Women In Literature Foundation

The Women in Literature Foundation is a collective launched by Ananke – a new media and development platform creating inclusive conversations in the digital realm.

Slide Author, Filmmaker Annie Zaidi I am hopeful that such festivals will sustain meaningful dialogue. Being able to talk about ideas and swap stories is integral to human civilization. Everything we do rests on the stories and ideas put out by other people. Slide Author, Filmmaker Sabyn Javeri Nowadays there is an expectation for women writers to take a very overt stance in their writing, and if the writing is nuanced it’s often criticized. And that leads to a very dangerous kind of censorship - Self-Censorship. Slide Author Anam Zakaria I loved the thoughtfulness with which the session was curated; the questions and conversation were deeply engaging and meaningful. The agenda on the whole looked stellar and I can't wait to catch the recordings of the other sessions. Big kudos to Sabin and the entire team. Thank you once again for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic initiative. Slide Author Deepti Menon It was a pleasure to be part of a session that was called 'Women Writing in the Pandemic' along with Rituparna Ghosh, Chetna Keer and Shalini Mullick. Since I had participated in Ananke WILF in 2021 as well, I was well aware of how professional the whole event was, ably helmed by the vibrant Sabin Muzaffar. I was not disappointed this year too.
All the sessions were enriching and for those of us who missed a number of them, there were recorded videos. The impact was huge as there were wonderful speakers from different nationalities, all erudite and well spoken, and all adept at their own fields. The mammoth effort taken by Sabin and those who helped her to organise this amazing festival showed in the way the whole event panned out.

Our Events

Conversations focusing gender and its interplay with language has evolved over time through individuals’ engagement and interaction with socio-political and economic structures of society. Our wide array of events seek to explore how gender differences are embodied in an individual’s verbal skills, socializations, aesthetics, ethical as well as moral development and how that has been interpreted into the written word by a diverse set of writers.

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Literary Agents Database

We are actively building a repository of literary agents representing writers, authors, poets and other creatives. If you are one or seeking representation, read more…



Featured WLF Sessions

This session examines and explores how women writers have produced works of literature as a form of dissent across the literary landscape, fictionalizing female authors’ lived and imagined experiences.


This session delves deep into the topic of the female face of displacement, examining the issues of identity, home and belonging especially in this post-colonial, globalized world of today.



The session focuses on the globalization of the English language, its practical and real adaptations across forms, usage and markets. While countries like India and Sri Lanka are more accepting of English as an indigenous language, some might still consider it the language of the elite. The dialogue will revolve around whether these notions impact writers and authors who’s first/native language is not English. The notion of linguistic identity vis a vis English as a colonial vs indigenous vs global language.



‘I have the feelings of a woman, but I have only the language of men.’ This phrase from Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, leads us to the questions we would like to explore in this panel. In the last several decades, since writing by women began to make an appearance on the world stage, translation has been crucial to taking such works across borders and languages. Interesting questions have followed: can only women translate women? Should only women translate women? One of the most important works for women across the world, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, came to the English speaking world through a translation done by a man, and it wasn’t until sixty years after it was published that the substantial deletions made by the translator came to light. 



This panel delves deep into the topic of how women of letters have used their literary swords to define feminist agency; defying convention and norms through the power of the written word to postulate about gynocentrism, political mobilization, contestations, opportunities and dissent. How does literature present and interpret social progress vis-à-vis women representing themselves vs men representing women. Do modern and post modern literature serve as tools of “Vindication of Rights of Women”?



