All-rounder Shruti: Author, School Topper, International Champion
Posted on: November 8, 2014. Comments ( 2 )

Author: Shalini Swaminathan, mother of Shruti, Mumbai

Shruti Swaminathan is a student of Class VIII at Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT Powai, Mumbai. She has four self-published books of short stories, titled Straight from a Child’s Heart to her credit. The first book was published in 2011, to coincide with her tenth birthday; the second, third and fourth books, every year thereafter.

Though her first book was brought out when she was ten, her foray into writing began in 2007, when she was six years old. She wrote her first story for the school magazine when she was in Class 1. Initially, she wrote her stories, for a few months, in a diary and then began typing them out in a laptop. To this day, she has been steadily adding to her collection of stories – she spends at least an hour, everyday, typing stories, unless she is suffering from ‘writer’s block’. She writes on a variety of topics—school stories, her parents’ childhood memories, mystery stories, apartment stories and anything that kindles her imagination. Sometimes, her writings display a combination of imagination and real-life incidents, experiences and news events, for example, the strife in Libya. This is, in great measure, due to her habit of poring over the newspaper before leaving for school and watching the news channel with us in the evening.

She developed an avid interest in reading from the age of five. Initially, her favourite books included those written by Enid Blyton – the Famous Five, St. Clare’s etc. Now, she enjoys reading R. K. Narayan, Ruskin Bond, Arthur Conan Doyle, Carolyn Keene, J.K. Rowling, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, to name a few. Her most favourite book is The Diary of Anne Frank – she read the book when she was in Class 3. She is extremely fond of Anne and has her picture on the laptop screen. Books and stories are not read just once; she reads and re-reads them and savors the words and nuances thoroughly.  It will be surprising to note that she finds even the dictionary interesting and pores over it regularly. All this has helped her to develop a very good vocabulary.

She reads the newspaper keenly, before leaving for school and has a fairly high level of general awareness. She also watches, with avid interest, evolving news stories on the Television. Her keen observation of the current events of the day provides inspiration for some of her stories and had also prompted her, at the young age of seven, to design a newspaper covering the current topics of interest, sports, general information and entertainment. Around the same time, during her holidays, she wrote out content for English language textbooks for primary school students, as a pastime. Her interest in reading makes her literally pore over any printed matter. This has improved not only her vocabulary but also her levels of general awareness. Even her father’s office magazine is gone through thoroughly and scanned for interesting information. In short, the printed word interests her.

We now find that her reading habits have helped her in her academic performance also. She does not have to prepare for creative writing exercises in school (paragraphs, letters or articles) – her reading gives her sufficient material to write on any topic.  Since her comfort levels with English are fairly high, it has helped her to move away from rote learning, to understand the subject and write answers in her own words. She is also able to speak extempore on quite a few subjects because of her wide reading.

Her reading and writing have helped her to do well academically and in external assessments, too.

  • In the year 2011, in external assessments, too, she has excelled, having secured a High Distinction (being in top 1% of students in her class) in the IAIS (International Assessment for Indian Schools) conducted by Macmillan in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
  • In the same year, she was also the school topper in the International English Olympiad conducted by SOF (Science Olympiad Foundation) in the Hindu Senior Secondary School, Indira Nagar, Chennai, ranked 2nd in the city of Chennai, was 4th in the State of Tamil Nadu and 41st internationally.
  • She was recognized as a “Young Achiever of 2011” during the Annual Day Celebrations held in her school, Hindu Senior Secondary School, Indira Nagar, Chennai.
  • In 2012 again, she topped her centre in Pune in the International English Olympiad conducted by SOF (Science Olympiad Foundation).
  • In 2013, while in Class 7, she topped her school, Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT, Mumbai in the 6th All Mumbai SPELLING Competition held for Classes 7, 8 and 9.
  • Academically, also, she has fared very well throughout – she scored a CGPA of 10 in her Class 7 Annual Examination.

Shruti’s blog is available on Cinnamon Teal’s site – the link is given below.
How I Began Writing

Her books are self-published through CinnamonTeal Publishers based in Goa and are available online on the publisher’s website, Flipkart etc.


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Comments (2)

 

  1.  
    simi says:

    All the best to shruthi…A budding writer

  2.  
    Amala says:

    Dear Mrs. Shalini, I am happy to know such fine details about Shruti, even so in a mother’s view. It’s nice you took the effort. That will be greatly encouraging your daughter. I have a daughter too who is very much interested in writing. She is doing her 9th grade. Keep it up.


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