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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

The South African Book Fair and National Book Week officially launches #OURSTORIES

Johannesburg, South Africa (Thursday, 17 August 2017) – The South African Book Fair (SABF) and National Book Week (NBW) officially launched on Thursday at the Market Square, Newtown. The event was an exploration of this year’s theme #OURSTORIES, which is a celebration of the established presence of National Book Week and the return of the South African Book Fair, under the auspices of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), in partnership with the Department of Arts & Culture and the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (FP&M).

The theme of this year’s upcoming SABF is #OURSTORIES, which sheds light on the stories and experiences that all South Africans have to communicate. In sharing #OURSTORIES we create spaces for learning and reaching across into each other’s worlds. By learning from each other we open possibilities for greater understanding of who we are, as a people.

Speaking at the launch event, Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the SABDC said: “The SABDC represents the South African book sector and all those involved in bringing books to you. We are proud to say this is the largest and most comprehensive campaign aimed at driving the importance of books and reading in the history of the country. Books have been kept away from many of our people during Apartheid and it is now time for us to write, read and own #OURSTORIES.”

Amongst those in attendance were NBW ambassadors Mogau Motlhatswi (Skeem Saam actress) and Mostoaledi Setumo (Generations & Green and Desire actress).

NBW Ambassadors Mogau Motlhatswi (Skeem Saam) and Motsoaledi Setumo (Generations and Greed & Desire) sharing a laugh at the SABF and NBW Launch


Performing artist, poet and writer Koleka Putuma performed material from her highly acclaimed poetry anthology Collective Amnesia.

Author and performing artist Koleka Putuma delivers a captivating reading from her anthology of poems titled Collective Amnesia


Director of Libraries and Archives at the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Koekie Meyer gave an address highlighting the importance of telling our stories and reading amongst South Africans.

She also announced that the Gauteng Region is opening eight new libraries in this period, which will be home to 8000 – 15000 books each.

The launch event also gave special recognition to Joseph Lamani, who was presented with an award for the Most Innovative National Book Week Programme in 2016. This was the first award of its kind.

The SABF will take place from 8-10 September 2017 at Museum Africa, Newtown, boasting a diverse literary programme, which features the following authors: Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Deon Meyer, Marah Louw, Zakes Mda, Athambile Masola and many more.

Topics on the programme that are sure to catch attention include: “Hidden Figures: African Women in the Global Imagination”, “Colourism, gender and beauty” and “Racism: the immovable stain”.

With participation from a diverse group of scholars, authors, media practitioners and thought leaders, the 2017 SABF will be a space for a robust debate and engagement where those positioned differently in society can reach into each other’s worlds. Beyond these, writing workshops and test kitchens will also be a part of the programme.

The SABF offering provides something of interest to everyone, whether in politics, social justice, transformation, entertainment, food or visual art; this provides multiple vehicles through which #OURSTORIES can be delivered to the world.

National Book Week will take place across all nine provinces from 4-10 September. National Book Week is an opportunity to encourage individuals to discover, rediscover and share the joys of storytelling by engaging with the written word. The week will be focused on providing access to books, while promoting and cultivating a culture of reading across all nine South African provinces, reaching areas outside of urban centres and metros.

National Book Week is a programme by the South African Book Development Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA, with broadcast media support from SAfm.

For more information visit: or social media: Facebook (National Book Week SA), Twitter (@NBW_SA).

The SABF will take place at:
Venue: Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg
Dates: 8-10 September, 2017
Time: 10:00

Collective Amnesia

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“For a long time I’d wanted to write a story about an itinerant tramp and his trade” – a Q&A with Trade Secrets contributor Pravasan Pillay

Pravasan Pillay has published two chapbooks of poetry, Glumlazi (2009) and 30 Poems (2015), as well as a collection of co-written comedic short stories, Shaggy (2013). Pillay’s short story collection, Crooks, is forthcoming. He is the editor of the micro press Tearoom Books. Pravasan recently chatted to Joanne Hichens, curator of the Short.Sharp.Stories Award, about his interest in pulp fiction, trickster folklore and why Chatsworth is the only place he’s interested in writing about.

Pravasan Pillay


You mentioned that your story, ‘The Tramp’, is ‘pulp’ fiction. What appeals to you about writing pulp fiction?

