Celebrate International Literacy Day with a once-off Modjaji special!
8th September is International Literacy Day. We will be offering FREE SHIPPING within SA for all books bought from our website from 7th Sept to 17th Sept as a way of celebrating International Literacy Day.
We are grateful for books, for being able to read, and for the new worlds and people we are introduced to. You could also buy a book for us to donate to a reading/literacy project.
You’re invited: Using popular fiction to speak to big themes with Michelle Edwards and Fiona Snyckers
Fiona and Michelle will be in conversation with Colleen Higgs. They will discuss their books and the use of popular fiction to explore big themes and topics. Bring a glass of wine or the drink of your choice and join us for an invigorating and fun conversation!
This event is free to attend.
Date: Wednesday, 29 September
You’re invited: Publishing webinar with Colleen Higgs
Our next online Modjaji seminar, Everything you wanted to know about getting published in South Africa but didn’t know who to ask, will be offered by Colleen Higgs, publisher at Modjaji Books.
Date: Thursday, 21 October
Where: Online via Zoom – attend from anywhere in the world!
Cost: R300 or purchase any Modjaji title in the months of September or October. Send us POP or post a picture of the book to social media and tag us.
We’ll send you the Zoom link on the day.
Pay via Yoco: https://pay.yoco.com/modjaji-books
Some of the questions that we’ll discuss are:
- Will I become rich and famous?
- Why do I want to get published?
- Should I find a publisher for my manuscript?
- Should I rather self-publish?
- What are the pros and cons of each option?
- How do I find the right publisher?
- When do I know if my book is ready for publication?
- How do I find an agent?
- Do I need an agent?
Colleen Higgs is a writer and publisher. She started Modjaji Books in 2007 and before that she worked at the Centre for the Book where she did many things including mediate the world of publishing for new writers. She is the author of a number of books including A Rough Guide to Small Scale and Self Publishing, five editions of the African Small Publishers’ Catalogue and a pamphlet series about writing and publishing. Modjaji Books is an independent feminist press that has published over 150 titles in 14 years and has sold rights internationally for a number of its authors. Higgs has participated in the Frankfurt Book Fair since 2011 and has been involved in many other local and international book fairs and literary festivals. Modjaji Books is a member of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.
Her most recent book is a memoir, my mother, my madness published by deep south in 2020.
Lindiwe Nkuthu to feature in the Azania Book Club
Lindiwe Nkutha’s short stories, 69 Jerusalem Street will be featured at this special edition of the Azania Book Club on 18 September at 3pm.
It is open for anyone to join in. Puleng Hopper and Lindiwe Matshikiza will be leading the discussion.
The event will take place via Zoom and Facebook Live. For more info or the link, email email@example.com.
Available now: Dreaming in Colour by Uvile Ximba
The proof copies of Dreaming in Colour have arrived at Modjaji HQ and we couldn’t be more excited! Physical copies will be in bookstores and available from our website from this or early next week.
In her debut novel, Dreaming in Colour, Uvile Ximba explores with subtlety, humour and probing insight the connections between the joyful reclaiming of pleasure and the healing of buried traumas.
As students at university in Makhanda during the #RUReferenceList campaign, Langa and her lover Khwezi have a passionate and complex relationship. Puzzling gaps in her memory haunt Langa, yet her dreams are vivid with colours and symbols that hint at a nightmare of forgotten violations and losses. So many secrets — and Langa has had enough of secrets and silences. Who can she turn to? Her mother? Her grandmother? Khwezi? Or herself?
Dreaming In Colour is Langa’s story of coming out to herself, of discerning the history behind the closed door of conscious memory. Order on our website.
Thanks to the NIHSS for funding the publication of this title.
Available now: The 2021 African Small Publishers Catalogue in ebook and print
The big news: The 2021 African Small Publishers Catalogue is out now!
The ebook edition is available now for only ZAR 75.00. Pay with Yoco and receive your copy via email. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order.
Or, order the physical copy on the Modjaji website, find it in all good South African bookstores, and internationally via Africa Books Collective for R120.00.
