WestWords engages children and young people in Greater Western Sydney by encouraging an appreciation of story and storymaking in a variety of forms and by promoting the understanding of the importance of books in the lives of young people.
WestWords is committed to providing an environment where the stories of the communities of Western Sydney and the places they come from are celebrated.WestWords believes that engagement with reading and writing allows young people to develop their imagination, hone their creative skills and give voice to their experiences.
Since 2007, WestWords has reached more than 4000 children and young adults through programs in schools, public libraries and cultural and community organisations
WestWords is proudly supported by Arts NSW, Blacktown City Council and the Australia Council for the Arts.
St Marys Story Makers
In 2011 and 2012 WestWords has facilitated a number of exciting creative sessions for children of St Marys under the name of St Marys Story Makers. The workshop series was an exciting creative venture that brings literature professionals directly to kids and offers a colorful artistic program. This includes stories, graphic novels, reading and writing, puppetry, cartooning, children’s books, illustration and performances.
Some of the best the best of Australian artists, poets, top-selling children's authors, puppeteers and illustrators have provided memorable workshops to children of St Marys. Among others we had privilege to see Oliver Phommovanh, Mike Zarb, Fiona Wright, Sarah Davis, Stephen Axelsen, Deborah Abela,Tina Matthews and Patrick Bolland.
Image: Mike Zarb demonstrates development of drawing story line and creation of the illustrated characters at St Mary Story Makers - Fantastic Creatures workshop.
Image:Mike Zarb has been an illustrator and storyboard artist for over eighteen years, and has worked for various animation studios around the world. He is best known as illustrator of the first four Pearlie books by Wendy Harmer (Random House) and is also co-creator of the Belmont and the Dragon series (Random House).
Image: Oliver Phommavanh is a young Thai-Aussie writer for children. His first book, Thai-riffic!, was published in June 2010. Oliver is also a stand-up comedian a primary school teacher who shares his writing passion with kids and engages them with humor.