The Writers College Student Success Stories

Some of our students have gone on to occupy full-time jobs in the magazine and/or publishing industry. You can read short interviews with past-students here.

Here are a few writing success stories from our students from around the world.


PS.If your story, manuscript or article was accepted for publication after completing a Writers College Course, please do let us know:




Peak-Hill by KA Servian

Kathy Servian self published her first novel ‘Peak Hill‘ under the name KA Servian on Amazon in September 2016 and her second novel is in final editing hopefully ready to be published in February. Kathy completed the beginners and advanced creative writing courses with us in 2015/16.

Well done Kathy!

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Glenn McGoldrick has won third place in the Bookers Corner Writing Competition. Glenn has had numerous publishing successes since being a student on the Writing Short Stories for Magazines Course.

Novel Writing100

Johanna Handley wrote to tell us that her novel The Burning of Juniper Slaide has been accepted for publication by Rudlinghouse Publishers. She has been signed to write a trilogy for them, and is currently touring the UK, with her first book signing at Surrey Waterstones.

Johanna wrote to her tutor on the Write a Novel Course, Alex Smith: “I really wanted to say thank you so much for the invaluable guidance you gave me at the start of my writing journey. I had a lot to learn about writing, and I’m so glad I learnt it from you. Your encouragement and feedback on my writing helped me to keep going and get to where I am now. Thank you so much, again!”


Rochelle Sewell’s story on workplace bullying is being published in Employment Today magazine. Rochelle is a graduate of the Magazine Journalism Course.


Jane Dotchin is a student on the Writing Short Stories for Magazines Course. Her short story called ‘Tonight We Not Get Teargas’ will be published by Fictive Dreams. What’s more, her story ‘The Gift’  has been accepted by The Literateur, a highbrow online magazine.


Congratulations to Louis Wiid for having his first novel, Submerged, published by Jacana Media. Louis completed our Write a Novel course under Alex Smith.

Short Story 100

Glenn McGoldrick – a graduate of the Short Story for Magazines Course – is on a roll. He just had a story accepted by Scribble in the UK, one of the few magazines in the UK devoted entirely to short stories. A real feather in his literary cap!


Rochelle Sewell, a graduate of the Magazine Journalism Course, will see her article titled ‘The (Other) Oldest Profession’ published in Little Treasures Magazine.


Sophie Wong completed the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers College. Her excellent article on Empty Nest Syndrome was published by Parenting Magazine. Read it here:


Marie Ashdown completed the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers College. Her heart-warming story was published in Irish Central, a New York based online publication.  Irish Central has a monthly readership of 3.5 million and over 450,000 ‘likes’ on their Facebook page. Read the story here:


Novel Writing

Michelle Peart, a past student on the Write a Novel Course in New Zealand, has had a 10 000 word story accepted for publication, as well as a second story commissioned.

Pattie Pegler is studying Magazine Journalism. Her article on anger management has been accepted for publication by Next magazine.

Moira Smart completed the Travel Writing Course. Her article on Namibia was recently published in the Sunday Times Travel.


Christi Smit self-published his novel Gamma Nine on smashwords. Christi is a graduate of the Basics of Creative Writing Course at The Writers College, the Copy-editing and Proofreading Course, and the Grammar for Writers Course.


Monique Reymer, who is currently studying on the Short Story Writing for Magazines Course, has had a story accepted for publication by Mindfood magazine, a prestigious life style magazine in New Zealand and Australia.

Novel Writing

Gareth Ward – a graduate of the Write a Novel Course – has won the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for his manuscript, sponsored by Walker Books Australia and open to published and unpublished writers.

“The judges were delighted to find that the author of The Sin Chronicles: New Blood was a new writer of great talent,” said Tessa Duder.  “His steampunk novel set in Victorian England is great fun, with a series very likely.”

Gareth wrote his novel under the mentorship of Alex Smith on the Write a Novel Course in New Zealand.

Short Story 100

Glenn McGoldrick completed the Short Story Writing for Magazines Course. He has had a short story accepted for publication by Short Story Me, an Internet  short story site.

