On this blog you will find NEWS about
writing and illustrating Children's Books, the society and its members and activities as well as links to websites and blogs about Children's Books

JULY 2006 – No.3 - Electronic Newsletter of SCBWI SA-


The Electronic Newsletter of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, South Africa
JULY 2006 – No.3


  • CD SA Writers, illustrators & Publishers
  • Report – International Book Fair
  • Events planned for 2006
  • Report – Art Materials Day
  • Interesting Web Sites
  • Article – It’s not impossible
  • Exhibition of Illustrators
  • Writer’s News – Illustrator’s News
  • Did you know?
  • Who is IBBY?
  • Competitions
  • Writer’s & Illustrators Markets
  • Interesting Books
  • Awards and nominations
  • Centre for the Book Publications
  • Info SCBWI SA


200 copies were distributed to every exhibitor at the Cape Town Book Fair.
Each person featured on the CD will receive a complimentary CD.
A CD will be posted to all the South African children’s book publishers.
CD’s will be posted to a selection of International Children’s Book Publishers and to the International SCBWI committee.


Publishers, authors, booksellers and the general public swamped the Cape Town Convention Centre. There were more than 15,000 visitors on the first two days. On the strength of this, the convention centre has already been booked for the next year, with increased capacity.
The four-day fair, which opened on Saturday 17th June, combined both a business and a public programme. Academic debates, book launches, book readings and children’s entertainment all formed part of the weekend festivities, as well as trade networking between the various exhibitors, vendors and visitors.

This was the biggest book fair on the African continent, which hosted 418 exhibitors from South Africa, Africa and abroad, including representatives from Swaziland, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, China, India, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Germany. South African writers and illustrators were able to make contact with local and overseas publishers and great interest was shown in their work.

The SCBWI held an exhibition of South African children’s illustrators in the Naspers Building, but next year they hope to have an exhibition at the Book Fair which will highlight local talent.

MON 31 JULY from 10:00am to 3:00pm
Follow-up on the C.T. Book Fair & Critique Session.
Writers and illustrators will share their experiences and success at the book fair. There will also be a critique session where their work will be evaluated and a discussion on the best ways to promote yourself and prepare your portfolio.
Where Huis der Nederlanden, 4 Central Square, Pinelands (Telephone: 021 531 5831).
Cost For Non-members and SCWI members R40.00 per person (includes tea/coffee and lunch):
RSVP to by 26th of July 2006
MON 21 AUGUST from 10:00am to 3:00pm
A Presentation on the ultra modern picture books. Paddy Bouma will be giving a talk and a Power Point presentation on Ultra modern Picture Books
Where Huis der Nederlanden, 4 Central Square, Pinelands (Telephone: 021 531 5831).
Cost For Non-members R80.00 per person/SCBWI members R40.00 per person (includes tea/coffee and lunch): RSVP to by 10th of August 2006 at the latest.
MON 18 SEPT from 10:00am to 3:00pm
One day computer course specifically aimed at children’s book writers and illustrators, focussing on how the PC can become part of their tools.
Where Huis der Nederlanden, 4 Central Square, Pinelands (Telephone: 021 531 5831).
Cost For Non-members R100.00 per person/SCBWI members R80.00 per person (includes tea/coffee and lunch): RSVP by 11 September 2006
OCTOBER from 10:00am to 3:00pm
A Halloween party with a talk by Cicely van Straten on how to source stories from African Myths and Legends.
Where Huis der Nederlanden, 4 Central Square, Pinelands (Telephone: 021 531 5831).
Cost For Non-members R80.00 per person/SCBWI members R40.00 per person (includes tea/coffee and lunch): RSVP by 23 October 2006
We will end 2006 with our usual SCBWI End-of-Year Season Greetings Book Party.
Each person to bring a small inexpensive wrapped gift and a plate of decadent stuff to eat. We will exchange gifts, talk Children’s Books, eat, drink coffee and tea and be merry. Everyone must bring a self-made fantasy Christmas hat. The best hat and best book character will win prizes! As in previous years the hats will be taken to the Tygerberg Hospital oncology ward for children who have to stay in the hospital during Christmas. Anyone who had a book or books published during the year can bring it – a space will be available where books can be displayed.
Where: Huis der Nederlanden, 4 Central Square, Pinelands (Tel: 021 531 5831).
Cost: For Non-members & SCBWI members R40.00 per person (includes tea/coffee)
RSVP to by November 27, 2006.

