Submissions for the Winter issue

Submissions are now open for the Winter issue of World Haiku Review.



The themes are Peace and Winter, but they are only guidelines and you do not necessarily have to follow them.

The Deadline is Sunday, 20 December, 2015.

Please send in your best – make sure it is not published elsewhere and please read the guidelines carefully HERE.

Look forward to reading your work.


The Before and the After


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How much difference just a few years can make.

There’s a Before E-Books and After E-Books, a BEB and a AEB. In the world of writing and publishing everything has changed and having lunch with a publisher brought it home to me very sharply. Everything we ever took for granted is either changing beyond recognition or vanishing entirely.

Perhaps publishers have been hit the most. They complain that all the channels of the long standing publishing business, diligently constructed over many decades, are coming apart and vanishing.

The publisher model required distributors and book shops. Today distributors are going out of business and bookshops – what can I say? Some of my favourite places to hang out with books and a coffee are no more than memories. And it’s the same all over the world.

Old systems are going down, new ones are coming up. The e-book field is still young but it’s beginning to grow.

Publishers have, perhaps, been hit the hardest and especially the dedicated smaller publishers. For them it’s becoming unsustainable. Costs are spiralling in the creation of a print book. There is less and less shelf space every year. When a book shop closes there seems nothing to replace it. Online markets, from what I hear, are harder for publishers to crack while being easier for authors.

I am not complaining. I love this new Kali yuga when all the established systems go down and new and far more open ones emerge. I like being able to do it myself. I like being able to take my book straight to the readers.

And, no, let’s set one misconception to rest. It does not cost you thousands to put up an e-book. You pay if you ask someone to edit or format or do a cover for you. This is no different from asking a carpenter to fix a chair, or an electrician to repair your meter box. You only pay for the work, that is all and the sums involved are not huge. You don’t even have to pay if you can’t afford it. If you do all the work yourself it will not cost you one paisa. Do your own cover, editing and formatting and put it up for free.

It will cost you if you want a book printed out. A print book needs upfront money to pay for the paper and designing and the printing and shipping.

An e-book requires very little to no money, but lots of patience and dedication and perhaps those are harder to get.

Which creates a problem for publishers. Where do they stand if authors are going direct to the market?

They will have to evolve into something new or they will have to close shop. And it’s not easy. Most of them don’t understand the new AEB world, are scared of the Internet and really don’t grasp the power of social media or the increasingly sophisticated world of independent authors where the rules have changed so profoundly that it’s not even the same species any more.

For me, it’s a good time. It’s been just over a month since I put up To Catch a Falling Star, and I am formatting a short story to upload and half way through writing the next book. I haven’t even got the accounts yet but this is the fast lane. And this is AEB, the new world of publishing, putting out its first few flowers into a fresh, never before, summer.

To Catch a Falling Star


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Finally published.

My first ebook is up. To Catch a Falling Star went up as a ebook online.

24 stories, 14 articles on writing. Notes on all the stories, some of which are published and many unpublished. Do take a look.

edited kindle - small

Its taken me seven months to get this book online but its taken me several years to see self publishing as a viable option and learn what it is like. The seven months is nothing compared to what a publisher would take. It taken me longer since I was feeling my way, trying to find a path and had very little idea of what I was doing.

And there were all those people who told me self publishing is best avoided. Their voices have faded of late and with very good reason. More and more writers are now looking at self publishing as their first option.

And it has been delightful. Fully in my control. My own schedule to tweak as I need. No one to tell me you cant write this, change that. My own cover, my own editing. But a professional company to upload it.

Yes, I definitely recommend it to everyone. Do not wait for anyone’s approval. Do it yourself at your own comfortable pace.

So now here it is. Finally online. Another chapter in the writing journey begins.



A Moment in Time – Exploring Haiku

I will be doing a Haiku workshop at Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning, Fort, Mumbai.

A Moment in Time — Exploring Haiku

Its a three hour workshop. In the first half we will read and discuss haiku and become familiar with both classic and modern poems. Haiku is a form of poetry known for its powerful imagery. You do not need to be a poet to write it and its popularity is spreading all over the world.

Once you understand the form, I will lead you to write your own in the second half of the workshop. Helped by a prompt you can try your hand even if you have no experience of poetry or haiku before

Come and enjoy an evening of beauty and poetry. See you there.

Date: 12th September 2015
Time: Saturday, 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm

To register – or call on 61702270

A touch, a taste, a tune


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A while ago I reworked an old poem, A touch, a taste, a tune and submitted it to Neesah Magazine, for the women in love issue. They accepted it and the issue is now out. Its an interesting issue and worth a read. Available on Amazon. Do take a look.

neesah 3

My Self Publishing Journey


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Guest post by Samantha Memi

I met Samantha over the internet and we kept in touch. she was ahead of me on the self publishing curve, having already published an ebook. She has just brought out another beauty – I just love the mesmerizing cover – full of her quirky, humorous stories and I asked her to share her self publishing story.

memi 2Check out her book here.

My Self Publishing Journey

Samantha Memi

My experience of self-publishing is probably different from most other writers because I decided to publish a print book rather than an ebook. But the process of putting the text together is pretty much the same.

