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Graduate Certificate in Arts (Creative Writing)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not all courses are available every year
  • Not available for international students

Examine inspiring creative works and develop your own

With a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Creative Writing) you’ll examine great creative works and start writing your own.

Find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

The Graduate Certificate in Arts (Creative Writing) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to gain knowledge of creative writing.

You can then go on to a postgraduate qualification in creative writing if you wish.

Be inspired

Inspiration, communication and vocation are at the heart of this exciting programme.

You’ll 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 transferrable 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. You’ll cap off your study with a complete and polished creative manuscript.

There are also vocationally oriented opportunities for participating in a community arts project as well as an online publishing project.

Learn from published authors

Our award-winning teachers are internationally acclaimed and best-selling 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 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:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree and want to expand your horizons
  • Want to develop your interest in creative writing
  • Are interested in doing postgraduate study


In a global marketplace, creativity and related skills are more important than ever. Creative writing will prepare you not just for the range of careers that exists today, but also for new roles that will appear in the future.

Gain marketable skills

Massey’s Graduate Certificate in Arts (Creative Writing) will prepare you to work in the creative world and provide transferable skills for other industries.

The following careers are a natural fit for creative writing graduates:

  • Writing for television, magazines, social media or the book-publishing industry
  • Corporate or non-profit freelance writing
  • Creative arts project coordination
  • Advertising
  • Performance-related writing and production
  • Writing and advising on government policy

Lecturer profiles

Bryan Walpert - Manawatu

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 - Manawatu 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.

Laura McKay - Manawatū and distance

Laura Jean McKay writes about humans and other animals. Her new novel, The Animals in That Country, is out with Scribe in 2020. She is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia, shortlisted for three national book awards in Australia. Laura writes and teaches in the areas of fiction, poetry, literary animal studies, postcolonial and decolonising literatures and ecocriticism.

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