A combination of teaching modes is used to stimulate and guide students:
The seminar programme is structured by the various teachers’ own creative interests and expertise. Each weekly cycle starts with a seminar, followed by a three-day creative assignment, and at the end of the week, a peer feedback session with students and the teacher, where drafts are discussed. The student has the weekend to re-write the piece in response to the feedback, and hand it in.
The full time course is divided into two semesters. In the first semester the emphasis is on exploration through various coursework assignments, embarking on ‘creative reading’, and finding a writing discipline and rhythm that works for each student. Halfway through the first semester students choose the coursework stream in their preferred genre, and begin to work on their extended writing projects.
In the second semester students continue their extended writing projects without coursework but with regular meetings with their supervisors. The extended project should be a minimum of 30 000 words for a prose project, 40 pages for a poetry project, or 10 scenes or episodes for a playscript or screenplay. No project may exceed 80 000 words.
Students are required to record their ongoing experience as writers in a reflective journal, which is sent regularly to their supervisors as part of the supervision dialogue. In the journal they reflect on their learning experiences, and comment on the coursework assignments and on their reading.
At the beginning of the course students are given modular reading lists of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, adapted to their needs. They are given assignments to write creative reviews of various books read during the year, which are incorporated into their reflective journal. A related assignment requires students to research contemporary South African writing via literary journals, using the unique resources of the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown.
Students are encouraged to send work for publication during the course and to learn how to deal with editor responses. The course includes the publication of a student magazine. There are readings at schools and other public venues during the National Arts Festival and at the launch of the student magazine.
Last Modified: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:25:49 SAST