We are delighted to invite writers to apply for the following residency programmes in 2024 that are offered at our Paulet House in KwaNojoli (Somerset East). Interested parties should please note the following:

Please take note of the closing dates of the respective residencies as well as the documents to be included in your application, as set out on each application page. All applications must be submitted through our online application forms. Click on “Apply” under the residency of your choice.

There is a difference between mentorship programmes aimed exclusively at emerging writers and residencies which are available to both emerging and established writers.

We define an emerging writer as someone of any age who is still in the early stages of their writing career in a specific genre, and who has not had the necessary support or exposure to receive major recognition for their work in this genre.

An established writer is someone who has published two or more works with major publishers; has received recognition for their work or is widely known within their genre; and/or earns a portion of their income from writing in that genre.

If your application is successful, you will be expected to spend the duration of the residency in KwaNojoli. The Jakes Gerwel Foundation covers the travel and accommodation costs of the successful candidates.

The mentorship programmes are presented in both Afrikaans and English.

International applications are welcome; however, only domestic travel costs are covered by the Foundation.

Bosberg book writing
Brussels to Karoo
PEN it down
NATi Rising Stars
Kommadagga workshop
Longhope TV Writing
New York Internasional Fellowship


Bosberg book writing

This programme of which the name refers to the beautiful mountains right next to Paulet House is presented in partnership with NB Publishers (and their imprints Tafelberg, Human & Rousseau, Kwela, Queillerie, Lux Verbi and Pharos). We offer support to emerging writers of novels or nonfiction books (for example memoirs).

Angela Briggs and Suzette Myburgh are competent and experienced book editors who undertake the journey with writers from manuscript development to possible publication.

The writers and mentors work together during quarterly work sessions in Paulet House on the respective manuscripts. The writers then work on their own between workshops and incorporate the mentors’ feedback. On conclusion of the annual programme, we assist the writers in submitting their manuscripts to NB Publishers.

The candidates for 2023 have already been selected. Although there is no cut-off date for applications, the final selection is made in November in the preceding year.




Brussels to Karoo

Jakes Gerwel obtained his doctorate in literature and philosophy from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. It is against this backdrop that the Jakes Gerwel Foundation partners with Passa Porta, an international literature house in Brussels, to bring together writers from different continents in the Karoo.

Two Flemish writers are chosen each year to share a residency with two South African writers. In this way, the partners encourage cross-pollination between the writing of writers from different backgrounds and strive to enrich the body of literature here and abroad.

There are no mentors involved and both emerging and established writers of all genres are invited to apply.

The residency includes:

  • National return tickets to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), if needed
  • Transport between the airport and Somerset East
  • A comfortable “room with a view” of your own
  • Housekeeping services
  • Delicious meals prepared by the Foundation’s resident chef
  • Unlimited access to the internet
  • Writing space in your room, in quiet spots inside the house and in the garden
  • Opportunity to write without the interruption of loadshedding

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 8 December 2023
  • Announcement of successful candidates: 12 February 2024
  • Residency (candidates must confirm availability for the set dates when applying): 18 to 30 March 2024




PEN it down

The aim of this programme is to offer writers (emerging and established) of all genres the opportunity to temporarily escape their everyday responsibilities, so they can work on a manuscript without interruption. No mentors are involved, and therefore the writers work at their own pace. It is not compulsory, but preference will be given to writers who include supporting letters from prospective publishers with their applications.

This project is presented in collaboration with PEN Afrikaans and PEN South Africa.

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 16 February 2024
  • Announcement of successful candidates: 5 April 2024
  • Residency (candidates must confirm availability for the set dates when applying): 6 to 26 May 2024




NATi Rising Stars

In collaboration with the Suidoosterfees, Artscape and Teksmark, and the support of NATi, we invest in the development of emerging playwrights’ talents through this shared project.

After an intensive playwriting programme at Paulet House, the young playwrights’ work will be developed under guidance of the popular play producer Lee-Ann van Rooi so they can make their debut at the 2024 Suidoosterfees. While the Foundation covers all the accommodation costs of the playwrights at Paulet House, the Suidoosterfees, with the support of NATi, covers the production fees to bring the plays to the stage. Artscape supports the playwrights by providing rehearsal spaces, costumes and technical assistance. The playwrights will also get the opportunity to stage extracts from their plays at Teksmark (a KKNK project). The Teksmark will take place at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 6 May 2024
  • Announcement of successful candidates: 10 June 2024
  • Residency (candidates must confirm availability for the set dates when applying): 15 July to 4 August 2024




Kommadagga workshop

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation offers, in partnership with Huisgenoot and LitNet, a mentorship programme to promising emerging short story writers. The name of the workshop refers to the region where Jakes Gerwel grew up.

The writers will work on their short stories that are aimed specifically at Huisgenoot’s family market under guidance of our competent mentors, Fourie Botha and Thabiso Mahlape. If the magazine approves a writer’s story after the workshop, the writer will be remunerated for it.

LitNet offers further exposure to the young writers and the project and offers possible future publication opportunities.

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 7 June 2024
  • Announcement of successful candidates: 5 August 2024
  • Residency (candidates must confirm availability for the set dates when applying): 9 to 29 September 2024




Longhope TV Writing

A practical and intensive mentoring programme where emerging screenwriters learn from various prominent figures in the TV industry about the finer details of this growing and competitive industry. This course is offered in collaboration with M-Net Channels. This collaboration not only offers young writers the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from active role players in the industry, but after completing the course, the successful candidates will have the opportunity to do an internship with this leading company.

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 8 March 2024
  • Announcement of successful candidates: 3 May 2024
  • Residency (candidates must confirm availability for the set dates when applying): 4 to 17 June 2024




New York International Fellowship

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation (JGF) is pleased to announce their first ever 6-week international fellowship, which is scheduled to take place in the first term of 2024 in the United States of America in New York City.

This extraordinary opportunity is only open to writers who have previously participated in a residency programme of the Foundation. It will be expected of the successful candidate to attend and present master classes at the Columbia University’s School of the Arts as well as at The New School. The final confirmation of the fellowship will depend on the acceptance of the candidate by the committee at the School of the Arts.

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation will cover the cost of the international flights and provide assistance with the visa application and accommodation in New York, including per diems (daily allowances). The flexible 6-week fellowship will be arranged to fall within the window period of mid-January to end April 2024. The successful candidate will be able to negotiate suitable start and end dates for the fellowship.

The selected writer will be required to attend a 2-hour seminar once a week, needs to be available for office consultation for 2 hours a week and will have to assign and respond to written work. The course should be reading-centred and taught from the perspective of a practising writer as opposed to the viewpoint of an academic. The fellow will also be required to present a Saturday creative writing class at The New School. Attendance of social events organised by the Foundation and its partners abroad will also be obligatory.

The applications for the 2024 residency have closed. The selected candidate will be announced soon.

Find out more about the New York partners by clicking on the links: