Kapil Pandey discovered his passion for storytelling at the grand old age of 30 when he met the Gruffalo in the deep dark wood along with his 2 year old daughter, Adaa. He is a drama-in-education practitioner and he thinks that drama is a very powerful tool to create a safe and reflective space and change power equations in a classroom. He is the president of the Kutumb Foundation and for a living, he uses the design thinking approach to design signage and display identities for his clients. He can often be found telling stories to children and adults in lit fests, bastis, schools and parks. When not telling stories he runs marathons or sings or sings while running marathons…………Oh yes, he sometimes goes to work.
Roger Jenkins is an International award-winning storyteller whose warm, spontaneous and comedic style makes him a popular choice in schools, libraries and community events. He has told stories at festivals in countries including Kenya and India. He was awarded the Best Storyteller Award at the 16th Kanoon International Storytelling Festival in Iran, 2013. In 2015, Jenkins founded the 398.2 Storytelling Festival, Singapore’s first independent festival dedicated to local storytellers. He is also a founding Director of the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST).
Lavanya Karthik is a writer and illustrator of children’s books, based in Mumbai. She has written several picture books for various Indian publishers, illustrated over 20 books and is the creator of the Ninja Nani series of graphic novels. Her picture book, The Lion’s Feast, was shortlisted for the Hindu Young World – Goodbooks Award for Best Picture book in 2017. Her book, Neel on Wheels, won the Children First contest organized by the Vidyasagar Trust and Duckbill Books.
Shabnam Minwalla is a mother of three teenagers. In the little time that this brain-scrambling job allows, she writes for newspapers and magazines. What she really enjoys, though, is writing books for children.
Her first book, The Six Spellmakers of Dorabji Street, is used as a reader by schools around the country. Her other books include The Strange Haunting of Model High School, The Shy Supergirl, Lucky Girl, What Maya Saw and the Nimmi series. Shabnam got her MA in Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She was also a Chevening Scholar at Wolfson College in Cambridge.
A nutritionist by education, Nupur provides nourishment and nutrition for the soul through a carefully chosen and healthy diet of stories. She discovered the effectiveness and simplicity of storytelling while interacting with her own wonderful kids. She has since been using storytelling to nurture imagination and fuel creativity. She not only tells stories but trains teachers to use the power of stories effectively in facilitating learning. She has been telling stories in prime cultural spaces, literature festivals, leading schools, book stores and libraries. Nupur is a live-wire performer and a crowd puller.
Andaleeb Wajid has written twenty novels for young adults and adults. Her novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Good Books award 2017. Andaleeb enjoys writing about food and her best-known novel is More Than Just Biryani, a book of food and love. She is a full-time writer and a creative writing facilitator.
A popular children’s author, Sandhya’s books have won awards and accolades. My Friend the Sea won the Ambitious Children’s Book Project award at the Berlin Children and Youth Literature Festival, 2005. My Mother’s Sari was chosen as an Outstanding International Book, 2007, by the United States Board for Books for Young People (USBBY) and the Children’s Book Council.
In 1996, she joined Radhika Menon to create multilingual books for children at a time when independent children’s publishing in India was nascent. She has written over 20 books. Chennai-based Sandhya has an eclectic taste in books, music and films and loves listening to stories, especially real stories.
Saattvic is an Oxford-educated economist who works at a consulting firm, moonlights as an actor, starlights as a table player, torchlights as a playwright, candlelights as a singer and fairylights as a film-maker.
At VJLF 2019, join Saattvic as he will be narrating the musical tale of how drama came to be.
Rohini Vij is on a mission to raise readers. A professional storyteller and educator, she has created 200+ story videos for children and has trained teachers in Storytelling, Phonics, and teaching EFL/ESL.
She has performed on various prestigious platforms including PINKS – Malaysia, Forest Hill Library – London, Jaipur Literature Festival Outreach, World Book Fair – New Delhi, Chennai Storytelling Festival. Rohini has been a speaker at IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, TIE-UP, EO Lucknow, TOI parenting workshops, HCL Foundation, Mobile Creches, among others. She is the founder of NutSpace Edtech Pvt. Ltd and a Listed Jolly Phonics & Grammar UK Trainer.
One of India’s renowned children’s authors, Natasha Sharma is an award-winning children’s books author based in Mumbai, India. She has published 18 books for children, including Bonkers! that won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2014 for Asia and Middle East.
Her first book Icky, Yucky, Mucky! was voted to the Top 3 books in HT-RivoKids Parent and Kids Choice Award 2014. Her book Akbar and the Tricky Traitor from the History Mystery series was also voted to the top 3 books for the same award.
Her recent books include Squiggle Takes a Walk – all about punctuation and Raja Raja and the Swapped Sacks (History Mystery series), both of which featured in the list of Flipkart’s Best Children’s Books of 2014. Her book Kaka and Munni is included in the CBSE recommended reading list and her poems have featured in schoolbooks and anthologies. Her book Shah Jahan and the Ruby Robber won the Best Illustrated Children’s Book in Comic Con India 2018 while Razia and the Pesky Presents won the SABA award 2015.”
Paro Anand is the winner of the Sahitya Akademi award for Children’s Literature. She writes for children, young adults and adults. She headed the National Centre for Children’s Literature, The National Book Trust, India, the apex body for children’s literature in India. She has been awarded for her contribution to children’s literature by The Russian Centre for Science and Culture. the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY), and Dr.A.P.J.Kalam on Republic Day, 2007. She has represented the country at various forums internationally including at Harvard University and The University of Kent. She works extensively with children in difficult circumstances such as those impacted by militancy in Kashmir. She is known as a fearless writer who talks about sensitive issues in order to create an empathetic, inclusive generation. Her books have been translated into several Indian languages as well as German and Spanish.
Jeeva Raghunath , storyteller/author. Pioneered the storytelling movement in Tamil Nadu, India. She has represented her country at various festivals around the globe. Awarded ” Best entrepreneur award” for her contribution to storytelling and “Pride of Asia ” awarded by Surindra Rajabhat university, Surin, Thailand. Her company Kathaikalatta organises an international storytelling festival “Under the Aalamaram” since 2014 and featured over 45 international Storytellers. She has authored 12 storybooks for children and translated over 65 picture books from English to Tamil. She smells, tastes, feels, sees and hears stories!!!!
Publishing Director and co-founder of Karadi Tales Company, Shobha is passionate about picture books. A firm believer that reading should be for fun and that art enhances the reading experience, she has veered the direction of Karadi Tales to garner international reputation, while at the same time making the books a national favourite across India. Through Karadi Tales company, over 120 titles of audio books and numerous picture books have been launched over the past 23 years, which has helped generations of children stay connected with Indian culture and mythology, even while they have been encouraged to develop a habit of listening and reading.
Chetan Sharma is the founder of Animagic India, one of India’s most reputed independent animation studios. He effortlessly dons many hats – filmmaker, animator, writer, designer and voiceover artist. He has directed & produced 2 feature length animated features. He is the winner of the National Award for ‘Raju & I’ in 2005. He illustrated his first book for Karadi Tales almost two decades ago, when he was 19!
Praba Ram is a children’s writer, a reading specialist and an early literacy advocate. She is the founder of the kid-lit blog, Saffron Tree – an award-winning site dedicated to recommending and reviewing children’s books from India and the US. Praba believes in the power of books and its positive impact on children, especially when introduced in the early years of childhood. Praba loves stories – about children, animals, food, crafts, mountains, prehistoric life, space, everything! She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from UCLA.
Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
Aftab is a writer and a poet. He started writing at the age of eight and has since written over two hundred poems in English, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi. His poems have been featured in several international publications alongside some of the biggest names in poetry. His latest book is with Karadi Tales called ‘Letters to Ammi’, a tale about Delhi.
Sangya Ojha and Hashim Haider began their puppetry careers with Galli Galli Sim Sim (Sesame Street India on air Cartoon Network and POGO) in 2006. They formed ‘The Puppetarians’ in 2011, a one-of-its-kind puppet design and performance team. They have since performed numerous shows all across the country, held puppetry workshops for children/parents/teachers/artists, and been a part of many acclaimed television and video works. They make learning fun and interactive with their unique Puppet Shows and Puppetry Workshops. The Puppetarians create a world where learning happens in fun!
Roopa Pai is one of India’s best-known children’s authors. This computer engineer has written more than 25 books, spanning the gamut from picture books to chapter books, and fiction and non-fiction, on themes as diverse as sci-fi fantasy, popular science, history, economics, philosophy, math and life skills. Her books, which include the award-winning national bestseller The Gita for Children, The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, the very popular So You Want To Know About Economics, and Taranauts, India’s first complete fantasy-adventure series for children in English, are enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Janaki is the founder of Golpo-Tales Unlimited, a storytelling initiative based in Chennai. Through Golpo, Janaki spreads the joy of stories to adults and children alike in her inimitable style – using a mix of theatre movements and music to create magic. Some of the major events she has performed at include the Hindu Lit for Life Children’s Fest, Chennai, Kitaabo – the Children’s Lit Fest, Jodhpur, Bookaroo. Vizag Junior Lit fest and Kovai Bookalatta. She regularly collaborates with educators, publishers and other networks for performances. She has authored a picture book, The Jungle Storytelling Festival (Tulika Books). A seasoned voice-over artiste and model, Janaki has also acted in more than 25+ Tamil films.
Deepa Kiran is the founder of Story Arts Foundation. She is a storyteller, educationalist, writer and voice-over artist. She works with schools, cultural centres, bookstores, publishing houses, NGOs, government, and corporate institutions. Her videos on UGC for teacher-training have received national award and through her trust, recently completed a project of training 2200 government school teachers. She has participated in several International Storytelling Festivals in Scotland, Iran, Austria, Italy, Greece etc and National Festivals such as Kala Ghoda Festival, Hyderabad Literature Festival and many more. She is also a TEDx Talk speaker.