P N Balji (Singapore)
P N Balji has served as a journalist in print, TV, radio and online for the last 40 years. He writes regularly on Singapore politics. He has started work on his first book, tentatively titled Confessions of A Singaporean (to be published by Kitaab in 2017).
Ziya Us Salam (India)
Ziya Us Salam is Senior Deputy Editor, The Hindu — Frontline. A noted film and literary critic, his book “Delhi 4 Shows”, published by Om Books International, was released last year. He has contributed to anthologies, “Being Young in the Worlds of Islam” “Past Tense” Living on the Edge”. He edited the book, “Housefull: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema”, published by Om Books International. His book “Strands of Commonality: Postcard of Islam in the subcontinent” is due to be released shortly. He has served on the juries of International Film Festival of India, Best Writing in Cinema and Vatavaran etc.
Milee Ashwarya (India)
Milee Ashwarya is the Editor in Chief for Commercial and Business books at Penguin Radom House India. She graduated in English Literature from Hindu College and completed her Masters in English from Delhi University. In her decade long career in publishing, she has been responsible for establishing and spearheading the local publishing list first at Random House India and now at Penguin Random House India, setting new trends and exploring new genres. Her focus has been on promoting the best Indian voices while publishing a range of bestsellers across segments during her career. Her authors include Piyush Pandey, Hussain S. Zaidi, Shobhaa De, Karan Johar, Ravi Subramaniam, Twinkle Khanna, Navi Radjou, Shilpa Shetty, Suhel Seth, Emraan Hashmi, L K Advani, Preeti Shenoy, Sonali Bendre, Sudeep Nagarkar, and Payal Gidwani Tiwari to name a few.
Dr. Nadeem Zafar Jilani (UK)
Dr. Nadeem Zafar Jilani is UK based Urdu poet whose incisive take on contemporary issues has drawn attention & praise both in India and Urdu speaking circles abroad. A medic by profession, he graduated from Aligarh Muslim University and pursued higher education in England. A Fellow of Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health, London, he is also a Hon. Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Manchester. He is credited with translating Rudyard Kipling’s “If” and Wordsworth’s “The Rainbow” into Urdu Verse. He was the Editor of “Iqbal” magazine and Secretary of Literary Society during his student days at Aligarh. His poems have been published in magazines in India and various online portals. A well-known name in literary circles of Manchester, London and Yorkshire he writes a poetry blog “khayal-e-danish.blogspot.co.uk”
Debanjan Chakrabarti (India)
Debanjan Chakrabarti is Director of the British Council in East and Northeast India. He has over 15 years of experience in leading education, development and cultural collaboration programmes in India, South Asia and internationally. In his present role he leads on British Council’s work in East and Northeast India covering 13 states. This includes partnerships with schools and higher education institutions; English language training and teaching direct and through partnerships with state governments; in the areas of arts and creative economy; with young people and sports through Premier Skills; and through examinations services and library and information services.
In his earlier role, Debanjan was the country lead for English Language Policy Research and Publications of the British Council in India. Debanjan is one of the trustees of the International Language and Development Conference and sits on one of the research advisory boards for the University of Reading. A triple gold medallist in English literature from Jadavpur University, Debanjan is a Felix Scholar and obtained his PhD in literature and media studies from the University of Reading, UK. He has been a journalist and taught English literature, and films at Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan and at the University of Reading.
Amir Ullah Khan (India)
Amir Ullah Khan is a Development Economist with a keen interest on the social sector and popular culture. He is Director Research at Aequitas Consulting and Policy advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He studied Electronics Engineering and Osmania University and then graduated from the Institute of Rural Management in Anand. Amir has a PhD from the Jamia Milia Central University. He has lectured at the Film and Television Institute in Pune and is Visiting Professor and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. Amir has written extensively on his work on the impact of economic policy on Hindi cinema and has studied Urdu poetry and film lyrics. He has earlier been Executive Director and Editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica and Adjunct Professor of Economics and Law at the Edith Cowan University in Perth.
