November Newsletter: Write your way to a more creative life

 In All About Writing, Newsletters


Write your way to a more creative life

Today we launch our schedule of courses for 2020. They range from our mentoring programme to a Venetian retreat; from an introduction to creative writing to courses on film and television writing. We have created a virtual community of writers through our online courses and mentoring programme – but we’ll also be running programmes in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Stow-on-the-Wold and, naturally, Venice.

It’s obvious that we take writing seriously – but it’s worth asking why we believe you should too.

To start with, research has shown that writing sharpens and expands our capacity to empathise – and if there’s one thing the world need now, it’s empathy and creativity.

Writing is also a therapy all on its own, promoting your emotional and psychic health.

And finally, of course, writing is fun. There’s nothing as satisfying as drafting an accomplished account of a real or an imagined story.

Here’s how we can help you make 2020 a creative year:

If you would like a simple introduction to writing, we can offer you our introductory Power of Writing. Or, if you’re ready to embark on a project, but don’t know where or how to start, our Creative Writing Course (online or face-to-face in Johannesburg or Cape Town) will give you all the skills you need to write a book, a story or even a blog. Many of the people who enrol on our courses do so simply to flex their writing muscles and explore their creativity.

If you lean towards film and television, there’s plenty to feed your soul and get you writing scripts and screenplays which will feed your pocket as well.

And if we’re talking replenishment, nothing will feed your creative spirit quite like our Venice Writing Retreat in September. Last year, our retreat was booked out before the end of January. This year we are already more than half full. There are limited places still available.

Here is our programme in full.  There’s more than enough here to keep you happily creative through the year, and give you everything you need to produce works of astonishing genius.

Brainstorm? Good idea? Join us on a free webinar

We are committed to giving as much value as we can, and as many free offerings as we can manage. So, here are the details of our latest free webinar.

You’ve had what you hope is a great idea for a story… Now, how do you know that fledgling idea has wings? And how do you make it soar? Our free webinar on brainstorming will show you how to do just that – and as a bonus, along with the theory, we’ll throw in a live brainstorm, to which you’ll be able to contribute your own ideas as we go along. Diarise it now: 2 December at 7pm SA time (GMT+2:00). Sign up here to reserve your place.

Community News

Our own Jo-Anne Richards will be in discussion with acclaimed poet and novelist Dr Finuala Dowling, at Exclusive Books, Cavendish, in Cape Town on 7 November at 6 for 6.30pm. You’re all welcome, but please RSVP for numbers.

They’ll be talking about the book that changed her life. When it came out in 1996, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, launched in London through Headline Review, sold nearly 30 000 copies. We are proud to announce that it has now been relaunched by Pan Macmillan as a Picador Africa Heritage Classic, where it joins books by Ellen Kuzwayo, Frank Chikane, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Pallo Jordan and Johan Steyn.

Here’s what Finuala had to say about its relaunch: “On its debut, The Innocence of Roast Chicken was the perfect herald of South Africa’s transition. It remains an enduringly lyrical and evocative landmark novel, both coolly rational and achingly nostalgic in its depiction of the beloved country.”

Last week, Jo-Anne had a very successful launch of the book at Love Books (it was packed to the rafters) in Melville, Johannesburg. If you don’t already have a copy, you can order yourself one here.

Our travel writing and non-fiction specialist, Fred de Vries has also been busy.

His seventh book, Wiegelied voor de witte man, was launched in the Netherlands on 24 October in a packed Worm theatre in Rotterdam. Situated in America’s Deep South and South Africa, Wiegelied voor de witte man (Lullaby for the white man) starts as a search for the roots of the music that Fred grew up with, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin etc. But it quickly develops into something more than a book about blues, country and soul. It becomes a personal journey that goes deep into the heart of issues such as black anger and pain and white supremacy and fear.

You can buy a copy of Fred’s book here.

Our Writing Challenge

All About Writing’s latest writing challenge offers the winner a literary assessment of 5000 words of writing worth R 2750 / £ 150 or a voucher to the same value to use on one of our courses or programmes. This challenge involves a little snatch of memoir… For full details, click here.

Happy writing from all of us at All About Writing.

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