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Writer, Playwright & Novelist
Social Entrepreneur & Actor
Frank Ocean Admirer
President, Literati

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 31 May 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

“Writing for children isn’t easy. Kids will abandon a story that doesn’t interest, enchant, delight, thrill, or terrify them.” – Kate Klise

 “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” – Madeleine L’Engle

Writing for children is a whole world of its own, some distance away from writing for grownups. The term “adults”, has strange, not so savoury connotations. Just shows how contextual the use of a word is. All the more then, is there a difference in writing for children and writing for grownups? Of course there is, but not what most people assume it is.

What makes it difficult to write for children? Having mastered the art of writing for children, how does one write for grown-ups?

But why is it important to examine these differences? Because our growth story as humans rests much on our language, our vocabulary, our power of expression. And so we need to take care in what we read, and that we read at all.

So let’s look at writing for children and for grownups. Are children always children and have grownups really grown up?

Join us as Poile Sengupta speaks of the wondrous world of literature for children and grown-ups. All through her trailblazing, versatile, and genre-bending career, writing has been Poile’s passion and identity, gift and curse, and the demon on her back. She relishes in taking the English language by the neck and making the language writhe and twist, coil and dance, and bloom!

In this session we explore how Poile’s work has enchanted generations of readers across a wide range of age groups. Sit back and enjoy as we reference the literary greats – some of Poile’s favourite writers – from Arthur Conan Doyle to Enid Blyton, from Anthony Trollope to William Shakespeare, from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen, from Satyajit Ray to Douglas Adams.

Poile Sengupta discusses these issues with samples from her own writing. Sumeet Shetty will be in conversation with her. Munira Sen and Ameya Krishnaswamy read from her work.

For everyone who loves reading and writing, this is an unmissable evening of literary adventures!


Poile Sengupta

Writer, Playwright & Novelist

Poile Sengupta’s work straddles five decades and all genres of writing. She is a playwright, poet, novelist and short fiction writer both for children and adults.

Writing in the Children’s World, New Delhi in the 1960s, she began a humour column A Letter to You – letters from a ten year old boy Perky – which ran for over three decades. She has written columns for children in Deccan Herald, Bangalore, The Times of India, Bangalore, and in Midday, Mumbai.

The sheer volume of her work for children is mindboggling – well over a dozen books, and two dozen anthology entries. Her latest, A Time for Ebby, is a Chapter book from Karadi Tales, 2021.

Poile Sengupta’s first novel for grown-ups, Inga was published in 2014. It has been called Booker worthy. In 2012, her short story Ammulu was shortlisted for the Commonwealth short story\regional award, and was later included in the Best of Asian Short Stories, 2017.

Poile Sengupta is one of India’s most well-known playwrights in English. Six of her plays have been published as Women Centre Stage, by Routledge, 2010. She has acted in the films The Outhouse and Shaitan. She was a member of the jury for the 2010 and 2012 Trinity Guildhall International Children’s Playwriting Competitions, and for five years on the Governing Council of the National School of Drama, New Delhi.

Munira Sen

Social Entrepreneur & Actor

A social entrepreneur and an actor, Munira Sen has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience both in building social enterprises and grass-roots organizations. Munira has been an integral part of the core team that was involved in setting up the India operation since its inception in 2008. She has also been instrumental in facilitating the South Asia Venture in Mumbai and the Chicago Leadership Academy in Delhi.

Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, Munira is also a well-known theatre artist and she has performed in many theatrical productions in India.

Ameya Krishnaswamy

Frank Ocean Admirer

Ameya Krishnaswamy is studying in the tenth grade at Mallya Aditi International School. When she isn’t hunched over her sketchbook, you can find her building her ever-expanding tote bag collection and listening to Frank Ocean.

Sumeet Shetty

President, Literati

Sumeet Shetty is Head of Intelligent Enterprise Solutions – Tools India at SAP, the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software.

He is the President of Literati, India’s largest corporate book-club, where he has interviewed some of the world’s finest authors, thinkers and leaders.

His list of interviewees include Alex Rutherford, Alice Albinia, Amit Chaudhuri, Amitava Kumar, Dr. Atul Gawande, Anita Nair, Ashok Ferrey, Aatish Taseer, Beth Comstock, Chandrahas Choudhury, Harsha Bhogle, John Zubrzycki, Kiran Nagarkar, Kunal Basu, Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Pankaj Mishra, Peter James, Shashi Deshpande, Shehan Karunatilaka, Shereen El Feki, Shobhaa Dé, Sudha Murty, Sudhir Kakar, Tabish Khair, Tishani Doshi, T M Krishna, Vikas Swarup, Vikram Chandra, Viswanathan Anand, William Dalrymple et al.

Sumeet’s passions include technology, leadership, entrepreneurship, art, design, literature and travel.

He is included in the book The Order of the Crest, which traces the distinguished alumni of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School from 1865 – 2015.