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The Valley of Words Literature & Arts Festival invites applications from volunteers for the 4th edition of the Festival, which is scheduled from November 20 to 22, 2020, in Dehradun. This year the Festival will be in a new hybrid model which allows us to continue celebrating the Word despite the global pandemic.

The Volunteer programme is 8 months long. Beginning in April, it offers an opportunity for all-round development, exposure to behind-the-scenes management of the Arts, and a chance to equip oneself with all the traits that are required for on-the-spot problem solving and project challenges.

Valley of Words is driven by the enthusiasm and commitment of our young volunteer teams, who have supported the festival since its inception.

Our volunteers are very much part of the VoW family; in many ways, they also help set the tone and agenda for VoW’s programme management. They have the opportunity to work closely with the festival’s advisors, authors, panelists, resource persons, media teams, institutional partners, and other stakeholders.

The festival’s volunteer programme serves as an invaluable opportunity to learn about the organization of a major event – from manning registration desks to interviewing distinguished authors and ensuring backstage arrangements for various cultural programmes – whilst being part of a fulfilling and encouraging community of young individuals.

Consider browsing through our FAQ’s before applying, for greater clarity in understanding what we look for in our volunteering team.

Please Note

Volunteers are welcome to join throughout the year, however, there is a core volunteering period that will run from the 10th of May, 2020, to the 30th of November, 2020. We prefer candidates who are largely available during this period.

DEADLINE: Applications will only be accepted until the 30th of April, 2020.

Language Skills

Professional Skills and Competencies
Limit: 150 words
Limit: 150 words

Previous Experience and Preferences
You may select as many roles as you like, but we would recommend that you strike a balance. Selecting too many roles will not give us a good sense of your preferences. Selecting only one role, especially if it is popular, could mean you don't get selected at all because we only have a limited number of spaces per role.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a VoW Volunteer?

To work with us as a volunteer, please fill out the form on this page.

We will get back to you at the earliest if your application is successful; if you do not receive any acknowledgement from our team, unfortunately that may suggest that we have been unable to find a suitable position for you this year.

Who can apply?

Age is no bar. Anyone with an interest to challenge and explore themselves in a new playfield is welcome. The Festival will shortlist 30 volunteers from the applications received – individuals who have a keen interest in the arts and in event management, across the categories of Book readers, Event managers, Social media managers and photographers.

What will I gain from being a Volunteer at VoW?

You will get to meet and read and host some of  your favourite authors and brilliant minds who will make you think and think aloud!

The programme is carefully created to develop your life skills and soft skills and mark you for a career in two core areas: event management and creative arts.

With ample opportunities to meet new people – where to make new friends or to network –  the Festival will be the playground which might just propel you onto one of several diverse career paths.

You’ll learn what goes into creating a Festival, you’ll get to manage an event with over ten thousand participants, you’ll be able to listen to renowned speakers from across the globe, and you’ll make some life-long friends.

To top it all off, the on-site crew catering facility will keep doling out delicious and sumptuous meals to ensure you have enough energy to take on any challenge that comes your way.

So get ready to bear witness to a variety of cultures, broaden your minds through thought-provoking sessions and grow once you’ve stepped up into the roller coaster ride of this Festival!

What will my responsibilities be?

Your responsibilities as a VoW Volunteer will depend on your own individual skillset and preferences. Essentially, the Volunteer work will take place in three phases: Pre-Event, Event, and Post Event.

Pre-Event volunteer roles include:

  1. Book Readers
  2. Event Managers
  3. Social Media Content Creators and Managers
  4. Photographers

Volunteer work during the event includes:

  1. Venue Management
  2. Ground Management
  3. Stall Management
  4. Financial Management
  5. Media Management

After the event, all volunteers come together for a series of wrap-up tasks, feedback meetings and stock/inventory management.

You are expected to be a part of all three phases of the Volunteer programme.

Do I need to have prior experience in volunteering?

Prior experience is welcome, but not necessary. All our volunteers will be expected to partake of our training sessions before the festival, which will be adequate preparation.

Do I have to work throughout the year?

Yes, our volunteers work at different capacities throughout the year, although of course the intensity increases in the weeks leading up to the festival. The core volunteering period extends from April through November and you would be expected to provide a minimum of 12 hours of work every week.

Will I be acknowledged for my work?

Yes, of course! Our festival is driven by volunteers and their input is especially valued. We provide certificates to all volunteers who stay through the year and personalized letters of recommendation to selected volunteers post-event.

How about my board and lodging arrangements?

Our volunteer base is typically from Dehradun, and require no additional funds for their transport and stay. If you are applying from outside of Dehradun, we will provide help in finding suitable arrangements, but can offer no financial assistance for the same.

I do not live in Dehradun. Can I apply?

Please do apply from any part of the globe, and we will try our best to ensure that your experience with us is comfortable and rewarding from start to finish.

I am a blogger – what role do you have for me?

VoW has associated with various bloggers and blogging communities in the past, and we encourage the platform it provides. Please highlight in the ‘Skills’ section of your application that you are a blogger, and that can thrive alongside – or be incorporated within – your volunteering duties!

I am not very fluent in English. Can I apply?

Yes, of course! Valley of Words celebrates all of India’s bhashas – we have two verticals focusing on Hindi and Urdu literature; Garhwali culture has always been associated with the festival; the Kumaoni, Nepali, and Punjabi languages are also spoken amongst our team. We are keen to actively expand our linguistic horizons, so please do mention in your application the languages you are comfortable speaking and writing in, and we will try to find a corresponding role for you.

I am more of a bookworm – can I find a place in VoW Volunteers?

We would be delighted to have you on board, and your work will be able to reflect your aptitude in a manner beneficial to both you and us. Perhaps a spot in the Writing section may interest you best – please indicate the same in your form.

Can I request to be assigned to a particular role only?

Your preferences will certainly be taken into consideration, however there are basic volunteer duties that will have to be fulfilled by each and everone as per the requirements of the festival.

Will I get food coupons during the festival?

Absolutely! That being said, it is still advised that all volunteers carry some snacks with them – fruits, paranthas, and chocolates sandwiches are a safe bet.

Is there a dress code?

There is no particular dress code for volunteers, although we will provide customized VoW waistcoats which you have to wear (over lowers of your choice) which identify you as a member of our team. We do recommend wearing comfortable but appropriate footwear during the event.

I have a different question!

That’s great! Please write to us at and one of our team members will be in touch with you shortly. Do mention your application number if you have already submitted the application form!