Young Poets Open Mic

What a fabulous poetry buzz there was at the XCHC last Thursday! Our Young Poets Open Mic event was a an official warmup to National Poetry Day and proved that poetry in New Zealand is in safe hands. Our young poets ranged in ages from 5 to 18, and the talent and diversity was remarkable. We heard haiku and limericks, rhyme, free verse, lyrical, political and personal, humour and heartfelt, but no matter what the form we heard the voices of young people, young people who love writing and love writing poetry!

While we were very proud of our School for Young Writers poets, we were excited to meet other young poets. A special thank you to the teachers and supporters from Russley School, Banks Ave School and St Martins School who made it possible for their students to participate. Our sincere thanks also go to the National Poetry Day, Phantom Billstickers and XCHC cafe for their support.

We have posted a photo album on our Facebook Page. Apologies that we didn’t get everyone due to camera-person malfunction!

The evening led to new poetry inspiration and creation! Here is a collaborative poem written during the break!


Six poets gathered
at XCHC Cafe
where they collected thoughts
on bruschetta stained napkins
devouring, they listened
while licking their fingers
to the sound of coffee beans 
grinding like gravel
and people ordering
karma cola, nachos 
and free verse poetry

24/8/17 Poets 6
for National Poetry Day


Young Poets Open Mic only one week away

National Poetry Day is in ONE WEEK. Look out for all of the events popping up across the country over the week! Hint: if you see a tearaway poster on a lamppost it could be a line of poetry from one of our young writers!

Everyone is welcome to come to XCHC next Thursday 24th for the Young Poets Open mic.

4.30 to 5.30 showcases our youngest poets up to age 12. There will be slots available on the open mic list but arrive early, we already have a mob of young poets signed up to read.

From 6.00- 7.30 it is time for the young adults ( aged 13-25) Bring a poem and bring a friend!

Here are a few hints for reading your poetry aloud.

  1. Practise
  2. Pace yourself- remember this is the first time the audience is hearing your poem- allow us time to catch up on your wonderful words and the images you are creating in our minds.
  3. Smile and take a deep breath before you start. If you don’t feel like smiling then fake it -it works wonders.
  4. Read your title first.
  5. Make sure that your last line rings in our ears loud and clear.

Here are the details again:

Entry Details: Koha appreciated. Audience open to all ages.

Date/Times:  Thursday August 24th.

Times:   Ages 6-12 4.30 – 5.30 pm and Ages 13-25 6.00- 7.30

Location: XCHC Café and Exhibition Space, 376 Wilsons Road. (near the unused stadium – allow time to find a car park.) CAFE OPEN!

Young Poets Open mic ( Senior)

Here are all the details for the senior ( ages 13-25) young poets open mic event in Christchurch.

We are really looking forward to hearing your voice and your poems in a supported and inclusive environment. Meet up with other young poets in a great space.

Read, or perform, or come along to listen (but bring a poem to share anyway – will have people willing to read for you if the standing up and reading thing is a bit overwhelming- we’ve all been there!)

To register for updates and a guaranteed space on the reading list then go here.

Young Poets Open Mic ( junior)

Invite your friends, tell you classmates! You have plenty of time to write a new poem or pull out an old favourite.

A great way to warm up for National Poetry Day.

A supportive environment. We want to hear your voice. We want to hear your poems.

Two events! This one is for ages 6- 12 – but we can be flexible about that! See the next post for the details for the senior event ( ages 13-25)

To register a guaranteed place on the reading list go here.

Young Poets Open Mic 2017!!!

Once again we will be offering young poets the chance to be heard as a warmup event to National Poetry Day.

There will be two events both on Thursday August 24th and both at the XCHC on Wilsons Road.

All young poets are welcome to take part in the open mic sections and we’ll even provide experienced readers for those who would like the support. Encourage your friends!
4.30 – 5.30 pm for ages 6 – 12 register below*
or just turn up early on the day and sign in for an open mic slot

6.00 – 7.30pm ages 13-25 register below*
or just turn up early on the day and sign in for open mic slots

Koha much appreciated

*Register for a guaranteed spot here:


Welcome to the School for Young Writers

We are a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1993 and based in Christchurch, New Zealand, we offer tuition to young writers anywhere in the world.

The aims of the School for Young Writers are:

  • To build on the achievements of classroom teachers in developing writing skills.
  • To help people develop confidence and individual styles as writers.
  • To inspire young writers aged 8 to 19 and show them that writing improves with effort.
  • To enable students to succeed in a variety of writing tasks and registers.
  • To introduce young writers to the joys and challenges of publication.

We offer:

  • Saturday morning classes in Christchurch based at Hagley Community College.
  • After-school workshops: please contact us for details of the days that Workshops are running on, and their locations.
  • Workshops in Schools. Exciting 2-day workshops for specially chosen groups of young writers, at your school and in school time. Click here for more details.
  • Distance Education. You can study with us via mail and e-mail from anywhere in the world. Click here for more details.

Saturday Mornings at Hagley

It is now Term Two of 2017 and we have five classes full to the brim! At the start of term we welcomed fifteen new writers and their families to our community.

Classes Term 2, 2017

Year 10, 11,12 and 13. Tutor: James Norcliffe

Year 8, 9 and 10. Tutor: Heather McQuillan

Year 7 and 8. Tutor: Melanie Dixon

Year 6 and 7. Tutor: Amy Paulussen

Year 4, 5, and 6. Tutor: Gail Ingram