Promote an event and your brand on Bizcommunity by submitting a workshop, seminar or any other corporate gathering! Posted event listings display in the Biz Event Calendar, where they are visible to all users on Bizcommunity, and they may even be included in the relevant daily/weekly industry newsletters. For branded featured events, see our Rate Card.

An introduction to poetry

An exciting introductory course for those wanting to write poetry

Poetry has power. It opens mind, heals a broken day, steals a heart, steels it too. It stirs one to action and leads one to find the core of one's thoughts, hopes and aspirations.

This online course teaches the basic tools of poetry, looking at line length, figures of speech, metered verse, tone, imagery and lyricism. Students will find ways to practise these concepts in their own poetry. They are encouraged to explore the truth that resides in a cliché and to coax this truth into fresh lines. They are guided to craft their words into workable forms with the goal of preparation for publication.

Each unit will present standard concepts, offer new tools as they appear in a poem from the canon of English literature, and students will have the opportunity to practise new skills. The tasks are interactive so that by the end of the three modules, the student has an integrated sense of his or her own writing and a finer sense of what kind of poetry he or she wants to write.

Course Details:
Modules: three Modules
Duration: three months
Course Fee: R3495

Start date: At any time; applications all year round

Student completes 15 poetry exercises with one-on-one instruction from a tutor. By the end of the three month period, students should have three to six poems ready to submit to a literary journal.

Fiona Zerbst is the author of four poetry collections to date: Oleander (Modjaji Books, 2009), Time and Again (UCT Younger Poets Series No 1/Snailpress, 2002), the small zone (Snailpress, 1995) and Parting Shots (Carrefour Press, 1991). She received an MA in Creative Writing from UCT, studying under the late Stephen Watson.

Her poems have been anthologised in The Heart in Exile, eds Tromp and De Kock, Penguin, 1996, Imagination in a Troubled space, Poetry Salzburg, 2004, The Pick of Snailpress, 2000 and City in Words, David Philip, 2001. Most recently, two of her poems were selected for inclusion in the prestigious US literary magazine The Common (

Admission Requirements:
• Students must be proficient in the English Language
• E-mail and Internet access required
• No previous tertiary qualification required


Module One: An Introduction to Poetry - Where do poets find their inspiration?
•- Where do poets find their inspiration?
•- Line length and line breaks
•- Tasks

Module Two: Figures of Speech in Poetry
•- Why we use figures of speech
•- Understanding metaphors, similes and poetic devices
•- Tasks

Module Three: Rhythm and Rhyme
•- Must a poem rhyme?
•- Understanding rhythm
•- Using assonance, consonance, alliteration and other sound effects
•- Tasks

How does the course work?
The course consists of three modules. Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students.
At the end of each section, students will be required to complete several writing exercises..
Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. The next module will then be e-mailed to the student.

Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an SA Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:
• Students must have completed all 35 writing assignments.
• The course must have been completed within four months of registration.
• Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:
This course requires ongoing informal research. The poet will read and buy poetry books and journals in order to discover what moves his or her own poetic mind. Hopefully, this "research" is also an enjoyable hobby that becomes an ongoing pleasure nourishing the student's poetry for life.
Additionally, there is the discipline of writing and reflection on the process. A poet cannot wait for the muse. The muse waits for the poet. When you write, the muse shows up. You will be inspired, even when you feel uninspired. Because regular writing and re-writing is integral to the process of poetry-making, the course is designed so that one module takes one month.
After studying the modules, the exercises should take an hour or two per week to complete. Ideally, students spend 10 minutes daily writing in a poetry journal, a portion of which is submitted in the final portfolio.

Date: 03 July 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Date: 24 July 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Date: 31 July 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Date: 07 August 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Date: 21 August 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Date: 28 August 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 3495.00

Contact: Koos Turenhout
Company name: SA Writers' College
Email address

SA Writers' College
Our courses offer one-to-one support, guidance and mentoring from experts every line of the way.