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Archive for the ‘Botswana’ Category

List or advertise in the new African Small Publishers’ catalogue

Small Publishers' Catalogue 2010 - AfricaSPC Africa 2013It’s time to put together a new “Small Publishers’ Catalogue: Africa”. We feature publishers and services, programmes and institutions that are useful to publishers in Africa and to those who are interested in Book Publishing in Africa. The distribution is via bookstores in South Africa, online from our website, and we take it to book fairs – the South African Book Fair and to Frankfurt and London. It gets to readers, librarians, booksellers, other publishers all over Africa and internationally to those who are interested in book development in Africa. The last edition in 2013 listed 50 publishers mostly from Anglophone Africa, but not exclusively, and included publishers from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and of course South Africa.

For more info about the previous catalogues click here

We plan to bring the catalogue out in March 2016, so no time to waste.

If you are interested in listing or advertising, contact Colleen Higgs for more details.

A listing costs R500. You get a free copy of the catalogue with your listing. The rate card for advertising or sponsoring will be sent to you on request.

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The Small Publishers’ Catalogue, Africa, 2013 project featured in Publishing Perspectives

2013 has gotten off to a good start with the feature about The Small Publishers’ Catalogue, Africa, 2013 project in Publishing Perspectives. Only 8 days to go on the Indiegogo Campaign to raise some of the money necessary to pull the project together I’m hoping that the feature in Publishing Perspectives will energise the campaign into meeting our modest target of USD3000.

African Books Collective, Bookslive, Porcupine Press, NELM, Deep South, the Rhodes University MA, Judy Croome, Helen Moffett, Black Letter Media and quite a few others have taken out advertising space in the Catalogue. We are looking to double if not treble the listings. If you want to list or advertise, don’t hesitate to contact me .

And while earlier editions were very much South Africa oriented, the 2013 version is designed to be much more comprehensive. In addition, Higgs adds that, “my dream is to be able to compile a list of African literary magazines and to publish some new articles that will be of interest and value to publishers and to writers and others in the book world in Africa and to those interested in books in Africa.

Read the full article in Publishing Perspectives by clicking here

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Spread the love and the word – Small Publishers Catalogue Africa 2013

We’ve set up a campaign to raise funds to publish an updated and much more comprehensive edition of the Small Publishers’ Catalogue Africa 2013 Funds have started coming in from those who support the campaign. Please check it out, especially if you have ever been published by a small publisher, a literary magazine, an online zine, or been given advice, suggestions, input, feedback or anything else similar.

The Catalogue is a showcase for small and indie publishers, and having them all in a catalogue is an incredibly useful way for librarians, bookstores, bibiophiles, researchers, students of Africana, you name it to have the information in one place.

While working at the Centre for the Book, I was involved in the first Small Publishers’ Catalogue which only featured South African publishers. University librarians from the British Library, Harvard, Yale and Stanford were at the Cape Town Book Fair, and they all eagerly snapped the Catalogue up, as did stores like Clarke’s and local university librarians. We printed 500 copies and now sadly it is out of print.

We’ve started to get people taking listings and adverts. The inside front cover has been booked already. Please spread the word about the Catalogue and the crowd-sourcing funding campaign, thanks in advance!

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Not the London Book Fair special deal

Modjaji Books won’t be at the London Book Fair this April, not because of the volcano in Iceland, but because we still need to grow to a size where we can afford to go and that it will be worth our while going.

So to celebrate the absence of volcanoes (so far) and the publication of Modjaji’s new titles, we are offering Book SA readers a great deal. If you want to see the Modjaji Books new catalogue email Colleen Higgs at cdhiggs AT gmail dot com
The 2010 Catalogue is here.

Check out the savings – most of the books would cost between R135 and R190 if bought from stores.

