The Franschoek Literary Festival

It was on an inspired thought from a talented writer, Christopher Hope, that the Franschoek Literary Festival came into being. The goal was to inspire people to explore the imaginative world of reading, making it accessible and exciting as well as encouraging the art of reading within the local South African community.

It was through the meeting of Christopher Hope and Jenny Hobbs (now one of the main organizers) that these idyllic dreams started down the road to the reality that is currently seen today.

In preparation for the Franschoek Literary Festival, another wonderful initiative was started – the valley based poetry competition. Individuals are encouraged to enter poems written in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans. Selected winners can look forward to extensive exposure with their work exhibited on posters all along the main street and handed to customers at a variety of restaurants. From the start of the Literary Festival in Franschoek the world begins to open up, enthralling the minds of young and old, the novice and the old hand. All will be captured through different features discovered throughout this magnificent literary festival’s program.

Visitors can expect to meet both local and international writers alike, all who have been recognized for their remarkable talent as well as their similar passion in promoting reading to all those who are willing to take a walk into the worlds of books and poetry. Most importantly, the visiting writers will have a chance to take hold of the young minds at the local high schools, most of who are from previously disadvantaged communities, and inspire the art of reading and creative writing – something we should all strive to do.

The idea to base this wonderful festival in the enchanting village of Franschhoek with its magnificent views, majestic mountains and rolling vineyards could not have been more perfect. The Franshoek Literary Festival normally takes place around the weekend of the 11th of May and ends the Sunday at around about 1pm. It is here that a variety of intimate shows are held with audiences, with readings, talks and debates as just some of the wonderful experiences to be had.

But that is not all, books will be everywhere, from side street bookshops to the opportunity to listen to authors speak about their personal books, to audience participation in discussions and the chance to ask questions. It has also been the great desire of residents to improve the local Franschoek community library which is in great need of change; thus through the support of the local people and international visitors this possibility has a great future.

An awesome prize of a Franschoek Literary Festival bursary has been created. This award will be handed to the most deserving young future author. Time will be given off to the successful candidate for the completion of their manuscript. Here are just a few examples of names that you can expect to see at the Franschoek Literary Festival: Christopher Hope, Nick Norman, Jenny Hobb, Ivan Vladislavic and Mary Watson.