Independent Publishers - Open call

At Serendipity Arts, we strive to document and bolster interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exchanges in the arts through a range of writing initiatives. Towards that goal, we launched Projects/Processes in 2017 to explore the ideas and processes behind select curatorial projects at Serendipity Arts Festival. In 2022, we also brought out an anthology collating essays published over the years as part of Write | Art | Connect, our online platform for short form writing around arts and culture. 
Text/Matters is a project that seeks to highlight our engagement with a long and rich tradition of writing and publishing around cultural themes in the subcontinent, and we are pleased, therefore, to showcase the archives of two pioneering publications— Marg and Seminar, now in their 75th and 64th years, respectively. 
As part of this project, Serendipity Arts announces an Open Call for independent publishers to exhibit their published titles at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2023 as a part of our Text/Matters project. In line with our commitment to supporting writing around the arts and culture, and in recognition of the importance of independent publishing, we are eager to provide independent publishers with a platform to share their work with a wider audience.
Deadline: 30th September, 2023
Festival dates: December 15 – 23, 2023
By independent publisher, we mean an establishment:
  • With a maximum of  10 books or 12 magazines/journals published per year, publishing books around the arts and culture (including design & culinary arts) from the region
  • That is not associated with any large publishing house/conglomerate (Harpers, Penguin, S&S, Bloomsbury, OUP, CUP, etc.)
  • Vanity publishing wings within larger houses are not included
  • Books included in the proposal should be in English
  • The books on display will be for sale (the proceeds will belong to the publisher, SAF will not take any commission).
  • We will provide the infrastructure for a book stall (the number of titles on display will be subject to space  availability).
  • Application form
  • Bio [200 words], and portfolio of past published works
  • A proposal describing the scope of their publishing niche [300 words]; statement of intent (how their presence at the Festival will be beneficial to them and also contribute to the Text Matters concept) [200 words];
  • A list of publications for display, along with a brief synopsis of each
  • All of the above should be formatted into a single PDF, uploaded onto a Google drive with an open sharing setting, and the drive link should be added to the application form.
  1. Can independent journals and magazines apply?
    Yes, we welcome applications from independent journals, quarterlies, and magazines that publish maximum 12 issues per year. 
  1. Can I apply if my publishing house has published more than 10 books per year?
    No, you are only eligible to apply if you publish maximum 10 books annually.
  1. Can publications on architecture be included?
    Yes, the publications can focus on any aspect of arts and culture in India which can include the visual and performing arts, photography, cinema, culinary arts, craft, design, textiles, architecture, built environments, and other related genres. 
  1. Can I apply if we publish works in regional languages?
    As long as you also publish works in English, you are eligible to apply. We will not be showcasing publications in regional languages as part of this project.
  1. Can I apply if we receive funding and sponsorship from large conglomerates, imprints, or university presses?
    No, you can only apply if you are independently funded. 
  1. Can I apply if my publishing house has a wing that allows writers to publish their work in exchange for compensation?
    No, vanity wings within publishing houses are not included in this project. 
  1. If selected, can we sell our publications at SAF 2023?
    Yes, you can make sales and collect all proceeds. SAF will not be taking any commission.
  1. If selected, how many titles can we display at our stall?
    That will depend on space availability the particulars of which SAF will discuss with you following selection. 
  1. Does a representative from my publishing house have to be present at SAF 2023? Or can I just send the books to you?
    We encourage at least one person from your organisation to be physically present at the venue for a few days. But in case you can’t come to Goa, you may please ship the books to us and we will arrange for a volunteer to take care of your stall.