‘Pub to Park Storytelling’




 Mallika Naguran created the Pub to Park Storytelling, which is a series of reading events of stories and poetry at various places. And a chance to feature local voices, by invitation, as a guest.


For two years now, Mallika has been reading from her recently published book of short stories titled She Never Looks Quite Back at her “Pub to Park Storytelling” series in Australia, Singapore and beyond. The stories concern vital subject matters such as war and reconciliation, nature and the environment, social displacement, the pandemic, relationships, and more. The book contains thirteen original short stories that depict characters who are swept by surprising turn of events, yet not losing their resolve to survive or create change for the better.


The “Pub to Park Storytelling” series, supported by the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania (CDAT), will take place at various venues, chiefly cafes, pubs, parks, community centres and nature reserves. “We are excited to have a new voice in Tasmania who seeks to promote—in a rather creative way—messages of peace and environmental stewardship in a fragile world,” said John Kamara, President of CDAT. This storytelling caught the attention of Hobart’s ABC Radio host Ryk Goddard, who chatted with Mallika on air. Hop over to the media page to see the other coverage gotten to date, from Singapore to Australia.


In the series, Mallika reads from different stories that relate to the setting, and these could include charming pubs, chic cafes, scenic parks – rain, hail or shine! Here are the planned sessions, so do take note and join in. It is free of charge to attend, however, do patronise the participating cafes and pubs by buying a drink or snacks.



Storytelling #1: Saturday 19 March 2022, Fern Tree Tavern, 680 Huon Road, 3-5 pm.  “War and reconciliation; love and passion”. 


Amazing kick-off session moderated by Cr. Zelinda Sherlock.


Follow our pictures on FB here, and video recording of the entire storytelling here (including the skit with friends).








Nature reading poster

Storytelling #2: Saturday, 23 April 2022, The Springs track on kunanyi,  3-5 pm. “Bird Watching” story reading.


Celebrating Earth Day. Meet at meet at Fern Tree Tavern at 3pm before we proceed to walk as a group.


As it happened, the sun smiled down at us, and we had a great time in the forest. The kids acted out Ling’s role as I narrated her getting lost in the forest in “Bird Watching”. And we spotted loads of mushrooms and Tasmania’s own fagus.





Mallika and Adam posterStorytelling #3 & Book Signing: Book signing of She Never Looks Quite Back by Mallika Naguran on Saturday 30 July 2022, 10am to noon at Petrarch’s Bookstore, 89 Brisbane Street, Launceston. Visit their FB event page.


Joint storytelling with Adam Thompson on Saturday 30 July 2022.


Adam is the author of sharp short stories Born Into This centred on Tasmania First Nation’s culture, heritage, identity, and struggles.  


Venue: Devil’s Door, 91 George Street, Launceston 3-5 pm. Free event. Win vouchers with book purchase.






Storytelling #4 was held on Friday 12 August 2022 at the Tasmanian Storytelling Festival at Inveresk Tramsheds, Launceston, Tasmania. This is where people who like to spin tales gather! A free event, it was also for those who wish to pick up tips on writing and stage delivery of oral storytelling. Mallika read from her short stories “The Liquid Goalie” and “Ode to Joy”. She conducted a workshop on Saturday 13 August 2 pm on what makes a good ending.

What the audience said: “The story of the goalie was so gentle yet powerful. I loved it.”




During the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in Tasmania, Mallika shared her writing experience along with other short story writers Ben Walter and Adam Thompson, hosted by Lyndon Riggall, at “The Power of the Short Story” session on 15 October 2022 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.


Storytelling #5. Avery McDougall was in conversation with Mallika Naguran at the Hobart library reading series on 28 October 2022 from 5.30-6.30 pm. Check out the Author Talk here. We talked about our stories surrounded by shelves of books, how cool is that? Great attendance and response to our lively conversation. Congratulations to Avery whose book Invisibly Grace had been longlisted for the Tasmanian Literary Award.


Storytelling #6. Intimate session at Rani’s place (of Rupini’s beauty parlour fame) in Singapore on 17 February 2023 where I read from my ‘chicken curry’ story that brought tears and laughter to the small group of avid readers who turned up. Well, the full title of that story is “How to cook an authentic South Indian chicken curry (but not on April Fool’s Day)”. Thanks lots Rani for hosting and the yummy snacks prepared. 


Storytelling #7. Ash Cottage in Ouse hosted my very first reading series on 14 July 2023 in the grand central highlands of Tasmania. Ouse is a quaint village 15km north of Hamilton and around an hour and 20 mins drive from Hobart. It is where I live! At this reading, locals of the central highlands came together to listen to my reading and storytelling of “Katarzyna’s Secret”, about a Polish centenarian reliving her shame during World War ll. A must read! 


I really loved this session as the people started sharing about their own family histories that have encounters with war, from the firest world war to the Vietnam War.



Rather moving and special to me. Because the Pub to Park Storytelling is not just about my stories but of others too.


Thanks to Ash Cottage for hosting this Pub to Park Storytelling along with morning coffee and sandwiches thereafter.


And Tracey, the organiser, had this to say: “This year I had the pleasure of organising a Pub to Park Storytelling event with Mallika Naguran.  Mallika had recently moved to the area and offered her storytelling session at our local community house. 


She had given me a copy of her book ‘She Never Looks Quite Back’ and I loved the short stories she has written.  A couple of them really evoked some past memories for me from travels gone by in my youth.  Not only were the stories thought provoking and well written, but Mallika’s’ ability to capture the groups attention when reading one of her stories was great.  This created a lot of robust discussion and great feedback from the local group. 


I’m looking forward to the next Pub to Park session from Mallika.  Thanks for the opportunity to share your talent with our community.” – Tracey Turale, Health Promotion Coordinator, Tasmanian Health Service



Storytelling #8.  After the Ouse reading, residents have asked for more. 


Next up, I’m teaming up with Tim Hurbugh, a great architect and poet, to read from our books of stories and poetry on 29 September 2023. Think I’ll read “Elvis on my iPad” this time, as it concerns the Tasmanian landscape and the famous giant crayfish, which is captured as part of my story. It is free for anyone to attend. So, all are welcome, and a tasty lunch awaits. RSVP Ash Cottage by calling 61222018.










Further storytelling dates to be confirmed, and please check back this page for updates (as dates might change), or connect with the author on her social media pages.

 “Pub to Park Storytelling” series is open to the public; however, RSVP is required, and participants are encouraged to buy a drink at the bar. She Never Looks Quite Back was published by Penguin Random House SEA on 14 December 2021. It is available at online platforms such as Booktopia, Amazon and bookstores (if the book isn’t there, ask the bookstore to get copies). The author will be signing copies during the reading sessions.


During the nature walks, the author will share her thoughts about ecosystems, climate change, and the environment as participants accompany her and a nature expert on a leisurely stroll. Do bring your own water, snack, coat, hat and anything that keeps you comfortable.


RSVP, inquiries… connect here!