SA Book Fair to be a virtual event this September

The SA Book Development Council (SABDC) has announced that the 2020 edition of the South African Book Fair (SABF) will be going ahead as a virtual event taking place from September 11-13 at the culmination of SA’s National Book Week.

The SABDC and the FP&M Seta are committed to promoting the power and joy of books and reading as well as to showcase, support, connect and provide a trading platform for the industry to ensure that books and reading stay within people’s consciousness.

The emphasis on this year’s SABF is on providing a highly relevant, immersive and engaging virtual experience for readers, book lovers, authors, illustrators, poets and members of the book and publishing industry via a newly developed online platform.

According to a statement issued by the organisers,this year’s virtual fair, while a simplified version of the annual physical fair, will offer a full and exciting programme of stimulating discussions, entertainment and fun to ensure that there is something for everyone.

The virtual event will include a mix of poetry sessions, author-led panel discussions, SMME skills development workshops, the industry marketplace as well as the beloved National Book Week Magic Tent which will also take flight into the digital realm. This ever-popular part of the fair will offer kids a lovingly created programme of online storytelling, poetry sessions, writing and illustration workshops as well as motivational talks and puppet and theatre shows.

Among the new highlights of this year’s event is a bespoke Battle of the Bookclubs Literature Quiz which will start during August, with the semifinal and final taking place during the fair.

The SABF marketplace has also moved online, making it even more accessible for exhibitors to reach a wider audience. Supporting, connecting and showcasing the publishing industry during the enormous challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic is a key focus of this year’s event.

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