Open Book Festival

Open Book Festival
The Open Book Festival is an annual literary festival that takes place in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2011, it features over 100 authors from South Africa and abroad and has an annual attendance of 20,000.

The Open Book Festival was created by Ben Williams of Books Live (a literally focused subsidiary of Times Live, the online versions of a South African daily newspaper) and Mervyn Sloman of the Cape Town-based bookshop Book Lounge. Originally focused on South African literature in an international context, the Open Book Festival also features literature from across the world and welcomes many anglophone and francophone authors.

The main goals of the event are to promote South African literature internationally, to bring the best literature from around the world to Cape Town, and to make books more accessible to young readers. It is considered to be more representative and draw a wider range of authors than the rest of South African literary festivals.

The festival is held every September at several venues across Cape Town, most of which are located within walking distance of each other. The hub of the festival is located at the Furgard Theater. Other venues have included The Book Lounge, the D6 Homecoming Center, Central Library, Ottery Library, Rondebosch Library, Elsie’s River Library, Guga S'thebe, Moholo Livehouse, and others.

The Open Book Festival hosts about 150 literary events over 5 days. Its program is divided into several sections: Authors, Poetica, Comic Book Fest, and Youth Program. The Authors section of the festival hosts presentations, panel discussions, workshops and other events focused on South African and international authors.

The Poetica section is focused on poetry. It consists of three days of workshops and two days of performances, readings and discussions. The Comics Fest is a two-day event featuring discussions with comic book authors and a marketplace. Finally, the Youth Program aims to encourage a love for books among children and young people. It includes meetings with authors, workshops and other events for young readers held mostly at schools and libraries.

The Open Book Festival also organizes a set of events and activities throughout the year. They include the Mentoring Project for students with an interest in creative writing and the School Library Project that strives to stock libraries in South African schools.

Open Book Festival

Photo: Books LIVE




Related Articles