The Writing Programme FAQs

What can a writing course offer me that I can't do myself?

In the end, you may achieve the same goals. But a writing course can greatly speed up the process, both in terms of your writing strength, and in knowing about the writing business. On a course you can accomplish in a year what might take you many years by yourself. This course also gives you a rich and supportive writing environment, the chance to extend your range as a writer, and many creative opportunities to present your work.

What does this writing programme offer that is different from other writing courses?

This programme emphasizes the craft of writing. While there is always a debate about whether writing can be 'taught', excellent tutoring can greatly strengthen competence in the craft. This in turn strengthens the distinctive voice and imaginative flair of the writer. The programme also actively encourages writers from diverse cultural and social communities, and from very diverse backgrounds.

Am I too old to do this course?

No. Whatever your age, you're not too old. Some students on this programme have been in their eighties.

Do I need academic qualifications?

No. There have been students with post-graduate degrees, and students with a minimum of formal education. Good writers come from all kinds of backgrounds and educational experience.

I'm a keen romance writer. Is this programme useful for writers of popular fiction?

Yes. Developing an excellent understanding of the elements of fiction will assist you no matter what kind of fiction you write.

What writing should I send to accompany my application?

To apply for the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Creative Writing), the Diploma in Creative Writing (on-campus) or the Diploma in Creative Writing (online), there is no best kind of writing to send; it may be a technical report or a collection of poems. Send work which represents you as a writer and shows your writing experience.

For the Diploma in Creative Writing (Advanced), include a sample of writing related to the genre you intend to develop. For the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing, send a sample of writing directly related to your major project.

Once I have sent in my application, what happens next?

You will receive an acknowledgement of your application, and an interview time. All applicants are interviewed. Applicants from out of Wellington may be interviewed by phone. You will be notified within two weeks of the result of your application.

Is this programme cross-credited to other institutions?

At present there is a formal arrangement with Victoria University for graduates of this programme to receive credit towards a BA. Massey University also grants credits to graduates.

What about assessment?

All assessment procedures are designed to be of greatest possible use to you as a writer. At the beginning of each course you are given the requirements for that course; that is, the work to be submitted for assessment during and at the end of the course and the criteria used to assess it.

Where is this programme based?

At the Whitireia Campus, 15 Dixon St, Central Wellington.

Are there any costs other than the fee?

There are some incidental costs: stationery, possible cost of attendance at some events (plays etc), student membership of professional writers' associations. You may need to buy a small number of books, although most books you need will be available at libraries. There are no major additional costs.


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