Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tips for Pratham Books' Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest 2017

The Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest from Pratham Books is on! This year we changed things around a bit, and gave our community themes to weave some story magic around. You can read more about this here

We thought the story weavers who are taking part this year might like some advice from our seasoned editors at Pratham Books on what to keep in mind when writing books for our very youngest readers! 

Manisha Chaudhry, Head of Content, Pratham Books
  • When you're writing a Pratham Books Level 1 book, stick to one idea.
  • Avoid sub-plots.
  • Try to stick to one line per page
  • Be descriptive! Use words that have sensory pleasure in them - soft, hard, thin, cold, hot, shiny etc. 
  • Use words that are fun to say-gobble gobble, drip drop, pins and needles etc
  • Use the child's eye view , if possible

Rajesh Khar, Senior Editor, Pratham Books
  • Writing with some learning objective or a moral is a big No for any children's fiction.
  • A story can be woven around an idea but the learning has to be embedded in the story itself in a subtle manner just like an subconscious outcome, not open and blunt.
  • The story must not have any biases and prejudices and should also steer clear of the stereotyped characters, settings and nuances.
Rajesh also shared some of his favourite Level 1 and 2 books (click on the name to read them on StoryWeaver!)
Sandhya Taksale, Senior Editor, Pratham Books

Madhuri Purandare's 'Aunt Jui's Baby' perfectly embodies what my colleague Rajesh is saying. The learning is embedded in the story in a subtle manner and the narration is also from the child's point of view.

Here is Sandhya's pick of level 1 and 2 books!

Yamini Vijayan, Commissioning Editor, Pratham Books
  • Repetition and patterns work very well with early readers. "Will you be my friend?" "Are you my mother?" are examples.
  • It's important for writers to expose themselves to as many picture books as possible. Reading is important!

Bijal Vachharajani, Editorial Consultant, Pratham Books
  • Write and rewrite. Reflect.
  • Share your words with other readers and writers
  • Read your story out loud for rhythm and pace.
  • Ask for feedback. Listen to feedback.
  • Edit ruthlessly. And then edit some more. 
  • Read many books, and then read some more. Read what you like, read what you don't.
  • Become a fierce critic of yourself. 
  • Remember when you are writing for children, you need to pull up your socks and give it your best. They will never settle for less.

Pratham Books is Hiring : Art Director


Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3,000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.


Job Description

Today, Pratham Books creates books suited to both print and digital mediums in multiple languages. We are looking for an Art Director to help us create visually appealing picture books with a strong understanding of how each of these mediums work.

As an Art Director, you will be responsible for the design and production of books created for both print and digital. As most of our titles are migrated to StoryWeaver, we are looking for someone who is tech-savvy and eager to find ways of minimising loss between print and digital book design. This will require you to work closely with our editorial team and external content creators we collaborate with (illustrators, consultant artdirectors). The candidate needs to have excellent graphic design skills and experience in print production.



Key Responsibilities
  • Manage a team of graphic designers to ensure that the book design is completed within agreed timelines
  • Work with freelance illustrators and consultant art directors to create visually-appealing books keeping in mind print and digital requirements
  • Find innovative ways of reducing losses when a book is adapted from print to digital, or vice versa
  • Ensure highest quality of print books
  • Work closely with the editorial team to create stories with rich, diverse and nuanced visual narratives
  • Bring in expertise of typography, keeping in mind multilingual content
Required skills
  • 6-8 years of experience in Graphic Design
  • Strong understanding of print production
  • Strong communication skills
  • Expertise in Photoshop, InDesign
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Be a team player
Nice to have but not mandatory:

  • An interest in illustration and book publishing
  • Knowledge of children’s books
Location: Position is based out of Bangalore


Salary: Will commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need.

Write to us: Email your resume with Art Director in the subject line to careers(at)prathambooks(dot)org

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Have You Seen All Our Latest Green Books?

Over the last couple of years, we have been creating a range of digital-first books for StoryWeaver — Pratham Books' digital platform of openly-licensed multilingual stories. For these books, our focus has mainly been on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics. 

Oh no, please don’t run away already! We hope we didn’t scare you with the mention of STEM. In fact, the whole idea of creating these books has been to make these themes more accessible and appealing for children. We are certain that the stories that have been created as part of this set will help children make better sense of these concepts, and also make it more fun and memorable for them. In this post, we are sticking to our set of ‘Nature & Environment’ books. 

 Nature and environment have been recurring themes in the work we do at Pratham Books. We feel strongly that it’s important to engage children in conversations about nature at an early age. Through these narratives, we’re attempting to show them all the incredible and strange wonders of nature, nurture their curiosity and hopefully, inspire them to be young eco-warriors.

An illustration by Aindri Chakraborty from 'Apu's Giant Earthquake'
Our new set of Environment-themed stories have been commissioned and edited by Bijal Vachharajani, who writes extensively on the environment for a number of publications. These books have been art-directed by writer and illustrator Vinayak Varma, giving them the distinctive look and nuance that is needed for green books.

A Cloud of Trash by Karanjeet Kaur & Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi
A cloud of trash is hanging over Cheekoo’s head, making her the unhappiest girl in the world. Read this wonderful story to find out how Cheekoo gets rid of this horrible trash cloud.

Apu’s Giant Earthquake by Sudeshna Shome Ghosh & Aindri Chakraborty
Did Apu’s singing cause the earth to tremble and shake? Or was it an earthquake? Find out more in this humorous and fascinating story about earthquakes.

A Butterfly Smile by Mathangi Subramanian & Lavanya Naidu
Kavya’s family has just moved from her village to Bengaluru and she is the newest girl in her class. Go along with Kavya as she visits a butterfly park where she discovers a special connection with butterflies and also makes a new friend.

What’s Neema Eating Today? by Bijal Vachharajani & Priya Kuriyan
Meet Neema who LOVES to eat. Slippery lychees, squishy jamuns, sour tamarinds, shiny spinach – she loves it all! Join Neema as she chews and chomps her way through the year.

An illustration by Lavanya Naidu from 'A Butterfly Smile'
In case you haven’t seen the Environment books that were created last year, you can read them here. 

Jadav and the Tree-Place by Vinayak Varma
Jadav has the best job in the world: he makes forests! How does he do it? Read this book to find out!This book won the 'Digital Book of the Year' award at the Publishing Next Conference in 2016.
Buy the book

Up World, Down World by Padmaparna Ghosh & Sunaina Coelho
In a canopy forest in India, the Up World and Down World have always been suspicious of each other. But it all changes when Gopa the dormouse drops her book by accident on Fatima’s head. A story about the biodiversity of the canopy forests and friendship. This book has been art-directed by illustrator and animator Kaveri Gopalakrishnan.
Buy the book

Let's Go Seed Collecting! by Neha Sumitran & Archana Sreenivasan
Join Tooka, Poi, and their best friend Inji the dog, as they go around collecting seeds. The adventure begins when the three friends meet Pacha the tamarind tree. 
At Least I'm Okay! by Alison Byrnes
Una, a mountain goat, lives on top of a mountain in beautiful Sakuland. The animals love their home but one day, the climate begins to change and the animals are forced to leave Sakuland. A story about climate change and how it affects animals and the natural world.

An illustration by Vinayak Varma from 'Jadav and the Tree-Place'
All these stories can be read and downloaded for free in multiple languages on storyweaver.org.in

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pratham Books is looking for a Digital Content Intern

At Pratham Books, we believe in the power of stories – good stories. For well over a decade we have strived hard to reach children across India with a variety of award-winning stories across 18 Indian languages. With our digital crowd-sourcing platform – StoryWeaver we now share the power of stories with a global community of educators, parents, authors, illustrators and translators. 

StoryWeaver is a digital repository of openly-licensed, multilingual children's stories. It allows its users to read, create and translate stories into Indian and international languages in the hope that children across the world can read quality stories in a languages of their choice.

StoryWeaver is looking for an intern for our Digital Content
Project Details
  • Migration of Pratham Books stories in multiple languages in digital formats onto StoryWeaver
  • Working on our language content for StoryWeaver
  • Publishing our stories on digital platform by ensuring a visually appealing layout 
  • Working with external agencies and proofreaders. 
  • Uploading books on StoryWeaver which involves tagging stories and images in a way that makes it accessible to users
Are you the intern we're looking for?This is the perfect project if you're a college student or a graduate looking to add some work experience to your resume.

The ideal candidate will
  • Have good understanding of English and any one (or more) of the following languages: Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
  • Have an eye for editing and love for languages and children’s stories 
  • Works well with a team
  • The intern can opt for an internship period that will range from 1 month to 3 months. The intern will receive an honorarium. The role requires her/him to be based in Bangalore and work from our office. 
Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with 'Intern - Digital Content for StoryWeaver' in the subject line of the email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Assistant - Projects

At Pratham Books, we believe in the power of stories – good stories. For well over a decade we have strived hard to reach children across India with a variety of award-winning stories across 18 Indian languages. With our digital crowd-sourcing platform – StoryWeaver we now share the power of stories with a global community of educators, parents, authors, illustrators and translators. 

StoryWeaver is a digital repository of openly-licensed, multilingual children's stories. It allows its users to read, create and translate stories into Indian and international languages in the hope that children across the world can read quality stories in a languages of their choice. 

Currently, we're looking for a full-time, Assistant - Projects to join our Digital Team in Bengaluru.

As an Assistant - Projects at StoryWeaver, this is what will keep you busy:

  • Working with a designer to adapt our legacy content (Pratham Books' print books) for StoryWeaver
  • Co-ordinating with reviewers and proofreaders
  • Support campaigns aimed at improving content on StoryWeaver
  • Finding creative ways for stories on StoryWeaver to travel wide and far
  • Uploading books on StoryWeaver which involves tagging stories and images in a way that makes it accessible to users
  • Identifying and forging partnerships with other open repositories to bring their stories onto StoryWeaver
Preferred Requirements
  • Degree in Literature/Journalism/Mass Communication/Media /Language 
  • Good communication skills in English, and ability to read and write well in one South Indian language (preferably Kannada, Telugu or Tamil)
  • 1-2 years of work experience; freshers may also apply
  • Ability to multi-task and coordinate between different stakeholders
  • Capable of working within a team and tight deadlines
  • Tech-savvy 
  • Sharp eyes to check copy
  • Love for languages
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with 'Assistant - Projects for StoryWeaver' in the subject line of the email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Storyweaver Poised for its Next Phase of Growth : More Stories. More Access. More Children Reading!

We, at Pratham Books, have had an amazing journey over the past 18 months since the launch of StoryWeaver, when we created a gateway to thousands of open access stories in mother tongue languages for children. The interactive nature of the platform has allowed users not just to read the stories but also translate, version, and download and print the stories for use.

We are now poised to take the next leap, thanks to Google.org, whose grant makes it possible for us to scale up StoryWeaver to provide more stories in more languages to children all over the world. Access to learning and information is part of Google’s core values and the organization has announced a $8.4M commitment to help scale four groundbreaking education nonprofits working in India to make a quality education a reality.


StoryWeaver has enabled access to a staggering 3000 stories in 67 languages in the past 18 months. These stories ae being reimagined and translated for the enjoyment of children of all ages, and their digital format allows them to reach the remotest of areas, and the least-served children. We have been overwhelmed by the response of our wonderful community that has contributed their time and talent to create, translate and version the stories and take them to more children. Imagine our delight when we discovered that it also spoke for unrepresented languages that are the mother tongue languages of some of the most disadvantaged children. From minority languages like Tibetan and Konkani, to tribal languages like Kora and Santali and endangered languages like Kurdish, StoryWeaver is a rich source of children’s storybooks, which, as we know, are an essential pathway to literacy.

Suchana, based in Birbhum, West Bengal, has been working to improve the lives of the large Adivasi tribal community in that region by implementing education and health programmes. One of the challenges faced by them was that while children spoke Kora and Santali at home, learning materials were only available in Bangla, which is the dominant language of that region. Even though, the indigenous Adivasi languages of Kora and Santali are the first languages of the people of the region, there was a dearth of original learning material. This changed dramatically when Suchana began to use the StoryWeaver platform for translation. In a year and a half, almost 70 new stories in Kora and Santali have been translated and published on the platform. Even as you read this, 10,000 copies of books in these languages are being printed for use in their school programmes.

The grant from Google.org will provide a big boost to our work with StoryWeaver, propelling it to the next level of reach and influence. It will encourage the generation of thousands of new, engaging stories to be distributed even more widely, and read and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of children across the globe.

With this, we will take a big step forward in fulfilling our mission of ‘a book in every child’s hand’.


Read more about the grant here : 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Junior Digital Marketing Executive

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In the last 13 years we have published over 3000 books and printed over 14 million copies and 16 million storycards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader we were one of the first publishers in the country to open licence our content. All this content in now available in digital formats on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 59 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice.

Pratham Books is looking for a junior digital marketing executive to promote its current suite of digital platforms. Through digital and online techniques and analysis, the digital marketing executive will work closely with all the organisation’s verticals setting and achieving specific goals in metricsm communication, brand building and conversion. 

The ideal candidate will. self-starter, natural organiser and excellent team player.

Responsibilities
  • Creating & implementing online and offline campaigns alongside our annual editorial/event calendar.
  • Support in execution of marketing projects and campaigns, including ideation, creation of collaterals, distribution of collaterals in various media.
  • Measurement and analysis of impact of online and offline marketing campaigns.
  • Create and share content on Social Media channels with our online community in new and exciting formats
  • Internal and external communication in the form of digital newsletters
  • Drive user engagement on StoryWeaver using social media tools, online partnerships and digital marketing.
  • Help develop and champion an SEO Strategy for the platform.
Skills
  • Experience with Google Analytics/AdWords and SEO
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong skills in online marketing, branding, social media marketing and copywriting.
Experience
  • At least 1-2 years’ experience within digital marketing ideally within publishing/media/edtech/events.
Qualifications : Bachelor’s degree. Any additional certification in digital marketing will be a bonus.

Salary: Will be commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need.

Interested candidates can send their resume to careers@prathambooks.org

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pratham Books' Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest 2017 is here!


Our annual Retell, Remix and Rejoice contest is back… with a small twist! This year :
  • You can choose from the whole universe of illustrations on the StoryWeaver platform 
  • You have to create an engaging story for young readers (A level 1 or 2 book. More details below)
A recent report ‘Mapping Children’s Literature in India’ by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Parag revealed a huge shortage of quality stories for our youngest readers (0-6 years), especially in Indian languages. We want your help in creating joyful stories for the next generation of bookworms to read, giggle and wonder at in English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi or Tamil. We asked Pratham Books’ editors to share the themes they felt engaging stories were most needed in. This is what they would like you to weave stories about:
  • My body: Parts of the body, sensations, growing up. Take a look at Rohini Nilekani’s ‘Listen to my Body’.
  • My friends: Games we play, sharing, fighting, making up, being fair. Have you read ‘मेरा घर’ by Rukmini Banerjee.
  • Animals around us: My pets, domestic and wild animals, birds and insects. ‘Ammu's Puppy’ by Sowmya Rajendran was one of the big hits of 2016 on StoryWeaver
  • Travel: Using modes of transport in stories, visiting new places and culture, etc. Check out 'My Car' by Phidi Pulu.
  • People around us: My teachers, shopkeepers, drivers, fruit-sellers, ice-cream wala, the gardener, mechanic, etc. Here's 'Phani's Slippers' by Sridala Swamy. 
  • The world around me: Weather, nature, seasons, trees and flowers, every day science Have you read 'The Red Raincoat' by Kiran Kasturia.