Since my teens, I have always had a big interest in the pulpier side of comic books, novels, and movies – which is another way to say that I gravitated towards what some may classify as ‘lowbrow’ culture. Pulp, for me, is genre fiction that doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s a kind of cheap, formulaic, disposable form, whether the content is horror, mystery, romance, crime or supernatural. It’s meant to be fun and entertaining.

In your story, two young boys, Farhim and Vinesh, meet a titular ‘tramp’ who initially attracts the boys’ attention by offering to sell them slingshots, but it soon becomes clear that he has something far more shocking for sale. Was it difficult for you to place these boys in harm’s way? Or are they a device to move the story along?

No, it wasn’t difficult at all to put the boys in harm’s way. If anything it was kind of enjoyable. And I think it was enjoyable precisely because I see them as – in your words – devices to move the story along. It’s a stranger comes to town plot, and the boys are merely pieces I’m moving about in service of that plot.

Are your characters straight from the imagination, or are they composites of various personalities?

I don’t usually write with the intention of referencing people I know in real life – if it does happen it’s unconscious. The characters in this particular story are sort of archetypes – there’s the cocky one, the level-headed one, and the mysterious one. But as a writer you try to soften the bluntness of archetypes by giving the characters their own personalities. There are also a couple of surprise characters who show up midway through the story. The boys are just regular kids – it’s the tramp who is the strange one.

Considering this element of fantasy which creeps in, was it fun to write?

It was really fun to write. I had already worked out the beats of the story so it was just a matter of putting it down on paper. I hammered it out one morning in a couple of hours. It’s always a good feeling when the writing flows like that.

Did the inspiration also come easy?

I’m not sure whether I can pinpoint the exact inspiration for the story. I know that, for a long time, I’d wanted to write a story about an itinerant tramp and his trade. I ended up connecting that idea with the conceit of writing the story in the form of pulp fiction – and also throwing in passing references to certain fairy tales and trickster folklore.

What is your interest in fairy tales and folklore?

The majority of published fiction I have written has been a type of social realism and I have also written a lot of humour. I think the references to fairy tales are very slight. It’s not something I am particularly into. I do appreciate folklore though, which probably stems from my interest in folk music, stuff like the Child Ballads.

Tell us a little more about the Durban setting. Are you originally from the area?

The story is set in Chatsworth, which is a populous working-class Indian township in Durban. I grew up and have lived the majority of my life in Chatsworth. I don’t currently live there but it is still the only place I am interested in writing about. I suppose that’s because it’s the place I know best.

What writing Trade Secret would you like to share?

I don’t have anything new to say here, but I will reiterate what many other writers have said: Write your first draft very quickly and then put it aside for a couple of months. You need that period away from the story to view it with more neutral, detached editorial eyes.

Trade Secrets

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Programme for the ninth Jozi Book Fair announced!

In partnership with the City of Johannesburg, the ninth Jozi Book Fair takes place from 31 August – 3 September 2017 at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg.

The Jozi Book Fair (JBF) is an educational and cultural festival for schools, children, book clubs, women, men, academics, communities and the public. This year JBF’s jam-packed programme has more than 150 events for people of all ages, varied topics and interests, and all art forms, and 60% of events are hosted by the public. If schools want to participate, they need to register before 25 August. Entrance is FREE! See the full programme on the fair’s website:

Celebrating the theme, ‘Women and Literature’, the fair brings together two literary powerhouses, Kopano Matlwa the author of the critically acclaimed novels Coconut, Spilt Milk and Period Pain, and Shailja Patel, an internationally acclaimed Kenyan poet, playwrighter, theatre artist, political activist and author of the bestseller Migritude.

The theme ‘Women and Literature’ informs the fair’s content, historicising depictions of women by both women and men, in literature and the arts globally.

Some authors at the fair: Mohale Mashigo, Marah Louw, Malebo Sephodi, Reneiloe Malatjie, Jayne Bauling, Dumisani Sibiya, Ashwin Desai, Pregs Govender, Christa Kulijan.

Legends and JBF Patrons: Zakes Mda, James Mathews, Keorapetse ‘Bra Willie’ Kgositsile, Diana Ferrus.

The highlights of this year’s fair include:

Guests & Participants
The award-winning guests of the fair, Kopano Matlwa and Shailja Patel will be in conversation about their work and on several panels.

Internationally Acclaimed Authors
Shailja Patel (Kenya)
Lindsey Collen (Mauritius)
Malin Persson Giolito (Sweden)

Conversations with authors
Media personality Penny Lebyane will be in conversation with Marah Louw on her book It’s me, Marah, Mohale Mashigo will be ‘misbehaving’ with Malebo Sephodi, author of Miss Behave, Reneilwe Malatji explores how relationships change as women gain independence with her book Love Interrupted and journalist Thandeka Gqubule will give insight into her book No Longer Whispering To Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela.

The fair boasts over 20 skills workshops which include writing (short stories, poetry), photography, social media, philosophy for teens, meditation for youth and dance meditation.

Book launches include the second edition of Batjha Kaofela, an anthology of ten short stories by teens from schools in townships and three books on #Feesmustfall by Leigh Ann Naidoo, Oliver Metho and Crispen Chungo, self-publishers and small publishers.

Roundtable discussions include: Women and Literature (Lindsey, Kopano, Shailja), White Monopoly Capital: What FUTURE for SA?: (Chris Malikane, D. Gqubule) and Crisis of Feminism with Nomboniso Gasa.

Panel discussions include discussions on the Mining Charter with Oxfam

Exciting exhibitions: Market Photo Workshop (women photographers), sculptor exhibition – Imbali Yo Mfazi/The Legend Of Woman by Mazwi Mdima at Workers Museum.

Music: School bands and Moses Molekwa Foundation

Theatre: Inner City Youth will be performing three iconic plays (Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, The Island and For Coloured Girls) and Botoo by Ronnie Govender.

The JBF is proud to also bring to the public the screening of the film, Whale Caller directed by Zola Maseko. The film is adapted from the book The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda.


Book details


Spilt Milk


Period Pain



It's Me, Marah

Miss Behave


Love Interrupted

No Longer Whispering to Power


The Whale Caller

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ATKV-Woordveertjies 2017 se finaliste bekendgemaak

Die name van die finaliste vir die 2017 ATKV-Woordveertjies is onlangs bekendgemaak. Dié prys vier tans sy tiende jaargang en die wenners sal op 8 September by Anura Landgoed buite Stellenbosch bekendgemaak word.


Tuisland – Karin Brynard (Penquin Random House SA)
Verlorenkop – Celesté Fritze (Queillerie)
1795 – Dan Sleigh (Tafelberg)

Prys vir Liefdesroman

Oorlewingsgids vir ’n bedonnerde diva – Sophia Kapp (LAPA Uitgewers)
Offerande – Chanette Paul (LAPA Uitgewers)
Anderkant vergeet – Santie van der Merwe (LAPA Uitgewers)

Prys vir Poësie

Hammie – Ronelda S. Kamfer (Kwela Boeke)
Fotostaatmasjien – Bibi Slippers (Tafelberg)
Die aarde is ’n eierblou ark – Susan Smith (Protea Boekhuis)

Prys vir Romanses

Moeilikheid met ’n meermin – Sophia Kapp (Romanza)
Troue in ’n towerbos – Rosita Oberholster (Romanza)
Liefde deur ’n lens – Elsa Winckler (Satyn)

Prys vir Spanningslektuur

Tuisland – Karin Brynard (Penquin Random House SA)
Die dood van ’n goeie vrou – Chris Karsten (Human & Rousseau)
Koors – Deon Meyer (Human & Rousseau)

Prys vir Dramateks

My seuns – Christo Davids
DEURnis – Jannes Erasmus, Henque Heymans & Johann Smith
Wild – Philip Rademeyer

Prys vir Niefiksie

Broedertwis – Albert Blake (Tafelberg)
Emily Hobhouse: Geliefde verraaier – Elsabé Brits (Tafelberg)
Historikus Herman Giliomee – Herman Giliomee (Tafelberg)

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Festering divisions in the American South: Bron Sibree talks to Karin Slaughter about her latest novel The Good Daughter

Published in the Sunday Times

The Good DaughterThe Good Daughter
Karin Slaughter (HarperCollins)

Karin Slaughter has been in a class of her own since her debut crime novel Blindsighted, which became a surprise bestseller in 2001. It revealed a willingness to write about violence with unflinching honesty and an unparalleled ability to create strong, believable female characters.

She rocketed to international stardom, and sales of her books now exceed 35 million copies in 36 languages. From the outset, says Slaughter, “I wanted to write tough stories from a woman’s perspective because I think that women look at the world differently.”

Her latest novel The Good Daughter takes her interest in character and in social issues to a new level. A standalone work that is her 17th novel to date, The Good Daughter doesn’t so much slip the moorings of the crime genre, but realigns its ties to them in refreshing ways. It cleverly links the stories of two sisters, Charlie and Sam, and their experience of two violent, murderous events – one in the present, one in the past – in a cannily layered thriller.

Yet it is almost Victorian in its social scope and depth of characterisation. Even its size, a whopping 527 pages, is more akin to the literary traditions of a bygone era. “This is my longest book,” says Slaughter. “I always say a story needs to be as long as it needs to be.”

Already being hailed as a tour de force, it reveals Slaughter at the top of her game, and was seeded in part by the death of a former English teacher who was her mentor for many years. “I wanted to talk about the fact that even if someone dies your relationship with them doesn’t end, it continues after they’re gone. So it started with thinking about the relationship between Charlie and Sam and their mother, and how, with their mother gone, she has such influence on them.”

All her novels are anchored in the landscapes and sensibilities of the American South, but The Good Daughter probes the festering, and very real divisions between the middle class and those left behind in Pikeville, Georgia, where much of the novel is set. “That was very important to me,” says Slaughter, whose own father grew up in “the Holler”, the poorest area in Pikeville.

“He was one of nine kids and his father was always being chased and beaten up by either the clan because he wasn’t taking care of his family, or by the government because he was making moonshine. They would squat in shacks with no running water and live on squirrels. So I know how people who are trapped in that kind of poverty work their asses off and never, ever get ahead.”

Steeped in the history, lore and literature of the region, the 46-year-old author has been on mission to “honour the South” from the outset, as well as to highlight the chilling facts of violence against women. Part of the reason she feels so at home in the crime genre “is because I want to talk about social issues, and I think crime fiction’s job has always been to hold up a mirror to society. I grew up reading Flannery O ’Connor, and she used shock and violence as this fulcrum to prise the scab off the human condition, and I absolutely think when I write, that that’s my job.”

Follow @BronSibree

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Book Bites: 13 August 2017

Published in the Sunday Times

The CallerThe Caller
Chris Carter (Simon & Schuster)
Book thrill
Author Chris Carter is a Brazil-born criminal psychologist turned crime writer who is making a name for himself among the krimi giants. After a two-year hiatus, The Caller is his eighth page-twister in a series that follows LA detective Robert Hunter as he tracks down the baddest of the bad. This time around, the bad guy is exceptionally diabolical – a serial killer who knows his way around social media and likes to play gruesome games with his victims. This thriller is gratuitously gory in parts, but crime fans will delight in the chase. – Sally Partridge @sapartridge

The Nowhere ManThe Nowhere Man
Gregg Hurwitz (Michael Joseph)
Book thrill
Orphan Evan Smoak was raised as an assassin in a secret government project but now, rich and contrite, he uses his training to help anyone in need. Evan has just bust a child sex-slave ring and is on his way to rescue the final victim when he is kidnapped and held captive in a luxurious mansion where his every desire is met – except freedom. The Nowhere Man is the second in the series and is as fast-paced and slickly written as the first, Orphan X. This is a wonderful old-fashioned escapist adventure. – Aubrey Paton

Temporary PeopleTemporary People
Deepak Unnikrishnan (Simon & Schuster)
Book buff
The United Arab Emirates is filled with riches most can only dream of: skyscrapers and designer shops line the streets. And yet the people who built the city, who paved the roads, who dedicated their lives to making it oh so glamorous are not citizens. Temporary People is a collection of short stories about migrant workers in the UAE. – Jessica Levitt @jesslevitt

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Jacket Notes: Daryl Ilbury on his book Tim Noakes: The Quiet Maverick

Published in the Sunday Times

Tim Noakes: The Quiet MaverickTim Noakes: The Quiet Maverick
Daryl Ilbury (Penguin Random House)

He may be on the front cover, and his name in the title, but The Quiet Maverick is not just about Tim Noakes. Writing a book about South Africa’s most famous scientist would have been easy. He’s been a hot topic and a friend of the media for more than 40 years.

But I wanted this book to be as much about the readers as the man on the cover. I wanted it to be about their relationship with science, an increasingly disrupted media, and the food shaping their lives.

