We first started our ‘developing young writers’ programme 10 years ago because our online readers were inspired by FunDza’s stories and wanted to write and get published too. Since the first Fanz pieces were published in May 2011 on fundza.mobi, we have published the writing of 5,963 (at the current count), who have collectively published:

14,524 poems
4,175 essays
1,220 stories
119 plays

And, these have been written in (in order of frequency) English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, isiNdebele, Sesotho, Afrikaans, Siswati, Setswana and Tshivenda! We are proud of the scope of the work and the impact that this has had on those who have been published.

One of the difficulties of this programme, is that the demand is increasing but our capacity to deal with the demand is not. There is a huge time and effort and cost involved in editing and uploading all of this work – not to mention the individual feedback that Fanz writers get from our staff too.

We decided that the only way to run the programme was to find a more scaleable solution and make the writing space open and accessible to all.

So, we have launched “LoveWriting” – a space for young people to create a FunDza profile, write and save their work, and then submit it to our reviewing staff for feedback and/or publication. We will still be on the look out for the top writers so that we can find ways of developing them further (through our Fellowship and other mentorship opportunities) but we won’t be doing a final edit on their writing work.

Since the soft launch of the platform on 3 December, more than 600 young writers have engaged with the platform (as of the current date), with many submitting multiple pieces for review. The platform is still a work in progress and we know that there will be lots of things to do to make it smooth for our Fanz writers… but we’re really proud of this first iteration and the potential it holds to satisfy the need for creative expression.

Find out how the platform works by reading this help document here.