Cover reveal: US edition of ‘Conjectures’ by James Leatt

Catrina Wessels Rights Management | Regtebestuur

It is a pleasure to share the cover of the US edition of Conjectures by James Leatt, which has been released by Wipf & Stock Publishers, a publishing house based in Eugene, Oregon, publishing works in theology, biblical studies, history and philosophy.

Conjectures was originally published by Karavan Press in 2021. Click here for more information.


Title: Conjectures

Subtitle: Living with questions

Author: James Leatt

ISBN: 978-0-620935-87-6

Date Released: August 2021

Publisher: Karavan Press

Extent: 221 pp

World rights (excl South Africa and US) available.

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Be part of the first Karavan Stories anthology! We will meet for a writing workshop at the end of April and together analyse what makes a good short story, read examples, go through a few writing exercises, begin exploring ideas for new stories and in the following months write, edit and compile an anthology of stories which will be published by Karavan Press.

Photo: Etienne Swanepoel | Unsplash

WORKSHOP DATE: Saturday, 22 April 2023, 9:00 – 15:00

VENUE: 6 Banksia Road, Rosebank, 7700 Cape Town


FEE: R3 900

To book your spot, contact: Karina @ Karavan Press

Includes: workshop, catering during the day of the workshop, guidance and feedback, editing, proofreading, 5 copies of the anthology and the option to submit your next manuscript to Karavan Press.

If you cannot afford the fee but would like to participate, please get in touch. Two places will be available to writers who require financial assistance.

Maximum number of participants: 12.

Participants not based in Cape Town can join via Skype (maximum two).


Karina M. Szczurek is the author and (co)editor of a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently a memoir, The Fifth Mrs Brink, a collection of letters, You Make Me Possible: The Love Letters of Karina M. Szczurek and André Brink, and an anthology, Disruption: New Short Fiction from Africa. She won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012 and received the Thomas Pringle Award for a portfolio of ad hoc reviews from the English Academy of Southern Africa in 2018. She is a board member of Short Story Day Africa. In 2019, she founded Karavan Press, an independent publishing house, and a year later, established the Philida Literary Award.

Karavan Press: 2022 in review

We are still here!

The year 2022 is coming to an end and, despite all the challenges we’ve faced, we have not only survived, but thrived. I can now confidently say that Karavan Press has a future.

The above mentioned challenges resulted in ‘only’ four books being published this year, but every single one of them has been a publisher’s dream. Thank you, Joy, Lester, Melissa and Stephen – it has been amazing to work with you on these special books. This brings us up to TWENTY published books since we began with Melissa A. Volker’s Shadow Flicker mid-2019.

We were also meant to publish Sipho Banda’s debut poetry collection in English, A Crowded Lonely Walk, but we ran out of time in 2022, so it will be the first title to go to print in 2023. Poetry lovers have a wonderful literary treat to look forward to in the new year.

In 2022, Karavan Press authors and books have been recognised with the following:

Let It Fall Where It Will by Lester Walbrugh was shortlisted for the HSS Awards in the Best Fiction Short Stories category while the Best Fiction Edited Volume category was won by Hauntings (edited by Niq Mhlongo and published by Jacana) – the anthology included short stories by Lester Walbrugh and Joanne Hichens.

An Island by Karen Jennings, A Hibiscus Coast by Nick Mulgrew, The Skipper’s Daughter by Nancy Richards and Boiling a Frog Slowly by Cathy Park Kelly were longlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Awards, with An Island making the shortlist in the Fiction category.

A Hibiscus Coast by Nick Mulgrew won the 2022 K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award. This is the second year in a row that a Karavan Press author was recognised with this award.

Thanks to Catrina Wessels, Wipf & Stock acquired the US rights to Conjectures by James Leatt, originally published by Karavan Press in 2021.

Dr Sindiwe Magona received her PhD in Creative Writing from UWC.