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Hayley Barrett completed the Novel and Advanced Novel Courses with Sonny Whitelaw in 2014. Her second novel, A Silhouette in the Night, has been accepted by Double Dragon Publishing for publication in September.

Helen Glenny has had a couple of articles accepted for publication following her completion of  the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers College. She has just been offered a job as the health writer for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. Well done Helen!
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Well done to Megan Frith. Two of her stories were published in Horizons 2 – an anthology compiled by the Top of the South branch of NZ Society of Authors.

Lourens Durand had his article, ‘Look Deep into Nature’, written on the Basics of Feature Writing Course, published by Voices for Biodiversity online.

Short Story 100
Glenn McGoldrick, who has had a story “A Little Drama” accepted for online publication by Glenn was a student on the Writing Short Stories for Magazines Course.
Living well
Helen Glenny’s article, “Redesigning the Ageing Brain”, will be published in Living Well magazine. Helen is a graduate of the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers College.
Novel Writing100
Lucy Hodgson was published in North & South Magazine. She won the reader’s word competition for her piece “Hymn to Homonyms”. Lucy is currently a student on the Advanced Write a Novel Course.
forest and bird
Emma Richardson’s excellent story “The Forgotten Species: Why We Need Seaweed”, was published in Forest and Bird magazine. Emma completed the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers College.
Well done to Megan Otto who recently completed our Magazine Journalism course. Megan’s article “Sit, Stay talk” from the SPCA’s ‘Animals’ Voice‘ is being published in the Nov/Summer edition.
Travel Writing
Excellent news from one of our graduates of the Writers College Travel Writing Course. Moira Swart won the competition “Readers World” in the Travel Weekly supplement in the Sunday Times
Short Story 100
Well done to Megan Frith. She has been shortlisted for the 2015 Page and Blackmore Short Story Competition. Megan completed our Short Story course and is now doing the Write a Novel course.

Suzanne Main completed the Basics of Creative Writing course with us back in 2012. She contacted us with an update on her writing success.

‘My book, How I Alienated my Grandma, is officially being launched on 29 March at the Storylines Award Presentation in Auckland as it was the 2014 winner of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon award.

You can see the book on Scholastic’s new release page:
There is also an author feature on Scholastic’s website here:

How I Alienated my Grandma’ is already available in paperback in many New Zealand bookstores (such as the independents, Whitcoulls, PaperPlus and the Warehouse). It will also be on sale in Australia from April.

I remain very grateful for the training I received from Helen Brain.”

All the best,
Suzanne Main

Novel Writing100
Ishara Maharaj completed the Write a Novel Course with Alex Smith at the Writers’ College. Her novel has been accepted for publication by Modjaji Press. Congratulations Ishara.
Bronwyn King completed the Short Story Course in 2008 with Ginny Swart, and also signed up for the Novel Course. She now works as a freelance editor and journalist at Gazelle Editing and has clients such as the National Arts Council and Anglo American.

Bronwyn says: “It takes time; you have to be patient and really persevere. I am really proud of what I have done even though it took so long. I am actually making a living from my writing now.”


Hayley Barrett graduated from the Advanced Novel Writing Course at NZ Writers’ College, tutored by the award-winning author Sonny Whitelaw. She has just signed a contract with Double Dragon Publishing for her YA novel, Into Darkness.


Megan Frith studied Literary Short Story Writing at NZ Writers’ College. Her short story “Scars” came first in the 2014 Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition.


Fady Zaki completed the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers’ College. His article was accepted for publication by Spasifik magazine.


Alexander Altman is the pen name of a recent graduate of the Grammar Skills Course. His short story The Clock Struck War was published by Mardibooks, while another story was accepted for publication in Myriad Tales. Alexander was recently shortlisted in the CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition, and was a runner-up in an international writing competition for his story The Quiet Room.


Suzanne Main, who completed The Basics of Creative Writing Course in 2012, won the 2014 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award. Her book for children – How I Alienated My Grandma – will be published by Scholastic. A huge congratulations to Suzanne.


Carl Beck completed the Magazine Journalism Course in 2013. His article was accepted for publication in Idealog Magazine.


