About Us

The Writing Studio is a leading independent training initiative in Africa. The driving force behind The Writing Studio, is Daniel Dercksen, a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, who teaches workshops and courses in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa since he formed the studio 23 years ago, and also serves as a story editor and film journalist

During the last 23 years, The Writing Studio has taken many leading South African storytellers from the first idea to success on the big screen locally and internationally.

Where Our Journey Began

Our first workshops were hosted by legendary South African filmmaker Dirk de Villiers at the Longkloof Studios in Cape Town in 1999, shaping the destiny of many aspirant writers and storytellers. Known as ”The Godfather” of the South African film industry over the past 40 years, de Villiers revolutionized the South African film industry and established his production company, Ad Astera in Cape Town.

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Turning Words Into Action

The Writing Studio turns words into action through intensive interactive courses to develop and complete individual projects, ranging from screenplays for feature films and television to novels and plays.

In 2022 / 23 the studio streamlined to focus on its signature course The Write Journey, a unique retreat for writers in the heart of the Karoo, as well as the Editing and Polishing of Screenplays and Novels.

As a qualified ETD Practitioner (Education, Training, and Development) – accredited by SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority) and working in accordance with the principles of the Department of Education –  Daniel Dercksen’s workshops/courses focus on outcomes-based education, training, and development.

The 23 years saw the birth of many new, original scripts that echo the unique voice of South African writers, with stories reflecting specific cultures, experiences, and histories that embrace universal qualities.

The Writing Studio relocated to the heart of the Karoo in 2015, where it now holds a retreat for writers who want to shape their stories