We are Richard Beynon and Jo-Anne Richards. We believe that we bring to this labour of love many years of our own tears, sweat, success – and of course, failures and rejections.
We’d like to share these, and hope that some of you may then avoid the mistakes that we inevitably made, and learn the good skills that we’ve developed the hard way.
Each of us brings our different abilities. I (Jo-Anne) bring everything I’ve managed to learn (miraculously, and some of it by pure chance) while writing four internationally published novels (and a few short stories). Richard brings his skills in dialogue, building character, writing good scenes and maintaining suspense, gleaned during an award-winning career in scripts and screen-plays. We’ve also shamelessly picked the brains of many of our writerly friends.
Richard and I have been training – at university level and to civilians – for years.
All our courses are interactive. We will offer feedback and the opportunity to mix online and interact with us and other participants.
Jo-Anne Richards is an internationally published writer, who has just finished writing her fifth novel. She teaches writing skills at post-graduate level and supervises Masters students in Creative Writing.
Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken and her second, Touching the Lighthouse, were published by Headline Review, London, and, in German translation, by Knaur. Innocence was chosen as a Dillon’s Debut in Britain, to be showcased as an “outstanding first novel” by the well-known book chain. It was short-listed for the The M-Net Book Prize, and nominated for the Impac International Dublin Literary Award.
He managed the writing team of the popular soap, Isidingo, for three years, as well as contributing over three hundred scripts to the series.
He has won numerous awards for his work, specifically in comedy, soap and children’s drama. He is currently a writer and generator of stories on a new daily drama, Rhythm City. He has lectured on writing for film and television to film students at university level.
They received invaluable help in researching and developing the lesbian romance course from Ann Smith and Hila Bouzaglou.
Ann Smith a lecturer in English literature for 22 years is now an independent Educational Consultant and Trainer. She develops and writes educational material for Maskew Miller Longman, Pearson Education, Heinemann and Macmillan. She edits manuscripts for different publishers.
She co-authored Methodologies for Mapping a Southern African Girlhood in the Age of Aids, which is in press. Ann teaches Literary Theory as a part-time lecturer at various universities and supervises post graduate students. She regularly offers courses at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
She has presented many papers at local and international conferences, and has published widely in the areas of literature, Literary Theory (with particular focus on Feminism and Gender, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and Postcolonialism), Cultural Studies and Pedagogy.