Inspired towards better writing
‘The Purple Jacket and Other Short Stories’ is a collection of short stories by 15 authors, edited and curated by Inacio Fernandes. This is the first edition of the Novella Digest, a quarterly publication, and Inacio is optimistic that the book will motivate young writers in Goa. Café finds out more about the book and the Novella platform for authorsNovella, a platform conceptualised for authors, was launched on February 22, 2018. Since then, they have had over a hundred stories by 75 authors, and over 3,600 likes on Facebook, as well as six workshops and two contests.However, the feather on their cap is the recent release of the ‘The Purple Jacket and Other Short Stories’, the first edition of the Novella Digest. The book is published by Novella Short Stories (novella.co.in), a Goa-based publishing house.
Inacio Fernandes, editor and curator, explains the concept: “Novella platform is a platform for amateur as well as established authors to showcase their work in short story fiction, for avid readers who like their reads, short. It has three verticals/processes. First is the website http://novella.co.in, where authors submit their work, and after a review by the editorial team, these stories are then published on the portal or sent back to the author with constructive comments. The workshops and events make up the second vertical, where we act as enablers, and handhold aspiring authors into writing their own stories. It also gives the participants a place to interact with other authors and members of the literature community. The third vertical is the Novella Digest, a quarterly publication of the best performing stories in the quarter. ‘The Purple Jacket and Other Short Stories’ is the first edition of the Novella Digest. The next issue will be released in September.” The Novella platform is a product of Criador Solutions – a Goan startup incubated in CIBA Verna. An avid reader and an occasional writer/blogger, Inacio, felt the need for a platform for amateur authors to publish their work without any hassle and also get a good readership for it. The book features writers in the age group of 10-30 years. Six school children, seven college students and two young professionals have their stories published in the book, 13 of whom are girls. The stories range from romance and adventure to thriller and tragedy. “We all have a story to tell. All we need is a push to put it down on paper. We come in as enablers, in helping you explore the creative storyteller within you. It is beautiful to see the participants getting amazed by their own creations. The participants also get a chance to get their work reviewed by fellow participants and the resource persons, authors, publishers, readers, etc,” says Inacio. Eleven-year-old Kayleigh Sousa is the daughter of Karl and Shirley Sousa. Her story, ‘The Purple Jacket’, is the title story of the book. “I am a voracious reader, sometimes to the point of neglecting my studies, as my mother frequently says. When I was around 9 years old, I didn’t have any book to read. I didn’t know how to spend my time and thought maybe I could write a story of my own; that is how the writing bug first bit me. I wrote down a few different stories at leisure, getting inspiration from various books I have read from time to time. I wrote the ‘The Purple Jacket’ about two years ago. When I was told about Novella in February, we edited it a bit and posted it on their site. I am honoured to have won the competition held at the time, and very grateful to Novella for even publishing it, that too as the cover story in a collection of short stories,” says Kayleigh. Inacio speaks about how Novella is motivated Goan writers. “Having the stories published in the book will definitely inspire the authors to write more. Their readers, especially relatives and friends, will be inspired to explore their writing skills. The workshops have enabled all the participants to write their stories, helping them realise their potential. The authors lacked a platform to showcase their talents and get their work evaluated. A support system for amateur authors that is easily accessible is the need of the hour. We at Novella try to address this need with all our initiatives/verticals, namely, the web-portal, the workshops and open-mic events and the quarterly digest/book publishing.” He further adds, “We are still taking baby steps now. The next step is to establish a support group of authors with amateur and established individuals, where they help one another to improve their skills as short story writers. We would like to see chapters of such group in major cities of the country and thereby increasing our author and reader base.” The book is available on http://novella.co.in/orders and in all leading bookstores. It is also available on all leading online retail stores like Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm. The Kindle copy of the book will also be available shortly
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