Neev Literature Festival was born in 2017 with its first event, a wonderful series of conversations between children, adults and authors, with the goals of recognising great literature for children of all ages, growing readers for life, and making reading part of every home.

NLF 2018 takes this vision further with the Neev book awards for recognising and growing strong children’s literature.

The Neev award for distinguished children's literature aims to recognise outstanding writing that leads to a fuller understanding of India, Indian lives, and Indian stories. This award aims to promote and encourage high-quality children's literature from India.


Picture Books refer to books for children that display an understanding and respect for a child’s sensibilities. We define children as persons up to the age of 12. A picture book must be a maximum of 48 pages in length, and it should provide the reader with a visual experience. Picture books can narrate a story through both text and images, or only images.

Young Readers refers to books for audiences between the ages of 4 and 12. The book must address this audience both in terms of the appropriateness of the content, the level of the language, and the age of the protagonist.

Young Adult refers to books for audiences between the ages of 12 and 16. The book must address this audience both in terms of the appropriateness of the content, the level of the language, and the age of the protagonist.

Neev Literary Awards Selection Committee – 2018

Rasil Ahuja

Rasil’s passion for education, combined with a love for stories, led her to write for children. When she isn’t writing for work, she’s writing for fun. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, baking and playing sports.

Nadine Bailey

Nadine is an Experienced Teacher-Librarian with a demonstrated history of working in the IB environment, following innovative practices. She is a strong education professional, demonstrating lifelong learning with a Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) and Master in Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. She is passionate about diversity and enhancing a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment

Katie Day

Katie moved to Asia with her family where she finished Masters in Children’s Literature. She has a graduate certificate in secondary English. She has worked as a head librarian at top international schools in Europe and South-East Asia.

Colin Kelman

Colin has been a teacher at international schools for about a dozen years. He has taught English and Theory of Knowledge. He has never stopped reading children's books and is partial to poetry.

Dhooleka S. Raj

Dhooleka S. Raj is a Visiting Scholar in Women's Studies at Harvard University. She was formerly a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Smuts-Hinduja Fellow at the Center for South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. Dr. Raj holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Cambridge.

Maya Thiagarajan

Maya earned a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Master’s in Education Policy from Harvard University. She began her teaching career with Teach For America, where she taught at a public school in Baltimore City for two years. She went on to teach high school English at some of America's most prestigious independent schools. After a decade of teaching in the US, Maya moved to Singapore and began teaching at The United World College of South East Asia (UWC).

Gita Varadarajan

Gita has worked with children all over the world, earned her master’s degree in literacy education from Columbia University and now teaches second grade in Princeton, N.J. She is passionate about using writing meaningfully to make people more reflective.

Jeremy Willette

Jeremy is an innovative international educator with twenty-two years of experience. He offers students hands-on, differentiated instruction that is fun, challenging, technology-rich, and connected to student inquiry. He is a teacher librarian (elementary and middle school) and loves sharing his passion for library, literacy, and language with students.

Shortlist Coming Soon.