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Here is a contest named after a famous American author, a Nobel laureate, John Stienbeck, from the twentieth century.

Entries of upto 5000 words can fetch a prize of $1000 and publication in the prestigious Reed magazine, California’s oldest literary journal.

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by Zafar Anjum
Shashi warriorLet’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

It runs in the family. Four uncles were writers and poets, and my father translated a few books from Malayalam to English. I started late, at the age of 35, and wished I’d got to it earlier.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I’m currently working on Swami, a novel about an alcoholic but committed journalist investigating the possible misdeeds of a godman based in southern India. The investigation leads him in unexpected directions, and changes his life.

My last published book is The Girl Who Didn’t Give Up, which was released earlier this year by Westland, and is about paedophile rings in Goa and the influence they have.