Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


NCEA Writing Competition Hits Students in The Funny Bone

The words ‘voluntary NCEA writing competition’ is enough to send most students running for the hills. Or at least back to Facebook. However, one novel approach is working.

Launched in May, the NCEA Comedy Writing Competition has quickly become a highlight of many students’ weeks, not to mention one of the most popular high school writing competitions in the country.

In its first four weeks, the competition has received 415 entries from students, a number that is growing daily.

LearnCoach, a free NCEA tutorial site, has organised the competition. “The modern world demands engaging, insightful and concise writing,” says LearnCoach CEO, Dave Cameron. “And short-form comedy is one of the most powerful ways to communicate.”

“Good comedy writers often get told off for being silly at school. But the world loves good comedy!” says competition organiser, Dean Watson. “So, instead, we wanted to pay students $50 and share their work with thousands of others.” As a comedy writer, working for TV shows like 7 Days, Watson appreciates how supporting young writers is essential. “We want to encourage students to develop their skills, not shy away from them.”

Theo, one of the first ever winners of the competition, described the experience as, “The best $50 I’ve ever made.”

Winners have emerged from around the country. Theo is from Wellington College; Kirstin,is from Westlake Girls High School in Auckland; Connor is from Napier Boys High School; and Becky is from Tokomairiro High School in Milton.

So what does a winning one-liner look like?

Primary School: Miss 3 months of school to go on holiday - doesn't fall behind

High School: Miss one period of calculus - fails entire year

Achieved: Can sneeze in an exam at a relevant time

Merit: Can sneeze with perceptive timing

Excellence: Can sneeze while pondering the origin of a sneeze

NCEA is more boring
than this haiku
ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Kura Forrester & James Nokise: Billy T And FRED Winners Announced

The NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo honoured the exceptional talent on show in the 2019 programme, rewarding excellence with the New Zealand Comedy Trust awards: The FRED, for the best New Zealand Show in the Festival, and the Electric Kiwi Billy T Award. More>>

Don't Miss The 2019 Jazz Gala Tour

Featuring renowned US rock drummer Gregg Bissonette, vocalist Glenn Walters, and UK trumpet Star Louis Dowdeswell in concert with the Rodger Fox Big Band. More>>

Tuia - Encounters 250: Te Papa Acquires Rare Painting Of Cook's Voyage

Te Papa announced today it has purchased William Hodges’ Waterfall in Dusky Bay with Maori Canoe for New Zealand’s national art collection. More>>

Resene Eighth Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival

This year’s line-up will showcase the most acclaimed and current films in architecture and design, including documentaries on this century’s finest architects, super stars in the design field and movements for environmental change. More>>

Ockhams: ‘Urgently Relevant’ Novel Wins NZ’s Richest Literary Award

Dame Fiona Kidman has won this year’s $53,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for her novel, This Mortal Boy, a work described by the judges as ‘moving, memorable, authentic and urgently relevant to our times.’ More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland