Women Writers’ Festival: For women, by women to highlight new-age women writers

Second edition of Women Writers’ Festival focused on gender narratives, food writing, children’s fiction and book clubs
Panel discussion at the recently-held Women Writers’ Festival
Panel discussion at the recently-held Women Writers’ Festival

BENGALURU: Literature, philosophy, and writing have been a male-dominated space for the longest time, and it was only recently that the narratives and lived experiences of women have begun to surface through books, publications and blogs.

Highlighting new-age women writers, this year’s edition of Women Writers’ Festival encompassed both fiction and non-fiction writing, including short stories, gender narratives, food writing, children’s fiction and offline and online book clubs in the city.

The second edition of the festival, held in the city recently, delved deep into topics that explored stories on and by women.

This edition of the festival was curated by Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople.TV; Kiran Manral, founder of Ideas Editor and Sonali Advani, independent consultant. Shaili Chopra said, “We’ve seen a lot of work in the last year that has focused on strong narratives by women, many of them even about women. We thought it made sense to put the context of the festival around that, and to bring attention to women.”

The panel discussions started with ‘Narratives by and for women — How are we changing the conversation?’, moderated by  Sandhya Menon. The other panel discussions that were held included, ‘Book clubs and the reading culture of Bangalore’, ‘Short stories: The challenges of capturing brevity, ‘Capturing flavours with food writing’, ‘Off the shelf: Do women authors have to shout louder to be noticed?’, ‘The art of storytelling by Aparna Athreya’ and ‘Do we need more strong female protagonists in children’s books’.    

Talking about the experiences of female authors and nuances that are captured by a woman writer, Shaili said, “In the last 12 to 18 months, there is a large amount of work written by and about women. There was a need to have a conversation here and take stock of where these conversations are taking us.”

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The New Indian Express