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2024 Programme

 

Please note that this programme is subject to change without prior notice.

All sessions R100, unless otherwise specified.

1
17 May, 2024

Will SA voters change the political landscape in this year’s election? Is this the beginning of the end for the ANC and what will a coalition nation look like? News24 duo Adriaan Basson and Qaanitah Hunter (co-authors of Who Will Rule South Africa?) throw the bones with former DA leader Tony Leon and political analyst Oscar van Heerden (Is the Party Over?)

Tickets at R500 (including a buffet breakfast) 

2
17 May, 2024

Join bestselling publisher and author Melinda Ferguson for a 2-hour live workshop on writing a memoir. Identify what makes your story distinctive and get tips on how to improve your personal writing. Also obtain invaluable insights into the publishing scene in SA. Bring a notebook and a pen. Space is limited. 

Tickets at R250

3
17 May, 2024

Join self-publishing expert and author Vanessa Wilson (Publish Like A Pro) for detailed knowledge on how to self-publish your book. Learn about the processes involved, how to find the right publishing partner if you want help, and what you can expect when going this route. Handouts will be provided, but bring a pen and notebook for your own notes. 

Tickets at R250

4
17 May, 2024

Having your novel adapted for film or TV sounds like heaven but it can be hell if you don’t retain control. Irish romance sensation Cecelia Ahern (PS, I Love You) and SA crime pioneer Angela Makholwa – whose Red Ink is out on Showmax – swap notes on the art of crafting your own screen adaptation. Literary agent Aoife Lennon-Ritchie throws the curveballs. 

Sponsored by News24

5
17 May, 2024

As the law creaks, cartels mutate and vigilantism flares, now is the moment for a new vision in the fight against organised crime. UCT criminologist Irvin Kinnes looks for answers with Caryn Dolley (Clash of the Cartels), Karl Kemp (Why We Kill: Mob Justice and the New Vigilantism in South Africa) and Mark Shaw (Breaking the Bombers) of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. 

6
17 May, 2024

When the world is falling apart, a novel can help. John Maytham digs into the empathetic and cathartic power of fiction with Andrew Brown, whose new thriller, The Bitterness of Olives, is set against the backdrop of the Israel–Palestine crisis; and with Ian Sutherland, whose new historical novel Catastrophe deals with the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986. 

7
17 May, 2024

Tony Leon is in conversation with acclaimed Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov (Diary of an Invasion) about the way ahead for his embattled nation. As military momentum and Western solidarity with Ukraine weaken, how will Zelenskyy and his people defeat Putin? What will victory look like – and is military victory the only acceptable outcome?

8
17 May, 2024

True Crime SA podcaster Nicole Engelbrecht talks to renowned forensic pathologist Hestelle van Staden about Blood Has A Voice: Tales from the Autopsy Table; and about the dark and detailed stories a cadaver can tell.

9
17 May, 2024

“Out of Africa, always something new”, the ancient Greeks observed – and that is still the case. Oscar van Heerden looks north with anthropologist Jade Gibson and Adekeye Adebajo about the fast-moving map of African innovation and his book Global Africa: Profiles in Courage, Creativity, and Cruelty.  

10
17 May, 2024

Kim Ballantine tells Michele Magwood about her moving and funny memoir of trauma and recovery, Hot Tea and Apricots. After surviving cancer and the loss of her voice, Ballantine is now a business and life coach, and co-founder of the Mental Wellness Initiative. 

 

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

11
17 May, 2024

Forget the next decade – next week is looking weird. Chris Gibbons taps the brains of three fiery futurologists: AI fundi Arthur Goldstuck (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AI), crypto whizz Steven Boykey Sidley (It’s Mine: How the Crypto Economy Is Redefining Ownership), and economist and strategist Bronwyn Williams (The Future Starts Now).

Sponsored by News24

12
17 May, 2024

With the judiciary under populist attack, the Constitution and its place in the public imagination have never proved more pivotal to SA’s democratic health. What can be done to safeguard its crucial role? Facilitator Geoff Budlender SC hears testimony from former Public Protector and Director of SU’s Centre for Social Justice, Thuli Madonsela; Dan Mafora (Capture in the Court); and Mark Gevisser (The Revolution Will Not Be Litigated).

