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25 March – 1 April 2023


5 – 10 June 2023


8 – 10 September 2023

open book festival

8 – 10 september

And we’re live! Browse the full programme on our website, and click through to Webtickets to book your place. The Festival hub is the HCC: Homecoming Centre – see you there!

Author Comments

Quick note to say thank you for this year’s Open Book. I thought it was the best ever, and cemented its status as – and please feel free to quote me publically in any forum – FAR AND AWAY THE BEST SOUTH AFRICAN LITERARY EVENT ON THE CALENDAR!

Rebecca Davis

Open Book Festival was one of the best literary experiences I’ve ever had— not only because it took place in the gorgeous Cape Town, but because of my exposure to a plethora of talented South African authors. I was grateful for the ability to be in conversation with these authors before a very engaged audience, broaching necessary and timely topics. Most importantly, I walked away with many books and lifelong relationships built in one week.

Nicole Dennis-Benn

One of the greatest joys of my writing career has been attending the Open Book Festival.  I was moved and inspired by the constellation of talented authors, by the rich panel discussions, and by the overall curatorial vision.

David Chariandy

Oh my gosh this Open Book had to have been my favourite! You do amazing work and how present, loving and thoughtful you are is something that keeps resonating with me and other artists. Open Book feels like home.

Katleho Shoro

Open Book was an absolutely amazing experience. I got to meet so many readers and writers passionate about the art of the written word, and it gives me hope to see how literature can bring people together from around the globe to confront the problems facing all of us as a species.

Ken Liu

As a first-time author, the experience was overwhelming. I enjoyed the panels with every breath in me and had so much fun. Knowing the complexities of this industry, thank you for providing this important platform for us writers.

Malebo Sephodi

I had such a wonderful time in Cape Town. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much on panels. Thanks for having me and I hope Open Book goes from strength to strength.

Chibundu Onuzo
Out of all the literary festivals I’ve attended, I learned the most from Open Book. They created a genuine conversation among so many writers from all over the world. I would return again in a heartbeat.
Sheila Heti

Open Book is one of those cultural events that is contributing to a new understanding of literature and the elsewhere. A true force that is instrumental to humane and progressive understanding.

Rawi Hage

It was a real pleasure to observe the amazing spirit among the Open Book Festival team. Helpful, efficient, lovely. On the panels, there was as much fellowship as there was debate; as much wine as there was laughter; as much complimentary conversation as there was diversity of opinion. I did not want to leave.

Elnathan John

OPEN BOOK FESTIVAL 8 – 10 SEPTEMBER The Festival kicks off a week from today! If you haven’t booked yet, check out the programme here. We can’t believe that this time next week we’ll be gathering at [...]

OPEN BOOK FESTIVAL 8 – 10 SEPTEMBER And we’re live! View the programme on our website.This is always a highlight of our year – after months spent reading and planning, the programme is finally out in [...]

Our Mission

Over the years Open Book has become a trusted space in which difficult conversations are possible. Core to what we do is our recognition of the importance of books to explore the world in which we live. Writers and their work is at the centre of the Festival, but of no less importance is the audience that joins us. We believe that meaningful conversation is impossible without representative audiences. This means that work is ongoing to reach new audiences, and to curate events that are relevant to citizens of this City.

Our History

Open Book started in 2011, and was an annual book festival which took place in Cape Town each September. Covid forced us to reimagine what a festival can look like. 2022 saw the start of a more flexible Open Book with multiple events through the year.

Our Sponsors

City of Cape Town
Jonathan Ball
16 on Lerotholi
The Electric
Hear My Voice
Heinrich Böll Foundation
Western Cape Government

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