Past Speakers

Slide Myriam Tadessé Born in 1965 in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, Myriam Tadessé has lived in Paris since 1978. She studied theatre, philosophy, dance, music and internal martial arts. An actress and stage director, she has taught theatre and dance to children and adults who did not have access to it, written and directed documentaries and published a narrative titled L’instant d’un regard about her experience as a child of the ethiopian revolution. Since 2017 she decided to devote herself to writing and has published a book at Seagull books, Blind spot, a memoir exploring the realities of being a biracial french citizen. In relation to her exploration of the intimate, she is pursuing training as an analytical therapist.
Read her exclusive interview by clicking on this slider!
Slide Dr. Amina Yaqin Dr. Amina Yaqin is Associate Professor of World Literatures and Publishing at the University of Exeter. Her major publications include Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu writing, Framing Muslims: stereotyping and representation after 9/11 (co-authored with Peter Morey) and the co-edited Contesting Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Prejudice in Media, Culture and Politics. She has published widely in peer reviewed journals. She believes in cultural dialogue as a means of understanding communities and this commitment is reflected in research projects she has undertaken connecting university work with cultural groups working toward a fairer society. Slide Aekta Kapoor Aekta Kapoor is the New Delhi-based founder and editor of eShe magazine and the author of the spiritual memoir 100 Paths. After a long career as an award-winning lifestyle and fashion journalist heading prestigious publications and websites, Aekta now focuses on gender equality, social justice and peacebuilding through her writing and initiatives. She was mentor for The DO School's Industry Disruptor 2020 by UN Women in India and Europe, and for the NITI Aayog-UN Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs 2020. Slide Arshia Sattar Arshia Sattar has a Ph.D. from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, where she studied with Profs AK Ramanujan and Wendy Doniger. Arshia works with Hindu myth and epic and the story traditions of the sub-continent. She has been a Rockefeller Fellow at the Bellagio Centre and a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Hampshire College. She has also published three collections of essays on the Sanskrit Ramayana – Lost Loves: Exploring Rama’s Anguish, Uttara: the Book of Answers and Maryada: Searching for Dharma in the Ramayana. Her other publications include Tales from the Kathasaritsagara and The Mouse Merchant.
Arshia co-founded and runs the Sangam House International Writers’ Residency in Bangalore (India) which hosts writers from India and countries across the world in a safe and nurturing environment. She teaches classical Indian literatures at various institutions in India and abroad and writes about books for a number of magazines and publications.
Slide Naveen Kishore Naveen Kishore is theater practitioner, publisher and founder of Seagull Books which was established in 1982. Under Kishore’s direction, Seagull has published English translations of more than 500 books by major African, European, Asian, and Latin American writers. In 2005, Kishore launched Seagull Books London to reach a wider international readership. Six years later, in 2011, he expanded the organization further, establishing the Seagull School of Publishing with the aim of training the next generation of publishers, editors, and book designers in India. For his contribution to publishing, Kishore has been made a Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2014) by the government of France and received the Goethe Medal from the Federal Republic of Germany (2013). In 2021, he was recognized by Words Without Borders with the Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature. (Information source: Words Without Borders). Slide Naima Rashid Naima Rashid is an author, poet and literary translator. Her first book was "Defiance of the Rose" (Oxford University Press, 2019), a translation of selected verses by late Urdu poet Perveen Shakir. Her forthcoming works include a joint translation of 'Zizanies' by Clara Schulmann with other translators (Les Fugitives, 2022) and 'Naulakhi Kothi' by Ali Akbar Natiq (Penguin Random House India, 2023) as well as her own fiction and poetry. Her works and views have been widely published in journals of repute, both online and in print. Some of these are Asymptote, Poetry Birmingham, Lunate, Wild Court, The Scores, The Aleph Review and Lucy Writers' Platform. She was longlisted for the National Poetry Competition 2019. Her fiction will be included in the Best Small Fictions anthology (Sonder Press, 2022). She is a member of the UK-based translation collective, Shadow Heroes, which teaches young people to embrace all sides of their heritage through translation workshops across different languages. Slide Arundhathi Subramaniam Described as "one of the finest poets writing in India today" (The Hindu, 2010) Arundhathi Subramaniam is the award-winning author of twelve books of poetry and prose. Widely translated and anthologised, her most recent volume of poems, Love Without a Story has been described as 'a breathtaking and heartwarming book' (Poetry Book Society Bulletin) and as a book by 'a unique poet of our times... in a league all by herself' (Indian Literature). Her previous book, When God is a Traveller was the Season Choice of the Poetry Book Society, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Arundhathi is the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Khushwant Singh Prize, the Raza Award for Poetry, the Zee Women's Award for Literature, the Il Ceppo Prize in Italy, the Zee Indian Women Award for Literature, the Mystic Kalinga award, among others.
As prose writer, her books include the bestselling biography of a contemporary mystic, Sadhguru: More Than a Life and The Book of Buddha. As editor, her most recent book is the Penguin anthology of Bhakti poetry, Eating God.
Slide Linda Collins Linda Collins is a UK-based transnational writer (New Zealand/Singapore) who is the author of the memoir Loss Adjustment (Ethos Books), about the death by suicide of her teenage daughter, Victoria McLeod, in Singapore. Loss Adjustment was shortlisted for the Singapore Book of the Year 2020 at the Singapore Book Publishers' Awards. It has a New Zealand edition as well, and a Chinese translation is forthcoming. Collins also has a poetry collection, Sign Language for the Death of Reason. She was second in the latest UK Mslexia Poetry Contest, and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry. Currently, she is undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. In Singapore, she is a co-founder of the PleaseStay.movement for youth suicide prevention. Slide Urvashi Butalia Urvashi Butalia is an Indian feminst writer, publisher and activist. She is known for her work in the women's movement of India, as well as for authoring books like the path-breaking The Other Side of Silence: Voices from and the Partition of India and Speaking Peace: Women's Voices from Kashmir.
Along with Ritu Menon, she co-founded Kali For Women, India's first exclusively feminist publishing house, in 1984. In 2003, she founded Zubaan Books, an imprint of Kali for Women. In 2011, Butalia and Menon were jointly awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, for their work in Literature and Education.
Slide Diana J. Fox Diana J. Fox is a feminist decolonial anthropologist, scholar-activist, and documentary film producer whose ethnographic field work is predicated on the value of partnership with social movement actors. Her work in places as diverse as Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Japan seeks to push boundaries and transgress conventional divides toward liberatory realities across genders, sexualities, class, caste, and sociocultural constructions of race, to build radically inclusive collaborations and sustainable cultures and ecologies. She is the recipient of four Fulbright awards and many other grants, has published a number of books and articles and is a frequent speaker at conferences and other venues.
Slide Wanjikū Wa Ngūgī Wanjikū Wa Ngūgī is a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Fiction. She is the author of Seasons in Hippoland (Seagull Books, 2021) and The Fall of Saints (Atria Books, 2014). Her short stories and non-fiction essays have appeared in Nairobi Noir (Akashic Books, 2020), Houston Noir, (Akashic Books, 2019), New Daughters of Africa (2019), The Barelife Review (2019), St. Petersburg Review, Wasafiri Magazine, Auburn Avenue, Cunning Folk Magazine, Chimurenga amongst others. She is the former director of the Helsinki African Film Festival (HAFF). She was also a columnist for the Finnish development magazine Maailman Kuvalehti and served as a juror for the CinenAfrica Film Festival, Stockholm, Sweden in 2011-2013. Wanjiku is a PhD Candidate at George State Universtity, Atlanta, GA. Slide Aanchal Malhotra Aanchal Malhotra is a Delhi-based oral historian, who works on the 1947 Partition and its related subjects. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Remnants of a Separation (2017), the co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory. She has also written the book In the Language of Remembering, published in 2022.
Slide Yousra S Imran Yousra S Imran is an English-Egyptian hybrid who works and lives in West Yorkshire. She has been writing from the moment she learned how to hold a pen and works full time in marketing and events in the education sector.
Yousra grew up between the UK and the Middle East and has a BA Hons in International Relations. She is passionate about women's rights and gender justice. Yousra lives with her husband in Bradford, Yorkshire.
Slide Léonora Miano Born in Douala (Cameroon) in 1973, Léonora Miano has established herself as a major voice of French speaking literature. A novelist, playwright and essayist, she is the author of some twenty books. Her works explores sub-Saharan and diasporic experiences as expressions of the universal human condition. Léonora Miano was awarded the Prix Goncourt des lycéens in 2006 for her novel Contours du jour qui vient (Plon), the Prix Fémina and the Grand prix du roman métis in 2013 for La saison de l’ombre (Grasset). In 2020, the University of Lorraine, in collaboration with the University of the Greater Region, which brings together 6 European academic institutions, created the "Frontières Léonora Miano" literary prize, in recognition of the author’s writings and commitments.
Léonora Miano curates the Quilombola series at Seagull Books, an independent publisher based in Calcutta, India. She is the founder of The Quilombo Publishing, located in Lomé (Togo) where she lives.
Slide Nathalie Etoke Nathalie Etoke is Associate Professor of Francophone and Africana Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her articles have appeared in Research in African Literatures, French Politics and Culture, Nouvelles Études Francophones, Présence Francophone, the International Journal of Francophone Studies, and the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy. She is the author of L'Écriture du corps féminin dans la littérature de l'Afrique francophone au sud du Sahara and of Melancholia Africana l'indispensable dépassement de la condition noire, which won the 2012 Frantz Fanon Prize from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. In 2011, she directed Afro Diasporic French Identities, a documentary on race, identity and citizenship in contemporary France.

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