Featured Authors

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown practises as an advocate in Cape Town, and is a reservist sergeant in the South African Police Service. He has published five novels, the most recent of which, Devil’s Harvest, came out in 2014. Coldsleep Lullaby won the 2006 Sunday Times Literary Prize and Refuge was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for the Africa region. Street Blues, an account of his experiences as a police reservist was shortlisted for the 2009 Alan Paton Award. Good Cop Bad Cop was published in 2016.

Recent Books


Diane Awerbuck

Diane Awerbuck wrote Gardening at Night (2003), which was awarded the Commonwealth Best First Book Award (Africa and the Caribbean) and was shortlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. She also reviews fiction for the South African Sunday Times, and writes for Mail&Guardian’s Thoughtleader. Awerbuck’s latest collection of short stories is Cabin Fever; her last novel was Home Remedies. She also writes as Frank Owen (with Alex Latimer), and their latest book is South. They are currently writing the sequel, North. Visit http://southvsnorth.com/.

Helen Zille

Helen Zille serves as Premier of the Western Cape Province in South Africa. She was also the Leader of the Democratic Alliance until May 2015. Zille previously served as Mayor of Cape Town. She was also the Director of Communications at the University of Cape Town.

Don Pinnock

Don Pinnock is an associate of Southern Write, a group of top travel and natural history writers and photographers in Africa. He’ s a former editor of Getaway magazine in Cape Town, South Africa He has been an electronic engineer, lecturer in journalism and criminology, consultant to the Mandela government, a professional yachtsman, explorer, travel writer, photographer and a cable-car operator on the Rock of Gibraltar. His present passion is the impact of humans on planetary processes.

John Fredericks

I was born in 1945 in Kewtown, Athlone one of the many townships scattered across the Cape Flats of the Western Cape. My Father was a Dustman and my Mother worked in the abattoirs.

I have this distant memory of my Dad coming home from work with comic books, magazines and novels that he had salvaged from other people’s rubbish bins. We were poor and one of my adventures then was to ride upfront with my dad on the horse cart that were used to haul the refuse.

I would scavenge with the other human scavengers on the dump looking for book to read and anything with resale value. I hold a vivid recollection of horse carts, huge piles of rubbish and people enveloped in dust. The squawk of seagulls, mangy dogs and the banter of dustmen over the noise of the wagons.

At night my buddies and I would huddle around a fire brazier for warmth. We would talk about our adventures of the day which always led to me telling a story that I had read.

Three of those buddies later died on the gallows and many others died violent deaths before they reached manhood. In our township there were no heroes. Our idols were old street fighters who settled their scores in bloody bare fisted brawls on the streets of our town. The dynamics were crime and gangsterism and a flickering knife became part of everyday life. We felt privileged when these old gangsters sent us to the Merchant to go buy their marijuana, it meant that we could hang around them and listen to their stories of gangs and prison life.

Many of us aspired to become like them. Some succeeded to rise above these childhood fantasies, for others it became their destiny. Short lived and violent, leaving behind a legacy of heartache and shattered dreams. Our make believe world of gangsters became our rites of passage.

I changed my life around and took my story telling abilities to a higher level. I persevered and honed my craft as a writer and filmmaker, running on the perimeter of the film industry for more than twenty years. I do not have much education but I do have revelation. I have worked with people from all cultures and strived to reach my goal. For many years I was told that I was a good writer but I should not give up my day job. At the age of fifty and tired of doing nothing, I gave up my day job to write full time. To date I have numerous documentaries, film scripts and published stories to my credit. I have written stage and radio plays. I also wrote the screen play of the epic local film Noem My Skollie.

I am currently writing the book of Skollie and this will be my first major book. I dream on because I believe that dreams never die.
“I grow in the shadows, I glow in the dark. I am the storyteller. The weaver of dreams”.

