2024

South Sydney Herald | ‘Trust in the power of poetry’, Writer Profile: Brendan King

From a family of passionate poets, Brendan King is carrying on a tradition started by his Pop. He loves all things poetry and has been involved in the creative writing programs run by Story Factory over the last few years.

South Sydney Herald | ‘How everything … is a poem’, Writer Profile: Sarah Dizon

Sarah Dizon is a 17-year-old student from Sarah Redfern High School who has been attending Story Factory’s Year of Poetry program for the last three years. In that time, she’s published two collections of poetry, i baked you a cake and you are the star. She is currently working on a third. Read more>>

Sydney Writers’ Festival | Meet Story Factory

As part of the 2024 Sydney Writers’ Festival, Story Factory students and staff ran a Prescription Poetry booth, providing healing and literary nourishment to soothe whatever ills people have. Get to know the organisation and what motivates them to foster creativity in young people through writing in this conversation. Read more>>>

2023

South Sydney Herald

South Sydney Herald | Novella way to catch the bus

Hayden Field describes his life as plot twist after plot twist. So it’s not surprising that, in his final year of school, he went to Story Factory to write his own book, a novella called Bus of ’96. Read more>>

Koori Radio 93.7 FM | Black Chat with Lola Foster, Russell Smith and Dr Catherine Keenan Am

Blackchat informs its national audience on a range of current issues and celebrates the excellence of First Nations peoples across Australia. Listen here>>

University of Wollongong | Early Start, Story Factory and Big Fat Smile collaborate for an inspiring creative writing workshop

Early Start, Story Factory, and Big Fat Smile joined forces to bring a group of talented children from the Bellambi community to Early Start at the University of Wollongong campus on Tuesday 26 September (2023) for an exceptional creative writing workshop. Read more>>

South Sydney Herald | Jihad Yassine, a poet’s journey

Poetry helped Jihad Yassine find this voice and Story Factory gave him the platform to amplify it. Read more>>

South Sydney Herald | Opportunities at Story Factory

Graduates from Story Factory’s Year of the Novella and Year of Poetry programs can now be part of a newly introduced Year of Opportunities program run by Bilal Hafda and Richard Short. Read more>>

The Centre for Volunteering | Young Volunteer of the Year – Jade Pinar from West Pennant Hills

Jade has been volunteering at the Story Factory’s Creative Writing workshops at Telopea Public School for more than a year, helping the organisation to achieve its goals of improving literacy and supporting students from under-resourced backgrounds. Read more>>

Penguin Random House | Write-It Fellowship Shortlist 2023

Ela Pinar (2018 Year of Poetry alumna) and Victoria Bassett-Wilton (2018 Year of the Novella alumna) have both been shortlisted for the  Penguin Random House Write It Fellowship 2023. Read more>>

WHO | The Dream Factory – Dr Catherine Keenan

One woman shows how words are key to unlocking a child’s potential. Read more>>

Reconciliation NSW | “Be A Voice For generations” NSW 2023 Reconciliation Virtual Breakfast

The National Reconciliation Week theme for 2023, “Be a Voice for Generations.”  is a challenge to all Australians to continue the momentum of change, by using their voice to create a better future for generations to come. Panel Facilitator: Dr. Catherine Keenan, Executive Director and Co-Founder Story Factory, Board Member, Reconciliation NSW. Read more>>

Penguin | Penguin Random House donates $30,000 to Story Factory in 2022

PRH is excited to announce that we will increase our contribution to Story Factory by $10,000 this year to provide funding for internships, work experience placements and a novella program to inspire young writers. Read more>>

Landcom | Creative Connections: It’s Transformation workshops

As part of Landcom’s Creative Connections program, The Story Factory worked with local school students to create stories about the transformation of Northwest Sydney, with a focus on our largest station precincts – Bella Vista and Kellyville. Read more>>

2022

Committee For Sydney | Unsung hero: Factory boss wins for inspiring young people

Nearly 45,000 young Sydneysiders have had their lives transformed by the work of Dr Catherine Keenan AM, today named winner of the 2022 Unsung Hero Award. Read more>>

The Project | The Group Helping Under-Resourced Kids Become Published Authors

Meet Story Factory, a fantastic bunch of people who are helping young people from under-resourced communities get their stories published and, as a result, making dreams come true. Watch the video>>

2021

Australian Institute of Company Directors | Once Upon A Time

Mike Gonski chairs Story Factory, a creative writing centre for youth from marginalised communities. He and executive director Catherine Keenan AM reflect on growing an NFP and succession planning. Read more>>

South Sydney Herald | Student writing lights up Redfern

Redfern Street has been lit with writing from young people from across Western Sydney thanks to an Art Write Light collaboration between Story Factory, Dhungatti artist Blak Douglas and ESEM Projects. Read more>>