Zelda Fourie completed the Writing for the Web Course. She now writes articles for Caxton Publishers for East Rand and online.


Ansie van der Walt completed the Copy-editing and Proofreading Course and the Magazine Journalism Course at The Writers’ College. She has been accepted as an associate editor at Katy Mc Devitt Editorial Services. Ansie has also created an excellent author platform online to showcase her published articles. Find her here:


Elizabeth Robbertze, who completed the Magazine Journalism Course, was runner-up in the Readers Digest ‘100-Word Story Competion’. Her work will be published in the upcoming April Edition. Well done Liz!


Janet Hart completed the Magazine Journalism Course in May 2012. Since then she has had a number of articles published on the website Kiwiboomers.  The Nelson, Marlborough lifestyle magazine WildTomato  published one of her articles, and more recently Canterbury’s lifestyle magazine Latitude published another. The Kiwi historical magazine Memories has just accepted an article for their early 2014 edition.  Two more articles are in the pipeline.


Christine Wardle completed the Write a Novel and Advanced Write a Novel Course, studying with Sonny Whitelaw. Her novel Beneath the Perfect World was accepted for publication by Oceanbooks.


Sheritha Singh completed the ‘Write a Book for Children Course’ with the Writers’ College. Her YA novel Cherish has been accepted for publication by Canadian publisher, Breathless Press. Sheritha has also had her short story Witch Apprentice accepted for publication by Breathless Press for their Crimson Anthology.


Trevor Delaney completed the Web Writing Course in 2011. He has several blogs; here are two samples of the writing he has done since completing the


Past student of the Short Story Course, Trish Nicholson, has a new book out on Amazon: Inside Stories for Writers and Readers. Writers, you’ll enjoy this one as it’s packed with writing tips and analyses.


Esta Chappell recently completed the Magazine Journalism Course with Sarah Lang as her tutor. Her article about taxonomy titled ‘What’s in a Name?’ was published in Good magazine.


Susan Green is a recent graduate of the Introduction to Poetry Course, working with Owen Bullock. She sent five poems to Blackmail Press, an NZ online journal, and they accepted all five for publication. Well done Susan.


Aaron Ure won our 2011 NZ Writers’ College Short Story Competition. His story ‘Regrets’ is a finalist in the Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers 2013 – Best Short Story written in English. Congratulations Aaron.


Liz Robbertze wrote an article about the Comrades Marathon in the online magazine Durban Zone, called ‘Those were days my Comrades’.


Past student Trish Nicholson’s latest book out, From Apes to Apps, published by Collca.

Suzanne Main completed the Basics of Creative Writing Course. She wrote an adventure story for boys (9 – 11 years old) called How I Alientated My Grandma. It will be published by Scholastic in New Zealand. She was also the winner of the 2014 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award.

Ayesha Ally on the Short Stories for Magazines Course has had a story published in ALI – an e-zine for the Ido language.


Belinda Mountain is a graduate of the Magazine Journalism Course. Her beautiful article titled ‘A Mother’s Legacy’ appeared in the May 2012 issue of Woman and Home magazine.


Joanne Ganley  completed the Advanced Grammar for Writers Course. She was one of six winners in the 2012 Te Papa Tupu Writers competition, supported by Huia publishers. There is a substantial prize package, including a mentor, writing workshops and a trip to Wellington.


Ansie van der Walt completed the Magazine Journalism Course and has gone on to land a position as Assistant Editor at Country Bumpkin Publishers, an Australian company.


Angelique Noll completed the Magazine Journalism Course. She sold articles to the Natural Health Journal, Vrouekeur, two short stories in Vrouekeur, one story to Merise (Australia) and two articles for Merise about immigration.


Eleanor Talbot completed the Literary Short Fiction Course in 2012. She has had three stories accepted for publication at three different publications.


Hilary Murray approached us for a manuscript critique in 2011. Writing as Galia Ryan, her first novel Choices was released in October 2012, and two follow-up novels were accepted for publication as well.


Alesha Ally, who is on her fifth assignment in the Short Story Writing for Magazines Course, is having her stories published as serials in a publication called The Phoenix Pulse. She now has her own column, called The Phoenix Pen and the first one they are using is her second assignment which she made into a dramatic page-turner.


