Who we are


Jolyn Phillips: OBF2016

Open Book Festival at The Fugard Theatre is an annual literary festival, the first of which happened in 2011.

When Mervyn Sloman and Ben Williams started talking about creating a festival, they had in mind around 60 literary events over 5 days featuring about 15 top international as well as some of the best South Africans writing today. Due to the incredible support Open Book received, that quickly grew into a festival that now includes over 100 events, featuring over 100 authors.

There are four major elements to the Open Book vision.

(1) A truly international festival that attracts top writers and an audience from around the world.

(2) A fantastic showcase of the best of South African writing.

(3) Making a significant and sustainable contribution to our future by building a love of reading and books among the youth of Cape Town.

(4) Drawing representative audiences to all Open Book events.

Events we are planning speak to all four goals. The core programme of the festival includes events that feature both international and local authors and through #CocreatePoetica and the Open Book Comics Fest, we work with some of the most talented poets and comic book artists. We organise events in selected schools and public libraries and have started long term projects inspired by our vision.

Open Book has developed a number of partnerships to ensure the festival is of the highest standard. The partners we work with play a significant role in the ongoing success of the festival in a number of ways, from bringing authors to the festival on our behalf through to extending our reach into different communities. For a complete list of our partners, please visit our sponsorship page.

Vasti Calitz

Open Book Festival Co-ordinator