The Other Me by Joy Watson featured at number four on the 2022 top twenty bestselling books at The Book Lounge.

Congratulations to All!

The Karavan Press literary family is growing in other ways. This year, together with Protea Distribution, Karavan Press became local distribution partners for Gagman by Joanne and Dov Fedler and August House is Dead, Long Live August House! and Panya Routes by Kim Gurney.

In September, Catrina and I attended the Gothenburg Book Fair, where we met and exchanged ideas with publishers from around the world. I hope to explore and strengthen these connections in 2023.

None of this would have been possible without the dedication and kindness of the people I work with: the authors, book designers, printers, distributors, agents, other publishers, booksellers and, of course, readers! Thank you, All!

A special thank you to my Loved Ones (furry and otherwise) who have kept me and Karavan going when the path ahead looked dire. We are still here thanks to you!

Salon Hecate launched at Noordhoek Art Point

SALON HECATE was launched Noordhoek Art Point last night. Art lovers from across the peninsula gathered to celebrate the new space which will welcome readings, book signings and discussions throughout 2023 and beyond.

Thank you to the gallery and Helen Moffett for welcoming writers into this exciting place of co-existence between the visual arts and literature.

Melissa A. Volker and Stephen Symons, among others, read from their works and I read from one of the stories included in Let It Fall Where It Will by Lester Walbrugh because Lester was baking Grabouw Bread between insane bouts of loadshedding and could not make it to the launch (it was an honour to step into his literary shoes for a few minutes).

Scenes from the second Karavan Press Literary Festival

The inaugural Karavan Press Literary Festival last year was a prayer. We were still in lockdown, still scared, and in-person literary events were scarce, but the longing for them after all the loss and depravation was overwhelming, and so the idea for a small, socially distanced, as safe as possible (under the circumstances) festival was born. Together, we made it happen, and it was a resounding success.

Much has changed since last year, but the longing has remained, and it seems that the Karavan Press Literary Festival is here to stay. The 2022 edition was another day of literary joy, and I want to thank everyone who made it happen!

EVENT 1 10:30-11:30  LOVE STORY

Love is in the air: Sally Partridge and Melissa A. Volker speak to Karina M. Szczurek about writing romance and love (feline guest appearance: Antonia Salieri)

EVENT 2 12:00-13:00  SHORT STORY

Rachel Zadok, founder of SHORT STORY DAY AFRICA, Joanne Hichens, founder of SHORT.SHARP.STORIES, and Lester Walbrugh, talk to Helen Moffett about the projects that define and nurture the short fiction landscape in South Africa and beyond

LUNCH   13:00-14:00  WOMEN OF SOIL

Lunch hour inspired by stories and recipes from Women of Soil: Changing Lives, snacks and drinks were served

EVENT 3 14:00-15:00  MEMOIR

Tracy Going, Erika Bornman, Joanne Hichens and Leslie Swartz discuss the memoir’s potential to change lives


Joy Watson and Mary Watson (via Skype) in conversation


Penny Haw, Helen Moffett and Justin Fox talk to Gail Gilbride about the histories that shaped their latest novels


Melissa Sussens, Kerry Hammerton, Stephen Symons and Justin Fox read from their collections

In the audience:

Apart from the gigantic gift of this day of shared literary wonder, I received three physical gifts: smiling sunflowers from Brenda, a lovely Christmas parcel from Sally and an inspiring book from Christy. Thank you, Everyone!

The day ended with a rabbit rescue mission that felt like something out of Alice in Wonderland – thank you, Joanne, for not abandoning my neighbours’ beautiful Sparkles (The Escape Artist) to her uncertain fate. We not only managed to catch her, but made sure that she returned safely home the next day.

The Karavan Press Team at the end of the day (after the successful rabbit rescue)!

Thank you to everyone who participated, attended, shared stories and food and wine, and bought and swapped books, and in general made us believe in miracles again!

See you next year! 🙂