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Creative Writing in the UCT English Department

Creative Writing Programme

A 2 year long MA programme: 2 workshops, 2 courses in the humanities and arts, and a 2 year long relationship with a supervisor.


UCT’s Centre for Creative Writing offers a 2 year long workshop- and supervision-based programme for writers, including writers of creative non-fiction, and poets. It is the most prestigious on the continent and is entwined with the rich intellectual and cultural life of the university and the city. The programme has a strong tradition of local and international visitors, readings, and formal and informal connections with other members of the arts community, including script and television writers, documentary makers, literary journalists, and publishers.


The current staff include (click on the name to send email):




Joan Hambidge



  Etienne van Heerden

Imraan Coovadia

 Former staff and associates of creative writing have included Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, Stephen Watson, Breyten Breytenbach, Andre Brink, Damon Galgut, Mike Nicol, Rayda Jacobs, and Christopher Hope. Writers like Zakes Mda, Zoe Wicomb, Willy Kgotsitsile, Justin Cartwright, and Gabeba Baderoon have visited the programme. Its recent graduates, like Henrietta Rose-Innes, Ceridwen Dovey, Femi Terry, Ellen Aaku, Lauren Beukes, Diane Awerbuck, William Dicey, Ben Williams, Nape ‘a Motana, Nicole Strauss, Toast Coetzer, Tom Dreyer, and Tom Eaton are among the brightest of the new generation of writers in South Africa and around the world. In recent years associates and graduates of the programme have won and been shortlisted for many significant local and international literary prizes, including the Nobel, Booker, Caine, Herzog, University of Johannesburg, M-Net, Sunday Times, Penguin Prize for African Writing, Canadian Governor General’s Award, and many others.


Applicants are generally required to have completed and qualified for an undergraduate degree on any field, and are able to write fluently.

To apply, complete the UCT application form by clicking on: Along with this form the candidates must submit a substantial selection of their work or portfolio (around 40 pages) in the genre in which they wish to enrol. The academics in the MA Creative Writing programme work on the following genres: Afrikaans poetry; Creative non-fiction or fiction in English or Afrikaans).

You should send your portfolio to the following address:

Mrs Ncumisa Mdingi-Nunu
Humanities: Postgraduate & Research Office 
Room 1.11

 Beattie Building
Upper Campus

UCT Fees:

UCT Humanities Graduate Handbook

Registration dates:




BOOK LOUNGE in Cape Town

OPEN BOOK Literary Festival (September)



GREAT TEXTS/BIG QUESTIONS Lectures at UCT’s Gordon Institute for the Arts
organized by creative writing which has included Andre Brink, William Kentridge, Albie Sachs, Mamphela Ramphela