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Summer 2009

Winners of Kahani's Fourth Annual Writing Contest

Thanks to all of you who participated in Kahani’s Fourth Annual Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. A special shout out goes to our readers in Malaysia who contributed this year!

A note from writer and editor Sandhya Nankani who judged this year’s entries:

It’s no easy task to sit down with a blank piece of paper and three words—peacock, fever, and mountain—and come up with an original story. Kudos to all of you who took up this challenge and submitted your work to the Kahani annual writing contest! It was an honor to read your work and to be given the responsibility of picking the three winners.

All of the stories that I read were memorable, and I was quite impressed with the creative ways in which each of you used the three words. So, when it came to making the final selections, I looked for three things. First, a writer who was able to seamlessly weave the three words into an entertaining story. Two, I wanted the characters and settings to stand out. I wanted to feel like I knew them and that they were believable, even if the story was taking place in a fantasy world. And, three, I wanted a pick a story that I knew the readers of Kahani would enjoy reading!

Congratulations to the finalists.

A final word of advice to all you young writers: Words are like beads and a story is like a necklace. It’s not just the individual words that matter. How you string them together to create a design—or structure—counts too. Always think of a story as something with a beginning, middle, and an end. Always ask yourself: Is there a conflict or problem here that my characters face? And, always remember your readers. We like to go to interesting places, to laugh, smile, and to be entertained. Keep these things in mind and your stories will soar.

Now, here are this year’s winners of the Kahani short story contest:

Contest Info

Entry Form


6-8 Age Group
1st place - MAYA FIORE, Massachusetts, Puja and the Peacock
Read Story | Download Template

2nd place - AVNI SINGH, Texas, Pitachio the Peacock's Adventure  Read the Story

3rd place - DEVIKA TIWARI, Illinois, The Wonderful Show-and-Tell  Read the Story

9-11 Age Group
1st place - ANANTH SHASTRI, Massachusetts, The Foolish Peacock
Read the Story | Download Template

2nd place - ANISHA AGARWAL, Massachusetts, No Fun Being Sick Read the Story

3rd place - VAED KHURJEKAR, New Jersey, Dev and His Dream  Read the Story

Honorable Mentions
6-8 Age Group
Abhay Bal Deshpande, New Jersey, The Lion and the Peacock
Archana Verma, Illinois, The Mountain Climb
Arushi Agarwal, Maryland, The Peahen Around the World
Keshav Rama Narra, Michigan, The Peacock That Had a Fever
Krupa Mysore, Connecticut, The Girl Who Loved Peacocks
Maneesha Nagabandi, Pennsylvania, Peak and his Lucky Charm
Meghana Vemulapalli, Pennsylvania, Friendship
Minerva Johar, New York, Turquoise
Niharika S. Desiraju, California, Magical Peacock
Quinn Freer-Hessler, New York, Fever Mountain
Riya Chhabra, New Jersey, The Cure
Samantha Lee Xuen, Malaysia, The Peacock’s Feather and the Cure for Dengue Fever
Shreya Jeya Ramesh, Virginia, Sheela’s Adventurous Daydream
Shreya P. Nair, Massachusetts, The Vacation
Tara Bal Deshpande, New Jersey, BFF – Best Friends Forever
Urja Sen, Michigan, The Peacock and the Owl
Vidusha Srivatsan, California, The Brave Brother

9-11 Age Group
Ayesha Harisinghani, Massachusetts, Mystery on the Mountain
Dhruv Mathur, Canada, Peacock Fever
Esha Bissessur, Arizona, Dazzling Spring
Ethan Oliver, Massachusetts, The Colorful Cure
Henrietta The, Malaysia, An Arrogant Peacock
Hye-Min Eom, Malaysia, The Promise About a Peacock
Iris Oliver, Massachusetts, Fighting Fever
Isha Battu, New Jersey, The Assignment
Malvika Sridhar, Texas, The Healing Feather
Maya Reddi, Texas, The Sick Peacock
Maya Varma, California, The Valiant Peacock
Meghana Gorur, Pennsylvania, The Journey to Mount Kailash
Nadia Aniff, New York, The Peacock Family
Nikita Minocha, Massachusetts, The Rescuer
Park Se Ri, Malaysia, Mrs. Molly
Prannoy Chaudhuri, Canada, The Himalayas
Sarah Jacqueline Saram, Malaysia, Peacock Eyes
Sharifa Sonia, Malaysia, Peacock Fever
Sravya Tadepalli, Oregon, Aruna’s Typewriter
Tammy Chee, Malaysia, Snooty Prune
Tanya Kotecha, Malaysia, Year 2200
Xiandra Alanza Javed Abdullah, Malaysia, My Journey to the Amazon
Zoe Clare Freer-Hessler, New York, The Peacock’s Treasure
Zoe Bowden, Malaysia, Mystical Magical Mountain