Cradock 27-30 July 2017 7th annual SCHREINER KAROO WRITERS FESTIVAL
news release: VIRTUAL JOURNEYS AT KAROO WRITERS FESTIVAL Satisfy your wanderlust with a cosy weekend in Cradock, cocooning with soul-mates at the Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival (27-30 July 2017) while your imagination takes a trip. A variety of talks and presentations will lead you on virtual journeys to remote corners of the land we love. The formal programme is enriched by unplanned synergy and happy surprises during informal fireside chats, open microphone sessions and chance encounters with remarkable people. Low tickets prices and several free items make the festival affordable to all. Most speakers and visitors stay at Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor creating an intimate club atmosphere. Events take place in the Victoria Manor and Schreiner House, which are an easy walk apart. What a perfect excuse to indulge in warm Karoo hospitality as you feast on new ideas (and farm food). OUTINGS Choose between four outings: a walking tour, a township tour and trips to the Schreiner sarcophagus and the Mountain Zebra National Park. The ever popular Literary Walking Tour of Old Cradock is celebrating the updated full-colour second edition of its guide book (published by NELM). Artist/architect Theresa Hardman’s Friday morning workshop ‘How to Draw a Karoo Building’ is a perfect companion piece to the tour. The new tour of Lingelihle township (In the Footsteps of James Calata and Matthew Goniwe) is introduced in a slide show and then a visit to the site of Old Magqubeni township where residents will share their memories of living there. On 30 July, Sunday lunch at the Mountain Zebra National Park follows a presentation called ‘How the Park Earned its Stripes’ to mark the 80th anniversary of this national treasure. A pilgrimage to the Schreiner sarcophagus atop Buffelskop can also be privately arranged. VIRTUAL TRAVEL Otherwise the ‘touring’ takes place in the imagination and comfort of the festival’s two venues. The programme of talks starts on Thursday afternoon with ‘Greening Museums’ presented by NELM (The National English Literary Museum, one of the festival's main sponsors). This is followed by a dramatised reading by Paul Walters and Jeremy Fogg of Olive Schreiner’s contretemps with Guy Butler’s newspaperman grandfather over the South African War. On Friday morning, Ménan van Heerden unbundles some myths about the origins of Afrikaans and the status of the language today. Dorothy Driver takes us on a botanical ramble into Olive Schreiner’s fictional outdoors and examines the poetics of plants and the invocation of indigeneity in The Story of an African Farm and From Man to Man. After lunch, Beth Wyrill brings Guy Butler into the spotlight with particular focus on his role as founder of NELM. Paul Walters repeats the fascinating reading of letters about the South African War between Olive Schreiner and Guy Butler's newspaperman grandfather. In a lively Open Microphone session, the writers of the future present a lively insight into what lies ahead. Then, to whet appetites for dinner, Julie Marais interviews journalist/playwright Tony Jackman about his new book, foodSTUFF. SATURDAY PROGRAMME Historian Dean Allen opens proceedings on Saturday with a visit to Matjiesfontein in words and pictures. More travel follows as poet/translator Alice Inggs interviews musician/journo Toast Coetzer on the TV series Backroads/Agterpaaie. Tea break is followed by the heart-warming good-news story of the Hantam Community Education Trust (talk by Anne Hill who wrote the book Trust and Hope). Colesberg’s Zen monk/farmer Antony Osler offers a fresh dose of his smiling, calming wisdom. Just before lunch, listen to two sons of Cradock in conversation: Toast Coetzer and Etienne van Heerden on Etienne’s latest novel. BOOKS+FOOD MARKET The action then returns to Schreiner House where the Festival mini Books+Food Market will be in full swing. Authors are encouraged to sell their own books throughout the weekend and St Peter’s second-hand book sale will offer bargains (R10 per book). Take your pick of the freshly made offerings for lunch, along with mulled wine and/or kombucha. (Vegetarians were loud in their praise for the market menu last year.) The Saturday afternoon session kicks off with David Hilton Barber’s seasoned advice on ‘How to Write your Family History’ followed by two young Cradock writers - novelist Zelda Manse and poet Alet Janse van Rensburg. Back at Victoria Manor (where the fire will be blazing in the hearth), a lively Open Microphone session (featuring many of the voices from the entire programme) leads into a slide show by Chris and Julie Marais. As the stars come out, the tempo hots up with a Huiskonsert (jam session) by Ginger’s Fault band (which includes Chris on guitar and vocals, Antony Osler on Double bass and special guest artist Toast Coetzer). The Festival Sunday service at St Peter’s church is conducted by Dean Andrew Hunter and the Rev’d Clair Hunter. Out at the Mountain Zebra National Park, David Smeda reviews 80 years of achieve and explains ‘How the Park Earned its Stripes’. Lunch will be served in the park restaurant. SCHOOLS PROGRAME The formal programme, full as it is, is just the tip of the iceberg. The festival’s extensive involvement with local schools sees nearly 5500 learners come in direct contact with festival speakers who go into classrooms to share their ideas and interact with youngsters. Several schools have a dress up day which everyone come to classes dressed as their favourite character from a book. These activities run in parallel with the free NELM Youth Programme featuring schools prescribed literature which will be held at Schreiner House on Thursday and Friday. The community-run Neville Alexander Memorial event on Thursday afternoon fills the Sonskyndienssentrum with words and music. ENDS The Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival is assisted financially by The National English Literary Museum Get all the details and regular updates on karoowritersfestival.weebly.com, write to email@example.com or phone Amy on 083 257 8601
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