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There’s excitement in the air this week as Festival organisers are busy with the final preparations for the 10th Knysna Literary Festival that kicks off today!

12 authors from all over South Africa start to arrive from today for their slot on the Festival programme. The Festival has grown to be one of the top five noteworthy Garden Route Arts Festivals to attend, and the only festival that hosts exclusive groups of hand selected authors.

Festival founder and owner of event sponsor Pam Golding Properties Knysna, Ling Dobson, said they are excited. “We have always been promoting South Africa's rich and diverse literary and artistic talent. The programme is thought provoking and exciting and aims to indulge literary senses while engaging with some of South Africa’s best authors.  It is also our 10th birthday and we are looking forward to celebrate this weekend with you! ”

She said this is the last chance for the public to buy their tickets. “There are still some tickets available, but you will have to act fast! For more information and the full programme please visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za or call (044) 382 5574. Tickets are available at the Pam Golding Properties offices in Gray Street, Knysna, or online on Quicket.”

Published in Festivals & events

'Flirting, boasting, gossiping, teasing, hanging out, confessing: all that classic teen stuff has always happened ... It’s just that it used to happen behind the bike sheds, or via tightly folded notes pressed urgently into sweating hands in the corridor between lessons. Social networking sites and mobile phones have simply facilitated the whole business, a gadzillion times over.’  – John Henley, The Guardian

Emma Sadlier, social media consultant and lawyer, is in Knysna on the 8th of March to talk about her latest book, Selfies, Sexts & Smartphones. Ling Dobson, Festival founder, said she is South Africa’s leading expert on social media law and her company, the Digital Law Company, specialises in educating and advising corporates, employees, schools, parents, teachers, and universities on the legal, disciplinary and reputational risks of social media.

“In an interview she said the motivation for the book was a legal case in her office when a 13-year-old girl was harassed to such an extent via WhatsApp by a 14-year-old boy that she landed in ICU, having tried to take her own life. He had repeatedly asked her to send a nude photograph, which she eventually did, and it went viral. She said that this was when she realised the magnitude of the problems that young people are dealing with today. “

Emma’s areas of expertise include managing the legal consequences of using social media including defamation, privacy, hate speech and intellectual property; cyberbullying and harassment; sexting and pornography offences; the disciplinary consequences of using social media; personal and brand reputation management on social media; health and social media and online safety.

Dobson said Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones  is the book every teenager (and their parents) should read. “It covers all of the major issues teenagers face in the digital age, including cyberbullying, sexting, addiction, internet safety, porn, anxiety, depression, privacy and reputation, and does so within a South African context. Accessible, informative and even fun, this book will help guide you to a happy, rewarding and, most importantly, safe online life.”

She added that although the book may be aimed at teenagers, the advice and warnings really apply to all social media users, no matter what age. “Some of us may not be teenagers anymore, but we are “teenagers” when it comes to social media! I think if you are online, you can benefit from hearing what Emma has to say!”

For more information and the full programme please visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za or call (044) 382 5574. Tickets are available at the Pam Golding Properties offices in Gray Street, Knysna, or online on Quicket.

 

Published in Festivals & events

 With only one week to go before the Knysna Literary Festival kicks off on the 8th of March, tickets are selling fast.

Festival founder and sponsor, Ling Dobson of Pam Golding Properties Knysna & Plett , said they look forward to an exciting three days.  “JJ Thabane, General Bantu Holomisa and Eric Naki discussing The Game Changer,  an autobiography written by Eric Naki on the life of General Bantu Holomisa, will certainly be interesting.  Holomisa is one of South Africa’s most respected and popular political figures and this biography, written in collaboration with Holomisa, presents an engaging and revealing account of a man who has made his mark as a game changer in South African politics.”

Dobson said another event not to be missed, especially for those interested in current affairs, is Adam Habib’s discussion of his book, Rebels and Rage.  “Adam Habib is the current Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg. One of the most prominent and outspoken academic leaders through the recent student protests, in his book he takes a characteristically frank view of the past 3 years on South Africa’s campuses, critically examining the student movement and individual student leaders who emerged under the banners #feesmustfall and #Rhodesmustfall. ”

Emma Sadlier, social media consultant and lawyer, is discussing her latest book, Selfies, Sexts & Smartphones.  “Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones  is the book every teenager (and their parents) should read. It covers all of the major issues teenagers face in the digital age, including cyberbullying, sexting, addiction, internet safety, porn, anxiety, depression, privacy and reputation, and does so within a South African context. Accessible, informative and even fun, this book will help guide you to a happy, rewarding and, most importantly, safe online life,” said Dobson.

On the lighter side, Vanessa Raphaely, known to many as the former award-winning editor of Cosmopolitan South Africa, will discuss her thrilling debut novel, Plus One. Dobson said Raphaely has had a long career in women’s media, including many years in London and even if the novel is not an autobiography, the setting and experiences are real enough. “Plus One is about two young women who find themselves in the darker side of the Hollywood media industry. The book touches on important themes surrounding women’s issues, many of which led to the creation of the #MeToo movementIt’s contemporary fiction, a page-turner with something to say and a very real sting in its tail, yet highly enjoyable reading. ”

Switching gears, storytelling and age-old feuds are on the menu as well known storyteller Michael Charton explores the origins of the unique rugby rivalry between the All Blacks and the Springboks. Dobson said Charton uses a forgotten Springbok Tour of New Zeeland in 1937 as the platform and characters to bring the story to life. “His message celebrates the value system associated with rugby’s  amateur era and it serves as a nostalgic reminder of what is important in life and legacy.”

For more information on these events and the full programme please visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za or call (044) 382 5574. Tickets are available at the Pam Golding Properties offices in Gray Street, Knysna, or online on Quicket.

 ENDS

Published in Festivals & events
Thursday, 21 February 2019 14:26

A legacy of readers…

That, according to Ling Dobson, Festival founder and CEO of event sponsor Pam Golding Properties Knysna& Plett, is the main aim of the Festival Youth programme. “The festival was initiated by a strong desire to engage with the younger community, to allow their Imagination to take flight through writing of short stories, poems and essays.”

 The Festival hosted a writing competition every year for the last 10 years in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa for kids in the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay area. Approximately 2000 Primary & High schools learners from 25 schools took part.

Dobson said to stimulate literary awareness the Festival also started to host workshops in 2015, focusing on both the skill and sheer enjoyment of writing and reading.

 “Over the past few years we have reached learners in community schools in Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Rheenendal, Karatara and Sedgefield. Nearly 1000 learners have benefited from workshops designed to instill and inspire interest, enhance writing skills and to assist them in expressing themselves.”

She said the workshops, facilitated by the Cape Town NGO FunDza, have been hosted in English and Afrikaans, with approx 20 - 40 children at each workshop. “Literacy is a powerful tool with lifelong benefits. Reading books and stories influence one’s choices, it gives value to lives, it enhances critical and creative thinking and encourages personal development.”

Dobson said the Festival also wanted to contribute to education. “Funds are being raised by Festival events and Literacy Liaison events during the year. After our last Literary Liaison Panel discussion we were thrilled to raise enough money towards a full bursary for Lixa Sithonga for 2019 at Knysna Primary. He is a promising student who actively enjoys sport and achieves well academically. We want to thank the public for their support as without that it would not be possible to give back to our community. ”

For more information about the programme visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za.

Published in News snippets

Known to many as the former, award-winning editor of Cosmopolitan South Africa, Vanessa Raphaely has had a long career in women’s media, including many years in London. She is now Associated Media Publishing's content editor and is visiting the Knysna Literary Festival later this month to talk about her thrilling debut novel, Plus One.

Plus One is about two young women who find themselves in the darker side of the Hollywood media industry. The book touches on important themes surrounding women’s issues, many of which led to the creation of the #MeToo movement. 

Raphaely said that although Plus One is not autobiographical, the world that it's set in was, very much, her world. “I worked in media in London for over 10 years and spent a lot of time immersed in fashion, beauty, wealth, inherited wealth and celebrity. I have famous friends. Hugh Grant did used to drink too much, drop his trousers and waggle his bits around at parties I found myself at. I once did have to get off a billionaire’s yacht in a hurry and I also had a boyfriend, who is now a hugely successful Hollywood agent. Early on in the process of writing, I was told to only ‘write what you know,’ so I did.”

