DECEMBER 4 — 17, 2017



The Dum Pukht Fiction Workshop is a two-week, in-residence workshop for writers looking to refine and rethink their approach to fiction. It is intended for writers with some experience. You will interact with five instructors, all experts in different aspects of fiction. You will also read, critique and learn from twelve other fellow writers. “Dum Pukht” is a Persian/Mughal cooking technique in which meat and vegetables are transformed by cooking them in a closed container over a slow fire, so as to preserve natural flavors. Sort of what will happen to the participants, so to speak. The workshop is a lot of work. It is intense. It is exhilarating. And hopefully, it will be transformative. If this sounds like a table you’d like to be at, come join us.

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Add to My Calendar 2016-05-04 12:00:00 2016-05-04 18:00:00 Asia/Kolkata Dum Pukht Fiction Workshop The Dum Pukht Fiction Workshop is a two-week, in-residence workshop for fiction writers looking to refine and rethink their approach to fiction. Adishakti Theatre, Edayanchavady Road, Auroville Post, Puducherry, India 605101 Dum Pukht Workshop contact@dumpukht.org


  • To get you to think about stories. Writers tend to be good readers, but because they immerse easily, the text often becomes invisible.  The aim is to break this spell. Less dramatically, the workshop will spend a lot of time on the craft aspects of fiction.
  • If text can turn invisible, so can the context. India offers some wonderful possibilities for storytelling. One point of coming to a place like Adishakti to reacquaint yourself with the land you’ve always known.
  • To give you a chance to hang out with some wonderful writers.
  • Even though the workshop is intense, we want it to be fun.

The workshop has 13 (student) participants and five instructors. The ten-day schedule is divided into four segments of roughly three days each. Each segment is handled by a different instructor, thus giving you exposure to a variety of styles, techniques and perspectives. There is considerable emphasis on group critiques, with the instructor as mediator/facilitator. You will bring one story with you, which will be critiqued in the first session. You will also write one more story during the workshop. Half the work-day is spent on critiquing stories (this works out to about 4 critiques per day), but the other half is entirely up to the instructor. The first three segments will be facilitated by Anil Menon, Pervin and Akshat Nigam. Anjum Hasan and Zac O’Yeah are our guest instructors for the fourth and final segment. Also, the modern writing life can involve a lot of on-stage performance. The workshop places a lot of emphasis on preparing students for this aspect of their careers.

The application process is simple:

  1. Select one of your favorite short stories (between 2,000 & 8,000 words).
  2. Include a brief bio/cover letter (optional).
  3. Email the story & bio to contact@dumpukht.org before October 25th, 2017.

Please don’t send us web links. The attached story should be a .doc/.docx/.rtf or a .pdf file. Once we receive the material, we will email an acknowledgement. You should hear from us within 24 hours.

About the story: note we are asking you to send a favorite from all the stories you’ve written, not the best. So don’t be afraid to send us a story that means a lot to you, even if you think it is too weird, not publication-ready, or even, unpublishable.

About the bio/cover letter: yes, it is indeed optional. That said, as a writer you already know that any chance to have people read your writing, any kind of writing, is an opportunity.

IWe have tried to keep the workshop expenses for you as low as possible. The cost is Rs. 25,000 to attend the workshop. This covers lodging and food at Adishakti for fourteen nights plus wireless internet plus instructional materials. Due to Adishakti’s limited accommodation and cost considerations, the rooms are double occupancy (but not mixed gender). Food includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (and of course, your roomie’s snacks). This works out to about Rs. 1,785/day.


