Parramatta public program

April, May & June


LGBTQ+ Writers’ Group

If you are a western Sydney writer who identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community then come join us. We’ll be talking about representation of LGBTQ+ characters, writing about LGBTQ+ characters and sharing writing of our own (if you feel up to it!). Overall, it is a place to be a creative in a space where you know everyone around you gets what being queer means, no need for explanations!

Limited spots available. Email to join.

First facilitator
Allison Gallagher

allison gallagher is a writer and poet born and currently living in Sydney, Australia. Their chapbook parenthetical bodies was released in 2017 by subbed in. Their poems have appeared in places like overland, potluck, scum mag and moonsick, while other writing has appeared on i-d, the sydney morning herald and junkee, among others. They also sing and play bass in the emo-pop band sports bra. They can be found on twitter at @allisongallaghr.

Thursdays, 6:30pm

28th Feb

9th May
14th March 23rd May
28th March 6th June
11th April 20th June
25th April

Second facilitator
Erin Gough

Erin Gough is a fiction writer whose short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best Australian Stories, The Age, Overland, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Her novel for young adults, The Flywheel, won Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Prize and was published in February 2015.
Erin’s second novel, Amelia Westlake, was published in April 2018. It won the Readings Young Adult Book prize in July 2018. It will be published this year in the US by Little, Brown. In 2016, The Flywheel was long listed for the Indie Book Awards and short listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards (Older Readers) and the Gold Inky Awards. It was also named a White Raven International Youth Library title. The Flywheel was published in Germany in 2016 and in the US in April 2017 under the title Get it Together, Delilah!
You can find Erin on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesdays 6:30pm

July 3rd Sept 11th
July 17th Sept 25th
July 31st Oct 9th

After school creative writing groups for children and young people

Creative writing is a crucial skill that increases critical thinking and empathy. With creative writing classes for primary and high school aged kids your child can hone this skill! Your young people will learn how to nurture their ideas and gain the skills to turn them into great stories. From how to form characters, to descriptive language and world building—your child will learn it all.

Casual $18 per session
9 lesson card for $110 (equivalent to one term of classes)
Each participant will have a membership card that will be punched each week of attendance, make up workshops will be provided for classes missed*.
*Must be claimed within 3 months of missed session/s.

Upper primary (yrs 4-6)
1hr: Mondays 4:00-5:00

Junior high (yrs 7-9)
1hr: Mondays 5:00-6:00

Senior high (yrs 10-12)
90 mins: Tuesdays 4:00-5:30

Limited spots available. Email to secure your place.

Term 2 – Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July
Start from week 2 (Week 6th -10th May)
10th June Public Holiday.

Term 3 – Monday 22 July to Friday 27 September
Start from week 2 (Week 29th July – 2nd Aug)

Term 4 – Monday 14 October to Friday 20 December
Start from week 2 (Week 21st Oct – 25th Oct)

Download Term 2 Schedule Here

Rawah Arja
Facilitator for yrs 4-9

Rawah studied a Masters of Teaching at Western Sydney University with a recent scholarship to complete her doctorate in Education at The University of Notre Dame. She had been shortlisted for the Charlotte Waring Barton Award CBCA NSW. Her debut YA novel will be published by Giramondo, to be released this year. Her passion is to write authentic stories that give diverse groups a voice and a sense of belonging and to explore the Muslim identity.

Tanya Vavilova
Facilitator for yrs 10-12

Tanya Vavilova is interested in telling stories about outsiders, outcasts and misfits–about life in the shadows or margins of society. She was born in Moscow and grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney. Her debut collection of essays We are Speaking in Code is forthcoming from Brio in early 2020. She teaches English and creative writing to both primary and high school students across different schools and locations.

