“The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for children. Volunteer tutors offer free help to tell stories of all kinds. Programs are targeted at disadvantaged children, especially those from indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to all.
“Sydney Story Factory programs are project-based, and every child walks away with a published piece of work. At the end of a one-off, two-hour workshop, children might have a bound and illustrated chap book to take home. At the end of a longer program, they may have produced a book, zine, school newspaper or short animated film. They might have had an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald, our media partner.
“The Sydney Story Factory is dedicated to developing creativity. There is growing global awareness that the ability to think creatively and flexibly is key to preparing children for a future we cannot yet imagine. All programs at the Sydney Story Factory are designed to nurture the creativity that is innate to every child. Programs will increase children’s abilities to express their thoughts and feelings, and give them new ways of understanding the world around them.
“The Sydney Story Factory is scheduled to open in early 2012 in Redfern, but is already running small pilot programs in local schools.
“The centre will include The Martian Embassy and Gift Shop, a one-stop store selling everything a child needs for space travel and inter-galactic exploration. Children have to walk through The Martian Embassy to get to the centre, and the shop acts as a portal, transporting them to a place where the imagination is without bounds. It also generates money for the centre.
“Writers who support the Sydney Story Factory include Geraldine Brooks, Markus Zusak, Peter FitzSimons, Anna Funder, Leigh Sales, James Bradley, Tom Keneally, Malcolm Knox, Gail Jones, Mardi McConnochie, Debra Adelaide and Michael Robotham.”