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 Johannesburg and Simonstown in South Africa and from Narrowboat Patience on the canals and rivers in the United Kingdom, we offer courses, both online and face-to-face, that promote good writing. They include creative writing and scriptwriting courses, intensive online writing workouts, coaching and mentoring programmes as well as workshops and writing retreats including our annual retreat in Venice, Italy.
Jo-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.
Richard 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. He is currently working on the Isibaya writing team.
Our courses are designed to give participants the essential skills of creative writing. Our flagship Creative Writing Course is available face-to-face in Johannesburg and Cape Town or as an online programme. The Mentoring Programme is available to past participants of our (or any other substantial and reputable) Creative Writing Course.
Although our main service to writers and would be writers is teaching and mentoring we also offer book and script reports.
We have found through experience that when we give individual reports we cover much of what we teach. We feel strongly that many mistakes can be avoided by doing a properly structured writing course whether it is one of ours or someone else’s. In our Creative Writing Course, we cover all the necessary skills needed to avoid common errors and so in most cases money would be more wisely spent on a course. Even if you have finished your first draft the process of doing a course will both prepare you very well for the vital editing phase.
All About Writing has a formal relationship with a number of South African publishing companies including Pan Macmillan, and Jacana. If we think a manuscript is publishable we will make the introduction to the appropriate publishing house.
We also offer an online series of short courses in journalism.