Maria Perry Mohan on VOICES OLD AND NEW - An Anthology of South Asian writing by Indireads

It feels so strange.  Usually, I'm the one inviting the author to do a guest post.  Today, I'm the author, writing a guest post.  It's taking a while to sink in.

My editing process?  It should be easy. I'm an editor myself.  But when you're a writer you're a writer.  And when you're an editor, you're an editor. No two ways about it.  I'm sure my friend Nas Dean would agree.

So in my writing group, a closed internet group called WOMAG TWO WEEKLY, we submit a short story every fortnight for critiquing.  We read each other's stories and give our honest opinion.  If something doesn't work, we tell it like it is.  As kindly as possible, of course.

This group writes mainly for publication in Ireland and the UK. I knew that my totally Indian story MEETING BY ARRANGEMENT would probably not have any takers in that particular market (too many cultural differences between IRL/UK and southern Asia).  This story became my entry in the 2014 Indireads Short Story Competition.  I made the necessary amendments as my critique pals suggested.  Cheryl Bywater, my group colleague, made me happy when she praised my phrase 'a symphony for the senses' when describing the hero's aftershave.

Before submitting my story, I'd read and reread it for repetition and typos, my most common errors.  Couldn't find a thing amiss. Great! Submission accomplished, then just getting on with my life. Seeing my story up on the Indireads website had been the greatest thrill. But was it error free?  My friend, editor Serena Tatti in Australia, often advises that we don't see our own errors.  That's precisely why editors are needed.

I was overwhelmed and honoured when I discovered that I'd won the Romance Category Popular Pick in the short story competition and I've got the same feeling now that my story is part of the latest Indireads ebook anthology.

But going back to before I knew I'd won...on my Facebook page, I invited all my friends and relatives to view and vote for my story, link provided.  Then a relative of mine, Anne Marie Garcia Byrne, from the Spanish branch of my family, sent me a private message on FB advising me of a typo in the very last line of the story.  Instead of  'tray', I'd written 'try'.

I couldn't believe I'd missed it, after so many reads and rereads. But, yes, I had.  So, cousin Anne Marie, thanks so much for letting me know. I had a peek into my copy of the ebook and 'try' has been nicely adjusted.  And my story's there, in the anthology, for all the world to see.

Many thanks to Indireads, and to Naheed Hassan of Indireads, not forgetting my fellow authors in the anthology, for helping to make this happen.  Not forgetting my lovely friend, Nas Dean, for her support in helping me use her blog for promoting this anthology.

VOICES OLD AND NEW - An Indireads Anthology

An anthology of the best short stories, both winners and finalists from Indireads’ 2nd Short Story Competition 2014. 

Indireads’ 2nd Short Story Competition 2014 yielded some extraordinary talent, including Ruchi Singh with Boomerang, Ada Wiam with Within, Komal Singh with How Does It Make You Feel, Roshan Radhakrishnan with The Ballet Lesson, Sid Balachandran with The Message, Dola Basu Singh with Where Darkness Reigns, Maria Perry Mohan with Meeting by Arrangement and Aniesha Brahma with The Difference. We have compiled the winners, and the very best of the entries into one compelling anthology, highlighting the immense creativity and potential talent that exists in South Asia. 



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  1. Sounds like an awesome group of authors and all great stories.

    Congratulations to all the authors!

  2. I read the story and it was lovely. Full of rich sensory details. Best of luck with your future as a published writer.


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