A literature festival is incomplete without a session focussing on writing for children, and the first session of the second day gave the young audience just that.
Mira Kakkar, founder of Thoughtshop Foundation, began the session by asking Jane D Souza about the journey of becoming an author and what her favourite authors were.
Sumita Mukherjee, a children’s author, said her journey began with influences from her family. Her favourite? Professor Calculus! Tintin and Enid Blyton fascinated her the most. “I was so curious, I couldn’t stop reading. I really wanted to find out what happens next!” she said.
Sophie McKeand, a performing poet from Wales, said, “I was a rather awkward child. I didn’t like going school, so I hid and read books instead! Roald Dahl was my favourite. Later, I discovered P.B.Shelly, Yeats and that is when I realised that I relate to these authors and hence I really wanted to write!” Open mics and other organic methods pushed her into pursuing it as an career. She went on to performing a poem written by her about dandelions.
Jane D Souza went on to tell the young audience about the difference between a author and a writer. An author is when you’re published, but she was a writer all her life! “You tell stories all the time! And one day a publisher liked one and I got published. It was just like that!,” she said.
“I was travelling to different countries, and I incorporated an essence of these places into the stories. You can live the adventure and also get a flavour of the place with real facts. I discovered that children loved science and that’s when i started adding science facts and fun bits to the stories too,” said Sumita Mukherjee. She also has an online club to keep fuelling the imagination of children and getting them to reading more.
Next on the cards was a rapid fire conducted by Mira Kakkar. Sophie, on being asked to choose between books and TV, she promptly chose books because visual art form shouldn’t be the only way we are exposed to a form of story telling. Jane chose Google over an encyclopedia and Sumita said that no matter which form you get the story, whether it is a book or a TV, in the end the story is the winner.
The light hearted session encompassed various different segments about books in general and their enormous contribution for every reader.
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