The journey of Pencil began as a Facebook group that started on September 12, 2016, with an assemblage of diverse writers, singers, reciters, artists, photographers and more. It was formed by a group of friends who wished to listen to each other’s stories. What began as an online based platform now focuses on almost all the branches of arts and culture. Its recent achievement is the emergence of Pencil Foundation. The organisation will serve as a strong structural identity for Pencil, which will help materialise all the long and short-term projects. It was registered on October 2018 and published 52 (as a tribute to the Language Movement in 1952) books within 6 months of its inception. Pencil Publications even had a stall at Ekushey Grantha Mela 2019, with aims to sell books in Chattogram and Sylhet Boimela as well.
Pencil has been successful in bringing out many women writers from different walks of life. Surprisingly, most of them are not even professional writers. They simply write out of passion, about their daily lives and innumerable other things. During a chat with a member (Pencilor) at the Ekushey Boi Mela, it was clear that the emergence of Pencil adds hope to their life, and provides them a space to exhibit their talent. Dr Nadia Rabin, a lecturer at the Microbiology Department of Sir Salimullah Medical College, expressed her delight on being the author of Premanjoly. “As a young girl, I was expected to pursue science, based on my intelligence. While in school, I used to write for Jai Jai Din. As school life came to an end, so did my hobby.” She pursued MBBS from Rangpur Medical College and later completed M Phil from Dhaka Medical College. “Life changed after that. I got married and now have a family. Returning back to my childhood hobby was nothing more than a far-sighted dream, until one day when someone added me to this online group – Pencil”. She regards it to be one the best things that happened to her, and says that launching her first book was like becoming a mother for the first time. Nadia began her writing once again under a pseudonym, as she was uncertain about her decision and lacked the confidence she once had as a child. However, within a year her literary work garnered much popularity. After her book was selected for publication from 200 entries, she finally felt her childhood dream come true. Now, Nadia is a proud author besides being a doctor. She feels blessed to be a part of Pencil and admires its role in transforming her life forever.
There are many other women whose dreams have been crafted by Pencil. It has created a global platform for Bangladeshis to share ideas and reconnect to heritage through various forms of art. Pencil believes that people, through proper engagement in creative works, can build a better society. The foundation continues to empower and enlighten individuals by helping them identify their abilities and in the process, create a culture that values arts and literature.