CHENNAI: Today, when established publishing houses still continue with the mantra, ‘We publish books for children and not by children’, 13-year-old author Yamini Prashant reveals she had to fight all odds to get her first book Mishti published.
At the ‘Cosyreading Awards Function’ held at Besant Nagar recently, she said, “My inbox used to be flooded with rejections. I almost lost hope. That was when Unicorn Books came forward and said they will publish my book. It’s not that easy to get a book published, especially for someone young like me.” Yamini was one of the distinguished guests at the awards function.
The Cosyreading website (www.cosyreading.com), which promotes Indian English writing, is an online library where one can visit, browse and pick book of one’s choice. It gives aspiring writers of all age groups a chance to showcase their writing talent by offering services like publishing, editing, proofreading and book cover designing along with extensive online promotions.
Speaking at the awards function, Jayalakshmi Thirugnanam, founder of Cosyreading, said, “Writers go beyond their age today, and come up with wonderful ideas. I’m amazed by the enthusiasm with which people put their thoughts on paper.” She adds, “Cosyreading was meant to give an online space for aspiring writers. I am presently focussing on Indian English writing but have plans to concentrate on regional languages as well. Our future endeavour is to expand the base by setting up a workshop for aspiring writers.”
Venkatarangan Thirumalai, former director, LIFCO Publishers, and founder and CEO of Vishwak Solutions, Washington, said that it was the best time for one to cultivate the habit of reading. “There are online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. Sitting right here, one can order books written by any author in any part of the world,” he said. He added that there were many good books which were written by those who weren’t professional full-time writers. “Each one of us has a writer in us. We must start with baby steps to reach greater heights,” he said.
G Sakthivel, director, SSLF City, said that the future of India is in the hands of the writers, while writer Gandhi Kannadasan advised writers about the six Rs to keep in mind — Read, Refer, Remember, Respect, Refuse and Recreate. “For being a good writer, you need to be a good reader. And importantly, you need to remember whatever you have read. Selective amnesia doesn’t work in writing. For a writer of today, Google is god. Always refer to be accurate. Be sure about what you write. Never accept no for an answer and never get stuck with what you’ve written. Respect your parents, for without them you wouldn’t have been where you are,” he said.
A total of 12 writers were felicitated at the awards function. The runners-up in each category were awarded a cash prize of `2,000 and the winners `4, 000. Two writers received consolation prizes. The categories included short story, romance, poetry, fantasy, children’s fiction and romance. The jury members comprised Swarnalatha Bhaskaran, Sandhya Sridhar, RJ Kalpana and Latha Ramesh – all notable personalities in the field of writing, publishing and academics.