Team

Kanishka Gupta is a literary agent, author, consultant and publishing commentator.[1][2] He is the founder of Writer's Side, the largest literary agency and consultancy in South Asia.[3] In less than seven years since forming Writer's Side, he has represented more than 400 authors.[1][4] In fact, according to Publishersmarketplace rankings, he is currently one of the highest individual dealmakers in the world for English books. He is also the youngest literary agent in South Asia.

His first novel, History of Hate, was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize, 2009.[5][6]

Writer's Side

In 2009, Kanishka Gupta founded a manuscript assessment agency – India's first – called Writer's Side[1] In March 2010, he expanded its operations to agenting. Since then, he has secured well over 500 book deals for his clients. As of 2016, he represents over 400 authors to mainstream publishers in Indian and overseas markets.

Kanishka has been acclaimed in media to be a key player in publishing in South Asia. He has made much-needed services like editing, agenting and mentorship accessible to all, and his vast network has brought prominent publishers like Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins to the doorstep of the deserving author. He has stated that his goal is to systematise the growing Indian publishing industry.[7][8] Kanishka was responsible for the publication[9] of Ravinder Singh's smash hit I Too Had a Love Story which has sold over a million copies till date.

In 2012, Kanishka brought to the attention of the Editorial Director of Vintage India the landmark and out-of-print works of Padma Bhushan winner and one of India's most respected poets Shiv K. Kumar resulting in Vintage reissuing three of his works including a translation of Faiz under their Classics imprint. Mr. Kumar was 92 at the time of this publication. In the same year his author Navneet Jagannathan made it to the shortlist of the coveted Shakti Bhatt award for his comic novel Tamasha in Bandargaon. Many of his titles have featured on the best-selling charts of online portals and Nielsen Scan. Two of his business titles GameChangers: 20 Extraordinary Stories from Entrepreneurs of IIT Kharagpur, and Dhanda: How Gujaratis Do Business were among the highest selling business titles of 2011 and 2013 respectively. His first author Anees Salim has won India's two most prestigious literary prizes, The Crossword Book Award and The Hindu Literary Prize. .

In Media

Kanishka Gupta's story was recently featured in Publishers' Weekly - the world's biggest and most prestigious site for publishing-related news. He is the first South Asian agent and one of only a handful of South Asian publishing professionals whose publishing journey has been featured in it.

Publishing Perspectives, a leading trade journal for the international book publishing industry, singled him out as the only agent making an impact in India[10] TheNewsMinute, a popular news portal, called him a top dealmaker[11] in the Indian publishing world, while the Sunday Tribune called him a y-brigade innovator.[12] Business Insider called him one of the key players in the Indian publishing market.[13] Dainik Bhaskar Post called him South Asia's "top literary agent."[14] A blog on the Times of India website called him South Asia's "intrepid literary agent."[15]

Swarajya magazine described him as South Asia's most successful literary agent.[16] The Asian Age called him India's top literary agent,[17] while Foreword described him as a redoubtable, no-nonsense agent.[18] The Times of India called him a key player in Indian publishing.[19] The Hindustan Times called him a big name Indian publishing.[20] The Pioneer called him the most successful agent in South Asia and the one person who is changing the course of authorship in India.[21]

The Hindu[22] and Outlook Magazine have referred to Writer's Side as India's premier agency. Kanishka represents more than 25 authors from Pakistan and has been covered extensively in Pakistani mainstream media[23][24]

Print Week India credited him for popularizing agenting in India[25]

Rahul Soni is a writer, editor and translator based in India. He founded and, from 2008 to 2012, edited Pratilipi, a literary journal, and Pratilipi Books, an independent publishing imprint, and is Season Coordinator with the Sangam House international writers' residency program. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Almost Island, Asymptote, Biblio, Dhauli Review, Hindi, Indian Literature, La Hoja de Arena, Out of Print Magazine, Poetry International Web, Pratilipi, Recours au Poème, Tehelka, and other venues. He edited the anthology of Hindi Poetry in English translation, Home from a Distance(Pratilipi Books, 2011), and translated Shrikant Verma's collection of poetry, Magadh (Almost Island Books, 2013). He is currently working on a translation of Geetanjali Shree's novel Tirohit for HarperCollins, as well as on the works of another Hindi poet, Dhoomil. He was a Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2010 and received the Sangam House Fellowship in 2012.

Achala Upendran is a consulting editor and writer based in Hyderabad, India. After graduating with undergrad and postgrad degrees in English Literature from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, she worked in the editorial department of HarperCollins Publishers India. She loves fantasy books and writes a weekly blog on the same for Momentum Books, the ebook imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. She also writes regularly on fantasy, superhero movies and all things Harry Potter related on her own blog: wherethedogstarrages.wordpress.com

Ujwala Samarth has freelanced extensively as a features writer for various newspapers and magazines in Bombay and Delhi. She has worked as a researcher-writer with the Centre for Science and Environment, and as an editor with the Voluntary Health Association of India. She has written/adapted several short plays, one of which (The Man Who Wanted to Fly) has been published by Scholastic Publications. She has also been a teacher for many years and is now an educational consultant who still likes reading and writing more than anything else in the world.

Neha Mathrani is a writer, editor and communications specialist based in Pune. When she isn't working, she spends an inordinate amount of time reading ghost stories, assorted horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

Gowri wears many hats: she is an avid reader, writer, editor, trainer and career coach. She is a wordsmith who loves working with authors to help them tell their stories better. She is a recipient of the President of India's National Balsree Honor for excellence in Creative Writing, an award she received from Dr. Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. A winner of the Elle Fiction Awards 2013, Gowri writes short fiction, humor and personal reflections. Her works have appeared in national dailies such as The New Indian Express and Deccan Herald, and in magazines such as Reading Hour and The Youth Express. One of her short stories is part of ‘Across the Ages', an anthology to be published by Pageturners, and another is part of ‘The Summer of the Cat', an e-book anthology by Random House India.

Sreeram is a writer, literary consultant, entrepreneur and cricket aficionado. His short story, The Outline, was published in Unisun Publication's anthology, The Shrinking Woman and Other Stories (2007). After completing his debut novel Kalyug (Tranquebar Press, Q3 2014), he now divides his time between penning its sequel, launching a startup, working with authors on promising projects and running the tech side of things here at Writers' Side. He has previously worked in various roles in IT and education, and brings to the table both a technocrat's eye for detail and a marketer's instinct for selling a story. He blogs at ramsutra.com.

In a career spanning over twenty years, Aruna's done it all: commissioning, vetting manuscripts, copy-editing, proofreading, rewriting, handing over the final proofs for print and everything in between. Even when she exceeds expectations and responsibilities, she's never been known to miss a deadline. Before joining us, she was an Editorial Manager with Rupa Publications/Aleph Book Company; before that, she performed the dual-role of Editorial Manager and Head of Department Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley India.

Neelini Sarkar works freelance as an editor and publishing consultant. She is a former editor with a reputed publishing house in India, where she worked for five years and edited a number of bestselling books, both fiction and non-fiction. Prior to this, she read English Literature at Jadavpur University and Old and Middle English at the University of Oxford. She lives between Milan and Delhi. 

Get in touch

Writer's Side