You can choose books from all 25 books on our list as follows:

* Any 3 poetry books – R300 – plus R20 for postage
* Any 5 Modjaji Books for R500, add R30 for postage

Recently published and soon to be released books can also be bought as part of this offer, see below:

Wame Molefhe Go Tell the Sun (short stories) (Feb 2011) Modjaji Books
Colleen Higgs Lava Lamp Poems (Jan 2011) Hands-On Books
Alleyn Diesel (ed) Reclaiming the L-Word: Sappho’s daughters out in Africa (stories written by South African lesbians) (May 2011) Modjaji Books
Sarah Frost Conduit (poems) (May 2011) Modjaji Books
Dawn Garisch Difficult Gifts(poems) (May 2011) Modjaji Books
Karen Lazar (non-fiction) Hemispheres (May 2011) Modjaji Books
Michelle McGrane’s The Suitable Girl (poems) (April 2011) co-pub Modjaji Books/Pindrop Press (UK)

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New Books Galore from Modjaji in April and May: Sarah Frost, Michelle McGrane, Dawn Garisch and More!

Sarah FrostMichelle McGraneDawn Garisch

Sarah Frost, Michelle McGrane and Dawn Garisch all have poetry collections coming out in April 2011. Sarah Frost’s collection is called Conduit, Michelle Mcgrane’s The Suitable Girl is a co-publication with Pindrop Press in the UK and Dawn Garisch’s collection is called Difficult Gifts. We will be hosting launches and readings in Joburg, Cape Town, and Durban. Knysna and Grahamstown may also feature in the itinerary of these poets. One of the things we’ve learnt at Modjaji Books is that poetry sells best when people hear the poet reading their work.

Go Tell the Sun by Wame Molefhe will be launched in Gaborone towards the end of April. Wame was a guest of the Northern Cape Writers Festival, in Kimberley at the at the beginning of March, she and her book were extremely well-received.

A quick heads-up about another title we are excited about is Hemispheres by Karen Lazar, she is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and Phd, both from Wits, are in South African gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative non-fiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered. She lives in Johannesburg.

“Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres. Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters which charts Karen’s experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation. Quietly reflective, deeply lyrical, Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self.

The final title which will be out towards the end of May is Reclaiming the L-Word: Sapphos’ daughters out in Africa, edited by Alleyn Diesel. The book is a collection of biographical writings by South African lesbian women. The women’s stories eloquently deal with the depth and complexity of lesbian experiences, and serve to contradict stereotyping. The writers come from all walks of life, race groups and religious persuasions. The book includes a photo essay by well-known artist and activist, Zanele Muholi, and her article on lesbian rape in South Africa, originally published by Agenda.

Alleyn Diesel spent 12 years teaching Religious Studies at the University of Natal during the 90s, specializing in Hinduism in KZN, especially the role of Hindu women worshipping the Goddess. In 1993, in collaboration with colleague Patrick Maxwell, she produced Hinduism in Natal: A brief guide (University of Natal Press), and in 2007 Wits University Press published her anthology Shakti: Stories of Indian Women in South Africa. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in Religious Studies at UKZN.

– Kate O’Regan, former Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa has this to say about Reclaiming the L-Word:

This brave and moving collection of stories by South African lesbian women from different backgrounds reminds us, again, that rights are never finally won in legislatures or in court rooms. They are won by people exercising them. The authors of the stories and poems in this book have done just that. They have stood up to celebrate the dignity of lesbian women in South Africa. Each contribution is different. And each intensely personal. And each one reminds us of the urgent need for us to stop hate crime and to create a safe and democratic society for all LGBT South Africans.

We’ll keep you posted on all the related events.

Photos courtesy BOOK SA and kasiekulture

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New book: Wame Molefhe’s Go Tell the Sun

Go Tell the SunJesse Breytenbach designed this lovely cover for Wame Molefhe’s new book of short stories, Go Tell the Sun which will be launched next week, at the Northern Cape Writers’ Festival in Kimberley. Wame is a special guest of the Festival.

More about Wame:

Wame Molefhe was born in Francistown, Botswana. She started writing short stories in 2005 when she won the British Council/Alexander McCall Smith Short Story Competition. In 2007 she was highly commended in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Award. She has co-written two TV dramas, Morwalela and Re Bina Mmogo II. Her fiction has been published in local and international journals, anthologies and online. ‘Just Once’ (MediPublishing 2009), a children’s collection of short stories was her first book. Go Tell the Sun is her second short story collection. She currently freelances for TV and various publications.

