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The Write start

Established authors are coming out with anthologies of short stories to encourage first-time writers.

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published: April 4, 2013 2:30 am

Established authors are coming out with anthologies of short stories to encourage first-time writers.

A Few months ago,when Upneet Grover,author of Cricket Till I Die,came up with the idea of writing a collection of short stories along with writer Vivek Banerjee,they faced a unique problem. “After getting through with some of the stories,repetitiveness set in,” says Grover. In the process of brainstorming for the book,they decided to reach out to fresh writers,to give the book a wider perspective. The result was Shades of Sin,which was launched last month.

Comprising 25 stories written by six writers,of which three are first-timers,the experiment,says Grover,not only introduced new writers but broadened the idea behind the book. “During the writing process,Vivek and I felt that we didn’t have a fresh perspective. Shades of Sin is a collection of short stories based on the various emotions that people go through. And with three first-timers coming on board,we had a complete book. They gave the much-needed change in writing styles that we both were looking for,” he says.

According to Grover,anthologies sell better than short stories by individual writers. “They have different angles to them and the readers get a diverse range. New writers feel encouraged to see their name in print and publishers benefit from the sales of the books. In fact,everyone benefits,” he adds.

While the market for anthologies of short stories is yet to pick up,the trend works in favour of new writers. Agrees Roshan Radhakrishnan,who has written for the Urban Shots collection. Launched last month,the book Ten Shades of Life has 10 stories by various authors writing in different genres. The publisher of the book,Nethra Anjappa,says,“On Fablery.com,we ran a monthly contest to pick one winner in one particular section. The response was phenomenal. This helped the first-time writers to cross over to the side of published writers.”

Even publishing houses are open to the idea,says Grover. “It gives the book visibility when there are known names on it. Shades of Sin was sold out thrice on Flipkart,” he adds.

From the marketing point of view,Ali Fajandar,director,Grey Oak Publishers,says,“We had writers such as Paritosh Uttam and Ahmed Faiyaz edit two of our anthologies — Urban Shots – Bright Lights and Crossroads. They are also contributing writers on the anthologies. Since both are established names on the writing circuit,readers pick up the books faster.”

While Urban Shots – Bright Lights features stories by writers other than Uttam,Crossroads has 26 writers,of which most are first-timers.

The success of the experiment has prompted Grover to take up a second venture soon. “It’s in the finalisation process but we will be looking for new writers to come on board,” he says.

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