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News  •  3 February 2023


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.

Since 2011, Penguin Random House ANZ (PRH ANZ) has partnered with the not-for-profit creative writing centre, Story Factory. Aimed at serving young people in under-resourced communities across Sydney and NSW, Story Factory builds writing skills, creativity and confidence amongst participating students.

This year, PRH ANZ is delighted to announce that we will be increasing our donation to $30,000. Not only will this donation allow us to continue programs that we already have in place with Story Factory, but it will also allow us to expand the time and resources we allocate to them. The additional $10,000 contribution will help provide further funding towards our internship program, work experience placements and novella program in which students create and publish their own novellas alongside PRH publishers.

‘The work that Story Factory does to instil a love of reading and writing in young students is invaluable,’ says Julie Burland, CEO of PRH ANZ. ‘Our shared vision of changing lives through the power of the written word makes this the perfect partnership and one that we are so proud of here at Penguin Random House.’

Julie Burland, Cath Keenan, and PRH AU marketing assistant, Amuor Malou who started at the company as an intern through the Story Factory partnership.

Catherine Hill, Managing Editor at PRH Australia shares the enthusiasm of PRH staff in working with Story Factory. ‘We have, through the years, volunteered at Story Factory in their Martian Embassy shop in Redfern, in afterschool and weekend classes, and at fundraising events,’ she says.

‘What began as a project of editing and publishing a book of extra-terrestrial stories, has over time transformed to a full-fledged program during which a group of high school students write a novella.’ The program, which debuted in 2015, is now seven years strong, and has seen some incredible output from the students involved. ‘For a few years some students were, remarkably, writing quite lengthy tomes.’ One of these, The Coconut Children, turned into a complete novel and was subsequently picked up by an agent, acquired, and published in March 2020. ‘In 2021 it won the SMH/Age Best Young Novelist of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year,’ says Catherine. ‘Not bad for a sixteen-year-old’s debut!’

Story Factory’s co-founder and Executive Director, Dr Cath Keenan AM, echoes Catherine’s sentiments, reflecting on how great the novella program has been. ‘The support that Penguin Random House has given us over the past seven years has been so valuable and meant so much to our young writers. To have their work edited by professional editors, and to go through the process of professionally publishing a book, really helps them grow their confidence, hone their skills and see themselves as real authors.’

We couldn’t be prouder of the achievements this partnership has seen so far, and we look forward to another great year of working together.

Learn more about our community and social responsibility initiatives here.  

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