Noakes may have had the leading role, but this was a play with a cast of thousands, each one equally important. There was a bigger story to share than that of a tweet about weaning a baby.

However, merely delivering a sequence of points about science wouldn’t work. When you simply tell someone something, one of four things happens: they accept it, reject it, ignore it, or consider it. Three of those were no good to me. I wanted the reader to think about what they read. That was the challenge of this book: getting the reader to think about science.

The secret, I believed, lay in the narrative. If I could lay down the plot as the threads of a bigger story, and then encourage the reader to pick up those threads and weave them together, they should arrive at the same conclusion as I did, but because they were part of the crafting, that conclusion should hold firm in their mind.

But science isn’t a destination for most choosers of books, so how could I place my book at the front of a store? That was the other motivation to write about Noakes: the story of forces conspiring to ruin the career of the country’s leading researcher earned its place alongside the crime and politics normally reserved for the current affairs section of leading bookstores.

It is the story of society’s historical distrust of science, the fractious relationship between science and mainstream media, the intricacies of human nutrition, and the brutal fallout when a soft-spoken scientist with a taste for social media and a flair for challenging convention voiced his maverick opinion. Compelling enough? Read it.

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Trade Secrets contributor Sally Partridge on magic, being a kitchen witch, and carbomancy

Sally Partridge is a novelist and short story writer from Cape Town, South Africa. She is a three-time winner of the M.E.R Prize for Youth Fiction and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer’s Short Story Prize in 2013. She is passionate about youth literature, and bringing words to life. Her popular first novel was adapted into a school play titled Gif. For her contribution to the creative arts, Sally was named one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2011. Her fourth novel for young people will be published in February 2018. Joanne Hichens, curator of the Short.Sharp.Stories.Award, recently sat down with Sally and the two discussed her short story ‘Kitchen Witch’, magic, and the art of carbomancy.

Sally Partridge


Your story ‘Kitchen Witch’ tells the tale of a tender relationship between an elderly ‘baker’ and her protégé. What was your initial inspiration?

The story happened by accident. A typo over Whatsapp resulted in an exchange over what the arcane art of carbomancy would involve. From this “what if” scenario, it evolved into a story about the past and present, how fast time moves and how quickly the modern world can change if you stop paying attention. In a sense it’s my way of exploring a changing world. While I’m focused on the past, the present seems to have skipped ahead, and sometimes I look around and think to myself, “When did Snapchat happen?” and then, “Oh, it’s already gone.” I enjoy spending time offline, but there’s a cost attached to that – you stop keeping up with what’s happening. I wanted to create a character that’s so out of place in the modern world that she feels like she doesn’t belong anymore, and explore how she comes to terms with that.

Mrs Bailey has a charming sense of humour. Is it her age and experience which adds to this?

It was a defining characteristic. I wasn’t intending to write a caricature of an elderly woman, but rather a real character that the reader could engage and identify with.

For the uninitiated, what is ‘carbomancy’?

Carbomancy is the practice of predicting the future through baking and the reading of crumbs.

Do you personally like to bake?

Yes. Like Mrs Bailey, I’m a complete kitchen witch. For me, cooking and experimenting in the kitchen is all about how the results are going to be experienced. I’ll make pumpkin fritters because they’re a friend’s favourite, chicken soup for someone who is feeling low, a cake to make someone feel special on their birthday. I love how food is able to lift the spirits, and there’s magic in that. It’s transformative.

What is it that fascinates you about magic?

There’s an awe and wonder to magic, and a complete absence of rules and reason. I’m in love with the idea of using your imagination and creativity to make sense of things you don’t understand. I love looking at old ivy-covered buildings and imagining ghosts inside and leaves circling in the wind as some sort of impish mischievousness. It’s liberating to be able to see the world as this wild, powerful thing and not just an endless dredge of making ends meet.

Is magic a common theme in your other work?

I think so. Which is maybe why I love the young adult genre so much. Teenagers haven’t been jaded by the economic hamster wheel yet. The world is huge and full of possibilities. I like to think books can keep them believing that for a little longer.

Not only is the sense of magic enchanting, but in ‘Kitchen Witch’ the sea-side village of Muizenberg takes on an ethereal quality. Was this setting deliberate choice?