The Art Materials Day was so informative that another will be planned for next year. Our thanks go to Deckle Edge and to Detlev Friemelt.
The lecture covered many aspects: how paper is manufactured, additives, sizing and optical brighteners that affect paper, weight, stretching and much more. Tips were given on the type of paper for the type of job or end result required. Information covering hot/cold/not pressed, texture, absorbency, stretching, grain direction, storage, acidity and much more was shared. Even the right or wrong side of paper was discussed.

Materials and mixed media were covered with advice about the better quality materials. Paper storage and brush storage were mentioned. A wonderful tip given, regarding the storage of brushes: – DO NOT store brushes standing in a container – ALWAYS STORE BRUSHES FLAT. When they are upright, moisture and dirt work their way down to the ferrule and ruin the brush. This was a day well spent with many of our questions answered.

See what our local cartoonists are doing –
Another site is
Notes for the Analysis of a Picture Book -
Have a look at work by other illustrators -

The South African best seller children’s book
by Marianna Brandt

It is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to write that ‘must have’ book.
Unfortunately most children’s book writers in South Africa cannot write full time. They have ‘another job’ and only get down to writing on weekends and holidays. But, it can be done.
If you want to write world class children’s stories you need a few very important things.
Plot – The most important for me is the plot of the story. If your plot does not work, your story will not. Character development – you must have a clear picture in your mind of all your characters before you start writing. You must hear your characters way of speech in your head before you let them talk in the story. A boastful croc will not talk the same way as a shy one. And a croc does not say things the same way as a fish or a dog. A character’s surroundings influence his mind and feelings. Also what happens to him in that moment.
Setting – If your story is set in an ‘unknown’ country or place, you must work out in detail what that place looks like.
South Africa lends itself to the most unbelievable settings. We have deserts, game parks, fantastic mountains, rivers and oceans. Much more than countries like England where so many interesting stories are written. In that, I don’t say that we must write about our animals, like the many stories that exist already – pardon, but they are boring. We can do much better than that. Spice it up with our own fantasy but please not with gnomes or fairies. We can make our own creatures of course. That will be great.
Bookshops have lovely examples of the latest best sellers. Most of these books have maps of the fictional town or place of the story. We can also write stories like that. We need to do a giant leap in children’s book writing in South Africa and we, as the writers of children’s books in South Africa, should start leaping!
Thomas van der Walt from UNISA would like to know whether anyone knows about titles of South African children and young adult books (in all the official languages) that address immigrants, immigration and xenophobia. The best recent example of such a book is probably "Skyline" by Patricia Pinnock. A number of Afrikaans young adult novels by Rona Rupert feature characters that have emigrated to SA from other countries.
Thomas will appreciate it if anyone can assist with titles or references addressing the above themes. Please send to or fax number (012) 429 3221.

An exhibition of original illustrations from South African children’s books was held in the foyer of the Naspers Building from 17 to 22 June to coincide with the CAPE TOWN BOOK FAIR
The SCBWI (SA) exhibition of original children’s book illustrations was held in the Naspers Building, within a short walking distance from the building where the Cape Town Book Fair was held. We had pamphlets printed to advertise the exhibition and these were handed out to all the exhibitors at the Book Fair.
I want to thank you, the illustrators, for taking part in the SCBWI exhibition and that you got you work mounted and delivered in such a short time. Because of your participation the exhibition was a definite success and many people commented on the high quality of our exhibition and noted that it should be part of the CT Book Fair next year. Some publishers even wrote letters to the organisers suggesting this. Marjorie van Heerden
Any information in this newsletter has been collected and/or forwarded to SCBWI-NEWS and is printed here in good faith and in the belief that it is correct and accurate at the time of printing. Any opinions, workshop details or articles printed in this newsletter is that of the quoted party and is not necessarily the opinion or the recommendation of the SA Society or any of its members. If you need to know more about certain items, please go directly to the source. We cannot be responsible for any interactions and outcomes, good or bad that may result from you following up on these items.

