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Writer’s Desk

The Writer’s Desk is a Gallery Ark initiative to encourage and support young Indian researchers and writers between the ages of 25 – 35 to develop a vibrant dialogue around the arts, design and culture.

Each quarter, three writers will be commissioned for a short form essay on the theme provided. The selections will be based on the pitches and writing samples submitted. Writers will be required to respond to the prompts drawing from a rich reserve of cultural material – be it references to artworks, exhibitions, artistic practices, design and architecture, popular culture, performing arts, cinema, literature, anthropology and so on. The articles will be published on a quarterly basis on the Gallery Ark website in a separate segment dedicated to the Writer’s Desk. At the end of four such quarterly cycles, we hope to publish the essays in an anthology series, to be circulated within our cultural ecosystem.



Image credits: Sarasija Subramanian | Video still from “Gourd”, Dictionary of Gardening Series (2020)

We are pleased to announce the first of our quarterly Open Calls to contribute to the December 2020 edition of the Writers’ Desk. The prompt for our first Open Call is “touch”; the sensation of skin-on-surface or perception of the tangible through its memory. We invite you to dive deep and explore how “touch” has in the recent (or historical) past been a point of inquiry, interest, or contention.



  1. The pitch must be for an entirely new piece. Written works that have been presented or published earlier will not be accepted
  2. Reviews of books, films, artworks, artists or exhibitions will not be accepted, though we encourage you to weave these into your piece
  3. It is strongly recommended that the writing is critical in its approach
  4. All essays must fall within the word limit of 1000-1500 words


How to apply:

  1. Email your resume, pitch for the proposed article (an abstract of the article in not more than 250 words) along with two short format writing samples to programmes@theark.in  as a single PDF
  2. The application must be accompanied by a cover letter in the body of the email, with a brief personal introduction and areas of interest
  3. If the writing samples have been published online before, please be sure to provide links to these
  4. The subject line of the email should read “(Your Name)_Writers’ Desk Pitch_Oct 2020”
  5. The last date to send in applications is Oct 30, 2020.
  6. Incomplete applications will not be considered


For queries and clarifications, send an email to k.neeraj@theark.in