Winners of The Write Co Short Story Competition

1st Prize: Up in Arms by Ilva Pieterse

A Writers Write course – valued at R4 500, or gift vouchers for The Write Co valued at R4 500, your story published in The Write Co Newsletter

2nd Prize: Action Approved by Richard Greensmith

1 year’s subscription to The Write Club, worth R1 800

3rd Prize: Raw/Hide by Amanda Paulsen

4 hours with one of our personal writing coaches, worth R1 400

Read all the Stories on The Write Company Website

The Judges

Morné Malan – Winner of The Best Debut Novel 2007 and a winner in the S A Pen short story award

Anthony Ehlers and Darrel Bristow-Bovey

Anthony Ehlers and Darrel Bristow-Bovey

Darrel Bristow-Bovey – Columnist, award-winning novelist, SuperZero, best-selling non-fiction author, writer of scripts, screenplays and short stories.

Susan Greenhalgh

Susan Greenhalgh

Susan Greenhalgh

Anthony Ehlers – Head of Creative Writing, The Write Co’s Romance & Writers Write facilitator

Amanda Patterson

Amanda Patterson – The Write Co Founder, author of Writers Write 1, Writers Write 2 , KISS – the Art of Writing the Short Story – and Rewrite your Future

Morné Malan

Morné Malan


Amanda Speaks to Author/Publisher, Laura Boon

Author: Laura Boon
Date: 31  August 2006 & 24 July 2008
Sun Sign: Leo
Where: Staffroom, Crawford College & Chocadore, Hyde park
The Book: Public Relations & Your Business (Frontrunner)
The Reason: Laura Boon Literary Agency

1.   Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Stephanie Plum
2.  What is your most treasured possession?
My books
3.   Which living person do you most dislike?
Tony Leon. He’s a destructive whinger.
4.   What is your greatest fear?
Being invisible.
5.   Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?
6.   What is your greatest regret?
A love affair that went wrong.
7.   If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
V I Warshawsky
8.   Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido.
9.   What is your favourite journey?
So many – Norwegian Fjords.
10.  What do you most value in a friend?
Loyalty and compassion.
11.  What quality do you most admire in a woman?
The ability to be assertive and yet, feminine.

12.   Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?

Public Relations and Your Business

13.  What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write what you’re passionate about.
14.  What are your favourite names?
15. What do you do as a hobby?
16.  What are your top 3 books?

Brother of the More Famous Jack, Case Histories, Lilla’s Feast.

17.   Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
While I’m cooking, bathing or driving.

Amanda Patterson
31 August 2006 & 24 July 2008

Special Offer on Russian Opera Tickets

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this,” says Amanda Patterson, CEO or the Write Co about the low price prime tickets that they are able to offer via this blog and their website and Facebook Groups.

The Russian Opera, Iolanta, with the libretto by Pyotr’s brother, Modest Tchaikovsky after the dramatic poem ‘King Rene’s Daughter’ by Henrik Hertz debuts in South Africa on 6, 7 and 8th August 2008 @ The Civic Theatre in Johannesburg. (Music, of course by Pyotr).

Performances in Cape Town and Durban follow on 9th and 10th August 2008.

This last Opera by musical maestro Pyotr Tchaikovsky  will be performed by The State Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet, Ekaterinburg, Russia. Read more about the Opera, Iolanta and the production.

The Write Co is offering prime tickets, which are normally sold for R290 @ R100 per ticket.

To book, mail

Amanda Will Train the First Writers’ Write Course in Durban

We will be hosting the inaugural Writers Write course in Durban, as a one week course, from 25th August – 29th August from 09:00 – 13:00 daily. I will be training this course for this session only.

Please note that we only have a limited number of available spaces on this course. If you would like to book, please advise.

Warm regards

Amanda Patterson

37 graduates published

Writers Write is an Excellent Course For All Writers

The ideal course for any beginner novelist or non-fiction writer is Writers Write. This takes a beginner all the way through the writing process to a polished, publishable way of writing.

We look forward to you joining our community of writers.

Please call if you need help.

