The Australasian Association of Writing Programs was established in 1996 with its first conference, a gathering of teachers and students of creative and professional writing at the University of Technology, Sydney and organised by Graham Williams and Dr Jan Hutchinson. Since then it has grown, holding annual conferences at campuses around Australia and New Zealand, and exploring writing programs in Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The annual AAWP Conference is now the most important forum in Australia for the discussion of all aspects of teaching creative and professional writing and for debating current theories on creativity and writing.
In 1996 members of the AAWP established the online journal TEXT, an independent refereed journal that publishes a wide range of research, reviews and debates on creative and professional writing and the teaching of writing in academic and industry contexts. TEXT is sponsored by the AAWP. In 2010 there were 1100 subscribers to TEXT, approximately 300 of them accessing the journal from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Asia, and 800 from North America.
In 1999-2002 the editors of TEXT compiled the first database of its kind on tertiary institutions and courses offered Australia-wide and in New Zealand. This was the beginning of a compilation of basic statistics on writing teaching in Australasia, an area which has grown rapidly. (This growth might be gauged by the fact that in 1999 there were 8 PhDs in creative writing offered around Australia; by 2010 there were 25 doctoral programs available in Australia and New Zealand. The database is a useful tool for anyone looking for particular degree programs and where they are offered.
In 2000 the AAWP initiated a program of state-based seminars, the first of which were held in Adelaide and Melbourne. These seminars involved many of the teachers of writing in a given state, from both the TAFE and university sectors. Topics under discussion included publishability and publishable standard; exegesis; and examination procedures and practices.
Any items of general news for AAWP members can be posted on this website by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It is preferable that news is posted for members by current members of the AAWP.