Introduction to young authors of India
Young authors of India are slowly gaining more recognition, as their voices present a new perspective on conventional everyday topics, and their originality makes for novels that are profound and inspiring. More opportunities are beginning to open up for those in the younger generation who want to pursue writing seriously, as a career.Though writing can be intimidating given the vast array of authors that seem to dominate the field, the following young authors of India prove how they have been able to make a name for themselves by doing what they love.
Who are the young authors of India?
Let’s meet some of the young authors of India who happen to be the inspiring voices of tomorrow,
One of the country’s youngest published authors, Anusha Subramaniam was only 12 when she published her first novel- Heirs of Catriona, a story about fantasy, adventure, and intrigue. At the age of 16, she released her second novel, “Never Gone”, an entirely different genre containing more mature themes of love and the challenges that come with it, yet proving to be an equally captivating read. Anusha provides a word of advice to all young readers and authors-
At the young age of 19, Zuni Chopra has published two poetry books, a novel, and a collection of short stories. At the age of 15, her first novel “The house that spoke” caught the eye of several critics, gathering attention for its extravagant style and distinctive storyline. Following the life of the witty and intelligent Zoon Razdan, Chopra takes the seemingly ordinary and transforms it into a story filled with lively characters, suspense, and thrill, with her poetic style and scope creating a novel that has a lasting impression. Chopra explains how she sees her novel: “a reflection and translation of reality, a different way of portraying human truths.” Her poetry contains themes that resonate profoundly with the younger generation, as she explores common subjects such as the stress of board examinations. The daughter of two famous authors, she expresses her frustration as always being introduced by her parent’s names- but acknowledges her privilege and offers insight into her struggles with self-image, proving to be an exceptional role model for those her age.
- Link to Zuni Chopra’s talk: ‘Fighting One’s privilege’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_AGLKG3aCs
Melita Tessy loves to write. At the age of sixteen, she released her first novel, published by Notion press: Battle of the spheres, a book about the end of humanity as a result of human greediness, and highlights the importance of friendships and sacrifices. Melita describes her love for writing as being ‘addictive’, and like all great writers, her passion for writing began with a passion for reading. There is no limit to imagination, especially when it comes to a child- this holds true for Tessy whose take on fantasy fiction allows her to weave an incredible story. In 2019, the then 18-year-old gave a humorous and insightful Ted Talk where she offers an interesting perspective on the difficulty of differentiating between a secret and a lie.
- Link to Melissa’s Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srGFBFyLqK4
As the first lockdown was introduced in India, everyone was filled with fear, apprehension of what was to come, the trepidation of a new life of social distancing and masks. At the same time, 16-year-old Saranya Bhattacharja released her first book of poems- Clash with Reason. She opens up about how writing provided her with a safe haven, a way to escape the world, a feeling that many found themselves familiar with. Her poetry has drawn attention due to its beautiful style, as well as artwork that has been made in collaboration with her friends. Additionally, the proceeds of the collection will go to The Mitr Trust, an organization in India that works towards making the country safer for transgender individuals by providing support and opportunities. Her take on inclusivity has primarily been formed as a result of personal experiences: “I had an issue of hormonal imbalance, gained a lot of weight because of that and was bullied in school as a consequence”, she opens up in an article by ‘The New Indian Express.’ As a result, the idea of inclusivity forms an imperative part of her identity and is reflected resolutely in her writing.
- Link to Saranya’s interview:Turning adversity into strength- The New Indian Express
Love and romance are often thought to be concepts that are perhaps too mature, too complex, too much of everything for the younger generation to understand. Through her novel ‘Stuck in Paris’, 15-year-old Nikki Khanna proves this narrative wrong. ‘Stuck in Paris’ revolves around two distant classmates and the romance that blossoms between them on a school trip in Paris. Though having already written 15 novels on ‘Wattpad’, a social storytelling platform- including ‘The wedding in Miami’, ‘Saviour’, and ‘What happens in Vegas.
‘Stuck in Paris’ is her first published novel. Writing presents itself both as a hobby and as a career for Khanna- as of now, she is focused on exploring her strengths and improving her skills as a writer within the romantic field, by exploring different tropes. Currently, her novel is being retailed by Amazon across eight different countries.
Currently, a seven-year-old, Chryseis Knight started working on her first book at the age of three. Her debut book, The Great Big Lion has been both written and illustrated by her. Published under Penguin Random House India’s “Puffin” imprint, this is the story of a lion and two children. It talks about friendship, inclusivity, wildlife conservation, and the world of imagination. Chryseis Knight is a prodigy who holds the rare distinction of being a published author at such a young age. She hopes to inspire children all around the world to embrace the magic in books.
Currently an aspiring doctor, Insiya Patanwala became a published author at the young age of 14, of the novel ‘Esoterica’, a story following the life of a young girl named Sophia. Writing allows Insiya to express her emotions, as Sophia, the protagonist, mirrors the author’s personality and emotions. An avid reader, as well as a spoken word poet, Insiya has since gone on to become a speaker at several schools, as well as a judge in literary competitions, hoping to motivate young people like her to express themselves through the mediums of art and literature. In 2017, she (alongside her fellow teen authors, Zuni Chopra and Anusha Subramanian) was invited to be part of the Kala Ghoda literature festival as one of the panelists, where the three-spoke of their love for literature and their experiences of being young authors.
