Isolation Inspirations!

Social distancing, isolation. quarantine – all these were words that we didn’t use in 2019. But here we are, home-schooling, working from home and finding new ways to keep ourselves occupied.

So I got together with my poetry group 
and created a book of poems - 
about staying indoors, washing hands, 
home-school and so much more. 

These poems were all written during the period of staying indoors, to amuse ourselves and to bring cheer to others. It is also more than that. As writers and poets, our feelings are often expressed in words and while we worked, talked to our families, went for our permitted jog or shopping, we also wrote about what we are going through.

The four of us who got together are:

Margaret Bateson-Hill – https://www.margaretbateson-hill.co.uk/

Dom Conlon – https://domconlon.com/

Mo O’Hara – https://moohara.co.uk/ 

Chitra Soundar – http://www.chitrasoundar.com/ 

And that’s what creative artists do. Reflect the world around them and help all of us look at our situation from a different perspective

Download the book of poems here!

We hope you enjoy reading these poems. If you wish to recite them on video and share with the world, do let us know too. Our social media contacts are available at the end of the book.

Let’s hope for a better world where we unite against all kinds of evil, not just a virus.

Want to write your own poems? Here is an activity to help you.

All Good Things…

All good things must start with a story. And the National Storytelling Week must of course start with a brilliant one.

This story I’m going to tell you, has stayed with me from when I was six or seven. I was a very fussy eater and one of the vegetables I didn’t like to eat was the purple brinjals (or the white ones for that matter).

Many of the stories in my Prince Veera series are reimagined versions of such stories about Emperor Akbar and Birbal, King Krishnadeva Raya and his trusted friend Tenali Rama.

Prince Veera series

Listen to the story and enjoy! If you like it, do pass it along. Because a hand-me-down story is the best kind there is!

British South Asian KidLit Creators

I got tagged today by a friend for a question about who is writing books for South Asians in the UK. And we all tagged people we knew and then I realised, it was good to create a list we can all share.

As the aunt of mixed-raced kids whose cultures are meshed in and we feed them quite a lot of both Indian and British stories, it’s important for our children to see stories that are about them too.

So I’ve started a list here. If you have more people to add to this, please first check if they’re part of South Asian heritage and if they are British either by residency or by nationality. If so, do message me on twitter at @csoundar and I’ll add them to this list.

Also I’ve indicated ages the authors have books in. If you’re one of the listed authors and you want to change it, do let me know. This is just an indication for parents and teachers/ librarians. Authors are always experimenting and writing new things.

British South Asian KidLit Authors

Name Age-range of books written Twitter
Handle
Website
Chitra
Soundar
3 plus @csoundar www.chitrasoundar.com
Nizrana
Farook
9 plus @NizRite  
Nadia
Shireen
3 plus @NadiaShireen etsy.me/2E8Fo5h  
Smriti
Prasadam-Halls
0 plus @smritiPH Smirti.co.uk
Yasmin
Rahman
YA @YasminwithanE  
Swapna
Haddow
7 plus @swapnahaddow Swapnahaddow.co.uk
Sita Brahmachari 13 plus @sitabrahmachari Sitabrahmachari.com
Savita Kalhan YA @savitakalhan Savitakalhan.com
Bali Rai 9 plus @balirai Balirai.co.uk
Nikesh Shukla YA @nikeshshukla Nikesh-shukla.com
Ranjith Singh 3 plus @ranjiththeauthor  
Rashmi
Sirdeshpande  
  @rashmiwriting rashmisirdeshpande.com
Sufiya
Ahmed
YA @sufiyaahmed https://mbalit.co.uk/client/sufiya-ahmed/  
Jasbinde
Bilan
9 plus @jasinbath  
Sarwat
Chadda
9 plus @sarwatchadda  
Narinder Dhami 9 plus @narinderd  
Jamila
Gavin
3 plus @jamilaji http://www.jamilagavin.co.uk
Irfan
Master
9 plus @irfan_master http://irfanmaster.com  
Taran
Matharu
9 plus @TaranMatharu1 http://authortaranmatharu.com  
Zanim
Mian
9 plus@Zendibble http://www.sweetapplebooks.com  
Serena
Patel
9 plus@SerenaKPatel    
Leila
Rasheed
7 plus@LeilaR https://leilarasheeddotcom.wordpress.com  

British South Asian KidLit Illustrators

Name Twitter Instagram Website
Poonam Mistry @pmistryartist https://www.poonam-mistry.com/  
Rikin Parekh @r1k1n https://www.rikinparekh.com/  
Lucy Banaji @Lucy_Banaji lucybanaji.com
Baljinder Kaur@Ballyjinderbaljinderkaur.com
Jen KhatunJen Khatunhttps://www.jenkhatun.com/

Also check out http://www.speaking-volumes.org.uk/projects/breaking-new-ground/ for over 100 BAME creators in the UK.

Story Starter – Workshop Resources

Are you a teacher or a writer or a storyteller? Then you would definitely enjoy this post on StoryStarters that started as a simple question on Twitter. And then the thread unravelled into a yarn of wonderful possibilities.

Based on the story starters, here are some storytelling / creative writing / imagination activities. They are not for anyone specific – from classrooms to lecture halls, from a studio to a lonely cafe, they can be used anywhere.

Click here to download.

STORY STARTERS…

A Twitter thread that unravelled….

As always I daydream as much as I dream during the night. I was thinking about stories and how they started in Tamil. Here is a beautiful representation in popular culture from a Tamil movie.

And in response, people from across the world told me how stories start in their own cultures and languages including popular culture.

Teachers, storytellers and writers across the world got excited by this flurry of wonderful phrases that triggered our imaginations and set us off into a new journey.

Come and find the thread on Twitter https://twitter.com/csoundar/status/1114461222336913410

So I gathered all the bits of the thread as much as possible for all you story geeks to use. Click here to download the pdf.

Classroom / workshop resources based on story starters now available to download. Click here!

Want to know how I use story starters in my books? Read this post to find out more.

The Guardian featured this twitter thread on their website and since then it has sparked more interest. Here is a link provided by storyteller Tim Sheppard on more story openings.