A writer’s journey

In today’s episode of the Diverse Minds podcast, we’re carrying on the spirit of South Asian Heritage Month by  breaking stigmas and myths, particularly in relation to South Asian women. 

Joining me on the show today is British, South Asian author Mahsuda Snaith.

I am lucky to call Mahsuda a good friend and colleague who helps me work out my business blocks!  

About my guest

Born in Luton to Bangladeshi parents, Mahsuda Snaith is a writer of short stories and novels. She is the winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize and Bristol Short Story Prize. Her debut novel The Things We Thought We Knew was chosen as a World Book Night Book, and her second novel How to Find Home has been read on BBC Radio 4. 

She was named an ‘Observer New Face of Fiction’ in 2017 and was a judge for the Costa Book Awards in 2019. 

Mahsuda has led creative writing workshops in universities, hospitals, schools and in a homeless hostel and is a commissioned writer for the Colonial Countryside project which explores the colonial connections of National Trust properties.

Listen to the podcast

In today’s show, we talk about:

  • Mahsuda’s journey into writing and her story.  [01:51]
  • What she likes to write about. [06:14]
  • Her transition from being a teacher to a writer full-time. [07:27]
  • The ways in which her culture influences her writing style. [10:16]
  • Mahsuda’s advice to others, particularly South Asian women who want to be writers. [14:28] 
  • The times she has been pigeonholed as a writer and how she pushes back against stereotypes. [18:06]
  • How writing benefits her mental wellbeing. [25:42]

Quotes

  • I very consciously decided to be a primary school teacher with the aim of being able to write as well.
  • I grew up in a white majority neighbourhood, because of that I always had this feeling of not quite knowing what my culture was.
  • If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Black Lives Matters movement recently, it’s that we need more diverse voices and they need to be heard.
  • For me, writing has always been connected with wellbeing. When I don’t write, my wellbeing is impacted negatively. If I am having a problem now, I will write it out. 
  • I wanted to write about being British Asian or the British experience because that’s the experience I’ve had, but I can also write about many other big topics. 

Resources for a writer’s journey:  

Connect with my guest

Work with me

Want to know more about my work and how I can help you? Why not book a time to speak with me and find out more? https://calendly.com/leylao 

Find out more about Diverse Minds here.

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Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where I’ll bring you more insights into mental health and inclusion.