"Wizcraft will take this edition of Crossword Book Award to another level"- Maulik Desai, Crossword Bookstores

While today Maulik Desai and his team will be hosting the 15th Raymond Crossword Book Award in association with Kotak at the Royal Opera House, Mumbai, we explored an opportunity to speak to Desai, the head of Crossword Bookstores, on partnering with an event management company for the first time, what new will be introduced by Wizcraft this edition, and more. Excerpts:


Q. Please elaborate on your partnership with Wizcraft.

We have partnered with an event management company for the first time and we took this step to enable the Crossword Book Award ceremony to reach new heights. And we believe that Wizcraft will help us to do that. Wizcraft as a company is known for its expertise to bring something new to the table each time it organizes an event and though we partnered in December itself and it has just been a two months relationship, we are confident that this edition will be bigger and better than the previous ones.

Q. What are the new elements that Wizcraft is introducing in this edition which was not seen or done before?

For the very first time, this edition will witness panel discussions and sessions on various subjects. This we had never done in our previous editions. Also, we will be inviting some of the celebrity authors for the event.  

Q. Crossword Book Award began its journey in 1998, how has it grown over the years?

It was a very small initiative when it started its voyage back in the 90s, today the whole fraternity looks forward to it. Began with a purpose to provide recognition and acknowledgment to the good work of authors and publishers, today it has come a long way. And though Wizcraft came on board just a month back and this edition will be bigger than before, the coming editions will be much better with enough preparation.  

Q. Over the years, several new categories have been added like Kotak Junior Children Writing Award, what is new this year?

Yes, we added Kotak Junior Children Writing Award as a new category in 2015, but this edition will be witnessing the same categories that the event has seen previously. Hopefully, if the jury or people demand, we will add one in the next year soon.  

Q. Which are the ways through which you plan to engage the audience more this year?

As Crossword Book Award is not a mass event but our attendees are authors, publishers, and partners, we decided to engage them via panel discussions and fruitful sessions. For example, this edition will see a panel discussion on young/budding authors and what motivates them. Also, we strive to provide a personalized experience to not only the authors who come for our event but also to our customers who visit our stores. We believe in creating an atmosphere for the readers, who can come to our stores, sit and read even when they do not want to purchase a book.

Q. Also, please tell us about the challenges you faced in the previous editions and how you tackled them?

Controlling the crowd was one of the biggest problems for us, we knew that many people would be interested to come to our event. So, for this year for the very first time, we introduced the concept of ‘Only on invitation’ which will help us to make this event as personalized as possible for the people belonging to writing fraternity.


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