      Picture book writing and illustrating group

The 2018 3-week Making Picture Books workshop with Wayne Harris was such a success that in 2019, WestWords presents:

      Making Picture Books part 2 with Alison Giles

A workshop working towards a first draft of a completed Picture Book over 5 weeks. The five weeks will guide you through beginning to end of the Picture Book making process.
May 2019 (dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Please check out our newsletter, Facebook and website for updates)

The first and third session will be facilitated by author/illustrator Alison Giles. The second and fourth will be a meet up of just participants working on the assigned work in each other’s company. The final session will be with a children’s book publisher giving industry insight and feedback.

Adult writing and illustrating group.
Limited spots available. Email to join.

Alison Giles

“After leaving high school I trained as a fashion designer and I worked in Melbourne and Perth for a number of years. I then decided to change careers, return to university and complete a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies and English.”

I have worked as a secondary and primary teacher, a teacher-librarian, a music teacher, an art teacher, an ESL specialist and an Indigenous Specialist teacher in the Kimberley (WA). After twenty years of teaching I studied for my Masters in Clinical Counselling. My last ‘normal’ job was as a college counsellor in an inner-Sydney Islamic school. This allowed me to combine narrative and art therapy – and I really enjoyed that! ‘

Guest Publisher
Clare Halifax 

For over 25 years, I have been a publisher, editor, writer and journalist. I’ve worked for some of the world’s biggest publishing companies and media organisations, and some of the smallest.

These days I work as a publisher and editor of children’s and young adult fiction, ranging from novels set in the horrors of wartime to picture books for the very, very young and the young at heart.

I’ve worked as a non-fiction editor on books about politics, history, political history, law, human rights, business and leadership, and lots of memoirs and biographies. Fact, as they say, is stranger than fiction.

I’ve worked with some of the most well-known writers and illustrators in Australia and beyond. And some less well-known ones too, but just as worthy.

I’ve also been known to scribble a few words of my own.


Sunday Afternoon Creative Writing with Sarah Ayoub

There are no secrets, no cheats, maps or recipes to guide our development as creative writers. Creative writing, in all its forms, is a lived artistic practice – a kind of hero’s journey – and it is only through living it fully and faithfully that we can address the trappings of our path to progress. Dead sentences take root in our keyboards, clichés cling to our fingertips, and the riches of our imaginations seem always just beyond grammatical reach.

When: 2-5pm, 30 June/7 July/14 July
Cost: $135 (3 x 2.5hr sessions)
Send EOIs to

Sarah Ayoub

Sarah Ayoub is a  freelance journalist and author based in Sydney, Australia.

Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Marie-Claire, ELLE, Sunday Life, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan, House & Garden, Sunday Style, Yen, CLEO and more, and she has spoken at numerous industry events including the Sydney Writer’s Festival, Emerging Writer’s Festival, Children’s and Young Adult’s Writer’s Festival, Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference and more.

Her novels Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee are contemporary stories of identity, belonging and discovery. She regularly speaks at schools and writer’s festivals about identity and self-worth in YA fiction, and is passionate about empowering young people to see the value in their own personal stories.

Sarah has a Master of Media Practice from Sydney University and teaches Journalism at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, where she is currently a PhD candidate exploring the representations of migrant girls in Australian YA literature.

Sarah decided to pursue a career in journalism at the age of ten after realising that, like Lois Lane and Vicky Vale, it was always the reporter that got the superhero. She loves purses, pastries and Paris, and welcomes a cure of any sort to her substance abuse problems.

School Holiday Workshop with Oliver Phommavanh and Nat Amoore!

These school holidays your kids can exercise their writing muscles with a writing workshop with Oliver Phommavanh and Nat Amoore! Two authors in one, now that’s a treat!

When: 12th July, 10am-3pm
Where: 91b Grose St, North Parramatta NSW 2151.
Cost: $50


10am-12:15pm incl. 15min break:
Oliver will be facilitating the first half of the workshop

½ hr Lunch break

12:45-3pm incl. 15min break:
Nat will be facilitating the second half.

Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with kids, using his experience as a primary school teacher. Oliver has performed at various comedy and writers festivals around Australia and Asia. Oliver’s recent books include Don’t Follow Vee and Natural Born Loser, and he is best known for Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd and The Other Christy.

Nat Amoore

Nat Amoore is a Sydney-based writer who is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write and explore their imagination without boundaries. Her first middle grade novel ‘Secrets Of A Schoolyard Millionaire‘ is out now with Penguin Random House.

Reserve your place now! Email with the subject ‘holiday workshop’.


      Poets’ Corner

In 2019, WestWords will be holding a poetry night on the last Thursday of every month at WestWords’ Centre for Writing commencing 30th May at 7pm. This series, convened by David Adès will showcase some of our most respected poets, starting with Richard James Allen.

June’s Poets’ Corner guest is Eunice Andrada! She will be reading and talking to the theme of Reclaiming the Body.

Eunice Andrada is a Filipina poet and teaching artist. Her debut poetry collection Flood Damages(Giramondo Books) won the Anne Elder Award (2018) and was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards (2019). Her work has been translated and performed in Tagalog, Hiligaynon, French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and Czech, while her poems have appeared in local and international journals and anthologies. Her previous works have also won the John Marsden and Hachette Australia Prize (2014) and been shortlisted for the Fair Australia Prize (2018). Featured in The Guardian, ABC News and other media, she has performed her poetry in diverse international stages, from the Sydney Opera House to the UN Climate Negotiations in Paris. Her ecopoetics have been recognised through the NAHR Australian Poetry Fellowship on the theme of water and the feature of her poetry in a climate change-themed exhibition at the Amundsen-Scott Station in the South Pole of Antarctica.

When: 27th June 7pm 
Price: Free (bookings essential- email
WhereWestWords Centre for Writing, 91b Grose St North Parramatta

Intro to Digital Publishing: in conversation with Adina West

This event took place on Tuesday 14th May and has now passed. Thank you to Adina West for sharing your experience and expertise and to all who attended.

Adina West is the Sydney-based author of Dark Child. Published for a worldwide digital audience by Pan Macmillan’s Momentum imprint. Her darkly addictive paranormal fantasy tale was serialized for release from 2013-2015 and caused a sensation on the digital charts in Australia, the UK and New Zealand.
Adina has shared her unique perspective on serialized digital publication at the Sydney Writer’s Festival’s Forest for the Trees event. She has been a guest speaker at several Writing NSW events, including presenting to Emily Maguire’s Year of the Novel participants, and as a panelist exploring the digital publishing and digital marketing experience.
She is currently working on a new series set in the Dark Child world.



Every writers’ concern, no matter the stage of their career, is whether or not their writing is good enough. Often this requires another pair of eyes to assist the writer in considering how and what to change and improve the work. As a result, WestWords is now offering consultations and assessments of your work. Every year, WestWords works with approximately 100 writers, illustrators and editors. We will endeavour to find you the right match for you and your work.


  • 30 – 60 minute online (Skype or similar) manuscript assessments or consultations. (no more than 1000 words of work for the consultant to read for the first consultancy.)
  • Cancellation within less than 24 hours would lead to forfeiture of fee.
  • Subsequent consultations would be scheduled by mutual agreement between client and consultant.
    Non-student rate Student rate
    First assessment (60 min) $100 $85
    Subsequent consultation (60 min) $100 $85

    Please email us at or call 02 8677 4815 to arrange a consultation.
    What you will need to have ready is your 1,000 words, the genre your working in, context for the piece (eg synopsis), writing experience and what you would like to have feedback on.



Blue Mountains Program here.
Blacktown program here.

Information about our other projects and opportunities including residencies, fellowships, competitions click here: WW Pinerolo Emerging Illustrators’ Fellowships, Beast.Belly.Beast, Postcard Stories

And the next three months at Parramatta:
WW – PAC Comedy night
Intro to screen writing
Adult Poetry workshop
How to Present workshops