On the theme, ‘Reading takes you places’, young literary enthusiasts in the city are in for a treat as the annual Neev Literature Festival is all set to make a physical comeback after two years of being held online.
To be held on September 24 and 25, the festival will focus on the power of books to set one free to experience new places of this world in their imagination and explore various cultural perspectives. It will see myriad events with noted authors, librarians, awardwinning filmmakers, and storytellers discussing and interacting with the audience on a plethora of topics.
The winners of four categories of the Neev Book Award — Early Years (5-7 years), Emerging Readers (6-8 years), Junior Readers (9-12 years), and Young Adult (13-18 years) — will also be announced during the festival.
“The Neev Literature Festival in its 6th edition aims to evangelise the power of reading for lifelong learning, and the power of Indian stories for building identity,” co-founder and curator Kavita Gupta Sabharwal said.
“With changing family structures and constant digital invasion, children’s books are now the literary mirrors, and windows to the whole world of possibility.
“The festival and book award are shifting focus, with a report on the State of Indian Children’s Writing, that tells us the children’s book market is small and dominated by Western titles. Indian books focussed on personal chronology, mythology and folk tales are wonderful, but must also convey the Ideas of India@75 and the hopes of India@100.
“The profession of children’s writing must also become more financially sustainable in India. This is a community and space that we are committed to building for our children’s future,” Sabharwal added.
This year, NLF will witness 92 sessions with over 60 speakers from around the globe to enlighten young minds on topics ranging from climate change to writing from conflict zones. The event sets a platform for the reading enthusiasts to interact and engage with distinguished authors such as Roopa Pai, Anushka Ravishankar, Paro Anand, Jane De Suza, Samina Mishra, Venita Coelho, Shabnam Minwalla, Sandhya Rao, Bijal Vaccharajani, Arundhati Venkatesh, and Menaka Raman.
While Priya Narayanan will conduct an interactive session on Mythology and Math, Arefa Tehsin will describe what it was like to grow up as a naturalist’s daughter. Popular YA writer Andaleeb Wajid will run a Masterclass for students on arriving at one’s own writing style. Historian Devika Rangachari will conduct a Masterclass for parents of women who carved a niche for themselves, as described in historical texts that go back hundreds of years. International teacher-librarians Katie Day and Nadine Bailey will speak about new research and trends being practiced in growing readers at school.
With 13 sessions for parents and teachers, 17 interactive sessions, 20 master classes for students, and 42 book readings by authors, this festival is sure to be a literary paradise of enlightening conversations and gathering knowledge. Dedicated to celebrating the joy of reading, the festival will touch upon some pertinent, thought-provoking topics and make this an enriching experience for the young and the old alike.