Sunday, July 29, 2007

An exhibition of photographs and poetry by 14 South African women

Botsotso and Constitution Hill are proud to present an exhibition of photographs and poetry reflecting and expressing the lives of women in our country as well as the wider world. The exhibition connects with the national month of women action.

The photographers: Neo Ntsoma, Suzy Bernstein, Riana Wiechers, Anna Varney The poets: elsbeth e, Sumeera Dawood, Lisemelo Tlale, Elizabeth Trew, Anet Kemp, Baitse Mokiti, Myesha Jenkins, Arja Salafranca, Makhosazana Xaba, Riana Wiechers, Bongekile Mbanjwa, Anna Varney The 50 photographs and poems are taken from the book ISIS X (Botsotso Publishing), of which Eva Kowalski commented:

“This anthology, edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz, combines contemporary photography and poetry by new South African female writers.

Such an openly women-only venture might attract projections of stereotyped feminism or effeminate style; neither are valid concerning this intelligent, varied, yet ultimately coherent anthology.

“Ostensibly the biggest challenge in putting together an anthology of such size is attempting to create a sense of unity and congruency while maintaining the clarity and strength of each unique voice, and Isis X manages this very well. The compiled texts range from humorous personal insights to poignant social observations to spirited expressions of anger and hope. That said, it is clear that certain themes and experiences are shared between works and authors; and these are noteworthy from both the point of view of poetry and photography connoisseurship and those interested in gender issues and other such subjects inevitably dealt with when women make art.” Exhibition opening will take place at 6pm for 6.30pm on Thursday, 2 August 2007 in the atrium of the Womens Jail Exhibition Space, the Womens Jail, Constitution Hill complex, Kotze St, Hillbrow The guest speakers will be Keketso Semoko (actress and womens activist)and Odette Geldenhuys (legal rights activist and documentary film maker). A reading by several of the poets (Myesha Jenkins, Arja Salafranca, Elizabeth Trew, Bongekile Mbanjwa and Anna Varney) will follow.

During August two further activities focusing on women will take place at the exhibition site:

1. Walkabout with the photographers and poets - 11am Saturday 11 August 2007
2. Evening of Women's Poetry (featuring Makhosazana Xaba, Uhuru Mahlodi, Donna Smith, and others as well as having an Open Mike component) * 6pm, Friday, 24 August 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Winner of the Caine Prize 2007 announced

Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko has won the 2007 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for Jambula Tree from ‘African Love Stories’, Ayebia Clarke Publishing 2006. The Chair of Judges, Jamal Mahjoub from Sudan, announced Monica as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 9 July) in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Jamal Mahjoub described her story as “a witty and touching portrait of a community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two adolescents”.

Monica Arac de Nyeko was born in Uganda . She studied at Makerere and Groningen universities for a degree in Education and an MA in Humanitarian Assistance. She is a member of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), was a literature and English language teacher at St Mary College, Kisubi, an Early Warning Consultant in Rome and later a Reports Officer in Khartoum. She has been a Fellow on the British Council’s Crossing Borders programme and was also shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2004 for Strange Fruit. Her short stories Jazz, Miracles and Dreams and City Link are soon to be published.

Also on this year’s shortlist were:

Uwem Akpan (Nigeria), ‘My Parents Bedroom’ The New Yorker June 12, 2006

E.C Osondu (Nigeria) ‘Jimmy Carter’s Eyes’, AGNI Fiction Online 2006

Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa) ‘Bad Places’, New Contrast vol 31 no4 Spring 2003

Ada Udechukwu (Nigeria) ‘Night Bus’, The Atlantic Monthly, August 2006

Kenyan Billy Kahora’s ‘Treadmill Love’ from ‘The Obituary Tango’ Jacana/New Internationalist 2006, came in as highly commended by this year’s judges.

This year the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, Washington DC , as a ‘Caine Prize/Georgetown University Writer-in-Residence’. The award will cover all travel and living expenses.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Margie Orford, Michelle Matthews @ 20 Dunkley Mews, Cape Town

Top SA crime writer, Margie Orford, has developed what most writers dream of - an engaging protagonist who will develop into a series.

Orford is an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and film director. Michelle Matthews is the publishing manager of Oshun Books (Struik). Michelle will be talking about how to make your book as publishable as possible and answering all your questions on how to submit to a publisher.

Date: Thursday 26 July, Time: 6pm for 6.30pm.
Cost: R100 for wine and delicious snacks.
Venue: 20 Dunkley Mews, Dunkley Square, Gardens

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Write Co short story competition 2007

The Write Co has announced that it will run this competition for the second time. The theme is "Paint it Black!".
"We introduced the competition due to an increasing interest in the short story last year," says Amanda Patterson, owner of The Write Co. The contest drew over 500 entries from all over the world. “We're hoping to double that number this year,” she adds.

Fiction writing courses run by The Write Co have turned 27 graduates into published authors. One of these is Harry Cronje author of the short story collection, Fanyana Talks to the Animals (Struik).

Another is Writers Write graduate and Write Co facilitator and editor, Morné Malan. Morné was one of the winners of the SA Pen Award for his short story - Jason's Kiss. Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee was the judge.

Morné went on to win Tafelberg's Great Novel Competition, in the Debut Novel Category. The judges were Prof. Andre P. Brink, Jakes Gerwel and Louise Viljoen. This novelist, playwright, copywriter and editor, facilitates Skrywers Skryf for The Write Co.

KISS is The Write Co's classic short story workshop. Mail to find out more.

The Write Co's aim is to get as many South African popular fiction authors published as possible. Sarah Bullen opened the first Write Co franchise in Cape Town in June 2007.


1st Prize: Writers Write course - valued at R3 500, 00, or gift vouchers for The Write Co valued at R3 500, 00, your story published in The Write Co Newsletter, The Citizen Vibe and on The Write Co Website

2nd Prize: 1 year's subscription to The Write Club, worth R1 800.00

3rd Prize: 4 hours with one of our personal writing coaches, worth R1 400.00

Amanda Patterson – The Write Co Founder and author of I See the Moon, Writers Write 1, Writers Write 2 and Rewrite your future
Morné Malan – Winner of The Best Debut Novel 2007 and a winner in the short story SA Pen short story award
Sarah Bullen – Cape Town's Write Co principal, author of Hey Baby! And Make Money Freelancing, publisher editor, and life coach

Entries will be accepted from 1 July 2007 until end September 2007.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Penguin launches another UCT MA graduate work

Blood Kin is a shocking exploration of how banal evil can be and how every one of us, at some stage in our lives, could be accused of being complicit. Drawing her readers masterfully towards the novel’s devastating climax, Ceridwen Dovey reveals how humanity’s most atavistic impulses – vanity, obsession and vengeance – seethe relentlessly, just beneath the veneer of civilisation.

Ceridwen Dovey grew up between South Africa and Australia. She received a scholarship to study Anthropology at Harvard University as an undergraduate, then moved to Cape Town for a few years to write her first novel, Blood Kin. She is now doing a PhD in Anthropology at NYU in New York.

Click here to read an extract