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Thursday, March 19, 2009


National Arts Festival announces winners of Writing Beyond The Fringe.

Writer, poet and playwright, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, was announced as the winner of the National Arts Festival’s Writing Beyond the Fringe initiative, and has been selected to participate in a four week funded exchange programme at the Passa Porta Literary Festival in Belgium.

The Passa Porta Festival in Belgium brings together writers from different countries for a one month residency during which they explore themes of multiculturalism, multilingualism, openness, boundary-crossing, exchange and dialogue.

The National Arts Festival’s Writing Beyond the Fringe project was initiated to give writers who have previously had work staged at the National Arts Festival Fringe a fresh injection of creative inspiration. Some 36 writers submitted manuscripts for the project. These were judged by Tim Huisamen, lecturer in language studies at Rhodes University and Romie Singh, Education Producer at ABC Ulwazi. The final selection was made by representatives of the Passa Porta Festival and de Buren Literary Project.

Phillippa, who submitted The Day that Jesus Dropped the Ball... and other stories was selected for the exchange programme from a group of four finalists nominated by the South African adjudicators. The other finalists, James Cairns, Kurt Egelhof and Brink Scholtz, will join Phillippa in a series of readings of their stories as part of the 2009 National Arts Festival. Each of the writers will have their manuscripts produced as Digital Radio Books which will be translated into four different languages and made available as CDs and free Internet downloads. The four writers will also each receive three thousand Euros.

The 35th National Arts Festival runs from July 2 to 11 and is sponsored by The Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, The National Arts Council, The National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and the Sunday Independent. For further information visit or phone 046 603 1103.