Jolyn Phillips

Jolyn Phillips works as a word-vagrant in Cape Town. She sometimes stays in Gansbaai where she was born and sometimes in Bellville and Cape Town with a big backpack with stuff in. Her family calls her a professional student because she has not left university after graduating so many times. They also believe she doesn’t ‘really’ work but mostly they are proud that she is now a millionaire because she published a book called Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories published by Modjaji Books. If she is not scratching around for words she performs as a jazz vocalist, theater performer, educator and poet.

Karin Brynard

Karin Brynard is a journalist who earned her stripes in the burning streets of Soweto during the Freedom Struggle of the eighties. As a political correspondent for a nationwide newspaper, she witnessed the release of Nelson Mandela and the subsequent political settlement that ended apartheid. Her first two novels, Plaasmoord and Onse vaders, took the South African market by storm, becoming instant bestsellers. She has won numerous literary awards, including the UJ Debut Prize for Creative Writing and two M-Net Awards.

Mark Winkler

Mark grew up in what is now Mpumalanga, and was educated at St Alban’s College in Pretoria and Rhodes University, Grahamstown. He has spent most of his working life in the advertising industry in Cape Town, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is currently creative director at a leading Cape Town advertising agency.

Marianne Thamm

Marianne Thamm is a top-selling author, comedian and commentator-at-large. She has written several successful books, including Alison Botha’s story I Have Life. Marianne’s online following is huge, she appears live and on TV, and is known for her in-depth, off-beat journalism. She is assistant editor at The Daily Maverick and also very active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Marianne’s multiple awards include two as Outstanding Humorous Columnist (South African Comedy Awards); several Excellence Awards as Journalist of the Year and Best Columnist (Media 24); a Mondi Award for Best Columnist; and three South African Film and Television awards for ZA News (as head writer).

She lives in Newlands, Cape Town, with her partner of many years and their two daughters.

Máire Fisher

Máire Fisher is a writer and writing mentor. Her first novel, Birdseye was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. She has completed her second novel and is working on a third. She runs writing workshops with Chantal Stewart in Cape Town and is a founder member of a writing group that meets for writing retreats in Kleinmond and at Volmoed. She is a regular attendee of the Stanford Barn Writing workshops run by Rahla Xenopoulos and will co-facilitate a workshop with Rahla later this year.

Máire’s work has been published in several anthologies including Incredible Journey, Just Keep Breathing: South African Birth Stories; Twist: Short Stories Inspired by Tabloid Headlines, Women Flashing and Writing the Self. Máire has written several stories for The FunDza Literacy Trust’s online mobi site and has mentored young writers for FunDza. Her co-written story was published in It takes TWO!

Recent Books

Melanie Verwoerd

Melanie Verwoerd has a long history in politics, diplomacy and global non-for profit work. Melanie now works with various not-for-profit organisations around the world, advising them on fundraising, organisational management and PR strategies.
She was elected as a Member of the South African Parliament for the ANC in 1984. At 27 she was the youngest woman ever to be elected. She was re-elected in 1999.

In 2001 she was appointed as South African Ambassador to Ireland. During her period as Ambassador she focused successfully on increasing tourism from Ireland to South Africa as well as increasing trade. She also spoke widely on the challenges facing South Africa and the developing world in particular the challenge of HIV/Aids.

Mike Nicol

Mike Nicol

Mike leads a scary life as a writer. Perversely he has been doing this crazy thing for three decades and has written a number of books – fiction and non-fiction – during that time. Since 2009 he’s become obsessed with writing crime fiction – The Revenge Trilogy, Of Cops & Robbers and, in May, Power Play being his contribution to the genre. He’s also taken to teaching creative writing online. He lives behind a porcupine fence in Glencairn Heights

Recent Books


Nancy Richards

Born in London and based in Cape Town, Nancy Richards is the much-loved presenter of SAfm Literature — the country’s premier radio show about books and all things literary. She also hosts the SAfm’s Enviro-Show, is the author of two books, and has served as Fairlady magazine’s living editor.

