24th Time of the Writer International Festival: African Book Review Competition

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The 24th Time of the Writer International Festival hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), University of KwaZulu-Natal invites youth under 35 from South Africa and anywhere from the African continent to submit videos of their book reviews for the online African Book Review Competition.

In conjunction with the Time of the Writer festival, the competition is open to youth under 35. It aims to encourage reading and writing in young people while functioning as a springboard for the future writers on the African continent. With the festival’s long-standing commitment toward nurturing a culture of reading and writing, this competition has received a broad appeal that continues to grow with each edition of the festival. Winners are awarded cash prizes.


The Time of the Writer takes place from 15 – 21 March 2021. As one of the country’s longest-running literature festivals, Time of the Writer features a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights, short story writers and poets. This 24th edition features authors in conversation, panel discussions, a public participation programme, and exhibitions focused on many socially-relevant themes such as whistleblowing, migration, colonialism, gender-based violence and sexual identity.

Competition Terms and Conditions

  • The video Book Review competition is open to person from anywhere in South Africa or the African continent
  • There are two categories for the competition
    • Under 18 years
    • Over 18 to 35 years
  • This is a family competition so vulgarity will immediately disqualify an entry
  • Maximum 1 video submission allowed per person.
  • Video recordings received will be posted on the Time of the Writer social media pages. We cannot guarantee that your video will be shared.
  • We have the right to disqualify your video if it does not follow the rules or required format.
  • The Judge’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into about the outcomes.
  • Closing date is 14 March.

How to Enter

Send a video recording of your book review via WhatsApp on +27 71 326 7272. All entries must include your full name, age and contact details.

Tell us:

  • the name of the book and the author of the book.
  • what is the central theme of the book
  • something about the characters
  • why you enjoyed reading the book
  • why you recommend others to read it.

What you need to know about making your video book review:

  • Keep your video recording to no more than 2 minutes.
  • Video recordings can be submitted in any South African official language.

Prizes for each category

First Prize: R5 000                        

Second Prize: R2 500

Third Prize: R1 500

Audience Choice: R1 000

The Audience Choice prize will be determined by the video review that receives the most LIKES and SHARES on our social media pages.

Time of the Writer is made possible through partnerships with the KZN Department of Sports, Arts & Culture, National English Library Museum / Amazwe, the French Institute of South Africa, Imbiza Journal of African Writing,the STAND Foundation, and the Foundation for Human Rights.

For more information on the festival, please visit our website at https://tow.ukzn.ac.za/. To stay updated, please follow @Timeofthewriter on Twitter and Instagram or like the festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/timeofthewriter.

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Note for the editor:

For interviews, book reviews, invite for our press briefings on 1 March contact:
iSupport Creative Business
Marlyn Ntsele
0797077773 (alternatively Mzwandile Ntsele on 083 3372518)
marlyn@isupportdoyou.com

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