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Posted by on February 27, 2014 | 0 comments

How I Got Smart

I wrote in my previous post about my journey of learning to be a writer. Today I want to share with you the course that helped to make it all happen for me. Take a look at the video below.



In 2011 I decided that I wanted to learn to write narrative nonfiction. I registered on the Random House Struik Nonfiction Story course, administered online by GetSmarter. The course is convened by prolific South African writer, Mike Nicol.

Shoo, was I in for the ride of my life! Over 16 weeks I learned about the importance of research, the intricacies of dialogue, the difference between telling and showing, and a whole host of other techniques that taught me to write engaging narrative from the heart.

At the end of the course I had written a nonfiction short story about my life as a doctor and my decision to leave clinical practice. I used part of this short story when I submitted my proposal for the City Press Nonfiction Award.

It was a life-changing moment to win the City Press Award. Not only was I being given the opportunity to write a full-length book about an important chapter of my life, I was also getting a publishing contract with Tafelberg Publishers, an imprint of NB Publishers, one of South Africa’s leading publishing houses.

Now my book is at the printers (whoop whoop!) and in 6 weeks it will be in major bookstores all over the country.

It’s all very well to have big dreams; it’s a very necessary first step. But it is only the first step; the rest requires commitment, focus and hard work. And most of all, the willingness to keep learning.

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