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First South African Storytelling Marathon
The Centre for the Book, in cooperation with the Guadalajara State Library in Spain, will host the first South African Storytelling Marathon at its premises on 15 February 2014. This event will be based on the annual Storytelling Marathon in Guadalajara, Spain. Guadalajara's Executive Mayor, Mr Antonio Roman Jasanada, will attend the South African Storytelling Marathon. The marathon will be opened by the mayor of Cape Town, Mrs Patricia de Lille. Storytellers from across the country will be invited to attend the event. For more information, contact the CFB Children's Coordinator, Phakama Matoti, at or 021-4232669.

CFB/PEG partnership
Centre for the Book (CFB) entered into a partnership agreement with the Professional Editors’ Group (PEG), ( an association for copy-editors, proofreaders and other language practitioners and communications specialists. PEG’s key objective is to promote the professional development and interests of its members. As both CFB and PEG have a common interest in developing good quality books in South Africa, this agreement serves to promote a mutual beneficial working relationship. Through this agreement CFB undertakes to provide its facilities free of charge for PEG meetings and workshops, subject to availability. In turn, PEG will provide a number of free spaces to CFB staff and clients to attend their meetings and workshops, and at discounted rates at venues other than CFB. The first workshop as part of this agreement was held at CFB on Sunday, 29 September 2013. This was a technical support workshop for editors. Keep an eye on the CFB facebook page for news about upcoming PEG workshops.

New Talent, New Ideas, New Creativity!
Four new titles have been published by CFB’s Community Publishing Programme! CFB's mission is to promote culture of reading, writing and publishing. It is thus our greatest pleasure to announce that we have published four new titles through the centre's publishing grant:

1. IsiXhosa poetry entitled Intluzo by Nolwazi Maphisa and Mangaliso Somdaka. This collection of poetry addresses a number of issues starting from social ills that affect our communities, touching on historical events as well as praises for community leaders. The authors have displayed their talent in a very interesting way.

2. IsiXhosa novel entitled Umkhondo Usikhomba kumtshakazi written by Nomthandazo Mdinditho. The author in her short novel portrays that nothing will ever buy one's love. The language used here is very fascinating.

3. Setswana poetry entitled Masalela by Setumo Mokoatsi. This is a powerful Setswana poetry book which addresses quite a number of issues that affect our communities.

4. IsiXhosa novel entitled Amajing' iqhiwu Otshintsho by Sipho R. Kekezwa. This novelette is a political thriller that deals with betrayal, greed, hatred, mistrust and theft. It also deals with how different people react to change because of fear of the unknown.

The books are available from the authors. For more information please contact the CPP Coordinator, Nelisa Lunika at 021-4232669 or

Dr Wamuwi Mbao in conversation with Siphiwo Mahala
Dr Wamuwi Mbao engaged in conversation with Siphiwo Mahala on 10 October 2013 at one of CFB’s popular Out to Lunch sessions. The session, organised by Nelisa Lunika, CPP Coordinator, took place at the National Library of South Africa’s (NLSA), Cape Town campus. Najwa Hendrickse, NLSA Chief Librarian, welcomed the guests. Dr Wamuwi Mbao is a literary scholar and English lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. He is also a coordinator of the Stellenbosch Literary Project (SLiP). He posed a set of well-planned questions to Mahala, who hails from Grahamstown and is the Head of Books and Publishing at the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). Mahala is the recipient of the 2006 Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing Award for his debut novel, “When a Man Cries” (UKZN; 2007). Mahala translated this novel into his native isiXhosa as “Yakhal' Indoda” (UKZN; 2010). His short story collection, “African Delights” (Jacana; 2011), was selected by Africa Book Club as one of the best books of 2011 in Africa. His stories appear in numerous literary journals and magazines, locally and internationally. The session was attended by members of book clubs, authors, librarians as well as English third year students from the University of Stellenbosch where Mahala's book “African Delights” is prescribed.

CFB and DAC host authors from China
Six authors from China were warmly welcomed by Cape Town authors at the Centre for the Book on 11 October 2013. This small gathering was coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture in association with the Centre for the Book. The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) was represented by Siphiwo Mahala, Head of Books and Publishing. The event was graced by the presence of the legendary Bro James Matthews, who read his poem, “Age is beautiful”. This poem had been translated into Chinese and appears in a Chinese poetry anthology. Two of the visitors read extracts from their works which was interpreted to audience by the Deputy Director-General of the International Liaison Department of CWA, Zhang Tao. Yonela Maxesibe and Primrose Mrwebi entertained the audience with their mind blowing poetry renditions.

CFB celebrates Women's Month with Angela Makholwa
CFB’s Out to Lunch celebrated Women's Month with authors from the Pretoria at the NLSA’s Pretoria campus on 21 August 2013. Angela Makholwa was the invited guest author. The programme was directed by Mandla Mona, Reprint of South African Classics Coordinator. Mr Mashudu Mavhungu, NLSA Human Resources Executive Head, welcomed all the attendees after they have introduced themselves.

Our guest author, Angela Makholwa, was introduced by Nelly Lunika, Coordinator for Community Publishing Programme, as a business woman who owns Britespark Communication. Makholwa, a popular South African writer, has penned the following novels: “Red Ink”; “The 30th Candle” and “Black Widow Society”, all published by Pan Macmillan. She started writing at the age of 13 when a short story she submitted was published in a music and lifestyle publication. She was inspired by her English teacher who always shared Makholwa's essays with her colleagues in the staff room.

Angela shared her journey in writing which she perceived as a long and winding road. She enjoys writing fiction because she believes that it liberates the author. She said writers should not be discouraged by rejection and be prepared for negative reviews and critics. During the question and answer time the issue of preserving indigenous languages was discussed. Authors were advised to keep all records of communication between them and publishers to protect their work.

The programme was wrapped up by Mr Mavhungu who thanked CFB, the NLSA marketing department, our special guest and attendees. Bargain Books displayed and sold Makholwa's books at the event. CFB bought a copy of “Black Widow Society” which was autographed by the author. South African Classics in indigenous languages were also on display.

Books available from CFB
The CFB’s mission is to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing in South Africa. In support of this mission, books by some of our local authors are available from CFB. The following are examples of available books:

  1. “African Delights”; English short stories by Siphiwo Mahala.
  2. “The Narrative of the Shipwreck of the French Vessel the Eole on the coast of Kaffraria”;
  3. English version translated from French by Dr D. J. Culpin.
  4. “Quartet”; an anthology of English short stories by James Matthews/Alex La Guma/ Alf Wannenburg and Richard Rive.
Please contact Mpho at 021-4232669 or to buy your copies of these books.

ANFASA (2004 – 2014): A Decade of Protecting and Promoting Authors’ Rights
The Academic and Non-fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) celebrates its tenth year of existence in 2014. This milestone offers a time to pause and reflect on the protection and promotion of authors’ rights. Developments in the digital space are changing the way authors engage with readers as open access models provide easy and free access to works for readers. However, is such free access a fair balance against the authors’ right to remuneration? Authors’ work needs to be promoted and their skills expanded. These include finding new ways for authors of educational materials to reach learners in the digital age, and for indigenous languages to be integrated into the school curriculum. In addition, skills such as biography writing and academic writing can be enhanced. These issues will be discussed at ANFASA’s first conference to be held on 13 to 15 March 2014 at Birchwood Conference Centre, Johannesburg.

ANFASA is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its 1st Annual Conference 2014. In order to provide a forum for authors within different genres to contribute to the discourse, submissions on various topics can be made, both experiential and empirical papers are welcome. Abstracts of around 250 words should be submitted by the 16th December 2013. Visit ANFASA’s website for more information (



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