Jakes Gerwel Foundation and PEN Afrikaans /PEN South Africa Residency

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation, PEN Afrikaans and PEN South Africa are inviting applications for a three-week uninterrupted writing residency in Somerset East in the Eastern Cape, from 5 to 25 June.

The successful applicants will be hosted at the Foundation’s beautiful 200-year-old Paulet House. These writers can look forward to the inspiration and enjoyment of lush gardens, ample space in which to create, a charming town, the peace and quiet of the surroundings and the company of fellow writers.

The residency includes:

  • National return tickets to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), if needed
  • Transport between the airport and Somerset East
  • A comfortable ‘room-with-a-view’ of your own
  • Housekeeping services
  • Delicious meals prepared by the Foundation’s resident chef
  • Unlimited access to the Internet
  • Writing space in your room, in quiet spots inside the house and in the garden

Interested writers must submit their applications to the executive director of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation, Theo Kemp, at theo@jgf.org.za by 17 March 2023.

Your application (in the language in which you write) should include:

  • A letter of motivation
  • A resume of your writing career, including a list of published works
  • One page outlining your writing project for the residency
  • A sample of writing from your project:
    • Fiction or non-fiction manuscript (10–15 pages)
    • Poetry (6–10 poems)
    • Plays or film scripts (12–15 pages)

Note: A letter from a publisher interested in publishing your work will count strongly in your favour.


About the partners

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation continues to build on the considerable legacy of the late Professor Jakes Gerwel who excelled as an educator, liberator, patron of the arts and business person.

The Foundation’s aim is to promote and expand South African literature in general and Afrikaans literature – Professor Gerwel’s field of expertise – in particular.

The Foundation focuses on:

  • Enriching literature
  • Facilitating the expression of new perspectives and experiences
  • Supporting emerging writers and new voices
  • Encouraging reading and promoting literacy among young people

Read more about the Jakes Gerwel Foundation at jgf.org.za.

The Foundation is proud of their partnership with two very dynamic centres among the more than 140 PEN International centres worldwide: PEN Afrikaans and PEN South Africa. As a leading global writers’ association and human rights organisation, PEN International supports freedom of expression, promotes literature and protects writers.

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