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The Lowveld Book Festival 2018

By Focus Online Team on July 19, 2018

The Lowveld Book Festival returns for the third year in a row to Casterbridge Hollow and the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre from 17 to 19 August 2018. The South African Lowveld is home to some of South Africa’s biggest literary talents and the setting for many books and poems. From the past two events, the response from publishers, authors and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, and this year visitors can look forward to a host of interesting authors, as well as a socio-political discussion, various workshops and poetry readings. Keep reading for the full event line-up.

2018 Lowveld Book Festival Programme

Saturday 19 August

09h00 – 09h45 | Billionaires under Construction | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

The Lowveld Book Festival and KLCBT present a breakfast event with DJ Sbu’. Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a successful entrepreneur’s head? How they come up with their ground-breaking ideas, how they turn them into a business, how they handle failure and what it takes to get them where they are today? Billionaires under Construction answers these questions, and more, as it charts the rise and rise of Sbusiso Leope.

09h30 – 12h00 | Workshop by Isabella Morris: A ticket to the world | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100

Who doesn’t dream of travelling the world for free? Travel writing is one way of doing it. In this hands-on workshop, writers will learn the basic skills needed to become a travel writer and how to break in to the industry without experience.

10h15 – 11h00 | An Invitation to Dream | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50

How storytelling through memoir and poetry can take readers on journeys of discovery.  Athol Williams shares stories from his autobiography, Pushing Boulders, and in discussion with poets Mercy Dube and Tlhookomelo Mashile discuss how their poetry invites readers into their worlds, and invites readers to rekindle old dreams or create dreams anew. All three poets will recite poems.

Image Credit: Sharon Mccutcheon

10h15 – 11h00 | The Drawbacks of Telling it all to a Greedy Public | The Barnyard | R50

With Sam Cowen (From Whiskey to Water) and Gareth Cliff (Cliffhanger). At some stage, enough revelation becomes damaging and, I dare say, one might even regret it.

11h30 – 12h15 | Scarred but not for life | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50

After a deliberate and malicious act changed Kim McCusker’s life forever, Tracey McDonald finds out about the impact this senseless attack has had on her outlook on life; the choices she has made as a result and her attitude towards surviving and thriving in life despite what has come her way.

11h30 – 12h45 | Gus Silber in discussion with Richard Pithouse | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

When things fall apart – can writing and ranting help to reverse our National Decline? Gus Silber is an award-winning journalist, editor speechwriter and author, in discussion with Richard Pithouse (Writing the Decline), Dale McKinley (SA’s Corporatized Liberation), Sizwe Yende (Eerie Assignment) and Athol Williams (Pushing Boulders).

13h45 – 14h30 | Bridget Hilton-Barber in discussion with David Hilton-Barber | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R50

“The past no longer belongs only to those who lived in it; the past belongs to those who claim it, and are willing to explore it and infuse it with meaning for those alive today” – with reference to his book, the Malaboch War and other stories.

13h45 – 14h30 | Wildlife Wars | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50

Tall tales and true from the frontline of the fight to save Africa’s natural heritage. Quinton Coetzee in discussion with Tony Park (The Cull), Mario Cesare (Heart of a Game Ranger) and Nikki Meyer (Game for Anything/Rhino Walking Safaris)

13h45 – 14h30 | Youth and Adult Literature | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | Free

Derick van der Walt in conversation with Mattie Coetzee. Derick discusses his three youth books: Lien se Lankstaanskoene, Willem Poprok and Hoopvol and his two adult books: Daan Dreyer se Blou Geranium and Bambaduze. Mattie will also touch on Derick’s new book Tussen Vriende, which will be out later this year. (An Afrikaans event)

15h00 – 15h45 | Workshop: How to Write Your Family History | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100

David and Bridget Hilton Barber, present guidelines on the process for those who are interested in recording their family’s memoirs. This includes a power point presentation.

15h00 – 15h45 | The Need for Diversity in Youth & Children’s Literature | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | Free

The Need for Diversity in Youth and Children’s Literature. A discussion with Jayne Bauling (Game Plan); Elaine Pillay (Zwai and the little Creature) and Bandile Sibuyi.

15h00 – 15h45 | The Fifth Mrs Brink | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

Love, Loss and Literature: the fifth Mrs Brink, Karina M Szczurek, in conversation with Arthur Sithole. The Fifth Mrs Brink tells the story of Karina M Szczurek’s life before, during and after her marriage to Andre P Brink. Polish-born Karina was twenty-seven when she met the acclaimed writer 40 years her senior, and they spent a decade together. Here she chronicles their relationship and finally facing the challenges of Andre’s deteriorating health in the last year of his life.

