Creative Writing

Follow your passion for creative writing and explore a range of genres and aesthetic approaches.


Our Honours degree comprises several foundational courses as well as multiple electives, offered by both the Creative Writing Department and other Departments within the School of Literature,Language & Media and the creative arts. Our diverse course options attend closely to questions of form and aesthetics and provide practical skills, while engaging the historical and critical contexts of literary work.

While courses offered may differ from year to year, over the one-year programme all students will take a wide selection, honing their individual visions and practices while experimenting with new forms and subjects.

Career Opportunities

Students will develop critical reading and writing skills that may be used in a variety of careers and professions, such as journalism, theatre writing and script writing. Graduates may also go on to become writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.


The Honours degree has five components.

  • Two compulsory courses
    • Working Concepts in Creative Writing (core course)
    • A Long Essay
  • Two additional writing courses
  • One literature course from any of the departments in the School of Literature, Language and Media

It is compulsory to do TWO writing courses and ONE literature course in either semester.

With the approval of the Honours coordinator, students may choose to do one of their optional courses in another programme. In-person attendance at weekly seminars, held on the Wits Braamfontein campus, is compulsory.

Semester 1
  • Core Course: Working Concepts in Creative Writing (compulsory)
  • Long essay (compulsory, submit at the end of the year)
  • Writing for Performance I
  • Various literature courses
Semester 2
  • Writing: Theory and Praxis
  • Writing for Performance II
  • Writing Immersion: Special Topic in Creative Writing
  • Writing Poetry
  • Literature for Writers
  • Text & Image
  • Various literature courses

For more information on course options as well as a course description please consult our brochure: Creative Writing Honours Electives 2024

Entry Requirements

To be admitted to the degree programme, you will need:

  • A BA degree in literature, languages or a cognate discipline, with a minimum of 65% average in the final year, or 65% average across literary, writing and cognate course praxis.
  • A portfolio of creative writing – to be submitted by 15 September to: Phillippa Yaa de Villiers: along with a detailed CV and covering letter.*

The portfolio should comprise twenty pages (1.5 spacing, 12 pt) of any combination of the following:

  • Part of a creative prose manuscript (fiction or nonfiction).
  • A selection of short stories.
  • A selection of creative nonfiction essays.
  • A selection of poems**

*The covering letter should explain your reasons for applying to this programme, the extent of your own reading of creative work, and what you hope to achieve in this course.

**Students wishing to take the poetry course as one of their electives MUST submit approximately 10 pages of poetry as well as eight or more pages of prose. Students who will not be doing the poetry course may submit poetry in their portfolio, but at least fifteen pages of the portfolio must be prose.

DO NOT submit academic essays written for your degree courses. DO NOT submit newspaper articles, press releases or public relations biographies.

The portfolio should demonstrate a high degree of writing competency, a commitment to wide and varied reading and an interest in using language creatively.

Places in the courses are limited and selection is based on the strength of the candidates’ applications.

Course Application Process

Should you be accepted into the programme, you will be notified to complete your registration and submit a University application. This is only a formality and, once completed, we will accept your application and you will officially be admitted.

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC).
  • Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online.
  • Upload the supporting documents required by the University at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their application via the Self Service Portal.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.