Thursday, August 17, 2017

Who is Ameena? Enter our illustration contest now!

Here’s your chance to illustrate a book for Pratham Books' StoryWeaver and get paid for it!

Some of us look at the word “tree” and doodle this:

And others conjure up something like this:

(Illustration by Archana Sreenivasan from 'Let's Go Seed Collecting')

or this:

(Illustration by Vinayak Varma from 'Jadav and the Tree Place')

If you belong to the second category, then this contest is right up your alley!

Who is Ameena?

We have got a fabulous story coming up - 'What is Ameena Upto?', written by Roopa Banerjee. It is a charming story about a girl called Ameena and the antics she gets up to when her family isn't looking. We know Ameena is a mischievous little girl with a big imagination. But what does she look like? What does her family and her home look like? All of that is up to you! This is your chance to illustrate a children’s book for Pratham Books StoryWeaver!

Here is an extract from the story ‘What is Ameena Upto?’

Everyone’s wondering what Ameena is up to on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. After all, where did the coconut shell, the paint, the buttons, and newspaper go?

What you have to do

We want you to draw Ameena! Upload your illustration on StoryWeaver by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page. Then send us a brief note at telling us your vision and how you would illustrate this story. (You must send the vision note, otherwise your entry will not be considered valid.)

The contest will be judged by award-winning illustrator, art director, writer, editor and overall publishing rockstar, Vinayak Varma. If we like your Ameena and vision the most, you will be chosen to sign a contract with us. You will get two months to illustrate the whole book, which will be published by Pratham Books on StoryWeaver. And yes, it’s a paid contract.

This is a Level 1 story, which is for children who are eager to begin reading. This is how pages of level 1 books look:

(From 'What If?', written and illustrated by Hari Kumar Nair)

Contest Guidelines

  • The contest will run from August 9-23, 2017.
  • Please send your illustration notes to
  • Participants must be over the age of 17 to participate.
  • By submitting your original art work to 'Who is Ameena?' 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.

  • Size of illustration: 11.17 inches (width) x 5.35 inches (height). This is the recommended size as it fits neatly into one of the templates on StoryWeaver. 
  • The illustrations should be high-res (150-300 dpi).
  • Format: JPEG
  • File size for each illustration: Between 2 to 4 MB; above 4 MB will slow down the upload process

For any queries, write to us at!

Pratham Books is Hiring : Programme 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. As a publisher serving every child in India, Pratham Books has always pushed the boundaries when it comes to exploring innovative ways in which to create access to joyful stories and have been fortunate in finding partners to collaborate with who share this vision.

The Role 
Pratham Books currently has multiple projects which are supported by various donors, for content development and dissemination. The role would involve project co-ordination, anchoring content dissemination, and support reporting and documentation. 

Programme Co ordination 
  • Co-ordination among teams for various projects 
  • Ensuring adherence of project modules to timelines
  • Ensuring project requirements for external resources such as interns or researchers are met in a timely manner 

Anchor content dissemination 
  • Anchor dissemination of content in print and digital formats for grant based commitments
  • For print books, streamline processes to identify beneficiaries of classroom libraries, aligned with the requirements of the donors. 
  • Co-ordinate with warehouse and CRM teams to ensure timely dispatch of the libraries. 
  • For digital books, ensure books are published on the online StoryWeaver platform within the timelines committed
Support documentation and reporting 
  • Streamline reporting processes and ensure deadlines are communicated to project team
  • Co-ordinating with teams to ensure timely submission of individual components of project reports
Market Research 
  • Oversee lead generation for the CSR and sales teams 
  • Work with CSR, sales and CRM teams to expand and update information related to analysis and research done 
This is a full-time position based in Bangalore, and would report to the CEO. 

Who should apply?
Candidates who:
  • Have at least 3-5 years experience
  • Can ideally start from 1st September,2017 onwards
  • Are committed and meet deadlines consistently 
  • Are self-starters, enthusiastic and have good people skills
  • Have basic computer skills – Word, XL, PPT 
  • Have a good working knowledge of English and Hindi. Knowledge of Kannada would be a bonus. 
Please send your resume to with 'Programme Manager’ in the subject line of the email.

Illustration credit :  Thea Nicole de Klerk, from the book 'Springloaded' published by Book Dash on StoryWeaver.

Sign Up for StoryWeaver's Chennai Workshop

Pratham Books is conducting a special workshop on StoryWeaver - an open source, digital repository of multilingual children’s stories.

The workshop will be held in Chennai on 30th August, 2017. 

