Young Writers Guild

The Young Writers Guild is a small group of aspiring writers who meet weekly to connect with other writers, strengthen their craft, and learn more about career writing.


Where are the classes held?
The classes are held at Ollie's Café and Grocer, 141 Hurndall Street East, Maungaturoto. Light refreshments will be offered each session. Dietary restrictions are requested at the time of application.
When are classes?
Classes are held during the school term (commencing Term 2, 2023), at two different times on Thursdays; 11:00am for home-schooled or -unschooled writers, and after school at 3:30pm.

Who's running the classes?
Maungaturoto local, Angela Armstrong. Angela has been an educator for 28 years and published writer for more than 15 years. Her most recent novel, The Unflinching Ash, was Amazon's Number 1 selling young adult book about prejudice for three weeks running in 2022. Read by Suzy Cato on TreeHut TV, featured in Women's Day, trending on TikTok, and a popular pick by ReadNZ, Angela's work is finding its fanbase, in spite of having a pandemic release to bookstores that locked down. Angela visits schools across New Zealand, but started the classes in Maungaturoto to bring equal or better opportunities to remote learners.
How is this a class a match for home-educated writers?
Angela home-schools three daughters herself, including a gifted and talented child with autism. As a teacher, Angela led an Inquiry-based Learning Classroom for two years -- which, like home-education, is learner-centred. Angela values different ways of learning, individual expression, and taking time to support each student.

How does the after school class make links to the NZ curriculum?
The Young Writers Guild is the perfect extension for students who excel in English class. When Angela was teaching in schools, she was the Lead Teacher of English, managing school-wide learning within curriculum levels, strands, achievement objectives, and learning outcomes. She has taught at both middle grade and secondary level, including preparing and guiding students through NCEA. The class will support and enrich students beyond the work covered in the classroom and assessment.

Who can attend the class?
The class is recommended for writers aged between 10 and 16 years of age. The class is designed for young people passionate about writing and wanting to elevate their craft, not reluctant students seeking aid for achievement in English class. Young writers do not have to be from Kaipara or surrounding areas, but supporting local residents is a priority over those living closer to city centres.
What should young writers bring to class?
Your writing notebook of choice. If you prefer to type directly onto a laptop, you may bring that instead. Angela will also supply notebooks for each student and have a supply of pens and pencils on-hand which the guild are free to use.
 The 12 Best Notebooks and Notepads for 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter
What can I do as a parent/caregiver, during the class?
You're most welcome to find your own spot in the café and have a cup of coffee or a Middle Eastern snack while your young writer attends -- chat with other parents, read a book, or get some work done. Or, if you're local, your young writer is welcome to walk to and from class or be dropped off while you stay home. If you're visiting, Maungaturoto is a charming village. If you have other children with you, there is a playground, library, and a range of walks in the area, including a Nikau Grove. There are also some amenities if you need the class to coincide with getting things done, including a laundromat, Four Square, second-hand store, pharmacy, petrol stations, a farm supplies store, tyre service, and two veterinary clinics.

Can young writers ask for feedback on writing they have completed outside the YWG class?
Yes. Members of the Young Writers Guild can share writing samples and extracts with Angela for appraisal and editing as part of their membership in the guild. 

Will young writers be required to share their writing?
Sharing is encouraged, but there is no forced reading aloud of work.

How do young writers apply to join the guild?
Email Angela at with the name/s of the applicant/s, their age, which class they would like to join or be waitlisted for, any dietary restrictions, and one paragraph explaining why they are interested in joining.
What does it cost?
1 Writer = $125 per term | Multiple Writers from One Family = $100 per writer, per term
What is a scholarship place and how do I apply?
Families experiencing hardship may apply for a scholarship place in the class. One place is available each term and is awarded at Angela's discretion. This waives Angela's fee and reduces the total payable to $25 for the term, which covers the café refreshments offered during the class throughout the term.The award will remain confidential and unknown by other class members.

How do I pay?
Payment is due before the term commences and can be made in cash or via online banking. Bank account details are supplied upon application.

Is it appropriate to ask Angela to sign copies of her books during class time?
Before and after class, Angela is happy to sign books and answer questions about her books. During classes, discussion of Angela's own writing will be strictly limited to examples or experiences which benefit the guild.

Read more about Angela here.
Read some of what tweens and teens have to say about Angela's latest book here.