This what Rustum Kozain has to say about Go Tell the Sun

Wame Molefhe’s stories have a gentle, unassuming yet intimate and captivating feel to them. Set in Botswana, the stories trace the lives of characters whose paths cross and re- cross each others’, some times in and through love, at other times through tragedy. And through them the author brings to bear a woman’s perspective on the societal mores in which sexual abuse, homophobia and AIDS, among others, flourish and spread. The social content and views are never proclaimed as a loud agenda; instead, it forms a ‘natural’ backdrop to the lives of the characters, something that may raise a wry comment or thought in one character, while eliciting a mere shrug from another. Molefhe’s voice is, to some extent, a world-weary voice, weary of all she has seen of society’s failures, but never without the gentleness often absent and much needed in broken societies, and never without the hope and redemption that can be found in love and the imagination.

Book details

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Notes from the Gaborone launch of The Bed Book

The Bed Book of Short StoriesGasebalwe Seretse attended the launch of The Bed Book in Gaborone and filed this report:

The guest speaker for the evening was Dr Leloba Molema from the University of Botswana (UB), English Department. She was excited about the way the writers in the collection dealt with sexual issues, describing it as “revolutionary” for African women. She compared the difference between the African male approach to writing about sex and the female approach, citing examples in the book.

Lauri Kubuitsile wrote about the event on her blog and posted pictures. It looked like a lot of fun. Great to see the Bed Book travelling and making waves wherever it goes.

Book details

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Bed Book of Short Stories rocks Love Books in Jozi

The Bed Book of Short StoriesFacebook is full of pictures and “love” comments about last night’s Bed Book launch. The Bed Book was one of Modjaji’s first projects, it took two years+ to come to fruition and the events around the country and into Namibia and Botswana too are joyous occasions so far of writers meeting each other, forming connections, reading stories, and generally having a good time. All the books that Kate Rogan of Love Books ordered in for last night’s event were sold. All the wine was drunk and new friendships were made (from what I can gather). Thanks to Nia Magoulianiti_McGregor for taking the initiative and organising the launch and to all the writers who were there, thanks for your stories and for being there. The Arts and Culture Trust generously sponsored the publication of this book.

Bed Book LaunchThe Bed Book launch in JoziThe Bed Book of Short Stories

Book details

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Fraught families – 4 novelists in conversation at WISER

Tracey FarrenJacques Pauw Michael Titlestad & Hazel Jelly Dog Days - Launch Invite

Fraught families: four novelists in conversation

Jelly Dog Days – Erica Emdon
Whiplash – Tracey Farren (short-listed for the 2009 Sunday Times Prize)
Counting Sleeping Beauties – Hazel Frankel
Little Ice Cream Boy – Jacques Pauw

WISER will host a discussion among four authors who have recently published novels.The panellists will engage their novels, each of which deals with a version of dysfunctional domesticity, family implosion and in two, how this has impacted on the adults who emerge. Whiplash and the Little Ice Cream Boy tell the stories of grown-up protagonists from fractured working-class worlds, while Jelly Dog Days that of a young girl who attempts to navigate her way out of a similarly bleak background. In Counting Sleeping Beauties an awful family tragedy is related, which threatens to destroy the neat, tidy suburban world of a middle-class, Jewish family.

The discussion will focus on the themes of marginality within, and the hidden interiority of, families, while also considering certain aspects of the craft of writing, such as the challenges of representing domestic drama, the demands of sustaining first-person narratives, questions of voice, and the ethics of representing disruptive and prospective violence. The writers will also comment on their sense of the particularities of South African domestic histories.

Date: 8 October 2009
Venue: WISER Seminar Room, 6th Floor, Richard Ward Building, University of the Witwatersrand
Time: 18:00-19:30


Book details

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Fast Forward Catch Up

Rapid Express, Fast Forward, doesn’t begin to describe the past few months for me and Modjaji Books.

The Cape Town Book Fair
Sharing a stand with LiveWriting and ‘back room renting’ to Wordsetc and Chimurenga was fabulous, because even though we only had a klein standtjie in the Small Publishers’ Pavilion there was always a buzz at Stand J8.3 and a small crowd of animatedly chatting people in the aisle.

