Monday, January 24, 2022

Motswana author heads for Book Expo America

The United States Embassy is funding one of Botswana’s promising prose writers, Enole Ditsheko, to participate at the May 29-31 book expo in New York City.

The Embassy has funded Ditsheko to the tune of P36, 000 (US$4, 000.00) covering lodging, booth exhibition and round-trip airfare.

Book Expo America (BEA) remains the largest book industry event in North America, and one of the largest annual gatherings of English language publishers in the world.

“We in Public Affairs of the United States Embassy are pleased to cover his expenses to the amount $4, 000 to support his travel to the book fair. Furthermore, we are delighted to be associated with writers of Ditsheko’s calibre and pledge our support to the abundant writing talent in Botswana.We count on his goodwill to showcase Batswana authors in general at the book fair stall,” reads a statement from the Embassy.

Ditsheko is an award-winning author with two of his manuscripts in previous national writers’ contests scooping the best prizes.

The British Council and Lancaster University 2004 competition selected Ditsheko’s adult fiction ‘Fading Voices of Royalty’ for the best prize, while the 2007 British Council and Books Botswana contest picked his non-fiction ‘My White Grandpa’ ÔÇô a memoir, and published it in 2008.

An established journalist and celebrated creative writer, Ditsheko began launching his writings at book fairs and writers conferences, attracting international audiences. Through professional networks, he initially appeared at the BEA in 2011.

The show organisers have invited him again, and he needed financial support to undertake the mission of showcasing not only his writings, but general writers and authors of this land, in a bid to give Botswana the necessary exposure.

Ditsheko previously participated at BEA through the assistance of the Department of Arts and Culture. Furthermore, he has selflessly invested his personal resources to leverage his writings at similar events including the Cape Town Book Fair and Writers’ Digest Conference.

“Whenever I am enabled to participate in these events, I make it a point to be a literary ambassador of Botswana so that commercial publishers, especially from the developed nations can see potential in investing in our authors. It will surely take a bit of time before they can consider us, particularly that multinationals must see profitability as a viable and basic reason to invest their resources. Our small population is a major challenge,” comments Ditsheko.

Book Expo America has attracted 24 nations of the world and more than 750 authors participating in panels, autographs and other special appearances throughout the course of the convention.

“I am especially happy that we have 16 countries visiting us this year that were not at the show in 2013. The convention is widely known as an ideal place for content creators, media, booksellers, rights professionals, movie and television executives to meet new authors, discover new books, learn about trends shaping the book industry, network with those who have a passion for books and reading. BEA is foremost a gathering place for creative writers and thinkers and the commerce they create,” notes Steve Rosato, the Show Manager.

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