The first difficulty for me was choosing the stories I wanted to include in the collection. I suppose we all tend to think that the stories we like best must be our best stories, but this ain’t necessarily so. That’s why the stories we like often receive the most rejections from magazines, and the stories we don’t like get picked up pretty quick.

Readers often have a different view of your stories than you do, and readers have to be taken into account. After all, what’s the point of writing stories if you don’t have readers. So it’s useful to get some help from friends. It’s important to have a varied collection, to have some stories which are more immediate, and others which have greater depth and take more time to grow on the reader. Having friends select stories can help in this.

The idea of including stories I didn’t like felt weird to me, but if I’d only included the stories I like I wouldn’t have had enough for a collection.

The next problem is editing. Do you make any changes in stories that have already been published? Elizabeth Berridge said a story belonged to its time and should be left as it was originally published. I agree with that, however, my natural inclination to edit everything to death meant that most of my stories got changed in some way.

The next big problem is proofreading. Proof readers, like editors, are expensive and not always very good. And the author is not the best proof reader. You can read the same text over and over again and still miss a glaring typo someone else will notice on a first reading so, once again, it’s important to ask friends to help.

Then it’s formatting time. The part that everyone dreads. Although my story collection was designed to be printed, I would be giving away a Mobi or epub file with the printed book, so I had to go through all the tedious formatting on Word to prepare the text for conversion. I didn’t find this too bad or too difficult, but it is so boring your mind drifts away so you make mistakes and have to keep checking you have done it right. I used ‘Building your book for Mobi PDF’ as a guide for how to format, but there are lots on Kindle and other places.

The worst part for me was page numbering, particularly section breaks. Always leave the numbering of pages till the very last. If you don’t and you want to create a section break all the page numbers could go out of sequence.

Once the Word formatting is done, you can put it through a conversion program, and put it on Kindle or Smashwords. I used which seemed to do the job okay.

So that’s about it really. If you have any questions you can email me, and I’ll do my best to work out what you’re talking about. I don’t know anything about marketing. And that’s the next step that’s very important. Good luck!

Everyone wants to write a book


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Everyone wants to write a book.

It constantly amazes me how many people want to write a book and how many are now looking at the ebook option.

Some are writers who want control and want to do it themselves. Some have never tried publishing and, based on what their writer friends tell them, they never want to. Others are not writers but experts in their fields who could find no crack in the high forbidding wall of traditional publishing.

It’s a sad thing if everyone who has mastered an art or craft and wants to write about it for the benefit of others – can’t even get to do so. They don’t have to be good writers. They just have to know their field, which most of them really do know very well.

Some just want to write their life stories, the history of the turbulence they lived through. Yes, they are not writers. Does that make their stories less valid?

Some people are always complaining that there is too much crap out there especially in ebooks and self-publishing. What does that mean? By whose definition is one book less valid than another?

Who decides on quality anyway? Publishers liked to think they did, that a writer is anointed as a writer of quality by being published by the best imprints.

For me, validation, if you even need it, comes from readers.

And I have been lucky enough to have it in plenty. So many people told me they keep my book Mantramala by their bedside. Others showed me they carried it in their bags or gave it as gifts.

Was that more important than seeing my book on the front shelves of a book shop? I saw that too, but yes, it was. That was real validation.

And it does not need anyone’s stamp of approval.

So, I see a real hunger and its everywhere.

Can I really do it myself? How do I do it?

Things have really changed. One new author told me she was offered a package from a publisher and she refused it, indignantly. They offered me only ten percent, she said, how foolish do they think I am?

There is no question in my mind –
                      almost everyone wants to write a book
                                 and now everyone can
                                           and that’s what is right about this world.

Waiting, a poem


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Whispers in the Wind carried my poem, Waiting. It is a great community of poets on the web and seems very friendly too.


I wrote it earlier this year when our little bit of winter was turning into spring. Mumbai, of course has hardly a winter. Enough for a slight chill and enough to bother cats who really like it warm. We do have a spring. Trees shed their leaves and get new shoots, all in the space of a week. Summer fruit trees start to bud.

In Mumbai, winter is the best season, pleasantly cool and a long way from the heat of summer. Spring is beautiful and full of flowers, paving the way for the dazzle of summer’s scarlet Gulmohar.

Doing my own cover


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One of the delights of self publishing is that you get to do your own cover. Even if you don’t do the artwork you get to conceptualize it. And the final say is always yours.

This is a very pleasant task especially if you have worked with publishers. Publishers don’t consult lowly writers on the cover. You may not even see it before the book is printed. Worse, you might just hate the cover but you have absolutely no power to change it.

So, doing it myself was a delightful change.

I could have found a cover artist and probably will for the next book, but for this one, I decided to do my own and had lots of fun playing around with my cover.

Here it is. Do take a look and give me some feedback.

The book is called To Catch a Falling Star and its a collection of 24 stories, some published and some unpublished. Also 14 articles on writing, some published. Several years of work in writing, submitting and publishing.

edited kindle - small
For this book, my first ebook I wanted to do everything myself and learn everything by doing it, even if I make mistakes, even if it takes me longer and some parts get quite tedious. In the end it’s immensely satisfying.

The book is done. I am waiting for the two things I opted not to do myself. The blurb and the conversion to ebook kindle format.

The very last lap. I can now see the finish line ahead and the date on it is still June.


What is more this is the hundredth post on this blog, another milestone right next to self publication.



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