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Working It Out: How to be a published author?

By Siddhartha S

I have intentionally added the word ‘published’ to the title of this article. I wish for all the aspiring authors to not only write but also get published. As a published author, I often get asked how to be an author so I take this opportunity to share everything I learned about publishing over the last decade. I believe writing is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with your creative faculties. Even as I write these lines, I am excited because I have no ideas of the words which will follow. A published book is the best example that the intangible becomes tangible if you are willing to invest time.

Believe that you can be an author: Writing a book is definitely a long term effort. No matter how much impressive they sound but never sign up for workshops that offer to make you a published author in a month. Try to deliver a baby in month and chances are high it will be healthy of fully developed. There might be few exceptions but generally I believe that it takes a minimum of one year to write a good book. Read more

Source: The Indian Express

 


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India’s largest library devoid of staff

By Soumya Das

National Library’s foreign language section has been without staff for a decade

The foreign language section of the National Library — responsible for the collection of foreign language books and exchange of the same with libraries of other countries — has been without staff for almost a decade.

Library sources say the “complete absence of staff” has not only hit the collection of foreign publications but has also brought down the number of readers in the foreign language section to almost nil.

Arun Kumar Chakraborty, Director-General in charge of the National Library, skirted the issue. Read more

Source: The Hindu


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Singapore May Have Designed the World’s Best Bus Stop

By Mimi Kirk

While the U.S. is known for its sorry bus stops—despite creative grassroots efforts to improve them—Singapore’s bus stops are already pretty decent. In the year and a half I lived there, I never came across one without seating and a roof—vital in a tropical climate prone to downpours. Still, they’re pretty humdrum affairs, and not places you’d want to spend much time in.

What if the humble bus stop could be a place you actually looked forward to frequenting? That’s the question the Singaporean firm DP Architects aimed to answer. “We wanted to redesign a commonplace thing we take for granted,” says Seah Chee Huang, the firm’s director.

Now, thanks to DP Architects in collaboration with various agencies of the Singaporean government, there’s a bus stop in Jurong, an area in the southwest of the island city state, that has elements you might find in a café, park, or your living room—all places you’d probably prefer over a bus stop.

The stop features ample seating, a rack of books geared for all ages, from Enid Blyton to Ray Bradbury, bicycle parking, a swing, artwork by the local illustrator Lee Xin Li, and a rooftop garden, complete with a small tree.

The space is also hyperconnected. In addition to the print books, users can scan a QR code to download e-books from the National Library, charge their phones, and peruse interactive digital boards that provide arrival times and a journey planner to find the fastest route. Read more

Source: Citylab.com


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Why Jhumpa Lahiri writing on book jackets is bad news for the writer and the reader

By Utpal Kumar

clothingJhumpa Lahiri’s latest book, The Clothing of Books, is all about book covers. Advocating what she calls “the naked book”, the Pulitzer winner emphasises that “the dressed book no longer belongs to me”.

She writes, “Today the relationship between the reader and book is far more mediated, with a dozen people buzzing around. We are never alone together, the text and I. I miss the silence, the mystery of the naked book: solitary, without support.”

A closer look shows the preference for a naked book also marks the transition of the author.

Lahiri thinks she isn’t just another writer now. She seems to have graduated to the league of extraordinary authors who doesn’t need any introduction. The very things that would fascinate a budding writer now, annoy her boundless. Read more

Source: DailyO


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Can Rushdie and Roy save the novel in the age of Trump and Modi?

By Angshukanta Chakraborty

2017 comes bearing gifts.

At a time when the United States stands “unpresidented” and Donald Trump is unable to string a simple sentence together without committing grave factual or lexical errors, we have the return of Arundhati Roy, the novelist, and Salman Rushdie, with his grand American book about a family of Indian immigrants.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Roy and The Golden House by Rushdie are easily the most anticipated works of literary fiction to be published this year. This, at a time when literature itself is at its most disavowed, when language, under the barrage of social media, is increasingly failing to convey the shifts and churns posed by technology and politics, and the past is coagulating into imagined purity that prescribes exclusionism as the cure – is a source of hope. Read more

Source: DailyO


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Emirati Ipaf nominee Sultan Al Ameemi talks about his love of words

By Rym Ghazal

‘In a small room in an unknown place, there is someone peeping through a keyhole, watching furtively the other person in an adjacent room…”

This is how the Arabic language novel Ghurfa Waheda La Takfi (One Room is Not Enough) begins, by the Emirati writer and researcher Sultan Al Ameemi. It has been nominated for the 10th edition of the prestigious International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Ipaf), with 15 competing novels from nine other countries.

Ghurfa Waheda La Takfi is an unusual novel, full of mystery, suspense and a philosophical narrative. It is also written in simple, engaging Arabic, peppered with a creative play on words – reflective of the author’s poetic background.

