The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, will host the 23rd Time of the Writer International Festival from 16 to 21 March 2020.  

  • 16 February 2020
  • General, KZNSA, Book Launch

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, will host the 23rd Time of the Writer International Festival from 16 to 21 March 2020.  

The written word envelops Durban as South African, African and International writers gather for a thought-provoking week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and stimulating discussions. Time of the Writer features a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights and short story writers. The festival partners with eThekwini Municipality Libraries department to deliver a community engagement programme that actively promotes reading and writing in four community libraries (Craigieburn, Firwood, Mortoon and Chesterville ext). This programme involves students, library users, librarians and community members. The day program also takes place in a variety of art centres and schools around Durban where workshops and panel discussions will be hosted. The opening night, where all the writers will be introduced, will take place at Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu.  Throughout the festival, evening sessions will feature writers on panel discussions at the KZNSA in Glenwood.


First confirmed writers

The festival is proud to announce the first nine writers that will participate during Time of the Writer 2020:

  • Forgiveness advocate, author and public speaker Candice Mama  [SA]

  • Journalist and award-winning author Fred Khumalo [SA]

  • Writer and poet Haska Shyyan [Ukraine]

  • Award-winning Ugandan fiction writer Jennifer Makumbi [Uganda]

  • Storyteller and short story author Keletso Mopai [SA]

  • Award-winning novelist Cynthia Jele [SA]

  • Rwandan-born Namibian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet and photographer Remy Ngambije [Namibia]

  • Sociologist and author Shafinaaz Hassim [SA]

  • Literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright Siphiwo Mahala [SA]


Short story competition

High school learners are encouraged to submit their short stories for the annual short story competition held in conjunction with Time of the Writer Festival. The competition aims to encourage creative expression in young people while functioning as a springboard for the future writers of South Africa. With the festival’s long standing commitment toward nurturing a culture of reading and writing, this competition has received a wide appeal that continues to grow with each edition of the festival.  Winners will be awarded with cash prices, book vouchers and festival tickets. 

Time of the Writer is one of the largest and longest-running literature festivals in Africa. Over the years, it has hosted a wide variety of internationally-acclaimed thought leaders such as Zakes Mda and NoViolet Bulawayo, from all over the world, with the main focus on Africa.  

In 2017 the City of Durban was awarded the first African UNESCO City of Literature and at the fore is Time of the Writer. Time of The Writer promotes South African and African writers in the current cultural climate that sees literature as part of a bigger social process around nation building and social cohesion within South Africa and our continent. This festival has – and continues – to encourage debates and dialogue around all forms of the spoken and written word as part of the Centre for Creative Arts’ agenda to celebrate contemporary culture and histories, both local and international.

The festival is made possible by the support from eThekwini Municipality, National Department of Arts and Culture and KwaZulu Natal Department of Arts and Culture.

To stay updated, please follow @Timeofthewriter on Twitter and Instagram or like the festival on Facebook at

Share on social media

Gallery   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Café   Tues - Fri 08.00-17.00 | Sat 08.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Shop   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00