At the age of 18, Divyasha’s book was chosen by the government of India to be promoted in 100 countries. Her life originally took on a very different path- her main passion was studying science, and her dream was to join NASA. However, like several her age, an identity crisis awaited- and in its closing, a novel. ‘A 20-something cool dude’ is a compelling, light-hearted novel about a vain 20-year-old girl named Ayesha living life in the heart of Delhi, who meets and falls in love with a complete stranger. Divyasha doesn’t shy away from explaining the process of establishing herself as a serious author in a field as demanding as writing, opening up in an interview with ‘Her Story’ in 2016 about the difficulties of finding a publisher. Additionally, several members of her own community maintained a relatively doubtful attitude about her dreams and aspirations. However, rather than let that deter her, she continued to persevere, which proved to be rewarding as her novel was chosen by the Ministry of External affairs to go into its library as well as 200 missions abroad. Currently, she is studying at ESSEC business school in Paris, having won the Eiffel Scholarship.
Vaishnavi is a 14-year-old. She wrote a fiction-fantasy novel The JAZ Gang: A Dangerous Escapade that got published when she was 13. She turned 14 this August. She loves exploring rich Indian culture and heritage along with reading thriller novels among many others. Writing happened totally by chance.
During COVID, her parents decided to home school her and that’s when she stumbled upon her newfound interest to write. She is currently working on the sequel of this book The JAZ Gang & The Mystic Warrior, which will release shortly.
This is a five-book series that will talk about our rich Indian culture and heritage along with a lot of mystery, suspense, thrill, and adventure. Other than writing, she is also a black belt in Taekwondo and loves drawing and painting in her free time.
A previous participant at the HWR Bootcamp in 2019, Lubhna Dongre made her debut with ‘The Stepping Stones’ (Notion Press, 2018) at the age of 16. In this book, she attempts to answer the pertinent question every teen has in their mind – Are we setting goals, and if yes are they right; what is their future? She got the idea for this book when she was 12 years old and since then, worked consistently on the idea to finally release it in 2018. Drawing experiences from her own life and reaching out to people whom she looked up to for advice, she has written a handbook for every teenager covering various aspects from career to education.
Only nine years old- and already a published author! Meet Ayaan Kapadia from Mumbai, Maharashtra christened India’s youngest author. He has also made a name for himself by creating a record for the first book written by a child in the shortest period, as it took him a short three days to make his debut. ‘Mavericks Marvelous Adventure’, is a 20-page novel containing witty humor and a style of writing beyond Kapadia’s years. He followed it up with a sequel in 2018, citing his mother as his main source of support. Additionally, he offers some insight he has gained throughout the writing process: “I have learned that if you stay focused and be confident, you will surely achieve your goal.”
Shriya Asha Sharma
At the young age of ten, Shriya Asha Sharma has established her passion for writing through her first published book: “Unicorn Adventures: the dark forest”. The story is set in the magical land of Unitopia and follows the lives of three unicorn friends- Miso, Milky, and Mocha. A former student from Guangzhou and Currently living in Singapore, Shriya has shared that she will be donating the profits of the book to support the education of underprivileged students, through the ‘Singapore Children’s society. The entire process of writing the book, finding a publisher, as well as an illustrator who would successfully be able to bring her vision to life, took her nine months. Her book is currently being sold at Amazon and Kitaab bookstores.
Akshaya Sutrave published her first book at the age of 12 (The Mystery of the Haunted Hill and her second book (The Wingsterian Hunt) at the age of 13. Both the titles were published by Notion Press. She is currently writing her third novel.
She lives in Bengaluru with her parents and is an enthusiastic kid with varied interests. Her other interests include reading novels, drawing, writing plays, and painting. She is passionate about pursuing a career in scientific research and development along with penning novels in varied genres.
At the age of 8, Yash Jindal began to develop a passion for writing, one that stemmed from his passion of reading. His book, ‘Mystical Tales’, which he published at the age of 13, is a collection of ten short, adventurous stories, each containing a different value and lesson at the end. Currently, Yash lives in Gurugram with his parents, grandparents, and brother. He continues to take part in the writing world through his blog: “Creative world”, where he offers a humorous take on everyday life and provides readers with a range of short stories, and anecdotes, as well as fun book reviews and debates.
- Link to Yash’s blog: https://jindalyashkindacoo.wixsite.com/creative-world
Lessons from the Young Authors of India
Writing is a way to escape reality, seek refuge and comfort amongst words, be whatever you want to be, whenever you want to be. Though it can be intimidating, at its core, it requires passion, the willingness to pursue what you love. Most young people shy away from writing believing that there is a certain standard to be attained- though this may be true, this should not be deterrence from writing and sharing your story, but rather, a reason. These young authors of India are an inspiration to many across age groups. Age is just a number- it carries no real weight, even in the literary world, wherein the real weight lies in the impact- the way you choose to present yourself and your vision. So continue writing- make your book a reality, share your story, and dream on. How many of these young authors of India have you read? Any favourite young authors of India that we missed? Let us know in comments below and we will add to this list.