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2017 architectural writing competition: call for entries

13 June 2017

Entries are invited into this year’s Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing, a competition open to all writers – young or old, novice or experienced – who would like to address an architectural topic.

The annual writing competition, organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects with the support of the Warren Trust, has two entry categories: open and secondary school, the winners of which receive cash prizes of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. Several highly commended awards, each of $500, may also be made. 

The deadline for entries is 15 September 2017, and the results will be announced in October. 

The writing topic and conditions of entry can be downloaded here.  

Institute of Architects spokesperson John Walsh said the purpose of the Warren Trust Awards is to encourage writing about architecture, and to provide a vehicle for longer-form writing.   

“The Warren Trust Awards is an opportunity for people from all walks of life, and different ages, to offer their perspectives on buildings or architectural sites that mean something to them.” 

“The Institute of Architects wants to promote an informed critical culture, and we’re especially keen to give younger writers an incentive to write about architecture.” 

“We hope, too, that the competition will appeal to people, generally, who enjoy the craft of writing and the challenges of an essay-type format.”   

The writing awards are in their third year. In both 2015 and 2016 the Institute of Architects published a book that included 10 selected essays from the competition. The books are on sale here on the Institute website and the winning essays are also on the NZIA site, here.   

The competition judges are John Walsh; Nicola Legat, publisher at Massey University Press; and Chris Barton, Metro columnist and University of Auckland School of Architecture academic.


  • Entries are open for 2017 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing
  • Entry deadline is 15 September 2017
  • Topic: Create a piece of writing about a building or architectural site, of any scale. Why does it have significance to you?
  • Entry categories: Open and Secondary School
  • Prizes: $2,000 to winner of Open Category; $1,000 to winner of Secondary School category; up to three highly commended prizes of $500 each
  • Word lengths: up to 1500 (Open category) and 800 (Secondary School category)
  • Download the writing topic and conditions of entry here     

For more information, contact:

John Walsh, New Zealand Institute of Architects
021 276 7447