BookEx Johannesburg

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

This weekend saw the start of something wonderful for all South African Authors. BookEx was launched!  Powered by Estoril Books, one of the larger book store chains here is South Africa, it was an event that will hopefully grow from strength to strength and put a much needed spotlight on local Authors. Some of the bigger names in South African fiction, such as Mike Nicol, Jassy Mackensie, Lauren Beukes, and Margie Orford participated in fascinating panels all about the business of writing and publishing.

Although I would have liked to see more panels that were dedicated to some of the other forms of fiction, such as Chic lit (I know, I can’t believe I said that either), Romance, and general fiction. South Africa has some incredibly talented Authors who write in those genre’s and it was disappointing to not see them being discussed. The Crime Write programme, put together by crime writer, Mike Nicol, was fascinating and where I spent most of my time.

Even though I wasn’t on it, the addition of the Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy panel, hosted by Dave-Brendan De Burgh and panelled by Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, gave me hope for the future of those genre’s here in South Africa as well as for South African horror fiction in the rest of the world. All the panellists had international publishing deals. Made me rather proud!

The slick and professional organisation of the event put it on the top of my event list for next year. The lack of exhibitors was cause for concern, but considering it was only put together in the last few months, I’m sure that more publishers and industry movers and shakers will participate in BookEx 2011. All in all, I was pretty impressed.

Were you at BookEx? What did you think?

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