Fellows of Nature South Asia Short Story Award: An initiative of Kumaon Literary Festival (India)


Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)
Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)

“Nature writing was once considered to be the rock and roll of literature. In the last few decades it has shown a steady decline. There is a pressing need to restore this literary art. The best way to do it is through stories.”

— Sumant Batra, Founder, Fellows Of Nature

Fon_logoLike all extinctions, nature writing’s gradual disappearance represents a profound loss. Writing in this category is born out of love, respect, and awe of nature. It finds its subject during days of close observation of the beauty of the natural world. Writing about the close relationship between humankind and nature plays an important role in creating interest and building respect for it amongst book lovers and others.

The FON SOUTH ASIA SHORT STORY AWARD an initiative of Kumaon Literary Festival (under the umbrella body of NHP centre) was launched on February 15, 2016 amidst enthusiastic readers and writers at the Oxford Bookstore (Delhi) with the objective of promoting nature writing and building a community of nature writers. 

Submission of short stories based on the theme of nature is invited from South Asia region in accordance with the contest guidelines set by the FON steering committee which comprises of the lead project partners: The French Institute in India; Wild Life Trust of India; Wisdom Tree publishers, Kumon Literary Festival and the Taj Colloquium. The committee is chaired by the founder of FON, Mr. Sumant Batra and also includes Indian author and poet Sujata Parashar who is spearheading the project.

Sujata Parashar, Director FON, introduces the initiave at the KLF curtain raiser held in Sep 2015
Sujata Parashar, Director FON, introduces the initiave at the KLF curtain raiser held in Sep 2015

The submissions will be screened by the FON pre jury comprising of writers, bloggers and editors in a course of two months (Jun – Aug). The screening will be based on the guidelines set by the steering committee before being put up to the 7 member International jury chaired by award winning short – story writer and poet Siddhartha Gigoo. The jury will make the final selection of the top 30 stories including the award winning story. The contest is open for submissions and closes on 30 May, 2016. The award will be presented at the second edition of Kumaon Literary Festival in October 2016 and the book of 30 best short stories will be released at the Taj Colloquium in January 2017.

For more on the contest please visit the FON website: www.fellowsofnature.in

FON Jury

Profile of Members of Jury and Pre Jury:

  • The jury is chaired by Siddhartha Gigoo

(Author, Short story writer and winner of the commonwealth short story prize 2015, Asia)

  • Jerry Pinto (Award winning writer, poet and translator)
  • Mridula Koshy

(Community Organiser, novelist and award winning short story writer)

  • Samarth Upadhyay

(Award winning Nepalese Author and a recipient of NEA Creative Writing fellowship in 2015)

  • Shinie Antony

(Novelist and award winning short story writer)

  • James Champion

(Wild Life enthusiast and Novelist)

  • Afia Aslam

(Pakistani Author and Founder of Desi Writers Lounge)

  • PRE JURY
  • Dr Sakshi Chanana (Academician and writer)
  • Vibha Malhotra (Founder of literature studio, writer and poet)
  • Aneisha Brahma (Novelist and blogger)
  • Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma (ex – journalist and editor)
  • Jane Gill (Novelist)
  • Soumya Mukerjee (Writer, Editor, Poet, Blogger and Journalist)

(Kitaab is the official media partner of KLF)