Join the Pen to Paper Challenge
The first ever Sydney Story Factory Pen to Paper Challenge happened in September 2016. Our awesome community of writers raised an amazing $34,000 to keep the ideas flowing and the creativity pumping in our creative writing workshops for hundreds more marginalised young people.
After its amazing first outing, we're planning to run the Pen to Paper Challenge again in May 2019. Check back in early 2019 for more info on how you can be involved.
Read on to find out about The Pen to Paper Challenge 2016.
What is the Pen to Paper Challenge?
It's like a fun run for those who'd rather write than run. For one month writers of all ages and varieties are committing to putting their heads down, their pens to paper, and their fingers to their keyboards to raise money for the Sydney Story Factory.
This might mean keeping a creative journal for a month, writing Chapter 10 of your long-neglected novel, six new poems, a complete and proper short story, the next scene of your script, 1,000 words a day on that tricky article, or something entirely different - what matters is that you challenge yourself to just sit down and WRITE.
SIGN UP AND JOIN IN
All participating writers sign up online at Everyday Hero. Only you know how long your writing project needs. And we'd love you to join us.
Simply enter your details and create your profile. Be sure to tell everyone your writing goal ("My Writing Goal for the Pen to Paper Challenge is.... ") and why you're supporting the Sydney Story Factory.
Then let the world know what you’ll be up to this September - email or post your link so that others can sponsor your efforts. You don't need to collect the money: Everyday Hero does this for you.
As an extra incentive - our top fundraiser will WIN naming rights for a character in Michael Robotham's next novel. Michael says he can't promise whether they'll be hero, villain, or victim, but they will be immortalised in print in at least a dozen different languages.
Young writers welcome
The Pen to Paper Challenge is not just for adults. Kids and teens are very welcome too!
You do have to be over 16 to create a page on Everyday Hero, so a parent or guardian needs to register to fundraise on the young writer's behalf. We'll be in contact as soon as the registration comes through and will collect their details then.
Or, we can do it the old fashioned way and send your young writer a 'sponsor me' form so they can collect donations from family and friends. Just send an email to Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org. au - please provide your name, address, phone, your child's name and age, writing goal and fundraising target.
Do you have a school group or class keen to get involved? We'd love to have you on board! Just drop a note to Craig at email@example.com and he'll send you an action pack, including writing activities and 'sponsor me' forms for students to collect donations from family and friends.
Again there will be prizes for our top fundraisers and champion writers, including The 78-Storey Treehouse (thanks Andy Griffiths!) and Diary of William Shakespeare, Gentleman by Jackie French (thanks HarperCollins) and more books, books, books!
we'll be there to support you
Don't worry, whatever it is you’re working on we'll be there to help you and urge you on all through September.
- All participating writers will receive a Writer's Survival Kit crammed with essential goodies to get you through. Kids will receive writing activities to kickstart start their creativity.
- Have your challenge given the official stamp of approval at the Official Pen to Paper Challenge Launch - Thursday 1 September, 6pm – 7.30pm, Sydney Story Factory HQ (aka The Martian Embassy), 176 Redfern St, Redfern.
- Come along to our Pen to Paper Challenge Survival Salon at the midway point, where you can chat to editors and fellow writers about your work, and take advantage of our writing lounge to get some work done. There will also be panel discussions where our ambassadors discuss their own writing habits, hurdles, and hints for successfully putting pen to paper - Saturday 17 September, 12noon – 8pm, Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt Street, Redfern
- And throughout the month we'll text you daily tips, inspiring messages and more from our ambassadors and our student experts.
A stellar line up of fabulous writers are our ambassadors for the very first Pen to Paper Challenge. They're writing alongside everyone else and sharing their working wisdom along the way. If you can't take part in the challenge yourself you can still get involved and support the Sydney Story Factory by sponsoring your favourite ambassador.
- Jackie French - children's author, historian and part time honorary wombat.
- Larissa Behrendt - lawyer, writer, academic and film maker.
- Benajmin Law - author of The Family Law.
- Avril Tremayne - prolific romance writer.
- Fiona McFarlane - author of The Night Guest and The High Places.
- Patrick Lenton - blogger and author of A Man Made Entirely of Bats.
- Zohab Khan - Australian Poetry Slam champion.
- Zoya Patel - editor and founder of online journal Feminartsy.
- Bri Lee - founding editor of Hot Chicks with Big Brains.
- Justine Clarke - actor, singer, children's music artist, author and presenter.
- Jaye Ford - ex-journalist, tv presenter and thriller writer.
Our list of ambassadors (writing experts and dedicated writers every one) would not be complete without our Year of the Novella writers. They're nine Sydney Story Factory students, ages 12 to 15, writing up a storm and planning to finish the year having written a full novella (around 20,000 words, gulp). Their Pen to Paper challenge is to double their word count and complete their first drafts by the end of September.
WRITING STARTERS, HINTS & TRICKS
Keen to get writing but don't know where to start? Pressed for time in September? Struggle with writing discipline? Need some extra support? Try these links to get you under way:
- Ryan O'Neill's Five Tips for Writing a Short Story (via BlackInc)
- 5 Ways to Write a Poem
- The NSW Writers' Centre: Getting Started with Writing
- The Top 55 Apps for Writers (thanks again to the NSW Writers' Centre)
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better than You Usually Do (thanks McSweeney's)
- Thirteen Writing Prompts (the inimitable McSweeney's again... with a language warning)
- Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (from some of the very best in the business).
- Quotes and tips, tips and quotes from writers.
KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
Stay up-to-date and share your progress with your fellow challenge writers via the Sydney Story Factory channels:
Follow our Writers on Writing Blog and hear how our ambassadors and other challengees are progressing through the month.
need more information?
Here's a quick info sheet about how it all works - something to keep on hand and share with friends.
If you have any questions at all just ask Jayne: firstname.lastname@example.org