Who we are

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. 

Between 2011 and 2019, the Festival welcomed hundreds of writers and audience members to be part of meaningful conversations exploring some of the challenges we face as global citizens. 

The pandemic saw Open Book shift its focus from face-to-face events to a podcast series, allowing the conversations we curate to continue. There’s nothing like gathering though, and we were delighted to welcome people back to brick and mortar spaces in 2022. 

While Open Book has changed how it engages over the course of the year, the vision of the Festival has not. We remain committed to curating events that continue to resonate long after you have left the venue.

There are four major elements to the Open Book vision.

(1) A festival that attracts top writers and audiences.

(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.

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.