The 8th annual Open Book Festival from September 4-8 will be honouring the best in South African literature. The popular five-day literary festival aims to showcase South African writing across multiple genres, attract top authors from around the world, as well as promote the joys of reading to the wider public.
As always, the Open Book Festival will run multiple events concurrently across three venues: the Fugard theatre, District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, and The Book Lounge. Local and international storytellers, writers, journalists and academics will be hosting interesting literary discussions across the various locations. Guests have the choice of over 100 events including over 100 authors to choose from across the 5 days. The Open Book Festival focuses on drawing a representative audience, hosting #CocreatePoetica to honour rap, poetry and spoken word, as well as an Open Book Comics Fest, making sure that there is something for everyone.
You know the hoardes of screaming girls, fainting at the very sight of the teenage (is he still a teenager?) pop star? I’m a less noisy version of that, although I don’t care much about Justin Bieber – my faint-worthy celebrities are artists, and authors. So when more than 100 local and international authors accumulate in one space over five days, excitement is an understatement.
The Open Book Festival began as a simple idea between friends, Book Lounge owner Mervyn Sloman and Ben Williams of Times Media Group, that has gained momentum and grows bigger, more exciting and jam-packed each year. When Mervyn and Ben started talking about creating a festival in 2011, they had in mind around 60 literary events over five days. Due to the incredible support, Open Book has grown into a festival that now includes over 100 events, featuring more than 100 authors. As much as it has local support, it’s a truly international festival that attracts writers and an audience from around the world. ‘It showcases the best of South African writing,’ says Frankie Murrey, Open Book Festival Co-ordinator. ‘It aims to make a significant and sustainable contribution to our future by creating a love of reading and books among the youth of Cape Town, and draws representative audiences to all Open Book events.’
The hub of this year’s Open Book will be at The Fugard Theatre and much-loved indie book store The Book Lounge. The core programme of the festival includes events that feature both international and local authors, giving you the opportunity to meet and listen to some of your favourites in talks, book launches, writing workshops, poetry readings and more.
Having signed up for a few events already, perhaps this year I’ll have the courage to approach a famed favourite.