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Writing courses at the UCT Summer School 2024

15 January 2024 - 26 January 2024

Story Development

Dianne Stewart, teacher, writer

Monday 15 – Friday 19 January | 10:00–12:00 | Course fees: R1 500; Staff and students R750 Maximum number of participants 20

‘There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.’ JK Rowling

In these five in-person story development sessions, participants will explore ways of transforming ideas into different genres of writing: fictional and non-fictional. Through fun exercises, participants will be exposed to both theory and practical creative writing exercises.

In the first session participants will examine and explore different story texts, both fictional and non-fictional as a means of developing their own story idea. In the second and third sessions, in a mix of practice and theory, participants will look at fiction genres as possible vehicles for their stories.

In the fourth and final sessions participants will approach non-fiction genres and be encouraged to try fictional and creative non-fictional genres as a way to develop their stories and see how they can be market-related.

Dianne Stewart received the 2023 South African Children’s Laureate award.

To book: https://www.webtickets.co.za/performance.aspx?itemid=1534480869


Nature Writing

Dianne Stewart, teacher, writer

Saturday 20 January | 09:00–12:00 | Course fees: R350; Staff and students R250 Maximum number of participants 20

‘The question is not what you look at, but what you see.’ Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher, whose book, Walden, chronicles his engagement with nature. After looking at Walden, participants will look at other nature texts such as H is for Hawk, a memoir by Helen MacDonald (winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction) and Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief.

Participants will also survey fictional nature writing such as eco-novels, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Attwood, The Overstory by Richard Powers, and the speculative fiction eco-novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

In this three-hour workshop, that is both practical and theoretical, the participants will be introduced to the importance of nature journalling, which can stimulate future nature writing projects. The facilitator will share how her book Sea, Sand and Sky (Lux Verbi) was based on a nature journal.

Participants will identify aspects of nature about which they want to write, such as climate change and global warming.

Participants will also identify the genre, either fiction or creative non-fiction, that they wish to use as a vehicle for their ideas taken from nature.

Dianne Stewart received the 2023 South African Children’s Laureate award.

To book: https://www.webtickets.co.za/performance.aspx?itemid=1534481038


Write Your Short Story: From Concept to Completion

Sally Cranswick, author, story coach

Monday 22–Friday 26 January | 10:00–12:00 | Course fees: R1 500; Staff and students R750 Maximum number of participants 20

The short story is a powerful form of creative work and can explore big themes in a small space. During this in- person course we will discuss wonderful short stories – why they work, how they work, and we will write our own short stories. We will explore the essential elements of writing short fiction: theme, character, structure, story and setting. Each session will consist of presentations, group discussions and writing exercises.

After the course, writers will have the opportunity to publish their short stories on the UCT Summer School Writers’ Forum website.

Anyone interested in exploring short story, creativity and writing is welcome to join. As always, our aim is to come together as a creative community whilst writing towards our goals.

Session titles

1. Where do I start? The essence of short story, generating ideas and finding a starting point.
2. Character building Creating memorable characters for short story.
3. Breaking barriers How voice and style can create tension and excitement.
4. Theme and structure Binding your beginning, middle and end together with theme.
5. I’ve written a story – now what? Self-editing essentials, short-story markets and the chance to read your story ‘out loud’.

To book: https://www.webtickets.co.za/performance.aspx?itemid=1534481139


15 January 2024
26 January 2024
Event Category:


University of Cape Town
View Organizer Website