You’re invited: Successful author, Fiona Snyckers, on how to write a page-turning novel
We had planned to launch The School Gates at Exclusive Books, Melrose Arch on July 1st but due to covid, we have decided to have a Zoom event instead.
Have you ever wondered how writers do what they do? How they write novels that keep you interested and turning page after page into the early hours of the morning?
Join us on Wednesday 21st July at 6pm (SAST) for a seminar with one of our best known, most successful authors, Fiona Snyckers, she is going to let us in on some of her writing secrets.
If you would like to join our Zoom event, email us to reserve a place.
The admission is sending us a selfie with a copy of The School Gates, Fiona’s new book. You can buy it from our website or from any good bookstore in SA. Send us proof of purchase or a selfie of you holding the book. Or you could pay R300 to join if this is simpler for you. Click here.
We will send you the Zoom link on the day of the seminar.
Here are some of the things she will talk about:
*Good, evil, or merely complex, readers need to care about your characters. How do you do this?
*Using mini cliffhangers to generate tension and pace. Not every scene needs to be neatly wrapped up. Leave some tensions unresolved.
*Yell ‘fire’ in a crowded cinema. Many writers struggle with a sagging middle.
*Cut, cut, cut. The self-editing process should be used to trim the fat so that all that is left is lean, fast-moving prose. What to leave in and what to cut out?
New releases and forthcoming titles
Women out of Water by Sally Cranswick
Women out of Water by Sally Cranswick is a collection of ten mesmerising short stories. Jen Thorpe says of the collection: ‘Cranswick pulls aside the covers to let us in on the lives and inner lives of women thrown out of their comfort zone. With chilling clarity and a haunting lyricism, Cranswick slows down time, zooms in close, and refuses to look away.’ Get the book here.
between the apple and the bite by Sue Woodward
between the apple and the bite by Sue Woodward is a beautiful collection of poetry that explores women’s responses to the constraints and consequences of choices they have made. Their responses have not changed much through the millennia of myth, history and into contemporary times. The poet reflects on significant moments in the lives of women such as Helen of Troy, Delilah and Joan of Arc, and the predicaments they are faced with in a man’s world. Get the collection here.
Creative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-one years of the Mothertongue Project edited by Sara Matchett and Alex Halligey
Creative Conversations is a celebration of 21 years of the Mothertongue Project. It weaves together the reflections of a group of artists, scholars and writers who have journeyed with the organisation over the last two decades.
Since its inception in 2000 with What the Water Gave Me, the Mothertongue Project has used participatory, integrated arts methods to create theatrical works that strive for personal and collective dialogue and healing in South Africa.
In poetry, scholarly writing and transcribed oral conversations, the contributors now think and feel their way through the aspirations and achievements – and the alchemy – of the Mothertongue Project’s work. Accompanied by photographs of performances from across the 21 years, this book provides a sense of what a Mothertongue theatre piece does: it draws audience and performers into transformative, embodied conversations.
The Girl who Chased Otters by Sally Partridge
The Girl who Chased Otters is a heartwarming, young adult/new adult, upcoming novel by Sally Partridge. It is a sensitive tale of friendship, young love and acceptance set in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.
A keen observer of human behaviour, Nathan has never cared about fitting in, but when Olivia asks for his help becoming popular, he can’t refuse. But as she is swept into a world of gossip and bullying, they must both question what they really want. A story about friendship and falling in love.
Content Warning: rape, self-harm/suicide attempt.
Stem of the Moon by Thandi Sliepen
Modjaji is proud to be publishing the much-anticipated sequel to Thandi Sliepen’s first poetry collection, The Turtle Dove Told Me, which won a SALA Award in 2014. Stem of the Moon is the second volume in a trilogy by Thandi Sliepen that spans the years 1990-2010.
In this collection, Sliepen paints impressions of a small town, Clarens, in the Free State, as well as glimpses of life in the Netherlands and Bali. The reader shares the intimate experience of the birth of her first child and the poems take us on a profound journey.
Sliepen’s latest collection is a love song to a child, a lover, a mother, and the quiet strength of the moon that connects us all.
The 2021 African Small Publishers Catalogue
The 2021 edition of The African Small Publishers’ Catalogue is coming soon! The ASPC is a reference book and a catalogue. It lists over 60 small and independent publishers from all over Africa.
There are useful resources for writers and publishers. The back of the catalogue contains articles and short essays about the publishing scene in Africa.
There are also items and innovations that are of interest to writers, booksellers, publishers, librarians, teachers, and everyone else who is interested in the world of African publishing, writing, and book development.
If you are interested in checking out the previous edition or finding out more, click here.
Launch of Cosmonauts do it in Heaven by Keith Gottschalk
We also had to cancel Keith Gottschalk’s launch of Cosmonauts do it in Heaven due to ESKOM announcing load shedding suddenly on the day.
We are going to have a pre-recorded interview and reading with Keith and Arja Salafranca instead. You can email email@example.com if you would like to watch.
A big thank you to the talented Helen Moffett (Plus: How you can still listen to her publishing seminar)
And another big thank you to everyone who attended! The event was a huge success. There was a great atmosphere and many interesting questions were asked and answered.
The best part is that the seminar is still available for you to watch or listen to! It costs R300 or you can send us proof of purchase of a Modjaji title purchased in June or July.
Hands-On Books is still open for custom publishing opportunities
Modjaji authors in and around the web
Last month was Pride month and Words Without Borders celebrated with a Queer issue. They included an excerpt of Olivia M Coetzee’s novel, Innie Shadows, which was first published in Kaaps by Modjaji Books. Olivia did the translation into English herself. Read the excerpt here.
Modjaji pays tribute to Hugh Hodge
Cape Town poet, Hugh Hodge, died on Thursday, 17 June 2021. We honour him for his love and generosity towards poets and poetry. And at least two Modjaji poets, Malika Ndlovu and Khadija Heeger had their books published as a direct result of his Off the Wall poetry evenings in Observatory. Karin Schimke, a Modjaji poet, wrote a touching article in The Daily Maverick about him. Read it here.