• Blog,  Pitch Wars

    2020 Pitch Wars Wishlist

    A little bit about me—Samantha Rajaram: I was a Pitch Wars mentee under Carrie Callaghan’s tutelage in 2018, mentored Leila Mottley last year, and I’m thrilled to be a mentor again this year.  Fresh out of the mentor/mentee world, I have first-hand experience of the joys and challenges of being a Pitch Wars…

  • Blog,  Interview,  Pitch Wars

    Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Leila Mottley and her mentor, Samantha Rajaram

    (This is an archived copy of an interview originally published here at PitchWars.org) Samantha, why did you choose Leila? Leila’s manuscript and her resilient, courageous protagonist captured me from the first sentence. She deftly created a main character whose intelligence and empathy felt both realistic and compelling, and the setting in Oakland, CA…

  • Blog,  Pitch Wars

    My Pitch Wars Mentor Submission Wish List!

    A little bit about me—Samantha Rajaram: I was a Pitch Wars mentee under Carrie Callaghan’s tutelage last year and I’m thrilled to be a mentor this year. Carrie is also mentoring this year (with Michelle Hauck) so please check out their wish list as well–Carrie is fantastic and taught me so much!  Fresh…

  • Blog,  Pitch Wars

    Pitch Wars Mentor Profile

    I am a historical fiction writer focusing on stories about colonialism and people ignored by history books. I was extremely fortunate to be a Pitch Wars mentee last year (2018), mentored by Carrie Callaghan.  When I’m not writing (often at 5 in the morning), I am a college English professor and solo mom…

  • Blog,  Interview,  Pitch Wars

    Pitch Wars Success Story with Samantha Rajaram and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan

    (This is an archived version of an interview originally posted here at PitchWars.org.) We’re back with another Pitch Wars Success Story! Please join us in congratulating and celebrating Samantha Rajaram and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan! Samantha signed with Carrie Pestritto at the Laura Dail Literary Agency. We’re so excited for them! Samanta, tell…

  • Blog,  Essay

    The Old Lighthouse of Pondicherry

    Original essay by Samantha Rajaram. Like other colonial towns, the architecture of Pondicherry, India, bears the imprint of its co- lonial past. The old lighthouse is such an exam- ple. Located close to the beach promenade, the lighthouse has a white, fluted tower with a lantern and gallery rising from the circular keeper’s…

  • Blog,  Interview,  Pitch Wars

    A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Samantha Rajaram and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan

    (This is an archived version of an interview originally published here at PitchWars.org.) Carrie, why did you choose Samantha? This year’s submissions were outstanding — there were lots of excellent concepts in both historical fiction and fantasy that caught my attention. In this talented, crowded field, Samantha’s entry stood out because it was…

  • Article,  Blog,  Essay

    Is This America?

    (This is an archived copy of an essay that was originally published here at India Currents magazine.) Imagine you are a green card holder traveling frequently between the U.S. and your native country. Perhaps you seek cheaper medical treatment in your native country and return for medical visits. Or perhaps you are elderly…

  • Blog,  Book Review

    Oriental Forays: The Last Gods of Indochine

    (This is an archived copy of a book review originally published here at India Currents magazine.) I can’t recall when I first read Edward Said’s groundbreaking book Orientalism, which critiques the oversimplification and romanticizing of the East by colonizers intent on packaging colonized cultures for their consumption. What I do recall is the…

  • Blog,  Short Fiction

    Exaptation

    (This is an archived copy of a short story originally published here at India Currents Magazine.) He waits on the corner of Mission and 21st. Their third date. He wears a black shirt, blousy around his paunch. He mentioned in a text that he had ten pounds to lose, though his online profile…