This free writing competition is open to writers from around the world.

Write us a 600-word piece on the theme:  The best writing tip I’ve ever received. We’ll publish the best piece in our newsletter and on our blog, plus the winner receives $200 (R2 000 or £100).

Send your entries to Nichola Meyer at

CLOSING DATE: 31 December 2022


Rules and Guidelines for Entries

Send in your entry in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Use the subject line ‘My Writing Journey Competition’ in your email.

Entries must be no more than 600 words and must be the author’s original work.

Use Times New Roman size 12 or Arial size 11.

Read our January 2022 Winner here: Write About Things You Can Drop – by Kelly Eden:

Read our September 2021 Winner here: Don’t Wait for The Muse – by Terri Mulholland:

Read more past winning entries in our e-anthology ’22 Best Essays to Inspire New Writers’ – free to download. CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW to grab your copy.

Read the individual essays from past winners for the ‘My Writing Journey’ Competition below:

My Journey as a Writer

BY HEINRICH VAN DER WALT “You know, you should write this stuff down,” Anton said. We were sitting on the ...
Read More

How I Learned to Write Garbage

By SARAH KELLEHERContentsFor me, writing used to move in cycles. First, the inspired phase. I’d put my laptop by my ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: For more dynamic prose, replace “to be” and “to have.”

By ANDREW PARK The best writing advice I ever received was from Chuck Palahniuk. No, wait! Chuck Palahniuk gave me ...
Read More

HAYMAKER – by Clinton Matos

Well, it’s all about power, isn’t it? That’s where and why my life intersects the here and how of what ...
Read More
writing courses at the writers college

Best Writing Advice: Find Your Voice

ContentsBY SANDY KLINEAbout the Author BY SANDY KLINE When I was a beginner writer, so many books and teachers urged ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: Ditch the Filters

Driving around in the Jordanian desert, we cleaned the car’s air filter more often than we filled up with fuel ...
Read More

The One Surprising Tip That Will Make You A Better Writer

ContentsDoing a writing course can shine more light on your writing strengths and weaknesses than a 100-watt reading lamp. DANIELLE ...
Read More

Meeting the Potato Farmer on the Road to Publication

ContentsBY GABRIELLA BRANDAbout the Author   BY GABRIELLA BRAND   I’m a little embarrassed to admit that meeting a potato ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: Do the Work

BY NOHLEE CLOETE On my mobile phone, I have a picture saved of the urban English word ’Rastrophiliopustrocity’. It has ...
Read More

The Writer in the Closet

BY ELEANOR TALBOT I’ll be honest. I don’t really consider myself a writer. John Steinbeck is a writer. Cannery Row ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: The Power of Revision

BY ROSIE SORENSON Writing a memoir is like detasseling corn. You have to be strong and determined to work in ...
Read More

Best Writing Tip: Write as if Everyone You Know Is Dead

BY MIKE CASTO Joe Lansdale, the award-winning author of 45 novels, sat on the stage and told us, “Write as ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: Mix Up Those Sentence Lengths

A Dog’s Blog BY GINNY STONE Apart from writing books, which would make me famous and wealthy (they haven’t yet), ...
Read More
show, don't tell, writing advice

Best Writing Advice: Show, Do Not Tell

BY TASNEEM DANIELS “Kill them,” she said. “What?” “Kill your darlings,” she repeated. “But why should I kill them? This ...
Read More
best writing advice, the writers college, let your characters lead

Best Writing Advice: Let your Characters Tell Their Story

The best advice I ever received about writing came from highly successful Australian children’s author John Heffernan about 25 years ...
Read More
writers college blog, best writing advice

Best Writing Advice: Keep it Simple

BY THERESA-LOUISE BRINK The best writing tip I ever received was from a man who had fallen in love with ...
Read More
creative writing courses, the writers college

Best Writing Advice: Don’t Stop Writing

Words have the power to alter perceptions and change lives, as KEZIAH FREIMOND discovered for herself. I have, through the ...
Read More
Writing is liberating