If you know of any writing/ illustrating opportunities or competitions that relate to children’s books, please forward details to

Writer’s news

To be held during the winter months in the Cape (Bellville and northern suburbs.)
Contact Marianne Brandt or
Tel: (021) 9496616 The course will be run over 3 days.

Creative Arts and Languages Programme

Full day workshop on writing short-short stories of about 2000 words. Sat.08 July and Wed.12 July 2006.
Facilitator – Anne Schuster, writer.

A morning workshop presenting a basic guide to entering into standard publishing contracts. Sat.15 July
Facilitator – Karen Press, writer and editor.
Fees and registration information:
Tel: (021)650 2888 - Fax:(021)650 2893

The Writing Studio
It's time to shake off the writing blues and sharpen your pencils for our two-Sunday Creative Writing Workshop that takes place on July 2 and 9 in Cape Town. This is not simply a workshop, but an ideal opportunity for creative minds to flex their creative muscles and explore their mindscapes. Read more:

The next WEST COAST WRITING WORKSHOP in October is for beginning and experienced writers. Regardless of whether you write children’s books or magazine articles, poetry, keep a journal or only write on holiday, this course is designed to dissolve writing blocks, feel supported and encouraged in your writing and to help create lasting work.
Gillian also runs 1 day workshops: Stories in the Sand that will interest writers of children’s books and fantasy writers, and Words and Grains of Sand - a poetry workshop. People can join the monthly writing group having participated the West Coast Writing Workshop.
Gillian Barton contact details: 022 492 2562 or 072 206 0594

Illustrator’s News

Froggy Press - Children's Poetry Journal, invites interested South African illustrators to contribute towards a joint venture in creating a glossy anthology arising out of the works featured in the journal. Read more about the life of the journal at Poetry by South African children and for South African children

Creative Arts and Languages Programme

A two-day informal interactive lecture-based course for children's picture book writers and illustrators both published and unpublished. Fri 21. & Sat. 22 July
Facilitator - Marjorie van Heerden, award-winning children’s book writer and illustrator
Fees and registration information:
Tel: (021)650 2888 - Fax:(021)650 2893

The ACCU (Asua/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO is organising the 15th Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations. They are now inviting as many talented illustrators from our country to take part in the 15th Concours. Closing date - 31 October 2006
The prize-winning works will be displayed in several exhibitions in Japan and at BIB in the Slovak Republic. The winner will be awarded with a medal and US$3,000. For further information, you can contact Lona Gericke, IBBY South Africa, Executive member at Bellville Library 021 918-2300.
The prospectus and the entry form can be downloaded from the Noma Concours website
Conditions apply, for example: Must be original illustrations, not photographs or prints, prepared for picture books for children. One entry should comprise five or more separate illustrations for one story.
Weight should be less than 5kg. A short summary (300 words) of the story in English should accompany the illustrations. Illustrations for unpublished books are acceptable, also for published books, as long as they have not been published in countries in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand.

Die ATKV-Skryfskool van die Noordwes-Universiteit bied vanjaar weer ‘n reeks gewilde skryfkursusse aan. Die datums van skryfkursusse vir 2006 is pas bekend gemaak. Almal in Suid-Afrika gaan ‘n geleentheid kry om een van die uitsoek-kursusse by te woon. Ons kuier rond van die Oos-Kaap tot die Noordwesprovinsie.
Later in die loop van 2006 volg nog dagkursusse in prosa en poësie, ‘n gemeentebladkursus, skolierekursusse en die Lenteskool in September. Vir navrae skakel Kobie by (018) 299-1783 of by of skryf aan die Direkteur, ATKV-Skryfskool, Privaatsak X6001, POTCHEFSTROOM, 2520.

