Chennai to host children’s literary festival from August 6

It’s the idea that writing and literature are slowly taking a digital turn that has led to the Rough Note children’s literature festival in the city, which is set to start on August 6 at the DakshinaChitra Museum this year.

As part of the festival, children belonging to the age group of seven to 16 are invited to send in their poems and short stories (both fictional and non-fictional). Each student submitting their application will receive a certificate of participation and the best ones will be selected in book form and published by Notion Press. Entries can be in Tamil or English.

The Fest, organized by Droplets Creation and Quriosity, will also see literary workshops, talks, panel discussions and storytelling sessions taking place from August 6 to September 3 at the museum.

The literary workshops involve leading book publishers like Amar Chitra Katha, Tulika Books and Tara Books who will work closely with and reach out to the children, said Lakshmi Thyagarajan, Senior Education Coordinator at the DakshinaChitra Museum. Illustrators and authors of various books will also interact with the children who attend the party.

“We want to give them the opportunity to understand what’s behind a book,” she said.

The idea for this festival had germinated two years ago, but Covid-19 had different plans. Asked about the challenges they faced in organizing the event after a pandemic, Quriosity’s Arjun Madhavan said the biggest challenge was the financial aspect. However, he said they were lucky to later find people who could support their vision and bring the event to fruition.

Sunantha Sugendran from Droplets Creation said one of the ideas behind the event was to encourage schoolchildren to write. The competition is open to government and public schools, she said.

Interested persons can submit their applications before August 1st and there is no registration fee. “Anyone can write, and we wanted to give everyone that opportunity,” said Suren M of Droplets Creation.

Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali, a social and cultural activist as well as the brand ambassador for the children’s literature festival, said the event is a huge opportunity for children to come out and express themselves through Literature.

While Amrutha Satish, author of ‘Follow the Ants’, will be the English jury, Yuma Vasuki, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, will be the Tamil jury member.

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