International Writers' Workshop NZ International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc

Auckland, New Zealand

Writers' Workshop

The International Writers' Workshop was formed in 1976 by Barbara B Whyte, noted New Zealand Poet and Writer.

We are 'International' in that our multi-cultural national membership is diverse, and ages range from school to retirement. Anyone at all interested in any aspect of writing is welcome.

Aiming to foster and encourage would-be writers, the Workshop caters for those who wish to express themselves confidently and professionally by writing, whether it be a letter to the local newspaper, or placing a manuscript for publication.


The Workshop meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month from February to November at 'The Villa', 119 Queen Street, Northcote. This is diagonally opposite the Bridgeway Theatre complex where there is a cafe. Click here for directions.

The Villa opens at 10am for members to mix and mingle, with the workshop running from 10.30am sharp to 12.30pm. Socialising and informal peer groups may continue for a short time afterwards.

The meeting on the first Tuesday of each month is usually a workshop and there may be a guest tutor or one of the club's own members may run the workshop.

The 3rd Tuesday of each month is usually competition day.  The guest judge attends the meeting with the results and feedback of the previous competition. 

2015 sees an exciting program with a number of tutor workshops planned covering creative writing, creative nonfiction (biography and travel writing) and poetry, with many of the workshops building towards our member-only competitions.

Triggers to inspire writing of 100 words are a key feature of most workshops, giving everyone a chance to read their work. The trigger for each meeting is advertised in the newsletter and on the program page of this website.

Check out the monthly programme page to see what is coming up next time.


The annual subscription is $50, discounted by $20 if you receive your newsletter by email. Our subscription period is the calendar year and for new members the subscription may reduce after the last monthly competition of the year is due.
A one-off $10 joining fee applies.

Click here to download a Member Application Form.

Prospective members may attend two meetings before making the commitment to join the Workshop however, due to the popularity of some of our workshops and space constraints at our venue, some meetings may be 'Members Only'. These will be advertised as such on the website.

Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems

International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) is delighted to announce that due to an ongoing bequest from the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems will take place again later this year.

The competition is open to current and honorary members of IWW. New members are welcome although to become eligible to enter the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, applications for membership must be received by the third Tuesday in June. Details of how to join and the rules for the 2015 competition are available from the IWW website,

The winner will receive a prize of $1000.

This is the seventh time this poetry competition will be held with previous winners being Julie Ryan (2014), Belinda Diepenheim (2013), James Norcliffe (2012), Jillian Sullivan (2011) Janet Charman and Rosetta Allan (joint winners 2010) and Alice Hooton (2009).

IWW is also delighted to announce that Rosetta Allan, a previous winner of the prize, will judge the competition this year.

In addition to the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, IWW holds seven or eight writing competitions a year for members. These cover fiction, non-fiction, children's stories and a single poem. Workshops take place on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Northcote and prospective members are welcome to attend two meeting before committing to join the workshop.

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems is sometimes referred to as the 'Little Grattan' as the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust also funds the biennial Kathleen Grattan Award, run by Landfall / Otago University Press.

For a PDF of the Press Release click here.

For further information about the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, email

Please check out the details of the 2015 competition on our Competitions page

Barbara Birbeck Whyte

Barbara Whyte was a steady and guiding light to members of International Writers' Workshop (NZ) Inc., which she founded in 1976 and acted as Secretary until her death in 1986. To the world in general, Barbara was a practical, down-to-earth, no-nonsense person, but behind this brisk facade lived a poet - a mystical poet. She had a passion for poetry, which she taught to members of International Writers' Workshop with dedication, tactfully guiding hopeful poets and always available. Because she worked so hard herself, Barbara expected members to do likewise. "Work on it; one must do the best one can," she'd state. She was a fellow of the World Literary Academy of Poets, (Cambridge) and was made a life fellow and Honorary Professor by the Temple of Arts Academy International, (New York).

Though poetry was her greatest love, Barbara was untiring in her efforts to encourage nervous prose authors to send their efforts for publication, and it is mainly due to her that many of our members have had work published both here and overseas.


Beyond the Persimmon Tree , fiction, non-fiction and poetry from members of the International Writers' Workshop, is our latest anthology, published in November 2010. Click here for more information.

Previous publications include
The Word for Food - Recipes and Anecdotes from members of the International Writers’ Workshop and others, published in 2008
Evolving Ideas - an anthology of member's work published in 1997
Seeds on a Summer Wind - an anthology of member's work published in 1991
Silent Symphony - an anthology of poetry published in 1982