Above: One of the office spaces in the new Sydney Writers’ Room location in Haymarket

“In 2007, four idiots who thought of themselves as writers, scammed an awkwardly inaccessible office in a beautiful old building that had very few tenants – the 119-year-old Sydney Trades Hall.

This was how the Sydney Writers’ Room was born. Of course, for the first few years, it didn’t have that name, or even any rules. The founding idiots could be as loud, messy and interrupting as we wished. As we learned our craft, we produced two unpublished novels, five screenplays, one television documentary, a couple of short films and a television comedy series.

Slowly, other writers came to hear about the space. A well-respected essayist, a proper novelist and a budding popular historian moved in, and the room acquired a certificate of incorporation as a non-profit arts organisation, a set of stern rules (don’t be loud, don’t be messy, don’t interrupt) and a growing list of published books, screenplays, television series and essays.”

 – Charles Firth, one of the founding idiots

Above: Sydney Writers’ Room members have access to the floor’s shared meeting and kitchen area

How the room operates

The Room is a not-for-profit member association, run by a board and presidential triumvirate.

The board is elected annually at the AGM. All members are invited to attend the annual AGMs and encouraged to nominate for board positions if they wish. Current board members include present members, past members, and others who have been involved in the founding and nurturing of the Room.

The board appoints the presidential triumvirate, usually for a one-year term, after inviting Expressions of Interest from members.

Where do member fees go?

We pride ourselves on keeping membership fees considerably below other shared spaces in the city. The only substantial expense of the Room is the rent we pay each month. Our ability to meet our rent depends on keeping member numbers up.


Thanks to Create NSW, the room (now a set of adjacent shared office spaces) has moved to the fourth floor of the former Law Faculty building at UTS on Quay Street, next door to Paddy’s Markets and the Darling Square precinct, a two minute walk from the lightrail, and a five minute walk to Central Station.