Q. Tell us about the fantastic book project ‘Writing My City’
A. There are so many people with wonderful stories but rarely a vehicle to share them. To help people do this, Cape Town libraries offered creative-writing workshops earlier this year. Now we’re launching a collection of everyday Capetonians’ stories about living in the city.
Q. The project is an incredible collaboration with local libraries across the city. What is your experience of connecting with these very diverse community hubs?
A. I was so impressed with the librarians who took on this challenge. It was heart-warming that each participating library had passionate teachers, writers and poets who freely gave their time and expertise to facilitate the workshops and to help would-be writers pull their stories together.
Q. It must have been exciting getting such diverse perspectives on Cape Town. What kinds of submissions really moved you?
A. As part of the workshops, the Women for Change Group had a chance to share their stories. I cried when I heard of mothers talking about losing their children, abuse and dependencies. I also embraced how they helped each other through these experiences as one big family.
That last paragraph is so important to me. When the ladies eventually felt able to tell me their experiences I was incredibly humbled and moved.
The collection is going to be launched at an event at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in September. I’m looking forward to attending.
A copy of the anthology will be in more than 100 libraries across the city, so it will be available to a wide audience. Books don’t come cheap in this country. Copies of the book will be sold at the Open Book Festival in September. It will be awesome to see my words in print alongside the other 39 chosen Capetonians.