20 Under 30 – Writers from South Asia (print, 2022)

a The Bombay Review anthology, curated by our editors.

The hunt for the best under-30 fiction writers of South Asia begins! This will be the first anthology of its kind from the subcontinent. We look forward to your submissions!

(Our previous anthology while themed similarly did not have an age restriction.)
*Cover art subject to change.

The submission can be made via filling the form at the end of this page.

Deadline – 16 June, 2021.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED NOW. Results expected soon.

Total Submissions: 570
Longlisted: 65
Shortlisted: 30 or 40 (Depending on the below point; if publisher agrees for 30 in print, then shortlist will have 40)
Print Publication: 20 or 30 (Depending upon publisher, but initial call was for 20)
Online Publication: 10
*There will be no further updates for sometime now. The book, as originally mentioned, is slated for a 2022 release)

Longlist 1/2

Mehrul Chowdhury
Urooj Rizvi
Aishwarya Shah
Adhora Ahmed
Karan Kapoor
Achuuth Karthick R
Sarbani Mohapatra
Renu Thapa
Hina Irfan
Subalakshmi Murugesan
K Vaishali
Anamika Singh

Aditi K Prasad
Aalia Waqas
Aditi Dixit
Aayush Sharma
Aishani Roy
Keith Gomes
Drishti Rakhra
Areej Akhtar
Aishwarya Roy
Gayatri Borkar
Aditi Chandna
Mariyam Fatima

Animesh Vishal
Payal Nagpal
Shah Tazrian A
Jasmin Jose
Takbeer Salati
Amiya J Hisham
Haritha T Chandran
Atharv Pandit
Koushik Sen
Moachiba Jamir
Subalakshmi Murugesan

Longlist 2/2

Gokul Prabhu
Likla Lall
Mayookh Barua
Rutuja Pradhan
Maitrayee Sharma
Yash Tiwari
Saumya Rai
Padmasandhya S
Kanchan Dhar

Akanksha Singh
Keshia DSilva
Sahana Hegde
Aditi Jain
Dhanush Sri Vardan R
Jomal Jose
Amreeta Chowdhury
Azzah Hayat
Priyanshi Banerjee

Rhea Sharma
Shreya Jauhari
Shahrukh Khan
TP Himar
Sejal Parmar
Sanjana Nair
Shalini Singh
Shubham Mamgain

Open to writers between the ages of 18 and 30, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives (or of origin).

This anthology has been planned seeing the overwhelming response to The Bombay Review’s creative writing courses and workshops, the CPB Young Writing Fellowship, the annual creative writing awards, the LGBTQ+ and Dalit writing editions, among the many other projects that we have done specifically around the region (South Asian Literary Forum, International Anthology, literary events, themed editions, etc). 

With this, we plan to initiate the biggest hunt for writers who are most likely to set the literary landscape on fire in the next few decades. 

Please note, if a submission or more is selected from Kashmir, the writer(s) have an option to have their work featured under ‘Kashmir’, separately, and not under India or Pakistan. This is in line with our work in South Asia, where our last print anthology also had the same premise with events in Srinagar, Delhi, Karachi, Dhaka, Colombo – all receiving an overwhelming number of attendees. (2017-2018)

Submission Details, Guidelines, Style, Formatting

Language – English only, we are not looking at translations for this anthology, but do for our regular issues.
Word Count
– 1500 to 5000. Please don’t email us asking if 1487 or 6100 works. You can edit, or you can always submit a different piece. 
Themes – Identity, Belonging, Love, LGBTQIA+, Political, Historical, Realist satire, Family, Justice, Injustice, Hatred, Fascism, Feminism, Freedom, Social Commentary, Persecution, Community, Nationalism, Sacrifice, Mental Health (We could add more here as and when something clicks)
Genre – Short Fiction | Short Story (no poetry, no essays, no CNF, no reviews, no interviews)
Simultaneous Submissions – Discouraged, but we might consider them if informed in advance.
Number of entries – Only one per person. If you submit more than one piece, only the first one will be considered.
Age – 30 or below as of 31st May, 2021. (18+)

Submissions do not bounce when done through Google Forms. We will not be able to confirm receipt of your submission on email, or social media. If you hit the submit button, we got it.

You can find more information below. Please note, that since this is a no entry fee anthology, any and all submissions not following the guidelines and rules below will be automatically disqualified. So we encourage you to take time with your submission. One of the best tips about submissions to magazines and anthologies is this – Once you have finished your piece, let it rest, let it marinate for a week or two, before heading back to it and sending it out. 