Prithvi YadamaParticipant -- DP 2016
Dum Pukht is one of the most comprehensive writing workshops there is in India. The workshop helped me immensely with the technical aspects of writing fiction. We were exposed to so many different perspectives on the art of fiction and literature. I left the workshop understanding what my writing did, and what it needs to do to get o the next level. The mentors are incredibly patient and continue to guide us in our journey.
Debosmita NandyParticipant -- DP 2016
I can, without a doubt, say that the two weeks of DumPukht workshop has completely transformed the way I approach writing. Be it assimilating new ideas, learning through critiquing stories, forging life-long bond amongst ourselves, having a debate at the dinner table or a music session on the terrace – each and every moment at this workshop has immensely enriched my life.
Indhu SubramaniamParticipant -- DP 2016
Creative writing was full of possibilities and I seemed full of potential. But to actually write seemed beyond that hill, just a little out of that breathless grasp. The Dum Pukht workshop helped me see my writing as not just what I was doing but something that traveled and dialogued. It showed me to see, anticipate and want an audience; sharpen my form; and contour my content. Most importantly it gave me a community to write and thrive.
Charumathi SuprajaParticipant -- DP 2016
Being a writer is not a condition. It is an act. Writing is not about mists of inspiration entering your brain through your ears and then oozing from your fingers as stories, poems and novels. Writing is about setting down words, removing words, reading again, writing again. This is what I learnt at Dum Pukht.
Pooja Ruparel
The workshop turned my half baked abilities and aspirations into skills and a way of thinking, to create sustainably with. The teachers at Dum Pukth are true Gurus and taught me to trust and value my style and to appreciate others through the round of critiques that inculcated self evaluation and reliance.
Lavina GalaniParticipant -- DP 2016
Dum Phukt was a turning point in my writing skills in more ways than one. Firstly, the environment, the mentors, and the fellow writers provided for the much needed inspiration. Critical reviews from all of them provided over 20 different perspectives on one particular piece. Since this was a part of the daily activity it altered my point of view in a positive way, helping me realize my strengths and weaknesses. The workshop allows one to interact with so many different minds and build sustainable relationships that support each other even after the workshop is over.
Sameen BorkerParticipant -- DP 2016
Dum Pukht has altered the way I read a novel, write and rewrite a story, and play with words, form, and structure. Anil, Pervin, and Akshat have been very influential and supportive in their unique ways and continue to do so. The best 14 days I've ever spent cooking up stories.
Harvinder KaurParticipant -- DP 2016
The Dumpukht workshop in Auroville in 2016 was a turning point for me. From being a casual, amateur, mood-driven writer of poems and non-fiction with only a handful of short stories in my basket, I became seriously interested in writing fiction and have been diligently at it! Anil is an amazing teacher with masala-humour that makes his sessions deliciously insightful, while Pervin gave us wonderful ideas and opened windows that would have otherwise remained shut. I connected to some great, creative participants! This is an intensive workshop with very sincere mentors who become your friends and hand-hold you long after the workshop. If you get a chance don’t miss it!
My writing life was a lonely struggle till I attended the three-week residential Writing Workshop held by Anil Menon and Co at the IIT Kanpur in 2009. Our group, an increasing tribe with each passing year, continues to bond and meet at informal retreats or formal residential workshops. The workshops are now our annual writing vacations that are a mix of learning and fun. If you can spare the time and resources, do try Dum Phukt, I guarantee you its going to be the best writing move you have ever made in your life. As for me, let me endorse this further by saying it's a story I wrote at the Bangalore workshop in 2011 that won me the inaugural short story prize of the Desi Writer's Lounge in 2012.
Kusum PunjabiWriter/Director
In the five years since I attended this workshop, I have written almost every week. I've written in exploration and I've written finished pieces. And I never did this before. What made it possible was the frames of looking that this workshop gave me. Frames I could hold up to any idea and find paths within its murky possibilities. Reading my work aloud in a circle of writer classmates taught me that if I could learn to tolerate the cringe I felt each time I inflicted my musings on the world, then surprise surprise, I wouldn't be stoned for it. I might even find some hmmm and nods. And always, I'd feel better afterwards.
Fehmida Zakeer
