Staff Spotlight is back! Over the next few weeks, you’ll get to meet the amazing people who make up the 2024 EWF Team. We’re kicking off with Kanika Chopra! She is our new Associate Producer for the 2024 festival. Kanika is an editor and writer, and they are also the founding editor of More than Melanin.

Hi Kanika! We’re so excited to have you join the EWF24 team as Associate Producer! Before we get into it, we’d love to know a little bit more about you – tell us about yourself!

I’m very excited to be here! I’m a voracious reader, and I’ve picked up writing again in the last two years. I was one of those kids that wanted to be or do something in writing for as long as I can remember but I fell away from the medium for a while, and in that time, I started a small literary publication for queer people of colour called More than Melanin. I moved to Naarm from Mumbai in 2016 to pursue a master’s in creative writing and literature. Things I’m passionate about outside of literature and writing include food, comedy and pop culture things.

So, what drew you to joining the EWF24 team? 

I’ve always wanted to be involved with EWF in some capacity and last year I had the privilege of being programmed as an artist. I’ve admired the people who’ve been on the team for a while now, so when I was asked if I’d like to be a part of the team it was an absolute no-brainer that I’d say yes.

And what are you hoping to get out of the role?

I’m hoping that I can be a sponge and learn a lot of things, since this is will be biggest festival I’ve ever worked on, so I’m excited to meet all the artists that are going to be attending and seeing the events pan out and take away things from those too. Not to forget, but I’m very keen to take a small nugget of an idea and turn it into the best event that I can.

EWF is a lit fest, which means we’re obliged to ask what kind of literature catches your attention? 

I honestly feel like I’d read literally anything and in doing that I’ve read a lot of not-so-great things but that doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed them. Usually, I love fantasy, literary fiction, horror, and other speculative fiction. Romance has been a recent favourite that I only got into in the last two years or so. I also like reading things that are often described as ‘weird’ or ‘not entirely sure what was going on there’. I’m not particularly genre bound in my preferences but love stories with food as a part of them, intimacy, emotional nuance and maybe like bad-ass queer/femme-esq character being chaotic.

Finally, what’s been cluttering your bedside table or filling up your watchlist lately?

My bedside table always has the book I’m reading on it (currently: Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon) and my e-reader along with hand cream, melatonin and some other knick knacks. I’ve not been watching a lot lately, but Fleabag Season 2 has been getting a rewatch because it has helped get me in the mood for a story I’m working on. Whenever a new episode of SNL drops, I watch that. Movies I’ve enjoyed recently are The Lunch Box and Theatre Camp.

Kanika Chopra is EWF’s Associate Producer for our 2024 festival, coming September 5-15. Stay tuned!!