The Big Little Book Award (BLBA), a first-of-its-kind award instituted by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts and ‘Literature Live! is now inviting nominations for the fourth edition. The award recognises and honours the significant contribution of Indian authors and illustrators to children’s literature. Every year, one Indian language is chosen for the awards. The language for 2019 is Hindi. Authors with extensive work in children’s literature in Hindi are eligible for nomination. The award for an illustrator is not language specific, and nominations can come from across languages. The nominations will be open from May 15 to June 30, 2019.
Tata Trusts launched the Parag Initiative in 2005 to spread the joy of reading and to make reading a part of every childhood by supporting the development, dissemination, and use of children’s literature in Indian languages.
“Classic Hindi literature has some of the best authors and poets. Parag has been working with a small set of publishers to publish contemporary Hindi literature of quality. Yet market dynamics and costs of production have been deterrents for many publishers to come out with original Hindi books, especially in a picture book for younger children. Through the Big Little Book Award, we hope Hindi writers and publishers will get the recognition and also an impetus to do better work. In the long run, we want to nurture a generation of Hindi writers in children’s literature,” said Swaha Sahoo, Head- Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts.
The details of the award are:
One can nominate in two ways – fill in the online form and submit directly, or one can also download, fill and email the form to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-nomination is not accepted. The award invites public nomination. Anyone can nominate. Nomination forms are filled and submitted online. Each person can nominate a maximum of three authors and three illustrators.
After the nomination closes, a long list is drawn from the nominated list in consultation with the respective juries. Publishers are requested for copies of the books of longlisted authors and illustrators. In two to three months, the jury independently shortlists authors and illustrators. After that, over a meeting, the winner author and illustrator are decided.
Winners will be announced at the Tata Lit Live! in November 2019.
The language for the Big Little Book Award, 2018 was Kannada and the prolific author Nagesh Hegde was announced as the winner, while the Award for Illustrators of children’s books was presented to Nina Sabnani, artist and professor at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay.
“Receiving the Award has transformed my outlook towards children’s literature… Earlier, writing for children was one component of my work, now it’s central with workshops on writing for children, conferences on children’s literature, and so much! I have been receiving offers from publishers in smaller towns who earlier did not recognize me as an author for children. Recently, a filmmaker approached me for writing a script for a children’s film. LBA’s recognition has led to societal recognition, I must say. It has given me a new identity,” shared Hegde
Since its inaugural edition in 2016, BLBA has also awarded authors who have contributed to children’s literature in Marathi (2016), Bengali (2017), and Kannada (2018).
BLBA collaborates with major literary festivals to advocate for children’s literature in Indian languages and create multiple platforms for children’s authors and illustrators to present their work and thoughts. BLBA organises reading and library sessions, talks, round table, and other events with shortlisted authors and illustrators.