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Write Your Novel First Draft in 16 Weeks with Rešoketšwe Manenzhe

Updated: Feb 16


Meeting day: Fridays

Time: 5-8pm (South Africa time)/ 6-9pm (Kenyan time)

Start date: 9th April 2021

Language: English

Medium: Online via Zoom

Length: 16 sessions over 16 weeks (with a one week break every 3 weeks)

Cost: US$ 270 or KES 28800 payable in up to 2 installments via PAYPAL, MPESA, WorldRemit, and other


Rešoketšwe is a chemical engineer who works in mining research. She is currently getting her PhD at the University of Cape Town. But sometimes she’s a storyteller. She has won the 2019 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, and she was the first runner-up for the 2019 Collins Elesiro Prize for Fiction. Her short stories and poems have appeared in the Kalahari Review, Fireside Fiction, FIYAH, and the 2017 Sol Plaatjie European Union Anthology, among others. If you happen to meet her, please ask her about her debut novel from Jacana Media. It’s called Scatterlings, and she’s sure you’ll love it. But please, also talk to her about the endangered wild fruit Balobedu children once enjoyed in summer. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


This course introduces students to the core elements of novel-writing; how to translate these elements onto the page. Participants examine technical and artistic elements of novel-writing, including overviews of novels. We will analyze themes, structure, and narrative arcs to understand the compilation of a long-form story. There will be several short writing assignments, and the course culminates in crafting the first draft of a full-length novel.


Each class will follow the following structure, the steps are listed in the order of occurrence:

  • A general discussion where the class is encouraged to participate or add their opinion to a clearly defined topic (see the week-by-week syllabus for more details).

  • A theory section structured much like a formal lecture, open to questions from the class.

  • A session that’s like a hybrid of a lecture and brainstorming; this is the application session where the class will receive tips on how to apply the lessons of the above lecture.

  • Recommended readings will be announced; followed by the assignment.

The class workload will involve:

  • The reading of recommended novels (after the session has concluded).

  • Working on your novel and submitting a sample at the end of each module.

Rešoketšwe will provide suggestions on your submitted work, but no intensive edits, to avoid derailing your focus. She will focus on the following 3 elements of novel writing

  • Story structure.

  • Literary voice.

  • Plot and characterization.

HOW TO APPLY


Send a 1-page synopsis of the envisioned novel (1.5 spacing, Arial font at size 11) and a 200-300 word essay explaining your expectations of the class (what would you like to learn and achieve). Deadline is March 31st 2021


There are two full scholarships available for this class. To be considered for one, please share the materials requested in the paragraph above as well as:

  • A 2000 to 3000-word short story.

  • Or, a 3000-sample of a novel, in cases where a novel/novel idea has already been drafted.

The two best writers on the scholarships' list (as determined by Rešoketšwe) will receive the two scholarships automatically. Deadline is February 28 th 2021


Things to Note

  1. You may pay your class fee in three installments as long as you make the first payment by 1st April and complete payment by May 1st 2021.

  2. Make sure that you have a stable internet connection, preferably wifi. I advise trying to have a zoom call with a friend between 5-8 pm to test your connection.

  3. NO Refunds are possible once you attend your first class. Think carefully about how much time you have and whether you can actually commit to the class.









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