Am so thrilled to share with all of you that I’ve just received the Charles Wallace India Trust writing fellowship for speculative fiction. Yup, speculative fiction. You know the one which has monsters and aliens and spaceships and rakshasas and cool things that stay away from the so called ‘serious’ writing? Which means I get to write science fiction stories (the new book I’m planning post Anantya Tantrist’s third book is finished) and get to attend creative writing classes and meet faculty and students and gorge through the folklore library at Chichester University, all at the same time. Ain’t life fun?
Though I applied for the fellowship, I’d never really thought I would get it. And I’m still surprised, since I’d applied for a science fiction writing gig. There are a few friends who helped me shape the application (thank you Samit, Ajitha, Seema, Ranjita, Uthara) which got the thumbs up from the kind faculty at Chichester (that’s a shout out for you, Stavroula!). And there are a few things I learnt while writing the application. Which is why this blog. I hope readers who’re applying for fellowships/scholarships and don’t know where to start, find some guidance here.
1) Have a project in mind
Don’t start with ‘I want to go for this fellowship’, start with ‘I want to write this book, this story, or work on this project.’ Have a clear vision on what exactly you want to do. I don’t mean know what you want to write or create, for there will never be so much clarity on that, but have a strong idea on what kind of story you want to create, what project, so you can express it as clearly in the proposal. I waited for four years to apply for any fellowship, for I wanted to be sure the project I wanted to work on needed it. The science fiction project I mentioned, needs me as a writer to learn more on the overall Sci-fi genre, to read more, to be exposed to well-read faculty, facilities and ideas.