Creating Literature in Western Sydney

The Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation are supporting  four projects led by award winning authors from Writing and Society Research Centre — Mohammad Ahmad, Felicity Castagna, Fiona Wright and Luke Carman. These projects link Sweatshop, Giramondo and the Sydney Review of Books to develop literary culture in Western Sydney.

Lurnea High School Students

Sweatshop(opens in a new window) is working with five disadvantaged schools in Western Sydney to develop publications and mentoring of year 11 and 12 students. As part of this project Sweatshop launched The Big Black Thing: Chapter 1 on 28 May 2017 at the Sydney Writers' Festival. Mohammad Ahmad describes The Big Black Thing as a "new literary series gives voice to some of Western Sydney's most exciting writers from culturally diverse backgrounds". The Big Black Thing includes work by established and emerging writers from Western Sydney including fiction by students from Lurnea High School's Intensive English Centre, Sir Joseph Banks High School and the Western Sydney University Partnerships for Success: Ngara Wingara program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Felicity Castagna runs Studio Stories(opens in a new window) which is based in Parramatta and provides an opportunity for local writers and readers to mingle, hear each other's work and to learn from writers who are achieving success in their respective genres. As part of this project she is also working with fifteen writers through Finishing School(opens in a new window); a collective of women writers with strong connections to western Sydney whose goal is to provide long term mentoring and professional development to emerging female writers who have already shown potential and dedication to their craft.

Writers at a studio stories event

Fiona Wright is working on a series of podcasts featuring Western Sydney writers that will be published on the Sydney Review of Books website.

Luke Carman is helping students from Western Sydney University and from schools from the region to develop new writing for publication.

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