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
EVENT 4 15:30-16:30 WRITING SISTERS
Joy Watson and Mary Watson (via Skype) in conversation
EVENT 5 17:00-18:00 HISTORICAL NOVEL
Penny Haw, Helen Moffett and Justin Fox talk to Gail Gilbride about the histories that shaped their latest novels
EVENT 6 18:15-19:15 POETRY EVENING
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! 🙂