Publishing house Author in Me (AIM) has conceptualised a vibrant Literary Festival to bring together storytellers, entrepreneurs, well-being practitioners and publishers in London.
With their ethos rooted in celebrating diversity and empowering diverse voices within publishing circles, this one-of-a-kind festival on November 18 at the Nehru Centre is an open-to-all event with an aim to foster a stimulating knowledge exchange between storytellers of all cultures and ages.
"Stories have the power to inspire, entertain and show a unique perspective to the world. This festival aims to connect storytellers of all ages and cultures and give them a platform to showcase their work globally," said Ekta Bajaj, the curator of the AIM Literary Festival and AIM co-founder.
"The Festival will consist of three sessions, namely Convergence, Storyvolution and Young Voices which will touch upon different aspects of writing, publishing, well-being and storytelling. We are proud to be in partnership with the UK Asian Film Festival," she added.
Twenty-five speakers of diverse ages, fields and expertise have been invited to share their insights on storytelling and publishing.
"Promoting reading and writing for pleasure is one of the most valuable gifts adults can offer a child. It helps children escape to new worlds while nurturing imagination, creativity, and life skills. Through this festival, we intend to inspire children from across the globe to experience the magic of stories and the joy of writing and encourage them to read and write for pleasure," said Monica Sood, the co-curator and co-founder of the AIM.
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Diversity in publishing
The first session, 'Convergence', aims to explore diversity and inclusivity within commercial literature and the challenges faced by aspiring authors. Listed in The Bookseller's 2020 as one of the most influential people in the book trade with a particular focus on cultural diversity, Dr Anamik Saha will commence the session with a keynote speech on diversity in publishing.
Industry experts like publicist Isabelle Knight, literary agent Kemi Ogunsanwo, author Simon Alexander Ong, submissions director Sara Razzaq, and PR expert Jasleen Saran will share their insights.
Bajaj and Sood will culminate the session with the Happy Tree Installation, an initiative to spread positivity, hope, happiness, and optimistic messages.
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Celebrating young voices
The second session, ' Storytelling and Well-Being', will discuss innovative ways in which stories can be employed to foster well-being and bring positive changes.
The session will also launch two upcoming titles: 'The Captain of Legends' by Raphael Sohnn and 'By Choice Not by Chance' by Rahul Verma.
There will also be a panel discussion about how children should be provided with various opportunities and tools to develop their knowledge, creativity, essential life skills and virtues using various creative methods such as storytelling.
In the third session, 'Young Voices', young authors will be celebrated as they present their books.
The session will begin with an award-winning movie screening, 'Priya and the Twirling Wind', followed by inspiring words by young talents. Two exciting books by young authors will be launched during the session.
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Author in Me
The journey of AIM began in 2015 with a passion for providing children with a platform for creative expression and fostering self-awareness. AIM has helped over 500 children to translate their stories into captivating picture books.
With time, the organisation has broadened its horizons by opening doors for adult authors as well. Also an Independent Publisher Guild (IPG) member, AIM was named the Best in Creative Industries in 2019. It has now opened its doors to aspiring writers of all ages and cultures.
*Info: AIM Literary Festival 2022