Best Writing Advice – Learn through Reading

BY ANNE MARAIS Writing is a passion for me. However, when I look back to where I started, it was ...
Read More

The Greatest Writing Tip: Say What You Mean

BY DANIELLE RAMAEKERS I paused my coffee mid-sip when I read, ‘Make yourself a solemn promise right now that you’ll…..never ...
Read More
best writing advice, the writers college, let your characters lead

Best Writing Advice: Find the Story in the Pudgy Centre

BY HALEY PASSMORE I’ve never received any writing tips that have helped me – but then I’m not really a ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: Walking Through Other Worlds

BY DEEPTI KUMAR  It was in the summer of 2010, shortly after I had just started my first real job ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: Shattering Fictional Boundaries

ContentsBY PRAJKTA BUDJADEAbout the Author BY PRAJKTA BUDJADE In a self-defense class I once took, the instructor said, “Never engage ...
Read More

Best Writing Advice: If You’re Lucky

ContentsBY JOHN McCAFFREYAbout the Author BY JOHN McCAFFREY Many years ago, I met with an agent friend and asked his ...
Read More
free writing competition, writers college

Best Writing Advice: Use Simple Sentences

BY ROLINE GALVAN It was written in big red letters on my paper: “USE SIMPLE SENTENCES.” The first thing you ...
Read More
The Writers College Writing Journey Contest

The Earworm

BY HELEN TOMPSON The thought that one day I could be a writer has bubbled inside me for as long ...
Read More

The Writer’s Muse is a Myth

BY RETIEF POTGIETER An artist will sometimes mention that he or she hasn’t had an original thought in a while ...
Read More

The Best Writing Advice: The Effectiveness of Rejection

Technically, I shouldn’t even be here. Where? Here, among a sea of writers filled with talent who always knew they ...
Read More
being a great writer

I heard DITCH but spelled B****

By Shenaaz Msusa   “The next word is DITCH; I repeat ditch,” announced the teacher loudly and clearly during our ...
Read More
creative writing courses, the writers college

To All The Words I’ve Yet To Write

BY NICOLE ZELNIKER Just write. It’s the first piece of advice any writing professor will give you, the first piece ...
Read More
studying writing online

Best Writing Tip: Kill Your Adverbs

BY NIKKY LEE “Kill your adverbs.” This advice came from thriller writer John Harman. I was eighteen, in my first ...
Read More

E’s and F’s

BY STEPHANIE MILLAR “We’re moving to Durban next month,” my dad nonchalantly announced. He and my mum had just returned ...
Read More

‘Give It to Yourself in a Story’ – the Best Writing Tip I Ever Received

BY BEATRICE ELLIS As the writer on the radio was being interviewed, I heard her say, “Think of something that ...
Read More

Words Like Butterflies

There is a story in each one of us; the difference is in how it is told. That becomes the ...
Read More

Both Feet and No Safety Net

BY ELAINA FELLOWS “Why don’t you just quit your job and do it?” My husband asked me.  I looked at ...
Read More

The Best Writing Tip I’ve Ever Received: Keep it Real

  BY ANNA STROUD I was in my fourth year at university, studying towards a Bachelors degree in Journalism and ...
Read More

My Writing Journey – by Nkaela Mocumi

My favourite singer once told an interviewer that he started singing at the age of four. He said that by ...
Read More

My Movie Moment

  BY TRACY SOLEA A bright gold sticker in my purple exercise book marks the day I began my journey ...
Read More

Weird, Minus One House-Point

BY CARMEN MARCUS It was the summer of 1984 and Lady Di was just about to marry my toy gorilla, ...
Read More

My Writing Journey

BY GLENN McGOLDRICK My writing journey? Ha-ha. Sounds pretentious. Where to start? I liked writing as a kid. ‘Tiger Man’ ...
Read More

My Big Fat Regret

BY LEONIE FOURIE It was hot.  Mid-December in the Cape Winelands tends to be hot.  Your-clothes-stuck-to-your-butt kind of hot.  It ...
Read More

