Welcome dear Readers and Writers.
Paul McDonald is Head of Creative Writing, University of Wolverhampton, England and author of fourteen books of fiction, poetry and criticism. He suggests that every short-story writer ask the following questions vis-à-vis their finished work:
- Does the piece have emotional force?
- Does it give the impression of unity?
- Is there a significant moment/ image/ idea that serves as the focus for the story?
- Is the story more than the sum of its parts?
(‘Writing a Short Story,’ essay by Paul McDonald, p 62, Images of Life: Creative and Other Forms of Writing, a collection of essays, Ed. Saptarshi Mallick, The Book World, Kolkata, 2014).
And I am sure that the readers would find a fulfilment of the above criteria in each of the ten stories featured in the current issue.
This time also we received about 25 stories, and it is only on an evaluation by three competent persons at different levels that we have sieved and selected the ten stories as under.
- Padma: Ashok Patwari
- Kway Teow: Bodhisatwa Ray
- The Donor of Books: Chaganti Nagaraja Rao
- On the Path of Duty: Jindagi Kumari
- Through the lens of a camera: Lopa Mukherjee
- Shiva Park: Niyantha Shekar
- The Mannequin: Rajarshi Banerjee
- Tempest: Revathi Raj Iyer
- 1800 Seconds: Sharath Suryan
- Simply Baffling: Sridhar V
We congratulate and thank all the above writers – veteran as well as young. And six out of them are first time contributors to Muse India, in tune with our policy of encouraging more and more new writers. The new contributors are Bodhisatwa Ray, Chaganti Nagaraja Rao, Jindagi Kumari, Niyantha Shekar, Rajarshi Banerjee, and Sharath Suryan.
All the selected stories are refreshingly different both in theme and also in narration, style and language. They simply keep you hooked.
My grateful thanks to Smitha Sehgal, Chandra Mohan Bhandari, Revathi Raj Iyer and Subashish Bhattacharjee for their meticulous analysis and appraisal of the stories listed out for consideration for this issue. I have also drawn on the services of another set of competent writers and scholars for appraisal of the stories for the next two issues, May-June 2017 and July-August 2017; and I will duly place on record my gratitude to them in the respective issues.
And we restate, that Muse India keeps a gap of at least two issues before repeating the same writer in order to encourage new talent.
Happy reading! Happy time!