybe, or respect.

Meaning VS logic-

I am uncertain about the ‘VS’ I just typed and in hindsight I should not have plunged into this.

I must resist the urge to draw a line here and start listing differences.

Here we go. Let us dedicate two consecutive sentences to how I’m praying right now this doesn’t turn into a clusterfuck. Amen.

If I were a devout logician, I wouldn’t have fiddled with my sleeping pattern. My grandmother keeps poking me with ‘ sleeping during the day isn’t as relaxing as a proper night’s slumber’. But I am a dreamer. Ironically. I like to stay up late, eating out of the fridge and wondering if I should cook but as soon as the stove lights up, the flames threaten to envelop me so I drop the idea all together.

When I think about it, plastered idols with elephant faces do not go well with the rest of my furniture. But I gotta defend myself against valak. I have found the power of god in them.

All of that dump needs to be cleared away. But my parents occasionally like to brood over them.

Most of us fuss over meaning because there is no regulation, nothing to hold our imagination back. Unchartered waters that extend as far as we are willing to go. All the rocks and pebbles I’ve seen couldn’t inspire a cathedral in me. that’s because I’m not a Christian, we don’t have churches.

I often think of meaning as a menace, which is extravagant yet incoherent. Isn’t it counter- intuitive? Meaning is after all devoid of sense. Of course, that’s my version of it.

Logic is however stable, unquestionable and confident in itself. I want to defend its claim but what’s life without meaning? (tolerable, that’s what).

What if everything we do is meaningless? Let’s hope not. That sounds depressing.

What am I writing anyway? (a testament of my incompetence.)

What comes next? Preferably, sleep.


Time- 5:22 AM

State of mind- (no one cares)


…….” I wish I had a poem to end with but I don’t”.

Posted in Creative Writing Topic

Sweet Summer Sweat

-Coordinators, ELS

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Summer is back, hopefully bringing with it similar convictions as our mutual friend Scott, above. Here are the topics of the summer creative writing contest, Sweet Summer Sweat. The best entries get published in Meander and win books. Mail us your pieces at latest by July 31st. Modifying a quote by Jeannette Wells, one benefit of Summer is that each day we have more light to write by. So get writing, folks.

Posted in Coordinator's Desk, Creative Writing Competition, Creative Writing Topic

Winter Winds

-Coordinators, ELS

A frosty nip in the air, warm mugs of cocoa, chattering teeth and foggy mornings. Winter is a powerful assortment of varied experiences and feelings, a season whose many emotions have inspired countless artists in their own ways, from Debussy to Dickens, Monet to Milton, Kurosawa to Keats, just to name a few. In this creative writing competition, we want you to try to capture and express some of the sentiments this season rouses within you.

So, this year we present you with a lesser known form of Japanese poetry called the Tanka. In the 7th century, the tanka was so popular that nobles in the Japanese Imperial court would write tanka poems and compete. Tanka poetry was also frequently given to a partner in courtship at the end of an evening spent together.

Tankas consist of five lines usually with the pattern of syllables being 5-7-5-7-7. The 5-7-5 is called the kami-no-ku (“upper phrase/poem”), and the 7-7 is called the shimo-no-ku (“lower phrase/poem”).

For example:

The weather is cool
It’s clear that fall is coming
The leaves will soon change
The days will become shorter
And then winter will fall too.

And some historic examples:

The faintly glowing
color of the maples,
when it fades away
before the falling of snow,
serenity in mountains.

Mokichi Saito


Are you getting weak
As the autumn nights grow cold?
Your cry sounds faint
And becomes more distant.

Monk Saigyo
(1118 – 1190)

(Note that the latter don’t rigidly follow the syllable structure as they have been translated from Japanese)

So, what you have to do is write winter themed Tankas (following the given structure) and send it to us on or before 10th January 2016. You can mail us your entries at Multiple entries are allowed. The best submissions will be published on the blog and the top three entries will be awarded books as prizes. Happy writing!

Posted in Coordinator's Desk, Creative Writing Competition, Creative Writing Topic, Poetry

Kumomi – Online Fresher’s Creative Writing Competition ’15

-Coordinators, ELS

The Fib is a form of poetry that has its origins on the internet.  The general rule is to write a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. For example:

Two things.
They both are,
So they fit nicely in this fib.

I know it.
Since you can read it,
You know that I know that I know

you. I
strangled you.
Why, oh why won’t you simply die?

days spent
on Mario.
And now, years later,
Childhood romance blossoms once more.

Kumomi loosely translates to cloud-watching or cloud gazing, a beautiful word that can describe the many varied emotions that this season brings. From the cheers of farmers, the smells of the first rain, to the sudden lushness of the greenery, everything seems to have been injected with a fresh dose of life and enthusiasm. Hopes are stirred and existence seems to gain a purpose, beginning anew. It truly is a season that stirs the inner poet in even the hardest of hearts. So, what we want you to do for this competition is write monsoon themed fibs of your own and send it to us as entries for Kumomi. Just follow that simple format, and get writing!

Submit your entries before 6th of August to along with your name and roll number. Plagiarism is an instant disqualifier.

Posted in Coordinator's Desk, Creative Writing Competition, Creative Writing Topic

Haikuing in Winters

Winter GIF

-Coordinators, ELS

“Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are falling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.”
– Sara Coleridge in The Months of the Year

Of all the classic poems that one could quote, for winter has caught the fancy of many (Shakespeare, Keats, Blake; to name a few), we chose this one because, well, it was just easier for us to understand. After our summer tryst with haikus, the ELS brings you a winter haiku challenge. You can choose to describe winter in its entirety or bring out a facet of it using your haikus. If you are not sure about how to write a haiku, you can refer to our earlier blogpost.

The last date for submitting your entries is 31st December 2014. You can mail us your entries at Multiple entries are allowed. The best submissions will be published on the blog and the writers will get to choose their own animal pen names for the blog (they can also publish it with their own names if they want). The top three entries will be awarded books as prizes. In case of ties, the number of likes on the blog entry will be taken into consideration.