About JBF Festival

The JBF Festival is held over four days in September, from Thursday to Sunday, 30st August – 2 September 2018. The Fair will open at 09h00 and close at 17h00 every day. Special events may be held beyond 17h00 by arrangement with the organisers and will be reflected in the Final Programme.

The Festival provides a platform for readers, writers, artists, school youth, children, adults and the public. [read more] The Festival is organised around the JBF’s work with its constituencies and the public throughout the year. The Jozi Book Fair annual event includes book launches, conversations with writers, art and literature exhibitions, a networking space for small publishers’; a discussion forum of Reading Circles, especially youth groups from townships in South Africa; and a space for local writers to interact with writers from Africa and the world.

The Programme of the JBF is curated from below, and consists of the Exhibitors and events hosted by the public. Over the past three years between 50-70% of events in the programme was hosted by the public.


The first two days of the annual Festival (Thursday and Friday, 30 August to 31 August 2018), are dedicated to an organised Schools Programme for school-going youth and the Skills Workshops for young adults and adults. The Schools Programme has developed into a distinct feature of the Festival which includes conversations with authors, where school youth engage the authors whose books they have read.

The Jozi Book Fair annual Festival is open to ALL schools. All Schools MUST must apply to 6 participate in the Festival to avoid disappointment.

Deadline for School Applications to attend the Festival: Thursday, 29 June 2018.


The General Public Programme promotes all the arts and consists of Literature, Roundtable discussions, Seminars, Workshops, Children’s programme, Theatre, Film, Poetry, Live Jazz, Publisher Exhibitions & book sales and art Exhibitions. The Public Programme takes place on Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 2 September 2018.

THEME FOR 2018: Literature And Working People

Every year the JBF chooses a theme to focus on a strategic constituency to mobilise in the building and strengthening of a movement of readers. The theme also informs the content of the Fair. This year the theme of the Fair, Literature And Working People.

The aim is to mobilise women wherever they are – the girl child in school, in tertiary institutions, working and/or unemployed – to explore the position of women in communities and look at their literature historically and now.

The theme informs the Fair’s content and will historicise the work of women authors and artists and engage the role women play in society. It will also explore how women characters are portrayed in literature and the arts, to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the position of women in South Africa and beyond. The JBF is a platform to engage the theme broadly.