Wisha Wozzariter

Wisha Wozzariter is a ten-year-old girl who wishes, more than anything else in the world, that she were a writer. When she meets a Bookworm, she takes many a wild ride on the Thought Express. She scours the Marketplace of Ideas for a winning idea for her book; she scouts the Superhero Salon and the Bargain Bazaar for a hero; and she visits the Circus of Bad Form to understand why Structure is so important to Story.

She encounters a motley crew of characters, including a purple mouse who is scared of her own shadow. And a stout and shifty villain who Wisha must fight with her pen. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword, isn’t it?

With the Bookworm’s help, Wisha slowly but surely cobbles together an Idea, a Hero, and a Style that is all her own. Now Wisha has almost everything that she needs to write her own book. Almost everything.

This is not just for 8- to 12-year-olds, but for anyone who ever wanted to write. Join Wisha on this rollicking writer’s adventure, brought to vivid life by Roger Dahl’s zany illustrations.

Did you know that a character starts out as just an idea? No name, no face, nothing, just the glimmer of an idea? Yes, it’s true, characters come to life slowly, just like human beings.

For me, Wisha started as a clever name, and I doodled the many different ways in which I could spell Wozzariter on every available scrap of paper. Should it be Wozza-Ryta or Wozzawriter? Did Wozzaryter sound better than Wozzaryta?

Seattle-based illustrator Roger Dahl drew countless drafts of possible Wishas before one was agreed upon. The book was originally to feature only 12 images, but Roger enjoyed working on the project so much that he “unilaterally decided to supply many more illustrations than were contractually required.” In the end almost 40 drawings were used.

We had many Wishas to choose from. Some had straight hair, some curly. Some had button eyes; some wore spectacles. We had sporty Wishas and cute Wishas; pouty Wishas and feisty Wishas. Check out the long lineup!

The Bookworm didn’t have it any easier. Try getting a boot on to a footless Bookworm! Our early Bookworm had a hat on and one boot, but we much prefer our final Bookworm. With a scarf about his neck, he looks rather sassy, we think!

Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: Penguin (April 23, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0143332114

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Praise for Wisha Wozzariter

This is a clever little story, which will appeal to children who already write quite well and would like to write even better. Those who need a little Inspiration might find it here. Entertaining and full of witty dialogue. Never a dull sentence

Ruskin Bond

Padma Bhushan; India's most beloved children's author

Wisha has exactly what a writer needs. Plenty of heart and nerves of steel!

Michael Hoeye

Author of The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures

An entertaining quest for ideas and characters.

The Hindu

The book is not only a must-read, but also for keeps.

Businessworld Magazine

The genius of author Payal Kapadia and her pocket-sized creative writing storybook, Wisha Wozzariter, is the manner in which she has transformed such a drab subject into a wonderful, colourful, absorbing book.

Samina Mishra, Deepak Dalal & Jaya Bhattacharji Rose

Jury, Crossword Book Awards, 2013

Crossword Book Award, 2013 for Best Children’s Writing in India

Mumbai, India (December 6, 2013) — Crossword, the leading bookstore chain, presented its 12th annual book awards in Mumbai this evening. The country’s finest writers and their books were honoured at a function in Mehboob studios. The event was hosted by Suchitra Pillai and the evening included a memorable performance by percussionist Taufiq Qureshi.

“The 552 entries received is the highest ever in the history of the award. The entire judging process took more than six rigorous months, which included shortlisting the books and announcing the final winner,” Crossword founder R. Sriram said.

“Wisha Wozzariter” by Payal Kapadia (Penguin) and “Book Uncle and Me” by Uma Krishnaswami (Scholastic) jointly won the award for Children’s Writing.

Visit the Crossword Book Awards website.

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Citation by the Jury for the Crossword Book Award 2013 for Children’s Writing

The drudgery, complexity and rigour of creative writing are not exactly the ingredients of a story. Rather than the basis of a storybook, and a children’s book at that, this material belongs squarely in the realm of textbooks. The genius of author Payal Kapadia and her pocket-sized creative writing storybook, Wisha Wozzariter, is the manner in which she has transformed such a drab subject into a wonderful, colourful, absorbing book.

Payal’s book is imaginative, creative and witty. It is one of those uncommon books that work at multiple levels. Unfolding as it does at a captivating pace, it weaves in sentences and references that open up myriad worlds of books and ideas. It is a book that a young reader can enjoy for its wackiness and inventiveness, and constantly return to over the years, growing old with it. Not only is it technically sound but above all it is a good, enjoyable read.

– Samina Mishra, Deepak Dalal, Jaya Bhattacharji Rose