Books for the Masses?

Books for the Masses? Publishing Genre Fiction in Africa
Sunday 13 July, 12:00 – 13:00
BL Conference Centre, FREE

Panel discussion with Bibi Bakare of Cassava Republic Press; Valerie Brandes of Jacaranda Books; Verna Wilkins of Tamarind Books and Susan Yearwood, agent and founder of Susan Yearwood Literary Agency. Moderated by Margaret Busby, editor, writer, critic and co-founder of Allison & Busby.

African literature has traditionally been defined as literary fiction with an international appeal, to the exclusion of popular and genre fiction. However, whilst literary fiction publishing in the continent continues to face structural challenges of affordability, distribution and mass appeal, genre fiction has been on the rise in recent years. Genre fiction presents opportunities to expand the content, format and reach of the books being published in Africa.

In this session, we ask: What is genre fiction and why is it important? How can it help to foster a more expansive African writing – and reading – tradition? Will it be the catalyst to create a thriving publishing industry in the continent? Covering crime, romance, children’s fiction and other genres, our panel of experts will unveil the business of genre fiction publishing in Africa.