Neuroses & Nirvana

BY DAVID WHITAKER   My first book was self-published. I wrote every word and illustrated it myself. I also cut ...
Read More

Full Circle

BY NATALIE SWAIN Christmas morning. My brother has a secretive smirk on his face. “This one is from me, Natty,” ...
Read More

The Hundredth Day

BY DO HYUN KANG It all began the day I turned 100 days old. I don’t remember anything about the ...
Read More

The Writing Lobe

By Eileen Kennedy Scientists say there’s a specific region of the brain dedicated to writing. Somewhere between the prefrontal lobe ...
Read More


BY CATHY MARTENS Ah, my elusive writing chops; where do they come from and where do they keep going? I’m ...
Read More

Swan Lake – My Writing Journey

BY SUZETTE LEAL I would say that my venture into the world of words started thanks to Tchaikovsky. Had the ...
Read More

African Dream

BY OLAKUNLE OLADIRAN     Growing up in the tiny village of Akure in Nigeria, I had only felt liberated ...
Read More

MAGIC – by Thorne Busakwe

  I was five years old, hugging the floor of my mother’s little shack, gunshots ringing through the air. I ...
Read More

It Started With a Bang – by Marianne Saddington

  My writing journey leaped ahead when a truck smashed into my car at a traffic light, crumpling the back ...
Read More
Writing courses

Home – by Lyllie Colway

Love at first word. My first word was ‘home’, and that word has stuck with me ever since. Home is ...
Read More

Without a Hitch – by Kyle Rush

I’m standing on the side of a road. It’s an unremarkable road, but then, why would it be otherwise? Its ...
Read More

My Writing Journey – By Alison Benge

It wasn’t always writing that I loved. First there was the sensory world of writing: cracking the spine on a ...
Read More

Making Magic – by HM Gruendler-Schierloh

I have escaped into a vast variety of worlds of my own making for as long as I can remember ...
Read More

Bullies In My Pages – by Nthepa Moitsheki

The three years I spent in high school gave me a taste of what it must be like to do ...
Read More

My Writing Journey – by Françoise Lempereur

Writing is not something I do; it is something I can’t do without. My journey as a writer began at ...
Read More

In a Moment – By Michele M. van Eck

Amber Walker should be used to death by now, but she wasn’t. Her stiletto heels clicked against the ceramic tiles ...
Read More

My persistent muse: the tortoise – by Keren Hoy

  This is the Year of the Tortoise: the year I write my book. It will be about my journey ...
Read More

All the way up to Cairo: a writer’s journey – by Adriaan Odendaal

I was always hesitant to tell people that I want to be a writer. At one point even I rolled ...
Read More

Born to be a Writer – by Michael Taylor

The city is pretty… These were the words I wrote in the first attempt I made of a poem after ...
Read More

What would my mother say?! By Hilary Murray

Hilary Murray, author of Choices, describes her first forays as a writer into the publishing industry – and the genre ...
Read More

Scribbler’s Progress: my writing journey – by Trish Nicholson

  Scribbler’s Progress – my writing journey by Trish Nicholson My most productive period as a storyteller was between the ...
Read More

Those wobbly days as a writer – by Louis Greenberg

  I’m in the middle of writing a novel and I’m having a bit of a wobbly at the moment ...
Read More
5 ways to write horror, the writers college

How a disastrous first job helped me find my passion for writing – by Varsha Lalla

Oh, the joy of your first job! How exciting, wonderful and, honestly, very disappointing. ‘First job blues’ is a relatively ...
Read More

Making a Dream Come True – by Helen Yuretich

“I’ll do it if you do it.” “OK. Let’s do it together.” Contents “I’ll do it if you do it.”About ...
Read More

Writing’s not for sissies! – by Nadia Kamies

MY daughter has wrapped a scarf around her head as if to hold her brains together. She is writing an ...
Read More

Dreams Come True – by Andrea Stitson

Contents ABOUT THE WRITERS’ COLLEGE(NZ Writers’ College, SA Writers’ College, UK Writers’ College) “Dreams are goals I haven’t yet managed ...
Read More
My writing journey competition

