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January 16-20 2023

ARA city campus, Christchurch

For teens.

check to see if you qualify and some background on the school here >>>

We are delighted to be offering our 7th Summer Writing School and once again we have some stellar tutors ready inspire, guide and mentor young writers. 

Monday January 16th

9:30:  Registration and mihi

10:00 to 3:30: Workshop Options

a.  Comedy: It's all laughs!

Tutor: Ray Shipley

It will be all laughs from the get-go as we warm up with very short exercises designed to get us thinking about what makes something funny. We'll include some concepts like 'punching up', the power of very specific detail, rule of thirds, surprising metaphor, personal experience, and the juxtaposition of funny with feeling. Then you'll get time  to work on a piece in whichever form you choose with a focus on digging into what's funny!  

b. Poems don't just tumble from the sky

Tutor: Joanna Preston

Join Joanna Preston for a writing workshop based on the exercises she used to write poems for her 2022 Ockham Award-winning collection, tumble. A chance to look behind the curtain and try your own hand at some of the exercises that made the poems happen.

3:30-4:00: Snacks and chat

Tuesday January 17th

10:00 to 3:30: Workshop Options


a. Cementing style- sentence-forward writing

​Tutor: Josiah Morgan

Learn about making every word of your writing count. In this workshop, we will put the sentence front and centre and explore the stories that emerge from surprising beginnings. Utilising techniques originally developed by legendary editor Gordon Lish and since developed by writers including Don DeLillo and Garielle Lutz, this workshop focuses on making every sentence sparkle. 

b. Poetry for two voices

​Tutor: Philomena Johnson

In this workshop we will write poems from two distinct perspectives. When read aloud the two voices in the poem are sometimes alternating and sometimes simultaneous, creating a dialogue between two people, places, things or ideas.

3:30-4:00: Snacks and chat

Wednesday January 18th

10:00 to 3:30: Workshop Options

a. Character from the inside out

Tutor: Gillian St Kevern

Get to know your characters by figuring out what makes them tick, then convey that character without bucketloads of description! In this workshop, we'll create characters so compelling that you won't be sure if you're writing the story or they are. 

b. Getting to the guts- handling emotions in poetry

Tutor: Desna Wallace

Robert Frost said "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found its words." Discover ways to give thoughts to your emotions, and words and colour to those thoughts. 

3:30-4:00: Snacks and chat

Thursday January 19th

10:00 to 3:30: Workshop Options


a. Cli-fi and ecotopia- stories about climate change 

Tutor: Melanie Dixon

Explore speculative fictions, dystopias and ecotopias through story. Write about the futures you want to see or the ones you want to avoid! 

b. The experiment experience

Tutor: Heather McQuillan

In this workshop we will experiment with poetry, flash and hybrid writing. We will play with words, mess around with forms, have fun failing and create entirely new structures that will be forever named after us! 

3:30-4:00: Snacks and chat

Friday January 20th

10:00 to 12:00: Redrafting and 1:1 mentoring

Work in small groups to develop and redraft works in progress.  Time will be allocated for 1:1 mentoring with one of the tutors.

1:00 to 3:30: Celebration of writing * family and friends welcome

Panel discussion/ performance readings from the tutors

Open mic sharing of work

Snacks and Chat



Full week = $275.00

One day bookings  = $65.00 a day.

(with thanks to Creative Communities Christchurch for their support) 

Fully refundable if COVID-19 intervenes.

Places strictly limited in each workshop. Book and pay early to ensure first choices of workshops.




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