13 June, 2013

Edyth Bulbring

Edyth Bulbring

will be a speaker at an SCBWI event to be held at the Sandton Public Library on 2 July 2013.

Edyth comes from the Eastern Cape where she attended Collegiate High. She completed a BA at UCT and an MBA at Wits Business School. She has worked as a journalist and political correspondent.

She has three children and a dog and lives in Johannesburg.

To date, she has had six books published in South Africa:

Cornelia Button and the Globe of Gamagion. Jacana. 2008.
Melly, Mrs Ho and Me. Penguin. 2010.
Melly, Fatty and Me. Penguin. 2011.
Pops and the Nearly Dead. Penguin. 2010.
The Club. Jonathan Ball. 2008.
The Summer of Toffie and Grummer. OUP. 2008.

The rights to the Melly books have been bought by a UK publisher and Melly, Mrs Ho and Me is published as: A Month with April-May. Hot Key Books. 2013. 100 Days of April-May, the sequel, will be published in September 2013. Hot Key will publish another of her books, The Summer of Toffie and Grummer, in 2014 and the two April-May books will be published by Bayard in France in 2014. This has been made possible by a UK agent.A few schools have selected Melly, Mrs Ho and Me as a school reader.

Edyth started writing for her children. Cornelia Button and the Globe of Gamagion is a fantasy about three children living in Johannesburg. When this book was rejected by a number of publishers, she wrote The Summer of Toffie and Grummer in a month and received four offers from different publishers. In the same year, she finished The Club.Even though Edyth writes for young adults, she doesn't read many YA books, explaining that this would be too terrifying, not wanting to be influenced. Interestingly, in a recent review of A Month with April-May, her writing is compared with that of Jacqueline Wilson and Louise Rennison. Edyth does read voraciously though, consuming books for adults, local and international. Her alltime favourite book is Harper Lee's To kill a Mocking Bird, of which she has more than 30 copies!Her books are her own stories, uniquely imagined. Of course, she draws on her own childhood experiences as well as those of her three children.

The names of her characters are carefully chosen, each one with its own hidden meaning. Her daughter, Sophie, inspired the Melly stories while people in her mother's retirement village inspired Pops and the Nearly Dead.

In an interview with Teen Librarian www.teenlibrarian.co.uk, she explains: "I don't usually write with any audience in mind. I simply tell the story I want to tell. I like writing books from the perspective of young people. Teenagers are interesting people and their take on life fascinates me. I think they tend to be more honest than adults. And their observations on life and society tend to be less muted and constrained by convention."

Edyth has also ventured into writing for other media. Her story Confessions of a Virgin Loser is available on a mobile phone.

Edyth Bulbring received the Golden Baobab Prize for her short story, Sour worms in 2010/2011. In 2013, she was awarded the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for Youth Literature for Melly, Fatty and Me.

What stands out in Edyth's writing is her original approach, her sensitivity alongside the downright honesty. She's also clever in her choice of words, her allusions and her wonderful sense of humour. But most of all, she's wicked in the original sense of the word. She pinpoints the issues, the character's foibles and strengths. Young adult fans might agree that she's wicked, but in their sense of the word.

No comments: