MANUSCRIPT INTENSIVE WORKSHOP, Led by Vidya Rao
This will be a 5-day workshop.
It will be restricted to those people who are already working on a manuscript—a book of at least 100 pages, with a clear theme. The students should already have a clear idea of what they wish to write about and also should have an outline of the book they are writing and/or an initial draft of at least 25 pages. This Workshop will include not more than 5 students, maximum 10, But, absolutely no more than 10.
In the workshop, we will work in the following way.
–We will read short texts by other writers that we have loved and that have inspired us, in our own work and life. We will discuss these texts and our reasons for choosing them.
–We will do some writing exercises that will help us address issues that beset all creative people—Why am I doing this? For whom am I writing? What is the central issue I want to address? How can I bring compassion and wisdom to imbue my work? In this way, we will explore, understand, and address the many pitfalls that beset (even experienced) writers as they work –often in solitude—on their texts.
–We will learn to find our own voice and style and honour it. But we will also be careful not to fall into the traps of laziness and self-indulgence in our writing.
–We will explore genre and style and find (try to find) the ones that we instinctively relate to and that suits us and our work best.
–We will share our work and our concerns and insights in the group.
–We will learn to comment critically—but NOT judgementally—on the work presented by each person.
–And we will learn to distance ourselves from our own work and look at it with a critical (not judgemental) eye.
Through such an intensive workshop it is hoped that we will learn to understand our own concerns, focus points, our worries and fears, and our strengths, We will learn to be compassionate with others, and with our own selves as we work through the many stages, internal and external, of writing a complete book and putting it out into the world.
Who can join this workshop?
Since this is very intensive work, I would suggest it be limited to 5 participants—and not more than 10. It would be good if the group could be from the people who attended my earlier Writing Life workshop held in April-May 2023 and among those from the people who have continued to write together (via email or Google Meet sessions) since then. Participants must—absolutely must—be in the process of writing a full-length book and must have a first draft or at least a portion of the text (about 25 pages at the minimum) ready to discuss and share.
About Vidya Rao
Vidya Rao is a singer and a writer. Her writing work is mainly on music and the performing arts.
She brings her experience and her long years of work as a researcher, writer, and also, importantly, as a book editor to this Manuscript Intensive workshop.
She has worked for nearly 40 years as an editor—dealing with text editing, commissioning, and book development—with Orient Blackswan (previously Orient Longman), creating a significant list in the social sciences, culture studies, and women’s studies.
She has written and published extensively—a memoir of life with her guru Vidushi Naina Devi (Harper Collins, 2011); several essays that have been published in academic journals and as chapters in book, and is currently working on a new book on a relatively less-known form of women’s music. Her work is included in reading lists in several university departments, internationally, of music, culture, and women’s studies.
Apart from her work as an editor/publisher, she has worked in research institutes (the Administrative Staff College of India, and the Centre for Women’s Development Studies), and has conducted independent research with grants from the Ford Foundation, the Department of Culture (GOI), Institut d’etudes avancees, France, and the Sangam House-ISRO Residency.
She has been, among other things, Visiting Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics (JNU), Visiting Fellow at the School of Cultural Texts and Resources, (Jadavpur University), a Fellow (Artist-Scholar) at the Insitut d’etudes avancees, (Nantes, France), Artist in Residence at the Smith College and the Five Colleges Inc., etc. She has guided several M Phil and Ph.D. students in India and outside India and has also served as external examiner for their M Phil and Ph.D. dissertations.