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Ready to read!Niq Mhlongo Niq "Nicholas" Mhlongo was born in Midway-Chiawelo (Soweto) on 10th June 1973. He completed his matric at Malenga High School in Limpopo Province in 1991. In 1994 he enrolled for a BA degree at Wits University, majoring in African Literature and Political Studies. He completed the degree in 1996. In 1997 he enrolled for a law degree at the same university and changed to the University of Cape Town (UCT) the following year. He continued studying law at UCT from 1998 to 2000. He then dropped out at third-year level to write his first novel, Dog Eat Dog, which was published in April 2004 by Kwela. He is currently employed by Fair Lady in Cape Town as an intern feature writer. Ready to read!Linda Nell Linda Nell was born in Pretoria in 1969 and spent her life trying to emigrate to Cape Town, a feat which she achieved at last in 1993. Educational qualifications include matriculating from Ixopo High School and a BA (Hons) in Afrikaans & Nederlands from the University of Natal. A passion for books and a desperate need to pay back a student loan led to a part-time job in a bookshop and she has been hooked on the book trade ever since. After working as the assistant manager at Wordsworth Books Tygervalley she became the manager of the company's Gardens Centre branch before moving to Exclusive Books Cavendish Square. In 2000 she opened the Bloemfontein branch of EB, but returned to Cape Town in 2001 to manage Exclusive Books in the Tygervalley Centre.
Michiel BothaReady to read! Michiel Botha: I am 30 years old and have studied mechanical engineering, wood science and graphic design. At this point I have been a bookseller for three years at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront, and have been designing books at Alinea Studio, Cape Town, for nearly two years.

Purchasing books and awareness of book design
Dave ChislettReady to read! Dave Chislett is 34 and lives in Jozi. He has also lived in PE, Cape Town and London. He managed to get a BA from Wits, majoring in English and Philosophy, and won the Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing award from the same institution in 1998. He has somehow survived a career as a freelance music journalist and promoter but is much better now. He is better known as the editor of the Urban series of short fiction, and also appears in the From Joburg To Jozi collection, published by Penguin. He is currently working on a novel.

My voice is being heard in different ways
Nelleke de Jager Ready to read!Nčlleke de Jager has been a publisher in Cape Town ever since completing her BA Hons degree in Afrikaans Literature and Journalism (cum laude) at Rhodes University (1995). She initiated the Nuwe Stemme project at Tafelberg Publishers and was also co-compiler of Nuwe Stemme 2 (2002, with Petra Müller). She currently manages five romance imprints for NB Publishers (of which she launched four in 2004). In 2003 she also received a BSc Hons in Computer Science and Information Systems (cum laude) from Unisa. She has been responsible for NetFiksie and PoësieNet (on LitNet) for several years, and she sometimes reviews dance productions for daily newspapers. In another life she might have preferred breathing more fresh air in the Karoo. But hey, Cape Town still rocks.

Die wetenskap van liefde, en ander maniere om te dobbel
The science of romance, and other ways of gambling
Rudi MR VenterReady to read! For the past five years, the 26-year-old Rudi MR Venter has been a lecturer on the Publishing Studies Programme in the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria. His wider research interest focuses on the field of book science, more specifically applied to contemporary publishing of Afrikaans fiction. Currently he is in the process of finalising an M.IS thesis on this topic. He has presented papers and published articles both nationally and internationally and is involved in a number of research projects, including: the development of the Production Trends Database (PTD) - the only consolidated source of book production statistics; contract research that documents the size, extent and nature of the local book industry; and the quantitative analysis of the Jasmyn reader profile that was compiled in 2003 by NB Publishers.

Waarnatoe met die Afrikaanse fiksieboek?
Which way with the Afrikaans fiction book?

Dumisani SibiyaReady to read! Dumisani Sibiya, second-born son of Khethekile and Mshiyeni, was born in 1976 in Nquthu, Northern KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a Masters degree in Publishing Studies and is currently working towards a PhD in African literature. Until recently, when he joined Macmillan Publishers, Sibiya taught African Literature and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. His debut novel, currently prescribed for grade 10 in KwaZulu-Natal, Kungasa Ngifile (Over my dead body) (Tafelberg Publishers, 2002), won the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature in 2002, and was a finalist in the MNET Book Prize in 2003 and 2004. His other books include two collections of short stories entitled Izinyembezi (Ilitha, 2003), Amancoko (forthcoming) and an anthology of poetry edited by CD Ntuli, Zibuyile Emasisweni (due to be published by Oxford University Press in December). His books have been highly commended by eminent Zulu professors, among them DBZ Ntuli and CT Msimang.
As a student of academic excellence he has been awarded the following scholarships and awards: Murray & Roberts Bursary, Harold & Doris Tothill Bequest Scholarship, Mellon Mentoring Scholarship, Dr Khambule Growing Our Own Timber Programme Award, Vilakazi Memorial Award, Isaac-Moepuli Memorial Award, and ISMA Flior Award. These are mainly for distinctive achievement in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Ukukhala akusizi; zama okuningi: ukuthuthukiswa kwemibhalo ezilimini zaboMdabu kuleli
Cry not; try a lot: the development and promotion of African-language literatures

