If you are a kid with an imagination, or even if you think you don’t have much of one, the Sydney Story Factory is likely to generate plenty of it for you as soon as you step inside, and that is inside an alien carcass!
Don’t believe me, here’s the proof. The whole store is decked out like an extra-terrestrial’s skeleton. All classes take place at the back of the store, right at the alien’s heart.
Sounds great, right!
Who can come?
The programs suit upper-primary and high-school students who have learnt some of the basics of writing. It doesn’t matter if you find writing a bit hard.
Reasons to go
The tutors make writing fun. You get to write all kinds of stories about zany things. It’s not boring.
You only have to share one volunteer tutor with two or three kids. So much better than school where you have to share one teacher with what, like 20 something other students. They will help you write something really cool.
You leave with a published piece of your work after each session to show whoever you want. Total bragging rights!
You will make new friends.
Reasons not to go
There are none.
Even if English isn’t your strongest, that doesn’t matter. Any young people are welcome, whether you are Indigenous or from a non-English speaking background. The tutors are great and they are there to help you.
Types of programs
There are after-school programs and programs run on Sunday’s and in school holidays.
You can even get your school teacher to bring your class on an excursion for a two-hour workshop in school time.
Reasons to convince your parents, caregivers or teachers to bring you
You will develop your language skills.
You can communicate your thoughts and feelings better. Happier kids = happier parents/adults.
You start to like writing.
It makes you more confident in yourself and at your school work.
You enjoy having your opinions heard and being able to express them in your own writing.
For parents and adults
Why can’t all classrooms be like this?
The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit and is located at 176 Redfern Street, Redfern, Sydney. For more information visit their website www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au.
I visited the Sydney Story Factory when I went to Sydney for the SCBWI Conference in July 2014. Even adults don’t want to leave, like me!
I have to admit, I cheated. I saw the movie before I read the book. The movie, is an excellent and very close adaptation of the book, and yes, I cried a lot. Although seeing the movie first did not prepare me for the onslaught of constant tears streaming down my face, while I read my way through the book in the middle of the night. Be prepared to stay up late with lots of tissues!
Now if you don’t know what The Fault in Our Stars is, it is today’s equivalent of Nicholas Sparks’s book A Walk to Remember, also a movie starring Shane West and Mandy Moore, which I watched endlessly when it came out. I have to say, John Green, I prefer your version. It is less schmaltzy and saccharine, seeming to be a more realistic romance story.
What I loved:
Last week I was in a race. I applied for a dream writing-related job, I attended a book launch for Wendy Orr’s latest book, Rescue on Nim’s Island and I went to my second CYA conference. I’ve spent so many months preparing for this wonderful conference. I networked, I had three editor pitches, caught up with old friends and made new friends and I absorbed all I could from workshops. The conference was fantastic, exhausting and all over in a blink of an eye. I can’t wait for next year!