Plus One is not chic lit nor is it a moralistic tale, and Raphaely said her editor, Alison Lowry, described it well – ‘dark material written with a light touch.’ "I love this description. The whole question of women’s power versus men’s is such a wound, that I think the subject matter is really of its time and actually, deadly serious. The scenes in the book that deal with rape and misogamy, are spot on. I think they read authentic, because they are. As Claudia says in the book, ‘You show me a skirmish when a woman gets off better than a man.’ So, I’d say it’s contemporary fiction, a page-turner with something to say and a very real sting in its tail.”

Raphaely said it was written before the #MeToo movement gathered momentum. “However in my career I have met more than a few Harveys, Les’, Terry Richardsons, Kevins and Bills, I’m sad to admit.”

Published in Festivals & events

The 10TH Knysna Literary Festival boasts an exciting programme that not only includes some old favourites, but is also spiced up with great new additions.

Taking place from 8-10 March 2019, ticket sales open on the 1st of February at 8am at the Knysna Pam Golding Properties offices in Gray Street. As demand for ticket sales grew over the last few years the first day is synonymous with long queues and festival founder Ling Dobson said coffee will be on sale, and well known local musician, Lani Groves, will entertain everyone while they wait.

Dobson said festival flagship event, the Delicious Word Journey, is back and taking place at Simola Golf and Country Estate this year. “Authors taking part in the event are JJ Tabane, Emma Sadleir, Sihle Khumalo and Bonang Mohale. We are also excited to welcome David Higgs to join the team at île de päin for Chef’s Playdate #2.0 - due to popular demand ticket sales to both these events are limited to only 6 tickets per person.”

Political affairs will once again be under the spotlight with The Game Changer by General Bantu Holomisa, the ever popular Fate of the Nation discussion with Adriaan Basson, Ralph Mathekga and Adam Habib and the panel discussion “On the Brink” with JJ Tabane, Claire Bisseker, Chris Holdsworth and Bonang Mohale.

Still covering current affairs, Adam Habib will discuss his book Rebels and Rage and Tony Park his action packed thriller exposing poaching in Africa, Scent of Fear.

Other authors on the programme include Emma Sandlier with Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones, the amazing rugby story of The First World Champions by Michael Charton and Vanessa Raphaely with her debut novel, Plus One.

Dobson said they are looking forward to another exciting and thought-provoking Festival. “The programme includes something for everyone and we know will not disappoint!”

For more information and the full programme please visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za or call (044) 382 5574. Tickets are available at the Pam Golding Properties offices in Gray Street, Knysna, or online on Quicket.

 

Published in Festivals & events
Thursday, 24 January 2019 09:27

Knysna Literary Festival turns 10

 The Knysna Literary Festival, taking place from 8-10 March 2019, is 10 years old this year. This boutique festival boasts a diverse programme focusing on current affairs, history, adventure, conservation, cuisine and storytelling, making sure that there is something for everyone. The line-up includes the likes of Emma Sadlier, Adam Habib, Tony Park, Ralph Mathekga, General Bantu Holomisa and Claire Bisseker.  Festival founder, Ling Dobson, said  “We select our authors not only for their literary talents, but also for their skills in entertaining and delighting audiences with readings, conversations, debates and workshops.”

For more information please visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za

Published in Festivals & events

Presented by Pam Golding Properties Knysna, the ninth annual Knysna Literary Festival (#KnysnaLitFest) will be hosted from 9 – 11 March 2018, offering a diverse and inspiring programme that includes small-group interactive sessions, larger-group presentations, and informal chats with authors. This year, all events take place at selected venues around the iconic Thesen Islands, in the heart of Knysna, and topics and books are guaranteed to inspire lively debate both at the festival, as well as long after.

The #KnysnaLitFest aims not only to expose locals and visitors to South Africa’s literary talents, but also to provide established authors with a platform to connect directly with their readers and target audience.

The Festival’s diverse programme touches on matters such as hot-topic current affairs and politics, history, adventure, conservation, cuisine and storytelling – meaning there’s something for everyone. All best-selling authors are either local or have close ties to South Africa, and have been selected not only for their literary talents, but also for their skills in entertaining and delighting audiences with readings, conversations, debates and workshops.

Over the years the #KnysnaLitFest has attracted many well-known literary celebrities, and this year is no exception – making the festival the ‘must-do’ event of all literary enthusiasts, book worms and culture vultures. Not only is the #KnysnaLitFest high on the agenda for readers, but authors and journalists likewise aspire to be a part of this prestigious festival, setting the bar higher each year with the programme on offer.

The exciting line-up of big-name authors hosting new as well as popular returning events for 2018 includes:
• Churchill & Smuts: Richard Steyn
• Fate of the Nation: Adriaan Basson, Pieter du Toit, Prof Jonathan Jansen, Ranjeni Munusamy
• Zuma Unplugged: Jacques Pauw, Adriaan Basson, Pieter du Toit
• île de païn anytime: Liezie Mulder
• Rhino Revolution: Clive Walker
• Recipes for Love and Murder: Sally Andrew
• Rule of Law: Glynnis Breytenbach, Mandy Wiener, Adriaan Basson
• Delicious Word Journey – with a new twist: Joan Louwrens "Making Tracks... a moving memoir", Mandy Wiener "An Underworld Explored", Prof Jonathan Jansen "As by Fire”, Redi Tlhabi "Khwezi”
• Breaking News: Jeremy Thompson
• My Father’s Coat: Michael Charton

Ticket sales for the Knysna Literary Festival 2018 is now open.

To purchase tickets visit the Pam Golding Gray Street office.

Online tickets are available on Webtickets - https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1478260684

The full programme, including venues, descriptions of the events and ticket prices can be viewed on the website: www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za/index.php/programme/festival-programme-2018.

As an aside from the main festival weekend, writing competitions are held for school-goers in the area, encouraging reading and writing amongst the local youth; the idea being to instill a passion for reading and writing from an early age.

Says Ling Dobson, Principal of Pam Golding Properties Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, “Our goal is to stimulate the creative minds of students of the greater Knysna area, encouraging these young adults to make the most of their educational opportunities. We present unique workshops throughout the year to stimulate literary awareness, focusing on both the skill and sheer enjoyment of writing. We are very proud to have recently coordinated two successful workshops in conjunction with FunDza.”

As well-said by an author who knows her young market well, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling
Don’t miss out! Join us for this highlight on the local calendar. Tickets to the events can be purchased online via a link on the website.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter:
www.facebook.com/KnysnaLiteraryFestival
Twitter @KnysnaLitFest

© Rosanne Turner

General information:
Pam Golding Properties, 5 Gray Street Knysna
Tel: 044 382 5574 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For further information visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za
For all media enquiries, please contact:
Sasha Campbell, Marketing, Events & PR
+27(0)82 450 9301
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events

Last week’s Knysna Literary Festival, presented by Pam Golding Properties Knysna, was the most successful event to date, says founder Ling Dobson.
“In terms of numbers, we had the highest attendances on record, with most events sold out before the date, and some selling out within hours of tickets going on sale.”
The festival opened with the Qhawe Children’s Theatre followed by the Young Writer’s Awards Ceremony and a poetry workshop for local schools with Finuala Dowling.
“I must congratulate all the winners of the Young Writers Competition,” said Dobson. “As usual, the standard of entries was very high and we had …. schools participating this year. Thank you also to our judges Nadia Ballan, Elmarie Bekker and Phillipina Njozela who ensured that every single entry was read and appraised.

“I was so proud to look around the room at all the potential young writers attending Finuala Dowling’s workshop. My dream is that one day some of those young people will be back to participate as authors in our festival.”

Pete Goffe-Wood’s Look n Cook at Kilzers Kitchen was a sold-out event. “Judging by the feedback we had from guests, it was a fabulous evening enjoyed by all,” said Dobson.

