Bookings Open for Saturday Classes, 2018

Bookings are now open for our Christchurch-based Saturday Classes in 2018. Queries for our Distance Learning programmes can be made to

Saturdays, 10:00am – 12:00 noon at Hagley Community College

Term 1 Dates: Feb 10,17, 24, March 3,10,17, 24 and April 7

Cost: $160 for the term ( 8 sessions)

We cater for young writers from Year 4 through to Year 13 with specialist teachers and small classes to allow for that all important 1:1 mentoring time.

Register now to ensure a space for your child


Proposed Term and Bonus workshop dates for the rest of 2018

Term 2. Saturday May 5, May 12, May 19,  May 26   NO class on June 2 (Queen’s Birthday) Saturday June ,  June 16,  June 23,  June 30

Saturday July 7: BONUS WORKSHOPS- tasters and master classes. $20 per child, bring a friend, guest tutors, try something new. Details soon.

Term 3. Saturday July 28,  August 4, August 11, August 18, August 25, September1, September 8, September 15

Saturday September 22: BONUS WORKSHOPS- tasters and master classes. $20 per child, bring a friend, guest tutors, try something new. Details soon.

Term 4 * note shortened term . Saturday October 27, November 3, November 10.  NO classes on Nov 17 – Show Weekend. Saturday November 24, December 1,  December 8, December 15 * End-of Year Celebration



Used Book Fundraiser

Attention Saturday Writers’ families:

For the next two weeks we have a fundraiser on offer where you can come in and buy used books. $2 each or three for $5.

Next Saturday this will be outside the J Block classrooms at Hagley from 9.45-10.15 and again from 11.30-12.15. Cash only please. 🙂

Feel free to clear out your own bookshelves and donate some more books.

The books will also be available for purchase at the end-of-year breakup day.

* Please note that the end-of-year breakup (and launch of WriteOn and ReDraft) is at Hohepa Hall, Barrington Street on Saturday Dec 16th, starting 10.00am. Please don’t go to Hagley that day!

Write On! Young Writers get Published.

Congratulations to all of the young writers who have pieces selected for the latest edition of Write On. They come from our Saturday and Distance classes as well as from some schools we have worked with recently, including Waltham Primary, Oaklands, Avonside Girls’ High, Kaiapoi North, Medbury School, Cathedral Grammar, St Albans Primary, Paparoa Street School, Chisnallwood Intermediate, Cobham Intermediate, Patutahi School (from a Gisborne Aurora Education Foundation workshop) and Marshland School.

Winners in our recent Rhythm and Rhyme Poetry Competition.

Competition judge Gail Ingram commented that, in general, entrants worked hard to achieve rhyme but were less successful in creating rhythm. When rhyme dominates, the sense of the poetry is often diluted. The winners, however, have used both ingredients well – sometimes surprisingly.

Well done all winners! Your poems will appear in the Summer 2017-18 edition of Write On.

 Year 4-6 winners

Meg Spencer-Morgan “Road Patrol in the Rain” Cashmere Primary School, Christchurch

Ella-Grace Elliott “Missing” Big Rock Primary School, Dunedin

Lucy Walker “Tiger” Kaurilands School, Auckland

 Year 7-8 entries

Sarah-Kate Simons “The Cost” Home school, Southbridge

Isis Fynn “Society Rules” Glen Eden Intermediate, Auckland

Rebecca Yip “Someone Called” Pukekohe Intermediate, Auckland

 Year 9-11 entries

Gloria Dutiyabodhi “All the Same” Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton

Charlotte Lothian “Dining by the Lake “Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton

Ashley Baird “Leap” Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton



Young Writer of the Month — Matt Bool

Matt is in Year 7 and has been with The School for Young Writers for two and a half years, since  starting when he was nine.

All of Matt’s tutors comment on his enthusiasm and humour. We love the way he comes bounding in every Saturday morning, excited by the prospect of two hours of writing.

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed Matt.

SFYW: When and how did you first discover your interest in writing?

Matt: I got interested in it because you can make anything happen just by using the pen. I became really interested in it when I found there was a place to write at and I’ve gotten much better at it.

SFYW: What keeps you motivated to write?

Matt: That once you’ve finished you could read it all to yourself or publish it for others. And you can write about anything.

SFYW: Do you have favourite ideas that you like to write about, or favourite forms of writing?

Matt: Yes, I like to write about made up characters the most, and about meat. I like writing stories or haiku.

