"Good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognise them when they show up." - Stephen King
Book Cover of Vol 2. of the student curated anthology, Unselves 2, (final MS version) 2022.
In a world, where novels are turned into movies and television shows, where poets collaborate with pop stars, and where a Tweet can spark a national debate or a revolution even, the role of the writer is not limited by genre or geography anymore. Neither is the writer’s job restricted to isolation and introspection. Rather, writers are engaging with their communities, the arts, historical archives, interdisciplinary fields, and creative industries in novel ways each day - breaking boundaries and creating new ways of presenting unheard of stories. Writers play with what is available, to show us what is possible. They present to us new ways of knowing, seeing, and being. That, in itself, is a great privilege. Being a writer is certainly a much sought after job.
The Creative Writing program prepares you for this job. In fact, we ensure that you do it well. How? By giving one the choice to explore several areas and genres within the department, as well as engage with disciplines outside, such as film and animation, visual communication, and contemporary arts practices. Our approach is multilingual and multicultural: you might take a class in oral traditions in one semester and on avant-garde poetics in the next. Readings in literature are contextualized by forays into philosophy and critical theory, in order to understand how the work stands in relation to what came before. Assignments, projects, collaborations, and writing regularly, helps both extend and finesse creative practice. The program encourages the development of a creative body of work—be it an illustrated book, a collection of poems, flash fiction, or a performance—and with an approach to writing that is truly multicultural and interdisciplinary.
Creative Writing students with notable poet Tishani Doshi, who launched the anthology Unselves -curated and published by the Creative Writing Program, 2018.
The curriculum comprises of different ways of learning as follows:
- Foundation introduces students to basic principles and tools of Art, Design and Technology as methods, tools and processes. Read more >>
- Disciplinary Studios are learning spaces where students develop core disciplinary capabilities, while navigating a trans-disciplinary environment
- General Studies is a common and compulsory programme of study that integrates Humanities, Sciences, Maths, business and finance. Development and Policy Studies and also offers Languages (Spanish, French and German) Read more >>
- Interim is an immersive introduction to practice in new and emerging areas of art and design and environmental exposure
- Electives are of three kinds - this program allows students to expand their skills, develop the interests as well as provide opportunities for travel exchange
- Internship/Apprenticeship is compulsory work experience done over the summer-break between the 6th and 7th semester
- Project based learning involves the application and synthesis of capabilities acquired. Two projects, pre-thesis and thesis, is culmination of the 4-year undergraduate program, which allows for demonstration of an integration of values, positions, capabilities and practice. Read more >>
The Creative Writing program, as with the rest of the courses at Srishti, fosters a “community of practice” where writers come to discuss, create, and finesse their skills. The course is conducted through different modalities—studios, workshops, and charrettes —all aimed at enabling students to practice their writing in-class and expand their boundaries by engaging in a dialogue, not just with others students, but across departments and disciplines. From blogging and reading groups to conferences and art festivals, students are encouraged to use a plethora of platforms to engage with a wider audience and create work that is creative as well as critical.
Students presenting and discussing their respective writing outcomes in the Creative Writing studio “Writing for Games”, 2018..
- Playfulness and self-discovery
- Nuanced Expression
- Storytelling: Multi-modal and Multiverse
- Shared Authority
Upon successful completion of this course graduates will have developed the following capabilities:
- Ability to develop a unique approach to writing through experimenting with form and language.
- Ability to explore multiple platforms of storytelling, such as written (novel, short story, graphic novel, poetry) and digital (video games, films, animation films, transmedia storytelling).
- Ability to learn and experiment with the craft of writing varied genres of creative writing, such as the craft of developing plot, the craft of character creation, the craft of open-ended storytelling.
- Ability to write multi-lingual scripts and poetry.
- Ability to learn the intricacies of editing and proof-reading.
- Ability to experience and write, by going to field trips, visiting historical places of significance, performing, and meeting authors.
- Ability to apply learned concepts to practice in the form of internships and the annually-planned Interim.
- Ability to widen exposure in writing through student-exchange programme.
Student Noor Niamat Singh with her Toto Award for Creative Writing in English, 2020.
The above-mentioned capability sets could lead to Career/Internship Opportunities such as:
- Scriptwriter for animation, video games, films
- Editor/Creative Journalist
- Travel Writer
- Children’s book writer
- Portfolio building for MFA in esteemed universities in India and abroad
Rudradutt Ranade, Batch of 2019:
Ever since I was young, I have always been enamored by artistic and creative expression. Whether as reckless doodles, or as fully formed projects, my main aim is to experiment and explore, with complete freedom. From my home environment into my schooling as well, I was always provided an open environment to be free and explore my creative tendencies without hesitation.
