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On Saturday 1 July 2017, Thabiso Mahlape, highly acclaimed publisher and founder of Blackbird Books, will be hosting a Writing Masterclass at Jacana Media, sharing useful tips and tricks with aspiring authors on the practice of good writing.

This follows on her first masterclass which was attended by aspiring and accomplished writers alike in March. “The first event received great feedback from our guests, we even managed to support another writer Dr Disa Mogashana who has since penned her first book,” adds Mahlape.

Mogashana, whose latest offering Unfathered, explores the fatherlessness epidemic currently gripping South Africa will join Mahlape as a speaker on the day.

“I receive daily questions over email and on social media from aspiring writers asking for assistance with publishing. The opportunity to participate in the Writer’s masterclass gives me a platform to answer those questions,” says Mahlape.

The five-hour Writer’s masterclass workshop will include lunch and an engaging Q&A session where Mahlape will be joined by Mogashana to answer questions and offer advice on everything from mentorship to editing and more. A range of Blackbird Books will also be on sale on the day.“Through this masterclass we hope to inspire aspirating authors, and to give useful pointers on publishing a successful book,” adds Mahlape.

Mahlape, who has published numerous award-winning books, completed her Bachelor of Information Science in Publishing in 2008 at the University of Pretoria. She began her career working as a publisher for Jacana Media before being asked to head up the company’s imprint which would come to be called Blackbird Books; a platform for young and emerging black talent designed for the multitude of black stories that exist and need to be told.

“In my personal capacity, I had reached a ceiling in terms of growth as a publisher,” says Mahlape. “And so, when the challenge of Blackbird Books presented itself, I knew it was exactly the kind of thing that the South African literary space needed.”

Mahlape currently writes for the Sowetan newspaper and draws from her own life to examine society, especially with regards to the many issues that women need to navigate. She is also a public speaker, speaking on the same themes she writes on as well as purpose and following passion. A subject she knows quite intimately after studying engineering and later abandoning it to pursue publishing, her passion.

View Thabiso Mahlape’s interview

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