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Apply for the 2018 ANFASA grant scheme for authors (academic and non-fiction)

ANFASA, the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa, has announced the next round of the grant scheme to benefit authors of academic and general non-fiction works.

As per the site:

If you are currently working on a scholarly or a general non-fiction work, you are eligible to apply. However, if selected, only ANFASA members may actually receive an award.The grants are intended to provide a sum of around R25 000 to be used for an author to “buy time” – to take leave, for instance, and devote herself or himself to writing; or to travel in order to conduct research.

Visit their website for more information.

Typos and a superficial engagement with the Karoo landscape undermine an otherwise sexy and smart novel, writes Anna Stroud of The Ecstasy of Brush Strokes

Published in the Sunday Times

The Ecstasy of Brush Strokes ***
Rachel Haze, MF Books / Joburg, R180

As a child of the Karoo and a closet reader of hygromans, can you imagine my delight when I found The Ecstasy of Brush Strokes by Rachel Haze (a nom de plume), hailed as Fifty Shades of the Karoo?

I loved the deliciously flawed character of Alex, who packs up her art supplies and flees to a town near Beaufort West to get away from her marriage and her restless mind.

I liked how unlikable Alex is – her inner dialogue and feelings are well-crafted and you feel empathy for her self-destructive tendencies. Haze creates a three-dimensional character that grows from a love-struck student to a disillusioned adult struggling to find her place in the world.

The vivid, imaginative and wonderfully over-the-top sex scenes between Alex and her Rhodes psychology tutor are enjoyable, as are those with her S&M-obsessed husband and others. The author clearly knows her art and uses it to illuminate the inner world of Alex and the lovers she inhabits.

However, the author fails to capture the nuances of the Karoo; it remains dry and dusty, the people in the township are all on social grants, and everyone’s suffering.

At times it feels like the author tries too hard to be clever, for example when she compares sex to biltong, or in her description of Grahamstown as “a small town in the middle of nowhere, far removed from the civilising hand of urban life” that had a “way of chopping students up into little pieces and then delicately throwing them out into some kind of colonial ether”. Huh?

Wayward typos (“throws of passion”, “spilt second”) and a superficial engagement with the landscape undermine an otherwise sexy and smart novel. @Annawriter_

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Hanlie Retief gesels met 2 bevat 50 van Hanlie se beste onderhoude wat sy tussen 2011 en 2018 gevoer het

Die weeklikse rubriek in Rapport, “Hanlie Retief gesels met”, is iets waarna baie lesers elke Sondag uitsien en heel eerste lees. Aanhangers weet haar onderhoude is pittig, op die man af en baie vermaaklik.

Hanlie Retief vra die vrae aan die nuusmakers wat almal brand om te vra. Sy is bekend daarvoor dat sy haar soos ’n verkleurmannetjie kan aanpas by die aard van die onderhoud. Met deernis skets sy misdaadslagoffers se stories en kuier ewe gemaklik saam met Karen Zoid.

Hanlie Retief gesels met 2 bevat 50 van Hanlie se beste onderhoude wat sy tussen 2011 en 2018 gevoer het: dié waaroor mense lank gepraat het, dié wat mense kwaad gemaak het, laat lag of inspireer het.

Steve Hofmeyr, Rolene Strauss, Tim Noakes, Piet Byleveld en Thuli Mandosela is van die onderhoude wat opgeneem is in hierdie boek.

Hanlie Retief is ’n bekroonde skrywer en joernalis. Sy is die outeur van Byleveld, Hanlie Retief gesels met (2011) en Stories oor trauma en hoop. Sy is ook die aanbieder van ’n Halfuur met Hanlie op VIA. Verskeie joernalistieke pryse is al aan haar toegeken, onder andere Media 24-Legends, ATKV-Mediaveertjies en ’n Cum Laude Alumni-toekenning van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat.

Boekbesonderhede

Take a look inside Wendy Hartmann's magical new book, The Singing Stone

Storm has a beautiful stone that her parents gave to her when she was born. When she holds this stone and sings, everyone in the village stops to listen. But when she is tempted by an old woman to sing songs that can control the wind, waves and the entire ocean, things go wrong.

