South Africa’s premier multilingual festival
of languages and literatures
Wordfest is South Africa’s premier multilingual festival of languages and literatures with a developmental emphasis.
Our aims are to:
- help promote a culture of reading and writing in South Africa
- improve the public profile of SA writers
- promote innovation and excellence in the word-arts
- give special emphasis to disadvantaged SA literatures
- enhance social cohesion
“Perhaps the best ever addition to the festival” –
Wordfest provides a platform during the National Arts Festival for South African writers and publishers and for new and established writers from different genres.
There are numerous activities each year, including:
- over thirty book-launches in different SA languages;
- exhibitions and publisher displays;
- Open Mike;
- a restaurant;
- a retail book outlet;
- radio coverage by a multilingual team of radio journalists;
- Eastern Cape Wordfest featuring 80 to 100 writers; and
- Preschool, Junior and High School developmental projects.
A national multilingual festival of SA languages and literatures with a developmental emphasis.
Wordfest has been going for more than a decade and continues to grow. We have featured
Nobel prize-winners and provide a platform for community level writers and writers well-known in indigenous South African languages.
Our print and radio coverage ranges from five to 12 million people a year. Our team of radio journalists interview writers on some three national and 15 community radio stations.
ADMINISTRATION, STAFF AND FUNDING
Wordfest is an outreach project of Rhodes University and is based at the Institute for the Study of English at Rhodes. The event is held in the Eden Grove building on campus. The finances are administered by the Finance Division of Rhodes.
Please note that Wordfest has no permanent, full-time staff members.
The team consists of a few experienced people on part-time, short-term contracts who are passionate about the development of literature and literary education in South Africa. Wordfest works with the Eastern Cape’s Provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. Preceded by eight district festivals, the Provincial component provides a platform and workshops for some 80 writers from urban and rural areas of the Eastern Cape.
Wordfest National is funded by the NAC (National Arts Council) and the National Lottery Development Trust Fund. Rhodes University contributes substantially in kind, providing the venue without charge, and the services of skilled personnel.
For further information please contact us.