While I was writing the story I imagined that it could have taken place anywhere, but the more I built this world and added detail the clearer is became that Mrs Bailey lived in a ramshackle cottage in the old Muizenberg village. It seemed perfect somehow. Muizenberg is a place that changes slowly. Landmarks like the colourful changing booths and the water slides have stayed exactly the same for years, but change is happening. New additions like the Bluebird Market and the trendy restaurants at Surfer’s Corner show signs of a subtle gentrification, which was perfect for the theme that was developing.

What is your writing Trade Secret?

This pertains to magic again. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that magic exists and wanted to explore how and why it reveals itself to a select few.

Follow Sally on Twitter @Sapartridge

Trade Secrets

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Accessing the doors to our dreams: Dave Mann reviews Douglas Reid Skinner’s Liminal

The first thing that comes to mind when reading Douglas Reid Skinner’s new collection is that writing can be a pretty tough gig. But it’s only as tough as living.

Liminal, the latest release from the South African poet, is a collection of 39 poems, broken up into four parts, and spread across 72 pages. Now depending on how you read your poetry, this could be something you enjoy over a single day, or maybe even a week. Me? I read it through the evenings and then, over the course of a few quiet days, I read it again.

Skinner is a name that’s not foreign to the South African literary scene. Liminal is his seventh collection of works and, to date, he’s had work appear in numerous local literary journals as well as in British, American, French and Italian publications. Taking his long and steady writing career into account makes it easier to understand what’s taking place on these pages.

Liminal is a pensive collection, full of small thoughts on boundless topics, crafted down to bite-sized poems. Skinner, in equal parts severity and humour, is engaging in much thinking, dreaming, and agonising on the process of writing itself. Moreover, he delves into the many pains, progressions, and pure moments of chance that serve as prerequisites to the act of sitting down and putting pen to paper and how, often, those moments can seem so dreadfully distant.

Here’s a taster:

“If I could only recall exactly what they were,”
He whispered to himself, “those words that I saw,

“Now that I’m ready with a pen and a blank page.”
But there are no doors into our dreams.
Each mutely drifts along on its own sea.

Beyond the act of writing, there are many stories and themes in Liminal, and each time you read it through, you’ll uncover more. Of the ones I’ve discovered so far, there are outings with good friends, wistful takes on travel, lonely musings over morning headlines, and reflexive takes on nostalgia (‘those relatively rich acres of time, days, turn out to be ephemeral, small spaces that keep on falling straight out the backs of our heads’).

Some read like short stories while others appear on the page as they might’ve looked when they were first typed out or scribbled down. Like all good narratives, they’re familiar in one way or another.

There’s a rigour to Skinner’s work that’s evident throughout. This is no doubt due to his long journey with writing, but it’s also evident in the quiet, pensive tributes to those who have come before him – whether they’re writers, family members or independent pieces of literature. Ultimately, form and motif are brought together through the collection’s segments – each one unpacking a particular set of narratives.

All of these elements considered, Liminal is an easy and eloquent read and it’s a collection that’s perhaps best read in motion. Take a poem or two with your morning coffee before work, or on the bus or train home. Read it when you’re longing for a hillside, but you find yourself stuck in the city. Then again, if you do happen to be on a hillside with nothing specific to do, Liminal would go down just as well. – Dave Mann, @david_mann92

Liminal is out this August. Visit uHlanga for more details.

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Theme for next year’s Short.Sharp.Stories Awards announced

Instant Exposure – stories inspired by photographs

We live in an age in which increasingly we all take or view photographs. Visual language is growing and developing every day as we record our world and our experiences in visual terms. One could go as far as to say that every one of us has, by default, become a photographer as billions of images are uploaded online at any given moment.

We invite you to find a provocative photograph which inspires a powerful story. The image can be a spontaneously captured selfie, a bold news pic, a childhood snap in an old album; perhaps a framed tribute that brings back memories of joy, or a hidden print that haunts your past. Whether the photo is a portrait of a loved one, or an evocative landscape, whether colour or black and white, as long as the photograph has meaning to you, we encourage you to ‘find your story’ – the humour, the pathos, the drama – in the image.

As ever, we’re looking for stories with strong narrative drive, and characters and settings which reflect our South African experience and diversity.

Deadline 30 November 2017

This process is in three parts:
1) Choose the photographic image that inspires you…
2) Write a caption for that image…
3) Use the caption as a springboard to create your story of between 3000 to 5000 words.

We require the photograph, the caption, as well as the story to be submitted.

Please see full rules at

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