SheThePeople.TV hosted a fabulous Women Writers Festival over the weekend, where writers from all genres came together to speak about the issues that mattered most to them. From food writers, to script writers, authors and journalists, the event was a smorgasbord of insightful discussions, and interesting debates.

Here are a few highlights:

15-year-old Zuni Chopra spoke to Kiran Manral about her new bestselling book ‘The House That Spoke’.

The teen charmed the audience with her wry sense of humour and her writing discipline. The young girl wakes up at 6am every day, to write before school. “Just put your butt to the seat and write,” she said.

Mansi Zaveri of Kiddstoppress, Karla Bookman, founder of The Swaddle, author Gopika Kapoor and actor Divya Dutta spoke on guilt in the age of hyperparenting. Karla Bookman said that we are all in the age of hyper-parenting because of the amount of information out there. The digital age means we are getting all this stimuli saying that what you are doing is wrong.

The discussion was very popular with offline and online audiences, with the Facebook live reaching over 50,000 users.

Guilt is pervasive, and is a gender issue. It is a mom guilt, not a dad guilt, said Bookman. Actor Divya Dutta spoke about the role her mother played in my life. She said that she had become a sort of hyper parent to her mother. “I am very efficient with guilt, I get it wherever I can get it,” she laughingly said.

Shruti Seth, Supriya Joshi and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee spoke about whether funny women are expected to only talk feminism.

Supriya Joshi talks about her experience while writing for AIB’s video called A Women’s Besties, which talks about experiences women go through with their bodies.

Shruti Seth’s heartfelt comments really resonated with the audience. She said that female comedians are a new phenomena. I believe that humour should be fair to everything. Women’s issues shouldn’t be veiled or apologised for. Why should I have to talk about PMS in hushed tones? Why can’t I talk about my boobs, they’re there, you’ve been staring at them my entire life!” she said.

We loved the session on embracing your sexuality where erotica writers read out from each other’s works.

The fest also saw two wonderful workshops. Neil D’ Silva and Sonia Rao spoke about how to write that novel and then how to go about getting it published!

Books on Toast presented their open mic, Stories on Toast in which writers and audience members read from their unpublished works. Watch Gayatri Jayaraman read an excerpt from her unpublished novel:

Neelam Kumar, two-time cancer survivor enlightened the audience on how she managed to keep faith and have hope even in the most trying times.

She also spoke about the grim cancer scenario in India. “Women have a very low suspicious index when it comes to themselves. A woman goes to the doctor at the last stage. A woman believes her needs come after taking care of her family’s needs,” said Kumar, and “by that time it is often too late”.

Clinical psychologist and trauma specialist Dr Seema Hingoranny spoke about how the mind and body are connected in more ways than we can imagine and that actually a lot of times, women have Vitamin D deficiency that can also be one of the causes of depression. The session reached more than 100,000 users on Facebook.

This was an unforgettable weekend. The enthusiasm and energy of the audience and the panelists was catchy. I’m sure whoever attended is inspired to go out there and do what they love and believe in! I certainly felt that way.

Also Read: A Room Of Her Own: Why Financial Independence Is Important For Women