About our Reading Levels

At Pratham Books we link levels to the child’s reading development, since we know 10-year-olds who are comfortable with a Level 1 story, as well as 6-year-olds who can read Level 3 stories effortlessly. This happens across languages too as kids have different fluencies in different languages.

This year we’re asking you to be as creative as you can and convey as much as you can - using as few words as possible. Use our reading level guidelines as you create them.

Level 1 Books
  • Easy words, word repetition
  • Short sentences, less than 5 on a page
  • Text and pictures should support each other
  • Big fonts
  • Rhyme and rhythm
  • Word range: 0 to 250

Level 2 Books
  • Simple concepts (especially in non-fiction)
  • Stories with linear, engaging plots
  • Word range: 250 to 600



Guidelines for Submission

Timelines:
Contest ends on April 30, 2017.

Copyright and other guidelines

  • All stories submitted must be your original work.
  • Participants must be over the age of 17 to participate (we’re organising an exciting contest for children later in the year)
  • By submitting your work to Retell, Remix and Rejoice 2017, you are agreeing to a CC-BY license being applied to it (This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation). To know more about CC-BY, click here.

For queries, write to us at storyweaver@prathambooks.org

While we encourage participation from all countries, prizes shall be couriered only within India.

How to enter
You can submit your story for Retell, Remix and Rejoice 2017
using illustrations from our image bank
  • by uploading your own illustrations
  • or as text only
Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to create stories on StoryWeaver.

However you choose to create your entry, it MUST be via the Retell, Remix and Rejoice contest page, by clicking on the button below :


Oh and before you go… here’s a quick reminder of the prize this year

The three best manuscripts will receive detailed feedback from our Senior Editors at Pratham Books. One of the finalist entries will be chosen for re-illustration by a children’s book illustrator.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Junior Graphic Designer

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In the last 13 years we have published over 3000 books and printed over 14 million copies and 16 million storycards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader we were one of the first publishers in the country to open licence our content. All this content in now available in digital formats on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 59 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free. With both the print and digital initiatives being scaled, Pratham Books is looking for a Junior Graphic Designer. The job involves book design, page layout, and preparing illustrations for page layout, creating promotional posters, catalogues and other creative products, in English and many other languages.

Key Responsibilities
  • Working closely with the design and editorial teams to design and layout new children’s books for print and digital formats. ( The illustrations for the books will be provided)
  • Adapting the original print design files, and adapting it into sizes and templates that are suitable for StoryWeaver - Pratham Books’ digital story platform. Strong Photoshop skills are required for this 
  • Pagination, Artwork, Archiving and Documentation
Required skills:
  • Designer with an eye towards details and a strong sense of visualization.
  • Graphic design skills and an interest in book layouts
  • Expertise in Adobe creative suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) and CorelDraw. Proficient in MS Office and Windows
  • Basic understanding of the printing process 
  • Minimum of three years of relevant experience
  • Ability to work quickly and accurately on design files
  • Be a team player, Quick learner
  • Good communication skills 
  • Capable of working within a team and tight deadlines
  • Knowledge of fonts and Unicode fonts will be a plus
Pay: Subject to level of previous experience

Location : Bengaluru

Interested candidates are requested to send in their resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड बुकस्टोर हिन्दी साहित्य उत्सव

१९ मार्च को दिल्ली के ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड बुक स्टोर में एक दिवसीय हिंदी साहित्य उत्सव आयोजित किया जा रहा है। इसमें कविता पाठ से ले कर अनेक साहित्यिक व समसामयिक विषयों पर चर्चा होगी. पियूष मिश्र , मैत्रेयि पुष्पा , उर्वशी बुटालिया, सईदा हमीद व मृणाल पाण्डे जैसे वक्ताओं को सुनने का मौका दिल्लीवालों को मिलेगा। अनुवाद जैसे महत्वपूर्ण विषय पर भी बातचीत होगी। 

मनीषा चौधरी ( प्रधान सम्पादक, प्रथम बुक्स ) १९ मार्च ३.४५ -४.३० को ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड बुक स्टोर के हिंदी साहित्य उत्सव में "अनुवाद : भाषाओँ के आर पार" नामक पैनल चर्चा में एक वक्ता के रूप में शरीक होंगी 

दिन : रविवार, 19 मार्च, 2017
समय : सुबह 11:00 से शाम 08:00 बजे तक
स्‍थान : ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड बुकस्टोर, N - 81, कनॉटप्लेस, नई दिल्ली - 110001

Manisha Chaudhry (head of content team, Pratham Books) will also be speaking at the panel discussion "Anuvaad Bhashaon ke Aar Paar" at 3.45 pm.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Editor (Tamil)

 (Update : This position has been filled and the posting is closed.)

Pratham Books is looking for a dynamic Tamil Language editor, having full command over written, spoken and grammatically correct Tamil language and expertise in the translation process. The person needs to have a live connect with Tamil language and literature. The person will be responsible for anchoring the process of book development from translation of the manuscript in Tamil language to all the steps, which are needed to get the final books. The person will lead an outsourced team of translators, reviewers and proof readers, will work with the language and design team and will be responsible for the timely execution of all the processes involved.

