n Mousaion - South African children's literature and the teaching of creative writing in diverse contexts

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The training of creative writers in South Africa requires a programme that is able to address the country's complex cultural and linguistic composition. There is an increasing awareness of the importance of cultural and language identity and the need for a variety of children's literature in all languages. Although there are many talented storytellers in South Africa, there is still a need for new writers who can meet this demand. In this article the basic principles of teaching creative writing are set within the context of teaching creative writing for children, which can serve as a basis for tuition in diverse training contexts. The approach integrates identified principles derived from different theoretical paradigms on thoughts of literacy, creativity, creative writing and literary theory, combined with years of practical experience. Core principles identified are the consideration of the context, the primary means of cultural transference in a community, the complex dynamics of the creative process, the articulation of relevant content and the application of the principles in specific teaching and learning environments. These principles inform the general approach to the courses, the structuring thereof, and the selection of appropriate content. The approach is illustrated with reference to various courses and activities and South African children's literature.

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