YOUNG VOICES - THE 2004 SOUTH AFRICAN
ONLINE WRITERS CONFERENCE
|The conference proceedings were published in book form as Briewe deur die lug (Editor: Etienne van Heerden) by Tafelberg publishers, Cape Town - a book which received excellent critical acclaim in press reviews.||
Cover: Briewe deur die lug ( Letters through the Air )
The 2000 organising committee consisted of Professors Jakes Gerwel, Nelson Mandela Professor at the Universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape, Etienne van Heerden (Hofmeyr Professor, School of Languages and Literatures, University of Cape Town and Executive editor of LitNet) who chaired the committee, and Dr Christa van Louw, at the time Director of the Illwimi Centre at the University of the Western Cape.
Although writers from other languages participated in the conference, the activity was mainly in Afrikaans.
A new conference
LitNet hopes to offer a similar conference in 2004, but this time round in celebration of all South Africas writers, thus celebrating all of South African literature and language diversity.
The conference will be limited to participants under 35 years of age - the voice of the new generation will be heard!
The principal language of the conference will be English, although participation in other languages will be actively encouraged.
Writers invited to participate, will include authors from the African languages (which include Afrikaans), as well as writers working in English.
South African writers living in South Africa or elsewhere will be included.
Publishers, academics and prominent critics will be invited to participate.
African Sun Media has proposed to publish the conference proceedings in book and digital form if the manuscript meets their standards.
The organising committee will consist of Etienne van Heerden (chair), Jakes Gerwel, Henrietta Rose-Innes and K. Sello Duiker.
The conference administrators will be Nèlleke de Jager, publisher at NB publishers and LitNets Sharon Meyering.
The approached hosts, associates and organisers
M-Web is South Africas leading online service provider, with a dial-up member base of almost 250 000, representing a greater user base of over one million unique visitors per month.
News24 is South Africas largest online news service, with daily traffic of over 14.2 million pages delivered to more than 770 000 unique users on an average monthly basis.
LitNet (www.litnet.co.za, or www.mweb.co.za/litnet)
LitNet is South Africas largest multilingual online cultural journal for new writing and debate. LitNet enjoys portal status on M-Web and is a partner site of News24. In February 2004 LitNet had 35 000 unique users, and more than 411 000 LitNet pages were downloaded by readers.
School of Languages and Literatures, University of Cape Town
The School of Languages hosts the Sections African Languages, Afrikaans and Netherlandic Studies, French, Italian, German, etc.
African Sun Media
African Sun Media is the university publisher of the University of Stellenbosch.
The Nelson Mandela Chair, University of the Western Cape
The occupant of this prestigious chair is Professor Jakes Gerwel, onetime cabinet secretary to the Mandela cabinet, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape and currently Chancellor of Rhodes University and director of the Mandela Trust.
Members of the organising committee
Etienne van Heerden
K. Sello Duiker
Jakes Gerwel is Nelson Mandela Professor of the University of the Western Cape and Chancellor of Rhodes University.
Henrietta Rose-Inness debut novel, Sharks Egg, was nominated for the 2001 M-Net Book Prize, and a second novel is due for publication in September. She also writes scripts for TV and film, and works as freelance book editor.
K. Sello Duiker is one of the leading new voices in South Africa. His first novel, Thirteen Cents, was awarded the 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region. His second novel, The Quiet Violence of Dreams, was awarded the 2001 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Literature.
The organising committee approaches sponsors and obtains sponsorships.
The organising committee instructs the conference administrators, who identifies writers, critics, academics or publishers who could be invited to participate.
In consultation with the organising committee, writers, publishers, academics, literary critics and researchers, a list of topics is drawn up by the conference administrators.
45 of South Africa's most prominent young figures in the field of writing, publishing and reading are invited to each participate by writing an essay on one of the topics.
Essays may not exceed 2500 words. If a given contributor writes in a language other than English, his or her essay will be translated into English by a member of the translation panel. The translations will be monitored by the authors. The essay will then be published in the original language alongside its English translation in the conference's virtual seminar room. LitNet aims to engage authors who work in Xhosa, Afrikaans, Sotho, and other languages, and hopes that a substantial portion of the participating authors will be writing in the indigenous languages, although their papers or essays will also be published in English.
The topics are as follows:
* Week 1 - My memory
Snapshots, trauma, dissociation, inheritance, history
* Week 2 - My place
On xenophobia, location, ideology, culture, immigration, emigration, naming, Europe vs Africa vs Asia vs etc.
* Week 3 - My generation
On heritage, linguistics, guilt, identity, prospects, typicalities, culture
* Week 4 - My body
On sexuality, erotics, disease, aging, privacy, piercing, abuse
* Week 5 and 6 - My voice
Publishing (educational/general trade); (self vs trade publishers), rewards of publishing, mediums, genre (paper/oral/digital), audience (e.g. bookselling), exposure (media), literary magazines, grassroot publications, educating writing (creative writing courses), beyond post-colonialism, new nationalism, new media, role of the editor
Sponsors will enjoy extensive branding in the online conference room (ie on LitNets conference pages), on LitNets home page, in LitNets weekly newsletter, in media releases, as well as in the proposed book, if published.
All monies will be handled by Media24 Head Office Financial Officer, Wilmien van der Westhuyzen. Sponsors contributions will be paid directly to Media24, and payments will be made from the conference account by Media24.
At the end of proceedings, a written report, which will include financial figures, will be submitted to the sponsors.
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