Hugh Masekela delighted his audience with stories of his youth and revealed his wonderful sense of humour as he bantered with host Shaka Sizulu. Inveterate story-teller Rob Caskie captivated his audience with the dramatic and tragic adventure, Race to the Poles.

Says Dobson: “I was thrilled to see so many young children at Rob Caskie’s event, sitting spellbound for a full hour, and I hope that we can include more events in the future that will appeal to children and make this an exciting educational journey for them.

“Part of our mission is to instil a love of reading in local youth and we’ve been working with students from TSiBA Eden Campus for the last seven years, ensuring that they are able to attend our events. It is gratifying to see how much they enjoyed the festival this year.”

The unique Delicious Word Journey, in which guests are transported by local taxis to three spectacular private homes on Pezula Private Estate to wine, dine and chat to best-selling authors, proved a resounding success once more, with authors Gareth Crocker, Emma Sadleir, Shaka Sizulu, Lauren Beukes and David Grier participating.
Two panel discussions with some of South Africa’s top editors and journalists, Fate of the Nation, and Criminalising Investigative Journalism, were hosted by local author Ivor Vegter and provided insight into a number of current topical issues including media ownership and media freedom.

“We were delighted to be able to attract prestigious authors like Adriaan Basson, Songezo Zibi, Mzilikazi wa Africa and RW Johnson,” said Dobson. “We are deeply indebted to our sponsors for helping us grow the festival especially our new associate sponsor Sasfin, who came on board this year, and supporting sponsor BASA (Business and Arts South Africa). We would not be able to host the festival without the wonderful support we receive from Jonathan Ball Publishers, Bargain Books, Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, Jane Simon Wine Ambassador, Knysna Plett Herald, Knysna Primary School, Action Ads, Penguin Random House, Pan Macmillan South Africa, Jacana, The Turbine Hotel & Spa, Rex Hotel, Leisure Isle Lodge, Guadeloupe Apartments, Kilzer’s Kitchen and Luka Wines.

“I must also thank my wonderful team from Pam Golding Knysna who volunteer every year to assist at events and ensure that the festival is a success.”
Books by the authors who participated in this year’s Knysna Literary Festival are available from Bargain Books in Knysna.

Published in Festivals & events

Don’t miss South Africa’s most powerful storyteller, Rob Caskie, at this year’s Knysna Literary Festival. Caskie’s presentation, “Race to the Pole” on Sunday, 20 March, promises to provide wonderful entertainment as he describes the fantastic duel between Robert Scott of the Royal Navy and supreme polar explorer, Roald Amundsen from Norway, which ended starkly with the death of Scott’s entire party.

Known as a speaker who “fires the imagination and stirs the soul”, Caskie’s amazing ability to make a historic event come alive is a true gift. Since 2004, he has presented extensively in the United Kingdom and South Africa and his achievements were recognised with an invitation to speak at the Royal Geographic Society in London to full houses.

Caskie thrives on the challenge and reward of entertaining audiences in the “theatres of their imagination and transporting them via the power of a story well told”, and prides himself in unique storytelling without electronic or visual aids.

Another not to be missed event on the Knysna Literary Festival programme this year is the interactive Poetry Workshop with award-winning South African poet and novelist Finuala Dowling on Friday, 18 March.

Dowling is the seventh of eight children born to radio broadcasters Eve van der Byl and Paddy Dowling. She has a MA in English from the University of Cape Town and lectured in English at the University of South Africa for eight years. Her first poetry anthology, I Flying, was published in 2002 and won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. She has also won the Sanlam Award for Poetry and the Olive Schreiner Prize. She won the 2012 M-Net Literary Award (English category) for Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart.
Tickets for the Knysna Literary Festival events can be purchased online through Webtickets.co.za or from the Pam Golding Property office at 5 Gray Street, Knysna. Five events are already sold out - Fate of the Nation, Look ‘n Cook with Pete Goffe-Wood, Criminalising Investigative Journalism, Delicious Word Journey and Qhawe Children’s Theatre.

For more information about the Knysna Literary Festival call 044 382 5574, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za. Follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

Published in Festivals & events
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