13
17 May, 2024

How are contemporary queer novelists dramatising family, childhood and parenthood? The three books by the panellists feature queer male protagonists who are fathers or sons, or both. Koketso Sachane connects the dots with S.J. Naudé (Of Fathers and Fugitives), Wisani Mushwana (A Soft Landing) and Alistair Mackay (The Child).

14
17 May, 2024

Blockbusting crime queen Lynda La Plante talks to Margie Orford (Love and Fury) about her life and work – and her massive influence on today’s golden age of crime storytelling. She will take us from Prime Suspect to Jane Tennison and  DC Jack Warr; to the books that shaped her world; and to a sneak peek into her upcoming memoir.

15
17 May, 2024

In his latest book, The Near North, Ivan Vladislavić recounts his travels on foot through Jo’burg during various stages of lockdown. En route, Ivan encountered the ghosts of Joburg’s foundational ethic of plunder and striving, but also the defiant beauty of a living city. Ingrid de Kok joins him on an imaginative tour.

16
17 May, 2024

Can art really shift our social reality – and if so, how? Wamuwi Mbao asks novelist Barry Gilder (At Fire Hour), who is also a songwriter and a former MK soldier and spy, and novelist–scholar Barbara Boswell (The Comrade’s Wife) about their faith in transformative creativity and cultural activism. Also, how do their recent novels trace the ravages of the struggle on intimate relationships?

17
17 May, 2024

Addiction recovery expert Nikki Munitz tells Melinda Ferguson about her rivetingly twisty memoir, Fraud: How Prison Set Me Free. This tale takes us from a normal Jo’burg Jewish childhood to heroin addiction, through a Northern Cape rehab hellhole, a doomed marriage, a deceptive recovery and a descent into white-collar crime – and finally via the (redemptive) experience of life behind bars.

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

18
17 May, 2024

Natasha Sutherland’s inventive documentary begins by observing the making of a stage adaptation of Tracy Going’s book Brutal Legacy, in which she reveals her past experience of abusive relationships. It then documents the frank conversations that follow between members of the audience. A powerful social dialogue about men, women and violence.

19
17 May, 2024

Grasp the basics of building a novel – plotting, characterisation and driving story – with writing coach and agent Sarah Bullen. Together, you’ll be unpacking the key conventions writers must grasp in order to construct a strong story in various genres (thriller, crime novel, new adult, young adult, romance). 

Tickets at R250

20
17 May, 2024

Learn the fundamentals of writing successfully and accessibly for children – especially in the picture-book format – with Thabiso Mahlape, publishing specialist at Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign. Nal’ibali is isiXhosa for “here’s the story”.

Tickets at R250

21
17 May, 2024

Pieter-Dirk Uys tells John Maytham about his incredible life in satire; and about the newly collected texts of all his one-man shows, now free online at http://pdu.co.za/OneManShows.html  Are we using our freedom of speech to the fullest? Are we forgetting how far we’ve come since peak PW? And who will Tannie Evita vote for this year?  

Sponsored by News24

22
17 May, 2024

Why is SA’s dream of inclusive growth still just a dream? Why has state capacity failed to reboot after the state-capture era? What new ideas would change the game? News24’s Pieter du Toit gets real with Greg Mills (Rich State, Poor State) and Faeeza Ballim (Eskom: Power, Politics and the (Post)Apartheid State)

23
17 May, 2024

Will shrinking populations imperil humanity? Or is the real threat our lust for growth? In the blue corner, Shamil Ismail (The Age of Decay) profiles a dangerous low-fertility crisis. In the red corner, Julian Cobbing (Growth, Growth, Growth) warns of planetary catastrophe resulting from unchecked growth. Also in the ring is Adam Welz (The End of Eden), who regards economists’ and environmentalists’ mutual incomprehension as a crisis in itself. Chris Gibbons is the ref.

24
17 May, 2024

Romance novelists Bolu Babalola (Honey & Spice), Jo Watson (Love at First Flight) and Zibu Sithole (The Thing With Zola) share their trade secrets with Mbali Sikakana. What is really happening in the love lives (and fantasies) of the BookTok generation? And why is comedy so essential to a hot romance? 

25
17 May, 2024

What makes a natural-born killer? True-crime podcaster Nicole Engelbrecht sorts the narcissists from the psychopaths with Sam Human (The Most Evil of Them All: When Narcissism Turns Deadly), Naledi Shange (Killer Cop: The Rosemary Ndlovu Story) and Angela Makholwa (The Reed Dance Stalker).  

26
17 May, 2024

In an age of attention deficits, short fiction is in demand. Diane Awerbuck (Inside Your Body There Are Flowers) discusses the nuts and bolts of the form with three writers: Troy Onyango (For What Are Butterflies Without Their Wings), Frankie Murrey (Everyone Dies) and Dawn Garisch (What Remains).    

27
17 May, 2024

Crime writer Margie Orford in conversation with Joy Watson about her memoir, Love and Fury, which unflinchingly recounts the traumatic experiences that have formed her writing, her activism and her intimate life. A journey into the power of storytelling as a weapon against violence.  

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

28
17 May, 2024

Blockbusting children’s author and comedian David Walliams shares his mad and magical life story with Danielle Weakley. How does he manage to think (and laugh) like a kid? Why is he obsessed with 007? What are his funniest memories of writing for children, Little Britain and other British brouhahas?  

Sponsored by News24

29
17 May, 2024

Pip Williams tells Pippa Hudson about her new book, The Bookbinder of Jericho, which recreates the tumultuous lives of the women who took over Oxford University Press during World War I. Like the Australian author’s acclaimed debut, The Dictionary of Lost Words, this is another absorbing feminist adventure in literary history. 

30
17 May, 2024

Michele Magwood hosts three ghost-friendly writers: Shubnum Khan (The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil), Morabo Morojele (Three Egg Dilemma) and Craig Higginson (The Ghost of Sam Webster). These are very different novels, but all three yield uncanny returns…

31
17 May, 2024

Many African and Black diaspora novels deal with a crisis of distance – be it from a motherland, a culture or a family; or from acceptance and peace. Ashanti Kunene explores the ties that bind or burden with Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu (Lucky Girl), Candice Carty-Williams (People Person) and Kobby Ben Ben (No One Dies Yet).

32
17 May, 2024

Anti-GBV awareness campaigns are not stopping the war waged on women by violent men. What will? How will the codes of  South African masculinity be rewritten? Tracy Going speaks to Kopano Ratele (Why Men Hurt Women), Andy Kawa (Kwanele, Enough!) and Joy Watson (Striving for Social Equity).  

33
17 May, 2024

This is your chance to find answers to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about manuscripts, pitches and publishers. Four influential insiders will be spilling the beans: Katie Espiner (CEO of Hodder & Stoughton and the Orion Group), Mbali Sikakana (senior editor at NB Publishers), Aoife Lennon-Ritchie (MD of The Lennon-Ritchie Literary Agency) and Louise Grantham (CEO of Bookstorm).

34
17 May, 2024

Tessa Dooms talks to Cato Pedder, great-granddaughter of Jan Smuts, about Moederland: Nine Daughters of South Africa – a history told in portraits that feature some of her direct forebears. Does exploring one’s ancestry always bring insight and resolution? Or could it raise more questions than it answers? 

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

35
17 May, 2024

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has been building a house in Greece for the past three years, on the empty hillside in the Peloponnese where Theseus once played as a child. With a varied cast of characters that includes Homer, Ernest Shackleton, Mary Renault and his sworn local enemy in the village, Kiriakos, the writer juggles the meanings of travel, home, place and belonging…

Tickets at R150

36
17 May, 2024

Well-known duo Lynelle Kenned (Soprano) and Stefan Lombard (Piano) introduce old and new art song favourites in German, French and Afrikaans. The programme, commenting, and reflecting on love, loss, laughter and life, is beautifully brought together with poetic translations read by Jazzara Jaslyn.

 Join us for this spectacular evening of music to help raise funds for our outreach initiative, Franschhoek Reading, which supports four schools in the Valley.

Tickets at R300

Sponsored by News24

Only FLF 2024 Patrons can view

Members and public can view from 8 March 2024

How to buy tickets

The full FLF 2024 programme with session blurbs are now available on Webtickets.

  1. Browse programme and identify your sessions.
  2. Simply click on the “Book Now” button to be directed to Webtickets.
  3. You can then add the amount of tickets you want for your preferred sessions and it will be added to your cart.
  4. When you’re ready, click “Proceed To Checkout” and complete your purchase.