The programme for the 2018 Open Book Festival has been revealed!

The full programme has been announced for the eighth Open Book Festival!

This year’s Open Book will take place from 5 to 9 September 2018 in Cape Town.

Tickets are available at Webtickets.

See the full programme here:

Local authors who will be at this year’s festival include Tumelo Buthelezi, Ijangolet S OgwangClinton Chauke, Rebecca Davis, Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Judith February, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Craig Higginson, Siya Khumalo, Landa Mabenge, Angela Makholwa, Sue Nyathi, Mohale Mashigo, Niq Mhlongo and Zukiswa Wanner.

Confirmed international guests include Nigerian–American writer Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, Jamaican–American writer Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun, award-winning author Aminatta Forna, and Nigerian–American author Frankie Edozien, whose memoir Lives of Great Men has just been announced as the 2018 Lambda Literary Award winner for gay memoir or biography, among many others!

Press release:

Be engaged, entertained and inspired – bookings now open for eighth Open Book Festival

Be prepared to be engaged, inspired and entertained – the programme has been announced and ticket bookings are now open for the eighth Open Book Festival. The Festival takes place from 5 to 9 September and bookings can be made at

Brought to you by the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, Open Book Festival offers a world-class selection of book launches, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, readings, performances, and more. The festival also hosts the popular Comics Fest, #cocreatePoetica and various children’s and outreach programmes. Venues for the event include the Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre, the A4 Arts Foundation, and The Book Lounge in Cape Town, and are all within walking distance of one another. Selected events will also take place outside the city centre, such as at Elsies River Library and Molo Mhlaba School.

“We have put together a programme that we hope will appeal to book lovers of all interests and ages,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman. “The stimulating conversations that arise from the panel discussions, both during and after the event, are what make the Festival unique. We are always grateful to the authors who are so generous with their time and to the audience members for their willingness to openly engage in debate.

“Thanks to the support of our partners such as the Canada Council of the Arts, the French Institute of South Africa, the Swedish Embassy, the University of Stellenbosch and the Embassy of Argentina, we are able to bring you leading international authors such as Guy Delisle (Hostage),graphic artist duo Icinori, Jonas Bonnier (The Helicopter Heist), Nicole Dennis Benn (Here Comes the Sun) and Mariana Enriquez (Things We Lost in the Fire). Other international guests will include authors such as Aminatta Forna, Lesley Arimah, graphic novelist Mariko Tamaki and Adam Smyer, whose debut novel Knucklehead is a refreshingly honest, fierce and intelligent read. All this, in addition to the more than 100 incredible South African authors that are joining our programme.”

In association with #cocreateSA and the Dutch Consulate General,#cocreatePOETICA hosts a varied programme of readings, performances, discussions and workshops showcasing poetry and the spoken word. Experience the work of Dutch writer, performer and theatre director Babs Gons and musician and songwriter Ivan Words, alongside the cream of South African talent and celebrated spoken word organisations such as InZync, Lingua Franca, Grounding Sessions and Rioters in Session.

Open Book Festival once again teams up with the African Centre for Cities to present a number of events exploring urban issues. Inspired by the collection Feminism Is, South Africans Speak Their Truth, a series of Feminism Is talks will interrogate ideas of feminism, gender, patriarchy, sexual health and ownership of the body.

The Festival has become known for its focus on political and societal topics, and events will include discussions around the 2019 elections, a look at if our laws hinder or help us and the future of the media.

There’s also a strong recurring theme in the programme around loss, memory and personal transitions. Various events will give us a window into the authors’ worlds of writing and creating characters dealing with death and capturing the author’s own personal changes in their lives.

The fun- filled Writersports is a firm fixture on the Festival calendar and this year challenges writers with their Cringe Factor: Behind every success are 100 embarrassing failures!

The popular Comics Fest takes place on 8 and 9 September with the return of the Monster Battle Draw off, live drawings workshops, discussions and demonstrations, as well as a host of exciting exhibitors in the Comics Fest Marketplace. Don’t miss Dusanka Stojakovic of New Africa Books talking about what she is looking for in order to publish a comic book.

Younger visitors will feel welcomed at the Festival with a range of exciting activities including storytime at Central Library, Origami Demo Sessions and a workshop for teens to Create Your Own Character.

Longstanding partners Leopard’s Leap Wines will be hosting their wonderful #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.They’ll also be announcing the winner of their innovative #MessageonaBottle competition.

Open Book Festival has established itself as one of the most innovative literature festivals in South Africa. It has twice been shortlisted for the London Book Fair Excellence Awards. Last year, nearly 10 000 people attended the festival’s record 140 events, with ticket sales from previous years surpassed in the first two days. Open Book Festival is committed to creating a platform to celebrate South African writers, as well as hosting top international authors. The festival strives to instill a love of reading among young attendees, with the programme designed to create conversations among festival goers long after the event.

The eighth Open Book Festival will take place from 5 to 9 September at the Fugard Theatre, D6 Homecoming Centre, The A4 Arts Foundation and The Book Loungefrom 10:00 to 21:00 each day.

The2018 programme is now available at

Visit the individual author pages on the website for a list of the events in which they are participating.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets

Tickets to events range from R45 to R180. There are also a number of free events but tickets must still be booked for these events to secure a place. 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.

Open Book Festival is organised in partnership with the Fugard Theatre, The District 6 Museum, The A4 Arts Foundation, The Townhouse Hotel, Novus Holdings, The French Institute of South Africa, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Embassy of Sweden, The Embassy of Argentina, The Dutch Foundation for Literature, UCT Creative Writing Department, University of Stellenbosch English Department and Central Library and is sponsored by Leopards Leap, Open Society Foundation, Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball, The Other Foundation, Spatial Justice in the Postcolony and Penguin Random House.

Notes to editors

Open Book Festival

Now in its eighth year, the Open Book Festival has established itself as one of South Africa’s most innovative and leading book festivals. It is committed to creating a platform to celebrate South African writers, as well as hosting top international authors. The festival strives to instill an interest in, and love of, reading among young attendees, while the programme of more than one hundred events over five days is designed to resonate with festival goers long after the event. Elements of the festival programme include talks by international authors and South African writers; poetry; a comic book marketplace; panel discussions; book launches; outreach reading initiatives; youth programmes; and writer sports. The festival has been recognised internationally, having been

shortlisted twice for the London Book Fair Excellence Awards in the category of Literary Festivals. In 2017, Open Book hosted nearly 10 000 visitors at the record 140 events.

The Open Book School Library Project increases learners’ and teachers’ access to books. The books remain in classrooms in mobile book units to be used by learners and teachers during the school day. Seven Open Boxes have been placed at St Mary’s Primary School and three book handovers to Grade R classes at Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu have taken place.

Categories Africa Fiction International Non-fiction South Africa South African Current Affairs

Tags Adam Smyer Aminatta Forna Angela Makholwa Anna Dahlqvist Book events Cape Town Clinton Chauke Craig Higginson Cynthia Jele David Chariandy Frankie Edozien Guy Deslisle Haji Mohamed Dawjee Ijangolet S Ogwang Jonas Bonnier Judith February Landa Mabenge Lesley Nneka Arimah Mariana Enriquez Mariko Tamaki Mervyn Sloman Mohale Mashigo News Nicole Dennis-Benn Niq Mhlongo Nozizwe Open Book Open Book Festival Pumla Dineo Gqola Rebecca Davis Siya Khumalo Sue Nyathi Tumelo Buthelezi Zukiswa Wanner

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