Another year comes and goes, making the world look back and make lists of the best things that came out, the retrospective analysis, the best books of the year, the worst acts of terrorism, the top ten ‘top ten’ articles of the year, and so on. We will do something similar, and tell our readers how the year panned out for us.
The last issue of 2015, our first full year of functioning, brings up questions of our future plans, and a review of the past. This winter, we went to/are going to thirteen cities all over India, and a few abroad, and conducting our most ambitious literary tour so far. There are speakers, open mic, workshops, poetry slams, books exchange, and much more, in the 2-3 hr duration. We have expanded in reach, the quality of submissions is getting better with each day, the team is as dedicated and loving as they were excited and hopeful when the magazine was founded.
We have received some good coverage in the national newspapers of the country, retained and increased the number of readers who read the entire issue, back to front, if such a thing may exist for online magazines, and grown in experience personally. I would like to share, that the work we have been doing got us a couple of invitations to be the panelist/speakers of popular festivals and events, most notably TEDX, Zeitgeist of St. Xaviers, and Anuvad, the Translation Festival of Assam. I am continents away, and will not be able to attend these, but my team always stands, and Garima Pura, and Huda Merchant, will be speaking at these and the many more opportunities that are thrown our way.
I moved to New York a few months back, and as I went around setting up a base for the magazine, finding illustrators, cover designers, and event coordinators, I realized that a team of passionate literature enthusiasts and writers had been working hard in Abuja, Nigeria, to spread the reach of The Bombay Review and conduct a literary event, and it made me wonder in delight. If Nigeria could do this; could we expand to twenty countries in the new year?
Now, I have a dream. I have a dream, for which I need your help. More than half of our readers come from outside India, and while in India, we have our teams in more than 20 cities, my goal for 2016 is to expand to twenty countries around the world. If you are from a country other than India, and you think you have it in you to conduct regular readings, give a platform to aspiring writers to showcase their works, have an eye for finding and encouraging good submissions, want to do something to cultivate a reading culture in your city, get in touch with us. As of now, we have a few people we are talking to in Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Nepal, and Saudi Arabia.
Lots of love,