In bookstores this September: The Girl Who Chased Otters and Creative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-One Years of The Mothertongue Project
Two of our latest titles will be available in bookstores from this month. In the meantime, you can pre-order via our website.
Sally Partridge’s latest YA novel, The Girl who Chased Otters, is a sensitive tale of friendship, love and acceptance set in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.
To celebrate Mothertongue’s 21st anniversary, Collaborative Conversations, edited by Sara Matchett and Alex Halligey, weaves together the reflections of a group of artists, scholars and writers who have journeyed with the organisation over the last two decades.
New Hands-On Title: Rio Abajo Rio by Barbara Grenfell Fairhead
Barbara Grenfell Fairhead and Hands-On Books are proud to present Rio Abajo Rio.
In this book, Barbara has successfully captured quicksilver – the inchoate, the unintelligible, the mystery of the landscape of the primordial mind. It is an extraordinary achievement. The only other book that came to mind while reading it is the award-winning book, Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban. Her book takes us even deeper into the early landscape of language and the earliest human earth.
Barbara Grenfell Fairhead was born in the United Kingdom in 1939 and has lived most of her life in South Africa. After her first visit to New Mexico in the early 1990s it became her second home. She made many extended visits over a period of twenty years, staying in her casita close to Black Mesa. She is an artist, writer, poet and lyricist, and lives in Cape Town with her husband, singer-songwriter, poet and editor Jacques Coetzee. Her previous novels, Of Death and Beauty and Whereof One Cannot Speak, were also published by Sunstone Press.
Rio Abajo Rio will be available in print and as an ebook.
The Frankfurt Book Fair provides support for African publishers through their online rights platform
Don’t miss out on previous Modjaji webinars
A highlight of 2021 for us has been presenting the Modjaji webinars in collaboration with an incredible itinerary of women so far.
In June, the phenomenal editor and writer Helen Moffet presented “Behind the scenes in the world of publishing“. Award-winning and prolific writer Fiona Snyckers, author of The School Gates (Modjaji, 2021) and Lacuna (Pan Macmillan, 2019) followed in July with a webinar on how to write a page-turning novel.
In August, Aoife Lennon-Ritchie presented a talk on the do’s and don’ts of approaching a literary agent. And on 1 September, Karen Jennings, author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted novel An Island, was in conversation with friend and colleague Colleen Higgs of Modjaji Books. She worked for Modjaji as an intern in 2011, and continued to edit for us till early this year.
If you missed any of the Modjaji seminars, email us to purchase lifetime access to any seminar of your choice for R300 each. Unfortunately, the Karen Jennings webinar was an exclusive event and there is no recording available.
Keeping up with Modjaji authors
Congratulations to Futhi Ntshingila, author of Do Not Go Gentle (Modjaji Books, 2014), who has a new book out, They Got To You Too with Pan MacMillan.
Do Not Go Gentle has been translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil and Mozambique. It was published in the US by Catalyst Press as We Kiss Them With Rain.
And congratulations to Yewande Omotoso, author of Bom Boy (Modjaji Books, 2011) and The Woman Next Door (PanMacmillan, 2016), whose new novel, An Unusual Grief, is forthcoming from Cassava Republic Press.
Lastly, we raise a glass to CA Davids, who has a new novel, How to Be a Revolutionary, coming out in 2022 with verso Books in the US and UK and Penguin Random House in SA. Modjaji published her first book, The Blacks of Cape Town, in 2013.
Fiona Snyckers’ latest novel, The School Gates, successfully launched!
Many thanks to Exclusive Books Melrose for hosting the in-person, covid-compliant launch of Fiona Snyckers’ The School Gates. Fiona was in conversation with the brilliant Kate Sidley.
Fun, fast-paced and hilarious, this novel by an award-winning author skewers the world of private-school privilege.
The NIHSS pays tribute to several Modjaji writers
For Women’s Month this year, the NIHSS spotlighted 10 female authors who all have published books supported by the NIHSS, including Olivia Coetzee (Innie Shadows), Shanice Ndlovu (The Pride of Noonlay), and Lindiwe Nkutha (69 Jerusalem Street) on their social media accounts. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter!