Creative Commons: A Transmedia Literary Festival

Friday, November 30–Saturday, December 1, 2012

Storytelling and creative processes have undergone a revolution in the digital age. We dip in and out of different forms of media, borrow from each other every day, and create completely new forms of communication and expression. Inspired by these shifts, SAWCC presents Creative Commons, a two-day transmedia literary festival featuring authors, comedians, filmmakers, and other storytellers writing at the intersection of literature, media, and performance.

Friday, November 30, 7 pm | Mixtape: Reading

@ the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor (btwn 6th and 7th Aves)
$5 at the door

The festival kicks off with an evening of song-inspired readings by South Asian women. From ghazals to indie rock, bhangra to electronica, these writers will celebrate the crossovers of music and literature and explore the ways in which songs and music influence poetry and prose. Featuring Jordan Alam, Roohi Choudhry, Kavita Das, Swati Khurana, Bhumika Muchhala, Bushra Rehman, and Roopa Singh.

Alongside the reading, artist and writer Swati Khurana presents “Scrolling Texts,” a participatory project in which attendees can have their saved text messages transcribed onto scrolls, tied with thread.

Saturday, December 1 | Festival Talks

@ the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
8 Washington Mews (at University Place)

10 am–12 pm | Breathing for the Stage:
Writing and Performance Workshop

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. —Audre Lorde

As a writer, what you want to share on stage is one thing, but what you do share on stage can be another matter entirely. This workshop offers tools to walk your vision regardless of the opacity of fear and performance-strengthening skills towards serving that vision. The first half of the workshop includes yoga for the stage and a writing exercise. In the second half, participants will share their writing and receive guidance and constructive feedback on performing their work. Facilitated by Roopa Singh.
Limited spaces available, advance sign-up required. For more details on the workshop and to sign up, click here.

12–1:15 pm | The Digital Shift: Technology and Storytelling

New media and technology have transformed notions of publishing and authorship. Neesha Meminger (author, Into the Wise Dark), Miral Sattar (founder, Bibliocrunch), and Sandhya Nankani (writer and editor) will explore how we use new technologies for storytelling and distribution, touching upon online and e-publishing platforms, successful self-publishing, creative commons and open source issues, and interactive content curation.

1:30–2:45 pm | Funny Ha Ha: Writing for Comedy

Comedians and storytellers D’Lo (D’FunQT), Negin Farsad (The Muslims Are Coming!), Aparna Nancherla (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell), and Bushra Rehman (Corona, forthcoming in 2013) discuss comedy writing, performing comedy, and what it takes to get a laugh.

3–5:30 pm | Screening and Conversation

Join us for a screening with filmmakers Prithi Gowda (Televisnu) and Bornila Chatterjee (Let’s Be Out, the Sun is Shining). Gowda’s fascinating short explores a young woman’s search for love and freedom while navigating tradition and technology in India, while Chatterjee’s breakout feature film follows Diya’s exploration of love and lust among the young transplants and artists of Bushwick. A conversation about screenwriting and creating characters will follow, moderated by Shruti Parekh. Wine and refreshments will be served.
$5 at the door

Saturday, December 1, 7 pm | Slideshow: Reading
with Tania James and Keshni Kashyap

@ Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome Street (btwn Forsyth and Eldridge)
21+ with valid ID

The festival culminates in a multimedia reading featuring two writers who have been making waves with their recent works. Tania James, author of the short story collection Aerogrammes and Other Stories (2012), and Keshni Kashyap, author of the graphic novel Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary (2012), humorously explore mixed signals, missed connections, and existentialism. Accompanied by slideshows illustrating their stories, James and Kashyap will read from their new work. An audience Q&A and booksigning will follow. For more info, click here.

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All events are open to the public. If you would like to RSVP, check out the festival on Facebook.

For questions about the festival or more information, please email

Creative Commons is cosponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

Creative Commons is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The festival is also made possible in part by the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.