This is a job that requires excellent English- Tamil translation ability, language skills, attention to detail. It also requires an interest in children’s literature and a creative understanding of child-friendly language. Clear communication and multitasking skills are a must.

Key Responsibilities

  • Send out the original English scripts for Tamil translations. Give inputs to the translator, see if the review is needed and get the copy proof read. Sign off the final ready to print Tamil PDF.
  • Build a system to put the translation and correction processes in place.
  • Track the workflow, observe the timelines, identify the bottleneck and communicate.
  • Build a strong team of English- Tamil translators, reviewers and proof readers.
  • Ensure the quality of translated work
  • Keep in touch with the new trends and challenges in translation.
  • Identify language experts in Tamil and send some of the translations for quality check.

Qualifications
  • Preferably a degree, in Literature/Journalism/Mass Communication/Media /Language (Tamil)
  • Experience of working in an editorial position in a publishing house and should have hands-on experience in translation, review, proofreading and production related processes.
  • Excellent communication skills in Tamil and English.
  • Sharp eyes to check copy
  • Ability to multi-task and be a team player
  • Good technology skills
  • Passion for children’s literature

Nice to have but not mandatory: Experience in working with children’s literature

Location: Position is based out of Bengaluru

Salary: Will commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need

Write to us: Email your resume with 'Language editor, Tamil' in the subject line to careers@prathambooks.org.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Assistant Editors

We're hiring four Assistant Editors

Pratham Books is India’s largest, not-for- profit, multi-lingual children’s book publisher. Being multilingual, the key objective is to publish high quality, affordable books in multiple Indian languages for the reading pleasure of children. In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books across languages and distributed over 14 million copies of our books and 16 million story cards.


Job description

Pratham Books is looking for a creative person to take on the work of an assistant editor. The position involves reading and review of new manuscripts, editing chosen manuscripts, managing the workflow with authors, designers and illustrators, working with the design team, proofing copy at the layout and print stage, writing copy for blurbs, catalogues and promotional events. The assistant editor will also need to co-ordinate with the administrative team for documentation, records and payments. We expect this person to bring in new ideas to create interesting books in Indian languages for children, especially those children who may be first-generation school-goers. The position requires an interest in children’s literature and a creative understanding of child-friendly treatment of subjects.

Required Skill-set

  • Ability to evaluate and edit manuscripts
  • Excellent communication skills in English and any other Indian language
  • Ability to copy-edit
  • Sharp eyes to check copy
  • Ability to write copy for blurbs, catalogues and promotional material
  • Ability to maintain and document day-to- day editorial assignments
  • Ability to track work and co-ordinate with the administrative team
  • Ability to multi-task and be team player
  • Basic computer skills

Desirable

  • Degree in Literature/Journalism/Mass Communication/Media /Language
  • Ability to visualise and engage creatively with the design team

Experience
At least 3-4 years in an editorial position would be good. Preference will be given to candidates who have worked in children's publishing or with children.

Location
This is a fulltime position, one in our New Delhi office and three in our Bengaluru office.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume and sample of work to careers@prathambooks.org with & 'Assistant Editor – and your name' in the subject line of the email.

To know more about what we do, visit www.prathambooks.org and blog.prathambooks.org

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Outreach Manager

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice.

Job Description 

We are looking for an Outreach Manager who can forge strategic partnerships to facilitate the use of StoryWeaver’s digital resources with organizations that have programs which promote reading and learning among children. The Manager will be responsible for strategizing and executing plans to increase the user base of StoryWeaver and also provide the necessary training and support to the partner network. The Manager will also work with the internal team to shape and guide strategies based on partner inputs and feedback.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Identify potential partners and strategize, design and execute plans to onboard them as StoryWeaver users.
  • Create and execute robust work plans for achieving monthly, quarterly and annual goals
  • Provide training and support to the partner network
  • Provide information and feedback to the internal team based on partner feedback and essentially be a bridge between the internal and external stakeholders
  • Help with research and documentation for impact assessment
Qualifications

  • Post Graduate Degree
  • 5+ years plus work experience in Sales, Marketing, Outreach or related areas.
  • Experience in a programmatic function in the development sector
  • Exceptional interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills
  • Ability to gather data, analyze information, and prepare reports and documents 
  • Strong program planning and implementation skills.
Location: This role is based out of Delhi and is full-time. 

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience. Interested candidates are requested to send in their resume to careers@prathambooks.org with the subject line – Outreach Manager

Gender-Balancing in Children's Books

Joeanna Rebello Fernandes on children's books that move away from sexism and provide newer narratives and role models for the kids of today.

Via Times of India

If only Sowmya Rajendran's book was around at the time. Published in 2015 by Tulika, Girls To The Rescue is a redemptive retelling of popular fairy tales, where leading ladies like Snow White, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty are non-conformists, their happily-ever-afters not tied in with the prince. "I started composing feminist fairy tales while trying to get my daughter to eat her meals," says Rajendran. By her hand, Cinderella turned into the girl with big feet, whose godmother wanted her to go to the ball, have fun, and not be a homebody. The prince ends up admiring her big feet.

