Creative Writing & Publishing

Study Creative Writing & Publishing


Script Writing (Micro-credential)

Love films? If you want to write for the screen, this micro-credential is a great place to start. It provides an introduction to the craft of visual writing and the process of developing a screenplay. You'll create your own script outline, and write a short film script – a good starting point into writing for the film industry.

  • Level 5
  • 6 weeks

Writing for Children (Micro-credential)

Have you always wanted to write for children? Teaching material from renowned children's author, Joy Cowley, forms the core of this module, which guides you through the requirements of writing for young people and introduces you to the landscape of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s children’s authors. The course’s main focus is on writing chapter books and short stories for children, but you will also have the opportunity to explore myth, folktales and fairy stories, children’s non-fiction, and writing a picture book text.

  • Level 5
  • 6 weeks

Writing Poetry (Micro-credential)

Are you interested in poetry? This course will take you through varied forms of writing poetry and introduce you to the Aotearoa/New Zealand poetry community. By the end of the course, you'll have explored different ways of seeing, created a portfolio of your own work, and gained a good understanding of what makes poetry work and how to critique it.

  • Level 5
  • 8 weeks, part-time

Writing Short Fiction (Micro-credential)

Are you interested in writing original short stories? This course will take you through the many varied forms of applying techniques for writing original short stories and developing critiquing skills in this genre.

  • Level 5
  • 8 weeks, part-time

Graduate Diploma in Publishing (Applied)

Learn the publishing process by working on real books with real publishing clients. Work as a publishing team as you gain skills in editing, project management, typesetting and publicity for print and digital media. Benefit from regular industry speakers and complete two work placements in publishing companies.

  • Level 7
  • 1 year

New Zealand Diploma in Writing for Creative Industries

Learn the craft of writing through exercises, workshops, course reading, regular feedback, but most of all through writing itself. Develop skills in genres including short fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting and poetry. This online programme offers flexibility through eight-week block courses, which means you can study around other commitments.

  • Level 5
  • 1 year, full-time, part-time (study options)

Grammar and Punctuation (Micro-credential)

Delve into the world of grammar and punctuation with this micro-credential. Expand your knowledge of how language is structured. Study flexibly by allowing this course to fit around your other commitments.

  • Level 5
  • 10 weeks

Copy-Editing 1 (Micro-credential)

Get copy-editing skills that are highly valuable in print-based and digital workplaces. Study flexibly by allowing this course to fit around your other commitments.

  • Level 6
  • 10 weeks

There are no programmes available for your selection. Please try selecting another campus location.

Give yourself credit

Use the knowledge and skills you already have to fast-track your qualification with minimum cost. Workplace-learning, volunteering, professional development, other provider qualifications and online courses or units can be recognised as prior learning and put towards your future diploma or degree.

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See more about our Creative Writing and Publishing

The highly regarded Whitireia Publishing Programme is New Zealand’s top training course for publishing. It teaches the whole publishing process, from manuscript to bookstore. Developed and run in partnership with publishers, the course is modelled on an apprenticeship. At its heart are practical experience, mentoring and industry contacts.

Our graduates populate the book trade and publishing sector in New Zealand. They have roles in all the major trade publishing houses as publishers, marketing managers, content developers, book editors, publicists and much more. They work for educators, promoters, policymakers and arts organisations. Many run their own businesses.

Perhaps above all, the publishing programme becomes a touchstone for graduates, a challenging and rewarding year during which they make friends for life.


Celebrating 30 years of Publishing

To celebrate 30 years of Publishing education at Whitireia, tutors Odessa Owens and Theresa Crewdson called for contributions from the industry for a one-of-a-kind release: Everything I Know About Books: An insider look at publishing in Aotearoa. 75 writers, many of whom are graduates, contributed to the publication, sharing their wisdom, their tips and typos, and their successes, ambitions and predictions. The book is available to purchase from bookstores across the country, and from the Whitireia and WelTec website from Tuesday 12 October. There are also public author events being held across the motu.

Learn more about Everything I Know About Books
everything i know about books

Hear from our graduates and industry publishers

Student Projects

The heart of the publishing programme is the apprenticeship experience.

Students on the Diploma in Publishing (Applied) are mentored through a range of publications while they study, putting together books and digital publications with industry partners.

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A vase and a vast sea by Jenny Nimon Performing Dramaturgy by Fiona Graham Kopika Aotearoa Official Guide - Bikepacking Cape Egmont to East Cape Southern Stage by Michael James Manaia Unity Books at 50 Whitireia Nursing and Health Journal Explore! Aotearoa by Bronwen Wall
A change of key by Adrienne Jansen All of us by Adrienne Jansen and Carina Gallegos Dawn Raids by Oscar Kightley Mental Health in Primary Care - A resource for New Zealand Health Professionals Monsters of Virtue by L.J Ritchie My Wide White Bed by Trish Harris A book is a book by Jenny Bornholdt The Ghost House - Bill Nagerkerke

Scholarships and Support

The publishing programme is involved in various initiatives that support students to undertake the course and help them continue to develop their skills after graduation.


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November 2023: Launches and panels and parties, oh my!

July 2023: Everything We Know...

November 2022: Titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamua | Look back and reflect so you can move forward

August 2022: Fab jobs, fan moments and fantastic grads

May 2022: Book yarns and publishing qualms

November 2021: Parties, publications and pukapuka reviews

August 2021: Oh, the publishing houses you’ll go (to)

May 2021: Meet the new faces of publishing

December 2020: Celebrating te ao pukapuka

September 2020: Back in class – Good Books and bad landlords…

June 2020: Studying publishing in the time of Covid-19

November 2019: The style issue – partying in style and some serious stylish books

August 2019: Students in the wild and stories from the wild in NZBC lecture

May 2019: Presidential Q&A, students and a stormtrooper


All staff of the publishing programme come directly from industry, where they honed their skills and knowledge. Most are still working for publishers alongside their teaching.

The programme also draws on the expertise of numerous specialist tutors and industry speakers. Many publishing professionals take classes through the year – whether to teach a core part of the curriculum or take a specialist lesson or simply as a visiting speaker.



Publishing Advisory Committee

The publishing programme operates under the guidance of an advisory committee, made up of representatives from industry, the community and the polytechnic, including a student representative.

The committee ensures that the programme is teaching the skills and knowledge that employers see as useful and relevant to the needs of their businesses.


Current members

Alex Collins, Chief Executive, Lift Education

Sarah Rennie, Marketing Manager, Gecko Press

Chris Murray, Head of Content Management, LexisNexis NZ Limited

Craig Gamble, Publishing Manager, Te Herenga Waka University Press

Melanie Laville-Moore, Managing Director, Allen & Unwin New Zealand

Pania Tahau-Hodges, Publishing Manager, Huia Publishers

Chris Tse, Editor and Communications Advisor, Office of the Auditor-General (and winner of the Best First Book Award for Poetry at the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards)

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