Jennifer Copeland completed our Short Story Writing for Magazines course. She recently had her story called ‘Finding You’ accepted by Allas magazine – a Swedish publication.


Sharon Roberts completed our Magazine Journalism Course, and sold her first article to Fair Lady magazine.


Congratulations to Georgie Chennells who has had her first article published in earthworks magazine. You can view her piece here (1MB).


Ann Huston completed our Travel Writing Course in August 2012. She had her travel piece on Woodville published in the Manawatu Standard. You can read it here (1MB). Ann has also had her article ‘You can lead a teenager to a volcano but you can’t make him climb it’ published in the Herald on Sunday. They have also agreed to use another article by her too. The summer edition of Que will also be publishing her piece about traveling with children.


Amanda Bidwell completed the Magazine Journalism Course and has had her article on blogging accepted by Her Magazine. Congratulations Amanda!


Andrea Stitson completed the Short Story Writing Course. She has had a story accepted by NZ Fitness magazine titled ‘Cycling in Bolivia – the World’s Most Dangerous Road’. This year Andrea also started running creative writing workshops with girls aged 10-12 years and they’re putting together a writing newsletter provisionally titled Story Central. These classes have been so popular that Andrea’s been asked to carry on for ten more workshops in 2012.


Juanne Pierre de Abreu has been writing a column in The Exit since May 2011. He is also a features writer and columnist for a brand new lifestyle magazine due out for release at the end of December called M Magazine. Look out for that one!


Congratulations to Trish Nicholson who has been concentrating on her writing and has had a great year. Trish was commissioned to write a series of bite-sized travel books for Collca, with the first one being released in November. She also submitted a proposal for a book to two literary agents who both requested sample chapters – another bidding war, perhaps?
And as a result of setting up her own website (with 20,000 views so far) Trish has been asked to write a guest column on three other writers’ sites in UK and USA.


Janet Kleyn’s article ‘A butcher’s hook around London’s East End’ is being considered for publication in Travel Ideas Magazine. She completed the Travel Writing Course.


Nicky Pearce’s article, ‘Work with your skin, not against it’ was accepted by Odyssey magazine.


Keren Hoy’s piece, entitled ‘Bags of Talent’ was published in the October issue of Indwe, the in-flight magazine for SA Express.


Stephanie Attwood tied for third place with our very own David Hamilton in the NZ Writers College competition. Stephanie was also runner-up in the BNZ Literary Awards with her story ‘The Letterbox’, and received special commendation in the Firstwriter Competition. ‘The Letterbox’ will be published in Issue 20 of Firstwriter Magazine. Stephanie also met two editors at the NZ Romance Writers conference and they both asked to read the first three chapters of her novel. Hopefully there’ll be a bidding war starting soon… fingers crossed, Steph!


Darrel Hofland has had articles and stories accepted by a South African Christian Magazine called Vision


Heather Beers completed the Write a Children’s Book Course and had one of her 1000-word assignments published in the US. Find her story, entitled ‘Party Monsters’ here.


Jolene du Plessis’s article, ‘Sutherland: SALT of the Earth’, was published in Country Life.


Zunia Boucher-Myers, a graduate of our Magazine Journalism Course, now writes for a magazine called ‘Alice’ as their ‘lifestyle/cooking/ features writer. Well done Zunia!


Canadian student on the Short Story Writing Course Jennifer Copeland has had a story, “Table for Two” accepted by Peoples Friend. It’s notoriously difficult to get fiction accepted by magazines, so a massive congratulations to Jennifer.


Mark Scheepers was the recipient of a bursary from The Writers’ College in 2010. His play, ‘Sugar Daddies rot your teeth’, has been nominated as a finalist in the Maskew Millar Longman Youth Literature prize for 2012. It will be published as part of an anthology in September.


For anyone who bought the O, the Oprah Magazine in January, our short story writing student, Kirti Ranchod, was featured looking gorgeous and glam, as the winner of the O Magazine Short Story Competition. We are over the moon with her achievement.