Despite having turned the tale on its head, though, Rajendran doesn't believe in keeping pop culture away from kids. "My daughter also knows the traditional tale, but enjoys the retelling. With alternative narratives, children will learn to question what they read and see. That took us a long time, I started analysing, interrogating and unlearning only at the undergrad level," says Rajendran, who has also won the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar for another book that questioned gender stereotypes.

The girls and women who inhabit children's literature today are not unlike the people writing and illustrating them; products of their time who won't stand for sexism or other discriminations between the covers. And so, Sangeeta in Scholastic's The Great River Magic loves math and her brother loves to cook. Rajiv Eipe's grandmother in Ammachi's Amazing Machine (Pratham Books) wears a tool-belt and makes a mean coconut extracting-machine. Shabnam Minwalla's Nina is The Shy Supergirl (Westland) without the dual identity. Who says a supergirl can't be shy? These books and their individual characters flatten stereotypes.

Publishers and authors abroad have been making up for bigoted books since the '80s and '90s, with feminist works like Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole, Andrea Beaty's Rosie Revere, Engineer, Ian Falconer's Olivia, and many others. And in the last couple of years, Indian writers have also been actively contributing. "It is a conscious attempt to right the balance since boys have formed the default centre for the longest time," says Manisha Chaudhry, head of content at Pratham Books. "Having more active, curious, problem-solving girls is to normalise the portrayal of childhood in a gender-balanced way."

Illustration : Rajiv Eipe
Children's writing may have turned a page, but marketing and buying behaviour has to keep up. Some kid-lit campaigners like columnist Bijal Vachharajani are doing what they can to spread the word and recommend new, diverse titles for parents and teachers. 

"There are some amazing feminist children's books and young adult literature being published in India (and internationally) — of course they are few and far between. But the range is steadily increasing," says Vachharajani.

But children, parents and educators often don't get to know about these books. Vachharajani says: "There needs to be more buy-in from mainstream bookstores, e-retail sites and the marketing teams for such books. Otherwise they will continue to be considered 'alternative'. Which these books are not — they are definitely slice-of-life."

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Outreach Executive (Bengaluru)

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice.

Job Description

We are looking for an Outreach Executive who will be part of the Outreach Team and will work closely with the Managers to support all outreach related activities. The core objective of the team is to forge strategic partnerships that facilitate the use of StoryWeaver’s digital resources with organizations that have programs which promote reading and learning among children. The team is responsible for strategizing and executing plans to increase the user base of StoryWeaver and also providing the necessary training and support to the partner network. The Outreach Executive will support the team by creating a database of potential partners, design communication to reach out to them, manage coordination/registrations of workshops during the year, maintain records and documentation of activities conducted.

Key Responsibilities
  • Develop annual outreach plan in conjunction with Outreach Managers, with a detailed activity plan to reach the desired goals
  • Build a database of potential partners
  • Liaison with internal and external stakeholders for outreach projects.
  • Maintain and nurture relationships with partner organisations and foundations
  • Reporting and documentation
Qualifications
  • Graduate Degree
  • 2+ years of work experience in Sales, Marketing, Outreach or a related area
  • Experience in Education and/or Development sector is an added benefit
  • Good interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders    
  • Ability to gather data, analyze information, and prepare reports and documents.
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
Location: This role is based out of Bengaluru and is full-time.

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience. Interested candidates are requested to send in their resume to careers@prathambooks.org with the heading Outreach Executive in the subject line.

Friday, March 3, 2017

#READtalks

READ Alliance in collaboration with Pratham Books & Room to Read India brings to you an afternoon of live conversations, dialogue, and discussion around libraries & early learning efforts. 

Be geared to witness research and field insights on#innovative #library practices to enhance reading experience around the country. There will also be a showcase of various library interventions aimed at improving early reading levels in India.


So come join us on 07th March (2 pm onwards) at The Taj Ambassador-Vivanta Hotel to share ideas, and find solutions that have the potential to transform the early grade reading space in India. 

Register here : http://bit.ly/2mbJgc2

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Children's Library Unconference 2017




The Children's Library Unconference 2017 in happening on 4th March, 2017. 


Parag’s annual Children’s Library (un)Conference aims to create a space for children’s library discourse in India. The (un)conference will act as an avenue where library educators and others engaged in the library space, with reading and children, get to meet, exchange ideas, present best practices and challenges and learn from each other. For the inaugural (un)Conference, Parag will bring together thought leaders in the library and children’s literature space. Moving away from the regular panel discussion and presentation format, (un)Conference will host displays by eight organisations doing significant work with children’s libraries (one best practice around use of library/children’s books and its impact). Panelists and participants will do a walk-through of the displays. Post lunch panelists will share observations followed by reflection and discussion that takes the dialogue forward. The discussion will actively involve participants in the audience to share thoughts and observations. We hope this format will lead to a collaborative discussion that includes all members who are attending and enable us to build a shared vision for children’s libraries in India.

(un)Conference Venue – New Wing, India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi
(un)Conference Schedule – Click for Schedule
Registration is Compulsory. Register Here (https://goo.gl/FKIHZU)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Marketing and Communications Manager (Bengaluru)

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.

