This is Prerna Shah
Who am I?
I am a media professional with over a decade of experience in both print and digital. I have a MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London, preceded by a MA in Communication Studies and a BA in English Literature.
But my love for a good story comes from my childhood.
I remember long summer afternoons spent with my maternal grandmother. I would always ask her to tell me a story. She would unfailingly oblige. She would tell me a tale from her childhood where fakirs conjured up gold coins from thin air, an anecdote from her former neighbour about a compassionate ghost who helped with the cooking in a busy household, stories of poor farmers and rich kings with roving eyes…
It used to be a magic hour. An hour of being transported, of finding both peace and pleasure, of vivid imagination dancing with ancient memories.
I want to recreate that sort of magic for my readers. This blog is an attempt in that direction.
Curious about the name of my blog?
If you have wondered about its name, it comes from the city of my birth – Vadodara or Baroda in Gujarat, India. The present-day name of the city can be traced to its ancient name ‘Vadpatra’. It was called so because of the numerous ‘Vad‘ (Banyan trees) found in abundance in the city. Imagine lying under the shade of an ancient Banyan tree and having someone – an aunt, a sibling, a grandfather – telling you stories.
Think of me as that storyteller. I offer you tales of meeting Vikram Seth, of sunsets the colour of marigolds, of the orange trees-laden streets of Malta, of a Ginger cat who adopted us, of the kindness of strangers, of love and longing and loss…
I would love to hear your stories too. Do drop in a line, a paragraph or more, at email@example.com
There’s more – I have a storytelling platform too!
In October 2020, I have been able to go live with a website that I have set up along with a friend, who is also a journalist and an ex-colleague. It is called The Good Story Project and it is a safe, free and creative space for personal narratives, interviews and feature-length stories. All the content on the platform has one thing in common – an honest attempt to tell stories with empathy, balance and sensitivity. Do check out our website and let us know what you think of it.
Do you need help with content?
I also take on copy writing assignments and this includes a diverse range of services – from developing impactful copy for a not-for-profit as well as for small to medium businesses, coaching and help with writing your book, creating a customized bio and introduction for your blog, website or media kit as well as providing writing prompts and direction to help you develop your own blog and writing style. I will be very happy to put to good use my journalism and media experience to create press releases, web content, marketing collateral, emails and newsletters as well as case studies and social media copy.
Besides that, I also help with proofreading and editing documents and work in collaboration with writers to line edit and restructure their stories, as well as equip them with the necessary tools and resources to be able to tell their stories authentically and creatively.
A brief portfolio
Here are some links to some of my recently (and not so recently) published articles. And of course, there’s more on my blog – travel writing, opinion pieces, humour…
My piece on Travel Through Words – joint-first winner of a contest organised by JM Editing & Literary Agency
In the Irish Times, writing about getting on a repatriation flight and experiencing kindness and love
Covid-19 and its impact on international adoptions
Fundraising to help hospitals during Corona crisis
Stuck on an island as Corona strikes
What the crisis means for those with special needs
What happens when a national lockdown is announced?
Novelist Joanne Harris on love
Manvendra Singh Gohil on ‘love is love’ – views from the LGBTQ+ community
Journalist and novelist Jerry Pinto on an unusual childhood
Author Amandeep Sandhu on mental health and illness, and a caregiver’s perspective
Veteran film journalist Karishma Upadhyay on her book Parveen Babi – A Life
Smriti Gupta on adoption and why every child deserves a family
Content and blog development for a hotel and locations website
Articles for the online version of Woander Magazine