© 2018 UKLA While development of a range of cognitive skills and strategies is integral to the literacy process and strong attainment, students' motivation, engagement and self-confidence also exert a powerful influence on academic achievement. In recent times in the field of literacy there has been renewed interest in motivation, engagement and sense of self-efficacy as it relates to literacy achievement. This paper reports on findings from Write to Read, a longitudinal collaborative university and school literacy intervention project in disadvantaged schools. Drawing on questionnaire data from teachers, interview data from children, teachers and principals and data from audio and video recordings of literature discussions, this paper presents findings in relation to developments in children's motivation and engagement in literacy in a subset of classrooms and schools involved in the intervention. Practices associated with increasing engagement included time, choice, dialogic mixed-ability reading groups, building self-efficacy and explicit teaching of vocabulary and comprehension skills.