The Other Woman – by Amanda Bidwell

Contents Congratulations to Amanda Bidwell, the winner for our February 2012 My Writing Journey Competition.The next My Writing Journey Competition ...
Read More

Just for Fun – By Helen Yuretich

Contents Just for fun – by Helen YuretichAbout the Author Congratulations to Helen Yuretich, the winner of our November 2011 ...
Read More

In Search of the Poetic Impulse – by Ross Fleming

  I will never forget my first published poem. Well ‘published’ may be a loosely applied term, but it was ...
Read More

My Writing Journey – by Christie Williams

Congratulations to Christie Williams from New Zealand for her story about procrastination. Christie wins our June contest. The closing date for the next My ...
Read More


‘The Best Writing Advice: How I Learned to Write Garbage’ by Sarah Kelleher – winner May 2021

‘The Best Writing Advice: For More Dynamic Prose, Replace ‘To Be’ and ‘To Have’ by Andrew Park – winner January 2021

‘The Best Writing Advice: Find Your Voice’ by Sandy Kline – winner September 2020

The Best Writing Advice: Ditch the Filters’ by John Tipper – winner May 2020

‘The Best Writing Advice: Do The Work’ by Nohlee Cloete – winner January 2020

‘The Best Writing Advice: The Power of Revision’ by Rosie Sorenson – joint winner September


‘The Best Writing Tip: Write as if Everyone You Know Is Dead’ by Mike Casto – joint winner September 2019

‘The Best Writing Advice: Mix Up Those Sentence Lengths’ by Ginny Stone – winner May 2019

‘The Best Writing Tip: Say What You Mean’ by Danielle Ramaekers – winner January 2019

‘The Best Writing Tip: Kill Your Adverbs’ by Nikky Lee – winner September 2018

‘The Best Writing Tip I’ve Ever Received’ by Anna Stroud – winner June 2018

‘My Movie Moment’ by Tracy Solea – winner January 2018

‘Weird, Minus One House-Point’ by Carmen Marcus – winner September 2017

My Big Fat Regret‘ by Leonie Fourie and ‘My Writing Journey‘ by Glenn McGoldrick – joint winners May 2017

My Journey as a Writer’ by Heinrich van der Walt and

 ‘Neuroses and Nirvana‘ by David Whitaker – joint winners January 2017

 ‘Full Circle’ by Natalie Swain – winner September 2016

‘The Hundredth Day’ by Do Hyun Kang – Winner July 2016

‘The Writing Lobe’ by Eileen Kennedy – Winner March 2016

‘Meeting the Potato Farmer on the Road to Publication’ by Gabriella Brand – Winner Dec 2015

‘Haymaker’ by Clinton Matos – Winner September 2015

‘African Dream’ by Olakunle Oladiran – Winner May 2015

‘Magic’ by Thorne Busakwe – Winner January 2015

‘My Writing Journey’ by Nkaela Mocumi – Winner September 2014

‘It Started with a Bang’ by Marianne Saddington – Winner June 2014

Read the March 2014 winning entry here.

Read the December 2013 winning entry here.

Read the September 2013 joint winning entry here.

Read the September 2013 joint winning entry here.

Read the May 2013 winning entry here.

Read the February 2013 winning entry here.

Read the December 2012 winning entry here.

Read the September 2012 winning entry here. 

Read the June 2012 winning entry here.

Read the February 2012 winning entry here.

Read the November 2011 winning entry here.

Read the September 2011 winning entry here.

Read the June 2011 winning entry here.

Read the April 2011 winning entry here.

Read the February 2011 winning entry here.




(NZ Writers College, SA Writers College, UK Writers College)

Established in 2005, we are an online writing school with three country-specific branches offering over 35 specialist online writing courses run by multi-award-winning authors, journalists, scriptwriters, poets and copywriters.

From journalism to creative writing courses to writing for the web, for over 14 years our courses have offered one-to-one tuition at an affordable cost. We have trained thousands of satisfied students worldwide.