The online community of Commonwealth Writers has grown exponentially in recent years, with our online activity achieving a truly global reach. In this we saw an opportunity: to create a place where writers and readers can talk to each other, across global and geopolitical divides.
This space is now known as adda. In Bengali, adda describes an informal conversation that takes place at length; in Hindi it can be traced back to a ‘perching spot’ for birds, in the Punjab it is a pit stop on long highways where travellers stop and exchange news. Put simply: an adda is a meeting place. It is now Commonwealth Writers’ online gathering of stories.
At adda we publish nonfiction and fiction – whether it takes the form of narrative essays, photo-essays, memoir, short stories, graphic novels or poetry. Alongside nonfiction and fiction we have an “Anomalies” section which offers the occasional quirky rejoinder to stories on the site or in the world. For the present, adda will exist online and will not be available in print form.
We don’t accept unsolicited submissions. Stories are selected through a combination of open calls and commissions. Our commissioning process is simple: we look for varied and complementary material, curating the site in such a way that stories might speak to each other in both form and content. While we will remain responsive to events in the world at large, we will also select stories precisely because we haven’t heard them before – whether as a result of geographical isolation, societal marginalisation or unexpected thinking.