Date of Success:
Sandhya Parappukkaran writes stories inspired by her multicultural experience. She loves to include scrumptious food from her Kerala Indian heritage. Sandhya resides in Brisbane with her family.
Sandhya’s debut picture book, The Boy Who Tried to Shrink his Name, illustrated by Michelle Pereira and published by Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (Bright Light imprint), will be released in August 2021. Inspired by Sandhya’s experience with her own long name, it is the story of Zimdalamashkermishkada, who tries to shrink his name as he starts at a new school. The story shares the message that no one should ever have to shrink themselves down to fit in.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
I attended my first CYA conference in 2019, following advice from members of my writing group, Write Links. I’d only recently started writing and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to attend a writing conference… but I am so glad I did!
All the sessions were invaluable and inspiring. The presenters were so generous with sharing their industry knowledge, useful tips, writing and drawing challenges and motivational words of wisdom.
I had booked a last-minute assessment with Alyson O’Brien (who was commissioning editor at Little Hare Books at that time). I went in nervous but full of hope. I was over the moon when she loved one of my stories and suggested I submit it after some reworking. I feel so lucky to have met Alyson; her encouragement and belief in me and my story were crucial to building my confidence as a writer. After working on that story for the rest of the year, it was acquired at the end of 2019 and will be out in the world in August 2021.
I’m so grateful for CYA. It has helped me better understand the children’s literature industry and gain confidence as a creative within the industry. Attending the conference is a huge buzz and a great place to meet like-minded passionate kid lit people. It’s an event that’s now permanently added to my calendar. I’ll see you there!