Friday, September 6, 2019

Writing for Children's Picture Books

Toto Funds the Arts and Karadi Tales 
are pleased to announce a two–day workshop on 
Writing for Children’s Picture Books
Facilitator: Shobha Viswanath 

Venue: The Jamun, 521, 2nd Main, 3rd Block, RMV Extension 2nd Stage, Bangalore-94
Dates: Saturday, 19 October & Sunday, 20 October 2019
Time:  10.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (both days)
Fee: Rs 4,000

To write for children, you must know what children want, and more importantly, what they do not want. They hate clich├ęs, predictable plot lines and the moral-of-the-story trope. The workshop will help participants sift through ideas to pick those viable in the book market for four-to-eight-year-olds. They will get writing prompts to start on their stories, receive one-on-one feedback from the workshop conductors on specific areas of improvement, learn how to ruthlessly edit their own work, get a taste of what it’s like to work with professional editors, and come to know the do’s and don’ts of submitting manuscripts to publishers.

About the facilitator:

Shobha Viswanath is the co-founder and publishing director of Karadi Tales Company. She has written over 25 children’s books including Little Vinayak which was on the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities.

The workshop, limited to 18 participants, is open to those between the ages of 18 and 40. To apply, send a writing sample of not more than 1000 words to with the subject line ‘Writing workshop’ by 30 September 2019. In the email, please include your full name, age, mobile number, a bio-note and 3 story ideas of not more than 50 words each (a synopsis of each idea) which you would like to work on at the workshop. 

Note to applicants

Once you are selected, we will let you know how to remit the fee. Coffee/tea will be provided over the two days, but participants will have to make their own arrangements for lunch.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Conversation with Poomani

Toto Funds the Arts
British Council Library, Bangalore 
are delighted to invite you to meet  


The award-winning Tamil author will be in conversation with journalist Anjana Shekar and his translator N Kalyan Raman

The evening will focus on the origins of Poomani’s Vekkai (Heat) and Piragu, the author’s literary journey, his concerns as a writer, and his engagement with the times. Kalyan Raman will speak about his process of translation, particularly in relation to Heat

Date: Saturday, 31 August 2019.  Time: 6.30 p.m.
Venue: The British Council Library, Prestige Takt, 23, Kasturba Road Cross (Opposite Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum), Bangalore 560 001

Bangalore-based actors Anitha Santhanam and Vivek Vijayakumaran will read extracts from Poomani’s novel Heat (Vekkai), the first of his novels to be translated into English.

Poomani, the name by which generations of Tamil readers have known the writer P Manickavasagam, is considered to be among the greatest living writers in Tamil. Poomani has published seven novels and more than 50 short stories. Vekkai was first published in 1982 and its English translation was published as Heat in May 2019 by Juggernaut Books. Both Vekkai, his second novel, and Piragu, his first, are set in a subaltern rural Tamil landscape. The two books established Poomani, then in his mid-thirties, as a new star in the Tamil literary firmament. A 30th anniversary edition of Vekkai was brought out in 2012, marking its status as a modernist Tamil classic. In 2014, Poomani won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his magnum opus Angyadi, a historical novel with its central event located in the late 19th century (for which he researched the Nadar community in Madurai and Tirunelveli with a two-year grant from the India Foundation for the Arts). Poomani lives in Kovilpatti in southern Tamilnadu.

N Kalyan Raman is a translator of contemporary Tamil fiction and poetry. He has translated works of fiction by authors ranging from Ashokamitran and Devibharathi to Perumal Murugan, Poomani, Vaasanthi and Salma. His translations of Tamil poetry have been published in important journals and anthologies in India and abroad. Heat is his twelfth volume of translated fiction. Kalyan Raman also contributes essays, articles and reviews on literature, cinema and public policy to leading magazines and journals. He lives in Chennai.

Anjana Shekar started her career in journalism in 2016 as a feature writer (Special Features Team) with The Hindu, Chennai.  She joined The News Minute in 2018 where, in addition to reporting from Tamil Nadu, she covers stories of human interest, culture, history and entertainment. Anjana is currently based in Madurai. 

