Creative Writing Course for High School Students


Welcome to the Creative Writing Course for High School Students at NZ Writers College.

In creative writing you are trying to tell a story and create a mood. You want the reader to be swept away into another world that you create for them. You want to ignite their emotions. This course will teach you how to do that.

This course is for anyone who wants to spruce up their creative writing essays at school. It is also for aspirant writers who dream of getting published one day.

The course offers expert, one-on-one training, line by line, from a professional, award-winning writer, Helen Brain.



“It was a very good experience; I learnt a lot and strengthened my weaknesses. I also learnt how to edit a scene completely. My tutor Helen was very good; she was blunt and explained my mistakes to me. She motivated me and was patient with me. I enjoyed the feedback and the motivation. The course met all of my objectives; I got a lot better at being able to describe things. It was hard work but in the end it was worth it.”

Zoe Garden, Creative Writing Course for High School Students Course



Course Details:


Students must complete:


Admission Requirements:

  • Cost: $ 645.00 
  • Modules: 10 Modules
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace within five months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round
  • 42 writing exercises with individual feedback
  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • Must be between 13 and 16 years of age

Tutor for this course:

Helen-Brain _ Creative Writing Tutor at NZ Writers CollegeHelen Brain is the author of over 50 books for children, and has contributed stories and plays to numerous school anthologies. Her teen novel, Tamara won an ATKV award. She has also published short stories for adults, and her highly acclaimed memoir, Here Be Lions was published by Oshun Publishers in 2006. Read more about Helen Brain and her work.

Helen also tutors the Advanced Creative Writing course and the Write a Book for Children course.


Click here to enrol


Course Curriculum

Module 1 - Three Basic Tools

  • Understand Latinate versus Anglo-Saxon words.
  • Show don't tell
  • Cut back unnecessary words
  • Assignments: Four short exercises

Module 2 - Introducing the Three Elements of Creative Writing

  • Action
  • Description
  • Dialogue
  • Assignments: Five exercises of varying length

Module 3 - Dialogue

  • Basic punctuation rules to improve reading dialogue
  • Cutting dialogue tags
  • Using action instead of dialogue tags
  • Reported speech and dialogue
  • Observing people talking
  • Assignments: Six exercises of varying length

Module 4 - Description

  • Using sensory details
  • Setting description
  • Finding the correct level of detail
  • Creating images in your readers head
  • Assignments: Five exercises of varying length

Module 5 - Action

  • Writing action
  • Body language
  • Using action to build characters
  • Verbs or adverbs?
  • Assignments: Five exercises of varying length

Module 6 - What is a scene?

  • What is a scene?
  • Different kinds of scene
  • Balancing dialogue, description and action
  • Writing your own scene
  • Assignments: Five exercises of varying length

Module 7 - Building a Scene Layer by Layer

  • Creating a scene from a given synopsis
  • Assignments: Write two short scenes

Module 8 - Write a Practice Scene

  • How to create "back stories"
  • Assignments: Four exercises of varying length

Module 9 - Preparing to Write Your Own Scene

  • How to prepare for writing your own scene
  • Assignments: Five exercises of varying length

Module 10 - Write Your Own Scene

  • Writing your own scene
  • The use of feedback, editing and rewrites
  • Assignments: Submit one scene for review


“My objective was to put together a solid, professional groundwork for creative writing and to tack a certificate onto my résumé; the course certainly excelled at both. The course gives a very solid foundation for storytelling. The course certainly succeeds at building and applying the basics of creative writing and covering all of the essentials. Helen's great fun to work with and relates to a teenager's worldview surprisingly well. She was always available and I could expect a response to any question within a day or so. Feedback was concise and had the sort of direct quality I wanted; I would always know exactly what to improve on from the feedback.”

Lane Tao, Creative Writing Course for High School Students



How does the course work?

Students will receive a 100-page course manual consisting of 10 modules, either in MS Word or PDF, depending on the student's preference. These modules will be e-mailed to the student as he or she progresses through the course.

Each module will contain:

  • Relevant theory pertaining to the field
  • Practical and writing tips
  • Practical assignments that build towards the word count of the manuscript

Once the writing assignment has been completed and e-mailed to the tutor, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete.


Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an NZ Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all writing assignments
  • The course must have been completed within five months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

There is no research required for this course, just planning and writing. The speed at which you work is entirely up to you.

After studying the modules, the exercises should take between two and four hours to complete.

Need more advice about the best course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 09 550 4635. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in New Zealand and internationally.

  • If you have questions about how we work, we have information in our FAQ section and How We Train section.
  • If you want to pay off your course fee, please read the information here.
  • For information on our refund policy, please read our policies here.
  • To register for the course, please click here:


Click here to enrol



Testimonials Here



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About Us

NZ Writers College is a leading online writing school in New Zealand.

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice. Work one-to-one with a professional writer and realise your writing dreams.



NZ Writers College offers online writing classes all over New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We have students from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia.

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: admin@nzwriterscollege.co.nz

Phone:      +64 9 550 4635

9-5 Monday to Friday

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