The 4 new poetry books were launched at the Book Fair and were ready two weeks before the Fair, thanks to MegaDigital’s efficiency, and Natascha Mostert who did the book design for the 4 poetry books worked to very tight deadlines and did a brilliant job of the books, including designing the covers of Oleander and Please, Take Photographs. My friend Colleen Crawford Cousins made a beautiful cover for Burnt Offering that I think breaks new ground for poetry book covers. Hannah Morris, once again did a beautiful job of all the hand lettering and of the cover for Helen Moffett’s book, Strange Fruit.

The launch of the 4 new poetry books was a Book Fair hit. It happened at the end of a long two days at 5.30 pm at the DALRO space. All 4 poets were there, 2 of them travelled some distance to get there. Fiona Zerbst flew in from Rustenberg and Joan Metelerkamp drove down from Knysna. Thanks to the Cape 300 Foundation and to MegaDigital for sponsorship and support in publishing these books.

After the launch, a few of us had a post-launch celebration. We, that is to say, Helen, Fiona and some of her friends, Lauri Kubuitsile, Khosi Xaba, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Anne Landsman and I celebrated poetry, life, and friendship with bubbles at the Westin Hotel (used to be the Arabella Sheraton).

On the Saturday afternoon of the CTBF I facilitated a discussion and reading organised by the British Council. It featured Sindiwe Magona, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Khosi Xaba, Malika Ndlovu and Zena Edwards (UK). Lauri Kubuitsile who stayed with me over the Book Fair loved this session. Here’s her blog. It was wonderful and frustrating, like being at a 45 minute banquet and you don’t have plates. Each poet read one poem and spoke briefly about their work, their inspiratio and what they love. I could have listened to each one for hours. Because it was organised quite late in the day it featured in the programme, but only mentioned Zena Edwards. Lots of people who might like to have been there missed out, although the room was pretty full.

The last 6 weeks or so has seen a lot of publicity for Modjaji authors that I haven’t had time to put up here. So now I am making up for lost time. The Friday before the Book Fair, Gary Cummiskey had 2 articles in The Business Day, one of which was all about small publishing and Modjaji Books. It’s thrilling for me that what I am trying to do with Modjaji is supported so kindly by journalists and media people like Gary, Janet van Eeden, Ben (editor), and Phakama.

During the Book Fair I battled with laryngitis, but managed to keep the upper hand. But afterwards I was brought down with a deep exhaustion – was it the flu or just Post Cape Town Book Fair Stress Syndrome? Finally feeling myself again.

Brilliant to see Hilda Twongyeire from Femrite, Uganda at the Book Fair. I have some Femrite books available for sale if anyone is interested. I will do a separate post one of these days.

Invisible Earthquake

Malika Ndlovu’s Invisible Earthquake has been doing really well. We’re into a second print run. Every month since the book has come out, Malika has done a public appearance. In spite of the Book Fair being quite a manic space, there were many in her audience who were so moved by her reading that they were in tears. Litnet, 2nd July 2009 features a wonderful Janet van Eeden interview with Malika about Invisible Earthquake, why she wrote it and how she has experienced the publication of it.

Whiplash has been ordered into lots of book stores in numbers unheard of before for this small publisher.

Interested noises coming in for buying the foreign language rights for Whiplash. Please hold thumbs.

Hugh Hodge has kindly offered August to Modjaji poets, so each Monday in August will see a Modjaji poet at the mic in Obz at Off the Wall.

August will also see Modjaji Books at the Jozi Book Fair, I’m taking a stand there. It will be wonderful to meet up with Jozi bookish peeps and indie publishers. Nice for me to go back to Jozi, it’s my old home town.

August 1st is the date that the Sunday Times Literary Awards announces the winner. Modjaji Books is on the guest list for this occasion. I have to remind myself to breathe. It is a huge honour and thrill to have Whiplash and Tracey Farren on the shortlist. Makes me feel that all I have put into Whiplash was worth it after all.

Other good news for Modjaji Books – the Hiemstra Trust has awarded a small publishing subsidy for the book, Hester se Brood by Hester van der Walt, so that book will definitely be rolling off the presses before the end of the year. It’s great to get the support of a donor with such gravitas.

I’m sure there is more, but it will keep for another post.

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