Win a copy of The Outcast Hours

The Outcast Hours, a brand-new anthology edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, officially releases worldwide this week. (Jared and Mahvesh are the dynamic duo behind the highly acclaimed The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories. Read my review here.)
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Notes from my Open Book Short Story Workshop

I hosted a workshop on short story writing at this year’s Open Book Festival. Some of the greatest writers in the world are known for their short stories – Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nadine Gordimer – and South Africa is home to some of the best.

I love short stories, writing and reading them, and wanted to share some tips for aspiring writers.

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Short story: The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

From my research I can safely say that the first mention of the grinning man was in Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, published in 1869. In it, a boy named Gwynplaine was mutilated to such an extent it left him with a permanent grin. The book inspired several films of the same name, the most famous being Conrad Veidt’s eerie portrayal in 1928. His rictus grin shocked the world.

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Bloody Parchment Halloween readings

19 November 2015

Last month SA Horrorfest held its annual literary chapter, Bloody Parchment, at the historic (and suitably spooky) Labia Theatre in Cape Town.

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Short story: After Dark

After Dark

“I’m coming, Ma.”
I can’t really see where I’m going behind the stack of plastic garden chairs I’m carrying down to the cellar. I keep knocking into things, like my junior kickboxing trophy, now lying in three parts on the floor. The worst is having to navigate the stairs, so I have to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, praying every time my foot hovers unsteadily over the next step that I won’t fall.
My foot lands on the telltale creaky floorboard letting me know I’ve reached the bottom. Exhaling with relief, I drop the stack of chairs and spot my mother fussing over a vase of white lilies.

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Short story: The Battle

The Battle

Jomo grips the side of the table as if something horrifying is unfolding before him. I can only imagine his agony because it’s never happened to me. You see, he just played his best card, and I’m about to claim it.

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Short story: First Date

They were on a date. It was very by the book.
His mother had pressed a crisp one hundred rand note into his hand before she dropped them off at the entrance to the carnival.
To her credit, she kept the embarrassing behaviour to a minimum.
It was a perfect night; not too cold with a cloudless sky ablaze with stars. It was a night where magic could happen.

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Short story: Bobbing for apples


27 October 2010

The annual Cape Town Horrorfest kicked off tonight with the second Bloody Parchment event at the Lounge of Horror (Book Lounge).

Some of SA’s best writers, like Sarah Lotz and Maya Fowler entertained the crowd with something scary, and in Sarah’s case, a sneak peak at her new novel, The Mall.

I wrote a little something short and sweet for the occasion. It was particularly fun seeing the audience cringe at the more grislier parts. Hope you enjoy!

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Short story: The Wishing Well


To my father’s utter horror, a starling pops its head through my window to visit. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it ensures a good mood for the entire day. This story was inspired by that little bird.

I originally wrote this for someone, but now it’s here. Thanks to Helen for helping my little birds fly.

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