Donate-a-Book, is a unique crowd-funding platform for children’s books. The platform helps to bridge the gap between individuals who want to help children read and those organizations, schools and individuals who need books for children.

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice.


Job Description

Pratham Books is looking for a dynamic person to lead its marketing and communications activities for all its initiatives. The landscape is wide, varied and creative. It would range from creating campaigns to tickle the imagination of writers, illustrators or translators to designing collateral for events; from creating newsletters to promoting a new series of books. You would need to create marketing communications strategies for different stakeholders, support internal teams, manage media relations, and oversee all brand related activities. It goes without saying that you’ll be good with words and ideas.

Key Responsibilities
  • Develop and present the communication activities memorably and create a strong brand presence for Pratham Books.
  • Plan and execute marketing campaigns
  • Create CRM programs 
  • Support on ground events like book fairs and literature festivals with marketing collateral and on ground activation
  • Develop and maintain media relations
  • Use digital marketing tools to increase awareness and traffic to websites 
  • Measure and report performance of marketing campaigns
  • Participate in award challenges
Qualifications
  • A degree in Business/Marketing
  • Minimum of 3-4 years experience in     Advertising / Marketing Communications
  • All-round knowledge of different aspects of communication – Advertising, PR, Digital Marketing, CRM programs    
  • Good communication, presentation and interpersonal skills
  • A self-starter and motivated team player    
  • Good technology skills
Nice to have but not mandatory: Experience in working with nonprofits.    

Location: Position is based out of Bengaluru

Salary: Will commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need

Write to us: Email your resume with Marcom Manager in the subject line to careers@prathambooks.org.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Notes from JLF : Rohini Vij

For the sixth year in a row, we partnered with the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival and Teamwork Arts to manage to outreach component of the festival. In its sixth year, the Outreach from January 16-25th, 2017 was hosted in 100 schools in and around Jaipur. Here are some stories from the people who added all the magic to the events :

Rohini Vij says...


‘I am a storyteller. I have an imaginary bag on my shoulder and I travel from one place to another telling stories to children like you. All my stories are inside this bag and whenever I have to tell a story I just dig into my bag and pull it out.’

This is what I told an eager group of children at Govt. P.S. Parvatpuri, Gunni school in Jaipur during my first session in JLF-Outreach 2017, organised by Pratham Books.

The thing that really melted my heart was that the children really believed every word I uttered. They waited patiently for me to dramatically dig out a story for them and once I was done telling the two stories that morning a girl with a very concerned expression walked up to me and said, 'Didi please put these two stories back in your bag for other children.’ For a moment I was speechless, I then smiled and clumsily pretended to put the stories back into my bag, much to the satisfaction of the girl.

This one line uttered by the girl has been playing in my head ever since. Picture this, here is a 5 or maybe 6 year old child far away from the amenities some of the children her age are fortunate to have access too. Attending school in old worn out clothes probably passed down to her by her siblings or neighbours, unwashed face, torn bag, oversized slippers, listening spellbound to stories that probably temporarily drifted her away from her world into another, yet so selfless that once she got her share of the stories she wanted to be sure other children like her don't remain deprived of them.

This and many such magical moments describe my experience at JLF-Outreach a fabulous initiative by Pratham Books. Each time I tell stories to children I go back feeling great about what I do. Those few minutes they make you feel like a celebrity. After the story they are bursting with energy and they all want a piece of you, literally! Their goodbyes are full of positivity, their appreciation is upfront, and they are hopeful that you will be back again. That magical rush is probably what makes me want to tell stories more and more. ‘It's almost addictive’, I told Yashdeep a young engineering student from Amity University who was a part of the volunteer team at the festival, when he asked me what I loved the most about my job.

There were some helpless moments too. When I was telling a story at Prayas Inclusive School, a 13 year old boy suffered an epileptic fit during the session. This happened in the middle of the second story I was telling. While the boy’s body shivered and his mouth began to froth I watched him suffer helplessly for what seemed like a lifetime. The children who was so cheerfully engaged till until a moment ago were absolutely silent during the attack - perhaps feeling as helpless as I was. The teachers of course rushed to the boy and tried their best to provide him comfort. He was unconscious for a while before he came around. He was then taken away to rest. I was then asked to resume the session. That was perhaps one of the most difficult experiences of my life. A group of children visibly disturbed after what had happened to their friend and also waiting to know what happened next in the story. For me to transition into my role as a storyteller at that difficult moment was indeed a challenge. Of course I told them the rest of story with as much gusto but the incident truly tested my skills as a performer who was herself experiencing a myriad of emotions.

As I traveled back from Jaipur to Kanpur I felt a sense of calm and joy. I was exhausted yet bubbling with energy. Storied had spilled their magic, yet again. I looked out of the window, it was dark outside yet after every few seconds I saw a glimmer of light.







Pratham Books is Hiring : Research Manager

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. Last year, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.

Job Description 

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice. We are looking for a Research Manager who can lead our efforts to evaluate our programs, analyse data and provide insights and information to guide strategy.

As a Research Manager, you will be responsible for developing and supporting research projects to meet defined goals. The projects will include both primary research and secondary data projects. You will need to work with internal and external stakeholders to understand the requirements, review the collected data, draw insights, author reports and make recommendations.

