R. G. Frean Prize , Te Tohu R. G. Frean

The R. G. Frean Prize is awarded for excellent critical, expository or creative writing in an undergraduate course in English or Expressive Arts.

If you have received an A+ or A grade for an undergraduate essay or piece of creative writing you should consider applying for the R G Frean Prize.

The application deadline is 31 March each year.

Who Roly Frean was

Roly Frean was the first Professor of English at Massey University, and Head of the then English Department from 1964 to 1983.

He was a literary scholar, specialising in the works of Walter Pater, and an occasional poet. His family, colleagues and friends established this prize in his memory.

Two prizes a year

Two R. G. Frean prizes are usually awarded each year – one for the best piece of critical or expository writing and one for the best creative writing.

You can win each of these awards once. Each prize is a sum of money paid from the annual interest earned by the fund.

Applications and judging

You may submit any work produced for an undergraduate course with the prefix 139 taught in the School of Humanities, Media and Creative Communication.

The work must have been produced in the previous academic year. This includes Semester One, Semester Two and Summer School.

The selection panel includes the Head of School and three other suitably qualified staff members from the English qualifications.

We can help you if you would like to offer your prize-winning work for publication.

How to apply


Keep any pieces of your work that received an A+ or A grade in a safe place. Keep the marker’s assessment with them, to include with your application.


Choose your best piece of work in one or both categories: creative writing, or critical or expository writing.


Complete the online application form and and upload your submissions by 31 March.