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Mahtab Narsimhan

Mahtab Narsimhan

Photo: Macdonell Photography

Mahtab is the award-winning (Silver Birch Fiction Award, 2009) author of The Third Eye, a fantasy-adventure based in India and the first book in the Tara Trilogy.  

The Tiffin, based on the dabbawallas of Mumbai, also received critical acclaim and was shortlisted, among others, for the SYRCA, MYRCA and Red Maple Fiction Awards. 

Mission Mumbai and Looking for Lord Ganesh were published in Spring 2016 by Scholastic Inc. and Lantana Publishing, respectively.  

Mahtab lives in Toronto with her husband, son, golden retriever, and is deeply committed to representing diversity in her stories. 

For more information, please visit her website at  



The Third Eye. The Dundurn Group, 2007
The Silver Anklet. The Dundurn Group, 2009
The Deadly Conch. The Dundurn Group, 2011
The Tiffin. Dancing Cat Books, 2011
My Best Friend...Not. Pearson Canada, 2015
Mission Mumbai, A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes and Stolen Toilets. Scholastic Canada and US, 2016
Looking For Lord Ganesh. Lantana Publishing, UK, 2016


Silver Birch Fiction Award for The Third Eye, 2009
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

My presentations are very interactive which make for a more enriching experience for my audience and for me. Each of my presentations are about forty-five to fifty minutes and comprise the following;  

  • I start out with a bit of background about myself and the types of books I enjoyed reading as a child.
  • I talk about the event in my life that made me start writing.
  • I talk about where I got my ideas for the book and substantiate this by showing pictures of Gods, Goddesses and other images from Indian Mythology and Culture. This is an especially fascinating part for students and teachers alike as they can now visualize some of the descriptions in the book.
  • I show all the research, planning and plotting that goes into a novel.
  • I walk the students through the process of writing from rough draft to publication. I substantiate this by showing my rough drafts and all the edits I did towards polishing the novel.

My talk is peppered with personal anecdotes and all the challenges that a writer faces when s/he sits down to write and the tricks and tips I use to get me through this process.

Workshop Description:

Writing is really about rewriting. Depending on the time available, I will focus on one or more of the following aspects of the art and craft of writing, leaving enough time for the students to write a sample piece which they are able to share with the class and get relevant feedback.

· I describe one of the most important tenets of writing “Show, don’t tell.” I give examples of both kinds of writing.

· I talk about Characterization. I show the students how to develop well-rounded characters. I also explain the function of the protagonist, antagonist and other peripheral characters.

· I describe the various points of views that can be used in a book and give examples of each with the range and depth of each view.

· Conflict is the engine that drives the story. I talk about how to develop this, either with external factors or internal monologue.

· Plotting. I define plotting and its importance in the context of a story. I give examples of character-driven plots and identify plot points. I also explain how to transition between scenes and the purpose and effect of back-story/flashbacks.

· I talk about the importance of story/chapter beginnings and endings especially cliff-hangers demonstrating the same with examples.

Note that the ideal size of group for a one hour workshop is a maximum of fifteen students . This will allow enough time for each student to present his or her writing sample in front of the class and receive helpful feedback.