Aside from presenting book worms of all ages with a programme filled with fantastic events, the Knysna Literary Festival, taking place from 19 to 24 March 2013, is all about giving back.

For many people the Knysna Literary Festival, sponsored by Pam Golding Properties, Business and Arts South Africa and Conrad Pezula, represents the exciting opportunity to meet their favourite authors and to learn about what motivated the writing process of some of their best-loved books. But, as Knysna Tourism General Manager Glendyrr Fick reminds us, the programme holds so much more.

“With tickets for all events already available from all Knysna Pam Golding Properties offices, fans can look forward to talks by Deon Meyer, Rob Caskie and Ivo Vegter, interactive sessions with Michael Stanley, McIntosh Polela and Rahla Xenopoulos as well as Knysna local authors Duncan de Waal, Steve Reeder, Pixie Emslie and James Fouche,” said Glendyrr. “And of course there is the ever popular Delicious Word Journey during which ticket holders not only explore some of Pezula Estate’s most exclusive properties, enjoy a wine tasting and three course meal and chat informally with authors including Riaan Manser, Sarah Graham, Mandy Rossouw, Adriaan Basson and McIntosh Polela.”

“Another event which is sure to excite and stimulate is a panel discussion on President Zuma’s second term and related political issues, with the panel consisting of Ivo Vegter, Mandy Rossouw, Adriaan Basson and Shaka Sisulu,” Glendyrr continued. “But what excites me even more in my capacity as Knysna Tourism Development Manager, is the community aspect of the festival.”

“I created this festival in 2010 as a means to give back to the community,” says Ling Dobson, franchisee and principal agent for Pam Golding Properties Knysna. “And so the festival benefits e’Pap, which currently provides over 4 500 children in the Garden Route with a nutritious breakfast every school day, as well as the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA) Karatara campus.”

“But more than that, the Knysna Literary festival is about stimulating the children of Knysna and encouraging them to embrace literacy,” said Ling. “And with National Youth Day around the corner, the Ubom Children’s Theatre Production of Betti & the Yeti is sure to entertain the young – and young at heart adult companions! We also flew in Professor Rinelle Evans, senior lecturer from the University of Pretoria’s education faculty, to lead a creative writing workshop for Knysna learners at the Conrad Pezula Resort. This workshop prepared the learners to enter our 2013 Young Writers competition, which culminates in an award ceremony during the festival.”

Chairman of the Knysna Tourism Board Greg Vogt said that he was looking forward to the 2013 Knysna Literary Festival. “Knysna is very well known for its sporting events and, of course, the upcoming Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. It is fantastic to see the dedication and enthusiasm with which Ling and her team prepare for this cultural celebration each year.”

“I for one am looking forward to attending a few of the events on the exciting program,” Greg concluded. “And I encourage all Knysna residents, as well as residents in our neighbouring towns to join in the fun, allow your imagination to soar and support a worthy cause.”

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