With her brothers and all the other fishermen lost at sea, will she be able to undo the things that she has done?

Written by award-winning author Wendy Hartmann, The Singing Stone is a magical tale about family love and encourages children to believe in themselves. Folk tales help develop strong reading skills and a love of stories.

Available in English, Afrikaans (Die Singende Klip), isiXhosa (Ilitye eliculayo) and isiZulu (Itshe Lokucula.)

Wendy Hartmann has been writing for many years, with more than 40 children’s books published. Her books have been selected for honour’s lists and nominated for awards for writing and illustration. Wendy lives in Cape Town, is married and has two daughters. In her spare time, she paints, has taken part in numerous exhibitions and has works in private collections in South Africa as well as overseas.

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READ Educational Trust celebrates Mandela and his pursuit of literacy

On behalf of READ Educational Trust

As we look back on the month of July, in South Africa a month synonymous with the late Nelson Mandela, who was born on 18 July 1918, we reflect on this particular year, which marks his 100th birthday.

‘Madiba Month’ generated a phenomenal amount of goodwill, with individuals and businesses around the country paying it forward, donating 67 minutes of their time to creating a better South Africa.

A beautiful quotation by this great man is truly at the heart of READ Educational Trust’s quest of literacy for all South Africans: “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

In that same spirit, READ celebrated Madiba Week by visiting Lawley Primary School in Lenasia, Gauteng. Over 50 foundation phase learners were extremely excited to experience our Pop-Up Library. When Mrs Book, a.k.a. Lindiwe Mthembu lit up the room with her animated story-telling skills, the children’s mouths dropped open with delight!

Mrs Book, a.k.a. Lindiwe Mthembu lit up the room at Lawley Primary School in Lenasia, with her animated story-telling skills

 
The little ones loved browsing through the book selection in our Pop-Up Library and couldn’t believe their eyes when they received a donation of books from READ, for their own school library! The Father of our Nation was surely smiling down at South Africans honouring his legacy!

For more information about the READ Educational Trust visit www.read.org.za.

Join the conversations on:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/READEduTrust
Twitter: www.twitter.com/READEduTrust
Instagram: www.instagram.com/read_educational_trust

"Writing this book was painful, but enlightening." Carol Gibbs on All Things Bright and Broken

Published in the Sunday Times

Writing this book was painful, but enlightening; a journey of self-discovery. When my mother died I had an emotional breakdown, and then I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. I realised the fragility of life and I decided to write. My inspiration has been largely my own despair, a desire to explore family dynamics and understand myself and my parents and siblings on a deeper level. To heal.

Despite this, All Things Bright and Broken is not a sad book. Seen through the eyes of a child, there is lots of unintentional humour. Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes also inspired me. His childhood in the slums of Ireland was different, but there were parallels. I had to face my buried monsters and the dissociation and false self built to cope with the harshness of childhood. It has taken courage to visit those dark places in my mind.

I knew this would be the ultimate journey of self-discovery and so I delved deeper into psychology. I devoured every self-help book I could find. I hope the book resonates with readers, even if it is only discovering gratitude at not having spent a childhood crippled by adverse circumstances.

My first attempts were prosaic and boring. One morning when reviewing the previous day’s longhand scribbling, I read: He sat on the windowsill, framed by the Dorothy Perkins roses … That was the turning point. It may sound ordinary, but to me it was like discovering colour when I had previously only used black and white. Something changed in me. I started writing with a different eye. Everything came alive and flowed with a new rhythm. No one was more surprised than I was. I wondered where this had come from and then I remembered my father’s fascination with language, both English and Afrikaans. He carried a notebook with him at all times, filled with phrases from newspapers and magazines.

But technically I was still in the dark ages. Changing from longhand to computer was a huge challenge. It has taken 20 years to see this book grow from baby steps to the final published product. Some days I ended up in floods of tears – I battled with revealing family secrets and sharing my innermost feelings with the world.

But laughter saved me, and one incident comes to mind. My first version of the story was titled White Boots and Tuppenny Cakes. Having lunch in Kalk Bay, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman at the next table. He enquired about my writing and we swopped e-mail addresses. I received an e-mail enthusiastically enquiring about White Boobs and Tupperry Cakes. It kept me amused for weeks.

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