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Getting a book deal is not easy. If you’ve been trying to get published, you’d know. Writers are either wondering whether their story has even been read by an editor, or reeling from a rejection letter. We’re trying to change this with the Juggernaut Writing Platform. On an average, 12 new uploads pop up on the platform daily, and our (hardworking) team of editors go through new content every week. We announce pick of the weeks and we give out contracts every month. From May 2017 to date, we’ve given nine contracts and discovered so many exciting and new voices. Here are the nine writers you need to watch out for:

Last Poisoners of Six

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Crime writing in India is often set in big towns and features characters that are slick and suave – this might be because our authors are inspired by crime fiction set in the West. Neeraj Chawla’s ‘The Last Poisoners of 6’ brings the genre closer home with the subcontinental feel in its story and characters, who move through the small galis of Chandni Chowk with their jalebiwalas and davakhanas. Neeraj does a brilliant job of bringing to life characters we would encounter in our daily lives. He invites the reader to take a closer look at the chaotic, bustling spaces of local markets like Chandni Chowk, which is a rich setting for stories, especially those bordering on crime and fantasy. It has taken a fresh eye like Neeraj’s to coax these nuances out.

Read it here

Learning to Swim

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With tragedy and disaster becoming the norm of the day, just another cup of coffee over the morning newspaper, it has become increasingly difficult to empathize with those affected. But author Dilsher Dhillon persuades the reader to look at life from a refugee’s perspective with ease. In a nuanced and sensitive story, Dhillon evokes the pathos of being an outsider – especially one who has lost his loved ones, home, and his past and finds himself in an unfriendly country. What’s more, rather than dripping with sentiment, the protagonist is shaded grey, someone who can be both victim and survivor. Being these two shouldn’t just call for our sympathy and Dhillon’s protagonist certainly transcends this trap. The author probes the truths of the human race’s fight to survive, in this brilliant, poignant story.

Read it here

Satyavati

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Satyavati is a young, rural Karnataka girl, who has the opportunity to attend college because her father considers her too dark to be able to find a groom for. She finds her salvation in a charismatic college lecturer. Author Sumana Khan gives her unique touch to the trope of the hero teacher come to save the suffering student, with an endearing character who is sure to provoke a laugh or two in the reader. Despite her pitiable circumstances, Satyavati leaves the reader with a warm, fuzzy heart, having won us over with her innocence, wit, and gumption.

Read it here

Leopard of Bageshwar

A forest. A man-eating leopard. And a shaman. We can never tire of Jim Corbett–style stories, and throw in the supernatural, the plot becomes that much more irresistible. Who doesn’t love a good “forest ranger hunts for man-eating leopard” tale and “The Leopard of Bageshwar” is a thrilling read. Sometimes we want to read predictable stories, because we love that well-worn plot, especially when it’s beautifully written, transporting us deep into a dense, unknown forest. Build a campfire on your urban terraces this winter and read “The Leopard of Bageshwar” aloud to your friends or to yourself; even without the dark forest and a thunderstorm, you will be spooked – the kind of spooked we seek on those long nights with a power failure.

Read it here

Queen Imperia

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The people of a kingdom, in what resembles a contemporary world, are unable to find a suitor for their super smart twenty-three-year-old queen. Populated with historical figures from across different epochs, from Vatsyayan to Kant, “Queen Imperia” is an ingenuous cross between a fantasy and a satire. The author Vithal Rajan lets his imagination run riot in the quirky world he creates, with jibes at international politics thrown in for a good laugh. It’s the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, but without the evil touch and with an overdose of super-human capabilities. You can’t but keep turning the pages till the end to see who will eventually win this incredible Queen’s hand.

Raghu

The story is about this young boy, Raghu, who works as a domestic help to this family. He finds out that the father is abusing his teenage daughter. He wonders what to do, and whether it’s any of his business at all. Raghu tries to expose the father to a family friend, but this ends with the family friend leaving the house saying that it’s an internal matter. What we liked about Raghu was that it surprised us. It has a very simple, unassuming title, and we absolutely weren’t expecting it to pan out the way it does. It takes a very complex subject, and conveys it very simply. But it doesn’t get rid of the nuance. We also liked the writer’s decision to tell the story from Raghu’s perspective; when you read the story you realize how that decision changes everything.

Read it here

Mrinalini Gets Married

The story follows the life of Mrinalini Lahiri from when she is a young girl growing up in Santiniketan, a young woman at McGill and finally an older woman working (and getting married) in India. We liked this story because I thought the character of Mrinalini was incredibly relatable. She’s a feisty, independent thinker who lives life on her own terms and doesn’t allow societal expectations to fluster her. At the same time, she has hopes and dreams for her personal life, and doesn’t abandon those while pursuing professional satisfaction. We think at some level Mrinalini is the woman-who-had-it-all!

Read it here

As the Sun Set

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Kulsum, on the other hand, tells the story of a couple with a mysterious background in a most intriguing manner. As the Sun Set is a story filled with emotion and suspense and keeps you hooked right until the end. It is the story of Nitya and Akhil, who may seem like a regular couple but there’s more to their lives than meets the eye. As they try to leave their past behind, they realise it’s not as simple as they thought. Another example of a complex story told in a simple and effective manner. While it reads as a straightforward story, it raises larger questions which are very relevant to the times we live in. The story gets you thinking about a lot of issues. Did the characters deserve what happened to them? Is there only one resolution to problems? While we feel for the characters in this story, the ending could have the readers divided on whether the protagonists should have got another chance.

Read it here

Cricket and Chapattis

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We also found a rather touching story about finding love post marriage in Srishti Chaudhary’s Cricket and Chapattis. It revolves around how a husband goes against his family for his wife – by helping out in the kitchen so that she can watch cricket. Srishti’s way with words makes her establish an immediate emotional connect with the reader. We have commissioned her to write a series of short love stories for us, starting in August. You can read her latest work here.

Read it here

 

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