Taking the Bangalore workshop helped me grasp the basics about the craft of writing, the nuances of how you can play with sentences and paragraphs, how you can use the sequence of words to engage readers, how what is not told can tell a story more powerfully than what is told and many such seemingly small but nevertheless vital lessons. Each day packed with discussions and exercises served in not only strengthening my writing but also in building up lasting bonds with the other participants and instructors which has proved to be invaluable over time.
An immersive residency among extremely talented writers with brilliant instructors, the Bangalore workshop contextualised the craft of contemporary fiction. Being exposed to the best literature and receiving responsible critique of my work made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Not only did it give me the time and space to produce works of my own, it also gave me an opportunity to ponder on literature and my relationship with it. I became friends with some brilliant writers and got introduced to some great writers and their techniques.
The residential workshop I attended in 2009 where Anil Menon was one of the three writing facilitators brought about a major change in my attitude to writing. I stopped questioning myself and sat down to writing seriously.  A residential writing workshop experience has several advantages. You are in the zone, with nothing else on your mind except writing and more writing (and maybe some food in-between). You learn through talks, exercises, feedback and critiques. The added bonus is the bonding that takes place among the participants. Allow yourself this experience at least once, to help you become the writer you want to be.
Positively the one workshop that instilled the confidence in me that I too have a future in writing... I quit a summer gig and travelled from London to attend Anil Menon's 3 week spec fic writing workshop at IIT Kanpur, and let me tell you, it's one of the best decisions in my life. Three unforgettable weeks of writerly discussions, interactive exercises in creativity and close camaraderie with kindred spirits, not to mention amazing instructors and guest lecturers.... to put it all simply, the experience of a life time if you ever want to pamper your muse and jumpstart your writing journey.
Anubha YadavAcademic/Author
The workshop gave my writing dreams a ground to walk on. If you wish to find confidence in your writing, hone it with professional advise - join-in. It was the best thing that happened to me and my writing. Highly recommended. Extraordinary is not just a word for this one, it actually is.
The workshop made me notice aspects of my writing--good and bad--that I hadn't noticed before, and gave me the vocabulary to think and talk about them. It helped me think about stories structurally, and gave me license to be ambitious and experiment more freely with fiction. More importantly, it introduced me to a community of writers who--more than seven years later--I still exchange writing with and whose feedback I value. And above all, it was an incredible amount of fun.
The workshop immensely helped in honing my story telling skills, gave me lots of answers enabling me to complete and publish 'And We Remained'. I would highly recommend Anil's workshop to anyone who loves to write and write fiction in particular. Learning from Anil, the other instructors and from the other participants of the workshop is a wonderful opportunity which should not be passed over. The chance to attend such a workshop is a once in a lifetime experience.


How can I get to Adishakti?

A great start is to send us a great story. 🙂 More seriously, Pondicherry is easily reachable from Chennai and Bangalore. An information packet will be emailed to you.

Can I attend only a portion of the workshop?

Sorry, no. It is unfair to the other participants, wastes space, and makes it hard to organize the workshop.

Can I bring along my pet/significant other/child ? Can I have a room to myself?

Sorry, no. There are only a limited number of rooms. We’re especially sorry we can’t be more helpful for parents, single or otherwise. But we’re working on it.

What payment types do you accept?

We accept bank-to-bank transfers (wire transfers). We will send you the bank account information at the appropriate stage.

Can I get a refund?

After 24 hours of deposit, no. But if for some reason the workshop is cancelled, we will issue a full refund of the workshop fees.

Can I get a receipt and/or some kind of proof I attended the workshop?

Sure. If you need to submit official documentation to apply for leave, etc. come talk to us.


Fill the form below to get directions to our event location

Enter Direction from and Travel Mode from the left form to see directions.



No. 121/4AB,

Edayanchavadi Road,

Vanur Taluk, Irumbai Panchayat,

Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu – 605101



General questions, comments: contact@dumpukht.org

Press inquiries: press@dumpukht.org

All else: admin@dumpukht.org


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