Random House Struik's Creative Writing and Write a Non-Fiction Story courses hold the opportunity to be published under Ekaya, straight-to-digital imprint. Below are some of the students that were chosen for their manuscripts.
Joanne Macgregor - Jemima Jones and the Great Bear Adventure | Buy this book
"I was delighted when eKhaya decided to publish Jemima Jones and the Great Bear Adventure! For a writer, there are no nicer words than, ‘We are pleased to offer you a contract to publish your manuscript’. And it’s a real buzz to see your book for sale on Amazon, Kalahari and Exclus1ves.
The Random House Struik Creative Writing course was invaluable in sharpening up my writing skills. I found the critiques from course lecturers and literary agent Ron Irwin, as well as from fellow-writers, to be very useful. I even learned a lot from giving feedback to other course participants. In particular, the course shifted my view on editing my manuscripts – no longer is editing a begrudged after-thought. Now it’s an intrinsic and enjoyable part of my writing process, and my work is all the better for it – I hope!" says Joanne.
The world of publishing is currently in the process of massive change. Will digital displace traditional? Joanne has hedged her bets, with a traditionally published paper book (Turtle Walk), an ebook published by eKhaya, and even a self-published book available in both ebook and softcover (Jemima Jones and the Revolving Door of Doom).
Celia Baylis - Tata Ma Chance | Buy this book
"It is quite a thrill to be published! Thanks to the Random House Struik Creative Writing course and the excellent instructions of Ron Irwin I learned what writing a novel is all about. Had it not been for the various assignments which formed part of the course I daresay my novel would still be a dream today. Apart from learning the techniques of novel writing, I learned not to be afraid to expose my innermost thoughts, and to take criticism objectively.
Gambling addiction was the subject I chose to write about as it was the one which aroused the most passion in me; the hidden dangers of the disease needed to be exposed! To keep the novel going for 80,000 words, and to keep to the discipline of writing every day, I built up an all absorbing passion to complete it. I am grateful to eKhaya for publishing Tata Ma Chance. Sadly the people who really should be reading it cannot afford kindles!"
Christine Porter - Peril Beyond the Waterfall | Buy this book
"I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Of course a writer is one thing and a published author is another. I had a completed manuscript - a children's fantasy - and was struggling with the next step when the GetSmarter and Random House Struik Creative Writing course was brought to my attention. What appealed to me was the chance to get honest feedback from an Industry Specialist - Ron Irwin.
The course was everything I could have hoped for. Ron's insightful comments and detailed lessons were a great help in rewriting my manuscript and making it presentable. Once I had finished rewriting Peril Beyond the Waterfall, Ron's assistance in getting it published was invaluable. Finally seeing it published and available across the world on Amazon was the most amazing feeling. It was a little surreal, but the experience has been wonderful.
I couldn't praise this course too highly - both for the helpful and instructive content and the feedback received from both Ron Irwin and my fellow classmates. I am still in contact with many of them and can't wait to see more books published."
Conrad Schultz - Independence | Buy this book
"The urge to write started young. Literature was not my strongest subjects but poetry, non-fiction and adventure stories always intrigued me. My first efforts were handwritten but primitive and silly. Later I bought a cheap typewriter and tapped it out with one finger. The evolution of computers changed everything of course and I learned to touch-type.
My work as architect caused me to travel much doing supervision and to pass the time driving, I typed out verses and poems, put it on the steering wheel and memorised them. Then I started to think out plots while driving which made the journeys passed quickly and during the night, added ‘flesh’ to the ‘skeletons’.
I realised I had to attend a course. I subscribed to one but it was too simple. When I joined the Random House Struik Creative Writing Course, a new world opened up to me and propelled me forward. It immediately showed up my flaws and ways of writing and taught me to put shoulder to the wheel and do things right.
Because the course touches and structures every aspect in a logical way, it not only enlightens but encourages one to keep going. I still have a lot to learn and will learn till my dying day but the course makes it so much more exiting and worthwhile.. Nobody can waste your time. If you have to wait for anything, you can spend the time thinking out a plot. I’m married, have three children and live in Clarens, Free State, South Africa. My wife is my best critic. Thank you very much Random House Struik."
Stanley Kenani - For Honour | Buy this book
"I am a writer from Malawi currently living in Switzerland, where I work as an accountant. In 2011 I published my first book, For Honour and other stories with Random House Struik's eKhaya imprint. I had been writing from the age of thirteen but I had always been facing problems to take my writing to a higher level. When I was living in Nairobi, Kenya, a friend emailed me a GetSmarter flyer from Botswana. I enrolled at once. Prior to this, I had won third prize in the SA PEN/HSBC Literary Award judged by Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee.
My story, For Honour, went on to be shortlisted for the Caine Prize, also known as 'The African Booker'. In spite of this prior success, I found the GetSmarter and Random House Struik Creative Writing course an eye-opener, and my writing has never been the same since. I have now been signed by an agent in England and I am finalising my first novel. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anybody."