LitNet and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation’s second Kommadagga writing workshop

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Presented by LitNet and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation

The second Kommadagga writing workshop, presented by LitNet and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation, will be held in Somerset East from 5 to 26 October 2021. This mentorship programme for promising English and Afrikaans short-prose writers seeks to encourage new writing in South Africa.

The first Kommadagga writing workshop was presented in 2020. Read about the aspiring writers who benefited from the project here. The programme includes a three-week residency for five candidates at Paulet House, the Foundation’s writers’ house at the foot of the Bosberg in Somerset East. After Jakes Gerwel’s passing on 28 November 2012, his widow donated Paulet House to the Foundation.

Author and playwright Rachelle Greeff, acclaimed for her work in both Afrikaans and English, will again act as a mentor to the residents. Rachelle works in several genres and has won sought-after prizes for her short stories. Her prizewinning plays Die naaimasjien and Rondomskrik were performed across the country, and The sewing machine was staged at the Edinburgh Festival in 2012. In 2002 she was shortlisted for The Caine Prize for African Writing, also known as the “Baby Booker”. Her works have been translated into German, Dutch and Danish.

Prospective participants are invited to submit applications for the residency. The closing date is Friday, 2 July 2021 at 12:00. Eligible candidates must not have been published in book form and should have a demonstrable interest in any of the following: crafting short stories (including for magazines), columns, articles or opinion pieces.

Please submit applications electronically to and include the following information:

  • Short biography (maximum of 300 words) and contact details.
  • At least one anonymous example of written work (please include the title, but not the author’s name).
  • Short motivation on why the candidate would benefit from the programme.

The cost of travel, accommodation and meals will be covered for the five residents. Obligations will include content delivery for LitNet and participation in interviews. In accordance with COVID-19 regulations residents will be asked to sign indemnity forms and comply with sanitising and distancing regulations during their residency.

The names of successful candidates for the 2021 Kommadagga writing school will be announced on Friday, 6 Augustus 2021. Writing school participants in 2020 were Regardt Visser, Theolla Langenhoven, Zubayr Charles, Stef Cupido, Sandile Ntuli and Helena Troskie.

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation actively promotes the development of South African literature. Since its inception in 1999 LitNet had been dedicated to honing new writing talent.


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