Writing is FAB - a reflection by Sital Gorasia Chapman
Sital Gorasia Chapman was commended in the FAB Prize in 2019 and we invited her to share her experiences of how she came to find out about the prize and how it has helped her towards becoming a published children's author.
Here is what Sital told us...
I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer and have spent a lot of time making up stories in my head, and usually that’s where they stayed. But a year
and a half ago I wrote one down and actually shared it with people. It was a picture book about tantrums, something I’d come to know very well since becoming a mum. I have three young girls who love books and I thought it would be nice for them to have a book dedicated to them, so I did some research on how to get it published.
My search led me to BookTrust Represents and in turn to the FAB prize (the Faber and Andlyn prize for underrepresented writers and illustrators). The deadline was the following week but I waited until the last day to submit my entry. I didn’t expect anything to come of it. But as the date for announcing the winners approached, I checked my inbox constantly. A week later than expected, I received an email congratulating me on making the shortlist and inviting me to the prize ceremony!
Arriving at the offices of Faber on the awards night (my first time out without a baby!), I was given a name-tag with “Author” on it! It was the first time I’d actually thought of myself as a writer. I met some lovely people, ate some lovely cake, and went home with a signed copy of My Hair by Hannah Lee and Allen Fatimaharan (both FAB alumni).
Although I didn’t win, I was commended and my story was included in the prize anthology alongside some very talented writers and illustrators. But the best bit happened a week later, when after a particularly stressful day, I got two emails from agents who’d read my story and wanted to see more!
I met with my amazing agent a few weeks later (back when we were allowed to meet people in person) and I’m very happy to say I am now represented by Becky Bagnell of Lindsay Literary Agency.
Being commended for the FAB Prize in 2019, at the very beginning of my writing journey, gave me the encouragement I needed to carry on and directly led to getting an agent, who has opened up some amazing opportunities including my next project – writing for kids TV. Can’t wait to get started!