The South African Book Fair 2020 Virtual Event

Fri Sep 11, 10:00 - Wed Sep 30, 17:00

Event is online


The South African Book Fair is going ahead as a virtual event from 11-13 September 2020. Access it, from virtually anywhere, for only R50 per ticket, for the entire Fair!

This year’s virtual South African Book Fair offers a highly relevant, topical, immersive and engaging virtual experience for readers and book lovers of all ages as well as for authors, illustrators, poets and members of the book and publishing industry.


A simplified version of the annual physical Fair, the virtual Fair will nonetheless continue to offer a full and exciting programme of stimulating online discussions, entertainment and fun with something for everyone.


Sessions are a mix of poetry sessions, author-led panel discussions, SMME skills development workshops, the industry marketplace as well as the beloved National Book Week Magic Tent which will also take flight into the digital realm. This ever-popular part of the Fair will offer kids a lovingly created programme of online storytelling, poetry sessions, writing,  illustration and maker workshops as well as motivational talks and puppet and theatre shows.


Among the new highlights is a bespoke Battle of the Bookclubs Quiz which will start during August, with the semi-final and final taking place during the Fair. 


As has become its signature, the 2020 virtual Fair will see over 22 expert and author-led panels or sessions engaging with topical issues with the books to match. Some of the sessions include:


  • Feminism (Our Bodies Our Truths; Perils of patriarchy: Whenever, wherever, everyday – confront not cower)
  • Race & Identity (Black Lives Matter; White Privilege; Dala What You Must: Stories from the Cape Flats; Breaking through shame: Overcoming societal norms) 
  • Relationships & Erotica (Husbands, wives and lovers: the empresses of erotica share their secrets; Stuff we wish we knew before getting married: faith, love and everything in between)
  • Crime (Investigative Journalism; Villains of Past and Present)
  • Food (Down to earth: from garden to table; Kitchen Queen: Nourishment for the soul, glow for the skin)
  • Travel (Collecting from afar: Stories full of home)
  • Science Fiction (Time, Space and the Anthropocene: fiction and the fall of man)
  • Economics  (Is the glass half empty? How to create economic opportunity in South Africa)
  • Poetry (Keorapetse Kgositsile Poetry Café with Hear My Voice)


The South African Book Fair Marketplace has also moved online, making it even more accessible for exhibitors to reach a wider audience. Supporting, connecting and showcasing the publishing industry during the enormous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is a key focus of this year’s event.

As part of building a reflective and representative South African and African literary culture, 26 beneficiaries have been selected for exhibition subsidies at this year’s Fair. A  further 13 beneficiaries will join them for the training that is part of the comprehensive SMME skills development initiative made possible by the FP&M Seta which funds an ongoing South African Book Fair enterprise development programme and supports The South African Book Fair 2020 event.

The South African Book Fair is an initiative of the South African Book Development Council in partnership with the FP&M Seta.


For the full South African Book Fair 2020 programme visit