South Island Writers' Association

A friendly group of writers based in Christchurch, New Zealand

About SIWA

South Island Writers’ Association (SIWA) is a Christchurch based writing group. We meet monthly to hone our writing and discuss issues related to publishing.

SIWA’s monthly competitions
Once a month, SIWA runs two competitions for its members, one judged by an experienced writer, and another judged by members of the group. A prize giving is held the following month where the winners are announced and asked to read their story to the group.

Our current competition schedule includes genres such as:

  • Flash fiction and short stories
  • Poetry
  • Book reviews
  • Memoirs
  • Children’s picture books
  • Novel extracts
  • Essays
  • Plays

Meetings also feature such activities as panel discussions, open mics, and presentations on the craft of writing.

Visiting and joining SIWA
If you are an active writer we invite you to visit a meeting and give us a try. If you decide you would like to join, we ask for either proof of publication or samples of your writing for evaluation.

We have members of all ages, from all over the South Island (and some North folks too), and all walks of life. You can read about some of our current members on the SIWA Member Profiles page.

Meeting times
We meet on the second Thursday of each month, 7:30-9:30
NOTE: We do not meet in January.

Conference room behind St. Marks Church
101 Opawa Road

To join please send the completed application form to along with three short pieces of writing (if unpublished)

Membership Application

For any enquiries, please contact:


  1. I agree – this is looking wonderful. But where is the “Forum”? The old one didn’t catch on, but if it could be re-instated here (it shows up on the menu) it would be easier to call in and have a chat now and then.

    • LucyJane

      October 31, 2014 at 1:29 am

      Hi Joan,

      Thanks for your interest in the forum. I put one up for a while but unfortunately it costs money to keep it running long term. I will have another look for a free one, and bring it up with the committee next meeting.

  2. Do we need personal passwords as well as the youknowwhat one now? Reply will be appreciated – thanks

    • LucyJane

      October 31, 2014 at 1:29 am

      Hi Joan,

      There is just one password for the members page, which the members should know. No need for personal passwords.


  3. Thanks LucyJane – can’t now remember where I was asked for my password but the youknowwhat one didn’t work. Never mind – couldn’t have been important, as they say.

  4. I am writing what I am calling a life and times book ie it is not a biography but it is about my life and the times I have lived through – I have degrees in sociology which means my perspective is that context is important at any point of experience. I do need other writers to talk to – but I am 76 and definitely wanting to get on with it. Would I fit into your group?

    • That’s fine – I’ll look forward to your reply.

    • ljewalsh

      April 27, 2016 at 3:58 am

      Hi Barbara,

      I definitely think that you would fit into our group. We have a large number of members around your age and many who have an interest in biography and memoir (we actually run a yearly competition for a memoir). Feel free to come along to our meeting next month (7.30 – 9.30 on the 12th of May in the hall behind St Marks Church). That will give you a good idea as to whether you would like to join.

      All the best,


  5. I have just stumbled across your website and am keen to join a meeting. Can you confirm the next meeting is Thursday 7th, July? Just curious, how many poeple typiclly attend? Cheers

    • ljewalsh

      June 16, 2016 at 5:11 am

      Hey Dana,

      Confirmed – the next meeting is on the 7th of July.

      Typically we have about 20 people turning up a month, sometimes more. It’s quite an active group.



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