Marvellous Birds

Marvellous Birds was a creative writing and storytelling project for Years 5 and 6 students that explored the feathered beauty of some truly incredible birds. Through carefully scaffolded creative writing activities, students investigated themes such as community, camaraderie, displacement, environmental change, migration and the challenges of new adventures – through the piercing eyes and under the all-seeing gaze of the magnificent, mysterious (and occasionally menacing!) birdlife of the world.

Over six months (two school terms), Story Factory led creative writing programs at four primary schools, where students were supported to author their own original creative story.

Selected writing from across the four schools was collected into a professionally illustrated and published anthology, which is available to purchase at the Story Factory bookshop (see below).

Marvellous Birds is supported by the BridgeLane Foundation, Sheargold Foundation, the CommBank Staff Foundation and the Key Foundation.

Marvellous Birds, marvellous book

Marvellous Birds, marvellous book

These birds have roosted in our hearts, and in the pages of what might be our most beautiful book ever!

Hard cover, with colour illustrations throughout, and (our personal favourite) a deliciously tactile waxed satin finish on the cover (book nerds know what we mean) as well as being stuffed with hilarious, witty and wise stories from our students.

We’re calling it – this is the perfect Christmas gift. Order yours today!


Hear the Marvellous Stories of Marvellous Birds!

While lockdown may have stopped our plans to celebrate this fabulous feathered tales in-person, it couldn’t stop these incredible stories from flying free. Some very talented actors and some brilliant illustrators helped up bring to life the stories written in our Marvellous Birds workshops and we’re willing to bet they will be the best thing you see this week. Take a look!

I snorted, an incredible accomplishment for an eagle who had slanted nostrils.

– student writing

I terminated the call and spread my magnificent wings, stretching inside my New York penthouse. It wasn’t actually mine, I had smashed through the window, grabbed the owner with my massive talons and flung him out the window.

– student writing

The woman had very long jet black hair with some silver and white strands. She wasn’t old, just creative.

– Maple

Plumpton Public School

My life was pretty normal after the confrontation with the Russian Government, apart from the weekly heists on the bank and the everyday terrorising of pedestrians.

 – Minh

Blaxcell Street Public School

@SydneyStoryFactory on Instagram

We're thrilled to share that with the support of Clarity Pharmaceuticals we are recruiting a dedicated Indigenous Storyteller to deliver high- impact, term-length writing programs supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people  Clarity Pharmaceuticals Executive Chairman, Dr Alan Taylor, said he was excited to support Story Factory after growing up in community housing in the Redfern area.  ‘My grandparents, after immigrating from Europe after the war, were some of the first people to move into the McKell housing commission units in the early 1960s and lived there until the 90s. And my earliest memories as a child were living on the 14th floor of the Daniel Solander building in the Waterloo Housing Complex. This experience has given me a unique understanding of the area compared to many of my peers, especially of some of the difficulties some children face through no fault of their own, whether it is a lack of resources, or not knowing where opportunities lie.'  READ MORE:
This year we worked with Year 5 and 6 students in four Western Sydney schools exploring the feathered beauty of some truly incredible birds.  Students investigated themes such as community, displacement, and environmental change – under the all-seeing gaze of the magnificent, mysterious (and occasionally menacing!) birdlife of the world (as well as our storytellers).  These stories have now been brought magnificently to life for the world to enjoy in both film and book form! Check out our first story below, and view the full thrilling tale on our website.  MARVELLOUS BIRDS - A STORY FACTORY BIG PROJECT:  #marvellousbirds #storyfactory
Celebrate the end of lockdown by walking past our Redfern headquarters one evening this week, and drink in the beauty of our #artwritelight installation.  Combining the artwork of @blakdouglas and the writing of Western Sydney school students, this exhibition is a celebration of creativity in an especially challenging year.  On after dark until 9 November, make sure to scan the QR codes to hear the stories written by each talented student!
This World Teacher's Day we want to give an extra-special shout out to the teachers who for the last two years have gone above and beyond in truly moving and spectacular ways.  Like the teachers at @holroydhighschool who, with a student body of up to 90% of students for whom English is an additional language, and 50% of whom are refugees, had to work extra hard to ensure their students stayed connected and supported.  Initiatives like calling every student every week, sending attendance and praise letters home every week, sending regular student surveys to check in how students are going and if the teachers are keeping their attention, ensuring their lessons are strong visually and completely remodelled in order to manage a limited bandwidth, and creating programs especially designed to be fun and engaging (like ours!) all had a wonderful success rate - with 90% student attendance at Holroyd during lockdown.  We want to publicly salute these teachers - and all the teachers like them - who gave so much during unprecedented times to keep students safe, supported and learning.  Thank you teachers!!  #WorldTeachersDay