Christine Jefferey, who completed our Travel Writing course last year has had her first article accepted for the December issue of Country Life. In the same week she also received the go ahead for an article on down syndrome babies for the Living and Loving magazine (October issue) to coincide with the World Down Syndrome Conference being held in Cape Town. Well done Christine!


Andy Evans, who completed the Basics of Creative Writing course and the Literary Short and Flash Fiction course, recently had his first short story, The Wooden Hills, published in Takahé magazine.


Helen Yuretich won the Heartland Short Story Competition – a New Zealand writing competition judged this year by award-winning novelist, William Taylor. Helen completed the Short Story Course with Ginny Swart in 2010.


Widaad Munga, who completed the  Short Story Writing Course in 2008, was shortlisted for the Jane Austen Short Story Award in the UK.


Heather Beers, who completed the Write a Children’s Book Course, had a children’s short story published at Read her story hereHeather also sold a children’s story to an online magazine ( – her first sale in writing.


Belinda Mountain is a graduate of the Magazine Journalism Course. Her beautiful article titled ‘A Mother’s Legacy’ appeared in the May 2012 issue of Woman and Home magazine.


Chelsea Haith, a graduate of the Basics of Creative Writing for High School Students, is currently in her last year of school. She has written (and is directing) a play called ‘The Punishment’, being performed at the Wits Theatre on 28 May. Congratulations Chelsea!


Trish Nicholson, a former Short Story Course graduate, keeps notching up the successes on the writing front. Trish won first prize in the Flash500 competition, after four stories were shortlisted during the year. She won first prize in the “shorter story” at Winchester Writers Conference UK as well as runner up in the “short story” category. Two of her stories were commended in the South Island Writers Association competition.A finalist in both the HE Bates UK competition and the Neil Gunn UK competition, Trish is one of our most successful creative writing graduates yet. Read some writing advice from Trish here.


Michelle Nothling, on the Advanced Magazine Journalism Course, had a seven-page feature article on human trafficking published in The Big Issue – a superb achievement.


Jackie Clarke completed the Magazine Journalism Course in 2011. Her article called ‘Striking a Pose’ appeared in the May issue of Good Magazine. Well done Jackie!


Emma Gatman, a recent graduate of our Magazine Journalism Course, recently had an article published for Crossfit Games, an online webzine, and an offer for further work from the editor there (always a good thing!). Read her article here:


Elsa van Nieuwenhuyzen received an offer for publication of a picture book she started to write during the “Write a Children’s Book” course. The publishers are Ilitha Publishers.


Jo Hedges completed our Magazine Course a while back and was approached by an in-house magazine Travel Ideas to write an editorial for them.


Tanya Laubscher has completed several of our courses over the years and is now a regular writer for Triathlete SA.


Natalie Maddigan completed the Magazine Journalism Course in March 2011. Her article  was sold to Little Treasures and will appear in the August edition. Natalie also sold a piece about Teething that will be in the June edition.


Jennifer Davies completed the Advanced Magazine Journalism Course. Her article on Siblings was sold to Destiny Magazine and will be in the October 2010 issue. She has also had an article about Bipolar disorder accepted for Fairlady for the December 2010 edition.


Jo Hedges’ article for has been accepted by Quad and Outdoor Adventure SA. Jo completed the Magazine Journalism course in June.


Rosanne Turner completed the Travel Writing Course back in 2008. She recently updated us with some of her latest work. Rosanne was commissioned to write a feature article for the Holland Herald (Inflight magazine for KLM) She has two articles published in the June edition of Explore SA. Rosanne had her article on Margot Janse, chef at Le Quartier Francais in Morning Calm, Air Korea’s in flight magazine.Rosanne also writes articles for the website


Shannon Hunt completed the Advanced Course in Magazine Journalism. She had one article published in Cafe Magazine, and one in NZ House & Garden Magazine.


Choice Mpanza’s article was accepted for the Foschini Club Magazine for June 2010.


Karen Taylor-Vermaak’s article, “Carbs”, was published in the Fitness Magazine May/June edition.


Jennifer Davies’ article, “Bookivore’s Crash Diet”, was published in the Femina, February 2010 edition.


