Evaluation of our programs is incredibly important to us, as it helps us know we are making an impact and informs the design of our programs.

We’ve worked hard with respected evaluation consultants Clear Horizon to develop a robust evaluation framework for all of our programs.

We are proud that the results have been overwhelmingly positive, and have highlighted the impact of our workshops on young people’s writing, literacy skills and confidence.

In our most recent results:

  • 77% of teachers reported that most or all of their students were more confident writers as a result of our program.
  • 75% of teachers reported that most or all of their students improved their literacy as a result of our program.
  • 92% of students enjoyed writing with us in our programs.
  • 90% of students felt they came up with lots of good ideas to use in their writing.
  • 68% of students felt they were better at writing after participating in Story Factory workshops.
  • The average writing confidence levels of surveyed students increased by 31%, with 72% of students reporting feeling confident or very confident about writing after participating in Story Factory workshops compared to 41% of students reporting feeling confident before participating in Story Factory workshops.

Everyone had an opportunity to share and write their ideas. They all produced great pieces of writing…Everyone developed improvement in different areas of their literacy skills. Thank you!

Class Teacher

Plumpton Public School

Our impact

Discovering Exciting New Talent

One of our incredible young writers is Vivian Pham, who in 2017 participated in Year of the Novella, a year-long program of weekly workshops in which students aim to write a novella of up to 30,000 words, which is then professionally published. Aged just 16, Vivian wrote a 90,000 word novel over the course of the program, focused on two Australian-Vietnamese families living in 1998 Cabramatta, a diverse area of Western Sydney, which is in many ways inspired by her father and his story.

As part of the Novella program, editors from Penguin Random House volunteered to edit the writing of young authors in preparation for publication. The senior editor assigned to work with Vivian was blown away by her extraordinary writing, and the discovery of her talent led to her manuscript going to auction, with Penguin Random House signing Vivian to the Vintage imprint in 2018.

Vivian’s novel, The Coconut Children, was published in March 2020 to great acclaim. Vivian has since won the 2021 Sydney Morning Herald/Age Best Young Novelist of the Year award, and the 2021 Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.

Our Impact

Reflecting on the impact of the Year of the Novella program on her life, Vivian commented;

“The Novella Project has changed the way I do things. It has somehow given me the courage to test my own boundaries and overcome the very things I always told myself were impossible. If you told me a year ago that I would soon write a 93,000 word story that I’m actually proud of, that I’d learn to have faith in the good of people again, that I’d be this senselessly happy all of the time, then I’d probably laugh in your face. But this is exactly what The Novella Project has done for me. Working on our novellas has taught us to listen to our own voices and trust that there’s value in what we have to say. It taught us that stories can change the world, one person at a time. It taught us that stories can change the world, and the world begins with us.”

Thank you for helping me unlock my writing abilities and giving me the confidence to share my work…The facilitators make writing fun and they make it very easy to start writing.


After-school program

2016 Australian of the Year

Our Impact

Local Hero

In January 2016, executive director and co-founder Cath Keenan was honoured to be named 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero. The award is fitting recognition for Cath and everyone involved with the Story Factory who have worked so hard to make a real difference in the lives of marginalised Australian children and young people. We couldn’t be prouder.