The Open Book Festival programme is now live
 More about the book!

The programme for the seventh Open Book Festival has been revealed – with a record number of events!

Open Book will take place from 6 to 10 September in Cape Town, with more than 140 exciting events to choose from this year.

The festival is brought to you by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, and venues also include the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre, Central Library, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library, and PH Centre.

The programme involves panel discussions, workshops, readings, performances and more, featuring more than one hundred local and international authors.

Festival Director Mervyn Sloman says: ‘We are proud to be announcing our biggest Festival yet, and we thank everyone who supported our Thundafund campaign, which has, in part, enabled us to compile this year’s extensive programme.

‘We have once again worked hard to bring you a phenomenal line up of South African and international authors across a range of genres talking about topics that are engaging, relevant and thought-provoking. The nature of the open discussions and debates between authors and audiences and the conversations that continue beyond the event, are what make the Festival unique.’

Focus on Access to Land

This year Open Book will feature a series of four events focusing on access to land curated by PLAAS – the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. Audiences can also look forward to a segment of programming themed around cities curated by the African Centre for Cities.


Paul Beatty, the winner of the latest Man Booker Prize, will be a festival highlight, while other names to look out for include Chibundu Onuzo, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ayòbámi Adébáyò.

Book Launches

Several books will be launched at the festival, including Bonang Matheba’s From A to B, Pumla Gqola’s Reflecting Rogue, Glynnis Breytenbach’s Rule of Law, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh’s Democracy and Delusions, Mark Shaw’s Hitmen for Hire and Prince Mashele’s Fall of the ANC Continues.


Following the huge success of #cocreatePOETICA last year, this year’s line-up includes Dutch poets Akwasi, Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert, headline names such as Koleka Putuma, Toni Stuart, Gabeba Baderoon and Jolyn Phillips. InZync returns to the Open Book stage as does the Open Book Poetry Slam. Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement is also joining the line-up.

Young Visitors Programme

The Central Library will be home to a range of events for children on Saturday, 9 September. Don’t miss ‘Storytime in the Gardens’ on Friday, 8 September, an initiative between Central Library and Open Book which will feature a host of local storytellers. Alex Wheatle, winner of the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, will be at the festival doing events at schools, public libraries as well as on the main festival programme.

Comics Fest

Comics Fest takes place on 9 and 10 September with an array of activities, workshops, discussions and demonstrations for illustrators, designers and comic book lovers. This year seasoned illustrator Andy Mason will be hosting the Monster Battle Draw Off throughout the weekend.

Words for Wine

Sloman says: ‘Our partners Leopard’s Leap Wines will again host their fantastic #WordsforWine. Bring a pre-loved or new book to exchange for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine. Books will be donated the Open Book Library Project and other charities. Check the programme for times. They will also be announcing the winner of their innovative Flash Fiction competition.’


Tickets to events range from R45 to R100. Day Passes (which provide one access ticket to six events per day) are R150 and Festival Passes (5 Day Passes with one ticket access to six events per day) cost R600. There are also a number of free events but tickets must still be booked for these events to secure a place.

Bookings are through Webtickets.

Categories Fiction International Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Book events Cape Town Open Book Open Book Festival The Book Lounge

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