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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Open Book in pictures

The Open Book Festival came and went in a whirl of events, gatherings, bubbles and memories.

A personal highlight for me is always the Comics Fest. This year I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Mandy tell it like it is on a panel about race and gender representation in comics. It was a full house of mostly female comic book fans. Yes, we exist and as as Tauriq Moosa so succinctly put it, we want to buy!

I participated in some great events this year including Cape Town’s first speed-booking event (like speed-dating, but we spoke about books). The event took place at Truth cafe – the best coffee shop in Cape Town. I mean, who doesn’t love steampunk decor?



Truth coffee

It was a huge honour listening to Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk) read at Straight No Chaser as part of the Stray readings (major girl crush!) For my reading I decided to go dressed as the Cape Mountain Leopard, which makes an appearance in my story, The Tourist.

sally leopard

stray reading

If you missed the event, Stray is being launched at Kalk Bay Books on 22 September. All proceeds of the book go to charity.

My YA masterclass returned this year, this time focusing on world-building. I was joined by Cat Hellisen (When the sea is rising red/Beastkeeper) and Zimkhitha Mlanzeni (Blood Ties) for an awesome two hour workshop that touched on everything from characterisation and creating believable settings to how to research and creating new worlds.

We had the most amazing venue at the Homecoming Centre, with an incredible up-cycled illustrated table and vintage decor, plus plenty of juice boxes and zoo biscuits to keep the creative energy going.

YA 1

YA 2

There were so many highlights. It’s impossible to mention them all, but I really enjoyed listening to Karen Joy Fowler (We are all completely beside ourselves) talk about the short story craft and getting to interview Fred Strydom (The Raft), Laura van den Berg (Find Me) and Lien Botha (Wonderboom). And where else in the world can you turn around and see Chris Riddell (Goth Girl) right there?


Chris Riddell

sally and karina

Open Book is truly a magical festival. It’s impossible to not walk away glowing with inspiration.

Thanks so much to Mervyn, Frankie and their team for another exemplary event.


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