Shafey Kidwai (India)
Shafey Kidwai, a well-known bilingual critic, translator and reviewer, has been teaching Mass Communication at Aligarh Muslim University for 30 years. He has published more than a dozen books. His recent books titled “Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical Perspectives” (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and “Fiction Studies: A Post Modern Reading” (Beacon House, Lahore, 2016) have received widespread critical acclaim. Kidwai writes regularly on literary theories, culture and media for a number of English and Urdu periodicals and newspapers including Friday Review, The Hindu. His research dissertation “Cementing Ethics with Modernism: An Appraisal of the Sir Sayyid’s Periodicals” (2009) is a substantial work on the nineteenth century journalism. He has prepared the “Style Book” (2002) for the ETV, Hyderabad and “Glossary of Mass Communication in Urdu” (2003) for NCPUL, New Delhi. Kidwai has been on the editorial board of several peer reviewed journals including Global Media published by Perdue University, USA and Calcutta University. He has translated many books from English into Urdu. Kidwai has visited England, Qatar, Syria, Thailand and Pakistan where he presented his papers. He is the member of General Council of the Sahitya Academi and National Council of Promotion of Urdu, Ministry of HRD. Presently he also serves as the Convener of the Urdu Committee, Bhartiya Jnanpith.
Born in Bihar, Anant is a Patna-based writer and journalist. As a scholar, he specialises in the works of eminent Hindi writer Phaneshwar Nath Renu, and has published several research papers on his life and works in prestigious Hindi literary journals. He is the founder-editor of a website dedicated to the life and works of Renu, Renu.com.
Dr. Nazia Hasan (India)
Dr. Nazia Hasan has been working as faculty member in Women’s College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (a Central university of India) since 2002. She teaches various papers of English Literature to undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is specially happy about being associated with the teaching of Shakespeare’s plays Othello and Macbeth, Shaw’s Candida, Romantic and Victorian Poetry, Biography of Samuel Johnson and South Asian Literature. Her interest lies in Fiction and History, Translation and Post-Colonialism. She has a book entitled, Novels of Amitav Ghosh: Imperialism, Partitions and Essential Re-narratives (2013) along with various (24) publications in International and National journals to her credit. She has presented a number of papers (30) in International and National conferences and seminars. Seven research scholars are working under her supervision on fiction and theatre, on topics like Jatra of Bengal, Novels of JM Coetzee, Michael Ondaatje, Amitav Ghosh, Monica Ali, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kashmiri Literature and others. She is member of International Conference Board of GSTF, Singapore. Dr. Hasan has recently been engaged as critic of translations of Ismat Chughtai, Manto, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Charles Dickens, and Gandhi – traversing Urdu and English, while herself translating part of B. R. Ambedkar’s voluminous work from English to Urdu.
Rahman Abbas (India)
Rahman Abbas is author of six books including four novels- Nakhalistan Ki Talash [The Search of an Oasis-2004], Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani [A Forbidden Love Story-2009], Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi [Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God-2011], Rohzin [The Melancholy of Soul-2011]. He had received State Sahitya Academy Award on his third novel ‘Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God, which he returned when Indian writers protested against ‘intolerance’ in 2015. Moreover, Rahman bagged ‘National Award’ for his second novel ‘A forbidden Love Story’ by UCPR (Universal Center for Peace & Research, Aurangabad). His novels deal with themes of forbidden politics and love. Eminent Urdu critic and former President of Sahitya Academy Prof Gopichand Narang have claimed that Rahman’s lastest novel ‘Rohzin’ was an important turning point in the history of Urdu novel. Rahman lives in Mumbai and works as Research officer at a think tank ‘Strategic Foresight Group’.
Jayanthi Sankar (Singapore)
Jayanthi Sankar has been creatively active for the past twenty one over years. Her English short story ‘Read Singapore’, published in the quarterly magazine Ceriph – ISSUE TWO – 2010, has been included in the anthology ‘The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume One’. The same short story has been translated and included in the Russian anthology: To Go to S’pore, contemporary writing from Singapore, edited by Kirill Cherbitski. After ‘Loss and Laws’, ‘Horizon afar’ is the second collection of her Tamil short stories into English. Her collection of her latest English stories is expected to be published soon. Several of her books have been awarded by renowned organisations. Having written primarily in Tamil, authored more than 28 books, she has started writing more in English in the recent years. Her short story collections have been short listed thrice for Singapore Literature Prize. Brought up in several states of India including Shillong, she lives in Singapore since 1990.
