New U3A Cape Town Course

Writing for Activism and Publication  2014


In South Africa many people feel a sense of powerlessness in the face of social injustice.  A  group of people working in writing co-operative, can be a powerful force for change. Working in a small arena it is possible to make significant improvements in the lives of some  people by writing and  publishing, and expressing opinions on what needs to be exposed in society.  At the very least it makes one feel better to have taken action!

As a writing group it is enjoyable to share and talk about  issues, to write about what bothers us. To persuade others to understand the concept of ‘the silent complicity of the neutral’.


Useful feedback can be given by members of the group to make the piece more effective.

Responsiveness within the group:

This is a tricky part of group dynamics – there are certain ways of responding positively to another person’s writing without being discouraging.

Sometimes one just needs a listening audience to help make minor changes before sending the piece off for publication.

Types of writing and genre

Print Media

  1. Journalism – the print media e.g.  Cape Town newspapers will usually publish good letters. Some topical articles are sometimes paid at R2.00 per word. The audience is quite wide for these papers.
  2. Magazines: there are many magazines that offer prizes for good letters which respond to articles in their own recent publications.

Electronic Media

  1. Avaaz this is an excellent organisation that collects thousands of signatures on petitions. They have very good results that are published. They tell you how to start your own petition
  2. Twitter – the audience for this is quite wide. However, the tweets are limited to a few lines only, so one has to be succinct.
  3. Facebook: Companies  often read  responses on their own Facebook pages.
  4. Blogs: These are easy to set up and can be very rewarding if others read what you have to say.

If there is a request within the group for more creative writing e.g. poetry or short story this genre could be considered – maybe a sub group?  There is a good deal of information as to  types  of  competitions on the Internet.

Geraldine Goldblatt  079 84 71462  or 021 709 0853 Course at Marina da Gama   1st Friday of month.