Week 7: New horizons and some ongoing ones

52 weeks
This week 7 post is just a bit late, but for a change it’s not because of the usual excuse (in other words, laziness). In fact, I’ve been very busy with all things reading and writing—a publishing conference and a workshop on literary innovation in children’s writing.

Digital future

I was an accidental audience member at the Globalocal 2014 publishing conference on 13 and 14 February in Delhi, when I was asked to be a rapporteur. It started out as just a job, but ended up being a very interesting couple of days, where a range of professionals from publishing and other allied fields talked about how technology is changing the way we look at content, how we produce it and how we interact with it, consume it.

What was interesting was the CEOs’ Roundtable, where they spoke of the “disruptive influence” of technology on readers and reading. This is not disruptive in the destructive sense; rather, a disruption in the form of a change in established habits and norms. It doesn’t need to be spelt out—how we read is changing and if the publishing industry doesn’t want to be left behind, it needs to evolve and do it fast. My report on the CEOs’ Roundtable on the Frankfurt Book Fair blog is here.

The second day’s roundtable was on STM (scientific, technical and mathematical publishing), where there was a discussion on the changing nature of copyright. The other interesting concept I was introduced to was open access, a way to make publicly funded research available to the public (well, specifically scholars and researchers, who might be able to make use of such information. Emma House of the Publishers’ Association, UK, had spoken in brief about open access at the CEOs’ Roundtable, and this was further discussed at the STM one. My report for the Frankfurt Book fair blog can be read here.

Collaborations in children’s literature

This week I’ve been attending a workshop organized by Amanda Morrison and Robin Kershew of RKPix, funded by the Australia India Council, talking about the “digital disruption” and looking at new ways to collaborate and innovate on children’s content. Cross-cultural exchanges could play a major role is such collaborative projects. Participants include Ken Spillman, Priya Kuriyan and Chris Nixon. The workshop is still going on, so details will come along later.

Speaking of cross-border collaboration, especially between Indian and Australia, this is a good time to briefly mention an exciting project I’m part of: an anthology of young adult feminist speculative fiction, where ten Indian and ten Australian authors come together to showcase their ideas of a future world. I’m one of the co-editors of the volume along with Kirsty Murray, and Anita Roy is an associate editor. The book is titled Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean, and is slated for publication in November 2014 (the Indian edition by Young Zubaan) and April 2015 (the Aussie edition by Allen & Unwin). More later!


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