The language for BLBA 2021 author category is Malayalam. And like all years, the illustrator category is open for all languages.
Greystroke has been a writer and an illustrator of children’s books and stories for over 25 years, and began his professional illustrator’s career as the cartoonist for the “Indian Review of Books”. Since then, his work has been published by leading publishers in India. His book “Wailers Three”, published by Pratham Books, is a CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) recommended reader for English for Kendriya Vidyalayas.
He runs a publishing house called 1InchMargin, and is the art director for Melting Pot, a content and design house behind the award-winning Mahindra newsletter, ‘Skyline’. He also was the art director for the children’s magazines Chatterbox, Quest, Junior Quest, Hoot and Toot, between 1999 and 2013, for which he has illustrated over 250 stories and written several. He is also a photographer and a filmmaker, and a founder-partner at Funky Rainbow, a leading independent retailer of Indian children’s books.
Dr. M. M. Basheer was born on 18th September, 1940 in Kaniyapuram village of Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala. He studied BA and MA under the University College, Thiruvananthapuram and then went on to the University of Kerala for his doctoral studies. While in college, he worked as reporter of an evening daily Karmabhoomi published in Trivandrum. He was the editor of several literary magazines as Grandhalokom, Malayalavimarsam, Sahityalokom, Samskarakeralam, Samakalasangeetham and Keralakavitha. After completing his formal education, he was posted as Lecturer in the Department of Malayalam, University of Calicut, where he retired from. Dr. M. M. Basheer has written over 50 books from 1967 to 2017 on Malayalam literature. He has been a recipient of Puthezhath Raman Menon Award 1989, C.J. Smaraka Dr. Abraham Vadakkel Award 1993, Abudhabi Sakthi Award 2016 and Kerala Sahitya Parishath Award 2017.
Paul Zacharia writes in Malayalam under the pen-name ‘Zacharia’ and has published over 50 works of fiction and non-fiction including short stories, novellas, travelogues, film-scripts, collections of essays/columns for adults and two children’s books. His novel in English, ‘A Secret History of Compassion’ was published by Context in 2018. He has received literary awards that include the Kendra Sahitya Akademi and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. In November, 2013 he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. He lives in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and is married to Lalitha. They have a daughter and a son.
Sherylene Rafeeque is a freelance writer/editor based in Kochi. She started her career as an assistant editor for Mango, a children’s imprint in English by DC Books. After a brief stint as a sub-editor with The New Indian Express, she returned to Mango and her first love – books. She was part of the editorial team for The English Express, a series of English textbooks for the lower and middle grades in India; and Classic Folktales from Around the World, a 12-volume special edition. She has retold four books for children. Sherylene has worked with an NGO to promote the use of ICT tools in educating differently abled children. She is also Consultant Editor for a public policy think-tank in Kochi. Now a mother of two girls, she strives to get the best of her work and family life.
Suneetha Balakrishnan, a Creative Writing Trainer certified by the British Council, is a journalist, translator, editor, and writer; working in English and Malayalam, and across genres. She has two novellas, one poetry anthology, and five translations to her credit: including the Malayalam translation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. She has written for The Guardian, The Hindu Literary Review, The Business Standard, The Caravan, The Mathrubhumi, and Indian Literature.
Suneetha won the 2010 Penguin-HT short fiction competition, the 2012 DWL Short Story Competition, is a Fellow of the Sangam House International Writer’s Residency 2009, a Featured Poet at the Prakriti Poetry Festival 2010, and a 2019 awardee of the Book Completion Fellowship at The Manipal Centre for Humanities. She is a committed bibliophage and lives in Thiruvananthapuram, her hometown.
Aashti Mudnani is a professional book hunter, illustration lover, listener of stories and chai drinker. She started Lightroom, a bookstore for children’s books in Bangalore in 2013 with the help of several people. She loves being outdoors, especially where there are more wild things than cityscapes. But for now, she lives in Bangalore with her two daughters, husband and their cat, Inji.
Proiti Roy is an illustrator and designer, who started her career in advertising. Soon after, she turned freelance and also started teaching children art and craft. During this period, apart from her advertising and corporate assignments, she began to focus on illustrating children’s books, which was something she wanted to do ever since she could remember. Now, living in Shantiniketan in West Bengal, she continues to illustrate as well as help and rescue street animals in distress.
Rani Dharker is an author and an artist. Her first novel ‘The Virgin Syndrome’ was ecstatically received and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Rani has a PhD in English Literature and was a professor of English at M S University of Baroda, where she was the leading light in its Shakespeare Society, directing plays and acting. She loves dogs and other four-legged creatures (as well as the ones that fly).
Sunandini Banerjee is both Senior Editor and Senior Graphic Designer at Seagull Books, and designs all of Seagull’s book covers and catalogues. A digital-collage artist whose work has been exhibited in India and abroad, she is a translator as well as a member of the faculty at the Seagull School of Publishing.
Thejaswi is a teacher at Center for Learning, an alternative school near Bangalore. He is a part of running the school library and interacting with children from age six years to teenagers, over books, for the past ten years and also teaches science. He is a consultant for library programmes and a faculty at the Library Educators Course (English), run by Bookworm, Goa.