national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The Franschhoek Literary Festival proudly announces the launch of a Book Week for Young Readers, to run in conjunction with the festival which takes place in the Cape in May.

Little kids are eager to learn to read, but too often the impulse wears off as they grow older. The reasons are many – boring textbooks, competition from TV programmes, sport and computer games, no books in the home. Worst of all, the vast majority of South African children have minimal access to books that are exciting, engaging and relevant to their lives.

This year, the Franschhoek Literary Festival aims to encourage all learners in the Franschhoek Valley to enjoy reading with the first Book Week for Young Readers from May 7 to 11, the week leading up to FLF 2012. It is being keenly supported by local publishers and authors, as well as a new reading initiative soon to be rolled out country-wide by the Sunday Times Storybook Campaign.

More than 40 workshop facilitators and writers of books for children and young adults will visit every class (from Grade R to Grade 12) in seven Franschhoek schools, where they will talk to over 4,000 learners, choosing topics relevant to their ages and home languages. The young readers will also take part in readathons; poetry, comic & lyric writing workshops; and book and poetry competitions.

Featured in the impressive line-up of authors attending are KZN writers Azad Essa and Dianne Stewart. The latter is a children’s author who speaks Zulu and works a lot with youngsters. She also gives creative writing workshops and did her MA on the songs Zulu women sing in the fields. Also in the line-up is Pieter Dirk-Uys with his For Facts Sake!

The annual Franschhoek Literary Festival will take place at various venues in Franschhoek from May 11 to 13. The programme can be accessed online at and booking is through