I don’t want to just mess with your head. I want to mess with your life.
I want you to miss appointments, burn dinner, skip your homework.
I want you to tell your wife to take that moonlight walk on the beach with the resort tennis pro while you read a few more chapters.”
Stephen King

Do you Want to Write a Book?

The student says

“I attended Amanda Patterson’s course, and it changed my life .It unleashes your creativity and your writing potential. It gave me the confidence I needed to move out of the corporate world, and do what I always wanted to do.”

Morné Malan, and author of Best Debut Novel 2007, Suiderkruis (Tafelberg 2008), judged by Andre Brink, and a winner of the  SA Pen Award, for his short story Jason’s Kiss, judged by Nobel Laureate, JM Coetzee

The publisher says

“Amanda Patterson, together with The Write Co, inspires, encourages and drives her students to produce creative work in a nurturing environment. Students receive encouragement, access to Amanda’s publishing networks and extensive feedback on their work. I’m not sure how she fits it all in but she does manage to give both students and publishers expert attention.”

Terry Morris – MD, Pan Macmillan South Africa

Writers Write – How to Make your Writing as Publishable as Possible

The best course for anyone who wants to write a book, or improve their writing skills, is Writers Write. It will teach you to write the best you can. It’s creative, inspiring and educational. You will be motivated and confident after you have completed the programme.

Special 1-week course (Durban only) 25 – 29 August 2008

Where: TBA

Fees: R 4 500, 00 (ex VAT)

RSVP: Wiida: 011 706-4021 or mail

The Writers Write Course Includes lectures and modules on:

1.   Story Ideas & Plotting

2.   Viewpoint & Genre

3.   Setting & Description

4.   Scenes/Beginnings, Middles and Ends

5.   Dialogue

6.   Characters

7.   Pacing/Rewriting & Research

8.   Manuscript Preparation & Advice on Publishing

The course was developed by inspiring published author, Amanda Patterson. Other facilitators include the best-selling writer, Sarah Bullen, playwright, editor & novelist, Morne Malan, teacher and prolific author, Anthony Ehlers.

Book Review:The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce

The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) ISBN: 978-0-297-85293-3

Paul Torday’s debut novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. It was serialised on radio, and appeared on many UK lists of summer reads, including the coveted Richard and Judy endorsement.

Readers expecting more light comic relief will be disappointed with his second novel. I was delighted. Wilberforce is a 37-year-old IT engineer, who sells his business to drink. This isn’t as odd as it sounds. He did, after all, buy a house with an underground wine cellar for a million pounds. This included 100 000 bottles of priceless wine.

Wilberforce is not an alcoholic, but he’s determined to drink it all. Why does he do this? You’ll have to read this beautifully written novel to find out. The characters are drawn with style and depth. The fact that we know the ending in the beginning and still have to read on, is testament to clever pacing and story-telling at its best.

Torday may not be the best researcher, and his facts on wine and the consequences of wine on the human body may be sketchy. This would be of concern to a middle aged book critic at a staid newspaper, but for readers who love a good read, it would be looking for mistakes that aren’t important to the story.

Amanda Patterson

The Night Class

by Amanda Patterson

Teachers dread it. They wake up sweating in the middle of the night, drenched with the horror of it. Only once you’ve experienced it, can you understand it.

You stand in front of that sea of blank faces. You see ten or twelve parasites – glassy eyed with an attentiveness that sucks the life out of you. You blink and look again. Yes, they are adults. Post grads mostly in their twenties and they’re here to learn a new skill. From you. Lucky you! You try again.

“What do you think of this?” Your eyes are wide, your voice is bright.
And you wait.
Silence screams.
It’s only 30 minutes into the workshop.
“Come on. Anybody?”
You check. They are breathing. And staring. In desperation, you point and smile your toothpaste smile.
He shifts. The eyes swivel towards him. You exhale. He’s thinking. His hand brushes his jaw and you know something good must be coming.
“It’s good,” he says.
A vacuum cleaner named despair sucks the air around you.
You know you shouldn’t ask but hey, they’re paying you.
“I’m not sure,” he says.

You’re sure that you can astral travel as you disassociate and watch yourself swim through custard for another 90 minutes. You remember what you say each time you start a new class – Writers Write. Now, you wish that they’d speak. Even argue, disagree but give something back.

