Sandhya is a freelance writer and author of Moments with a Master: Meetings with Dada J. P. Vaswani , a memoir that has been called "inspiring, honest, relevant, and refreshing." Her nonfiction essays, feature articles, and poetry have been published and anthologized in print and online publications, including Ms., Little India, MSNBC.com, Times of India , the Weekly Reader, Elements of Literature , and Kahani. Catch her regular reflections and commentaries on literature, art, and life at her blog Literary Safari and Sepia Mutiny.

Curriculum Consultant

Sandhya has taught ESL, composition and creative writing to adults, as well as college, middle, and high school students. Places of instruction include: The College of New Rochelle, Asian American Writers Workshop, City Year, Free Arts NYC, Silver Penny Farm (Petaluma, Calif.), and the annual Young Authors Conference in Westchester, NY. She is available to help develop curriculum and reading guides for young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her clients include Macmillan, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the New York Times Learning Network.

Sample Writing Workshops:

  • Flash Memoir: Write Your Life--One Story at a Time
  • Revise This
  • What Do You Believe? How Do You See the World? (including testimonials from past attendees)
  • Editor

    Sandhya is an AEP-award winning editor who specializes in multicultural literature, multimedia educational website content development, and middle school/high school language arts. Previously, she was a supervising editor at Scholastic Inc. There, she worked on E21, a middle school language arts program that will be published by Scholastic Education in the fall of 2009. She was responsible for commissioning original fiction from award-winning authors, conducting extensive literature reviews, and developing multidisciplinary table of contents for G6-8 anthologies.

    From 2004 to 2007, she served as editor and senior editor at Weekly Reader Publishing, where she edited Writing , an award-winning middle and high school classroom magazine and helped develop a literary blog WORD.

    At Weekly Reader, Sandhya also served as editorial director of What's Your Story? a teaching resource for elementary, middle, and high school teachers, and developed two electronic issues of Writing:

  • Lending a Hand with Revision: a PDF magazine all about the revision process, featuring interviews with Judy Blume and Lee Bennett Hopkins

  • Student Writing Showcase, a multimedia website featuring student writers and authors, including An Na, Patricia McCormick, Jane Yolen, Walter Dean Myers, and Donna Jo Napoli.
  • In 2007, Writing was named as one of the top four magazines in educational publishing by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP). It was also nominated for a “Young Adult Periodical of the Year” distinguished achievement award by the AEP in both 2006 and 2007. (Click here for a full list of issues that Sandhya worked on which have received AEP award and/or nominations.)

    Sandhya has edited two published anthologies and regularly provides editorial consultations and coaching services to educational and trade publishers and individual writers. Her multidisciplinary anthology, Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence in the South Asian-American Community has been called “a welcome addition to the literature on domestic violence” and an “invaluable resource for the South-Asian American community. Contact her for more information or references regarding her editorial services.

    Sandhya was born in Ghana and lived there and in India before arriving in the U.S. at age 12.

    She wrote and edited her first publication—a wordy 16-page tabloid about her middle school—back in the sixth grade. Since then (she's proud to say) her work has gotten a bit more serious, and she has learned a few neat tricks about how to make a page come to life! A few of her favorites: (1) Never use a long word where a short one will do. (2) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (3) Show, don't tell.

    Sandhya holds a B.A. and Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University, where she focused on South Asian History and International Media and Communications. She has studied writing with Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and is a firm believer in the "Morning Pages" practice advocated by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way.

    She was recently awarded a Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Literature Research Fellowship by the Asian American Writers Workshop. This opportunity gave her ample opportunities to appreciate and rediscover the joy and thrill of reading and writing for children and young adults. However, her favorite writing topic remains her family. When she's not busy visiting them or trying to make sense of their complicated stories and histories, she writes about them in a series of short essays titled "Family Ruminations" at her blog, Literary Safari .

    Sandhya mostly lives in New York City with (a) her husband (b) an antique typewriter, and (c) an old cedar trunk brimful of diaries and travel journals that date back to her pre-adolescent years. When she is not at her day job, she likes to pound the pavements of New York City, people watch, and do 10-minute freewriting exercises. Her favorite quote on writing comes from Rudyard Kipling, the author of Jungle Book, who once said, "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

    "What difference does it make if you live in a picturesque little outhouse surrounded by 300 feeble minded goats and your faithful dog...? The question is: Can you write?"