The Sydney Story Factory is a creative writing centre with a twist. Young people enter through the The Martian Embassy and Gift Shop – a fantastical space designed to take them out of their everyday world and ignite their imaginations.
Under the expert guidance of the storytelling team, volunteer tutors work with young people to write stories of all kinds. The innovative and engaging programs enhance writing skills and self-confidence, while developing a love of words and learning. All programs are free.
Opened in Redfern in July 2012, the Story Factory is open to all young people aged 7 to 17, and especially aims to reach those who are Indigenous or from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Inspired by novelist Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia writing centre in San Francisco, this successful learning model has spread globally with centres opening in London, Dublin, New York, Chicago and beyond.
The Sydney Story Factory runs classes after-school, on Sundays and in school holidays. It also invites teachers to bring classes in during school time, and has worked with groups from Waterloo, Fairfield, Greenacre and the south coast.
Many students arrive thinking they’re ‘bad’ at writing. But when they have time to write about what they’re interested in, and support from tutors to do this, they realise they’re much better at it than they thought. Their confidence blossoms as does their desire to write and learn.
Catherine Keenan, Co-Founder and Executive Director Sydney Story Factory