His novel provokes an engaged curiosity from the outset: who is the person trapped in a room watching someone else; a doppelgänger in yet another room. And who is really telling the story with its multiple narrators?

Al Ameemi, 43, is a poet and writer, as well as a researcher of local dialects, and the director of the Poetry Academy in Abu Dhabi. He has written 20 books, mostly on UAE poetry and poets, as well as three collections of short stories and a novel P.O. Box 1003 (2014). Al Ameemi is also a judge on the Abu Dhabi TV and Million’s Poet Channel Million’s Poet show.

Tell us about Ghurfa Waheda La Takfi (One Room is Not Enough), the first Emirati novel longlisted for the 10th edition of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction? Why did you write it?

I have been thinking about this concept of “talasus”, peeking or peeping into other people’s lives, for a long time. Our life revolves around talking about others, watching others and checking out people’s lives, through social media and gossip. We are curious and check people’s accounts to see what they have been up to and what did we miss out on. It is almost like an obsession, and so I started writing the book with this premise. Read more
Source: The National


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Buy local campaign aims to boost S’pore literary scene

By Reena Devi Shanmuga Retnam

Singapore writers have been clinching book deals and winning awards overseas. But on our own shores, publishers and bookstore owners say that more needs be done so that the works of writers here are more visible, and thus better appreciated.

To that end, more than 30 publishers, booksellers, distributors and non-profit entities here have come together to organise the inaugural #BuySingLit campaign with the aim of promoting local literature. The campaign — with the catchphrase “Buy Local, Read Our World” — is on from Feb 24 to 26, and hopes to encourage more Singapore residents to pick up and buy books by local writers. Read more

Source: Today Online


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Meet Kanishka Gupta, a top deal maker in the Indian publishing world

By Ritu Goyal

In the Indian publishing world today, there is no dearth of anomalies. Non-writers become successful authors, real authors struggle to eke a living out of their books, and marketing is truly King.

It should therefore come as no surprise that one of the most successful literary agents in the Indian publishing industry is a self-confessed anomaly in the field.

Delhi-born Kanishka Gupta, 30-something and wannabe writer who runs Writer’s Side (WS) -an agency that has over 500 titles to its credit in the six years of its existence- has no prior background, or ‘pedigree’, as he likes to call it, in publishing.

Yet, according to Publishers Marketplace rankings, Kanishka is currently the biggest individual deal-maker in the world for English books. He is also the youngest agent in the subcontinent. Read more

Source: The News Minute


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Heading to JLF 2017? Writers and poets pick sessions you must attend

By Aruveetil Mariyam Alavi and Supriya Sharma

Five days of literature. The most read authors and poets. The most fascinating discussions. Indian literature’s mammoth mela, the Jaipur Literature Festival, is never short of excitement. The festival, which will run from January 19 to January 23 this year, creates a problem of plenty for its eager visitors: there is too much to do, too many authors to hear, too many discussions to attend.

So before you make your must-attend-at-JLF lists, take a look at what authors, poets and other participants are looking forward to the most this year.

Namita Gokhale is one of the forces that has kept the Jaipur Literature Festival running smoothly over the years. As a writer and publisher, who is also one of the founder directors of JLF, she has some fond memories of the festival over the years.

“So many memories, layered and imprinted in my mind and heart. The keynote addresses from some of the greatest Indian writers, including Mahasweta Devi, UR Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad, Nayantara Sahgal and so many others. The years when it rained and poured and the festival just continued calmly despite the mud and sludge. Gloria Steinem drinking chai in a kulhad, listening in to the front lawn sessions. Margaret Atwood and her sparkling mind,” she remembers. Read more

Source: Hindustan Times


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Publishers say 2017 World Book Fair a profitable affair

As the New Delhi World Book Fair comes to a close today, the nine-day long event was an “excellent” experience with leading publishing houses making significant profit on sales compared to previous years. Vimal Kumar, General Manager at Speaking Tiger said they had “unexpected sales”, despite facing several technical glitches in the aftermath of demonetisation.

“Due to demonetisation we faced several problems since many a times card machines didn’t work due to lack of signals. But, it has been an excellent experience, rather unexpected sales for Speaking Tiger. Our sales have almost doubled this year,” he said.

Some of the top sellers at the stall included ‘Himalaya: Adventures, Meditations, Life’ edited by Ruskin Bond and Namita Gokhale, and ‘Murderer in Mahim’ by Jerry Pinto among others.

For Penguin India, which saw a hike of nearly 20 per cent in business from last year’s fair, the event being moved ahead by a month from the usual February, has worked favourably. Read more

Source: The Financial Express