This March, one of Cape Town’s favourite literary festivals, The Open Book Festival, and the locally-loved Book Lounge are partnering to host the Youth Festival.
The youth event forms part of the year’s busy festival schedule.
“We have hosted talks and workshop sessions in the past that focused on children and young adult readers and the people who write for this market, but these have always been embedded into the larger Festival program,” says program coordinator for the Open Book Festival, Frankie Murrey.
“This year will be the first time we’ve organised a festival dedicated to young readers. It means we can focus all our attention on organising the kind of conversations and engagement that is relevant for a younger audience.”
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The Open Book Festival’s first-ever Youth Festival will be held at schools and venues across the city between 25 March and 1 April this year.
“We hope the people of Cape Town will come out and support what we’re doing. This is our first try at curating a Youth Festival in this way, and as with everything we do we welcome feedback so that we can improve what we do for 2024. We are aiming high, but we think we can pull it off.”
The youth event aims to foster a love for the written word within young people, as well as hold a supportive space for writers who produce content for young audiences.
The Youth Festival has events planned across the age groups, from storytime sessions for the little ones to writing and storytelling workshops for teens. Various writers will present and open mic sessions will be held.
You can check out the full programme here.
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Entry to the events is free, but booking is essential as there are a limited number of spaces in each venue. School sessions will not be included on the festival programme but rather communicated directly with the schools.
Outside of the youth event, the team has already started working on this year’s Workshop Week and Open Book Festival events.
“Our Workshop Week is planned between 5 and 10 June, and from 8 – 10 September we will be back at the Homecoming Centre for the three days of our flagship event, the Open Book Festival,” says Murrey.
“We are hard at work reading the work that SA based writers have produced to put together another incredible event and look forward to providing updates later this year.”
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Picture: Open Book Festival