16h15 – 17h00 | Murder she Wrote | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50

Fiona Snyckers leads a discussion with Jassy Mackenzie and Angela Makholwa. As thriller writing evolves both locally and internationally, women writers are at the forefront of new sub-genres like domestic suspense and grip-lit. The success of these can be seen in runaway bestsellers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.  Join these mistresses of local thriller writing as they discuss the latest developments in thriller writing.

16h15 – 17h45 | Forgotten World – An Audio Visual talk | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

Marius Bakkes (The Lowvelder) in conversation with Prof Peter Delius (Professor of History at Wits University) about his book Forgotten World: the stone-walled settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment.

18h00 | Beyond the River | Casterbridge Cinema | R50

Beyond the River – Directed by Craig Freimond and introduced by Piers Cruikshanks.  An uplifting true story about the partnership between Piers Cruikshanks and Siseko Ntondini that inspired the movie Beyond the River. Cruikshanks is an English teacher, an Academic director and an acclaimed sportsman. Ntondini a paddler from the Soweto Canoe Club, with the dream of winning the gold medal in the Dusi. Their decision to train together as a team entailed overcoming both cultural and physical challenges to the required level of expertise. A feel-good adventure story with special appeal to those interested in sport and training for goals.

SUNDAY 20th AUGUST

10h00 – 12h00 | Isabella Morris presents her Workshop | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100

From Start to Finish Isabella Morris presents a practical workshop that focuses on taking a writing project from start to finish. How to get the idea onto the page; how to sustain the writing momentum until The End. This course will include theory, practical exercises and worksheets to take away.

10h00 – 10h45 | An Eerie Assignment | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50

An Eerie Assignment: Carol Sanderson (Rise FM) talks to Sizwe Yende: A memoir detailing Sizwe’s experience as an investigative journalist probing the corruption of the Mpumalanga government officials under the leadership of Premier David Mabuza.

10h00 – 10h45 | The Disruptors: Can business change the world | The Barnyard | R50

The Disruptors: Can business change the world? Can the world change business? Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber meet South Africa’s social entrepreneurs, journeying through their failures and successes in setting up businesses that exist to achieve social change and profit. This session is a lesson in what works, what hasn’t and why South Africa is the perfect environment for social entrepreneurship.

11h15 – 12h00 | The Poole Diaries | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | FREE

The Poole Diaries. Louis Changuion introduces the author Bill Yeowart. Robert Poole kept a diary in which he meticulously recorded his thoughts, impressions and observations, for the entire first year of the Boer war. This work, until now, an unknown document, sheds new light on the war which took place more than a hundred years ago.

11h15 – 12h00 | Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon. Gareth Cliff interviews Tracy Todd – an intimate and inspiring memoir of a Quadriplegic.

12h30 – 13h15 | The Duke from Haenertsburg | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | FREE

Marius Bakkes chats to Louis Changuion. An overview of the life and times of the 11th Duke of Atholl. It is an extraordinary story of a man who did not expect to be elevated into this position and who accepted the title rather reluctantly.

12h30 – 13h15 | Roads and Stories | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50

Nicky Manson (Editor Lowveld Living Magazine) talks to Fikile Hlatswayo, author of the hilarious and subversive Blacks do Caravan; Adam Cruise who has written the intriguing King Soloman the Showman and Bridget Hilton-Barber, author of Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy, a powerful tale of her time as a student activist, detained after she was betrayed by her friend who was a spy for the apartheid security police.

14h00 | Beyond the River | Casterbridge Cinema | R50

Beyond the River – Directed by Craig Freimond and introduced by Piers Cruikshanks.  An uplifting true story about the partnership between Piers Cruikshanks and Siseko Ntondini that inspired the movie Beyond the River. Cruikshanks is an English teacher, an Academic director and an acclaimed sportsman. Ntondini a paddler from the Soweto Canoe Club, with the dream of winning the gold medal in the Dusi. Their decision to train together as a team entailed overcoming both cultural and physical challenges to the required level of expertise. A feel-good adventure story with special appeal to those interested in sport and training for goals.

“We hope to draw visitors and well-known authors from across the country to White River and introduce them to the creative talent resident here, as well as to motivate local authors and artists by uncovering their work and exposing them to a wider world of literature.”

Louis van der Merwe, Chairman of the Lowveld Book Festival.

For more information, follow the Lowveld Book Festival on Facebook and Twitter, or email lowveldbookfestival@gmail.com. As the host of the Lowveld Book Festival, Casterbridge Hollow Hotel offers the perfect accommodation for anyone interested in attending the weekend event. Our standard rooms are available with views of the pool and gardens and can be configured with twin or king-sized beds. Our 4 family rooms feature a king-sized bed, two single beds and spacious bathrooms with double vanities, a bathtub and separate shower and toilet. Book online today!

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