All About Writing was founded in 2007 by two writing professionals, novelist Jo-Anne Richards and scriptwriter Richard Beynon. We are passionate about writing and have devised our courses to help communicate that passion – plus the skills that make it all much more than an academic exercise – to others with a similar calling.

Operating from  South Africa and the United Kingdom, we offer courses that promote good writing. They include creative writing and scriptwriting courses, coaching and mentoring programmes as well as workshops and writing retreats including our annual retreat in Venice, Italy and our annual Cotswolds writing weekend.

The All About Writing team – here’s who we are

  • Fred de Vries – non-fiction specialist/mentoring
  • Jo-Anne Richards – creative writing trainer/mentor/developmental and structural editing
  • Joanne Hichens – memoir workshops/memoir weekend and retreat
  • Michele Rowe – Hero’s Journey course/screenwriting course
  • Richard Beynon – creative writing trainer/mentor/Hero’s Journey course/screenwriting course

We believe our greatest skill in All About Writing has been to bring together an unbeatable assembly of global expertise.

All that we have achieved in our lives individually has coalesced into a collective set of skills capable of providing any help you could need, at any stage of a writing project.

Here is what we can offer you

As a company, we are based equally in the UK and South Africa. Our experience covers:

  • Eight fiction titles and seven non-fiction books, published in the UK, Europe and South Africa
  • Over 100 documentaries
  • Well over a thousand scripts for feature films and TV series
  • Podcasting for a European audience
  • Journalism in Europe and South Africa
  • Ghostwriting

We can offer you the benefits of our book-learning, which includes:

  • A PhD in Creative Writing
  • A Masters in Creative Writing
  • A post-Masters degree in Journalism

We have:

  • Provided assessments and edited manuscripts for publishers
  • Supervised post-graduate writing students
  • Acted as examiners and external examiners for post-graduate writing programmes

Collectively, we have won the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and been nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the Gouden Uil European book award, best Journalism Book and best Travel Book in the Netherlands. We have been short-listed for the M-Net Book Prize.

Together, we have been nominated for an Oscar (for a documentary), and an Emmy. We have won a Mail & Guardian Short Films Prize, a Special Jury Award at Skip City International (Japan), a Banff World TV Award (Canada), numerous SAFTAs (South African Film and Television Award), an Idem Scriptwriting award for children’s drama, an Artes award for comedy, and the Andrew Murray – Desmond Tutu Prize.

We have produced documentaries that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, have been shown at Hot Docs and Cannes and on the The Guardian’s documentary channel.

Complementary skills

Our skills mesh to provide a strong foundation. Journalism taught us accuracy, clarity, the importance of research, and a strong beginning.

Writing for film and television has strengthened our understanding of scenes, dialogue, and showing rather than telling. Fiction skills can brighten non-fiction, while non-fiction provides a strong basis of reality and believability for fiction writers.

Perhaps most importantly, we have placed at your disposal not only our successes but our failures, our strengths and weaknesses, and our vulnerabilities.

We bring you what we’ve learnt in all humility, understanding exactly what is involved in being a writer. We know what you need, and we’ll give it with our characteristic blend of honesty and kindness.

This is who and what we are.

No matter who you are, or what you need, we believe we have the understanding and expertise to provide you with the skills, to hold your hand and give you objective, compassionate and knowledgeable advice on the way forward.

simonstownJo-Anne Richards is an internationally published novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing from Wits University. Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, was originally published by Headline Review in the UK, and has recently been rereleased as one of the prestigious Picador Africa Classics collection. She ran the Honours programme in Journalism & Media Studies at Wits University for fifteen years.

rjb-and-boatRichard Beynon is an award-winning film and television scriptwriter with a long and accomplished career in the local industry. He has written for – or headed the writing teams of – many of country’s most popular soaps from Isidingo to Scandal and S’gudi S’naysi.

Read more about us here.

For more information email us admin@allaboutwritingcourses.com.

Read testimonials from past participants.

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