South Sydney Herald | Local businessman gives back, boosts storytelling

A successful businessman who grew up in Redfern community housing and wants to give back has formed a partnership with Redfern non-profit Story Factory to recruit an Indigenous storyteller to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people. Read more>>

2020

The Guardian | Vivian Pham on Western Sydney, fan-fiction and The Coconut Children: ‘I hope it’s universal’

The 19-year old debut author felt stifled in school, but found her space in her refugee father’s stories, Cabramatta and a non-profit writing centre. Read more>>

2019

The Centre for Volunteering | The Ripple Effect: How Story Factory Amplifies Community Within the Volunteering Experience

Meet the speaker, Craig New. Read more>>

Australia Interior Design Awards | Shortlist: Public Design – Architecture for Sydney Story Factory Parramatta The Dream Lab

From lollies to learning – the “Dream Lab” is the second visionary space for the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people. It transformed a heritage 1830s cottage in Parramatta – a former lolly shop – into a dream-like, fluid, continuous space for writing workshops. Read more>>

2018

South Sydney Herald | Student writes his novella in a year

The best thing was meeting so many kind-hearted and caring people, who were willing to sacrifice time and effort just to make us better writers. For that, I am eternally grateful. Read more>>

ABC Radio | Story Factory helps young people hone their sense of self

The Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people that helps marginalised children across greater Sydney feel more confident in the world. Listen here>>

Campaign Brief | The Glue Society and LAVA creates ‘Dream Lab’ – Story Factory expansion into Parramatta

The Sydney Story Factory in Redfern has been such a success that it’s resulted in an expansion into the Western Suburbs of Sydney.  This weekend sees the creative writing and storytelling centre open its doors in Parramatta, as a new base for workshops for marginalised young people aged 7 to 17. Read more>>

Sydney Morning Herald | From zombie sports stars to time travel: how stories change lives

Last term, high school students in Story Factory workshops wrote about an accidental time traveller called Rudolph Fentz. A group of primary students wrote poems about an object that was special to them yet small enough to fit inside a matchbox. Some young people who’d dropped out of school scripted a courtroom drama inspired by a real-life incident: the theft of a lemon tree from a communal garden at a public housing estate in Villawood. Read more>>

ABC | Story Factory creative writing program expands and opens Parramatta hub

A creative writing program that has been running in Sydney for six years is opening a new hub in Parramatta to better cater for the children of Western Sydney. Read more>>

New York Times | Australia Diary: It’s Not Easy To Hear

A reader finds that it’s easy to connect with people who are different. We just have to listen to each other. Read more>>

Westfield | Bilal Hafda of Sydney Story Factory wins Westfield Local Heroes 2018

Bilal gives young people a safe place in which to find their voice. Read more>>

The Quo | The Sydney Story Factory teaches marginalised youth the art of storytelling

Reading and writing skills are the foundations of a successful life. From understanding instructions on a medicine bottle or interpreting a street sign to the ability to pick up and read a book, we live in a world that assumes everyone can read. Read more>>

Wadwell Initiatives | Storyteller in Chief: Bilal Hafda on the power of words

For those who are yet to cross paths with Bilal, you might soon because his presence in Western Sydney and beyond is only going to increase. Read more>>

 

2017

2SER 107.3 | Sydney Story Factory

The co founder and executive director, Dr Cath Keenan came on to the show to explain both the Story Factory and an upcoming art exhibition. Read more>>

Broadsheet Sydney | If You Can Tell A Story: Sydney Story Factory Exhibition

The If You Can Tell A Story exhibition features donated work by iconic Aboriginal artist Blak Douglas and more than 50 other Australian artists. Read more>>

ArtsHub | The story behind Sydney Story Factory

A creative writing centre has become a crucial space in the Redfern area by empowering the youth to tell their stories. Read more>>

Multi-faith Education | Dr Catherine Keenan: A woman of words and action

Through Sydney Story Factory, Catherine Keenan has set out to help disadvantaged children find their voice. Read more>>

Daily Telegraph | Redfern’s Story Factory will be expanding to Parramatta this year

The Sydney Story Factory has inspired young writers from its home base in Redfern, and now the factory will be expanding to Parramatta to target more writers from the west. Read more>>

ABC | Catherine Keenan from Sydney Story Factory looks ahead after her year as Australia’s Local Hero

As she prepares to hand over the baton as Australia’s Local Hero, Dr Catherine Keenan is already looking to the year ahead. Read more>>

9News | So you’ve won the Australian of the Year Award. What’s next?

