Write India Season 3: Short Story Contest by Times of India with Salman Rushdie: Submit by 30th of Every Month

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By: Usha | 08 Feb 2020 5:00 PM

Write India Season 3 short story ContestWrite India is a collaborative writing initiative by Times Internet, which will have a set of 10 celebrity authors writing the passage of short stories. These passages will be later opened to public for completion.

The celebrity authors of this season are: Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Gulzar, Clare Mackintosh, Nayantara Sahgal,
Amish Tripathi, Jeet Thayil, Kavita Kane, Upamanyu Chatterjee and Vivek Shanbhag.

Every month we will select one winner from the entries received with the help of the ‘Celebrity Author of the Month’.

How to participate

  1. Read carefully the passage provided by the author. You can use it anywhere in your story.
  2. Each author has provided some rules. If your story does not abide by the rules, it shall be considered disqualified.
  3. DO NOT tamper with the Author’s passage. Entries with ‘split’ passage or with any kind of change in the passage will be disqualified.
  4. Stick to a minimum of 1500 words and a maximum of 3000 words. The word limit does not include the words of the prompt.
  5. The story must be written in English. Be careful with your editing, grammar and punctuation. Though we are primarily looking for good storytellers, language skill will strengthen your case in case of a tie.
  6. Please submit your story before or on the last day of the contest for it to be considered. Only entries submitted till midnight of every 30th will be considered.
  7. If you send more than one entry, please remember we will be considering only the last one sent.
  8. DO NOT upload or email scanned or JPEG files of your story. Such entries will be disqualified.

You can upload your entry on the Write India Season 3 website given below or email it to

Author of the Month (Sep 2019): Clare Mackintosh

Cue: The rain is relentless. I hear it thrumming on the metal roof and running down the broken pipe into the mud, and I moisten my cracked lips with my tongue. I wonder if they’ll bring me food and water. I wonder if they’re coming at all…

Rules by the author:

  1. This prompt is for a psychological thriller or crime story.
  2. You can write from any point of view.

Details of the September challenge and upload form are given here

Author of the Month (Oct 2019): Amish Tripathi

Cue: Supratik, the Chief of Police and Internal Security at Ujjain, walked rapidly up to the riverside, just as the body was being fished out. The officer supervising the operation turned around and saluted his commander immediately.

Rules by Author

1. The story must be set in the Gupta Age, in Ujjain (the capital of the empire in its latter half).
2. It must involve a crime. And its resolution.
3. Besides this, there are no other rules. The writers have the freedom to write as they choose to.

Details of the October challenge are given here.

Author of the Month (Nov 2019): Amitav Ghosh

Cue: The strangest thing about this strange journey is that it began with a word.

Rules by Author

The stories should be written in the first person.

The details of the November Challenge are given here.

Author of the Month (Dec 2019): Upamanyu Chatterjee

Cue: She decided on a whim, as she got off the Shatabdi at Dehradun that while in Mussoorie, she was not going to bond with Ruskin. With James maybe but definitely not with Ruskin.

Rules by Author

Neither James nor Ruskin Bond may appear as characters. They may be alluded to if all else fails.

The details of the December Challenge are given here.

Author of the Month (Jan 2020): Gulzar

Prompt by the Author: “I’m not a refugee. I am an immigrant.”

Rules by the Author

No Rules!

Author of the Month (Feb 2020): Salman Rushdie

Prompt: “In the eighteenth century, a genie gave a certain Sultan a magic ring which, when rubbed, would force a woman’s private parts to speak, and confess all their indiscretions. In the end, the Sultan’s misuse of the ring led the genie to take it back. Two hundred years later, in Mumbai – just the other day, in fact – the same genie gave the ring to a good woman named —— , and told her that it worked just as well on men.”

[The origin of this story is an eighteenth century novel by Denis Diderot called The Indiscreet Jewels.]

Rules by the Author

  1. The story should have the manner of a fable, but it doesn’t need to have a moral.
  2. Don’t make it pornographic. Think about how men might react to living in a world in which they could have no secrets, and how women might react to men if they could find out everything about them.
  3. If possible, be funny.


You can write to for any more information or call us at 0120-6776999 (Ext: 7202, 7223)

For full details, visit the Write India Season 3 website


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