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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

It was a dark and stormy night…

Bloody Parchment

Last month SA Horrorfest held its annual literary chapter, Bloody Parchment, at the historic (and suitably spooky) Labia Theatre in Cape Town.

I was delighted to host the event this year, which I’m happy to say was a terrific (terrifying?) success. We managed to fill a cinema with literary lovers eager to hear some scary stories.

And what fantastic stories they were. Here are some highlights from our great line-up of local writers:

Jenna Bass

Jungle Jim editor Jenna Bass (aka Caine-prize shortlisted writer Constance Myburgh) read an incredible story by Nigerian writer Iheoma Nwachukwu entitled The Negro Eaters (published in Jungle Jim issue 23)

Liam Kruger

Bloody Parchment short story winner Liam Kruger thrilled us with his gruesome story, Caretaking, which you can read here.


Cat Hellisen’s soon-to-be-published short story I’m Only Going Over was suitably chilling – read her write up of the event here.


Kate White read an excerpt from S.L Grey’s new thriller, Under Ground.


Alex von Tonder read an extract from her debut novel This One Time.


Joanne Hichens practically stole the show with her rendition of Poe’s The Tell-tale Heart.


Local success story Rae Rivers read a piece from her paranormal romance series The Keepers.


Diane Awerbuck wrote a story especially for the event, detailing the death of a well known local film critic.


Our special guest for the evening was British film writer Calum Waddell, who shared some rather intimate secrets about Clive Barker. Those in attendance have been sworn to absolute secrecy.

I have to say that the Labia is an incredible venue for this kind of event. Spooky and timeless, it was made all the more eerie thanks to the black and white film we had running during the readings.

As with previous years, Bloody Parchment is a Halloween dress-up event. We had our fair share of zombies and ghouls in the audience, who all went home with a prize, whether it was James Patterson hampers or brand-new titles from China Mieville and S.L. Grey.

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the evening. And thank you to our amazing sponsors, The Labia, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Zonnebloem Wines.

See the full Facebook album here

All images courtesy of Helene Prinsloo.


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