Being the recipient of an Australian of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious honours that can be bestowed on an individual. In such a great country, you have been selected as an individual who is making Australia even greater. Read more>>

2016

South Sydney Herald | Storytelling empowers young people

Storytelling is fundamental to being human. It’s the main way we understand the world, and make sense of ourselves within it.  Read more>>

Sydney Morning Herald | Sydney Story Factory takes teens from playground to published authors

A published book for any first-time author is a bright and shiny thing. To the graduates of the inaugural year-long novella workshop of Story Factory, the not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people, it is playground bragging rights and career possibility all rolled into one. Read more>>

University of Sydney | Story Factory tells a strong tale

Set up with assistance from University of Sydney academic Professor Robyn Ewing, the Sydney Story Factory has helped thousands of school students to improve their writing skills and cultivate their creativity. Read more>>

Canberra Times | Don’t be shy, nominate a Local Hero: Catherine Keenan

Catherine Keenan, co-founder and executive director of The Sydney Story Factory, was named Australia’s Local Hero in the 2016 Australian of the Year awards. Read more>>

The National Treasures Series: The Catherine Keenan Story

With the Australian of the Year Local Hero Award in 2016 under her belt and the media attention that ensues, Dr. Catherine Keenan is riding high on the wings of well-deserved success but she’s not resting on her laurels. Read more>>

Sydney Morning Herald | My mate Catherine Keenan’s story filled me with freudenfreude, and it feels good

There was a glorious scene at the Australian of the Year awards this week. Under a grim grey sky that was spitting rain, Malcolm Turnbull struggled to hold an umbrella over the head of a graceful, curly-haired woman. It was just as a Prime Minister should be: gainfully employed. Read more>>

Books and Publishing | Sydney Story Factory co-founder Catherine Keenan named Australia’s Local Hero

Sydney Story Factory co-founder Catherine Keenan has been named Australia’s Local Hero as part of the 2016 Australia Day Honours for her work as a youth educator. Read more>>

Sydney Morning Herald | Australian of the Year Local Hero Catherine Keenan on the books that changed her

Catherine Keenan is executive director and co-founder of the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit organisation which runs free creative writing and storytelling programs for marginalised young people. She was formerly a Sydney Morning Herald journalist and literary editor. On Australia Day she was named 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero for her work as a youth educator. Read more>>

Sydney Morning Herald | Australia Day: Catherine Keenan named Australia’s Local Hero 2016

Former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Dr Catherine Keenan was named Australia’s Local Hero for 2016 for her work as a youth educator. Read more>>

Australian of the Year Awards | Dr Catherine Keenan AM: 2016 Local Hero

A former journalist, arts writer and literary editor, Catherine Keenan turned her back on her career in 2012 to help nurture the talent and creativity of marginalised young Australians. Read more>>

2015

South Sydney Herald | Book Review: Whelp

On September 1 this year the Sydney Story Factory released an anthology of student work entitled Whelp. This delightful anthology showcases everything from stories, poems and songs to monologues and letters; topics as far-reaching as time travel to France in the 16th century; and mythical creatures like Poopy the dinosaur with one hundred heads and only one eye. Read more>>

 

2014

Concrete Playground | Win a Copy of The Sydney Story Factory’s Home: Mapping the Stories of Redfern

Read a patchwork memoir from a neighbourhood we call home. Read more>>

Roots of Change | Sydney Story Factory

Nurturing young people’s creativity and well-being through sustained personal attention to their writing. Read more>>

Girl | Dr Cath Keenan Sydney Story Factory Interview

Biennial fundraising exhibition to raise funds for creative writing centre for marginalised children. Read more>>

 

2013

Daily Telegraph | Redfern Story Factory launches childrens’ book comp

Some of the best-loved children’s books could soon have new covers designed by leading artists, thanks to a Sydney Story Factory initiative. Read more>>

South Sydney Herald | Judge a book, buy its cover

Your votes will be used to create a list of Sydney’s top 50 children’s books. The list will be given to leading artists, who will choose a book and create either a new cover for it, or an artwork inspired by it.  Read more>>

2012

Time Out Sydney | Things to do: Sydney Story Factory

In the bustling heart of Redfern is an eye-catching shopfront declaring itself the Martian Embassy – but what’s within is something even better. It’s the permanent home of the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for school-aged folks staffed by enthusiastic volunteers with a passion for writing. Read more>>

Indesign Live | Sydney Story Factory and Martian Embassy

The Sydney Story Factory and Martian Embassy by LAVA bring a touch of fantasy to Redfern, we sent Elana Castle to explore. Read more>>

Architecture & Design | The Sydney Story Factory unveils its new home

The new ‘Martian Embassy’ has opened in Sydney, designed as a fusion of a whale, a rocket and a time tunnel, an immersive space of oscillating plywood ribs brought to life by red planet light and sound projections. Read more>>

 

2011

Pedestrian TV | Sydney’s Story Factory Takes Cues From Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia

An initiative to develop the literary minds of disadvantaged Sydney kids has received not only widespread community support, but also its first seed funding, thanks to a $25,000 donation from Sydney Mayor Clover Moore. Read more>>