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Ester Levinrad

Ester Levinrad - Editor

Johannesburg, South Africa

Editor, editorial project manager, word nerd.

Overview

I have extensive editorial experience - editing, proof-reading and giving writing advice and support - from working as an editor and publisher in trade book publishing. I also have in-depth knowledge of book and magazine production processes and am a skilled writer and communicator. My first love remains fiction and my academic background is in South African literature. I continue to be fascinated by and passionate about the publishing industry, both local and international, and am very lucky to have made my career living and breathing books.

Services
Languages
English (SA) English (UK)
Fiction
Literature Short Story Women's Fiction
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs History Politics & Current Affairs Social & Behavioral Sciences

Work experience

Publisher / Commissioning Editor

Jacana Media

June, 2013 – March, 2015 (over 1 year)

Commissioning and selecting manuscripts for publication at Jacana Media under own list; the management of budgets and production schedules; liaising with authors and freelancers, and negotiating contracts; overseeing the publication process of titles from manuscript-stage to print; some editing, proofreading and final quality-control of titles going to print; assisting in commissioning book covers; writing sales and marketing copy, including book blurbs and advance information sheets.

Management of foreign rights portfolio at Jacana Media; liaising with foreign partners and negotiation of contracts. Attended Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 and 2014.

Management of the Jacana Literary Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation which advances the writing of fiction in the region. The annual Dinaane Debut Fiction Prize (previously the European Union Literary Award) and the annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award are both administered by the JLF.

Management of Jacana’s membership of and contact with the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, with the goal of promoting international “bibliodiversity” (cultural diversity in the world of publishing). Integrally involved in organising the Alliance’s General Meeting held in September 2014 in Cape Town, the culmination of two years of workshops held across the Alliance’s various language networks.

Editor

Kwela Books

March, 2010 – May, 2013 (about 3 years)

Overseeing the publication process of a number of fiction and non-fiction (current affairs) titles from manuscript-stage to the bookshelf (and e-reader), including the management of budgets and production schedules; macro- and micro-editing and proofreading of titles going to print; liaising with freelancers and authors; commissioning book covers; writing sales and marketing copy.

Portfolio (8 selected works)

Sister-sister

Rachel Zadok

Penumbra

Songeziwe Mahlangu

Maybe Mfundo shot me that night. This is all a path to my place of rest. I am being shown my life and the things that happened to me. There was also the night I broke the window in my room. I felt trapped. I tried opening the door, but couldn’t. I was woken by Tongai mumbling that I would not be able to go anywhere. Next, I was pushing on the window. Tongai later told me that I suffer from nig... read more

Maybe Mfundo shot me that night. This is all a path to my place of rest. I am being shown my life and the things that happened to me. There was also the night I broke the window in my room. I felt trapped. I tried opening the door, but couldn’t. I was woken by Tongai mumbling that I would not be able to go anywhere. Next, I was pushing on the window. Tongai later told me that I suffer from nig... read more

Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers

Mandy Rossouw

In Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers political journalist Mandy Rossouw takes us from the last elective conference of the ANC, at Polokwane, to the present day, where we’re introduced to the eight men who have the most influence on what will happen at Mangaung, and following that, in the race to the national poll in 2014. And then we take a tour through ANC politicking in South Africa’s nine prov... read more

In Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers political journalist Mandy Rossouw takes us from the last elective conference of the ANC, at Polokwane, to the present day, where we’re introduced to the eight men who have the most influence on what will happen at Mangaung, and following that, in the race to the national poll in 2014. And then we take a tour through ANC politicking in South Africa’s nine prov... read more

Zumanomics Revisited: The Road from Mangaung to 2030

Raymond Parsons

In the light of global and domestic developments since his 2009 publication Zumanomics, Raymond Parsons now reassesses the economic prospects for South Africa post-Mangaung and following the 2014 general election. While the original book was a collective effort with other contributors, this is an individual one. Many red lights are flashing for the economy and South Africa is struggling to avo... read more

In the light of global and domestic developments since his 2009 publication Zumanomics, Raymond Parsons now reassesses the economic prospects for South Africa post-Mangaung and following the 2014 general election. While the original book was a collective effort with other contributors, this is an individual one. Many red lights are flashing for the economy and South Africa is struggling to avo... read more

Whatever Happened to the Cowley Twins?

Gail Schimmel

There have been a number of unsolved disappearances of children in South African history. In this second novel, Gail Schimmel posits that none is more mysterious than the fictional disappearance of the Cowley Twins on 4 June 1978. On this day, 32-year-old Tertia Cowley took her two-and-a-half-month old twins with her to a doctor’s appointment in Rosebank Medicentre, leaving her 5-year-old son,... read more

There have been a number of unsolved disappearances of children in South African history. In this second novel, Gail Schimmel posits that none is more mysterious than the fictional disappearance of the Cowley Twins on 4 June 1978. On this day, 32-year-old Tertia Cowley took her two-and-a-half-month old twins with her to a doctor’s appointment in Rosebank Medicentre, leaving her 5-year-old son,... read more

Die Boereoorlog (Afrikaans Edition)

Martin Bossenbroek

Die Nederlandse historikus, Martin Bossenbroek, het in 2013 die Nasionale Nederlandse Geskiedenis-prys gewen vir sy nuwe kroniek oor die oorlog wat Suid-Afrika gevorm het, en die boek is ook in 2013 op die kortlys vir die AKO Letterkunde-prys geplaas. Beide hierdie toekennings is vername Nederlandse letterkundige pryse. Hierdie Afrikaanse hardeband, wat in 2015 as 'n Engelse en 'n Afrikaanse s... read more

Die Nederlandse historikus, Martin Bossenbroek, het in 2013 die Nasionale Nederlandse Geskiedenis-prys gewen vir sy nuwe kroniek oor die oorlog wat Suid-Afrika gevorm het, en die boek is ook in 2013 op die kortlys vir die AKO Letterkunde-prys geplaas. Beide hierdie toekennings is vername Nederlandse letterkundige pryse. Hierdie Afrikaanse hardeband, wat in 2015 as 'n Engelse en 'n Afrikaanse s... read more

The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

Penny Busetto

This sparse, disturbing novel reflects the past, present, and future of a woman, Anna P, who lives on an island off the coast of Italy but can no longer remember how she got there. She comes from South Africa but has almost no memories of the place or people there. The only person she has any relationship with is a sex worker whom she pays by the hour. She has abusive encounters with unknown m... read more

This sparse, disturbing novel reflects the past, present, and future of a woman, Anna P, who lives on an island off the coast of Italy but can no longer remember how she got there. She comes from South Africa but has almost no memories of the place or people there. The only person she has any relationship with is a sex worker whom she pays by the hour. She has abusive encounters with unknown m... read more

The Lazarus Effect

HJ Golakai

Voinjama Johnson, 28, is an ambitious investigative journalist at the Cape Town magazine Urban. Her life is messy, and to top it all, Vee’s been seeing things: a teenage girl in a red hat, more specifically, an unsettling hallucination that goes hand-in-hand with debilitating episodes which Vee is loath to call “panic attacks”. When Vee spots a photograph of the girl from her visions at a loca... read more

Voinjama Johnson, 28, is an ambitious investigative journalist at the Cape Town magazine Urban. Her life is messy, and to top it all, Vee’s been seeing things: a teenage girl in a red hat, more specifically, an unsettling hallucination that goes hand-in-hand with debilitating episodes which Vee is loath to call “panic attacks”. When Vee spots a photograph of the girl from her visions at a loca... read more

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