Having two of the most prestigious sponsors in South Africa, the main sponsor being Porcupine Ridge Wines, which have grown to be one of South Africa’s most beloved and recognized wines, as well as The Sunday Times with its average of 3.6 million readers, the Franschhoek Literary Festival is something akin to a book lovers, author and even unpublished writers dream to experience. The Franschhoek Literary Festival is also where the shortlisted candidates for the Alon Paton Award for non fiction, as well as the newly founded Barry Ronge Fiction Prize are announced.
The entire aim of the Franschhoek Literary Festival is to see mostly South African writers come together, of course throwing in a few internationally distinguished writers here and there to inform and inspire as well as creating a world class event with sub events of epic proportions that will and have enthralled book lovers, writers themselves and authors as well as the general public since 2007. The Franschhoek Literary Festival has another large aim which is the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Fund, the aim of the FLF Library Fund is to upgrade local libraries in schools as well as the community libraries themselves. Within the entire package that is the Franschhoek Literary Festival there are phenomenal book launches, workshops for writers or simply those who wish to learn the fine art of writing, a fun filled school spelling bee, grand music concerts with added literary and publishers dinners thrown into the heavily jam packed programme.
The 2016 event held hundreds of writers, from Claire Bisseker who has been the Economics Editor of the Financial Mail magazine for the last 11 years, being the winner of the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award for the last two years running to the great author Steven Boykey Sidley, whose three novels, Entanglement, Stepping Out, and Imperfect Solo as well as stage play – Shape, who he co-wrote with his wife Kate Sidley, gives incredible insight into the world of writing, not only novels but stage plays as well. He has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award, M-Net Literary Award, the UJ Main Fiction Award as well as having his stage play premiered at Theatre-on-the-square. There are countless more phenomenal writers and inspiring personalities listed on the programme of the Franschhoek Literary Festival which makes the entire event something that must not be skipped, after all it does only come round once a year.
If you are an aspiring writer, author, or general book lover, the Franschhoek Literary Festival is without a doubt something which you have to attend. The website, www.flf.co.za as well as the Facebook Page is fabulously set out so that everything is easy to find, including the recommended accommodation in the area for your stay during the festival, where to make bookings, the map, the programme, the personalities who will be running workshops and talks, as well as so much more. This is something that is imperative to the literary lovers itinerary as well as South Africa as a whole.