Tag Archives: Karina M. Szczurek

Books on the Bay: The literary riches of Simon’s Town

As the poet with “no money in the bank” is driving home, she imagines all the people she cares about living in the “blue clefts ahead”. With the sun and the sea as her companions on one of the most picturesque roads around, she is “embarrassed to be so rich”. Every time I travel towards the Cape Peninsula, I am reminded of Finuala Dowling’s poem “Riches” (Notes from the dementia ward, 2008) and that feeling of wonder and generosity which the mixture of urban and wild landscapes here evokes. It is no surprise that Dowling’s name features on the inaugural programme of the Books on the Bay Festival, a new brainchild of festival impresario extraordinaire Darryl David. After settling in Simon’s Town a few years ago, David realised how many writers lived in the town and its proximity, and when he reconnected with David Attwell, another recent addition to the growing number of local literary residents, the idea for another festival was born …

Continue reading: LitNet

FLUID: FREEDOM TO BE – Free short story webinars in preparation for entering the Short.Sharp.Stories competition

We are thrilled to invite you to join Short.Sharp.Stories and All About Writing for two free online short story webinars. They are designed to provide guidance and support to writers who wish to enter the Short.Sharp.Stories competition:

FLUID: FREEDOM TO BE

The sessions are aimed at encouraging new and emerging writers to enter FLUID, as well as to hone their craft.

Register now for both sessions!

Session 1: What is a story and how to write one

Thursday 20 October 2022
17:30 to 19:30 South Africa Time

Hosts Joanne Hichens and Karina Szczurek will focus on the aspects of short story writing, with a particular aim to encourage emerging writers to understand the elements necessary in the creation of a short story. This session will include a mini-workshop, to spark ideas for a story based on the theme FLUID: Freedom To Be. Have a notebook and pen handy.

Session 2: Short Story Q and A

Thursday 3 November 2022
17:30 to 19:30 South Africa Time

In this session we’ll answer questions and field problems. Participants will be encouraged to send in questions beforehand.

During this time we’ll also do a warm-up writing exercise, focus on showing not telling, the cornerstone of good fiction writing.

Short.Sharp.Stories is a proven platform showcasing top and emerging South African writers. However, we welcome all writers over the age of 18, no matter your background or experience, to send in short stories. FLUID seeks to engage fictional expression around identity, culture and society.

Every published writer will receive an honorarium of R 2 000, with a Grand Winner to receive R 10 000. Additional awards will be given at the discretion of Short.Sharp.Stories.

Register now!

The sessions will be recorded for anyone unable to make it on the day.

The Competition

Click here for further information and to download the entry form.

About the facilitators

Joanne Hichens, author and editor, lives in Cape Town. Her crime novels are Out to Score (co-written), Divine Justice, published in the United States, and Sweet Paradise. Her young adult novels, Stained and Riding the Wave, were both shortlisted for the Sanlam Literature Award. Her memoir, Death and the After Partiesexplores the passing of Joanne’s mother, husband, father and mother-in-law within a short period of time, and examines all that happens after death: emotional frenzy, funerals, family strife – the fighting and loving.

Karina Szczurek is an author and founder of Karavan Press. Her debut novel, Invisible Others (2014), was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. Her memoir The Fifth Mrs Brinkabout her experiences being married to prominent South African novelist Andre Brink, was published in 2017 and You Make Me Possible: The Love Letters of Karina M. Szczurek and André Brink was published in 2018.

Karavan Press aims to publish books they are passionate about, of any genre and any length. They nurture authors and their creativity, establish strong bonds between their writers and readers, and offer a literary home for those who treasure words and stories. Excellence, integrity, and their love for the book as an object are the cornerstones of Karavan Press.

Blown Away by Books

Dear Readers,

I will be chairing a session at Blown Away by Books, taking place at the Fish Hoek Library between 15 and 17 September. On Friday, I will be speaking with Sara-Jayne Makwala King, Erika Bornman and Cathy Park Kelly about their remarkable, brave memoirs.

Please see the full programme of the festival here: Blown Away by Books

Love,

Karina

Woman Zone interview with Louisa Treger

I interviewed Louisa Treger about her life and books, including her latest, Madwoman (Bloomsbury, 2022) for Woman Zone. Always a great joy to talk to Louisa – an amazing woman writing about other amazing women!

You can listen to the podcast here:

Artscape Conversations – Woman Zone Stories

Book review: Madwoman by Louisa Treger

“If Hell existed in the universe, it was right here,” Nellie Bly thinks to herself only a few days into her confinement on Blackwell’s Island. It is 1887, and the asylum, just off the coast of New York, is “a socially acceptable way of disposing with inconvenient women”. The difference between Nellie and the other women locked up in this hell on earth is that she is there of her own free will. Bly faked insanity to be admitted. She is one of the most dangerous of “inconvenient women” — one with a voice. Madwoman is her story.

Continue reading: Sunday Times

Madwoman ★★★★★
Louisa Treger
Bloomsbury, 2022

Madwoman by Louisa Treger to be launched at Exclusive Books Cavendish and I get to ask the questions … :)

Please join us for this launch. I look forward to talking to Louisa about her life, writing and her latest stunning novel, Madwoman, which tells the remarkable story of Nellie Bly.

Description

‘A moving story’ SUNDAY TIMES, Best historical fiction books of 2022
‘A must read!’ GILL PAUL
‘Intriguing … A fascinating read’ HAZEL GAYNOR
‘Remarkable’ ESSIE FOX
‘An astonishing tour de force’ REBECCA MASCULL

In 1887 young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.

But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum that looms on Blackwell’s Island. There, she will work undercover to document – and expose – the wretched conditions faced by the patients.

But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a harshness and cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will – but will she ever get out?

An extraordinary portrait of a woman way ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world.

‘Madwoman is one of the best, a magnificent portrayal of Nelly Bly in all her journalistic integrity and daring’ New York Journal of Books

Louisa is also the author of:

Can’t wait! Hope to see you there :)

Second Life Book Club: A conversation with Karina M. Szczurek

This should be fun! 15 June 2022, 9PM (South African time): Second Life Book Club with Draxtor

Here are some shots from my first visit to the Second Life Book Club, when I had my tutorial on how it all works.

My avatar’s ears wiggle :) She is a real Szczurek.