Isa Kamari (Singapore)
Isa Kamari has written in Malay, 9 novels, 2 collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, a book of essays on Singapore Malay poetry, a collection of theatre scripts and lyrics of 2 song albums. His novels have been translated into English, Turkish, Urdu, Indonesian and Mandarin. His collections of essays and selected poems have been translated into English. His first novel in English, Tweet will be published at the end of 2016. Isa was conferred the S.E.A Write Award in 2006, Singapore Cultural Medallion in 2007 and the Anugerah Tun Seri Lanang in 2009.
Rheea Mukherjee (India)
Rheea Mukherjee lives in Bangalore. Her first collection of short stories, Transit for Beginners, was Published by Kitaab in April 2016. She has an MFA in creative writing from California college of the Arts. Her fiction and non-fiction has been published in Scroll, QLRS, CHA, Southern Humanities Review, Cleaver Magazine, Bombay Literary magazine and Bengal Lights among others. She co-founded Bangalore Writers Workshop in 2012, and currently co-runs Write Leela Write- a design and content laboratory in Bangalore.
Abha Iyengar (India)
Abha Iyengar is an award winning, internationally published poet, author, editor, and translator. She is a British Council certified creative writing mentor. Her story, The High Stool, was nominated for the Story South Million Writers Award. She has received the Lavanya Sankaran Writing Fellowship for 2009-2010. Her short fiction, The Marshlands, was shortlisted in the DNA-Out of Print short story contest 2015. Her poem-film, Parwaaz, has won a Special Jury prize in Patras, Greece. She is Chair, Literary Bhagidari, for Kumaon Literature Festival. Her published works include Yearnings, Flash Bites, Shrayan, Many Fish to Fry and The Gourd Seller and Other Stories. Website: http://www.abhaiyengar.com
Aditya Kripalani (India/Singapore)
Aditya Kripalani graduated from the FTII in Pune in Film Screenplay writing in 2004. He has been the Creative Head of IDream production and Percept Picture Company. He’s credited as a Script Consultant on the award winning films Tahaan and Jogwa. His advertising work has won awards at Cannes, ADstars and the Effies. He has released three novels: Back Seat, Front Seat and Tikli and Laxmi Bomb, the third of which he is now writing, producing, doing the music for and directing as a feature film in January 2017 with Swara Bhaskar and Vibhawari Deshpande (Natrang, Harishchandrachi Factory)
Shams Tanweer (India)
Hailing from Kishanganj, Bihar, Shams Tanweer is a Hindi poet and filmmaker based in New Delhi, India. He founded One Act Movies in 2006 in India with a vision to make quality television programmes and contemporary films. He has been associated with the media world for over 12 years. Tanweer has developed, written, directed and produced a variety of programmes for a range of broadcasters that includes NDTV, CNBC TV 18, Star TV, Ten Sports, Sony TV, Splash and Doordarshan. His first feature film, Take Care (2016), been selected for 5th Delhi International Film Festival 2016 in competition category.
Percy Fernandez (India)
Percy Fernandez studied at Loyola College, Madras, Delhi School of Economics and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He holds a PhD. He worked on cinema and popular culture for his doctoral dissertation. As a journalist, he has written for several newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and South China Morning Post. Among other assignments, he managed to interview the 14th Dalai Lama. Percy wanders deep and high in the Himalaya. He was the expedition photographer for the 2013 NCC Everest Expedition. He is the co-founder of FLOW, a learning and development organisation, where he works with children and adults designing classroom and outdoor leadership programmes. Percy is editing “The Best Asian Travel Writing series” for Kitaab Singapore.
Dr. Kamlanand Jha (India)
Dr. Kamlanand Jha (Vibhuti) is currently Associate professor, Central University of South Bihar. He has a Ph.D. in Hindi literature from Centre of Indian Language from J.N.U., New Delhi. He is the author/editor of several books including Raja Radhikaraman Prasad Sing Ki Kahaniya (Edited), published by National Book Trust India.
Wali Azam Chaudhary (India)
Wali Azam Chaudhary is an Insan School Alumni, ’85 batch of class X. He pursued his Management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai. He has been in stock market and stock trading from 22 years, living in Mumbai for more than two decades. He is also an entrepreneur in the field of Education, Child care and Child Development. Being a sensitive human being, he derives his inspiration from nature and reacts to different situations and incidents that affect humanity through poetry.