DCAS literature workshop boosts teachers’ and writers’ analytical skills
More than 60 teachers and up-and-coming writers from around the Western Cape will end 2019 with expanded knowledge and improved analytical skills for literature, after attending a Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) workshop on Friday 22 November 2019.
The Literature Workshop on Novel Writing was hosted by the DCAS Arts Development Unit, in partnership with the Pan South African Language Board and the National Library of South Africa’s Centre for the Book, at Nelson Creek Wine Estate in Paarl.
Participants were taught to identify, analyse, interpret and describe critical ideas, values, and themes that appear in novels and to understand the ways these aspects inform and impact on novel writing today.
Beaulla Stofile, the programme manager, said the workshop will also have helped teachers with the process of teaching set-work books and helped writers to advance their careers.
“We thought that we should take teachers through the process of novel writing so that when they do critical analysis of novels they know exactly what they have to critique,” she said. “When you write a novel you get royalties, so, by writing, you are boosting the economy of the country but you are also boosting literacy standards.”
The workshop was presented by Maxine Lenders from Print on Demand, and Thenji Ntwana, a lecturer from the University of Western Cape.
The attendees were also taught about cover design, book layout, binding, printing and how to produce manuscripts. This was the third writing workshop hosted this year but the first to focus on a specific category or genre.
“We were doing generic workshops where we looked at creative writing at large. Now we’re focusing on specific genres and in this workshop we focussed on how to write novels,” Ms Stofile said. “Our previous workshops were for young people. This workshop was for adults, and we had teachers from the Department of Education, Department of Correctional Services and up-and-coming writers.”
The objective of the programme is to produce writers who are familiar with representative literary texts from a significant number of historical, geographical, and cultural contexts with the focus on modern and contemporary periods.
DCAS supports the development of the arts by providing funding and training to people around the Western Cape. BETTER TOGETHER.