Creative Writing Workshop @ Konkani Sammelan 2012

Creative Writing Workshop
Sunday July 1st, 2012; Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm; Venue: Grand Ballroom

Arun Shanbhag, PhD, MBA, Boston, MA

Savitri Babulkar, Mumbai, India
Shobhan Bantwal, Phoenix, AZ
Vanita Braver, MD, Liberty Corner, NJ

The Workshop will provide an opportunity for aspiring writers to get first hand reports for established authors who will share their experiences and point out some of the challenges they had to go through to get the books published. Writers will give tips on creative writing for different purposes/contexts.

The panelists will discuss:
1. What motivated you to write the books? Is there a need for such a book?
2. Mechanics of writing; Need for Editorial assistance (grammar and formatting)
3. How to find an agent and publisher for the book? If you self publish, what are the things you need to worry about; and how do you pay for it?
4. What happens after your publish a book? Book signings and speaking tours.
5. What are the challenges authors’ faces? Is this a profitable venture?

The Moderator and Panelists Bios follow.
Mrs Shobhan Bantwal has kindly shared an outline of her Creative Writing Workshop, Write the Book of your heart.

Savitri Babulkar, Acclaimed Author
Savitri Babulkar is a retired teacher and freelance journalist who lives in suburban Mumbai. Her interests include reading, writing, music, dramatics, and alternative healing. Her true passion is teaching as it involves interacting with children, whose unconditional love is the teacher’s greatest reward. However, she admits that the family comes first, especially the grandchildren. She published her first book ‘Childhood Daze’ in April 2011.

She was born Savitri Udiavar in 1936. Her father, U. Bhaskar Rao, was the then Sub Editor, Times of India,Bombay. She did her BA from St Agnes College, Mangalore, MA from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and B.Ed from St. Teresa’s College, Mumbai.

She taught in manyinstitutes of learning,. including, Mount Carmel Convent, in Jorhat, Assam and in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and St.Lawrence School & Arya Vidya Mandir in Mumbai. In Mangalore, she was the First Principal, of Ganapati Jr. College.She has published stories in Woman’s Era, and Femina, and written on human interest topics in Midday & Times of India. When asked how the book, ‘Childhood Daze’took shape she recounts being taught the use of the computer in 1998 when she also had free time on her hands. During this time, a young niece of hers eager to learn all about a joint family as it it functioned way back in the forties encouraged her to write the stories that she related. This sparked off writing various anecdotes that she shared with family and friends. As the stories began to pile up, the family encouraged her to publish it in book form so that it could be read by others beyond her immediate circle and, more importantly, by future generations. Her artist cousin, Arvind B. Benegal, also a member of the joint family, readily agreed to do the illustrations and thus ‘Childhood Daze’ came to be.

Shobhan Bantwal, Award Winning Author
Shobhan Bantwal is an award-winning author of six published novels, including ‘The Full Moon Bride’ and ‘The Unexpected Son’. She is also a freelance writer featured in publications such as The Writer Magazine, India Abroad, Little India, India Currents and New Woman India. Her books deal with social-moral issues and offer a peek into a side of Indian culture that has rarely been dealt with in fiction books. She tries to weave social themes into stories of romance, intrigue, drama, and high emotion. Her aim is to educate, inform, and entertain readers who may not ordinarily have an opportunity to learn about women’s issues in India and other similar cultures. Two of her short stories won honors in national fiction contests sponsored by Writer’s Digest and New York Stories magazines. Her story titled “Lingering Doubts” won First Place in the New Woman (India) magazine’s 2005 fiction contest. She enjoys addressing groups, both small and large and talk about her writing, her Indian culture, and what led her to write fiction. She has written plays for previous Konkani Sammelans. She regularly donates a portion of her book earnings to women’s charities. She loves to read mainstream, women’s and suspense fiction. Cooking spicy Indian food, gardening and entertaining are her favorite hobbies.

Shobhan Bantwal has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Rider University. She recently retired from a long career as a Supervisor at the New Jersey Dept of Labor. She and her husband Prakash have now moved to Arizona.

Vanita Braver, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Best-selling Author
Vanita Braver is a renowned Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, speaker, and best-selling author of Madison’s Patriotic Project and Madison and the Two Wheeler, in the children’s picture book series, “Teach Your Children Well” for children ages 4 to 8 years. She is also a freelance writer on various topics related to children, parenting and family matters. Her work and expertise have been featured in various print media including The Wall Street Journal, Child Magazine and Parents Magazine. She is a keynote speaker at national conferences, and a frequent lecturer at hospitals, schools, libraries, and community centers.

Dr. Vanita received her medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J. She completed her psychiatric training at Cornell’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

Currently, she is the Psychiatric Medical Director of Bonnie Brae, a residential treatment center for troubled youth in Liberty Corner, N.J. She is also a double-boarded physician on the medical staff of Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, N.J.

Please visit

Arun Shanbhag, Scientist, Professor and Author
Arun was raised in Mumbai India, completed his BE in Electrical Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology (Manipal, India) and MS and PhD in Bioengineering, Biomaterials from Clemson University. In the midst of his career as a research scientist, he got an MBA from Boston University. He has published extensively in scientific and medical journals, and compiled a textbook for orthopaedic surgeons and residents. In his recent book Prarthana, Prof Shanbhag has translated and written a commentary on common Hindu psalms.

Arun Shanbhag is the Senior Advisor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Principal at the Innovation Support Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA. He is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and for 10 years directed the Orthopaedic Biomaterials Laboratory.

Arun is an avid blogger (non-work related) at, also moderates, loves to travel, is fitness conscious and has run the Boston (2006, 2007), Chicago (2006), Marine Corps (2009) and New York City (2010) Marathons.

Creative Writing Workshop @ Konkani Sammelan 2012

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