Joining Srishti for my undergraduate program helped me to continue along this exploratory path and opened many new avenues which I had never expected to imbibe into my practice. When I entered Srishti as a student for the first time, I had a general idea of what my art practice was, but as I spent time understanding myself and my art, in a creatively free and expressive environment, my interests began to become my tools for creation.
As a writing major, a lot of my work was focused on creative writing, including poetry, prose and performance, exploring fictional and non-fictional narratives along the way. I also explored other mediums of storytelling, such as image making, sculpture, film and animation among others.
All my professors and mentors were always highly encouraging, pushing me to put myself in situations outside of my comfort zone, to go deeper into the material and subject matter and to create new ways and methods of doing things. This helped to build a multidisciplinary and highly experimental practice involving a variety of mediums and methods for myself.
As an artist, it is imperative to have a balance between conceptual prowess and technical skill. I believe Srishti helped me to improve and balance on both these aspects, which has created a strong platform for the future of my artistic endeavors. As a graduate student studying at School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department, I feel well equipped and confident in my abilities to stand side by side with some very talented artists from all over the world.
To me, an open, creative, sensitive and rigorous environment are perfect for art making and developing a practice, but also to understand and explore the inner workings of the self. This environment is something that Srishti has always provided for me as a student, as well as in the years after.
Urvi Jacob, Batch of 2019:
Being a creative writing major at Srishti was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has thoroughly rounded me and shaped me into the person that I am today.
My story and journey was not an easy one. I joined Srishti for my final year and was a transfer student from Mt.Holyoke College, USA.
I had previously majored in Theatre with a focus on acting and directing. After loosing a classmate and friend and returning to India, I wanted to find a programme that focused on performance and writing, and the CW course at Srishti was a perfect fit.
The professors were extremely supportive, understanding, and helped me to become an extremely profound writer, storyteller, and performer.
From courses such as Myths, Folktales and Storytelling, to Poetry as Performance, Body as Poetry, Bengaluru narratives, and Medians of the Mind- each course that I took in creative writing made me accustomed to writing in various genres in long and short form.
I was able to write poems, tell out of the box narratives, write scripts, and even three full fledged books, during my time at Srishti. ‘The Mind Within’ ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Beyond the Back Alleys.’
Within the creative writing department itself I was exposed to a number of interesting books which I would have never previously read, such as Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Songs of Siva- Vacanas of Akka Mahadevi amongst others.
I was exposed to individuals from very different backgrounds, and travelled to places such as Jaipur for the Literature festival, Tumari for the yearly poetry festival, and Pattambi in Kerala, which made me an observant and open minded, which is key for any creative writer.
One might assume that creative writing is just writing, but there is a lot more to it, and as a student in this field at srishti I recited poetry, acted in short plays, wrote film scripts, was able to visually depict stories in the forms of comic strips, and learned how to create installations.
My professor and mentor Mamta Sagar always made each class interesting and went above and beyond to always teach us something new and keep us engaged.
What I appreciate most about being a student in CW is the way in which learning was not only confined to the classroom, most of my learning happened outside through the well planned travels, poetry festivals, and places in Bangalore that we got to visit such as the Indian Institute of world culture, national school of drama, NGMA and other institutions of educational importance.
Each peice written held immense significance, and helped us to reflect and grow, and constantly improve our craft. No peice of writing was ever a bad peice, and everything written always had value.
As a student of creative writing the term ‘writers block’ was a fallacy and never once existed for me. I always looked forward to a new idea, a new peice to write, and a new thing to learn.
The creative writing department was an extremely nurturing environment that always pushed me in the right direction.
It has helped me in my career as a journalist writing in leading newspapers and media companies such as ‘The Hindu’ and ‘YourStory Media.’ Currently I hold a job as a content manager in a canine wellness center. Being exposed to so many varieties of writing, performance, and storytelling has enabled me to be a writer I am proud of.
Thank you Srishti for the growth, thank you for the learning and support.
Aditya Sen, Batch of 2020:
Wondering what a creative-writing student can do? Other than learning how to be totally awesome storytellers and wonderful wordsmiths ,the Creative Writing Program at Srishti Manipal Institute has taught me a lot. It gave me the confidence to know what I could do with my craft and in turn landed me an internship at Amar Chitra Katha (ACK). I applied to Amar Chitra Katha from their website but what caught their eyes was my diverse portfolio of written pieces which included short stories, flash fictions and scripts. These were all taught to me in my various studio classes.
