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The 2016 Knysna Literary Festival gets underway today with three exciting events: Qhawe Children’s Theatre; the Young Writer’s Awards Ceremony; and Look ‘n Cook with Pete Goffe-Wood at Kilzers Kitchen.

Pete Goffe-Wood, celebrity chef, MasterChef SA judge and author of A Life Digested, said that he is “hugely excited about being in Knysna and delighted that the response to my demo has been so fantastic – I believe the tickets sold out in 45 minutes! I’m looking forward to giving the Knysna locals some insight into my book and cooking style.”

Most of the festival events are sold out, including a panel discussion with some of South Africa’s top editors and journalists, Criminalising Investigative Journalism. The discussion will be hosted by local author Ivor Vegter (Extreme Environment), who says, "This discussion is timely, as press freedom is under siege from multiple quarters, both social and legal."

Multi-award winning investigative journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, author of Nothing Left To Steal, who will be part of this discussion, said that he is looking forward to the Festival “where some of the doyens of literature and young writing pioneers will exchange knowledge and ideas to empower one another and take the writing profession to another level. We must find ways and means to encourage and reinforce the culture of reading because knowledge is power."

Gareth Crocker, who will be talking about his book, The Last Road Trip, at another sold out event, Delicious Word Journey, said he was delighted to be coming to Knysna. “I can think of no better place for a book festival. Mighty sentinels guarding a lagoon of coelacanths and seahorses, forests thick with the ghosts of elephants and a town so swathed in charm that one might expect to pass Jessica Fletcher on her bike as she ponders her latest mystery. And, if that isn’t enough, I’m staying on a bloody island! Can’t wait.”

Founder of the festival Ling Dobson, said that if ticket sales were anything to go by, the Festival is going to be “fantastic”.

“Tickets for a number of events sold out on the day bookings opened,” said Dobson. “I have no doubt that this is because of the incredible line-up of authors and speakers that we have managed to put together this year. We are really indebted to our sponsors for helping us grow the festival and attract such great speakers, especially our new associate sponsor Sasfin, who came on board this year, and supporting sponsor BASA (Business and Arts South Africa).

Dobson said that all but two events are sold out. “There are still tickets available for Emma Sadleir’s talk, “Exploring Social Media Risks” on Friday, 18 March, and Rob Caskie’s presentation, “Race to the Pole” on Sunday, 20 March.

Tickets for these events are available online through Webtickets and from the Pam Golding offices in Gray Street, Knysna.

The Knysna Literary Festival also launched its annual book drive which this year will help Knysna Primary School to fill the shelves of its new library, and bring some joy to the children of Dorothy Broster Children’s Home in Knysna.

“There will be a collection box at every single event where guests can place their book donations,” explained Dobson. “We are looking for new or second hand books for children up to the age of 18.”

If you are not attending the festival, you can still participate in the book drive as there are collection boxes in the Pam Golding offices in Plett and Knysna, which will be there until 21 March.

For more information about the Knysna Literary Festival call 044 382 5574, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.



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