About Heat (Vekkai)

“A classic tale of oppression, [Heat] provides a visceral understanding of caste violence.”
— Rajni George, Open Magazine

“The moral responsibility of parenthood, and its often contradictory demands for unconditional love, form the most disturbing and moving strain of the book.” — Poorna Swami, liveMint

“Profound and emotional - Poomani has drawn a complete universe evoking both the experience of a fugitive’s life and a world of nature, far away from humanity.” — Perumal Murugan

Monday, July 15, 2019

Creative Journeys 10: Benyamin

Toto Funds the Arts
and the
British Council Library, Bangalore 
are delighted to invite you to the tenth edition of the series

Creative Journeys

Award-winning Malayalam author 
will be in conversation with CK Meena & Nithin Manayath

Date: Saturday, 27 July 2019
  Time: 6.30 p.m.
Venue: The British Council Library, Prestige Takt, 23, Kasturba Road Cross 
(Opposite Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum), 
 Bangalore 560 001

Extracts from his novels (in English and Malayalam) will be read 
by the Bangalore actors Vivek Vijayakumaran & Abhitej Gupta

BENYAMIN says it was destiny, not fate, that turned him into a writer. Born Benny Daniel in 1971 to a taxi-driver father and housewife mother, he was working as a maintenance engineer in a bank in Bahrain when he plunged into the world of literature. Of his 20-odd novels, short story anthologies and works of non-fiction, his novel Aadujeevitham, which portrays the life of an Indian labourer in Saudi Arabia, won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 2009. Translated into English as Goat Days, it was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012 and shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2013. He won the inaugural JCB Prize for Literature in 2018 for Jasmine Days, translated from his 2014 novel Mullapoo Niramulla Pakalukal, which describes the lives of foreign workers in an unnamed Middle Eastern country on the brink of a revolution. 

C.K. Meena is a freelance writer, author and journalism teacher.

Nithin Manayath teaches in the Communications Department of Mount Carmel College Autonomous.

About Goat Days: "Chilling account of extreme subjugation of body and mind … one of the most gripping books you’ll read."  Shreekumar Varma, The Hindu

"Very seldom in life does a book like Goat Days come along and ruin you for other books . . . You have read it and now other books just don’t compare."  Sheheryar Sheikh, Dawn

About Jasmine Days: "Benyamin’s craft of conversation-driven storytelling succeeds in revealing the tensions in a society starting to unravel."  Faizal Khan, Financial Express 

Previous speakers in TFA’S Creative Journeys Series have been Gieve Patel, Sunil Shanbag, Surupa Sen, Jitish Kallat, Sampurna Chattarji, Susmit Sen, Neel Choudhary and the Tadpole Repertory, Jayant Kaikini and MD Pallavi.

This Series provides a platform for both younger and more experienced writers, filmmakers, performing artists and visual artists to speak about the influences, impulses, processes and thinking that have shaped the art they produce

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Workshop on 'Getting into Character': Call for Applications

Toto Funds the Arts
in association with Our Theatre

invites applications for a workshop on

Getting into Character
by Anmol Vellani

Venue: Our Theatre, #298, 3rd floor, 8th A Main Rd, 4th Block- Koramangala, Bengaluru, 560034.
Dates: August 17 &18 (Saturday & Sunday) 2019.
Time: 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

This two-day workshop on character building in theatre is intended for aspiring and practising actors. Participants will be guided to search for clues in a play to develop a perspective on its characters. They will also be introduced to exercises that help to physicalise a character as well as find the character within themselves and in the external world. Exercises to ‘perform’ their character outside the context of the play will enable participants to discover how fully they have internalised the role they are playing.  

Eligibility and deadline

The workshop will be restricted to 20 participants between the ages of 18 and 40.

To apply, please send a bio-note and a short statement of interest. Please apply only if you are comfortable acting in English. Applications should be sent latest by Saturday, 3 August 2019 by email to 

Selected participants will be sent two short plays prior to the workshop, which they will be expected to read. They will also need to articulate keywords for the character assigned to them, based on a set of questions. In addition, they will be asked to memorise some of their character’s dialogue before the start of the workshop.

Fee:  Rs 3,500 (inclusive of tea/coffee and snacks; participants are responsible for their own lunch.)

About the facilitator

Anmol Vellani is the founder and former executive director of the India Foundation for the Arts, an independent philanthropic organisation. He has directed theatre productions in different languages and locations in India and abroad. Anmol works regularly with performing artists on such subjects as voice, character building and script analysis, and conducts creativity workshops for corporate executives and management students.