TO some, western Sydney is infamous.
For them, it's a place on the news where shootings, stabbings and drug deals happen.
But for about two million people, it's their home.
Parramatta author and editor Felicity Castagna has been involved in a project that aims to balance the depictions of Sydney's western suburbs.
Ms Castagna, 32, has co-authored On Western Sydney — a collection of stories by professional writers who live west of Strathfield.
"The book is centred on the theme's place and community and what it means to live in western Sydney," Ms Castagna said.
"We encourage people to write about their sense of place in the western suburbs . . . because of the amount of negative images portrayed in the media.
"The stories and poems [in the collection] aren't all positive but they're truthful and representations that aren't always shown in the media."
The collection of prose and poetry was compiled from writers involved in the Westside Writers Group over 18 months and published by the group's own publisher, Westside Publications.
Its chief editor, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, said the anthology should "challenge the limited and negative perceptions of western Sydney".
"Recent films like The Combination and Cedar Boys make it look like everyone here is a drug dealer who owns a gun," he said.
"This anthology is a more complex and realistic depiction of western Sydney - Australia's most populated and diverse place."