Venue:  Houghton (Johannesburg)

Date: 17 May 2018

Time: 10:00 – 15:00

Cost:  R300 non-members, R150 SCBWI members

RSVP: To Jenny at


About the event:

Writing for second-language speakers of English is a challenge. How do you change your use of language without “talking down”? How do you bring the same level of excitement to the story? Ruth Pressler has been doing just this for a number of years. She will work with participants on specific writing skills.

About the facilitator:

Ruth Pressler has a teaching background, having taught in the Junior Primary (now Foundation Phase) for many years and also having served as Head of Department (FP) for eleven of those years. After leaving the Education Department, Ruth upgraded her Higher Diploma in Education to a Bachelor of Education Honours (Adult Education) in 2005 and a Masters of Education (Education, Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights) in 2008, both through Wits.

Since leaving teaching, Ruth worked as a trainer of adult facilitators for an Adult Education training company.
She writes material for educators and learners, at levels across the board, for a number of Educational Publishers, among them Pearson, MacMillan, Ochre Media and others.
Ruth has gained much experience in writing for English FAL (First Additional Language) learners in the Foundation, Intermediate, Senior and FET phases. For the Intermediate Phase, Ruth has written a number of titles for MacMillan’s ‘Readers are Leaders’ series; ‘Man of the House’ – aimed at adult English Second Language (ESL) learners at ABET Level 2 (equivalent to Grade 5) for New Readers Publishers and ‘Siege of Mafeking’ for Heritage Publishers.
More recently she has written a wrap-around study guide on how to teach English as a First Additional Language (FAL) for students on a Bachelor of Education (Intermediate Phase) course for Educor.

This event is for illustrators and writers.

Marketing your books using social media

Venue: Sandton Public Library

Date: 23 June 2018

Time: 09:30 – 13:00

Cost:  R300 non-members, R150 SCBWI members

RSVP: To Jenny at

About the event:

  • Social Media 101 – Is Facebook still relevant
  • Building your own website and updating it.
  • Paid vs Organic media – Which works, what are you driving and targeting?
  • Self-publishing. How to set business objectives and measure success on digital.
  • Sampling – Using samples to create virility.

About the facilitator:

Hamish Pillay is a Marketing and Digital Consultant. He hails from East London, now known as Buffalo City. He published his first book ten years ago, winning the Citizen Book Prize and was a finalist in the Mnet Literary Awards. He’s been on the Corporate merry-go-round for the last eight years specialising in digital marketing.
You can follow Hamish Pillay on Twitter: Hamish_Hoosen
or check out

All welcome – members and non-members. This event is for illustrators and writers.

Gauteng courses

The Storyteller Pod presents various script-writing courses.

For more information, contact Natasje:

Children’s book related events

12 May 2018               Kingsmead Book Fair, See

18-20 May 2018        Franschoek Literary Festival – Schools’ Festival is held week prior to main festival.

4-8 Junie 2018           Die ATKV-SKRYFSKOOL VAN DIE NOORDWES-UNIVERSITEIT Winterskool vir opkomende fiksieskrywers aan. Skryfskool vir meer inligting:

7-10 June 2018            SA Children’s Book Fair with the theme, “Teach me to Read” will be held in the Blue Wing Conference and Events Venue, Ticketpro Dome in Northgate. See

30 Aug-2 Sept 2018    Jozi Book Fair with the theme “Literature and Working People, See

14-16 Sept 2018     Comic Con Africa Exhibition. See

5-7 Oct 2018            LITASA Conference with the theme “Literacy and Justice” to be held in the Eastern Cape. See

Competitions / awards

MML Children’s Fiction competition – Closing date: 4 May 2018.

Picture this! is an international competition and is a wonderful opportunity for South African illustrators to gain international exposure and recognition.
Deadline 15 May 2018.
See for more information.

Reviews of children’s books

For reviews of children’s books, see

To download free books, visit

Thought for the day

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

J.K. Rowling

Please visit for news, reports of events and links to other children’s book related sites.

Also see  for national news and for international news, competitions and events around the world.

SCBWI in no way endorses any non-SCBWI event and encourages members to investigate any advertiser’s references.