The first Franschhoek Literary Festival took place in 2007 with two main objectives:
*To bring together a broad cross-section of mostly South African English-speaking writers and a few distinguished authors from overseas, aiming to present quality events that inspire and inform.
*To raise funds for local community and school libraries, for which the FLF Library Fund was established.
The Festival runs from Friday to Sunday during the third weekend in May, preceded by the Book Week for Young Readers. The events take place in village venues within a few minutes’ walk of each other, which creates a vibrant ambiance in streets buzzing with book-lovers. FLF 2014 was the busiest and liveliest in the festival’s eight-year history and many of the events were sold out in advance.
The emphasis is on informal discussions and spirited debates between several writers with a chairperson, or one-on-one conversations, and occasional talks. Starting at 10am and ending at 5pm, up to nine one-hour events run concurrently with half an hour between each (except where otherwise stated). Fringe events include literary and publishers’ dinners, book launches, writing workshops, a school spelling bee, wine writers’ prizes and classical music concerts. The FLF is honoured to host the shortlist announcements of the annual Sunday Times Literary Awards – the non fiction Alan Paton Award and the newly named Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.
Porcupine Ridge Wines and the Sunday Times have funded the FLF since 2010, and their support is essential to the planning and organisation of the festival.
FLF LIBRARY FUND
One of the main reasons for starting the FLF in 2007 was to encourage a culture of reading in the Franschhoek valley. This means that each seat you buy makes a contribution to the great cause of creating confident readers.
The FLF Library Fund:
*has donated several thousand age- and language-appropriate new books to schools, creches, a container children’s library in Groendal and the village library
*employed a qualified librarian in October 2012 who has upgraded and helps to run four primary school libraries
*helps to cover the cost of part-time library assistants
*is broadening its activities to motivate more school libraries in the broader Franschhoek valley
*continues to donate new books to these and other school and local libraries
Weekly visits to the upgraded school libraries by all classes for storytelling and to borrow books, as well as the excitement of author visits during the Book Week for Young Readers, are already improving local reading levels.
For further information or general enquiries about the Festival, email Sheenagh at email@example.com