SFYW: Besides writing what other interests do you have?

Matt: I really like drawing because I’m really good at it. I also like eating, and flips and tumbles. At flips and tumbles I’ve learned how to do forward flips, backflips, and other thing such as aerials.

SFYW: Anything else?

Matt: What I really like about The School for Young Writers is that you get to write what you want. And the teachers there give you lots of ideas to write about that you can change to your liking if you want. And you can get writing published in the magazine.

We look forward to reading more of Matt’s stories with made up characters, and meat!


A Secret Mission Accomplished!

The look on Glyn’s face as he came up the stairs to a room abuzz with past and present students, tutors, committee members and grateful parents and friends said it all. You all managed to keep his retirement party a secret!

Last week, Glyn, Fran and their extended family members were thanked for their service to The School for Young Writers over 24 years. Memories were shared and tributes read. A beautiful book of stories, poems and letters of thanks from those who could not make the party was presented, along with a special bottle and set of glasses.

Glyn established The School for Young Writers in a classroom at The Arts Centre of Christchurch in 1993. In the 24 years of Glyn’s leadership the school has grown to oversee six Saturday morning classes,  hundreds of workshops in schools across the country, holiday programmes, distance learning and teacher professional development opportunities, as well as the publication of ReDraft (now in its 17th year) and the Write On magazine.

At the end of 2017, Glyn is stepping down from his role as director with the knowledge that his creation is a thriving and vibrant organisation. Glyn’s expertise and dedication to young people’s writing and publication will be greatly missed. He will continue to edit and publish ReDraft from 2018 and his number will be on “fast dial” for whenever we need him. We’re just worried that he won’t hear the phone from the far end of the vegetable garden!

Long time chairperson and friend, Chris White, presents a tribute to Glyn and Fran
It was great to see past student AND past tutor Rachel managed to make it!  Her mum Sarah, a past committee member, was ready to support should baby decide to come on its due date after all!
A couple of the originals! Alan and Bob.
A beautiful book of writing for Glyn to get to reading… once he really has retired. 
Helen Hogan taught Glyn at high school and later Glyn published her poetry collections- a tribute to the teacher-pupil relationship.
A signed tee shirt from the early Writing Camps. A real who’s who of New Zealand writers who ran workshops!


ReDraft Success and WriteOn Deadline!

Here’s a High Five to our  Saturday writers, correspondence students, and past students who were selected as winners in the ReDraft  2017 Competition. They were up against the best teenage writers in New Zealand. To have so many pieces by students from The School for Young Writers selected for publication is testament to their talent and to the great work our tutors do.


Simon Brown (also winner of the title chase!), Duncan Matchett, Adelaide Perry, Elliott Hughes, Samantha Jory-Smart, Elizabeth Steel, Liam Kelly, Charlotte Boyle, Freddie Gormack-Smith, Azriel Taylor, Aimee Norrie, Gideon Chan, Xavier Dickason, Claudia Meads, Abby Mason, Gracie McKay-Simpson, Kate Twomey, Derrin Smith , Zoe Ambrose, Ella Somers, Finlay Langelaan and Tierney Reardon.

The last publishing opportunity for 2017 is Write On. Finished work can be handed in to your tutor or to Glyn. The deadline is November 11 with a little bit of leeway if you you type it up and email it to Glyn.

Saturday morning expansion! A ‘new’ tutor and a special guest tutor!

In Term 4 we started with six Saturday classes for the first time ever.

As a result we welcome the wonderful Duncan Matchett as tutor for the newest class. Duncan is an old hand at Saturday writing, having been a young writer himself for nine years and our 2017 intern for the the first three terms of this year.  Duncan has been published in ReDraft for the past four years. This year Duncan is a university student studying Psychology, and he works as an apprentice improviser at the Court Theatre.


With Heather learning the admin ropes this term, her class welocmes a very special guest tutor. Karen Healey is currently the Ursula Bethell Resident at Canterbury University, which means she is on leave from her teaching position and has the time and energy to work with our lucky young writers. And why are they so lucky? Karen is an award-winning best-selling writer of Young Adult fantasy fiction. She writes books…” about tough girls with brains and interesting boys with secrets.”


Despite having to say goodbye to some wonderful Year 13 students at the end of 2017, we hope to maintain our Saturday class roll for 2018. Make sure your friends all know about Saturday classes and book a space early.

All queries for 2018 classes can go to Heather at