When I wrote the first edition of the book Write that Essay in the summer of 2007, I never anticipated those words would mushroom into an organisation spanning two countries working in over 170 schools. But here we are. The writing challenge our students and teachers face is significant. What I have endeavoured to do is to meet this challenge in a way that teachers and students just get it—by removing the jargon around writing and by teaching explicit, easy-to-understand strategies to improve writing whatever the subject area.
As teachers have rallied, children who were previously uninterested in writing are now engaged. Students who struggled to push past a C grade, are now punching Bs and As. Schools are lifting their performance and teachers are lining up saying: why wasn’t I ever taught this at university? Well, that is what we do. And this website gives you a snapshot into our approach: how we work with a school to transform writing and the detail behind our improvement programmes. It’s time to fix the writing gap—give our teachers tools that work—and see our students succeed at writing once again. Why don’t you come and join the writing revolution.
My warmest regards,
Dr Ian Hunter
Founder, Writer's Toolbox
Dr Ian Hunter was an academic for over 20 years. Concerned with the growing writing problem among students, in 2011 Ian left academic life to work with educators and schools to improve literacy and writing outcomes. His company, Writer's Toolbox—an award-wining online writing tool—is used by over 170 schools across Australasia.
During his academic career, Ian held positions at four universities: he has given invited lectures at Oxford University and York, and in 2010 was Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Reading University (UK), where he coached teaching staff in innovative teaching strategies and multi-media teaching techniques. Ian served for six years as Director of the University of Auckland Business Case Centre, producing teaching cases for executive education in New Zealand and Europe and has worked as a consultant to government and multi-nationals in the areas of innovation, creativity, economic development, and education.
Ian is a qualified business historian. His research has been published in some of the world’s leading academic journals including Business History and Harvard’s Business History Review.
He has over 100 publications including 20 books, such as: Write that Essay, Imagine: Innovation, When People Matter Most, Tatua: 100 Years, The Young New Zealander’s Guide to Entrepreneurship, Briscoes: 150 Years in New Zealand, Jason: 50 Years of Leading by Design, Farmers: Your Store for 100 Years, and Robert Laidlaw: Man for Our Time. The book of Ian’s PhD research—Age of Enterprise—was a finalist in New Zealand’s Montana book awards.