Sutirtha Paul – Class XI Apeejay School, Salt Lake, Kolkata. Katha Utsav 2016 ‘Brown overcoat, clean shaven, blue-striped tie, camera and a briefcase – Yes that must be him’ – murmured Freeman. He followed him to the train – carriage 21. Freeman got into carriage 20. He had been involved in far more dangerous missions…
What is Katha Utsav?
The national Katha Utsav is the culmination of the ILR – India campaign and takes place in a 3-day gala literary event for children, in New Delhi. Selected students get an opportunity to meet and be mentored by professional national and international writers, poets, illustrators and translators. The Utsav will reward your students’ writing skills and showcase their works to publishers & literary agents via meetings and workshops at the event. The winning entries for the best story and best translation may be published by KATHA as Bal Katha Stories.
Search for Excellence in Creative Writing
Katha’s Search for Excellence in Creative Writing is designed to draw out the storyteller in every child and cultivates a culture of writing among young people. The event strives to bring the excitement of the printed word in this technology-driven era and revive the touch and feel of crisp paper and storybooks. It also strives to demonstrate the fact that using digital and printed books can go hand in hand and each segment has its unique and justified place in our ecosystem. The younger generation is extremely environment-conscious which is clearly reflected in their stories that are a result of their sensitive and innocent imagination. Through this event we help them transcend their imagination into positive action of giving back not only to the society but also to the environment that they live in.
The Utsav has a dedicated portal, where around 15000 stories are submitted every year through the on-the- spot Search for Excellence conducted in schools across India with Katha Clubs.
The Regional Workshops
Out of these stories, 1200 stories are selected to participate in the four Regional Writing Workshops, culminating into a grand finale called Katha Utsav in which 500 finalists come together in New Delhi. This three-day literary extravaganza consists of Writers’ Workshops that include media & journalism sessions, poetry sessions, expressive arts & communication sessions; theatre, storytelling & heritage sessions.
All the participating children are awarded certificates and the prize-winning stories are published by Katha as Bal Katha Series, and the young authors are given one-on-one mentoring from prominent and award-winning writers and illustrators who help them open up their minds to a whole new world of ideas.
The participants are agents of change and Katha Utsav provides them with the tools to write creatively about practical ways to combat contemporary issues of environment, education, socio-economic disparity, while helping them broaden the spectrum of their imagination and understanding of the literary world and its many facets.