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The Intermediate Writers Award enables teachers to provide their students with an authentic and social writing experience.

Our youth are accustomed to interacting with large, instantaneous audiences across multiple mediums. The challenge for schools is to keep up with this rapidly evolving literacy landscape and to offer learning to students that they can relate to, and feel motivated by.

The IWA is written by teachers, researchers and academics. It is planned against the New Zealand Curriculum and it has been created to replace a teacher-led writing unit. Schools and teachers are asked to get involved, but the IWA does the work.


The teacher receives everything they need:

  • A Unit Cover Plan (released with The Essay Starter, the Unit Plan links the writing to the NZC).
  • Assessment Indicators Cover Sheet – should you decide to assess the writing for your classroom purposes (the IWA does not require formal assessment).
  • Essay starter (essay question and reading material to introduce students to the topic as well as guidelines for composition).
The IWA Process for


Teachers provide class time for the students to engage in the research and writing process. Teachers may choose to discuss the process with students and to work alongside them on the project. The rules allow students to work collaboratively with others in so long as the essay can be regarded as reflecting their ideas and composition. Thus, in the same way teachers would support students in class, teachers are welcome to offer ideas on content, editing and structure.

Teachers select their top three essays per class to submit to the national competition.

Register your School

The first step is to register your school for the Intermediate Writers Award. There are three options available and all are low-cost. A single class entry is only $45.

Once your school is registered your school will receive a Welcome Pack and Confirmation of Enrolment.