Hagley Writers' Institute (13HWI)

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Zoe Meager

Recommended Prior Learning

Entry Requirements

Aged 19+ as well as application, writing sample and interview 

For further information or to apply

Hagley Writers' Institute

Do you want to take your writing seriously and be guided and extended? 

Since 2007, the Hagley Writers’ Institute has offered a challenging and stimulating programme for adult writers in Ōtautahi who have begun taking their writing seriously and want to be guided and extended

Course Components

Course Structure 

Classes are made up of one tutor and up to 12 students working in a range of forms. Tutors introduce students to a wide range of quality writing, and encourage them to explore different forms. Students are supported to pursue their own interests, from poetry, long and short-form fiction and creative non-fiction, to memoir, theatre script, screenplay, and hybrid forms. Students become expert readers, learn to give and receive critique, and establish their own writing practice. They also hear from guest speakers and participate in workshops by established local and visiting writers. The course is a valuable way to connect with other writers and find opportunities to participate in the local writing community. Each student is also assigned a mentor to provide expert feedback on a small portion of their work.


Students prepare a portfolio of their best work as a requirement of graduation. There is also a half-folio option. At the end of the year, the portfolios are assessed internally for the Hagley Writers’ Institute Certificate and endorsed at either ‘attainment’ or ‘cum laude’ (distinction) level. Students receive written feedback on their work. A shortlist of the full portfolios are externally assessed and the Margaret Mahy Award is given to one portfolio to acknowledge writing excellence.


Classes are designed to fit in with writers’ busy schedules and are held on Saturday mornings from 9.30am-12.30pm for 20 weeks spread throughout the first three terms – 7 weeks in Terms 1 and 2, and 6 weeks in Term 3. Students accepted into the Institute are expected to make a serious commitment to their writing practice in addition to the Saturday morning classes.

Learning Areas:

Pre Professional Courses

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Enrolment Fee
Age 19+ - $1500 (Includes enrolment fee)

Assessment Information Qualification Hagley Certificate of Achievement. Portfolio can be assessed for NCEA Level 3 English standard