Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing)

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Unlock your imagination

Unlock your imagination, expand your thinking and polish your writing with Massey’s BA (Creative Writing).

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure

What is it like?

Inspiration, communication and vocation are at the heart of Massey’s exciting BA (Creative Writing).

It offers you the chance to develop your writing so that it’s pitch-perfect for a variety of audiences. You’ll enhance your critical thinking and master a wide range of transferable communication skills while pursuing your own creative vision.

Choose your canvas

Creative writing offers you flexibility in writing original work in a variety of genres: learn to write fiction, scripts for the stage and screen, poetry, creative non-fiction, life writing and travel writing.

Learn from published authors

Our award-winning teachers are also internationally acclaimed writers who teach from their own first-hand experience in moving from idea to page, polishing their work and sending it off to be published or performed.

Get real

Your third year has a vocational focus: you’ll produce a working manuscript of your own writing. You also have the opportunity to gain hands-on editing and publishing experience or facilitate a creative writing arts project in your local community.

Get published

Students who have taken our creative writing courses have gone on to publish poems, stories, essays and books as well as winning some of New Zealand’s top writing prizes. Why not join them?

A good fit if you:

  • Are seeking opportunities to get creative, get writing and get published
  • Want practical writing experience in a range of genres
  • Enjoy critical and creative thinking


A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) is one of the most creative and enriching degrees you can do. Employers seek out BA students for their lateral and analytical thinking, communication skills and creative ability.

There are various possibilities for creative writing graduates, including:

  • Writing for television, magazines, blogs or the book-publishing industry
  • Corporate or non-profit freelance writing
  • Creative arts project coordination
  • Inter-arts collaboration for arts festivals
  • Writing for public relations
  • Creative writing in advertising
  • Teaching
  • Performance-related writing and production
  • Writing and advising on Government policy
  • Writing for social media

Lecturer profiles

Bryan Walpert - Auckland

Bryan is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Native Bird, a collection of short stories, Ephraim’s Eyes, and a scholarly book, Resistance to Science in Contemporary American Poetry. He has received writing awards in New Zealand, Australia and the US, a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award.

Distance coordinator: 139.123 Creative Writing, 139.229 Advanced Poetry Writing, 139.760 Writing Lyric Poetry

Ingrid Horrocks - Wellington

Ingrid is the author of two poetry collections and a genre-bending travel book, Travelling with Augusta, 1835 and 1999. In 2016 she was awarded Massey’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching Award for her innovative creative nonfiction courses. Ingrid is the co-editor of and a contributor to a forthcoming collection of essays, Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Distance coordinator: 139.280 Writing Creative Nonfiction.

Jack Ross - Auckland and distance

Jack’s books include three novels, three collections of short fiction, and five poetry books - most recently A Clearer View of the the Hinterland: Poems and Sequences 1981-2014. He has edited numerous anthologies and literary magazines, including Poetry NZ.

Distance coordinator: 139.326 Travel Writing, 139.329 Advanced Fiction Writing.

Thom Conroy - Manawatū and distance

Thom is the author of novels The Naturalist and The Salted Air. He is the editor of a collection of essays, Home, to be published by Massey University Press in 2017. His short fiction has been recognised by Best American Short Stories 2012 and has won other awards. In 2013, he received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching.

Distance coordinator: 139.280 Fiction Writing, 139.761 Writing Contemporary Fiction.

Stuart Hoar - Auckland and distance

Stuart has been Playwright in Residence at the Mercury Theatre; Literary Fellow at Auckland University; Burns Fellow at the University of Otago; Writer in Residence at Canterbury University; and Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellow. He has won the Bruce Mason Award for Playwrights. His screenplay for Lovelock won the New Zealand Writers’ Guild Best Screenplay Award, and his screenplay for I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. His first novel was The Hard Light.

Distance coordinator: 139.323 Script Writing.

Angie Farrow - Manawatū and distance

Angie’s work for stage includes Despatch, After Kafka, Amnesia, Memento, The Politician’s Wife, The Bowler Hat, Before the Birds and The River. Herradio plays include All Packed Up, New Zealand Lamb, Carrion, Speed of Light and The Beauty Business. She’s also written three anthologies of plays. Angie has received numerous international awards and was awarded Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Drama by the Playwrights’ Association of New Zealand in 2011. Angie has won five teaching awards.

Course coordinator: 139.133 Creative Communication, 139.223 Creative Processes, 139.224 Making Plays for Theatre.

Mary Paul (also Mary Edmond-Paul) - Auckland and distance

Mary has produced five authored and edited books. Her background is in theatre and literature. Her publications, including Your Unselfish Kindness, have mostly focused on the life and work of New Zealand writer Robin Hyde. Mary's interest in varieties of life writing relates closely to her undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision.

Distance coordinator: 139.386 Life Writing.

Tina Makereti - Manawatū and distance

Tina is the author of a short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa and a novel, Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings. She edited an anthology of Māori and Pasifika fiction, Black Marks on the White Page, with Witi Ihimaera. Her second novel, The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke, will be published in 2018. In 2016 Tina won the Pacific Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize with ‘Black Milk'. She is the recipient of two Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards for Fiction, the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (non-fiction), a Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English, the 2014 Randell Cottage Writer in Residence and the 2016 Beatson Fellowship. 

Manawatū coordinator: 139.123 Creative Writing, 139.280 Creative Non-fiction, 139.133 Creative Communication. Distance Coordinator: 139.380 Creative Writing Capstone: Building the Manuscript.

Elspeth Tilley – Wellington

Elspeth’s short plays have been performed in New York, Chicago, London, Manila, Dubai, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Auckland, Christchurch and a few more. ‘Waiting for Go’ was a winner of the British Theatre Challenge 2017. ‘Flotsam’ and ‘The Penguins’ were Climate Change Theatre Action official selections in 2015 and 2017. Elspeth is interested in how theatre can contribute to social justice, and has supervised Creativity in the Community projects in which students developed film, theatre, poetry and short stories about sexual consent, youth justice and homelessness.

Course coordinator, Wellington: 139.133 Creative Communication, 139.223 Creative Processes, 139.333 Creativity in the Community.

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