Currently, I am working as a script and content writer at an animation studio called Vivi5 studios where I handle a multitude of tasks .I handle the development of projects from the basic ideation to the final script stage for clients and in-house projects. I also look into the storyboarding stage of each project. Along with this I contribute to strategy development for our clients from a storytelling perspective, which means I decide what sort of story is best suited for our clients to position them in the market. I also write articles related to the animation industry.
As an alumni of the Creative Writing Program from Srishti, I feel that our program is underrated. A writer who has a well-honed craft is like a knight on the chess board, making unexpected and out of the box moves with their words and ideas becoming their profession.
Sara Deshpande: Batch of 2022:
My love for languages and good writing led me to explore this unique program at Srishti Manipal Institute. As a Creative Writing Major at Srishti, through my four years in this college, apart from the growth and development of writing skills- especially in the genre of screenplay and script writing - I have picked up excellent design skills, which has added immense value to my creative journey.
Khundrakpam Bandana: Batch of 2024
At the start, I took up this program purely out of passion. I wanted to write but I lacked the discipline and foundation for it. This program has given me the required backbone structure and guidance that I require as an aspiring writer. Each studio of this program has given me the opportunity to explore new styles and genres. Through the exercises and assignments, I was able to learn more about myself as a writer. The faculty of this program were supportive throughout my growth and journey. They have helped through their feedback and advice. They provided me with tools to make me a better writer in the future.
Snapshots from the session “Where does Fiction come from?” at the Jaipur Literature Festival, 2022. The Creative Writing Program and Srishti Manipal Institute were friends of the festival at this edition and brought this particular session together.
The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:
Research and Collaboration
The students under this program will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti.
Center for Education, Research, Training, and Development (CERTAD)
You can apply to the undergraduate Creative Writing course, after completing your 12th standard board examinations under any curriculum. You need to have a genuine interest in writing to apply for this course at Srishti and maintain a sustained interest in thinking, reading and writing. The primary language for communication is English; be that as it may, the units offered by the Creative Writing course encourages writing in all languages.
The Creative Writing course at Srishti aims to combine instinct with craft. The experienced faculty members here will guide and nurture your instincts as a writer as well as provide able support to develop and polish the craft of writing.
- Firstly, we follow process and help you develop the skills to write, while also giving you opportunities to take charge of your unique and vibrant imagination. It takes more than a knowledge of grammar to become the writer you want to become. To this end, we provide learning environments nourished by art and design that can scaffold your creative expressions.
- Secondly, the Creative Writing course at Srishti aims to create a ‘community of practice’. Here, writing does not happen in isolation. You will think, discuss, read, make, write and review in groups in order to get into the practice of writing, before you develop the confidence and faith to pursue writing for life.
- Thirdly, from short form narratives to screenplays, writing for games and graphic novels, we cover a large spectrum of genres, techniques and concepts, amounting to a refined formation of your writing practice.
- Most importantly, the Creative Writing course fosters joy in the art of writing where you will truly develop a love for the art of writing.
Media and websites today require new and fresh content and the need for good content writers is growing every day. Apart from nurturing individuals to become part of the Writers’ community, Srishti trains students to be part of this new world of writers through courses in basic skills, writing for games and visual media, editing and publishing know-how in order to build a gamut of transferable skills. You will learn skills, including script writing and book making. All these skills can help you get opportunities across creative industries and sectors.
Srishti provides space to showcase students’ writings in the Journal of Creative Writing. Apart from bringing visibility to your writing in print, we also provide opportunities for installations, exhibitions, readings and discussions. We have used podcasts and word of mouth performances in the past and continue to look for new and technologically mediated means for dissemination of good quality creative writing. The facilitators of this course will also guide you towards getting your writings published outside of Srishti.
Class sizes in Srishti are generally small. In case of Creative Writing, we prefer to keep class sizes to a maximum of 15-17 students, to enable detailed feedback sessions in a studio/workshop system.
Students from all language backgrounds can apply. We have subject experts in more than 14 languages who will be able to guide you in writing.
We have established writers on site who will teach you the skills that they find valuable in Creative Writing. In addition, Srishti has a wide and well-established network. We will be using our networks to bring in literary figures, as we understand that this is an important source of inspiration for students.
The final projects at Srishti are distributed across departments. One option is to work on a substantial piece of imaginative writing. However, this piece can be done by collaborating with other disciplines.
Once you have the required credits for Creative Writing, Srishti encourages students to take classes across disciplines following the choice based credit system, which allows you to choose your major and minor subjects.