Alumni, Public Relations

PR Grad Signs Four-Book Publishing Contract

When asked about when she first knew she wanted to be a writer, Batul Tunio’s answer was almost reflexive:

‘Always,’ she replied with certainty.

Public Relations grad Batul Tunio, has signed a four-book extension contract for her children’s book Dotty the Unique Zebra with Oxford Press, one of the world’s leading publishing houses.

Batul has been enamoured by stories for as long as she can remember. Authors have been her heroes, and fictional characters her best friends. She recalls that even as a child when her friends were consumed by mainstream media and pop-culture, she often preferred the company of a good book. Faraway lands and fantastical creatures always called to her.

It was this sense of wonder that inspired her to write about Dotty, a character that has been simmering in her mind since she was in kindergarten. It wasn’t until much later that Batul decided to bring her story to life — and it wasn’t an easy feat.

Batul describes her writing process as ‘solitary and riddled with self-doubt’. While on the outset, writing a children’s book might seem easy, developing a story that was just right for her beloved character was quite the challenge. And that was just the beginning of a long-drawn process.

It took almost five years to find an illustrator that executed her vision of Dotty on paper. Another two years went into querying agents and finding a publisher. But she didn’t give up until Oxford Press picked up her story.

It was a dream come true.

This project was especially close to her heart because of the magic that she believes resides in children’s books. They are full of hope, and no matter the obstacles, we know that things will always work out in the end. It’s the kind of positivity Batul believes the world needs more of.

Through Dotty the Unique Zebra, she wants to teach children to embrace their individuality and look beyond the constraints of appearances, gender, and societal norms. We applaud how beautifully Batul has woven this invaluable lesson into her words.

Citing Haruki Murakami and P. G. Wodehouse as her inspirations, Batul admitted that she has several other stories brewing in her mind, and looks forward to telling them to the world.

Batul reminds us that storytelling is the heart of Public Relations, a skill that can effectively be applied anywhere.