Sitting amongst Travel Guides
to Jupiter, books of Martian stories and walls of blackboards covered in
brainstorming ideas about space, I had my first glimpse of The Martian Embassy,
a not-for-profit creative writing centre in Redfern, Sydney. Staffed by eager
volunteers, it was the brainchild of journalists Tim Dick and Cath Keegan,
inspired by similar centres around the world, the first being 826 Valencia,
started by Dave Eggers in San Francisco in 2002.
It’s aimed at kids from upper primary to high school and focuses on igniting their creativity. All programs are project based so each child walks away with a published piece of work. There are 800 volunteers on the books but they’re always keen on finding more class tutors.
There are already SCWBI members involved, including authors Nathan Luff and Wendy Blaxland, so if you’d like to be involved, go to the brilliantly colourful: www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au
You can volunteer your time, donate money or become a member. All new tutors will be able to attend a workshop and receive a volunteer pack, explaining every thing you need to know.
As writers we all know how important it is to nurture creativity. Living in a constantly changing world, we need young people who can adapt, look at the world from different angles and have a sense of empathy while doing it. Our future leaders are amongst these kids and we want them to have a dazzling imagination to know how they will face it. The Sydney Story Factory is doing just that…with a little bit of Martian goo along the way.
SCBWI is a proud supporter of the Sydney Story Factory.
Written by Deborah Abela