The SABDC is very keen to encourage the production of literature for young South African adults – literature that is relevant, engaging, local and accessible. The insufficient production of this kind of book is felt acutely throughout our country. We will naturally be having serious discussions regarding how we as the publishing industry can remedy this, but also hope to be entertained as we focus on the topic. Book reading and writing need not always be weighty matters, and our approach will be fun, young and fresh.
The FunDza Literacy Trust will also be present at the Fair, to share its particular brand of development. The Trust works hard and smart to popularize reading, grow communities of readers, develop young writers and deepen reading practice, using methods that are appealing to children and youths. Mignon Hardie, Executive Director of the Trust, speaks about FunDza’s participation in National Book Week and its plans for the Book Fair in 2017:
Partnering with National Book Week gives us a great opportunity to spread the word about the benefits (and joys) of reading around the country. We love having the opportunity to introduce new communities – particularly those in rural areas – to all the stories available on our mobi platform, and to showcase our young writers too. We’re also delighted to be at the SA Book Fair this year – with a spot on the Friday to introduce some of our up-and-coming young authors. The theme of the Book Fair (#OURSTORIES) speaks to the heart of what we’re trying to achieve: to showcase local writing talent and ensure that all of #OURSTORIES are valued, celebrated and shared, so that they can support and inspire a vibrant reading community.
Last year, the Trust reached more than 500 000 readers on its mobi platform. FunDza’s Developing Young Writers programme is supporting a new generation of young writers in South Africa by building their confidence, showcasing their creative work and providing them with valuable writing skills.