About Us

During the last 20 Years The Writing Studio has taken many leading filmmakers in South Africa from first idea to success on the big screen locally and internationally.

Celebrating the Art of Storytelling and the Craft of Writing


Created by respected film and theatre journalist of 30 years, Daniel Dercksen, The Writing Studio is a leading independent training initiative in Africa.

Following 22 years of workshops in Cape Town, and correspondence courses internationallyThe Writing Studio has now relocated to Prince Albert, the Jewel of the Great Karoo, where he is actively involved as story editor in the writing and development of new screenplays, plays and novels.

Daniel Dercksen, the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio, is a published film and theatre journalist of 30 years, and has been teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa since he formed the studio 22 years ago. Read more

The 22 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.

Turning Words Into Action

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

Our Proud Graduates


  • Producer screenwriter and filmmaker Sallas de Jager (Dominee Tienie, Free State, Roepman, Verraaiers, Musiek vir die agtergrond and Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux)
  • Writer-director Karen van Schalkwyk‘ The Adventures of Supermama took flight in June 2019 after 15 years of development, a dream project of Writing Studio graduate Karen Van Schalkwyk, who first introduced South Africa’s first Black superhero in a short film in 2006, followed by eight years crafting the screenplay and developing the film.
  • Writer-director-producer Uga Carlini (Alison, which won the Best Documentary at the Asia Pacific International Film Festival)
  • Spanish filmmaker Pablo Pinedo showcased his sensational and stirring documentary Noma at the HotDocs 2016 in Toronto, and received the Amnesty International Human Rights award at the Durban International Film Festival.
  • Writer, director and producer Henk Pretorius (Leading Lady, Bakgat, Fanie Fourie Se Lobola, Modder en Bloed)
  • Writer and director John Barker (Spud 3: Learning to Fly, Bunny Chow and How To Steal a Million)
  • Director Bonginhlanhla Ncube and screenwriter Carl Roddam (Safe Bet)
  • Writer-director Anthony Silverston (Khumba, Triggerfish Animation)


  • Award-winning playwright Neil Coppen (Abnormal Loads, Animal Farm)
  • Edmund Mhlongo, producer and renowned Artistic Director who is the founder of Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, Kwa Mashu and won the Durban Theatre Award in 2005 for Community Theatre)


  • Gary Hirson (The Magic That is Ours and Calm in Storm)
  • Consuelo Roland (who received acclaim for her Lady Limbo Novel, and was Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and received an Honorary mention for the Olive Schreiner Prize for her novel The Good Cemetery Guide)
  • Tenda Madima (whose collection of short stories, Ri khou dzedza, won the African Heritage Literature Award in 1997, and A Victim of Circumstances won the South African Translator’s Institute Literary Award in 2000)

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