Providing writers with the opportunity to form networks and sustain their practice within writing communities, researchers from Western Sydney University have facilitated the capacity building of an entire community of creatives.
Partnering with Sweatshop Literacy Movement, Giramondo Publishing, SBS Voices, and the Sydney Review of Books, researchers nurtured a new generation of writers and promoted all modes of storytelling through workshops and mentoring to give voice to people growing up in Sydney’s culturally diverse and often disadvantaged western suburbs.
As part of the Writing and Society Research Centre, emerging writers and arts workers from throughout Western Sydney were supported through regular writing workshops guided by author-mentors and industry professionals. In these workshops, writers had the opportunity to share drafts and develop their writing and editing skills, including pitching to and working with publishers. These workshops helped writers to tell their stories, polish their craft, publish their work, and build connections within a creative community.
As a result of this research project, writers produced a dynamic range of fiction, essays, creative non-fiction, poetry, memoir, screenplays, and stage plays. The students and mentors published their work in a variety of works, including The Big Black Thing: Chapter 1, as well as a digital chapbook and a writing anthology.
The capacity-building program for writers within this region of Sydney saw the emergence of new voices in Australian literature with exciting writers from culturally diverse backgrounds.