Afrikaans & Dutch
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Writer's Workshops

The Department of Afrikaans and Dutch has been presenting workshops on creative writing for students and members of the public since 1999. The purpose of our annual workshops is to offer prospective writers the opportunity of honing their talents under guidance of an established writer or an expert from the writing and publishing profession. Poetry is by far the most popular genre, but workshops in other genres are also regularly presented: short stories (including regional and magazine stories); columns and essays; novels; dramas; and children and youth literature. Workshops for high-school pupils have also been presented. Among the more than 50 writers who have already presented workshops are the Hertzog Prize winners Marlene van Niekerk, Ingrid Winterbach, Henning Pieterse, Petra Müller, Deon Opperman and Tertius Kapp.

We do not undertake to turn anyone into a well-known author within a few hours’ time. We do attempt, however, to stir up slumbering talents, and to help develop creative and critical thinking. For that purpose we provide space for discussing the work of prospective writers within a group context. Furthermore, workshop participants are exposed to the writing of established writers so as to broaden their reading experience. Pitfalls easily stepped into are pointed out. Information on publication possibilities and the preparation of manuscripts is provided.

The workshops usually take place on weekends (Friday afternoon till Saturday afternoon; or only Saturdays) at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch. Among other things, the programme consists of talks, work sessions and text discussions. In order to do the workshop format justice and to ensure effective interaction, places are limited. Participants must submit a manuscript beforehand (for instance, three poems or a short story), which will be reviewed by the presenters and discussed in the work sessions.

Since the Department regards the writers’ workshops a service to the community, entry fees are kept as low as possible. The entry fee includes: notes (booklets with participants’ poems/short stories, notes, etc.), tea/coffee and light refreshments.