Notes from my Open Book Short Story Workshop

I hosted a workshop on short story writing at this year’s Open Book Festival. Some of the greatest writers in the world are known for their short stories – Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nadine Gordimer – and South Africa is home to some of the best.

I love short stories, writing and reading them, and wanted to share some tips for aspiring writers.

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Open Book Festival: RSVP for my Short Story Workshop

The Open Book Festival takes place from 6-10 September at the beautiful Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.

I’ll be hosting a free workshop on short story writing at this year’s festival which is open to anyone, whether you’re a beginner, experienced writer or simply love short stories and want to know more about the craft.
I’ll be giving a brief introduction to short story writing, offering tips and advice, reading excerpts from some of the country’s top storytellers, and inviting attendees to take part in writing exercises designed to sharpen their skills.
I’ve run two previous workshops for the festival, one on Writing for Young Adults with Cat Hellisen and Sarah Lotz and another on Worldbuilding with Cat and Zimkhitha Mlanzeli.

This year I have another special guest lined up.

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Harry Potter and the midnight launch

As an adult you have to accept that certain things are inevitable and you just have to get on with it. And one of those things is queuing. You queue when you do your taxes. You queue when you renew your vehicle license or your passport. Queues can’t be avoided.

There are some cool things that also involve queuing, like the waiting lines at Disneyland rides, the queues at ComicCon (and in our case, FanCon) and the midnight queues for new Harry Potter books.
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A shout out to two of my favourite schools

One of my favourite things in the world is visiting schools and meeting my readers.

There’s something about standing on a stage in front of a 100 students and seeing the absolute looks of glee when I tell them what my books are about. Followed by the absolute looks of horror on the faces of the faculty when I donate all my books to the library.
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Open Book Festival: Surviving the zombie apocalypse with Mike Carey

23 September 2014

I always look forward to September, when literary giants descend on Cape Town for the Open Book Festival.

I was excited to chat to The Girl With All the Gifts author Mike Carey for Open Book’s first-ever zombie dress up event. I arrived dressed as Dr Caldwell, a character from the novel, while Mike turned heads in his zombie make-up.

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