About us

The International Institute of Modern Letters is home to Victoria's Creative Writing programme, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) hosts Victoria’s Creative Writing programme, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Underlying our programme is the notion that creativity is the engine of a healthy and successful society. Our courses do not teach a specific set of predetermined skills. Rather, our aim is to develop the imaginative capacity and individual literary skills and voices of emerging writers, in a stimulating workshop environment.

Our specialised undergraduate workshops include poetry, short fiction, children's writing, Māori and Pasifika creative writing, creative nonfiction, television scriptwriting, science writing, and writing for theatre, as well as a changing programme of summer workshops.

At postgraduate level we offer a Master of Arts in Creative Writing, with streams in Writing for the Page (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction) and Scriptwriting (stage, screen, radio), and New Zealand's most extensive PhD Creative Writing programme.

Our high-calibre teaching staff is made up of practising creative writers with strong publishing profiles.

Our students vary widely in age and life experience, and the creative projects they are engaged in cover an enormous range of styles and subjects. This is reflected in the diversity of publications that began life in the workshop.

IIML graduates are now among New Zealand’s leading contemporary writers. Increasingly, they are also at the forefront of creative writing development in the New Zealand tertiary sector and have a growing international presence.

Each year we host Victoria University’s annual writer in residence and dedicated masterclasses from national and international guest writers.

We administer a number of scholarships and prizes for our students. We also host the electronic publications Turbine | Kapohau and Best New Zealand Poems.

We are situated in Bill Manhire House at 16 Waiteata Rd on Victoria University's Kelburn campus.