Writers as Explorers with Duncan Sarkies


Thursday 27 January & Friday 28 January 2022


9am - 5pm


Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington

Cost per Person


Early bird cost pp


book now


There are many stages to the writing process; the first stage is both the most important and the most ignored. To explore is to seek to travel beyond a horizon. What is there could be exciting, scary, heart-breaking, uplifting or bewildering; it is a mystery you can only encounter by stepping into the unknown parts of yourself with curiosity and courage. This is the space we all need to go to make great art.


Join renowned New Zealand writer Duncan Sarkies for this intensive two day writing course. The course is for all writers - whether you are creating plays, films, novels or anything in between. This workshop has a strong focus on getting you writing in an explorative sense, guiding you through a writing process, and developing skills of writing with motivations, subtext, rhythm and musicality, authenticity, conflict, symbolism, embracing improbability, thinking narratively, character immersion, tangential thinking, playing God with your work, walking toward the unknown, getting specific, thinking form alternate perspectives, manipulating time, rewriting with purpose, and most importantly, listening to your heart.


Duncan is a big proponent of learning from doing, so expect to come out of this workshop having written lots of new material in raw form. Expect to leave with a sense of how to be self-sufficient so that you can avoid angst and procrastination, freeing you to develop great habits for creating work for yourself in the future.


In line with New Zealand government regulation​​and legislation, Toi Whakaari Workshops require all participants to have proof of vaccination.

cancellation policy

All workshops are run subject to demand and Toi Whakaari reserves the right to alter dates, times and venue of the course for reasons beyond our control.

Toi Whakaari cancellation of the workshop due to pandemic protection framework (Level Red) will result in a full refund.

Participant cancellation due to sickness with a Doctor’s certificate will result in a full refund. Participant cancellation without a Doctor’s certificate and within 2 weeks of the workshop will result in a 50% refund, or the choice to transfer to another workshop later in the year.


Duncan Sarkies is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, performer and short story writer. In New Zealand, he is possibly best-known for co-writing the hit black comedy Scarfies. He wrote two episodes for the HBO TV series Flight of the Conchords and an episode of What We Do In The Shadows for FX. His debut novel Two Little Boys was published in 2008 to rave reviews and was brought to life as a motion picture directed by Robert Sarkies in 2012. His second novel, The Demolition of The Century, was released in the2013 year through John Murray Publishers and is currently in development as a film project. He has recently written and directed The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium, an epic podcast radio series 1for Stitcher. The series is a collaboration with comedian Jemaine Clement, illustrator Stephen Templer, and musician Lawrence Arabia. It received rave reviews from The Guardian and the LA Times. He is currently writing a novel about the break down of democracy in an organisation of alpaca breeders.