So you decide to punish them. They’re going to do more exercises than any night class in the history of mankind. You smile, smug with solutions. You rattle off the requirements. You’re sure you’ll need to repeat it again. At least five minutes worth but no. They get it in one. You slump back in your squeaky pinstripe chair. You kick the leg. You’ve always hated it.

You turn to the sponges and stare. Justin taps furiously on his laptop. Camilla grips her pen and winces as words flap through her brain and splatter on her page. Heather whittles words into the grain of the paper with a ferocity that frightens your stomach into a knot. Greg stares upwards and twirls his exam pad beneath the ceiling fan of his hand. You want to ask him to do the darn exercise and stop daydreaming but when you look again, you see that he’s finished it already. Don’t they need time? They’re not human. You’re sure of it. Maybe you’re on candid camera. Maybe you’re on drugs. Maybe they’re aliens and you’re the experiment.

You need to breathe and you escape with an excuse. You tread heavily to the canteen and ask for a cappuccino – please. Your words are whisper-weary and the coffee lady smiles sympathetically. She’s seen it all. You clasp the caffeine and straighten your spine. You can do it.

You develop new teaching techniques. You ask questions and answer them yourself. You split them into groups. But it’s hideous. In pairs they’re stronger than ever and you have to withstand the barrage alone.
You want to ask, “Why are you here? You’re paying good money to ask me these questions.” You’d like to send them to the hell you’re in. You write with them as they do exercises and surprise, surprise, you write of murder and torture and cold city morgues.

And they smile as they leave. That’s what you can’t understand. They enjoy it! They really do. And they’re good students. They produce the quality of writing that the fun class never does.

But the effect on your body is startling. You ache and your head pounds. You can barely make it home and your significant other doesn’t understand. You sigh. Neither did you until tonight.

And in the morning when you analyse it, you harden. You’ve adapted and you know that nothing else can harm you again. You’re a tough cookie – you’ve survived the dreaded dead zone. You’ve lived to tell the tale.

And one day you know that one of these people will succeed in spectacular fashion. In fact, they’ll do it long before the funny bunnies ever do. You’ll nod and smile when you see one of their bestsellers on the shelves, remembering them fondly.

You’ll say, “I knew Justin. In fact, I taught him.”

Yes indeed.
You taught him well.
Your name is there – dedicated to…

Amanda Patterson

How Do you Turn an Engineer into a Writer?

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

Facts are no longer just facts.

Does your reader understand them?
Can you point out problems without being offensive?
Companies are starting to treat business writing with the respect it deserves.

This poses the question: How do you turn an engineer into a writer?
The simple answer: You train them.

“In most cases the ability is there. It just needs to be developed,” says Nicci Stewart, project manager at The Write Co. “In my experience people have a tendency to ‘go with the flow’. It’s easier and quicker to do things the way they have always been done. Jargon. Passive voice. Never-ending sentences. These are common mistakes in business writing. If you make people aware of them, and the negative impact they have on their work, they will correct them.”

So where do you begin? A few simple rules of writing. A basic knowledge of editing. And a willingness to improve your work, that’s all it takes.

The Write Company offer several courses to meet these needs.

  • Strategic Press release: 15 July
  • Writing for Print Media: 17 July
  • Edit your own writing: 25 July
  • Report Writing: 29 July

Nicci explains: “Our courses are designed to give people a good understanding of business writing. We provide them with the tools to check their own work and produce a quality product.”

Companies, and the people within them, are starting to value the art of writing.
The facts of reports and proposals will always be important.
How they are written has become more important.

“Most companies don’t know that their readability statistics are only understood by 20-30% of their audience,” adds Amanda Patterson, CEO, The Write Co. “They will have to change this to compete in a crowded market.”

For more information on the business writing courses offered by The Write Co, contact Wiida on 011 706-4021, or mail

Tel: (011) 706-4021
Fax: (011) 252-8890
1st Floor, East Wing, Coral House, 20 Peter Place, Lyme Park, Bryanston.

Cape Town:
Tel: (021) 462 7580
Fax: (086) 617 3046, 11C, Eleven on Buiten, 11 Buitensingel Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 8018

Rewrite your future