Summer Writing School January 2018

Summer Writing School Wellington 26-28 Jan 2018


The information below is just for the record.

Treat yourself to a different kind of 3-day writing school this summer. (Summer in New Zealand means January 2018.) Sure, you will learn heaps about the craft of writing, you will spend time writing, and you’ll go home with resources to use in the coming year. But equally, the curriculum is designed to make you feel positive about yourself, your life, and your writing. Expect to gain new techniques, skill, insights and motivation, and to go home contented.

Fittingly, our venue is both inspiring and nourishing: a lovely little hall in a community garden, bordering a green hill with many walking tracks—Mt Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand.


WORKSHOPS, 9:30 AM–4:30 PM

Friday 26 January Write over your troubles
We’ve all got troubles, big or small. This inspiring workshop includes three quick sessions in which you can privately explore and purge any bad memories and feelings that linger on—maybe of grief, anger, shame, or fear. But you’ll spend most of the day learning powerful writing techniques that will be valuable for writing fiction or non-fiction, and also for dealing with real life. Writing from different perspectives, you can reframe and rewrite a familiar narrative any way you like: you can be the author and the hero of your own life story.

Saturday 27 January A writers’ group that works for you
Do you belong to a writers’ group? They come in many forms, but which one is right for you? We’ll discuss common features and experiment with different protocols. You’ll have an interesting and productive day with our ad hoc writers’ group, and emerge with a strong sense of what kind of group would benefit you the most. Whether or not you already belong to a writers’ group, you’ll gain useful insights and strategies—and of course you’ll write!

Sunday 28 January Write into the bonus years
Do you find that your very identity is changing as you grow older? That can be pretty disconcerting. In this unique workshop you will audit your life, launch some new habits, explore cliches about old age, and tackle your own inner ageism. And it’s all done with writing—which you’ll share and discuss and develop over the day.

Follow-up — optional
At the end of Day 3, leave me a couple of pages that you have written at the summer school. If you want me to, I’ll critique this writing sample, following whatever guidelines you suggest.


I’ve had decades of experience and countless accolades as a teacher of writing, and I’m equally at home writing a poem or editing a government report. My approach can be wildly original, and yet it’s also practical and systematic. Having sold my digital writing business (, my main focus now is on writing that promotes happiness and health. We will have fun together, and you are safe in my hands. By the way, in case you wondered, I’ve written many books, including novels, poetry, plays, and books about writing.


Earlybird fees (paid by 20 December): $340 GST incl.
Standard fees (paid on or after 21 December): $360 GST incl.
Venue: Charles Plimmer Hall, Lawson Place, Mt Victoria, Wellington.
Morning and afternoon tea: there’ll be tea, coffee and biscuits, at least.
Lunch: bring your own — ideally something to share with others, but please yourself!
When you enquire, you go on the waiting list. You’re enrolled when the fee is paid.


Rachel McAlpine
Talk to me! You’ll be welcome at our summer writing school.

For further details, contact me directly—let’s talk.



  • Your fee is held in trust until the course begins.
  • Cancel before 1 January, your fee is refunded in full.
  • Cancel 1–20 January, the Trust refunds 50% of your fee.
  • Cancel on or after 21 January and you forfeit your fee.