Legal deposit is the legal obligation of publishers of all types of documents to deposit a certain number of copies of each of their published documents at designated places of legal deposit. When your book is published, the publisher ensures that copies are deposited and an ISBN number is issued.
South African publications
In terms of the
legal Deposit Act, the National Library receives a copy of each book, pamphlet, periodical, newspaper or other publication that is published in South Africa. A wide range of South African legislation, government publications, maps and atlases forms part of the collection.
Read more:

When you publish a book yourself, (self-publishing)
you have to: deposit a copy of your book. obtain an ISBN number. International Standard Number (ISN) Agency
The ISN Agency supplies international standard numbers (ISN) and codes for published documents in various physical formats – Ia.
ISBN, ISSN and Other Identifiers – in order to identify any South African published document worldwide. Publishers may obtain ISNs for books or serials from the ISN Agency.

IBBY is the International Board on Books for Young People, the world body on children’s and young people’s literature. IBBY SA is the South African umbrella body that gathers together everyone who is interested:
writers, illustrators, translators, librarians, teachers, parents, children and young people.
South Africa has been a member country since 1992 and hosted the 29th IBBY World Congress in Cape Town in September 2004.

IBBY SA’s objectives are:
To recognise South African youth literature of outstanding quality, and to make suitable awards.
To encourage reading and writing of books for children and young people in the major South African language groups.
To review and select books for such purposes as the Honour List.
To promote and exhibit the Honour List books as widely as possible.
To organise events that will raise awareness of South African books for children and young people.
To host regular meetings to bring together all the role-players in a region.
To publish Books for Africa, the regular newsletter, to report on activities as well as news about South African children’s and young people’s books, writers, illustrators, translators, publishers, booksellers, librarians, parents and readers. Books for Africa email:
To host and maintain a website:
To promote South African children’s and young people’s books in the international arena, especially through IBBY and its awards, exhibitions, publications and conferences.
To provide information on and to represent the interest of South African children’s and young people’s books in and outside South Africa.
IBBY SA, P O Box 847, Howard Place, 7450 South Africa.
Books for Africa email:


SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS is running a Writing Competition to celebrate and explore our parks...with words. The competition theme "Know Your Parks" is broad and open to interpretation, and we're looking forward to colourful and innovative entries in the following
categories: Poetry, Prose and Children's Stories, as well as two categories for younger writers ages 8-12 and 13-17.
We're looking forward to as many and as varied entries as possible, so please encourage other writers to enter the competition. Prizes are to the value of R10 000 and the top stories will all be published on the SANParks home page. The public in a forum poll run on our website will decide the final winner. The forum has thousands of members from all over the world, ensuring that a wide and appreciative audience reads the best entries.
If you want to enter either contact or look on the website for details.
Many thanks, and happy writing -Dianne Tipping-Woods

The organisers are looking for youth novels in which technology plays a role. The closing date of the competition will be announced later.
Further details available from Tafelberg.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award competition where entries for original and unpublished youth novels are invited. We aim to further develop literature in all 11 official South African languages and encourage aspirant writers to explore their talent.
The total prize money exceeds R150 000 in cash with the winning entry in each language category receiving R10 000 and runners-up R5 000 each. All winning entries will be published and the runners-up also stand the chance of having their work published.
The closing date for the competition is 30 September 2006 and entries must be accompanied by an entry form available from Sumaya at (021) 532 6000 / or can be downloaded from our website (
Contact: Sumaya -

Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market News

Interested in submitting work to South Africa Writing?
Submissions are accepted in all 11 official language. E-mail with the name of your piece and your name in the subject line of the e-mail. Or post submissions to SAW, P O Box 717, Rondebosch, 7701.
We acknowledge electronic submissions but do not have the resources to acknowledge posted submissions. We accept poems, short stories (2500 words or less), plays and screenplays, as well as cartoons. Please submit a maximum of 4 poems, 2 short stories, 4 cartoons, 1 play, 1 screenplay per submission cycle (three months). For more information on submissions visit the submission policy page at:

