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

  • Applications should be sent via email to by the below dates and should be accompanied by a motivation letter, a comprehensive writing project plan, a short writer’s bio and examples of writing.
  • There is a difference between residencies aimed exclusively at emerging writers and programmes that are available to both emerging and established writers. ‘Emerging’ means that the writer had not been published before.
  • If your application is successful, you will be expected to spend the duration of the residency in Somerset East. The Jakes Gerwel Foundation covers the travel and accommodation costs of the successful candidates.
  • The mentorship programmes are presented in both Afrikaans and English.

Bosberg book writing
Brussels to Karoo
PEN it down
NATi Young Star
Kommadagga workshop


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, but interested writers are invited to send their manuscripts (of at least 30 000 words) to Theo Kemp – Although there is not cut-off date for applications, the final selection is made in November in the preceding year.

The writers of 2023:

Bonisani Sibeko

Bonisani Sibeko was born in South Africa, but grew up in the United Kingdom where his grandfather was living in exile. As a young boy and teenager, he was already interested in the written word, spending his free time writing poetry, short sci-fi stories and lyrics. In a surprising turn of events, Bonisani was recruited by the South African State Security Agency where he learned, as an operational scribe for ministers and even the president himself, how important it is to write concisely and engagingly about factual matters. While his current day job is in property management, Bonisani is also a musician, traditional healer and writer. Having assumed the pen name King Afrika Sibeko, he is looking forward to focus increasingly on his calling to write Afrocentric sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Faeed Amardien

Faeed Amardien has been living in Parkwood on the Cape Flats for a long time. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in education (B.Ed.) from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2020 with Afrikaans and Accounting as major subjects. He is currently undertaking his honours in education at UWC with linguistics and literature as fields of specialisation. As a young teacher at Plumstead High, the diverse backgrounds and cultures of his learners affect him deeply. His approach to education is creative and also includes the use of Kaaps as a means of making his learners experience the wonders of language. This is why he is focused on young people and writing a youth novel.

Nadia Cassim

Nadia Cassim describes herself as a free spirit and an independent thinker. She obtained an honours degree from the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008, but chose to pursue a career in fine arts instead of city planning. She has already held two solo exhibitions and her paintings have been on display at the iconic former women’s jail at Constitution Hill. While she continues to paint on commission, she has also taken on the role of financial advisor as well as that of writer and editor. One of her short stories has been included in the anthology Riding the Samoosa Express (published by Modjaji Books) and she has edited the online magazine Irtiqa of which she was also the founder. After running this magazine with the aim of empowering Muslim women in her community for eight years, she has taken a step back to focus on writing her first novel.

Reginald Hufkie

Reginald Hufkie, or Reggie Peace, is a multifaceted South African actor, singer, rapper, writer and speaker. Despite growing up in the disadvantaged community of Schauderville in Port Elizabeth and being orphaned at the age of 13, his determination and love of life have seen him go from strength to strength. During his studies in transportation management at the University of Johannesburg, he became involved in the university’s drama productions under the guidance of Alby Michaels and Motlatji Ditodi. In 2014, he made his television debut in Single Galz after which he become a household name through other television roles in, for example, 7de Laan, High Rollers, Generations – The Legacy, Swartwater, Die Spreeus, Desert Rose and Poena. He also made his international debut in 2018 in the Danish drama series Liberty. Reginald has appeared in films such as Cowboy Dan (2018) and Nefarious Creatures (2022) while he took on the dual role of writer-actor in Vlamme (2022). In 2021, he released his first album titled Nuwe Lewe/New Life. Reginald enjoys writing sport stories and music, but is now looking forward to writing his first book.


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.

The writers of 2023:

Danie Marais

Danie Marais is a poet, freelance journalist, radio presenter, rock writer and the press officer for the SU Toyota Woordfees in Stellenbosch. For his first volume of poems, In die buitenste ruimte (2006), he received the Ingrid Jonker Prize, the Eugène Marais Prize and the UJ Debut Prize. His second volume, Al is die maan ’n misverstand, won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for Afrikaans poetry in 2010. A third volume of poetry, Solank verlange die sweep swaai, was published in 2014. Pruimtwak & skaduboksers, a collection of prose published in various publications, including a series on marginal South African figures, was shortlisted for SALA’s 2016 Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award. In 2017, he received the kykNET-Rapport Book Reviewer of the Year Award.

Lisa-Anne Julien

Lisa-Anne Julien is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, but now lives in Johannesburg. After studying dance in New York in her early twenties, she completed her master’s degree in social policy at the London School of Economics before moving to South Africa to work as a development consultant. As a features and travel writer, Lisa-Anne’s work has been published in a wide range of commercial publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle, Psychologies, House & Garden, New African and Sawubona.

Lisa-Anne received a Highly Commended award in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Her writing residencies include residencies at Femrite – Uganda Women Writers’ Association and the Yale Writers’ Conference. Her manuscript of If You Save Me was long-listed for the UK Mslexia First Novel Competition before being published by Kwela Books in 2021.

If You Save Me was long-listed for the 2022 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and was the joint winner of the 2022 UJ Debut Prize.

Neske Beks

Neske Beks is a writer and artist who skillfully combines a multitude of art forms. Her debut film Eigen Volk (2011) weaves together elements of theatre, the spoken word, singing, fiction and nonfiction into a striking and successful whole. In 2014, she made her debut with De Kleenex Kronieken, a humorous chronicle of events within a family and also within a town. Since then, she has published texts in various collections, among which Zwart (2018). Her children’s book Sala en Monk – Ons Samen was published by Querido in 2020 and, in 2021, her collection of essays with the title Echo. She sits on various literary, film and theatre juries and has already won prizes internationally for her theatre and film work. She is the founder and director of Alphabet Street, a guild for black writers, as well of Tank, an editorial and think tank of colour. In 2022, she was inaugurated as lifetime member of the Academy of Art of the Netherlands. She is currently working on various projects in which she combines her art with healing.

During her residency at Paulet House, she will work on her new novel and a multidisciplinary project about cultural appropriation.

Paul Kammies

Paul Kammies is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from Cape Town. He completed a BA (Humanities) degree at Stellenbosch University. With his writing and making of art, he hopes to cultivate capacity in people for empathy. Grapefruit is his debut poetry collection, dealing with exploitation, interpersonal relationships, and identity.

Tom Naegels

Tom Naegels is a writer and journalist whose journalistic contributions, columns and opinion pieces regularly appear in De Standaard. Between 2011 and 2016, he was also the news ombudsman. He was first noticed on the literary scene in 1997 when his short story collection Het heelal in! Vijf stukjes van de kosmos appeared. In 2005, he published his first novel Los, which is both a love story and a portrait of the city of Antwerp’s social woes. The novel was awarded the Anna Seghers Prize and was on the longlist for the Libris Literature Prize in 2006. Jan Verheyen adapted the book into a film in 2008. After conducting research for six years, he published Nieuw België, een migratiegeschiedenis about the Belgian migration policies after the Second World War. For this, he was awarded the very first ‘Most important book of the year’ prize for nonfiction in Belgium.

During his residency at Paulet House, he will be working on his next historical book.


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.

Closing date: 17 March

Announcement: 25 April

Residency: 5 to 25 June


NATi Young 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.

Closing date: 5 May

Announcement: 16 June

Residency: 10 to 30 July


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 mentor, Fourie Botha. 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.

Closing date: 31 July

Announcement: 15 September

Residency: 16 October to 5 November