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Catch the Perfect Pitch Session on 23 January at Jaipur Literature Festival


Meet the finalists and jury of Penguin’s mentorship programme

The Perfect Pitch, a mentorship initiative by Penguin in association with Jaipur Literature Festival and supported by The Editor Recommends, is proud to announce the five finalists who will present their pitch to a jury at an exclusive session at 3 pm on Monday, 23 January 2023. Arunima T Tara, Nona Uppal, Rachit Raj, Sanjana Lokur, and Subi Taba, unpublished and aspiring writers, were selected from over 200 entries from across the country as finalists of The Pitch Perfect.

The responsibility for selecting the best pitch of these five finalists is entrusted to a jury comprising critically acclaimed writer Tanuj Solanki, award-winning writer and translator Arunava Sinha senior editors from Penguin- Elizabeth Kuruvilla and Gurveen Chadha and Shreya Punj of The Editor Recommends. This jury is also going to mentor the winner of the programme.

The session at Jaipur Literature Festival on 23 January will see the debut pitch presentations by the five finalists after which the winner of the programme will be announced. Also scheduled is a stimulating discussion between the members of the jury about the scope of discovering and building literary talent in India.

Here are the profiles of the jury members of The Pitch Perfect-

Tanuj Solanki

Tanuj Solanki’s last novel, The Machine is Learning, was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020. In 2019, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his short-story collection, Diwali in Muzaffarnagar. He lives in Gurugram with his wife.

Arunava Sinha

Arunava Sinha translates fiction, poetry and non-fiction from Bengali to English, and from English to Bengali. Over sixty of his translations have been published so far, and several of them have won or been shortlisted for Indian and international awards.

Elizabeth Kuruvilla

Journalist turned editor, Elizabeth is Associate Publisher at Penguin Random House India and is responsible for strengthening the literary fiction and non-fiction lists for the Vintage imprint of the publishing house. In Penguin, Elizabeth has commissioned and published award-winning and critically acclaimed original and translated works. Previously, she was a journalist with mainstream national newspapers and magazines such as The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Mint, Open and The Hindu. She was the books and arts editor at several of the publications (HT, Open, Mint) and as Senior Deputy Editor at The Hindu helped launch the award-winning news app The Briefcase.

Gurveen Chadha

As Executive Editor and Foreign Rights Lead at Penguin Random House India, Gurveen spearheads the commissioning and publishing list for imprints such as Ebury Press, Penguin Veer, Penguin Ananda, and Penguin Metro Reads. In Penguin, Gurveen is known to publish popular non-fiction books, including memoirs, biographies and true accounts. She is a seasoned

Shreya Punj

Known as The Editor Recommends on the internet, Shreya is a book editor who has been a part of the Indian publishing industry since 2015. She’s worked at Penguin India and HarperCollins Publishers India and has published many bestselling authors. Her account on Instagram focuses on making publishing more accessible to aspiring authors and has over 20,000 followers.

The finalists

Rachit Raj is a film critic and his writing has been published on popular websites like Film Companion and High on Films.  He also has a blog—The Recliner Seat. Rachit wrote the fifth season of Dice Media’s mini-series Firsts, which was an inter-abled love story.

Arunima Tara is did her Bachelors in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University followed by a diploma in non-fiction filmmaking from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication, New Delhi. Arunima has been selected for a Consultation Mentorship as a part of Asian Women Writers. Her first film, For Susan was selected for the Mumbai International Film Festival 2018 and is currently available on the streaming platform Mubi.

Subi Taba is a poet and a short story writer based in Arunachal Pradesh. She was awarded 100 Inspiring Authors of India for her debut poetry anthology, Dear Bohemian Man. Her short fictions, A Night with the Tiger won New Asian Writing Short Story Prize 2020, The Last Priest was shortlisted for Twist and Twain Short Story Prize 2021 and The Lost Village won a third prize in the International Literary Contest Nature 2020-2021.

Sanjana Lokur is a poet at heart, a copywriter by profession, and a passionate tea-and-biscuits consumer. Between clients and short-form copy, she squeezes in time to write about what she loves most – family, dysfunction, and the intricacies of human behaviour. Having lived away from her own family for years, she’s developed a keen sense of what works with them, and more importantly, what doesn’t.

Nona Uppal stumbled her way into writing on accident — amid the throes of a public policy career path — and dove head-first into it. In the last year, she has self-published extensively in fiction and auto-fiction, building a community of 18,000 across Instagram, Twitter, and Substack, where her work has been shared over 50,000 times. As a freelance journalist, she has also published with The Washington Post, The Quint, and Mint Lounge.

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