  • Attachment File
    Submissions must be a Microsoft Word attachment (.doc or .rtf)
    Font – Times New Roman – Size 12. Please let your margins, and color page, and font color be standard and regular. We like receiving a submission like this – https://www.shunn.net/format/story/
  • Edit
    Please make the Editor’s job easy and increase your chances of selection; run a simple spelling and formatting check via your preferred software. Seeing a murder spelled as redrum can put an editor off. As can not knowing when to use its and when to use it’s. We are sure you understand. 
  • Name of file
    If you are a 22 year old Tony Stark from Karachi, the document title (Your file name) should be:
    Tony Stark(22) – Karachi, Pakistan (20U30TBR)
    Trust us; your file may be called ‘Fiction finallll4 for tbr’ but when we download it on our system, we will have hundreds of files named ‘finallllsubmission23’ or ‘submissionbombaymag6’ which we will not be able to work upon.
  • Professional Bio
    How does a professional bio differ from a personal bio? The former is in third person, there is no ‘I’ in the former. It should talk about specefic educational, publication, experience history with keywords and names hyperlinked (You can add these after the bio, if the form doesn’t let you hyperlink). Your field of work or study doesn’t matter in the selection process, but it is important in a professional bio. You don’t need to have a BA, MA, MFA, or a publishing experience to tell a good story at all of course. It is also recommended that you don’t add lines about your favorite writers, favorite books, and so on.
  • More about Profession Bio
    What it is not? ‘I like to read, and being an avid traveler with a zest for wanderlust makes me understand life and people’s stories much better than others. A cat mom/dad, Gucci is the first listener of all my stories on Wednesday nights over cold Pizza and wine.’
    What it is? ‘Tony Stark (he/him) is a mechanic based out of New York, NY with projects dealing in extra terrestial, intercontinental, military equipment, not limited to short range tactical nukes. A founding member of the Avengers, he wrote Broadway plays for a living, till the Pandemic hit. He graduated from MIT with a degree in electronic engineering, lived in Malibu till recently and is the author of Genius, Playboy, Millionaire, Philanthrophist.’
  • Current Role
    Yes, you might have mentioned the same above. Thank you for your patience in answering this again. It is a more specific, directed question. The format is – ‘WorkTitle/Student – Company/University – Since year’. Here are some examples – ‘MA English Student – The Avengers Academy – Since 2008’, ‘Jr. Analyst – Shield Infotech – Since 2015’, ‘Unemployed – I am my own master – Since graduation in 2020’
  • Current Address
    This is important for two reasons – 1, this is where the contributor copy, and your payment will be sent if your work is selected in the anthology. 2, it is where the contract might be sent as well. Can be anywhere in the world; because of our successful projects in countries like Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and Syria (Read the TBR special editions and watch the videos of our events there!), most countries that the the United Nations, or the US, deem to be whatever they deem to be and we don’t care what they deem, are now serviced by us and you will get mail there. Although we are waiting to find readers and lovers of the magazine in Pyongyang (@kimjongun)
  • Picture Attachment
    The picture has to be square, you can use simple, in-built cellphone apps or computer software to crop the image to a 1:1 ratio. Please name your picture; in our case, ‘Tony Stark’. We hope it is not called ‘WhatsAppImage2021-03-29’ or ‘asdffg1crop’. It should be a color picture, preferably one of high resolution.
  • Government ID
    A government photo ID can be a Driving License, a Passport, an Aadhar Card.

Publication Policy and Copyright

We do not consider previously published pieces (including on blogs/social media) for this anthology, and are also not able to give feedback or provide comments on rejected pieces.

(1) The Author agrees not to publish or permit others to publish the Work in any form prior to its publication in The Bombay Review or for a period of 1 year after the publication in The Bombay Review anthology.

(2) Copyright reverts to the Author 1 year after publication. In case you submit a piece accepted and published by us elsewhere after the stipulated time frame, you are required to mention that it was first published in The Bombay Review.

(3) Point to be updated soon.

(4) The Author further grants the Publisher the right to non-exclusively archive the Work online as long as the Publisher maintains the The Bombay Review website and/or the print edition.

(5) The Author grants to the Publisher the nonexclusive, first serial rights worldwide to publish the Work or cause the Work to be republished in any future book, webstie or anthology as well.

(6) The Author grants Publisher the right to use the Author’s name, image, likeness, and biographical material for all advertising, promotion and other marketing of the Work.

(7) The Author warrants that he or she is the sole author of the Work; that he or she is the owner of all the rights granted to the Publisher hereunder and has full power to enter into this agreement and to make the grants herein contained; that the Work is original with no prior publication of the Work in whole or in part; that the Work does not violate the right of privacy of any person; that, to the Author’s knowledge, it is not libelous or obscene and contains no matter which is libelous, in violation of any right of privacy, harmful to the user or any third party so as to subject the Publisher to liability or otherwise contrary to law; and that it does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other proprietary or personal right of any person, firm or corporation.

(8) The Publisher reserves the right to make minor copy-editing changes to conform the style of the text to its customary form and usage.

(9) If we find plagiarized content, we will have no option but to blacklist the writer, post publicly on our website and social media, and possibly notify other magazines/journals as well as partner universities/degree programs/publishers. The liability of plagiarism check falls on the author themselves.

(10) The Bombay Review reserves the right to make changes to publication policy, submission guidelines and copyright information at any time, solely at the discretion of the editors.

(11) The author agrees to respect this publication agreement, and not use the platform for negatively targeting any community, race, religion, sex, nationality, other authors of the anthology/magazine, the readers, editors, or the publication itself.

(12) Once published and/or having notified The Bombay Review of their approval to go ahead with publishing, the author cannot withdraw/modify their submission. The submission of entry for the anthology indicates acceptance and approval of this clause, apart from any previous email correspondence.

(12) April 1, 2021 update: The Bombay Review discourages the attack of any government or a ruling party, of any country by an author via their submissions. The same stands for Zark Muckerberg and Co. (Reminder: Update is dated April 1)