Shrabani Basu is a journalist and Sunday Times bestselling author. Her books include Victoria & Abdul (made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Dame Judi Dench), Spy Princess, The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, For King and Another Country, Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18, and Curry The Story of Britain’s Favourite Dish. She is the founder and chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust. Here are her writing tips for The Big Story:
“The blank page can be scary, but it can also be a friend. Treat yours as a companion, as someone you want to tell a story. Think of the moment in your life that was special to you. It could be something funny, heart-warming or even plain silly. Sometimes even a tragic episode can have a silver lining.
Think of the characters you want to include and the structure. Will it be a straight narrative? Do you want to spring a surprise at the end? Do you want to write with flashbacks? The thoughts will flow as you write. Put down a first draft. Go back to it the next day. Read it aloud if you want to. You will see at once what you need to change. Do the rewrite and the edits. You’re on your way!
Good luck with writing your mini memoir.”
We are delighted that Shrabani has kindly agreed to join our judging panel. Thank you, Shrabani.