For one weekend each year, the picturesque winelands town of Franschhoek comes alive with local and out-of-town literary giants and bookworms. With scholarly discussions, writing workshops, classical and contemporary music recitals, dinners and, of course, loads of books to consume, it promises to be, as always, a truly enriching experience.
The world-renowned festival has three aims: to bring together local and international authors and subject specialists for informal – and often lively – discussions; to introduce audiences to new writers and ideas; and to promote and encourage reading through its School Library Project, which trains and supports library assistants in primary schools throughout the region.
Some 123 events take place during the festival, including thought-provoking discussions between writers on politics, history, environmental issues, crime, what makes writers tick, and even birding and photography! There’s even a Spelling Bee!
This year’s highlights
As well as appearances from renowned authors such as Jim Pascual Agustin, Barbara Bell, Lukhanyo Calata, Achmat Dangor, Maya Fowler, and many, many more, festival-goers can expect some exciting workshops and performances, each with musical, historical and biographical themes, from the likes of Deon Meyer, Zapiro, Pamela Power, as well as celebrations of literary legends, such as Ingrid Jonker by Cape Town-based songstress Nicky Schrire.
In the evenings, enjoy dinner, short theatre performances, or some great live music. Who knows, you may just bump into your favourite author while you’re at it! There’ll also be a candlelight soirée, poetry readings and an opportunity to glean writing tips from the best wordsmiths in the business. And, being Franschhoek, the culinary capital of South Africa, the food-and-wine experiences on offer are bound to be epic.
- Events get booked up quickly, so it’s advisable to book your chosen events before the weekend to avoid disappointment
- Looking for accommodation? Check out our favourite places to stay in Franschhoek.
- Also, coinciding with the literary fest, is the Autumn Weekend of Music in Franschhoek (a classical music extravaganza), as well as the Poetry for Life Finals.
Please note Punctuality is essential – once an event has started, you will be denied entry, even if you have tickets. So make sure you arrive on time.