FEEL GOOD | Cape Town woman celebrates after rejections as books hit shelves

Sue-Ellen Bailey is a freelance author of Parow.

  • Author Sue-Ellen Bailey has been writing since she was a young girl living in Bonteheuwel and Mitchells Plain.
  • Following the refusal of publishing houses, she decides to publish her own books.
  • His book – The Journey of the Forgotten Kahul – is available for purchase at bookstores as well as on Amazon.

After being rejected by publishers, a Cape Town woman says she is “on top of the world” as her long-awaited series of fiction books goes on sale.

Sue-Ellen Bailey, 39, started writing at a young age as a young girl living in Bonteheuwel and Mitchells Plain and always dreamed of making a career out of it.

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Speaking to News24, the author said her journey to publishing her books had not been easy – her work was rejected by publishers and she struggled to find the right fit. to edit his books.


Sue Ellen Bailey, 39, started writing at a young age and always dreamed of pursuing a career in writing.

Photo provided

“I started writing on paper in 2019 and gave birth to my first Forgotten Kahul Journey manuscript. This book has special meaning for me and is based on a magical journey to where I come from,” a question that so many people ask, ”Bailey said.

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Bailey, who lives in Parow, said her first book had always been an inspiration because her parents encouraged her to always read, write and be creative.

“I spent hours every day writing. Finding the rest of the books was as easy as eating a slice of cake. I firmly believe that if you love what you do, you will always have things to do. Write for me. was never about work, it’s something I love to do and it’s really rewarding in so many ways, ”said Bailey.

Bailey decided to publish her own book, which came out in May of last year, a moment she said she would always cherish.

She said:

I had to market the book myself, which is difficult without any help. The editors couldn’t commit to the book because of Covid and didn’t have the spare time, but I was determined to make this trip a success.

The book was edited by Lauren Mooi Publishing in Johannesburg.

Bailey added that writing was her passion that she cherished with all her heart and that she devoted full time to her writing.

“Spending hours inside my home in absolute calm jotting down what I want to say in the next chapter and letting my creativity flow into my writing has been very rewarding,” she said.

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Bailey’s second book in the series, “The Kahul,” is slated for release in March, and the third is slated for release around December.

“I’m very dedicated to my writing and as a self-published author I didn’t limit myself to one genre,” Bailey said. She has also written another children’s book – “Salley and Friends Finding Squirey the Squirrel” – which is under review and will be published in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa.


The fictional book takes the reader on a journey to find out where they came from.

Photo provided

Bailey recalled that an “emotionally proud” moment for her was when a little boy approached her during one of her book signing sessions and asked her if she had really written down the journey of the forgotten Kahul.

She said:

He was so shocked when I said “yes I did”. He said he thought someone who wrote the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings books abroad wrote my books.

“We all have the ability to tell and write our own stories. We all have the vision to be creative and it comes from within, that’s where our own magic happens from within. -Africans are very special people because we come from a country where the cradle of humanity was discovered, ”she added.

According to the author, it was important for her to break with the stigma of Cape Flats.

“Having lived most of my upbringing in Bonteheuwel and Mitchells Plain, I have seen an increase in a lot of stunning positive stories coming out of the Cape Flats areas, and I really want to implore people to shed the perception that Cape Flats is a place that has no ambition, ”she said.

Towards the end of the year, the bubbly author said she had the privilege of attending a writing workshop at Zeekoevlei Elementary School in Grassy Park with co-host Stanley Jacobs of Cape Flats Stories .


Baily said the workshop she attended was liberating.

Photo provided

“It was a mind-blowing experience. It was a privilege to have a writing workshop with the 7th grade students and parents of the school. The MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport of Western Cape Anroux Marais was also present. to show support for the workshop writer. Engaging with those in attendance has been liberating. Our young children really are our future, and it makes me so proud that they are reading at their age, “Bailey said.

Bailey added that due to the success of her books, she decided to donate books to Zeekoevlei’s grade 7 class, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and local non-profit organizations (NPOs). of the region.

“I encourage the youth of Cape Flats to read because the power of reading is the key to success. We all have the ability to write and are very creative individuals,” she added.

The book is available at local bookstores and online at Amazon.

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Colin L. Johnson