Due to COVID-19, Open Book 2020 is cancelled.
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Writing My City!

Our City is home to a multiplicity of voices and we would love to read the story of Cape Town from each point of view! It is with this in mind that together with the public libraries, we have embarked on Cape Town Library Book: Writing my City, a day in which anyone can write and submit a story that speaks to Cape Town in some way.

In the coming months, libraries will be running workshops to aid you in honing your writing skills. All of this will culminate on the 15th of June when you will be able to submit your piece for consideration at participating libraries. The finalists’ pieces will then be included in the #WritingmyCity anthology which will be launched at Open Book Festival 2019!

Entry Requirements:

  • 1500 words or less
  • Work should focus on an aspect of Cape Town
  • Languages: English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans
  • Prose, poetry or non-fiction will be considered
  • Work from all ages will be considered

The facilitator at each participating library will collect the submissions, which will be sent to the Head: Professional Services & Programmes at LIS Head Office in Berkley Road. Three library judges will consider all the submissions and submit all the entries with merit to Open Book. Open Book will appoint a 4 person judging panel to make the final selection of 40 contributions.
The split will be as follows:

  • Minimum of 20 from unpublished writers
  • Maximum of 10 from published writers
  • Maximum of 10 from librarians

This project is made possible by the amazing people who work at the public libraries, as well as through the support of the City of Cape Town.

Get in touch with participating libraries (below) to find out the details of their workshop programmes. Please also do get in touch if you are interested in facilitating a workshop at a library near you.

Area North:
Central Library                 Linda.Ntaka@capetown.gov.za
Edgemead Library           Lorraine.mathewson@gmail.com
Athlone Library                Soraya.samuels@capetown.gov.za
Langa Library                  Sandile.bukani@capetown.gov.za
Pinelands Library             Rosalind.Hendricks@capetown.gov.za

Area East:
Suider-strand Library       Nombongo.nkwenkwezi@capetown.gov.za
Macassar Library             Glen.etson@capetown.gov.za
Kuils River Library             Wilhelmina.whitman@capetown.gov.za
Melton Rose Library        Eleanore.Pietersen@capetown.gov.za
Mfuleni Library                  Nolubabalo.Memani@capetown.gov.za
Eerste River Library          Rene.Jashim@capetown.gov.za
Khayelitsha Library           Vuyokazi.Raninjambatwa@capetown.gov.za
Kulani Library                     Catherine.ben@capetown.gov.za
Masakhane Library           Nomonde.Sotashe@capetown.gov.za
Moses Mabhida Library Mbulelo.Zumana@capetown.gov.za
Harare Library                   Ncebakazi.mawu@capetown.gov.za
Kuyasa Library                   Lulama.Langeni@capetown.gov.za

Area Central:
Bellville Library                 Christelle.connor@capetown.gov.za
Hanover Park Library       Bernadette.daniels@capetown.gov.za
Manenberg Library           Nomnqopiso.lisa@capetown.gov.za

Area South:
Tokai Library                      Natasha.marinus@capetown.gov.za
Wynberg Library                Nadia.Ismail@capetown.gov.za
Fish Hoek Library              Rika.smit@capetown.gov.za
Masiphumelele Library      vuyokaszi.tatana@capetown.gov.za
Retreat Library                  Sharon.adams@capetown.gov.za

If you would like any additional information about the festival, please get in touch with Frankie.

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Open Book Festival is organised in partnership with The Fugard Theatre, The District 6 Museum, The A4 Arts Foundation, The Townhouse Hotel,  Novus Holdings, The French Institute of South Africa, The Embassy of Sweden, the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the HCI Foundation and sponsored by Leopard’s Leap, Open Society Foundation, City of Cape Town, Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball, Penguin Random House, African Centre for Cities, UCT Creative Writing Department, University of Stellenbosch English Department and the Windham Campbell Prizes

21 responses to “Writing My City!”

  1. Monique Barling says:

    How do I submit a story

  2. Mary Grace says:

    I will be away from Cape Town on June 15. Is it still possible to submit a story? Also, do you have to participate in a workshop to submit?

    • Frankie says:

      Attending the workshops is not a requirement to submit a story. If you are going to be away on the submission date, please get in touch with your closest participating library to discuss how best to submit your work.

  3. Lulama says:

    I will send my piece at the Central library, Tuesday the 7 of May.

  4. Hi
    I need to enter the #WritingmyCity and I reside in Retreat. Please provide details of workshop programmes which I can attend. I have sent an email to enquire about Retreat workshops at library but the listed email address it does not go through, please see below:

    Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

    The email address you entered couldn’t be found. Please check the recipient’s email address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

    Diagnostic information for administrators:

    Generating server: CBD-CIVIC-EMB01.capetown.gov.za
    Remote Server returned ‘550 5.1.1 RESOLVER.ADR.RecipNotFound; not found’


    Ms. Lesego Kgatla
    076 542 2266
    079 357 4350

  5. Sipho-Sethu says:

    I am a young adult staying in the Karoo, can such inititives be extended to our areas aswell.

  6. kenneth alexander says:

    is there a cut off date?

  7. Jeanne Hromnik says:

    Has the ‘Writing my city’ project materialised? I submitted an entry but heard nothing further.

  8. Jeanne Hromnik says:

    Has the ‘Writing my city’ project materialised? I submitted an entry but heard nothing further.
    Having trouble posting this.

  9. Lulama says:

    Hard luck to us people who did get our piece right to be selected, better luck next time.

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