So You Want To Be A Writer?

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If you have a book in your head but have no idea how to get it written down, or you’ve actually written a book but don’t know what to do next – read this. Author and speaker David Chislett has developed two workshops for writers that address these very issues. They will help you sort out your thoughts in order to  write and help you go about getting published as well.

Chislett first appeared on the publishing scene in 2001 when he published Urban One through New Africa Books. The book was conceived of as a platform for new, previously-unpublished writers and ran to three editions (Urban 1, 2 and 3) – the last one published in 2003. Since then he has contributed to various online literary magazines around the world, as well as appearing in Botsotso here in South Africa. He was also included in the Penguin short fiction collection about Johannesburg, “From Joburg To Jozi”.

In 2009 he published his solo debut collection of short stories through Ge’Ko publishers, which has garnered excellent reviews and sold consistently. In 2010 he is publishing a beginner’s guide to the South African Music Industry (1, 2, 1, 2: A Step By Step Guide To The SA Music Industry. STE Publishers). He will also release a poetry anthology and a history of punk in South Africa.

In partnership with Deon Maas and Sibu Molefe he was part of the Mmino Business of Music workshop initiative in 2009.  Recognising how well the music education was being received – and how in demand it was -, Chislett turned his mind to the publishing world and the problems many writers face.

The result is two workshops: “Writing Your Book” and “Getting Published”, which are designed to help writers get over the common hurdles that they face in the writing world. “The workshops break down these processes into digestible steps that we can all handle,” says Chislett of the programme. “We often find ourselves intimidated by the scope of a novel or by the publishing world. The approach I have taken here is to break it all down into tiny pieces so that a giant whole can be built up in easily understandable steps.”

The workshops are half-day affairs for individuals. Individual attention and a hands-on approach mean that you get a full 3-4 hours’ worth of knowledge and skills transfer using your own work and situation as your base. “By the end of either workshop, attendees will walk away with a concrete plan of action for the futures,” continues Chislett. “At the very least they will have achieved an understanding of how their processes work, and guidelines for their future work in writing and publishing.”

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