Pippa Green

Pippa Green has been the political editor at the SABC, acting editor of the Pretoria News, deputy editor and political editor at the Sunday Independent and associate deputy editor at the Financial Mail.

“Pippa Green is one of the few journalists who can present research with a dazzling scope as a coherent whole. Our best minister of finance recorded by one of our best journalists – it can only but pull readers through different eras and emotions!” – Antjie Krog

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa is a Ugandan-South African storyteller. She is a published poet, author of children’s books, an executive coach and facilitator. She has lived in various parts of East and Southern Africa, working in the fields of Education and Development. In 1993 she came to Cape Town and stayed.

Philippa says, “When a story gets my heart beating faster I know it has come to teach me.” She believes that stories – folktales or personal, fictional or true – come into our lives to heal us, reconnect us with our humanity, help us understand our past, create community, and to remind us of who we are and who we can be. Her first full-length book, Flame and Song: a memoir, was published by Modjadji Books in August 2016.

Philippa is a co-founder of The Story Club, Cape Town and a member of Woman Zone Cape Town.

Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos is an author and mother of triplets. She has had stories published in several anthologies and magazines. Her first two books, A Memoir Of Love And Madness and Bubbles were followed by TRIBE, published by Umuzi (Random House Penguin) in 2015.

Rahla is on the boards of SA-Yes, Short Story Africa and Generation Africa. She runs writing workshops to underprovided children and gives talks on mental health and empowerment. Rahla also runs regular creative writing workshops in The Barn, Stanford.

Sally Andrew

Sally Andrew lives in a mud-brick house on a nature reserve in the Klein Karoo, South Africa, with her partner, artist Bowen Boshier, and other wildlife (including a giant eland and a secretive leopard). She also spends time in the wilderness of southern Africa and the seaside suburb of Muizenberg. She has a Masters in Adult Education (University of Cape Town).

For some decades she was a social and environmental activist, then the manager of Bowen’s art business, before she settled down to write full-time. Her books are being published in at least fourteen languages, across five continents.

Sam Wilson

By day, Sam Wilson writes and directs cute animated shows like the series Munki and Trunk, which has been picked up for international distribution by Aardman Animation (Wallace and Gromit). By night, he writes thrillers. His first novel, Zodiac, is a crime story set in a version of America that is divided by astrological signs rather than race or religion. So far, Zodiac has been published in the USA and the UK and been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish.

Recent Books

Sandra Hill

Sandra Hill is a Stellenbosch based free-lance writer, editor and writing facilitator, working primarily with civil society organisations. Her début collection of short stories entitled UnSettled, was published by Modjaji Books in 2015 and won the SALA Nadine Gordimer Award for Short Stories in 2016.

In addition, she has prose published in The Ghost Eater and Other Stories (Umuzi) and her poetry has been published in New Contrast, Aerodrome, and volumes 3 and 4 of The Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Anthology (Jacana). She was awarded a MA (cum laude) in Creative Writing from the University of the Western Cape in 2013.

Sindiwe Magona

Sindiwe Magona

Magona: motivational speaker, author, poet, playwright, story-teller, and actor relocated to her home country, South Africa, after a successful career spanning more than two decades at UN Headquarters, New York, USA.

Magona, who holds a Masters Degree from Columbia University, has written over 200 children’s books; three stage plays; two books of short stories, including Living, Loving, and Lying Awake at Night cited as  (one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century); two books of autobiography; four novels; two books of  poetry, radio plays;  The stage play, Mother to Mother, based on the novel of the same title, premiered at the Baxter Theatre to much praise, and has been staged in Grahamstown and abroad.

Dr Magona is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of iKhamanga by the President of the Republic of South Africa on Freedom Day 2011.

She is Writer-in-Residence at the University of the Western Cape.

