The 24th edition of the Time of the Writer festival will be presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. It offers a provocative series of Dinner Table Seminars each evening at 7pm from 15 – 21 March 2021.

This year’s festival is curated under five daily slots with a series of Brunch Time Conversations at 11am, focusing on themes of new developments in the literature sector. Tea-Time sessions at 3pm feature interactive sessions which include actors reading from acclaimed novels. The Cocktail Hour series at 6pm brings together authors and other professionals to discuss various topics. A single Special Lunchtime Hour provides guidelines for aspirant authors who want to see themselves in print.

Author Mary Watson appears at the Time of the Writer Festival 2021
Author Mary Watson

Novelists, playwrights, more

“The Time of the Writer festival has for the past 23-years offered much food for thought. This year will cater for even more varied tastes by drawing in novelists – both fiction and non-fiction, as well as playwrights, poets and other leisurely writers to broaden the scope of the festival and to make it more accessible to a wider reading public,” says Siphindile Hllongwa from the curation team.

“The Dinner Table Seminar series will be a moderated seminar with writers discussing themes that dominate our daily social discourses; and which themes are also the subjects of their novels, essays, plays or poems. Topics are inspired by the kind of conversations that occur when thinking minds gather around a dinner table,” adds Ismail Mahomed, the Director for the Centre for Creative Arts.

The festival theme inspires the first in the series of Dinner Table Seminars: THE WRITER: WHISTLEBLOWER, CANARY IN THE MINE OR TESTIFIER? A panel moderated by Marianne Thamm unpacks this in a webinar with authors Athol Williams, Brent Meersman, Mandy Wiener and Themba Maseko.

In NARRATIVES OF MIGRATION researcher Philippa Kabali-Kabwa moderates a conversation with poet Romalayn Ante, novelist Vamba Sherif and playwright Mike van Graan.

Academic Shireen Hassim moderates a panel of distinguished authors in VERSIONS OF THE COLONIAL AND ITS FUTURE PASTS. Sociologist Ari Sitas will curate a discussion between Shireen Hassim and authors Anaheed Alhadad and Dilip Menon and Sarah Motsoesa.

Time of the Writer Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema
Author Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema

A question of ethics 

Journalist Tracey Saunders will discuss GENDER, POWER & VIOLENCE with authors Andy Kawa, Fred Khumalo, Jen Thorpe and Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema.  In THE MAKING OF PLACE: POLITICAL, MORAL & ETHICAL QUESTIONS, authors Niq Mhlongo, Patric Tariq Mellet and Shafinaaz Hassim will discuss with Nancy Richards how the making of place has influenced their writing.

Columnist Ashraf Johaardien will tackle the subject of  DYSPHORIA: SEX, GENDER AND TRAUMA IN AFRICAN LITERATURE with authors Dee Marco, Fred Khumalo, Mary Watson and Ruth Ramsden Carelse.

View the Time of the Writer Festival programme here.

What: Time of the Writer Festival 2021
When: 15 – 21 March 2021
Where: Centre for Creative Arts, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban
Social media: @Timeofthewriter,