Giraffe Books publishes children’s books
in all eleven of South Africa’s official languages, as well as Lesotho, Sesotho and Portuguese.
We are looking for African interest stories for the pre-primary and primary school market.
Texts must be suitable for 32 page picture books.
We are not publishing novels.
We publish three titles each year.
Illustrators are welcome to submit portfolios of their work.
Submissions and queries should be emailed to

PLEASE publishers/Authors/Illustrators, send any information you would like us to include in the next newsletter. Is there a writing competition? Have you written an article on children’s books or related subject? Would you like it circulated through our newsletter? Please let us know.
Send to: please type NEWS in the subject line

ThoughtCorp Solutions (Pty) Ltd has developed a new type of "page turner" application called Folio that allows documents to be presented on a computer screen in the same way a reader would experience a book or magazine. The reader can see two pages open in front of them and can turn pages by clicking on their edges. The main advantage of this application is that it emulates the reading experience of real books or magazines to some extent while still enabling all the advantages of the digital medium such as animation, sound, links to websites etc.
We think this form of media would be best suited to children's stories because those stories are typically short, they lend themselves to graphics, animation and sound, which are Folio's strong points and children are more likely to adopt this new medium quickly. We also feel that by emulating a book on the computer screen, children are more likely to be attracted to real books in the fullness of time, instead of playing on computers to the exclusion of reading. To give you an idea of what Folio is like please follow the link below Visit us at
If any authors are interested in taking this further please contact Alan Bolton Director: ThoughtCorp Solutions - Cell: +27 (0)83 288 7780 Direct: +27 (0)11 575 1775 Fax: +27 (0)11 576 1775

The art of responsive drawing – Nathan Goldstein Q741.018 GOL
Production for the graphic designer – James Craig (Library)
The complete typographer: a manual for designing with type – Christopher Perfect (Library)
Bookmaking : the illustrated guide to design – Marshall Lee (Library)

Awards and Nominations

The well known author Marita van der Vyver was awarded the MER-prize for children’s literature for Mia se Ma (Human & Rousseau). She shares this prize with Piet Grobler who illustrated the book.
The other nominees in this category were Jaco Jacobs for Net Aliens Eet Spinasie (Human & Rousseau) and Ann Walton for Tell the Moon (Tafelberg).
The MER-Prize for youth literature was awarded to Fanie Viljoen for Bleinbliksem (Tafelberg).
The other nominees were Engela van Rooyen for Vuvuzela and Francois Bloemhof for Nie vir Kinders Nie (Tafelberg).
Die bekende outeur Marita van der Vyver is met die MER-prys vir kinderlektuur bekroon vir Mia Se Ma (Human & Rousseau). Sy deel dié prys met Piet Grobler wat vir die illustrasies verantwoordelik was. Die ander benoemdes in hierdie kategorie was Jaco Jacobs vir Net Aliens Eet Spinasie (Human & Rousseau) en Ann Walton vir Tell the Moon (Tafelberg).
Die MER-prys vir jeuglektuur is aan Fanie Viljoen toegeken vir Breinbliksem (Tafelberg). Die ander benoemdes was Engela van Rooyen vir Vuvuzela en François Bloemhof vir Nie vir Kinders Nie, wie se boeke beide deur Tafelberg uitgegee is.

International Awards
The Hans Christian Andersen Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announces that Margaret Mahy (New Zealand) is the winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Wolf Erlbruch (Germany) is the winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration.
The Awards will be presented to the winners at the opening ceremony of IBBY’s Congress in Beijing, China, on 20 September 2006. An audience of more than a thousand people was in attendance to see Katherine Paterson receive this year's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at Skansen's open-air Solliden stage in Stockholm.


