Who Are We
The Antharashtra Pusthakotsava Samithy, Kochi,( APS) organizers of Kochi Interational Book Festival, is a registerd non profit charity, formed in the year 1997 .
At the time of the first Bookfest, publishers in Kerala were selling books in fairs which they used to call 'Pusthaka Chantha', meaning 'book market'. As 'chantha ' in Malayalam is also a derogatory term, APS changed the nomenclature forever and introduced the term 'Book Festival', and made the whole event a celebration of the written word. Now solo publishers conducting book fairs also use the term'book festival'.
The first Kochi International Bookfest was organized in 1997. Over the years, the Kochi Bookfest became the largest Bookfest in Kerala, with participation from all major publishers and book sellers in India. However, the samithi also focused on the small and marginal publishers, who cannot afford to maintain outlets to sell their books. APS tried to provide space for them to reach their readers. Currently Kochi Bookfest ranks as one of the six best Book fairs in India, and it is also the largest book fest in the country organized by a non-profit charitable organisation . Most other book fairs in the country are organized by people in the book trade, and their trade associations and a few by government agencies, such as NBT.
In the year 2016, APS started Kochi Literature Festival. (KLF)While most literary festivals in India promote only English writers, APS decided to promote writers from all Indian languages, along with English. KLF is now the largest litfest in Kerala.
Kochi Bookfest is also one of the finest cultural festivals in the country. The number of artists, performers and other celebrities participating in the Book fest has grew over the years, making this ten day festival a major cultural event.
The Pusthakosava samithy is involved in various activities for promoting reading and writing.
The Children's Book Festivals in schools, was started in the year 2006. This is a 3 month long programme held in schools, where children bring their home libraries to school and exhibit it before their schoolmates. About 150 schools in 3 districts, participate in the event, every year . This is also an opportunity for the school libraries to bring out their dusty volumes and exhibit it before their students.
The samithi conducts various literary workshops and seminars for aspiring writers; Literary and Arts Competitions for Children are held on various occasions. Varnotsavam, painting competition, is one the largest in Kerala, in terms of participation.
The prestigious Balamani Amma Award for Literature has been instituted by APS, for life time achievement in Malayalam Literature.
APS also honour publishers every year by presenting the Best Publisher Award. When this award was instituted in 2004, there were no such awards for publishers, in Kerala. This was the first award for publishers.
Every year, APS present LEELA MENON AWARD for print and visual media to journalists,photo journalists and also honour a veteran senior journalist.
APS holds literary pilgrimages or yathras to writers' homes, memorials, libraries etc.
APS also provides assistance to Grameen and school libraries. Our recent project is setting up libraries in orphanages.
The APS Higher Education Institute, imparting traininig for competitive exams started in the year 2019, is the latest venture of APS