The workshop will cover the following
1. A detailed Demo of StoryWeaver – how to navigate and use the platform
2.Examples of how educators are using StoryWeaver effectively in their classrooms
3. Dedicated work time for participants to try their hands on StoryWeaver
4. An opportunity to meet people from similar field and make interesting conversations

So if you are:
a librarian or resource lead looking for curating stories
an educator in search of interesting ways to introduce concepts to your students
a storyteller or a reading champion
someone passionate about children's storybooks in Indian languages ...

Please note that​ the seats are limited and only confirmed participants will get a separate email confirming their participation, date of attendance and other logistical details. The workshop will be held between 11 a.m to 4 p.m. There is no charge to attend the workshop.

We look forward to seeing you! If there are any queries, please email them at khyati(at)prathambooks(dot)org

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The #PBChamps Programme is Back!

It is that time of the year again! The time when we start gearing up for the annual champions event. Last year 3000+ storytellers joined us to take 'The Elephant Bird' across India (and some other parts of the world!). How many champions will join us this year? We need you to spread the reading virus and we need you to get your friends and family to join the tribe of champions too.

The idea behind the campaign : The idea is to encourage children to fall in love with reading. This initiative is part of the Pratham Books' Champions program where we encourage our community of volunteers to use one book to conduct reading sessions. These sessions are conducted free of cost and mostly with children from under-served communities.

We continue to celebrate the joy of reading around International Literacy Day. This year's event is scheduled for 9th September, 2017 (as it is a Saturday and more people can join us to celebrate the joy of stories).

Season 6 of One Day, One Story

This year's chosen book is Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom (written by Yasaswini Sampathkumar and illustrated by Henu). Kottavi Raja had trouble sleeping. Only at night. During the day, when his ministers discussed complex problems, he’d find himself nodding of f. He asked everyone for remedies. Nothing seemed to work. Until... Travel to Kottavi Raja’s land through this book and see what happened next. You could also turn it into a play and involve kids in your storytelling session. Or tweak it a little to do your version of the story with tons of different characters and avataars.

We want you to take this story and use it in creative ways with kids -read it, narrate it and enact it.

Sounds interesting? Available on 9th September, 2017 (psst : Read our FAQs below if you are not available on that day)? Join thousands of others and do your part to make reading contagious!

*Registrations to receive a hard copy of the book end on 31st August, 2017. You will however be able to sign up to receive an e-copy of the book.

So, how does this work? 
Fill in the form. A copy of the chosen book and a banner will be sent by the Pratham Books team. You are free to choose the place and time you want to conduct the session. You can also conduct other activities that you think may go with the theme of the book.

After the session, send us a short write-up or send us some photos from the event and we will feature it on the champions blog.

Note: (1) For logisitical reasons, we can't ship books to international destinations, but we will be able to share the PDF of the book with any international volunteers.
Note : (2) There are limited numbers of the books. If we run out of books by the time you register, we will send you an e-copy of the book.

If you have any queries, please mail champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org BEFORE filling in the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the book be sent for free or does the champion pay for it?
Answer : The book is sent to you for free (till stocks last)

2. Does the champion have to find the venue?
Answer : Yes. Identify places where you can conduct this event in your city - A government school, an NGO, a library, a bookstore, a park, a train, your building...any place with regular kids footfalls. Approach the organization and explain the concept to them. Most of them will be happy to host you.

3. This is the first time I am conducting an event. How should I prepare for it?
Answer : Read the book a few times. If you are reading to a younger age-group, see how you can tell the story without actually reading the book (to retain their attention). Think of activities that you can do after the storytelling to engage the children (example : can the story take on a skit form, can the story be a way to talk about an important issue, etc).

4. Can i conduct multiple events?
Answer : Definitely!!! The aim is to reach as many kids as possible. We've had champions who've conducted 2-3 sessions on the main day and then gone on to conduct sessions on other days too.

5. Should I document the event?
Answer : We expect all our Champions to send us some documentation about the event conducted by them. You can send us mini videos, pictures or a write-up on the event which will tell us [and the whole wide world] on the “real impact” made. 

6. I really want to conduct a session but I am not free on 9th September? What should I do?
Answer : The aim of this campaign is to spread the joy of stories. Most people conduct the session on the chosen date. But just in case you are unable to, you can still conduct it on a day close to the chosen date. Because kids getting to hear a story is more important than the date, no?

Sounds like something you want to do? Sign up here.

(P.S- all the images in this post are of actual storytelling sessions conducted by our awesome champions).

We are also fundraising for the One Day, One Story programme. If you want to contribute towards this campaign, you can donate books on Donate-a-Book.