ParkWords literary festival: first of its kind

A literary festival with a difference comes to Parkview this Heritage Day, Wednesday 24 September.The first ParkWords Parkview Literary Festival is unique in that almost all of the authors taking part in the event live in Parkview or surrounding suburbs.

Organised by the Parkview Residents’ Association (PRA), ParkWords will feature more than 20 discussions by leading authors on a range of subjects including politics, journalism, fiction writing, travel, business and food. A full programme of events for children is being presented at the Parkview Library, one of seven venues on or around Tyrone Avenue. For petrol-heads, the Zoo Lake Garage is presenting a number of talks and discussions on motorsports.

All events are open to the public, are free of charge (on a first-come-first seated basis) and will typically last one hour. Those attending will have the chance to question their favourite writers and have them autograph copies of their books. A highlight of the festival will be a one-hour walk through Parkview conducted by members of Johannesburg Heritage while special blue plaques at buildings of particular historical significance will be unveiled on the day.

As well as literary talks, books will be on sale and various crafters will display their wares. Parkview restaurants are participating enthusiastically in the festival while various food trucks will also be selling a variety of meals.

Tyrone Avenue will be closed between Ennis and Athlone roads on the day with the programme running between 10am and 5pm. To avoid traffic congestion residents of Parkview are asked to walk to the event and those coming from further afield to park in adjoining streets.

Participating authors and literary folk who are giving up their time for free include Anton Harber, Justice Malala, Nechama Brodie, Jonny Steinberg, Michele Magwood, Ray Hartley, Antony Altbeker, Tim Couzens, Peter Bruce,  Denis Becket, Hamilton Wende,  Jenny Crwys-Williams, Joanne Richards, Kate Sidley and  Thurlow Hanson- Moore.

The PRA’s Theresa Gibbon said ParkWords was a celebration of the “quite remarkable depth of literary talent we have in the area”.

“We thought it would be great fun to arrange an event at which the public could meet these often well-known writers, hear their thoughts on a range of really interesting subjects and to pick their brains afterwards,” Gibbon said, adding: “We’re confident that the whole family – devoted bookworms and occasional readers – will have a really fun, relaxed and very interesting day out. ParkWords will have something for everyone.”

Kids’ entertainment (Library, Library Parking and Weber House)

  • Children’s story time – readings by Parktown Girls and St Theresa’s (see programme for details) – 10h00 and 14h00
  • Teenager’s Writing workshop hosted by All About Writing, facilitated Mandy Collins  (from Gr 8 upwards)  – 11h30
  • Jumping castles and balloon sculptor (supplied by Pam Golding Properties)
  • Buskers  and facepainter (supplied by the Business Owners’ Association of Parkview)
  • Bookmaking at the Library – Create a book with your own unique voice. All materials supplied. All age groups welcome (supplied by the Library) – ongoing throughout the day
  • Watch out for the Gruffalo – who will be visiting Parkview for the first time


  • Eats and refreshments will be served at the many restaurants along the strip.  The Mother Truckers will also serve food in the Parkview Library parking.


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