Creative Writing

Whether you are interested in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, comics or graphic novels, MIT will help you make your mark in the world of writing.

Creative Writing at MIT is modelled on the best international and New Zealand teaching practices.

Using the famous University of Iowa writing workshop method, lecturers and your classmates give considered feedback on your work in a supportive, guided studio setting. You will be equipped with the tools you need to produce original, imaginative writing and to draft and improve with the aim of being published.

Our lecturers are among New Zealand’s most distinguished, highly-qualified and award-winning professional writers: Albert Belz, Anne Kennedy, Carrie Rudzinski and Ant Sang. Other acclaimed authors influential in the development of our programme include founding head of school Robert Sullivan, Tusiata Avia, Eleanor Catton, Witi Ihimaera, Sue Orr, Vivienne Plumb and Albert Wendt.

At MIT, we are an interactive arts community that holds close the principles of manaakitanga (respect, generosity, care). You work will receive intensive attention from lecturers who have a passion and skill for encouraging new voices.

Our students are widely published in major literary journals, and perform regularly at Auckland’s leading spoken-word poetry events. Published graduates include Daren Kamali, Annaleese Jochems and Michael Steven. Other prize-winning alumni include Amber Esau, Ria Masae and Kirsti Whalen.

Graduate Annaleese Jochems, who has just released her first novel, says: ‘At MIT I embarrassed myself often, speaking my mind as it faltered and writing essays riddled with holes, but I never felt discouraged. We were empowered to take risks, and stimulated to examine the gaps in our thinking. My class worked as a team and together we all got smarter. It felt miraculous to sit in a room with a bunch of people obsessed with the same thing I was – writing – and to feel the sum of their intelligence honed on my own work. It was gorgeous, too, to be given the opportunity to comment on my friends’ projects as they wrote them, to be allowed my own involvement in their endeavours.’

Graduate Daren Kamali, a celebrated poet and co-founder of the South Auckland Poets Collective, says: ‘I was part of the pioneering cohort for the Diploma of Creative Writing at MIT in 2010, which in 2011 developed into a Bachelor’s programme. I returned to tertiary studies after almost 20 years because I was inspired by the head of school, who understood my poems and also supported the South Auckland Poets Collective. The programme consisted of great teachers/writers and inspired me to further my studies, and now I have a Master of Creative Writing with honours from the University of Auckland. Today I am the Senior Pacific Curator for Auckland libraries, doing what I am passionate about (Heritage, Collections and Communities).

Staff profiles in alphabetical order:
Albert Belz 

Albert Belz’s career in the arts originally began with acting before he turned his hand to writing for stage and screen.  An award-winning playwright, his unique voice has crossed many datelines and divides, having been performed internationally from London to Paris to New York and Sydney.  Issues ranging from class, ethnicity and sexual politics to gothic serial killers and religion resonate through his words.  Albert has held writing residencies in Les Quesnoy (Northern France) and at the Universities of Waikato and Victoria. His latest play Astroman is being produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company to open in Melbourne 2018, and his latest television comedy series Tongue Tied will be broadcast on Maori Television in 2018.  Albert lectures at MIT in Capstone Performing Arts, Writing for Screen and Writing for Stage.

Anne Kennedy

Anne Kennedy is a writer of fiction and poetry whose work has been widely anthologised. She has taught creative writing in the US and New Zealand and first taught at MIT in 2011. Among many awards, Anne has won the NZ Post Book Award for Poetry, the Montana Book Award for Poetry, and the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. Her most recent novel, The Last Days of the National Costume, was shortlisted for the NZ Post Book Award for Fiction and longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC award. Anne’s teaching practice and research includes the boundaries of form in prose and poetry, Maori and Pasifika literature, narrative screenwriting, and creative writing pedagogy. Anne regularly appears at writers’ festivals in New Zealand and abroad, is a literary journal editor (Ika) and a book reviewer and screenplay mentor. She has held fellowships at the University of Hawai’i, the University of Auckland, the International Institute of Modern Letters, and the Michael King Centre.

Carrie Rudzinski

Carrie Rudzinski is an award-winning performance poet, published author and filmmaker from the United States. She ranked 4th in the world at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam and has been featured in Bustle, Huffington Post and Teen Vogue. Carrie has performed her work in five countries and almost all 50 of the United States over the past 12 years, with her poems published in such collections as University of California Press, Learn Than Burn, We Will Be Shelter, and Muzzle Magazine.

Ant Sang

Ant Sang is an award-winning graphic novelist; he has been a practitioner of this increasingly exciting and vital medium for over twenty years. Ant has written and illustrated two acclaimed and award-winning graphic novels: The Dharma Punks and Shaolin Burning. He has been commissioned to produce numerous comic stories for anthologies, exhibitions and educational use. In the world of moving images, he was one of the key creators of the animated television show bro’Town, and won two film and television awards for his work as head designer on the show. Ant has appeared at international and local writers’ festivals. His work has been published in the US, UK, Canada, France, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.


The following programme is available in this area of study: