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New Zealand Institute of Architects










Annual architectural writing competition open for entries

24 June 2019

Entries are invited into the 2019 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing.

There are two entry categories, Open and Secondary School students, the winners of which receive prizes of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. Several highly commended awards, each of $500, will also be made.

The deadline for entries is 22 September 2019. Results will be announced in October.

The essay competition is organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects with the support of the Warren Trust.

The competition judges are Nicola Legat, publisher, Massey University Press; Lucinda Bennett, editor, The Pantograph Punch; and John Walsh, Communications Director, New Zealand Institute of Architects.

John Walsh from the Institute of Architects says the Warren Trust Awards were established to promote an informed critical culture about architecture and, especially, to give younger writers an incentive to write about the subject.

“We hope the competition will appeal to anyone who enjoys the craft of writing and the challenges of the essay format.” 

The essay topic and conditions of entry are attached and may also be downloaded here.

Each year, the Institute of Architects publishes a book of selected essays from the competition. The books are for sale on the Institute website and the winning essays are also on the NZIA website site, here.


Overview: The 2019 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing

Entry categories: 
Open and Secondary School 

Essay topic: 
Write about the work of an architect, of any place and time. What’s so interesting about this architect and his or her work? 

Word limits:
Open – up to 1500 words
Secondary School student – up to 800 words

First Prize, Open category: $2000
First Prize, Secondary School Student category: $1000
Highly Commended (3 prizes across both categories): $500

Deadline for entries:
22 September 2019

Email address for entries:

Entry format:

Email your essay as a Word document attachment; text only (no illustrations or images). Your essay should have a title, but please do not put your name on the essay; include your name and address, and the name of your school (if you are entering in the Secondary School category), in your email message.   

Entry is free 

Competition judges:

Nicola Legat (Massey University Press), Lucinda Bennett (The Pantograph Punch), John Walsh (New Zealand Institute of Architects) 

The prize-winners will be announced at the end of September 2019  

Conditions of entry

  • One entry person
  • Essays will not have been published elsewhere
  • An essay must be wholly the work of the person submitting it
  • Writers must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents
  • Writers retain copyright of their essays, but grant the NZIA licence to publish essays in its publications (print and online)   
  • No correspondence with the competition judges will be entered into