When I started tutoring creative writing short courses online, many of the writers asked about some sort of supervision after the course. Writing is not easy and to have a reader on hand to bounce ideas off, can be incredibly helpful and supportive. Also, regular deadlines give you something to aim for and the feedback that comes with each deadline submission can be reassuring: it’s one way to know you are on track. For these reasons I launched The Writers’ Masterclass in 2013. This online class is ideal no matter your goals. If you want to break into the publishing world it will help you write the best manuscript you can. Similarly, should you want to leave an entertaining family history for future generations, then the class will give you all the direction you need. If you want to write a book in the virtual company of other writers and with constant feedback, then you’re a fit with The Writers’ Masterclass.
What is The Writers’ Masterclass?
The Masterclass is a nine-month supervisory class with space for between 25 and 30 writers. It is open to fiction writers and those writing non-fiction narratives and it caters for all genres. Registration is in mid-February each year and final reports are sent out in the opening weeks of November. The first text submission is in March and there are a further seven submissions, at approximately six-week intervals, through to the final one in October. Submissions are kept at 8000 words, which my Masterclass writers have found manageable. You receive detailed feedback with each submission. The Writers’ Masterclass process is based on supervision only, there are no notes but the chat-room forum allows discussions among the group on various aspects of writing or current literary debates, driven by me, our editor or the group members. At the end of the year you receive a detailed review of your submissions (i.e. manuscript) written during the year.
What has happened since 2013
I launched the first Masterclass with the editor Claire Strombeck. We’ve had an annual class since then and some of our writers have done particularly well. There’s Qarnita Loxton in Cape Town, for instance, who has published three books with Kwela: Being Kari, Being Lily and Being Shelley. Being Kari was also published by btb Verlag in Germany. Qarnita joined the Masterclass in 2014 and has returned year after year because she says it’s become crucial to her writing life. She is back with us writing her fourth novel. Another long-standing member is Jennifer Friedman in Sydney, Australia: she has published two memoirs with Tafelberg, Queen of the Free State and The Messiah’s Dream Machine – and is busy with her third , again on the Masterclass. Then there’s Maria Phalime from our first class who published her award winning memoir Postmortem with Tafelberg in 2014; this was followed by Martina Dahlmann who published her memoir A Person My Colour with Modjaji Books in 2018 and the following year muso and film maker, Carsten Rausch, published his music memoir – Between Rock and a Hard Place – with MFBooks. Another of the 2014 class – Melissa Volkner – published her award winning romance novel, Shadow Flicker, with Karavan Press in 2019. Due for publication in the coming year are two writers from the 2018 class: Michelle Edwards and A’Eysha Kassiem.
The next course
Registration is now open for The Writers’ Masterclass 2021. A deposit of R1000.00 will secure your place. Registration closes at the end of January 2021.
The class opens in mid-February and will continue until the final reports are completed in November 2021.