The Competition

The Department of English at Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence announces second edition of its annual short story competition for young writers - CROOKED LINES.

We invite Indian residents between the ages of 16 and 18 to unlock the farthest nooks and crannies of their minds and pen a riveting story with all the elements of an unforgettable narrative.

Choose a topic you love and write your best story for the opportunity to win exciting cash prizes. Begin your application process today.

The Jury Panel

Sam North
Sam North is a novelist, scriptwriter, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter. He has published eight novels and written two films. His first novel, The Automatic Man, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His 2004 novel Unnumbered was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Rashmi Menon
Rashmi Menon is Executive Editor at HarperCollins Publishers India. She has been a part of publishing for fifteen years, commissioning and editing many bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction. Rashmi loves acquiring books that are both timely and timeless. When reading too many manuscripts makes her go cross-eyed, Read More she switches to audiobooks in her non-stop quest to decode bestsellers.Read Less
Jerry Pinto
Jerry Pinto is an award-winning novelist. He is also a poet and a translator. He has won the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Windham-Campbell Award administered by the Beinecke Library at Yale University and the Rajat Kamal for the Best Book on Cinema. He has worked on the boards of MelJol, Aflatoun, Read More The People's Free Reading Room and Library and the SPARROW archive. He has taught journalism at the Social Communications Department of the Sophia Polytechnic for 35 years. He has translated from Marathi, Hindi and Konkani. Read Less


Authors must be between 16 to 18 years of age as of the final submission date.

A Government of India-issued identity document must be scanned and uploaded as identity proof by contestants. The competition is open only to Indian residents/citizens.

Competition Rules
  • Word limit for the submission: 1000 - 2000 words.
  • Only unpublished works will be considered.
  • Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.
  • All entries must be original and in English.
  • Do not submit entries written by AI tools.
  • No identifying markers are allowed in the document, including the document name.
  • Only one submission per person is allowed.
  • The decision of the jury is final and cannot be challenged.
  • Entries should be typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman font (12pt), and to be submitted in DOCX, DOC, or PDF format.

What Will You Win?

Rs. 50,000

Rs. 30,000

Rs. 20,000

Hear our English faculty

Dr. Vikram Kapur, Professor & HOD,
and Assistant Professors Dr. Chinmay Sharma and
Dr. Sreejata Paul share details of Crooked Lines.

Important Dates

Last week of March

Call For Submission Open

15 July 2024

Submission Deadline

Early September 2024

Longlist Announcement

Early October 2024

Shortlist Announcement

Contact Details


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There is no theme for the contest. We encourage you to exhibit your creative best without the limitations of a theme.

There is no submission fee for this year’s contest. However, only one submission per individual is allowed.

We are limiting submissions to one per individual. However, if there is a compelling unified narrative, we are happy to receive your entry.

Yes, this year's competition is for Indian citizens only. Additionally, we require all entrants to submit a Government of India-approved identity proof.

If you want to maximize your chances of winning, we recommend ensuring your entry adheres closely to the 1000-2000-word range.

If your poem(s) tell a story, we would love to read your work.

Yes, we will notify you if you are on our shortlist. Not only that, but we will also invite you to the Shiv Nadar Institute of Eminence campus for a day of creative writing workshops with our distinguished jury.

To begin your application, please fill in the required details at the top of the website before submitting your work.