Gold Prize. Jenny Robson: Praise Song
Silver Prize. Darrel Bristow-Bovey: SuperZero

Nguni languages
Gold Prize. Dumisani Sibiya: Ngidedele ngife

Gold Prizes. Fanie Viljoen: BreinBliksem and
François Bloemhof: Nie vir kinders nie
Silver Prize. Engela van Rooyen: Vuvuzela

Sotho languages
Gold Prize. Kabelo Kgatea: Ntshware ka letsogo

Dancing in the Dust - Kagiso Lesego Molope (Author: English)
(Oxford University Press Southern Africa, 2004).
Vaselinetjie - Anoeschka von Meck (Author: Afrikaans)
(Tafelberg, 2004)
Makwelane and the Crocodile - Piet Grobler (Illustrator)
deur Maria Hendricks (Human & Rousseau, 2004)
Die wolf wat Outjie Geskree Het - Philip de Vos (Translator)
deur Bob Hartmann (Human & Rousseau, 2004)

Not only has the Centre for the Book published
This is an invaluable resource for educators, librarians, bookseller, book editors, publishers, writers and readers. This catalogue brings together book titles and detailed information from over 60 small publishers. It is packed with short pieces by the small publishers covering insights into distribution and marketing.
Centre for the Book has also launched a series of informative pamphlets for writers. These pamphlets will be useful for established writers and those you wish to self publish. This excellent series covers the following topics:
Getting started as a writer.
Start a writing group and make it work.
Writing practice: Keeping your writing alive.
Editing your own writing.
Advice from an editor.
The end. What now? Turning a first draft into a manuscript.
Publishing opportunities for new writers.
Finding your way around a publishing contract
Legal issues that concern writers.
ISBN and places of legal deposit: what do they mean for a writer?

Telephone: 021 423 2669

Committee members SCBWI South Africa
Marjorie van Heerden - Co-Regional Advisor
Paddy Bouma - Co-Regional Advisor
Thomas van der Walt - Asst. Reg. Advisor, representing the northern part of South Africa and the Gauteng Area -
Samantha van Riet – Bookings and e-mailing.
Annette van Zyl – Illustrations coordinator
Alzette Prins – General assistance and support
Wendy Hartmann – Committee member

Gavin Thomson – Committee member -

Last but not the least, the SCBWI web site.
The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
Contact Information: SCBWI Executive Office - Stephen Mooser, President.
Lin Oliver, Executive Director
8271 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323)782-1010, Fax: (323)782-1892 email:
The Society of Children’s book writers and Illustrators has been active since 1971. Their Headquarters are in Los Angeles, USA. There are currently more than 19,000 members worldwide, in over 70 regions, making it the largest children's writing organization in the world. For more information, AND TO JOIN visit their web site
Full Membership is available to those whose work for children (books, illustrations or photographs, films, electronic media available for purchase, articles, poems or stories) and have been published or produced. Dues are US$75 for the first year and US$60 each renewing year.

South African members of the SCBWI receive information regarding the overseas and local markets. They receive a bi-monthly overseas newsletter containing current information about the children’s book market, useful articles on the craft of writing and illustrating for children, news and announcements and a complete guide to SCBWI events around the world. SCBWI Publications – an array of articles, brochures and guides on the children’s book market and the craft of writing and illustrating for children. This includes an Agents Directory, Magazine/Small Press/Religious Book and Educational Markets Guide and access to research material and information relating to trade books.
In South Africa, SCBWI SA realised that not everyone could afford to become an overseas member, so the SA Society decided that all writers and illustrators of children’s books would be welcome to attend the various workshops and functions. This allows everyone to share the information relating to the South African children’s book market. Although non-members pay a slightly higher fee for workshops and functions, the fees are kept low allowing anyone who has an interest in children’s books to benefit from these functions. Fully paid up members of SCBWI get the benefit of being guaranteed a place at all our events and reduced fees.

Regular critique groups
Where you can read or show your work and get feed back from other writers and illustrators.
Shop Talk Groups
Discussions about what is happening in the publishing world.
Talk Groups
Where invited speakers give a talk and share information.
To help writer/illustrator develop in their work
Informal gatherings
Meetings where writers and illustrators get together to talk about their work.
Publisher’s Day
Where South African Publishers are invited attend and writers and illustrators
have a chance to meet the editors to show their work
The society’s newsletter ‘Wings’ is sent out to anyone who has an interest in children’s books and has requested that their name be added to the mailing list. In this way the SCBWI SA reaches people who would otherwise be unaware of the information and activities relating to the children’s book market in South Africa.

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