Recent Books

Tracey Farren

Tracey Farren is a full time writer and lives a stone’s throw from the Cape Point, Cape Town where she lives with her partner and a pack of dogs and children. She has a psychology honours degree from the University of Cape Town. Before writing fiction she worked as a freelance journalist, publishing in South African glossies and in newspapers like Mail and Guardian, Sunday Independent and Cape Times. She focused on issues of governance and social development, including child justice, prison conditions, domestic violence, land reform and Aids.

Her first novel, Whiplash (Modjaji Books) was inspired by the feisty street workers she met during her journalistic research. She was fascinated by the horror of their daily lives and the audacious courage that it takes to confront it. The character, ‘Tess’ was born of her deep curiosity and their indomitable spirit.Whiplash was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Award and won a White Ribbon award for its role in the battle against woman and child abuse. Tracey adapted the story to a screenplay and the feature film, Tess (Boondogle Films) has recently premiered in South Africa and India. So far it has it has picked up numerous awards at the Durban International Film Festival and the Silwerskerm Film Festival including best S.A. feature film. It has screened at the BRICS International Film Festival in New Delhi, the Brussels and Gothenburg International Film Festivals and will screen at the International Feature Film Competition for Women Directors in Dortmund in April. The Little Film Company (New York & London) has selected Tess for international distribution.

Tracey’s second novel, Snake (Modjaji Books) is a psychological thriller about a little farm girl who watches a charming stranger destroy her family.  She calls on her intimacy with the wild and her deep courage to try and stop him. The book received much critical acclaim in South Africa. Tracey has adapted it to a screenplay and intends to place it with a producer this year.

Tracey has just completed her third novel, The Rig (working title).  This is a work of speculative fiction about an inhumane medical project taking place on a defunct oil rig in the deep sea.  Malachi, a mute survivor of an African civil war must decide whether to risk his life for the victims or let them perish.

Xolisa Tshongolo

UXolisa kaTshongolo ngusozilwimi nosomathala eencwadi ngokoqeqesho lwemfundo enomsila. Usebenza njengentloko yezoguqulo-lwimi, uhlelo-lwimi notoliko-lwimi kuRhulumente weNtshona Koloni. Usebenzele iBhunga lezoPhando ngezoNyango (Medical Research Council – Western Cpe) njengomncedisi-somathala eencwadi; iziko-mfundo enomsila i-UWC ne-UCT (PRAESA) njengomhlohli nomphandi kwezobunzulu-lwazi ngeelwimi; iziko i-Association for Educational Transformation njengomququzeleli nomgcini-zinckukacha.

UXolisa ngumbhali wemibongo, amabali amafutshane, iinoveli noncwadi lwemveli. Ukuza kuthi ga ngoku singabala ezi ncwadi zilandelayo phantsi kwegama lakhe:

Iincwadi zake: (His Books)

  1. Zabeng’ iimbongi,
  2. Rhabul’ ungafinci,
  3. Amagqabantshintshi oncwadi lwemveli,
  4. Amabona ndenzile.

Ukwawenze indima ephambili kwezi ncwadi zendibanisela zilandelayo: Qhayiqhayi ngezamandulo, UNelson Rholihlahla Mandela, Ukhanyo (incwadi ekwinkqubo yokupapashwa ngokutsha phantsi kwesihloko esithi “Ilifa lethu”).

UXolisa ukwangumbhaleli wephepha-ndaba Isolezwe lesiXhosa nalapho abhala amanqaku ezobunzulu-lwazi ngesiXhosa. Ngumfundi ozingcayo weencwadi zesiXhosa nozikhathaza ngokugqithileyo ngolwimi lwakhe isiXhosa noluncwadi lwaso.

Uneencwadi azigqibezelayo ukuzibhala, ezibhala ngaxesha nye, ezizezi: Intak’ amathafa, amapucelele, ezakwabhaxa masele, kwakunye nengomlibo wakhe ethi Umlibo kaTshongolo.

U Njingalwazi Xolisa Tshongolo uzakube ethetha ngencwadi yakhe kwithala lenwedi lase-Masiphumelele