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Radhika Meganathan, who chose writing over architecture, has won the Highlights Fellowship Award USA


DARE TO dream. That's what Radhika Meganathan did when she chose to pursue a career in writing instead of designing homes and offices. Having done B.Arch from the Anna University, it was difficult for Radhika to convince her parents that she did not want to be an architect. "We had institutional training for a month during the course and that was when I was convinced that I could not be an architect for the rest of my life," she says.

Radhika recently won the `Highlights Fellowship Award USA' and will attend a week-long workshop for writers. She says, "The scholarship reassured my parents that I had taken a right decision."

The first person to be selected from Chennai, Radhika says, "The Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua is designed for individuals who are interested in writing and illustrating children's books and magazines." Writers from various countries attend the workshop, which has intensive seminar sessions with accomplished authors, editors, illustrators, critics and publishers of children's literature.

It was a modified version of the Ekalavya story from the Mahabharata that won Radhika the scholarship. "I have named it `For the Love of His Teacher'," she says. Even as a child, Radhika claims that she was disturbed by the story of a boy who had to sacrifice his thumb in order to show his gratitude for his guru. Having submitted this traditional story, it came as a great surprise when she was selected. "This award has motivated me to develop it into a novel," she says. Apart from writing for children and freelancing for magazines, Radhika also conducts online workshops for writers. She plans to start career counselling for children.Highlights, a U.S.-based children's magazine, is distributed in India through Lotus Learning Pvt. Ltd., which sponsors a writer every year from India for the workshop.

PRASSANA SRINIVASAN

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