In a short span of time, sibling duo Nuzaimul Hoq Xishan and Kasfia Haque Samara set up not one but three ventures,Worthy Books, Worthy Toys and Worthy Publications.
They started off with only Tk 5000 and initially, no one but their mother believed in their idea. Seeing their enthusiasm, their father agreed to provide them with financial support. Gradually, they received encouragement from other generous investors as well. With time, their online bookstore drew over 40 thousand followers. Both Xishan and Samara are bookworms and students of English Literature at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.
The confident youngsters hit a milestone with the launching of Sehri Tales and The Mason Jar under the banner of Worthy Publications. Sehri Tales is written and edited by long-time writer for the youth Sabrina Fatma Ahmad while The Mason Jar is a collection of 47 short stories by various young writers of Bangladesh.
“In several countries, young writers are supported to publish their work. Such a platform was missing in Bangladesh. My sister and I always wanted to do something in our country and that's how we began,” says Xishan.
They announced an open call to aspiring writers in the prominent online book club Litmosphere, with an aim to publish a book. The response to that call was widely positive. The writers were required to submit fictional stories of minimum 500 words.
The duo wanted to offer something to a wide audience. So, The Mason Jar has an interesting combination of simple yet heart touching Bangla and English stories. As the back cover of the book reads, “This collection is a mélange of flavours that has something to offer to everyone—sweet stories of love, hope and friendship blended with tangy, piquant tales of horror, heartbreak and despair, mixed with bittersweet stories that fall somewhere in between.” Maria Molla and Kashfia Haque Samara contributed to the primary editing of the manuscripts.
Worthy Publications intends to launch a new set of books in the upcoming Dhaka Lit Fest which would include another version of Sehri Tales, a revised version of The Mason Jar and an anthology of dark secrets.