Monday, May 31, 2010

Announcing the results of the 'Retell, Remix, Rejoice with Chuskit' Contest




Hi! Pratham Books is delighted to announce the winners of the 'Retell, Remix, Rejoice with Chuskit' Contest. The response was excellent and we had a whale of a time reading so many stories that had their genesis in one little story!

We’d like to thank all our participants for their imaginative entries. We now have nearly 50 new stories that we would like to share with readers all over the world. We’d like to thank the original creators Sujatha Padmanabhan (author), Madhuvanti Anantharajan (illustrator) and Manisha Gutman (designer) for introducing ‘Chuskit Goes to School!’ to all of us. Thanks, ladies, and we wish you all the best in all your future projects for children!

And the winners are:

Online: Above 16 years

1st Prize, Vibha Batra, Jamun has her wish
2nd Prize,Neelam Chandra, The Haunted House
3rd Prize, Nilofar Shamim Ansher, How Two Legged Su Saves the Day

Special prizes

1st Prize, Mahesh Mhabdi, Everything is possible
2nd Prize, Tilakprasad Joshi,Life of Nita
3rd Prize, Hussein, Carina Goes to School

Under 16

1st prize, Aakash Pandey, Nisha Walks Again

Akshara Foundation Winners

English

1st Prize: Naghma, Ritu and her lost brother
2nd Prize: N. Ruksar, The story of Suman

Urdu

1st Prize, Sonappa Garden students,

Kannada

1st Prize, Sriharsha, Smita, Madhuri, Prabhudev, Pooja: Rethala Bhavishya
2nd Prize, Akshara Library, Chuskit


‘Jamun Has Her Wish’ will now be presented as a printed book to Vibha Batra. Vibha’s story is simple, clear and while Jamun’s Grandpa may have got his idea from Tom Sawyer, we loved this endearing story. Congratulations Vibha! Our intern Sudha Balachandran, a student of Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore, did a quick layout of the winning entry.

There were many stories that nearly made it. We realise that judging a creative contest is always a challenge---ideas are so subjective! So we judges had quite a tussle when we had to decide the winners.

We chose “The Haunted House’ for the way the author has remixed the story taking it to a totally different genre, and we chose ‘How Two-legged Su Saved the Day’ for the intricate storyline, the vivid settings and the effort made to create a totally new environment for the book.

Amritha Dinesh sent us “How Dani learnt She was special’ and we liked it very much. We enjoyed the light-hearted story sent by Hetal Shah, ‘Choti Brings Unity’ about a girl who gets into trouble because of her cat. Imagination soars literally sky-high for Archana Jayakumar who sent us ‘Princess Pom-Pom Learns to Smile’ about a little girl who takes a lesson from the clouds. Vibha Sharma’s ‘Picture Perfect’ is a simple story that shows how resourceful kids can be. Vidya Vasudevan creates a monster in her story 'Lazy Billy and the Taka-taka Monster'.

In the Under 16 category, the winner is nine-year old Aakash Pandey with his entry 'Nisha Walks Again'. We would like to believe that the lower number of entries in this category indicates that children were out there in parks and playgrounds or vacations soaking up the sunshine rather than sitting at their computers!

We’re particularly delighted to have the entries of three very smart young men. Mahesh Mhabdi, Tilak Prasad Joshi and Hussein studied at Happy Home School for the Blind in Mumbai, and are now undergraduate students at St. Xavier's College. They appeared for their Class 12 examinations recently. They did their schooling in the Marathi medium, and could have easily written the stories in Marathi. But they thought writing in English would be a good way to improve their skills. Thinking in their mother tongue, and translating those thoughts into English before typing them couldn't have been very easy! Says Chintan Girish Modi, “As part of a summer programme devoted to strengthening English language skills, which I co-facilitated at Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged this April, we thought it would be a good idea for students' creative work to find an audience beyond their peers and teachers.”

Our thanks to Inclusive Planet too for making the contest accessible to the print-impaired community.

And the surprise that we mentioned? Our friends at pothi.com have an offer. Contestants have been invited by pothi.com to get their books printed through their print on demand service. Won't it be exciting to have a printed book with your name on it? Look out for more details in your mailbox!

We'd also like to acknowledge Siddharth Srivastava's suggestion of creating a board game out of our illustrations. "Make placards with these illustrations (one picture per card) and then turn it into a board game where you place the illustrations in an order and then a person can write a story. Soon you can create a 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' kind of river of stories, with mixing and matching and creation of new stories!" wrote Siddharth and then followed it up with a detailed instructions to crate prototype for the game.

We got some interesting feedback on this idea from our online community. Just goes to show the enormous benefits for all of sharing content online, don't you think?

At Pratham Books, we strongly feel that the more we share, the more we get. By putting up one book in cyberspace, we've got nearly 50 new stories that can go out to children. Imagine the things we could give our children if more book creators---authors, illustrators, designers, translators, publishers---could work together!

There are two prize-winning entries on Scribd.com now,and you can read both of them here. We will be uploading all the other entries on Scribd.com too in the coming weeks. So do look out for them! Happy reading and a big thank you to everyone who has been part of this project! Thank you for spreading the joy of reading!

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