29 June 2016
Introducing the Creative Writers of Toolkits!
We’re very excited to be kicking off Toolkits: Creative Writing with Felicity Castagna and nine young writers from across Australia. Ready to meet them? Say hello to…
Daniel Cappello, 15, North-West Sydney
I enjoy writing fiction and poetry but remain very open to all genres and text types. I have written a few short stories and a number of poems but my aspirations for the future remain focused on writing epic fantasy stories. I love world building when I write and when I’m reading I enjoy medieval settings. Some of my favourite books and series include The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. I think my reading choices reflect what I like to write. I hope Toolkits will help me focus on improving my world building and character development skills, as well as plot construction on the larger scale, and also perhaps a little guidance on how I can get myself and my work out into the publishing world now and in the future. I am looking forward to reading the work of others and having my own work critiqued during Toolkits, as well as having the chance to talk to experienced and successful writers and learning how they met success. I love writing as much as I love reading and look forward to starting the Toolkits program.
Erica Sayon, 16, Springvale South
Writing has been something that I enjoyed from a young age, and the world of fanfiction was my first outlet to writing at eight or so years old. While I no longer continue to write it, I do enjoy reading such stories every so often. Everything significant in my life so far revolves around music, arts and crafts, books, animation, and people. I do enjoy the company of most humans, one of my favourites being named after a pastry of some sort. The tenor saxophone and flute are instruments I play, and jazz a genre of music I particularly enjoy. In joining the Toolkits program, I hope to be able to further develop both my writing technique and style, as well as understand what is required to become a published writer.
Brandon Young, 17, Melbourne
I’ve been writing stories since second grade, where I penned a crazy serial called Battle Wars (which I totally ripped off from Star Wars). Since then, I’ve written many more novels, mostly science fiction and fantasy, and am working to get my tenth one published. Aside from my passion for writing, I’m a reader, gamer, moviegoer, and occasional musician. Star Wars is my fandom (writing a novel for the new canon would be awesome). I’ve made a bunch of amateur films my friends and I like to pretend never existed, and have recorded several metal albums that are actually not as terrible as I remember. I have no publishing experience at all, but I hope to change that soon. Through Toolkits, I’m aiming to refine my writing style, as well as learn new tricks that will elevate my fiction. I can’t wait to get started, and I’m looking forward to hearing what professional writers have to say! Find me on Twitter at @BrandonYoung400
Jessica Landford, 17, Taralga
I’m Jessica Landford and I am absolutely obsessed with writing, ever since I was a kid. I’ve had two organised experiences with creative writing (other than finding my way around in my own head, of course!) run by Suzanne Kiraly. Through Toolkits I really hope to create more realism in my stories and have a more solid structure. I have a blog under the pen name Clara Watson, which you can find at clarawatson101.wordpress.com. I’m totally excited about Toolkits, I’m almost bursting at the seams!
Wendy Chen, 19, Sydney
Wendy Chen is a writer and student from New South Wales with a particular interest in fiction, review writing and advocacy. Her work has been published in SpineOut, Right Now, and That Reminds Me.
Fiction is my favourite area of writing but also the one I find hardest, so I’m incredibly excited for this chance to improve on it in a systematic way. I particularly hope to become more confident in translating premises and thematic ideas I want to convey into workable storylines. Additionally, I aim to improve the narrative voice, worldbuilding and structures of my stories. Find me on Twitter @writteninwonder or at written-in-wonder.tumblr.com
Elle Triantafillou, 23, South-West Sydney
I’m Elle Triantafillou, a 23-year-old student from South-West Sydney. I like biking, having friends over for dinner, and stories about Sydney. My favourite book is (still) Looking for Alibrandi. I’ve written for the University of Sydney student paper Honi Soit, but am sometimes a bit reluctant to show people my work. I’m hoping Toolkits will change this and teach me how to experiment with my writing and some useful ways to approach things like tone, structure, character and editing. I often use my own life as a jumping off point for stories – sometimes twisting the truth and sometimes leaving things as they seem to be. I have never really thought about the ethics of this and am excited to explore this in the course.
Kim Lateef, 24, Perth
Kim Lateef was born in Perth in 1991, raised in Brisbane before returning to the west coast. She has recently finished her Honours thesis which was a writing experience of highs and lows that explored the British Victorian perception of Afghanistan. Kim is interested in uncovering hidden histories of marginalised groups such as Indigenous peoples, migrants, women and working classes and their interactions with one another. While studying a BA in History and Fine Arts at UWA, Kim was a student editor for Trove, an online Arts journal, where she also wrote film reviews. Kim’s passion for stories was reignited when she started working in suburban libraries where she often found the patrons more interesting than the books lining the shelves. Kim is excited about the one-on-one mentoring and feedback from established writers offered by the Toolkits program and hopes to further learn about the craft of creative writing.
Matilda Duncan, 25, South Australia
I am new to writing, having only started midway through 2015, but have enjoyed discovering how much I love it. I love reading nonfiction books, especially applied psychology books, and have always read fiction from a young age. I hope to use the knowledge I gain from Toolkits to get back to basics and strengthen my attempts at fiction writing. Find me on Twitter at @Matilda_Duncan or at paperskywriting.wordpress.com.
Harriet McInerney, 25, Sydney
Harriet writes stories, essays and emails. She is interested in the uses/disuses of language, ecological systems and surreal situations, and has published in places like Mascara, Cordite, Seizure and Voiceworks. She has an undergraduate degree in literature and psychology from Sydney University, and Honours in writing studies from University of Technology Sydney. She currently works as an editorial assistant at a small publisher, grows balcony-sized plants, and enjoys everything cinnamon flavoured.
I’m excited to be part of Toolkits! I can get caught up in theory when writing, and hope to focus on practical aspects of crafting a story, and developing strong voices and settings in Toolkits. As well as working at the elusive ‘regular writing practice’. Find me on Twitter @harrietmelon.