Sarah Britten Ready to read!Sarah Britten: Born 1974 in the northern suburbs of Jo'burg, I wanted to be a concert pianist until the age of 13, when I realised that I didn't have the temperament or, ultimately, the talent for it. So I changed my allegiance to writing, which I had enjoyed since Grade 2. I had some great writing teachers over the years, particularly Mr Brooks, the headmaster at Redhill, who taught me in Std 9 and Matric. I did two drama degrees at Wits (clearly banking on writing a best-seller some day!), worked as a freelance journalist and started a PhD before ending up in the advertising industry. My clients range from to Wimpy, so I can tell you a lot about international burger trends. The never-ending PhD is nearly-nearly there; I'm on the last chapter and writer's block applies to academic work too. I am the author of two published novels for teenagers, The Worst Year of My Life - So Far (which has just been published in Germany) and The Martin Tudhope Show. I have several novels for adults in the pipeline. This pipeline is the fabled natural gas line from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan: long and fraught with obstacles.

What's in a name? The author as brand
Michelle MatthewsReady to read! Michelle Matthews has worked as a journalist and sub-editor for the Mail & Guardian, CityLife and Big Media, and has written for various publications, including Shape, FHM and Men's Health. Before her move into book publishing, she was managing editor of SL magazine. She is currently publishing manager of Struik's new women's imprint, Oshun Books.

Fix those new shoes, I'll have a guava for lunch
Eugene Ashton Ready to read!Eugene Ashton was born in Barberton. His secondary education at Pretoria Boys' High School was followed by a BA and Honours in History at the University of Pretoria. He is currently at work on his MA. He has worked for Jonathan Ball Publishers for some seven years in various capacities and currently heads up a sales division at the company.

A niche enclave or international stage?
Megan HallReady to read! Megan Hall commonly wears two hats: while working as a commissioning editor of dictionaries and youth fiction for a local publishing company, she is also a writer of poetry. New Coin, New Contrast, Fidelities and Carapace have published a meagre score of her poems since 1991. She has also edited both poetry and fiction for New Contrast, studied at UCT, written poetry study guides for matric students in KZN, and celebrated her 32nd birthday. She lives in Cape Town with her partner and a cat. She hopes writing will not abandon her, despite the way she neglects it.

Hearing voices
Phaswane MpeReady to read! Phaswane Mpe, 34, is a Doctoral Fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). He holds an MA in African Literature (1996) from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Diploma in Advanced Study in Publishing (1997) from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford. Mpe has had stories, poems and academic articles published in books and journals locally and internationally. His debut novel, Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2001), was short-listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Award 2002 and the Sanlam Literary Award for Fiction 2001. He lives in Johannesburg.

Literature and publicity in the South African Media
Dingwalwa le Kwalakwatšo ya Tšona Dikgatišobakeng tša Afrika Borwa
Henrietta Rose Innes Ready to read!Henrietta Rose-Innes's second novel, The Rock Alphabet, is being published by Kwela Books and will be released in October 2004. It has been selected as part of Publisher's Choice. Her first novel, Shark's Egg, was published by Kwela in 2000, and was nominated for the M-Net Book Prize. She was born in 1971 in Cape Town and currently lives in Observatory in that city. She works as a book editor and occasional film and TV scriptwriter, and has had several short stories published.

The editor
Sarah JohnsonReady to read! Award-winning poet Sarah Johnson was born in 1980 and has lived in Cape Town her entire life. She completed her BA (Hons) in English and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town, and most recently her MA in Creative Writing at the same institution. She tutors in English and Linguistics at UCT, and lectures in Linguistics. Her first collection of poems, Personae, has just been published by UCT in association with Snailpress.

In Defence of the Creative Writing Degree
Richard FoxReady to read! Richard Fox (fox) was born in Cape Town in 1975 and moved to Johannesburg in 1990. He began writing in earnest in 1992 and is presently working on his first book of verse, which he hopes to self-publish and market internationally. He lives and writes in Melville and works in Bedfordview as a second-hand bookstore manager. He has taken two motorbikes through four major accidents, boasts more internal metal than your average household, and plays way too many computer games. Poetry suits his inward quest and thirst for truth and meaning, and over the years he has come to respect the word as one of the strongest driving forces behind human evolution. He remains in the service of the Muse. His greatest works have yet to be written.

Crossing the Line
LitNet: 4 October 2004

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