The candidate needs to have strong research and analytical skills as well as a deep understanding of web analytics. The successful candidate will be a self-starter, with strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills and willingness to travel.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Understand the research requirements for each program and selecting the most appropriate research methodology and techniques
  • Design qualitative and quantitative research plans
  • Design research questionnaires and moderator guides
  • Analyse and interpret data for the digital projects on an ongoing basis, writing reports, and making actionable recommendations
Qualifications:
  • 7 to 10 years experience in research with an excellent understanding of web analytics.
  • Ability to interpret large amounts of data and manage multiple projects
  • Strong communication and presentation skills - should have experience in writing papers, reports and presentations.
  • Excellent knowledge of statistical analysis software ( e.g SPSS,Stata and R)
  • Familiarity with CRM programs
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking
Nice to have but not mandatory:
  • Experience working with nonprofits. 
Location: Position is based out of Bangalore

Salary: Will commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need

Write to us: Email your resume with Research Manager in the subject line to careers(at)prathambooks(dot)org

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Tamil Journey

21st February is International Mother Language Day and our blog is hosting a celebration of languages. A series of blog posts by people from different walks of life - sharing their thoughts on languages, memories and more. International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

(This post was sent to us by Sandhiya. An avid reader whose hobbies include defying social norms, Sandiya is using her writing as her armament. For now. Follow her journey on instagram @sand1ya)

For most of my childhood, I wasn't proud of my mother tongue. Tamil was a language that was spoken by most ethnic Indians in Malaysia, and yet, I didn't think it was cool enough, not as cool as speaking English. You see, when you are brought up in a multi ethnic society, every sentence you spurt out would inevitably contain words of two or three different languages. We Malaysians take pride in this, especially when it comes to ordering or describing food (that's another blog post all together). What we say on a daily basis is an amalgamation of English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Having said that, Tamil had the least appeal to me growing up. I didn't have anyone to speak to, as my family conversed in English. My exposure was limited to the Sunday afternoon screening of Tamil movies on the television, which I enjoyed. It wasn't too surprising that I couldn't string a sentence in my mother tongue, I never even attempted.

As I ventured on into high school, I somehow took a keen interest in the language. I secretly attribute this to the Tamil movies I was getting addicted to. Dad and I would go on our dates to catch the latest Rajinikanth flick in the cinema. I had also made more Tamil speaking friends at this juncture. I decided to learn to read Tamil. Our study at home archived books which we had inherited from my late grandfather. There, I found a book entitled 'Learn Tamil through English in 30 days'. Surely, this title brings back memories to many reading this. Within a matter of weeks, I could read in my mother tongue, albeit slowly. I had to sound out each letter, and then figure out what the word meant, but still. I had done it, and my parents proudly announced this self-acquired achievement to our relatives. Why they didn't speak to me in Tamil, they never revealed, of course.

So there I was, in my late teens, trying to speak colloquial Tamil to my friends, only to be laughed at and ridiculed. I was told not to mutilate the language that is my mother tongue by speaking it. This didn't bother me, of course. As long as I understood what was being said, I was fine. Plus, I was a self-taught Tamil literate, how many of my friends could say that about themselves? None.

And then it was time to further my education. Lo and behold, where did that take me? To Chennai, the Tamil capital of the world, the city that is bursting at its seams with people, culture and tradition. To say that I was overwhelmed by the madness of the city would be an understatement. The organized chaos took some time to get used to. I was expecting Chennai to be like in the movies, miles of beach, students dressed in crop tops going to university, and roads so clear you could walk on the pavement and have your own Tamil song playing in the background. Boy, was I mistaken. The beach was, well miles of silly (and risky) fun fair activities, dotted with couples under umbrellas, patrolled by adolescents who couldn’t care less if they went to school or not. The only crop tops worn were saree blouses, and those were covered in 6 yards of cloth. As for the pavements, you had to choose between being assaulted by the stench of urine or cleverly avoiding puddles and potholes which somehow appear when you least expect it. And yet, I stayed on, completed my degree, and acquired a whole new lease on life.

Fast forward five years, I have returned home, and needless to say, my spoken and written Tamil is at its best now. My friends still gawk at me when I speak Tamil in front of them, and I covertly rejoice at this, kind of like an ‘in your face’ moment for them. My Tamil movie dates with dad have now included my entire family, and are not just limited to Rajinikanth. Both of which I am so thankful for.

I have recently began interpreting Tamil song lyrics. Once the drivel has been sifted out, Tamil poetry is charming, with words so beautifully threaded together, it engulfs the reader. Currently, I am working my way through the Thirukkural. I picked up the English transliteration a couple of years ago in Chennai, but the Tamil version is simply brilliant.

They say life is an ongoing lesson, and my journey just proves it. My life has been an ongoing Tamil lesson, a slow one, but a lesson nonetheless. There is plenty left to learn, my Tamil vocabulary has so much room for improvement. And yet, I am enjoying the motions of this lesson. Tamil is a delight to read. It is poetry in its own right, without even trying. Reading fills my heart with bliss, and as I flip the pages of my life, I am grateful to be bestowed this beautiful language as my mother tongue. Steeped in a culture so rich, Tamil will always hold a special place in my heart, no matter how uncool it seems.