Friday, 31 July 2015

Africa's largest book fair hits Jozi

So, it's been exactly two months since I last updated my blog. Unfortunately my job at Caxton didn't work out, and I finished off my last day with them on Tuesday this week.

I just couldn't hack it. Although I loved the actual work, I've realised I'm first and foremost a features writer, and I really battled to meet our website deadlines. Churning out three full stories a day by 3pm almost killed me, I won't lie. Attending functions and events in the evenings and over weekends was also a serious juggling act. Not to mention physically exhausting. I could feel I was rapidly headed for burnout.

I reckon 10 or 15 years ago, I would've rocked it. But having a four-and-a-half-year-old and family responsibilities now just made it incredibly difficult. It was nice earning a monthly salary again, but I need the flexibility of freelancing at this stage in my life. I learnt so much, and will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to try my hand at hard news journalism. I hate living with 'what ifs', and at least I know I gave it my best shot. No regrets.

Today I attended the opening day of the South African Book Fair at Turbine Hall in Newtown, and had a whale of a time. Bumped into some fellow wordnerds I've met at previous bookish events, sat in on a very interesting discussion between Louise Grantham, publisher and CEO of Bookstorm, and author Mark Winkler, sharing insider tips and tricks on how to get published, and managed to pluck up the courage to introduce myself to one of the big trade publishers who are on my radar for submission of my Umbilicus manuscript.

Below are a series of pics I took at the fair itself, and then afterwards walking back to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre where I had parked my car.

If you love books, and architecture, I can seriously recommend this as a fun, affordable family day out. Take cash, as there are no ATM facilities on site.

Above: Louise Grantham, publisher and CEO of Bookstorm, and author Mark Winkler, sharing insider tips and tricks on how to get published.