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Porcupine Press

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Review | Travel writer, editor shares his experience with locals

Mr David Robbins, a travel writer and the supervising editor of Porcupine Press, provided Writers 2000 with a morning of teaching and insight into his life on August 29. The workshop focused on travel writing and he shared the principles of generating excitement, drawing material from strangers while making friends, following personal impulses and apply- ing creative and imaginative skills to travel writing.

“The fact that people in South Africa write in spite of publishing difficulties is remarkable, given that there is very little subsidy for ‘struggling’ writers as there is in some other countries,” said Mr Robbins. Mr Robbins started travelling in Africa in I994 and this quickly turned into an obsession. He wrote narratives about where he travelled, with insights below the conventional tourist surfaces. In 2005, the South African Broad- casting Corporation (SABC) asked Mr Robbins to research the San radio station XKfm. This brought him into contact with the San soldiers who had fought for South Africa in Angola.

Based on his research experiences, he wrote On the Bridge of Goodbye, deal- ing with ‘the destruction of a stone-age people’. Mr David Robbins took the audience on a journey of his own life experi- ences, generating new insights, some nostalgic memories and reflections on many of his own achievements.

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