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Summer Schoolof Writing

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The intention of the SSW is to match aspirant writers with seasoned wordsmiths so that they can learn from them

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THE SOL Plaatje University (SPU) and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) will jointly host the second edition of the annual Summer School of Writing (SSW) from Monday to Friday next week.

The SSW participants are selected from aspirant writers who show the potential of becoming great writers from all districts of the Northern Cape. The selection panel went through piles of manuscripts that were submitted to district offices of the DSAC and were later sent to the SPU where the final selection was made.

The first SSW was held in January 2017 and this year’s was delayed and will only take place next week. It has 18 participants and three facilitators.

The facilitators are seasoned, well-travelled and award-laden writers. The fiction facilitator is novelist and short story writer Niq Mhlongo whose books include Dog Eat Dog and After Tears. Nonfiction facilitator is well-known arts writer Bongani Madondo who has done extensive work on Brenda Fassie. His latest book is titled Sigh the Beloved Country. Poetry facilitator is Cape Town-based poet Primrose Mrwebi who had graced many stages including national Parliament as well as participating at the annual Northern Cape Writers Festival and the Open Book Festival.

The intention of the SSW is to match aspirant writers with seasoned wordsmiths so that they can learn from them. During the week-long programme participants will be required to write every day and share what they have written with others. There will also be one-on-one sessions between the aspirant writers and the facilitators. The facilitators will also conduct classes on a daily basis.

Later in the week, on Thursday March 8 at 6pm, the SSW will include the launch of Mhlongo’s latest book, a collection of short stories titled Soweto Under the Apricot Tree. The launch will take place at the SPU and all members of the community are invited to attend. The book launch will also be jointly hosted with the DSAC’s library services.

The SSW is co-ordinated by Sabata-mpho Mokae, a novelist and creative writing lecturer at the SPU.