Young Writers Programme

The Young Writers Programme was started by the late Dame Chris Cole Catley and Ros Ali in 2008 to serve talented North Shore teenagers who loved to write, and to hear about the writing life. There was a strong local focus and four weekend workshops were held during the summer months -in the Michael King Writers’ Centre, and later in the Devonport library.

Due to the popularity of the Programme, it was expanded to encompass the wider Auckland region. Over 120 senior students per year, from Dargaville to Papakura, come together in the National Library, Parnell, for writing events delivered by Programme facilitators Ros Ali and Jo Emeney and their guests, writers who are specialists in selected genres - Media, Fiction, Poetry, Songwriting.

Every year, six events are offered: three workshops and three master classes. The weekday workshops have two guest authors and around 25 participants. The master classes involve a focussed three-hour session with a smaller group, held on a Saturday morning, with one renowned playwright, poet, novelist or lyricist. They target students who are inclined towards one area of writing, or who excel in a specialised area of creative writing.

At the end of the year, the Young Writers Programme publishes Signals, a literary journal that showcases a selection of work students have produced during the year. These pieces may be poetry, prose, comic-art or journalistic writing.

The annual Chris Cole Catley Writing Awards also offer young writers an opportunity to win prizes and be published in Signals.

For more information, friend the Michael King Writers Centre Facebook page and contact youngwriters@writerscentre.org.nz.