Angela Horn’s article, “The Upside of Downsizing”, was published by O, the Oprah Magazine for their November issue.


Widaad Pangarker’s article on Sibongile Khumalo was published in Fresh Living Magazine in May 2009. She has also had two articles published in Amani in September 2009.Widaad completed the Short Story Writing Course in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Jane Austen Literary Prize. She had a story published in Wicked, Issue 6, April 2008.


Micheline Kabuyo’s article, “Can A Pre-Nup Be Good For Your Marriage?” has been accepted for publication by Destiny Magazine in March 2010.


Adriaan Odendaal’s article on Malmesbury was published in in Country Life for their November 2009 issue.


Hannah Kaye’s article on Autism and Nutrition was accepted for publication in Cape Town’s Child for their October 2009 issue.


Jennifer Davies, currently on the Advanced Course in Magazine Journalism, had her article “Kick Butt: Naturally” published in the August 2009 issue of Fairlady Magazine.


Nicky Pantland’s article “Laugh Yourself Happy” was accepted for publication by O, the Oprah Magazine for their October 2009 issue.


Kevin Willemse’s article on eco cars was accepted for publication by FHM in 2009.


Melina van Scharrenburg had her 2009 article about high-fliers using cocaine to become super-achievers accepted for publication in Men’s Health.


Verity van Rensburg’s article, “Are you a manipulative mother-in-law or a smart shepherdess?” was accepted for publication in the September 2009 issue of Joy Magazine.


Philippa Norris had her article accepted by Shape Magazine. It appeared in the April 2009 issue.


Benito Vergotine’s piece on immigrants, “Home is where the Heart is” was accepted for publication by The Big Issue.


Shannon Willis had her humour column – “Riempie Chair Girl” – published in Fairlady, 2008.


Corrie Bridgman has had several articles published. She completed the Magazine Journalism Course (2006), The Advanced Course in Magazine Journalism (2007) and the Travel Writing Course (2007).Her article, “How Do You Spell Suicide?” was published in Fairlady. “Separation Anxiety” and “Helicopter Parents” were published in O, The Oprah Magazine.She has written many features for Men’s Health, and has been published in Diversions, Wine Magazine and Garden & Home, among other magazines.


Briony Chisholm’s article, “Successful, Single and Childless: is adoption an option?” was considered for publication in Fairlady, October 2008.


Caryn Gardner’s article, “When He’s Got Morning Sickness” was accepted by Your Pregnancy Magazine in 2007.


Christo Valentyn graduated in 2007. He sent an update: “In terms of journalism I’ve been fortunate to have written (and published) no less than 17 features.However, the successes of 2008 lie in other achievements within the framework of freelance journalism, as well as in the expansion of the services on offer to include graphic design and photography. I’m also dusting off some of my other interests, and have decided to broaden the scope of subjects I write about – if I could be published in Cosmopolitan once (thanks to Karin’s masterful tutoring), why not again?”


Leigh-Anne Hunter (completed June 2008) sent her latest news: I’ve had four articles accepted by O, the Oprah magazine:

  • Trust your Inner Voice (October 2008)
  • Learning to See (November 2008)
  • If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit (December 2008)
  • A Higher Perspective (accepted for March 2009)

Zahirah Variawa was published in Sutra Magazine. She continues to write articles and is working on a book right now.


Peet Steyn has already had two articles published in Wegbreek and he’s working on several others that have been accepted.


Phillipa Murray’s article, “Does Size Matter on Your Wedding Day?” was published in Cosmopolitan in October 2006.


“She’s Just Not That Into You!” by Karen Huxham, was published by Men’s Health, September 2006


“Overshadowed By His Depression” by Brenda Walters was published by Femina, January 2006


“Unleash Your Man” by Marcell Gardner was published by Saltwater Girl June 2006


Qarnita Loxton had her article on Househusbands published by Femina Magazine in May 2006.


Lindsay Wagner has been published in Move! and Lewis Store Magazine. 2006


“Multiple Au Pairs, Multiple Problems” by Jenny Dunkley was published by Femina Kids June 2006

“PWC Ban” by Michael Zietsman was published by ZigZag Magazine, August 2005

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