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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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03 February, 2009

My Friend Sancho Finds A Cover

I’m delighted to announce the result of the cover design competition for my first novel, My Friend Sancho. We received so many fabulous designs that it took us a while just to look at them all carefully, process them, and make a shortlist after considering all the parameters. Hachette India, my publishers, were awed by the range of designs we had to choose from—and I am deeply grateful that so many people chose to take part.

After much debate, we have a winner. Prem Kishore of Hungry & Foolish Creative Products walks away with Rs. 15,000 worth of Hachette India books. Here is his design (click on the image below for a larger image):


There will be minor tweaks, of course, and the text and photograph at the back are dummy, just for the purposes of designing. But here it is.

Of all the other designers, I’d also like to mention Manish Sahu, a designer from Nagpur who also writes a pretty neat blog. Manish entered designs like Virender Sehwag hits boundaries, and more than half the shortlisted designs were by this one dude. My publishers and I felt awful that after all that work, he didn’t win, so we will send him a special Hachette hamper—and I’m certain he’s going to design many covers for many lucky writers. A couple of his designs, and other special mentions, below the fold:

(click on the images for larger versions)



We were also privileged to have the noted artist from Baroda, Rekha Rodwittiya, take the time to send us a design. Two of her younger colleagues, Sonatina Mendes and Malavika Rajnarayan, also sent in entries, and I’m grateful to them. Other designers who entered designs that we liked and considered seriously were Bhavana Manchanda, Rohit Saraf, Mala Paul, Rajshekar Patil, Pinaki De, Chris DiBiase, Mena Malgonkar, TS Girish, Anto Noval, Baishakhee Sengupta, Sunil Samuel, Abhishek Chander Gupta, Sriparna Ghosh, Viraj Circar, Praveen Raj, Surabhi Ahuja, Raju Khadilkar, Niloufer Wadia, Asutosh Kar, Gitanjali C Kalro, Chintan Shinde, Aakanksha Kulkarni, Lakshmi Jayaraman, Cherry Kapoor, Rajender Singh, Jyoti Mann, Salim Khan, Noah Arthur Peters, Som Sengupta, Rashmi Gupta, Dinesh Pasupathyrajan, Vinod C Gowda and Mayur Bandyopadhyay—in no particular order.

Each of the people above sent in designs that could have been a credible cover for this book, and they have my gratitude. Hachette is sending each of them a token of appreciation as well—if you entered a design and haven’t yet heard from them, do write in to

My Friend Sancho is out in April in India—and I shall try to make copies available at Amazon for overseas readers. I hope you like the cover we’ve chosen for it—and I hope you’ll like the book. ;)

Posted by Amit Varma in My Friend Sancho | Personal

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